Not so pretty things...Archaic male and female roles...Dining at the most exquisite resort in Diani Beach...photos, photos and more photos!

Color at sunset from our outdoor living room.
Loss of water a few nights ago put Tom in a tither when we were preparing to go to the Swahili Beach Resort for dinner. He was mid-shower soaped up from head to toe when suddenly there was no water. Using bottled water he rinsed off as well as possible.  Luckily, awhile later we had water again.

We'd never noticed the amber eyes on these lizards until taking this photo.
Yesterday, in the 90F (32C) weather, humidity visible in the air, I grabbed one of the two wood cutting boards to take outside to chop and dice veggies while sitting at the glass table in our outdoor living room. We were having a Mexican roast beef salad, perfect for a hot evening.  

Tom's hair still had shampoo in it when the water went off during his shower before we headed out to the Swahili Beach resort for a fabulous dinner, described with photos below.
Often its too hot to stand in the tiny galley kitchen to chop and dice and I've often chosen to take it outside.  Placing a clean towel on the table, the cutting board and a sharp knife and I'm good to go.  Keeping a close eye on potential crawling or flying visitors I chop away, jumping up numerous time to place each item in a bag in the refrigerator while I return to do more.
Luckily, I'd showered hours before him.  
As I placed the wooden board on the table to begin chopping, I must admit, I shrieked.  On the board was a no less than 6" (15 cm) centipede, my nemesis, my most feared crawling thing so far, that inflicts a bite that is not only poisonous but may require a hospital visit and treatment. 

The entrance to the Swahili Beach Resort.
What do I usually do when the insect is horrifying? Call for Tom.  Now, please understand that I've always been an independent women, capable of taking care of myself.  For many years, I lived alone in our old lake house (before Tom) after the boys were grown and out on their own. 


If a creature ventured into the house, I took care of it, setting traps if necessary or devising a plan. I was never the "helpless" woman. 


For some odd reason and for the first time in my life, once Tom entered my life over 22 years ago, his loving "take care of my woman" persona became evident, allowing me to lighten up a bit and letting him step in to the rescue.  Mind you, relinquishing this "take charge" attitude didn't come quickly or easily.  It evolved over these past 22 plus years.

One beautifully appointed lounge area after another at Swahili Beach Resort.
In the past year since leaving the US, I've totally let go, letting him be "the man." Most of my girlfriends will admonish me for this stereotypical, archaic attitude but when it comes to creepy crawling or flying things, heavy lifting and checking out scary noises, I have no problem. 

Every area was decorated with the finest of furnishings.
As for other decisions, well, you know the rest if you've been reading many of our posts.  A headstrong, determined "know it all" I've forged my way into an equal stance with my equally headstrong, determined "know it all" husband. I often brag (to him) that my method is subtle and diplomatic whereby his method can be pushy and irritable.  In any case, magically, we get along extraordinarily well, seldom ruffling each other's feathers.


The bar was inviting and comfortable.  We were anxious to get to the buffet
as it neared 8:00 pm.
So, Tom bravely took the wood cutting board from my hands, shook off the centipede to the ground and stomped, crunched, stomped, crunched until it was nothing but a gag inducing mess.  When Hesborn arrived later in the day, I asked him to remove the ugly moist turning moldy cutting boards from this house, never asking for another.  He did.

The walkway toward the pool area. 
I'm sorry I didn't taken a photo of the centipede on the board.  I had an awful squeamish look on my face for hours and could hardly think of anything else.  Somehow food and centipedes wasn't a good mix for me.

The walkway over one small arm of the vast swimming pool.
A short time later, Hesborn appeared with what looked like a new cutting board and I jumped for joy.  One only need ask Hesborn or Hans for anything and they happily comply.  Why hadn't I asked for a new cutting board after fiercely scrubbing and bleaching these two rotting boards day after day?

The dining area by the buffet, although not air conditioned as most restaurants, had a bit of an ocean breeze but was still fairly warm for comfortable dining.
Then, yesterday around 5:00 pm, the power went out.  Within 90 minutes, Hans had the generator working and we were able to prepare dinner as the sun went down.  We dressed in our BugsAway clothing and proceeded to have a lovely evening as usual.

The salad were fresh and cold, many of which I could pile onto my plate.
Also, yesterday, we decided it was time to check out our luggage in preparation for packing, only to discover that the zippers on my single large suitcase was completely corroded from the humidity and salt water air.  It wouldn't budge.  This was worrisome.  There isn't a store within hours where we'd be able to purchase a large piece of luggage, nor would time allow for shipping. 


