KEEPING IT REALITY: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' RECAP

This week's episode of BRAVO TV's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" was atypical because it was actually kind of sweet. Instead of the usual drama, this episode had a lot of tender moments. As the ladies prepared for their trip to South Africa, they spent most of their time with the ones they liked and loved. It was a welcome change.

NeNe and Marlo Bond - RHOA kicked off with NeNe going to Marlo's house and finding out that they have a lot in common. One of those things is their love of shoes, which was confirmed when Marlo showed NeNe her shoe and bag room. Marlo gifted NeNe with one of her brand new Chanel bags and a beautiful friendship was formed. Before the afternoon was over, NeNe invited Marlo on the trip to South Africa with the other ladies, and she gladly accepted the invitation. Lenithia must enjoy trouble.

Kim and Kandi Get It Right and Tight - Kim's been working off her pregnancy weight and was only 8.5 lbs from her target. She decided to get something called the "Slim Wrap" to help her and got wrapped in what looked like white duct tape. When it was taken off after an hour, she was told she'd lost 10 inches from her body. I thought Kim looked perfectly fine for someone who just had a baby, although that blond hairhat of hers is another story.

Kandi was also trying to get her bikini body right, so she went to workout with her personal trainer. She weighed in at 153 lbs, which surprised me. 70% of that must be in her lower body because she is built solid! And I'm kind of jealous. But alas, she wasn't happy with her weight, and she was working towards getting to happy.

Cynthia Packs – As Cynthia packed for the trip to South Africa, Uncle Ben (Peter) questioned why she was so giddy. It could be because she wouldn't be seeing him for 10 days, but that's just my hunch.

Phaedra and Apollo Chat – While hanging out in their kitchen with their very adorable baby boy Aiden, Phaedra and Apollo talked about her concerns with Marlo. Phae was still shocked that she had 7 mugshots, and let it be known that Marlo was on her list of folks to steer clear of. "I typically do not hang out with women with long rap sheets. The only person I hang out with who has a rap sheet is my husband." There is no shade like Phaedra shade.

NeNe and Marlo Go Shopping - The ladies met up once again for some bonding and shopping. They brought along NeNe's assistant, Andre, who had on a tie so short I thought it was Aiden's. As per usual, NeNe talked about her riches. "All my sh*t is expensive. Head to toe." NeNe, your nouveau riche is showing. Tuck in it, ma'am!

Kim and Kroy's Romantic Night - Since the NFL lockout was over, Kroy had to report to training camp immediately. The night before, Kim decided to do something special for him so they went to dinner. While they were gone, Sweetie was supposed to be lighting candles all over the house as a surprise for Kroy. But when they showed up to the house, the candles were only half-lit. That hiccup aside, Kim and Kroy got to spend the night by themselves, after a creepy faux-sex talk from her dad.

The next morning, we were treated to an emotional goodbye for Kroy. I could have sworn he was going off to war, not football camp 40 minutes away.

South Africa, Here They Come - It was finally time for the ladies to head to South Africa. Apollo tried to get a little action from Phaedra in the limo on the way to the airport. If the cameras weren't there, it might have been BOOM CHICKA WAH WAH in that car. Sheree was the first one there, then Kandi arrived with Mama Joyce there to see her off. Peter dropped off Cynthia and NeNe showed up last. The ladies thought they could go check-in finally, but Marlo arrived to everyone but NeNe's surprise. Apparently, none of the other ladies were notified that Marlo would be going with them to South Africa. Oh NeNe, that’s a bit messier than a Hoarders’ house. Awkward!

Next week, we'll be seeing how the trip goes. According to the previews, there's going to be drama in the Motherland. Not surprisingly, it'll involve Marlo. Looks like the ladies will be back to their usual fighting, and I'm looking forward to all the theatrics that will accompany it.

Luvvie is a writer, social media strategist and Red Pump Rocker, who blogs at Awesomelyluvvie.com. You can follow her on Twitter @luvvieig and like her on Facebook.