Back in March, my youngest sister wrote me about visiting us in Tanzania. We had talked about it before but more along the lines of ‘I really want to come visit! That would be so much fun‘. This time, however, she was serious. She had a job. Had the money. And was going to make the time. So we started brain storming and planning the best time for her to come visit.
Now during this time of figuring out dates, we were also trying to figure out travel dates for ourselves to go back to the States for my other sister’s wedding. We couldn’t do this until she settled on a wedding date. So quite a few little things going on that played into our planning.
She set her wedding for the 1st of July. Now to figure out the best time for my youngest sister to come to TZ. Since she is still in highschool we were limited with our options. We finally agreed that it would make the most sense for her to come out before the wedding. I would travel back to the States with her so I could be apart of the wedding planning and sister-family time the month leading up to the wedding. Colton would join us later on for the wedding. Sounds simple enough.
After hours of research and a failed attempt at a travel agent I finally found the ‘perfect’ tickets for everyone. During all this it was decided that my (other) youngest sister was going to join the Tanzania trip. Super exciting! The tickets were rather complicated (at least for a newbie like me at being a travel agent!). Anyways, we sorted it all out and my two sisters were all set to arrive in Dar in early May.
I planned out an itinerary for their trip to ensure we could do everything possible while they were here.
The time finally came. Colton and I drove the 6 hrs to ‘our’ airport, parked our car next door, and flew to Dar. We spent the next day at the beach while we waited for my sisters plane to arrive that night.
When we got to the airport I was so anxious about my sisters arrival and making it through customs without any issues that I couldn’t sit still. I probably checked the screen every 2 minutes to make sure their flight had arrived and landed safely. Finally, we saw their beautiful faces come through the doors! We embraced each other with disbelief they were actually here in Africa. Amazing.
Colton and I had gone to the grocery store before the girls arrived to buy coffee, tea and a few breakfast items so we could have something to crunch the next morning.
One of the things about living in Africa is you become very close with family and pretty easy going about certain situations. The hotel we stayed at (we always stay here) only had one room available. This room only had 3 twin beds…a bunkbed and a single bed. All crammed one a small room. So the four of us packed into this room for a few nights. My sisters got the bunkbeds and Colton and I snuggled close on the single bed. We somehow managed to fit all our suitcases in the room as well.
The day after the girls arrived we took it easy and spent the day at the beach relaxing, soaking up the sun, and getting over jet-lag. For dinner we went to our usual restaurant – Chinese food. So good. As always.
Bright and early the next day we hopped on the ferry and cruised through the Indian Ocean to Zanzibar. We checked into our hotel and immediately set out to explore. We had one day to do all the site seeing and shopping. We went to the outdoor market that evening and satisfied our hunger with the local Zanzibari pizzas, shwarmas, sugarcane juice, and spiced tea.
Our hotel organized breakfast to-go the next morning since we were leaving too early to enjoy the roof-top breakfast the hotel prepares.
Zanzibar was great. I think we were able to see and experience everything we needed to plus did quite a bit of shopping. We also managed to get henna, all in one day.
The ferry ride back to Dar was a little more wavy than normal…none of us got sick, but my sisters and I had to step to the back to get a bit of fresh air.
Before heading to Zanzibar we left the majority of our luggage at our hotel in Dar. Anything more than a backpack on the ferry is forced to be checked into the cargo of the ferry. The nightmare is waiting for them to wheel off each cart of luggage after you arrive. Its a tricky combination of trying to eye and grab your luggage while everyone else is trying to grab their luggage, all while making sure not get run-over by another heavy-metal cart full of luggage being rolled onto the platform. Very chaotic. We try to avoid this at all costs.
We arrived back in Dar without any issue (always an accomplishment to be noted) and snagged a taxi to our hotel. We had just enough time to grab all our luggage and freshen up a bit before heading to the airport for the next part of our African Adventure with my sisters.
A few more pictures from ‘part 1′ of my sisters trip!