Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Jessica’s Fourth Birthday Party (2014-11-16) Photo Gallery 02 JUL 2015

So somehow we’re already in July now. Which of course means that we are hurtling towards the end of the year, which in turn then means that we’re hurtling towards Jessica’s fifth birthday party this coming November!

IMG_20141116_142233 jessica lotter birthday party at mondeor restaurant

Which completely reminds me – other than the post detailing my bad knee injury (but with a spectacular fall) on the day, I never actually got around to posting the few photos I hastily snapped on what was the perfect day for my perfect little girl.

So let’s rectify that then shall we?

IMG_20141116_142254 the lotter girls at mondeor

The party was held at the fantastic Mondeor Restaurant in Somerset West (next to the new Cape Garden Centre) who kind of specialise in hosting kiddies parties.

Lots of our family and friends, and friends’ kids, joined us on a very My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic themed day, and thanks to the gorgeous sunny weather, everyone had an absolute ball.

(Jess was particularly proud of the fact that as far as she was concerned, she was dressed exactly as Rainbow Dash would be!)

IMG_20141116_144340 kids birthday party at mondeor restaurant

The snacks and food were great, Chantelle’s two tier My Little Pony cake was a hit, and of course, the kid’s treats were spot on.

Naturally, loads of fun was had (and time spent) in the splash pool, and so as it is pretty plain to see by now – Jessica’s fourth birthday party was definitely a big hit on the day! :)

Needless to say, Jessica was also pretty chuffed that her My Little Pony collection grew a little in the process…

IMG_20141115_145628 fluttershy, pinky pie and jessica eating ice cream

Wine Tasting at La Couronne Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 01 JUL 2015

The third stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the La Couronne Wine Estate.

IMG_20150510_134948 chantelle lotter wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Originally named Champagne Farm and farmed by seven generations of the Le Roux brother, La Couronne is now named after the famed French warship of the French Navy built in 1636 by Cardinal de Richelieu. La Couronne was the first man of war built by the French themselves in accordance to Richelieu’s plans to renew the French Navy, after a series of ships built by the Dutch. The construction was overseen by the famous carpenter Charles Morieur, from Dieppe. The ship was one of the most advanced vessels of her time, equipped with 68 heavy guns, 8 firing to the bow and 8 to the aft.

Needless to say, the wine estate doesn’t really feature any heavy guns, no.

IMG_20150510_130845 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Instead, they offer a fantastic wine selection, as well as quite a well thought out wine and chocolate pairing, something Chantelle and I quite enjoyed. (By this stage of the morning, we kind of felt like wine experts already! :P)

As luck would have it, we ended up there on Mother’s Day, and because pretty much no one else other than Chantelle and myself were present for lunch, we were treated with a personal tour around their vats, operations and more importantly, barrel cellar – a definite highlight for any wine newbies like us!

IMG_20150510_132547 la couronne cellar barrel tour in franschhoek

In fact, we got on so well with the tasting expert that we ended up staying there for a hour longer than planned, enjoying cheese, chocolates and more wine than any person should be tasting in a single sitting! :)

Not a bad way to end off what had been quite a long morning of tasting wines then! :)

IMG_20150510_142759 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: La Couronne Wine Estate

A Cake Pop Class in the Making (2014-07-15) Photo Gallery 30 JUN 2015

Before Chantelle finally made the decision to wind down her little baking business and its unreliable income in favour of a job back at the guest house where things worked out financially a little better, we toyed about with quite a few ideas on how we could boost Chantelle’s Cupcakery’s profits/business in order to keep it alive as a viable option.

One of the more interesting plans we had was for Chantelle to start offering various cake/baking themed classes under her Chantelle’s Cupcakery banner.

Chantelle settled on Cake Pops as being the best class to start off with (they were super popular at the time), and so to test everything out, we roped in friends Michelle and Natasha to pop in and learn how to make cake pops.

IMG_20140715_094647 natasha granger, michelle oosthuizen and chantelle lotter do a cake pops class together

The end result?

Techniques learned, skills taught, and well from the look of it, lots of fun! :)

Even Teddy Bear and Barbie weren’t going to miss out on this “how to” lesson!

IMG_20140719_125751 big stuffed monkey sitting on a tub chair

Looking back at it now, it’s kind of a pity that this one didn’t quite work out in the end. That said, having two small kids at home is work enough thank you very much!

Wine Tasting at Grande Provence Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 29 JUN 2015

Grande Provence Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity. Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape, her lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor, with the rugged mountains beyond. This is heartland South African wine country at its very finest.

IMG_20150510_122414 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The second stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the majestic Grande Provence wine estate.

This old estate has a contemporary, artsy feel to it, and its stunning French Huguenot-style buildings are complemented by loads of interesting modern art and sculpture pieces dotted all around its stunning restaurant and tasting centre areas.