The crab, vegetable and apple salad had no added sugar so I picked out the few chunks of the apple.  The salad on the right containing rice was off limits. 
Asking Hesborn for spray can of lubricant, he quickly darted off, returning minutes later with a can.  Spraying the zipper thoroughly, Tom was unable to get it to work.  Finally, this morning, we asked Hesborn for a pair of pliers, a word he wasn't familiar with.  I pinched my fingers together to convey the message and he got it, returning only a minute later with pliers.  Now, we were in business! 


The chicken satay were made for me without soy sauce and sugar.
Tom went to work on the zipper with success.  What a relief!  That could have been quite a disaster. Soon, we'll tackle the packing. It's been difficult to get motivated in this heat and humidity.


The cooking stations were manned by conscientious cooks catering to my every need. This dish normally made with flour was done so using chicken broth and cream, reduced to a creamy sauce.


The steamed veggies on the left were acceptable but the creamed item on the right was not.  Without the chef's assistance, this would have been obvious to me.
As for the dining experience on Saturday night, after Tom had removed some of the soap but not all from his hair, we were off for the Swahili Beach Resort.

With 21 restaurants listed and rated on TripAdvisors, one would think choosing where to dine would have been a breeze.  Not the case. With a wide range of reviews ranging from "best dinner ever" to "don't waste your time" we're always in a quandary as to where we'll dine next.

My salad plate.
With a mere 11 days until leaving Kenya coupled with a plan to use our remaining groceries, we expect to dine out less than we'd originally planned.  After counting the possible number of meals remaining in our inventory, its likely we'll dine out two more times after tonight, when we'll be returning to Blue Marlin which has had consistently good food. 

My divine plate of food from the Swahili Beach buffet.  That's not pasta in the red sauce.  It's grilled calamari, kind of like a squid spaghetti. without noodles.   
With a not-uncommon hit and miss with some of our prior favorites, we've decided to repeat those that have been most consistent.  Our previous try-something-new plan has gone by the wayside as we've run out of options and most amazingly, time.


This past Saturday as shown in these photos, we tried the Swahili Beach Resort by far, the most luxurious resort we've visited thus far with over-the-top service, food and ambiance. Dark when we arrived, we'd wished we'd come earlier to see the amazing d├ęcor, the massive infinity pool, the gardens and the beach. 


Watermelon carving seems to be quite the art as we've observed in many countries.  Those
are small cuts of cake with mango slices on the plate in front of the carving.
Surprisingly, it too had mixed reviews which may have influenced avoiding it until these last few weeks.  Had we known how wonderful it would be, we would have made it a regular on our list.  For KES $1400, US $16.41 per couple per day, we could have used their pool, if staying for meals. 

The dessert always look appetizing to me but only for viewing.  Tom hasn't particularly cared for desserts in Kenya since they use less sugar than in the US. Not surprisingly, most of the locals are slim and fit in appearance. 

Impossible to lay outside at this house due to the bugs in the grass, we've missed our short stints in the sun which we also found nearly impossible in Tuscany, due to the bees.  Languishing by the pool in Belize was an experience we've missed.  Soon, in South Africa, we'll have our own pool at our house which sun provided, gets us back into a little pool and sunning time.
I felt as if I was back on one of our 8 cruises with a cheese plate in front of me for dessert.
Swahili Beach Resort's buffet blew us away!  Once I explained my dietary restrictions to the restaurant manager, showing my Swahili translation list on my phone, the head chef proceeded to walk me around the buffet showing me every item that fit my criteria. 

After I'd seen it all, he grabbed a plate for me, staying at my side as we walked from cooking station to station of freshly prepared items, adding food to the plate. 

When we reached the salad area, he grabbed a second plate, piling on more appropriate items, finally carrying my plates back to our table.  Tom, of course, busied himself piling food on his own plate, none of which contained any vegetables, as usual, all of which was off limits to me.  
Tom stood next to this hand carved wood sculpture to illustrate it's massive size.
It was a memorable evening.  The total bill for our dinner including tip was KES $5300, US $62.13 and the round trip taxi fare, as always, was KES $1100, US $12.90.  The evening was pricier than usual but after the glorious experience, we hardly complained.


Power is back on.  Water is working. Suitcase zipper is working. New cutting board is ready for chopping and dicing for another eight meals and once again, we're back on track. Will we return to Swahili Beach Resort one more time?  I don't think so.  I don't want to spoil the memory.

4 comments:

Isabel@FS said...

