Our flight from LAX to Nairobi included a layover in Amsterdam where we met up with Lindsey. Ideally, we had wanted to leave the airport and have a little time to explore the city but pandemic restrictions threatened to keep any tourists into Amsterdam in quarantine in the Netherlands for 10 days. So, we found ourselves exploring instead one of our favorite airports in the world. We spent time at Starbucks Coffee (the Stroopwafel latte… mmm…lekker)and the Rijksmuseum Museum Store making note of items we wanted to purchase on our return home. The best feature of the airport is plenty of padded bench space inviting travelers to lay down and catch a quick nap–something Lindsey and I did as Lauren and Tim minded the luggage.

After a quick 8 hour flight, we arrived in Nairobi around 10pm, where we met our driver Joseph who brought us to the Movenpick Hotel. During our 30 minute drive from the airport we were delighted to spot zebras casually grazing along the airport fence.

Movenpick hotel in Westlands, Nairobi. Convenient location to
embark on a variety of day trips
A city on the brink of modernity

After a restful sleep, we kicked off the vacation in style with a visit to Serenity Spa in Gigiri for a little TLC on our weary bodies. The spa gardens offered us a chance to relax in the sunshine, sheltered from the busy streets nearby. With a refreshing drink in hand, we began planning the rest of our time in the city. I can’t overstate how fortunate we were to have Lindsey with us–she had so many ideas for day excursions, restaurants, and shopping; it was like having our very own Rick Steves guiding us along the adventure. Afterward, we took a short walk from the spa for a little souvenir shopping, looking at local pottery and Christmas ornaments.

Serenity Spa Garden–a private oasis in the heart of Nairobi.
A common mode of transport is the colorful matatu, little buses packed with passengers.
Loud, cramped and uncomfortable…we opted for Uber.