I guess I haven't really told ya'll about my trip to Africa. I mentioned it in passing in a previous blog, but I haven't really explained the whole story.
I'll start about a year ago...
Daddy was invited on a Father-Son fishing trip to Mexico... Since Daddy doesn't have any sons (and was not granted an exception), he took my step-brother Mark. I'm not the biggest fisher-woman, so I didn't really care... but the feminist-girls-can-hang-with-the-boys kinda girl I am, I was pissed! I threw a little mini fit because I felt that the "boys club" -that half my cousins got to belong to and the other half of us don't - is a totally bogus. So mini-fit happens, passes and I get on with my life. Fast forward two months later. ring ring it's my sister. She's at my grandparent's house. "Fay Baby wants to know," Kelly says in this totally giddy voice, "if you would like to join Lesley and Kitty and possibly Laura and Mary and I on a photography safari to Africa?"
REALLY?!?!?! I'm totally taking an all-expense paid trip to KENYA. MY (sorry Mom) FUCKING DREAM TRIP!!!!! as long as I can remember I've wanted to travel to Africa. Probably because my dad went when I was in 3rd grade or so and I remember seeing all his pictures and thinking they were the greatest things I had ever seen. All my friends wanted to go to Europe and Australia- ya know? Fancy places- I have always wanted to go to Africa.
"Well, I think I can maybe get off work, hell I'll even quit if I have to."
Now keep in mind, I recently threw a mini-fit over my male counterparts going to Mexico. MEXICO-AFRICA... (imagine me with my palms in the air like a scale...) mmmmmm.... Glad I'm a girl at this point!!!!
So. In 17 days I will be embarking on the trip of a life time. I fly from Salt Lake City to New York, where I will meet up with my older cousin Laura. From New York, we fly to Amsterdam where will meet up with the other four Ireland gals and Uncle John (I will take just a quick second to publicly announce my disappointment that Daddy (the only one sans sons) doesn't get to go on this trip. From Amsterdam we all fly to Nairobi, Kenya. From there I have 10 pages worth of an itinerary that I will not subject you with now. I assure you, you will get the play-by-play with tons of pictures when I return from the trip. I will be keeping a travel journal (the old-fashioned-composition-notebook kind) so that I don't forget any details of my 14 day trip.
We are going with my grandfather's friend and artist, Larry Martin. I had the pleasure of meeting Larry a few years back with Daddy. We went and saw a painting Choo-Choo (my grandfather... remind me to tell you the story why I called him that later) had commissioned at the Anniston Museum of Natural History. He's a very cool fella. I remember talking about his trips to Kenya and buying one of his prints (the one at the top of this page). He signed it. I thought it was pretty rad. Now I'm going with him to the very spot he painted that picture.
Needless to say, I'm STOKED!!!!!!
Now, to address the bitter-sweetness of the trip...
The Man that made this entire trip possible wanted so badly to accompany his granddaughters on this trip of a life time. He will, instead, be watching over us on our experience from Above. Thank you Choo-Choo for being the most unselfish, loving, caring, positive, gracious and amazing man I've ever known. I miss you immensely.
So there ya have it. KENYA!!! I'll for sure report back upon my return!!