I am new to your blog, found it through one of the paleo/low carb blogs I follow. I love your photography and have to say how brave I think you are, travelling to countries such as where you are now. I am much too timid for this, though I wouldn't describe myself as a timid person. I can enjoy being an armchair traveller, seeing things through your eyes. I couldn't cope with the 'wildlife' ie bugs. Thank you for being so open and honest. I look forward to following you on your further journals.

Jessica said...

Isabel, how wonderful of you to comment! Of course you aren't timid! Timid people don't usually write comments online.

Thank you so much for your comments about our photos and our blog. It's only since we left the US that I decided to try to learn to take decent photos but I still have much to learn. Also, your comment about our openness and honesty. When we decided to tackle not only traveling the world but documenting it, we decided that being ourselves with our vulnerabilities and flaws was the only way we would tell our story. Plus, when we are honest and real we'd never have to look back to be reminded of what we may have said earlier. We'd need only to reach into our hearts and minds for the "real" answer to any questions.

Please tell me more about YOU! Are you doing the low carb thing too? Have you read the research and the books? Would you share which of the low carb blogs brought you to ours? We've done stories for the sites of Dr. William Davis, Jonathan Bailor and now Dr. Perlmutter, all of whom have taught me so much and for which I'm eternally grateful. Actually, Dr. Davis' Wheat Belly started me on the path after a kindly local doctor suggested I do an extreme anti-inflammation diet. That was 2 1/2 years ago and here we are today traveling the world, throwing shoes at bugs and loving life!

Please do stay in touch. When we arrive in South Africa living in a private house in Marloth Park, a mile from another house, where zebras, warthogs and giraffes roam free and visit the house everyday, we'll sure have some fun photos and stories to tell. I can hardly wait!

Nice to meet you, Isabel. I hope to see you here again.
Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything Isabel said. I especially liked her comment about being an armchair traveler, seeing things through your eyes. That was really cool.

Your sunset picture from your outdoor living room was so spectacular. I could look at it forever and still marvel about God's creation!

It is great how things seem to just work out for you and Tom. With the water going out in the middle of Tom's shower and him using bottled water to rinse off. And then Hesborn getting the water back on in only 90 minutes. And then the suitcase zipper. When I was first reading it, I thought, "oh no," the first time you decided not to be so stressed out about packing so early, and then this happens with the suitcase zipper. And Tom manages to get it fixed. How great is that!

The centipede is a different matter. I know you will be happy to leave those guys behind.

I still have a hard time grasping how many fantastic looking restaurants there are in such a close distance from where you are living. And that they can accommodate your strict diet with seemingly ease. That sounds like so much fun visiting the different restaurants. And the hand carved wood sculpture was also amazing.

I am so looking forward to your pictures and writings when you get to South Africa. As I said before, my favorite animal to see in the zoo is the giraffe, and you will actually see them roaming free. You are so blessed in so many ways.

We had a fun afternoon today. My youngest daughter manages a riding stables and also gives riding lessons at a stables near our home. Today she took my grandkids horse back riding. First she gave 3 of them riding lessons, which she has done many times before. They are becoming really good riders. We have 6 grandkids and their ages range from 14 down to age 2. Of course the 2 and 4 year old did not get lessons but I helped lead them around the arena on one of the gentler horses. They loved every minute and did not want to quit. The 14 year old helps with rounding up the horses from the coral and then brushing them down. She says she really loves working with the horses. After that we all went to dinner at Panera Bread Co., one of their favorites.

Dan is gone for 3 days deer hunting with a friend. They go first class, staying in a nice condominium a short distance from the hunting area. He said at 74, he deserves to be comfortable at night. When he called me at 8:00pm tonight he said they did not see one deer. He was cold and extremely tired and was getting ready for bed. So, I hope he gets his deer tomorrow so he can rest awhile before driving home.

Guess I should close for now. Looking forward to more of your blog tomorrow.

Pat

Jessica said...

Your Dan is one tough guy! At 74 he still is going strong. Good for him! And I agree. He does deserve to be comfortable at night. Actually, we all do!

We have 6 grandkids too! Gosh, when I read your story about their horseback riding lessons, it made me think of ours and all of their activities. We sure miss them all but before we know it, we'll be together again. Skype is our way to communicate but its never as good as face to face, watching them grow.

Gosh, Panera. I haven't been there in what feels like forever. I quit going there after changing my way of eating. Too much bread.

I don't think we'll say goodbye to Mr. Centipede when we leave here. They exist where we'll be including many more species. But, with AC, we'll be able to keep the doors closed with less likelihood of them coming inside. We shall see. I'll certainly be giving updates!

Give Dan our wishes for a safe hunt. Hope you get some time to read a good book and relax in his absence.

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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