Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thanksgiving in Port Elizabeth

First things first -- it may be Thanksgiving Day in my journal, but it's December 18th. Yesterday in the wee hours, my son and his wife delivered my first grandson. 8 lbs. 15.6 oz. He was ready to walk off the delivery table, I think.

Thursday, 11/22 (Happy Thanksgiving).

Day crew was what one expects from hotel staff. Granted, it’s not one of the high-end places from the tour since we’re now paying as individuals and there are no group rates, but these guys bent over backward to make sure everything was in order. We walked to the waterfront and down the beach about 2 km (15 minutes or so—no idea of the distance, really), to the Boardwalk, which is more like a mall with a big casino. We found a nifty bookstore and I got a Faye Kellerman, which I think is the one my mother picked up in Italy, and Dan found a two-in-one Carl Hiaasen. I couldn’t resist two romances by Kelsey Roberts, just because it’s cool to see authors you know personally represented so far from home. On the way home, we had lunch at a tea shop below the hotel, which has no coffee shop or meal service other than breakfast.

Hair dryers are loaners, wash cloths by request, but everything worked. Not many tv channels for Dan, but he did check them all out. I planned to sit by the pool and do laundry, leaving Dan with his new book and the tube, and things went fine until the power went out. Took about 2 hours to get it back on, but things seemed fine after that. We found another shopping center with restaurants the opposite direction from our morning walk, and hit the ATM for the cash we’d need for our tour of the elephant park tomorrow. We ate at a Mediterranean seafood place—not a conventional Thanksgiving dinner, but I had paella and it was fantastic, and there was enough left over for another meal. I’m still not used to seeing the bills come with Rand amounts—things seem terribly expensive until you remember to divide by about 6. Dinner was 275 Rand, and according to my AmEx statement, our Thanksgiving dinner (including a nice bottle of South African wine) was $41.75. We've eaten out on Thanksgiving locally, and it usually costs two or three times that.

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