Week 32: Greece!

This week’s something new is based on Wedding 4 of 4 for the year – and what a way to end off the run of weddings I’ve had ❤

My friends V&A chose to get married in Greece since she is half Greek / half German (he’s Egyptian), and so, of course, the Dubai gang put our plans in place to share accommodation and travel together as we have done for weddings of friends in previous years (most specifically the Jordan wedding last year!)

The wedding weekend consisted of many parts where all guests were invited to join social activities, from Greek dancing lessons on Friday to meet-and-greet dinner and then the big day… with lots of additional off-the-cuff drinks get-togethers thrown in for good measure.

Most of the activities were taking place in Vouliagmeni since that’s where the Reception took place on Saturday night, so our group decided to stay in an area close by – Varkiza. It was a little easier on the budgets, but just as beautiful and only an 8-minute taxi ride away from the action.

We stayed at the Stefanakis Hotel & Apartments which was perfect for what we needed – extremely friendly and helpful staff, happy to cater to our ever-changing requests; decent-sized rooms; a lovely swimming pool; cheap beers; breakfast included; great location.

Myself and Natasha arrived a day earlier than everyone else so we used the day to head into Athens city centre and do a bit of sightseeing on a walking tour of Athens. We were both into taking it very easy for the day so after the tour we found a lovely place to have lunch where we sat for hours, taking in the scenery and enjoying local cuisine (and beers 😉 )

The rest of our group arrived that evening and we then headed off to join some of the wedding crew for drinks… and get the wedding weekend off to a fabulous start 🙂

The next day we had Greek dancing lessons – hilarious fun, seemingly simple but actually rather difficult, especially when the music starts getting faster and you have to keep up with it! But a really fun morning – and now I can say that I know 2 Greek dances (Sirtaki – 3 steps; and Kalamatiano – 11 steps)

That night we were all invited to a meet-and-greet dinner, overlooking the Acropolis – just beautiful at night! Most people decided to take it easy (and not go out partying) so that we could be fresh and ready for the HUGE partying expected at the Reception the next night.

The next day was a beautifully relaxing day which we spent walking around our little area, enjoying a few drinks and local cuisine, sitting by the beach, and then enjoying some sunshine and pool time before getting ready.

And then it was time for the Reception – the reason we’ve all travelled to this glorious destination 🙂

The venue – Island Club Reception – was spectacular! Nice and private with fantastic views overlooking the bay, perfect lighting to set the mood, scrumptious food and the most amazing setup for the ceremony to take place.

Bringing multiple cultures together from such different backgrounds, this wedding certainly knew exactly what to do! From traditional Greek dancing to Egyptian belly dancing and drummers, there was no shortage of entertainment, music and fun!

From start to finish, this was a fantastic wedding filled with hours of fun, giggles, meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, experiencing new places, learning new cultures and traditions, speeches, dancing, fireworks, shooting stars, a red moon, sunrise parties and sharing the special memories that we all get to take away with us.

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100 happy thoughts

About 3 months ago I was reminded of a post that I did 2 years ago – a post that made me focus on finding the happy things in my day-to-day life.

I had been feeling a bit out of sorts for the longest time at that point and so I thought it would be a great idea to once again find something each day to be happy and/or thankful for…. and here are my 100 days! Enjoy 🙂

Day 1 (18 April 2017) – Being reminded of 100 days of happy Hazy

Day 2 – Peanut butter cookies for lunch snack

Day 3 – Cheese and wine night at home

Day 4 – Excellent night out at dinner and partying afterwards

Day 5 – House hunting

Day 6 – Public holiday: went for a run, escape room, visited a friend who’s just had a baby

Day 7 – Fabulous easy-paced 5km run

Day 8 – Random dinner with friends – home-cooking, wine, dessert, giggles

Day 9 – Bonkers Bingo!!!

Day 10 – Landlord agreed to drop rent so no need to move; Eddie Izzard live in Dubai!!!

Day 11 – Hilarious day / night out with friends

Day 12 – Total lazy day on the couch with loads of laughs, and even managed my 2km run!

Day 13 – Last day of running for run.every.day challenge – 140 km’s!

Day 14 – Wings & Rings dinner – YUM! (1 May)

Day 15 – Skype chat with the parentals ❤

Day 16 – Sports massage for tired & achy legs

Day 17 – Curry, wine & movie night at home

Day 18 – AWESOME brunch afternoon / night out

Day 19 – No hangover; random movie night at cinema

Day 20 – Wings for life run!

Day 21 – Just a typical day – nothing bad; nothing overly good

Day 22 – Olly being silly and jumping into the fridge

Olly playing hide and seek 🙂

Day 23 – Excellent 7km run at autodrome

Day 24 – Girls night out

Day 25 – Mary Poppins at The Opera!!!

Day 26 – Looooong breakfast & lunch at Crumbs with the girls 🙂

Day 27 – Cheeky, unexpected HazAl evening

Day 28 – Excellent night out at pub quiz, very funny!

Day 29 – Great training session; reminiscing on photos; great night’s sleep

Day 30 – 2 very successful & interesting job interviews – what will be the outcome?!

Day 31 – Bolognese pizza at Jebel Ali Club!!!!

Day 32 – Football tournament scorer, followed by great night out on the dark side

Day 33 – Minimal hangover, ending the day off by being photographer at football awards evening

Day 34 – OFFERED A NEW JOB!!!