IMG_20150510_115250 chantelle lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

We opted to have our tasting session outside, and with weather as perfect as it was, this was the right choice. Shady trees, stunning art – an absolute treat for all the senses!

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The wine was great (as expected), but sadly the lady taking us on our wine tasting tour not so much, struggling with a lot of the questions that we asked of her. Sadly, if it wasn’t on her script then it wasn’t going to be forthcoming.

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Nevertheless, Grande Provence was an absolute treat and I’m certain we’ll be finding ourselves there again in the near future! :)

High class indeed.

IMG_20150510_122312 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: Grande Provence

Wine Tasting at Rickety Bridge Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 28 JUN 2015

The first stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the tasting centre at the Rickety Bridge wine estate.

IMG_20150510_104819 chantelle lotter wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

From the website: “The Franschhoek wine estate, Rickety Bridge, has a winemaking history dating back to the 17th century.

It was once part of the original La Provence farm granted to the first French Huguenots who settled in Oliphantshoek and renamed the area, Franschhoek. Over the years La Provence was subdivided and in 1797 the land which is now known as Rickety Bridge wine estate was granted to the widow, Paulina De Villiers.

Rickety Bridge wine estate is situated less than 3 kilometres from the centre of the quaint Franschhoek town and nestles against the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains overlooking the majestic Wemmershoek Mountain range. This position gives the estate a range of aspects and soil types for growing different varieties of grapes.

The lower flatland of the estate is covered by sandy soils being close the Franschhoek River which crosses in front of the estate’s lower border. The hillside provides the wine estate with decomposed granite soils which are ideal for growing high quality red grapes required for producing premium red wine.

Rickety Bridge wine estate is 50 Hectares in area of which only 15 Hectares are currently dedicated to vineyard, with a further 6 hectares under development. The remaining 35 Hectares are made up of buildings, dams and pine forest.”

IMG_20150510_104334 wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

Although smaller than most of the other wineries around the area, Rickety Bridge’s setup is very professional, and the lady that took us through the tasting course had to be on her toes (and was!) thanks to the multitude of questions we threw at her (basically, we’re first timers, so we have a LOT of questions about everything wine related!).

The wines were particularly good, as expected, the views stunning, and overall, a very polished and welcoming experience.

IMG_20150510_104814 wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

Needless to say, this was a great start to our wine tasting day! :)

Related Link: Rickety Bridge Wine Estate

Things to See in South Africa: Franschhoek Wine Tram Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 27 JUN 2015

Franschhoek is undoubtedly the crown jewel when it comes to South African wine regions, based entirely on just the sheer number of successful and historic wine estates packed into this fertile valley. One of the best ways of seeing and tasting all this splendour is by hopping on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, a tourist operation that transports guest between the various wine estates on a hop on/hop off basis.

IMG_20150510_102352 franschhoek wine tram

From their website: “Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.

A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to continue the tour.

The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, complimentary wine tastings and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.”

IMG_20150509_125135 franschhoek wine tram bus

The Wine Tram operates a number of busses and a single tram (the busses are all modelled to resemble the tram, itself modelled after the open-sided Brill Trams of circa 1890), and essentially runs two lines – the Blue Line which visits the following estates: Mont Rochelle, La Couronne, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, La Bri, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence, and the Red Line which visits the following estates: Maison, Eikehof, Leopard’s Leap, Dieu Donne, Chamonix, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.

IMG_20150510_102907 franschhoek wine tram

With no need to drive yourself around, this is the best way to be carted about, take in the magnificent scenery and surrounds of all these historic wine estates – and of course taste, drink and buy as much wine as your head and wallet can handle!

All the busses and tram have storage facilities whereby they will transport any wine purchases back to the ticket office for you, meaning that you never have to lug anything around with you, a big advantage as you can well imagine.

Most of the estates visited have some sort of special deal for guests using the Wine Tram, be it free tastings, discounted wine purchases, or free wine pairing sessions.

IMG_20150510_104819 chantelle lotter tasting wine at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

A day out and about on the wine tram is definitely not something to be missed, particularly if you love fine wine!

(All of these photos were grabbed from our recent trip to Franschhoek in case you were wondering.)

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter tasting wine at the grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: Franschhoek Wine Tram | Rickey Bridge | Grande Provence | La Couronne

Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (2015-05-09) Photo Gallery 26 JUN 2015

I’ve spoken in length about the awesome birthday weekend out in Franschhoek that Chantelle planned for us back in May, and sure, there is still a couple of posts that came out of it still to come.

This particular birthday surprise was however one of the more memorable ones – so it gets a post all to itself! :)

IMG_20150509_144909 franschhoek motor museum Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

As we stepped outside after ending off our guided tour through the fantastic Franschhoek Motor Museum, we were greeted with a shiny red treat: Chantelle had organised a ride around the estate in a jaw-droppingly beautiful red 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible!

