Tuesday, 13 December 2011

From SA to USA!

The time came for me to start packing and deciding what would I really need to take with me to the USA. I spent two day sorting through my clothes packing for summer weather even though it is winter in Florida; the weather is very much like the humid heat of Durban.

The day finally arrived to take the long 30-hour journey to Florida. First leg was from Cape Town to Johannesburg with a 6-hour layover. I then met up with a group of participants from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The excitement was brewing amongst us, but having done this trip many time before I knew that there still was a grueling 17-hour flight to New York.

After arriving at a very busy JFK, we made our way through immigration and customs to board the next flight to Ft. Lauderdale. It was a very chilly morning in New York with the skyline of Manhattan visible in the distance. Upon our flight to Florida we flew over Manhattan with the Statue of Liberty welcoming all to her shores.

After the long trip we finally arrived at our final destination and made our way to the apartments. What a relief to finally put my suitcases down and settle in.

The jet lag was a killer for the first few day with being exhausted by 9pm and wide awake at 5am. Getting up early gave me a chance to catch up on the news; well American news as there is very little focus on what is going on in the rest of the world unless it involves America.

The first 3 weeks at Addison Reserve have been hard work, but amazing at the same time. The club has just completed a $17 million dollar expansion and renovation with almost everything being replaced for new. A lot of time has been spent getting the club setup and training done for the restaurants. We’ve had a few soft opening allowing us all to go through the motions and fine-tune the details before opening the doors to the membership last week.

This past weekend we had the Opening Gala on both Friday and Saturday night. This involved a major setup and breakdown with us all working very hard. It was well worth the hard work after the positive response from all the membership.

I haven’t had much time to explore my new surrounding, but will definitely be making time in the New Year once we are in the swing of things.

Returning to the US and embarking on this new venture at Addison Reserve has been a great experience. I think I may have found a new home.

Author: Andre Smith

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