Day 35 – Fabulous morning run

Day 36 – Fun night out at work social – tenpin bowling

Day 37 – Hardcore hill session at autodrome

Day 38 – Tough A – Z session at gym which felt great to be able to complete

Day 39 – Night away in RAK – clear the head a bit!

Day 40 – Chilled evening on the couch with the housemates after a night away

Day 41 – Received contract for new job offer

Day 42 – Fun night out at quiz

Day 43 – Spontaneous night on the couch with the girls, eating cheese & drinking wine

Day 44 – Signed contract for new job

Day 45 – Resigned! (1 June)

Day 46 – Fun morning on the beach, hilarious night out with friends

Day 47 – Found a brilliant new TV show to watch – The Handmaid’s Tale

Day 48 – Enjoyable short run to clear the head

Day 49 – Excellent workout at gym

Day 50 (HALFWAY!) – Wrote speech for sister’s wedding

Day 51 – Just your standard Wednesday

Day 52 – Very quiet night at home – finished The Big Bang theory (Amy & Sheldon?!?!?!)

Day 53 – Early morning gym session, catching up with friends, games night at home

Day 54 – Burj al Arab for dinner with the girls!!

Day 55 – Paid off teeth loan early

Day 56 – Smashed my 10-minute rowing PR

Day 57 – Blue Orange prize dinner  – mini birthday celebration for Daniel

Day 58 – Chit chat with new boss

Day 59 – Couple of beers with ex-work colleagues

Day 60 – Last morning run with Nat; Nat’s farewell – sad day, but great time out

Day 61 – Braai at a friend whom I’ve not seen in a while

Day 62 – First Pilates class at gym

Day 63 – Dinner with friends

Day 64 – Interval training – good run in this heat!

Day 65 – Work iftar / final dinner / farewell

Day 66 – Prague

Day 67 – Prague

Day 68 – Scored my first-ever goal (plus 2 more!!)

Day 69 – Very happy to make my flight home after oversleeping and missing my taxi by one hour!!!!

Day 70 – Packed for my trip home; lots of kitty cuddles

Day 71 – Fly to South Africa!!!

Day 72 – Family ❤

Day 73 – Went for a fabulous 5.5km run at home 🙂

Day 74 – Bootcamp with mom & Stretch – surprise hen party for my sister

Day 75 – Stretch’s hen party (1 July)

Day 76 – Sleepover at Maaitjie

Day 77 – Sleepover at Kimmie

Day 78 – Saw Kimmie’s baby on the scan!

Day 79 – Milo milkshake & chicken mayo sandwich with Stretch

Day 80 – Dinner with Kimmie – soooo many laughs and memories ❤

Day 81 – Girlie day with mom, Stretch, Feather – breakfast & massages

Day 82 – Fantastic day at the Fairway with Stretch & Dwayne ❤

Day 83 – Just being in South Africa!!!

Day 84 – Mauritius!!!!

Day 85 – Hilarious night with the bride, bridesmaid & one of the groomsmen 😀

Day 86 – STRETCH & DWAYNE GET MARRIED!

Day 87 – Catamaran cruise

Day 88 – Hassle-free travel with zero queues at JNB airport with transfer

Day 89 – Catching up with Villa Kunterbunt 🙂

Day 90 – Start new job!!

Day 91 – Catch up at HazAl!

Day 92 – Game of Thrones, with popcorn

Day 93 – Hot but enjoyable 5km run in the park

Day 94 – Chilled night at home, on the couch, on my own

Day 95 – Great 9km run in the morning; fab night out with friends

Day 96 – No hangover; fabulous neck & shoulder massage

Day 97 – Given news that BRACES ARE COMING OFF after only 9 months of being on!!!

Day 98 – Paid for the first level of my degree; Slow enjoyable run with Sara & Ellie

Day 99 – Shopping for stationery for my degree LOL

Day 100 – Hill Training! (26 July)

Be happy!!! ❤

Week 28: Married in Mauritius!

Well, not me!

But my sister and her amazing man recently tied the knot in Mauritius and I was there ❤

Following on from the celebrations in South Africa,  a large-ish group of family plus the bride & groom’s best friends headed off to Mauritius to be part of the actual wedding event – a total of 15 in our group for the holiday 🙂

We stayed at Le Victoria, on the north-west coast of the island, which offers amazing sunsets because, of course, you want beautiful sunset shots at your wedding!

From start to finish, this 4-day holiday was simply superb. All-inclusive packages meant that you could eat & drink to your heart’s content from the minute you opened your eyes in the morning, until you closed them again at night. There was no shortage of food, refreshments and most definitely fun & laughter.

And having a wedding on the beach meant walking barefoot on the sand – what a treat!

The wedding was nothing short of spectacular! From the wedding coordinator to the photographer and officiator, these guys really made this wedding a dream come true for Stretch and her man. And they could not have wished for better weather even if they’d tried… the skies were gloriously clear and blue during the day, with perfect clouds coming in to offer up the most magnificent sunset.

And all of this was followed by a scrumptious dinner set out on our own private stretch of beach 🙂

The day after the wedding celebration, we all hopped onto a catamaran and cruised out to a smaller island where we spent the day lying in the sun, snorkelling onshore, enjoying freshly cooked lunch and the locally made rum 😉

Wedding 3 of 4 for 2017, perfectly done and dusted!