The Husband (I still get a kick out of saying that) and I have been back in Taipei for 2 days now and I still feel blue from having to leave South Africa and its beautiful summer weather and friendly people behind. Even though we were there for almost a month, it just never seems like enough.
Our time in South Africa was exciting, magical, busy and unforgettable. We flew into Cape Town, and we literally hit the ground running, as the next day we already had a meeting with our wedding coordinator; our Big Day was only 2 and a half weeks away and we still had a list as long as my arm of wedding to-do's. We couldn't wait to get started on the final preparations and the days leading up to our wedding was a blur of phone calls, emails and organizing.
Of course, we did manage to sneak in some down time and spent lots of time at the beach and in the sun. We also went to Cape Town (about 2 hours' drive from my hometown) for a joined Bachelor/Bachelorette Party that our friends had planned for us. It was so much fun, as the theme for the party was Barbie and everyone had dressed up. I loved seeing all my friends (some I haven't seen in 3 years!) and partying the night away.
|D'Aria Wine Estate, Durbanville|
We also attended our very good friends' wedding on a wine farm just outside Cape Town the next weekend. The Husband was the Best Man and joked that it was his opportunity to practice his speech for our wedding, which was only a week away. Their wedding was lovely, and we thoroughly enjoyed that weekend away from wedding planning and just relaxing with our friends.
|Table Mountain, Cape Town|
The week leading up to the wedding was extremely busy as family and friends from around the world started arriving in South Africa for our wedding. We picked up The Husband's mom and three brothers, who had flown in from North Carolina, USA from the airport the week before our wedding and spent two fun-filled days in Cape Town where we went sightseeing, ate a lot of good food, and drank a lot of tasty local wine. We also met up with our friends who had literally traveled thousands of miles to attend our wedding, from Taiwan, Australia and the States. During this time, my brother and sister also arrived from Dubai. (My oldest brother had arrived from the States the week before.)
|Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town|
Two days later we picked up The Husband's dad and stepmom from the airport (also flying in from North Carolina) and headed back to my hometown to get everyone settled before the Big Day. We rented a house by the beach for his family (which also gave us an excuse to go to the beach in between last minute wedding preparations.)
My parents hosted an unforgettable braai (South African BBQ) for his family three days before the wedding, as it was the first time our two families got to meet in person, and they couldn't stop talking about the food for days. It was an incredible moment for us to have both our families under one roof.
|With my mom at my Bridal Shower|
The next day my sister and bridesmaids hosted a beautiful Bridal Shower for me. They put so much thought and effort into planning it, and it really did make me feel so special. A bunch of my girl friends and female family members attended, and everyone gave me underwear as gifts. Needless to say, I probably won't have to buy underwear again for at least the next five years... The great food, champagne and laughs were exactly what I needed to relax two days before the wedding.
|On top of Table Mountain, Cape Town|
One day to go, and we all headed to the wedding venue for rehearsal. My mom, my mother-in-law, my sister and my bridesmaids all stayed with me at the beautiful guest house by the wedding venue the night before. We drank champagne (we did this a lot, didn't we!?), tried on our dresses and got ready together the next day before The Husband I and said our "I do's".
The wedding was even better than I had pictured in my mind. I'm going to write a detailed post about the wedding in a few days, so I'm not going to say too much about it now. But it really was one of the best days of my life and I still catch myself with a huge stupid grin on my face when I think about it.
|Happy times at the beach|
The day after the wedding we all headed to the beach house and spent three days lazing on the beach, eating everything in sight and spending some quality time with our new huge family. Having The Husband's and my family together under one roof was one of the highlights for us from our trip, as this will probably not happen again any time soon, being that among the 13 of us, we live in four different countries.
|The Newlyweds, Struisbaai|
It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone and head back to reality and our life in Taiwan. I really wouldn't have minded spending another week in sunny South Africa with our friends and family. Luckily I we have plenty of pictures and wonderful memories from our trip, and I know we'll be seeing our family again soon when we go to the States in six months.
Stay tuned for more pics from our trip which I'll be posting as soon as I've uploaded them and sorted through the hundreds of snapshots.