IMG_20150509_145230 franschhoek motor museum Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

I could scarcely contain myself as I sank down into its comfortable, plush embrace, and after a quick chat with our driver for the day, the loud engine roared to life and we were off, cruising the beautiful L’Ormarins wine estate and making our way up and around to the luxurious and newly build Terra Del Capo Tasting Room on the adjoining Anthonij Rupert wine estate. (Everything here belongs to the Ruperts in case you’re wondering)

IMG_20150509_150001 terra del capo tasting room on the anthonij rupert wine estate

We were let out at Terra Del Capo and Chantelle and I settled down to some refreshments and to take in the views of the relaxing, gorgeous surrounds, before we were once again collected and whisked away via the scenic route back to the Franschhoek Motor Museum doors.

IMG_20150509_145259 chantelle and craig cadillac convertible selfie

Needless to say, a birthday treat of the highest order! :)

(Apparently, this is a thing that the Franschhoek Motor Museum offers. It’s not widely publicised, but they do in fact have a selection of classic cars to choose from – in this particular case Chantelle leaped at the opportunity for us to get some wind in our hair with a convertible!)

Related Link: Cadillac Series 62 Convertible | Terra Del Capo Tasting Room | L’Ormarins Wine Estate | Franschhoek Motor Museum

Things to See in South Africa: Franschhoek Motor Museum Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 JUN 2015

If you love your motor history (or just motor cars in general), and find yourself in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa, then you simply HAVE to take the trip out to the picturesque Franschhoek to visit Johann Rupert’s sublime Franschhoek Motor Museum situated on the stunning L’Ormarins wine estate.

IMG_20150509_134617 franschhoek motor museum ford collection classic car

As Franschhoek Motor Museum puts it:

“Across the length and breadth of Southern Africa, only one place can adequately portray the evolution of the automobile, The Franschhoek Motor Museum. The museum’s collection exceeds 220 vehicles – ranging from a 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar – and more than 80 exhibits will be on view at any one time, displayed in four de-humidified halls with a total floor area of 2700 m².”

All of the vehicles belong to Johann Rupert, and the sheer monetary and historic value of the collection is simply put, staggering, when you consider just how rare most of the exhibits actually are! All brands and ages are representing in this one of a kind collection, from your antique, veteran and vintage rides, all the way through to your post-45, post-60 and of course, modern motors.

Classic Bugatti, Ferrari, Mclaren, Bentley, Ford, Alpha Romeo, Mercedes Benz, BMW – well you get the picture – make a showing, and needless to say, there is no way you can step away from this without a massive grin on your face!

IMG_20150509_133105 franschhoek motor museum classic car collection

As mentioned, only a portion of the collection is on display at one time, with regular rotation meaning that you can visit the museum more than once and come away with something different each and every time. There are four custom built barns, and each showroom barn is then usually set up to follow some sort of theme.

On our recent (and first ever) visit, the four displays were as follows.

First up was the classic elegance theme, which saw beauties that included rarities like the 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash, 1905 Mars Carette, 1914 Humberette, 1922 AC Royal, 1931 Bugatti Type 49, and a 1936 Auburn Supercharge Eight amongst others!

Building 2 housed a homage to Ford, with classic Ford Model A (1903), Ford Model T (1911), Ford Model A Roadster (1931), Ford Convertible Club Cabriolet (1937) amongst those making a showing.

IMG_20150509_135644 franschhoek motor museum ford collection classic car

Of course more recent Ford vehicles were on display as well, like the Ford GT40 (1967), Ford Mustang (1968), Ford Fairlane (1970) and the 1971 Ford Capri Perana.

Barn number 3 housed the Italians in the form of Alpha Romeos, and the Germans in the form of Mercedes Benz.

IMG_20150509_141234 franschhoek motor museum mercedes benz collection classic car

So, so many fine European specimens.

Finally, Building 4 played host to the speed demons, some circuit racers included. Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, Austin Healey, and of course the bright red of Ferrari are all front and present, and anyone with even the slightest love of fast cars is guaranteed to walk out of this particular showroom in total seventh heaven bliss!

The Motor Museum does of course have a small little eatery attached in which you can enjoy something to eat, but more importantly, you can actually book a tour guide for the visit – which is exactly what did. This adds a lot more to the visit, and more importantly, allows you to get a little more up close and personal with the cars than what the general public is allowed.

IMG_20150509_144259 franschhoek motor museum ferrari collection classic car

And the icing on the cake? You can actually also organise a trip around the estate in a classic car (they have a list to choose from). This isn’t a heavily advertised feature, but it is certainly worth doing – which is exactly what we did in a classic 1959 Cadillac Series 62 convertible!

