I decided that 30 was meant to be spent somewhere special, and South Africa was the choice. It is the best inexpensive, first-timer Africa safari you can create. And sharks. Really though... because sharks. I planned a two week trip that spanned Kruger National Park in the East and then Cape Town/ Simon's Town in the West for a land and sea adventure. Kruger was amazing- every day brought so many amazing sights. We also spent my 30th birthday (complete with a fancy cake and candles thanks to Ann!) inside Kruger. I can't think of much else that would have topped it. In Cape Town, our main goal was to swim with White Sharks. Luckily, although the weather tried to foil us, we were able to get in the water with the magical fish I have dreamed about for years. The sharks were amazing, but the penguins were where I fell in love. We visited Boulder's beach in Simon's Town where you can walk and swim among African penguins (formerly jackass penguins- who made that name change?!?!) South Africa holds a special place in my heart and to this day, it is the best vacation I have taken.

**You'd think a trip from 2014 would produce photos faster than this... Working and will have full captions soon!!