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In the weeks leading up to our trip to Tanzania, we reviewed our itinerary about a million times and checked out the websites of the lodges and camps we were to stay at, all the while finding it almost impossible to imagine ourselves there. We’ve been back for a week, and honestly it all seems like a dream. The colors, the smells, the sounds, the food, all so vibrant that they felt part of a different world that we got to be part of for a short while.

Upon arrival we learned that there was a slight change to our itinerary for the our visit to Tarangire National Park. Instead of staying in Lake Burunge, we were moved to Maramboi Tented Camp which turned out to be a very lucky switch for us.

After a dusty day of game driving in Tarangire, we pulled up to Maramboi and were greeted with cold towels and hibiscus iced tea. Tanzanian welcomes are something I could get used to!


Maramboi Tented Camp

Being that it’s a camp, the accommodations at Maramboi are technically tents, but tents that happen to be permanent and luxurious.

Maramboi Tented Camp This is glamping at its finest!  Our bed was so comfy, and we had a huge shower with plenty of hot water.

Maramboi Tented Camp

We also had a porch with a view for days, which was filled with zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, warthogs, and ostriches.

Maramboi Tented Camp

The grounds of the camp were even more impressive, with a sprawling dining area and a long boardwalk out to the pool, where we happily spent our sunset each night.

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Just like in all of the other places we stayed, the food at Maramboi was delicious. Dinners were more African-influenced, while lunch one day was definitely geared toward travelers with options like fish and chips in addition to lentils, spinach, rice, and quiche.

lunch at Maramboi

And as it did in every other stop on the trip. mineral-y South African white wines were flowing.

South African wine While staying at Maramboi we had the opportunity to go for a nature walk with a junior Maasai warrior, and it was just breathtaking.


Maasai guide

giraffes in Tanzania

zebras at Maramboi

While getting up close and personal with non-predator animals, we learned about Maasai culture and our beautiful surroundings. It was definitely one of the more memorable afternoons of the trip for me.

ostrich in Tanzania

zebras in the water

Of course it didn’t hurt to go back to our tent and watch zebras in a watering hole. They were so close at night that we could hear them ripping up grass. Another one of the tents had zebras rubbing up against the tent to scratch. We were definitely at one with nature while also in the lap of luxury at Maramboi.

sundown in Maramboi

sunrise at Maramboi

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Tags: Africa, Food, hotels, luxury, safari, see the world, Tanzania, Travel, travel blog

Taste of the South End is next week! This night full of chefs is the perfect excuse to get out of the house this March, which will hopefully come in like a lamb rather than a lion!

A little about Taste of the South End from one of Boston’s favorite chefs:

“The Taste of the South End is Boston’s premier food & wine event in our neighborhood and it brings together all of the South End chefs for the AIDS Action Committee. It is a fine way to both raise money for a wonderful organization that does vital work in our community and also have fun saying hello to friends, neighbors and colleagues. I would not miss this event for the world,”  -Chef Gordon Hamersley.

I haven’t been to the Taste of the South End in a few years, but the last time I went I had an amazing time. I have heard it just gets better every year. This year’s Taste of the South End lineup includes SO many favorite restaurants like B & G Oysters, Cinquecento, Myers + Chang, and Sweet Cheeks. The night promises to be delicious and all for a great cause.


I have a pair of tickets to give away, and I am going to choose a winner at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. To enter, just take a peek at the Restaurants page and let me know in the comments   what restaurant table you would want to visit first. For an extra entry, tweet “ I want to win @tastesouthend tickets from @traveleatlovemm.”

Good luck!

About AIDS Action Committee

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. Many of the people who seek services at AIDS Action have more pressing, immediate priorities than HIV—which can rank third or fourth on their list of concerns after homelessness, malnutrition, or domestic violence. That is why in addition to HIV counseling and testing, and needle exchange, AIDS Action provides services in mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal support. Additionally, most of our clients have average annual incomes of less than $10,000 a year.

AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. In 2013, AIDS Action formed a strategic alliance with Fenway Health that will allow the two organizations to work more closely together and improve delivery of care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Tags: Aids Action Committee, community, events, Food, taste of, Taste of the South End

Traffic. Snow. Traffic. Gray. Slush, Repeat.

If you live in the Boston area, that pretty much sums up your life lately. Our regular 30 minute commute has turned into two hours. It’s nearly impossible to walk down a street, to park anywhere, even to see out our first floor windows after all of this snow.

I work in East Cambridge, and for almost two years, I have been wanting to eat at The Helmand.  I heard so many great things, and yet we just never made a point to get there. That is, until last week on one of the days Boston was in total gridlock.

It took my husband almost two hours from Harvard Square to East Cambridge, around four miles. It was cold and slippery, and warm, spiced Afghani food sounded perfect. It was.

The Helmand is bright, beautiful, and cozy. Everyone who works there is welcoming, kind, and knowledgeable.


The Helmand

The blue and yellow plates brought a little sunshine to our evening.

The Helmand

We had a really hard time deciding on what to order, so we decided on a few appetizers. Always a pumpkin lover, I had to have the Kaddo.

Sweet baby pumpkin topped with a rich and tangy garlic yogurt was heaven. I feel like this dish is pretty healthy and full of vitamins too, so it wasn’t too much of a splurge, not like the boxes of Cheez-its I have been downing during blizzards, anyway.

pumpkin in garlic sauce

Warm, pillowy bread with a variety of sauces, gave us something to use as a scoop for our yummy pumpkin. sauces at the helmand


Aushak, Afghan ravioli filled with leeks and scallions, served on yogurt-mint topped with ground beef sauce, was a hearty plate full of flavor and warmth. I loved that the food at the Helmand was spiced in a way that was warm but not burning off your tongue.


For my entree I went with Bowlani, brick oven baked twin pastry shells, one filled with leeks and scallions the other filled with spiced potatoes. garnished with yogurt and mint. Again, these were full of warmth and spices, comforting, filling, and just delicious.

The Helmand was an utter delight and a much-needed bright spot in a series of dreary days. We’re trying our best to eat healthy and exercise, but this winter has made that a challenge. I am definitely feeling seasonal blues, and going out a couple of times a week seems to help.

I recommend a visit to the Helmand if you want a taste from afar without getting on a delayed flight. In the meantime, please send us warm weather.

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Tags: Afghani food, cambridge, Dining out, Food, Helmand, Restaurants

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