IMG_20150509_145924 franschhoek motor museum ride in a classic red 1959 cadillac series 62 convertible

In other words, if you are in Franschhoek then you should definitely not miss visiting this extraordinary shrine to automobiles.

Related Link: Franschhoek Motor Museum

Things to See in South Africa: Huguenot Fine Chocolates (Franschhoek) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 JUN 2015

Billed as Franschhoek’s famous Belgian chocolate shop, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a tiny BEE producer of fine handcrafted Belgian chocolates. Located in the main street of Franschhoek, the self proclaimed gourmet capital of South Africa, this boutique chocolaterie offers a delicious range of chocolates, made from the finest imported Belgian chocolate.

IMG_20150509_105749 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

Business partners, Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis are Belgian-qualified chocolatiers, and their chocolate work is world class, making them and their chocolate a popular stop in the tourist heavy Franschhoek.

IMG_20150509_110430 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

The shop / work area also plays host to “The Chocolate Experience” a half-hour long programme of tasting, demonstrations and chocolate history – interesting if you don’t have any clue as to what exactly chocolate is in the first place!

(Although not a “must” experience as we discovered on our most recent trip to Franschhoek, the information provided is pretty interesting if you are coming in with no prior knowledge, you do of course get to taste chocolate in its various states, and pleasingly, you get handed two little chocolates at the end of the talk.)

Chantelle and I are rather fond of this beautiful tourist town of food, art and wine, and needless to say, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a stop that we pretty much never miss when we’re in town! :)

Related Link: http://www.huguenotchocolates.com/

Birthday Weekend away in Franschhoek (2015-05-08) Photo Gallery 23 JUN 2015

The fact that I was going to be away for business in Sandton for my birthday back in May, meant that Chantelle and I bumped things up a little and headed out to breathtaking Franschhoek the weekend preceding Monday the 11th, free of the kids (thanks grandparents!) and ready to take in some culture!

IMG_20150508_153156 coffee at peregrine farm stall

Early Friday afternoon saw us hit the road, and the impromptu decision to head out to Franschhoek by looping around Viljoen’s Pass and then Franschhoek Pass was a good indicator of how the weekend was going to be. Relaxed, fun, and full of beautiful things.

An unplanned stop at the Peregrine Farm Stall resulted in some delicious coffee and cake to start things off, and then it was back on the road for what was one of the more scenic drives that I’ve enjoyed for quite some time!

IMG_20150508_162456 viljoens pass to theewaterskloof dam between grabouw and villiersdorp

The guest house that Chantelle had picked out for us (she organised the entire weekend mind you!) was a place by the name of Maison d’Ail – a luxurious guest house nestled under the Franschhoek mountains, fronted with a beautiful pool and even more majestic views. Given that there weren’t any other bookings for the weekend, the owner graciously upgraded us to his luxury suite – which came with its own little balcony and even more views of Franschhoek mountains!

IMG_20150508_171108 maison d'ail guest house in franschhoek

The guest house was perfect, the food great and the accommodation comfortable – not that we spent all that much time there mind you. This was to be a proper weekend of being out and about! :)

Chantelle and I enjoyed a relaxing stroll around Franschhoek before heading out to supper on Friday evening, picking out the French Connection Bistro as our place of choice for the evening. As expected, both the food and wine was excellent, and seated outside for the view and fresh air, we were treated to a fantastic night out and about in Franschhoek.

IMG_20150509_120354 chantelle lotter strolling around franschhoek

Saturday morning was an early start, as we raced away after a hearty breakfast to an undisclosed location, me genuinely excited at not knowing where we were heading or what my big birthday surprise was meant to be, Chantelle super excited by the fact that I was both so excited and clueless at the same time!

Sadly for her though, her big surprise was ruined, when, after arriving at the Stellenbosch Flying Club (my mouth was hanging on the floor at this stage), a young pilot let us know that due to the overcast conditions at all the other landing strips, my intro flight had to unfortunately be cancelled. Absolute devastation.

Shame, Chantelle was literally in tears! (Note: a lot of rescheduling later, I did eventually go up in a Cessna Skyhawk – it was awesome!)

So it was a sad drive back to Franschhoek for Chantelle, but thankfully our next stop was exactly what was needed to bring back a little cheer to her face – the ‘chocolate experience’ tasting and informational session at the Belgian-trained chocolatiers, Huguenot Fine Chocolates.

IMG_20150509_105749 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

Delicious!

Following that, we strolled around Franschhoek a bit, taking in the great sunshine and atmosphere, stopped for some coffee at Sacred Ground (the coffee shop / bakery that Chantelle used to supply with cupcakes and cakes back in the day), and booked our tickets for the Wine Tram experience on Sunday.

With that done, it was on to the next site for the day: Johan Rupert’s fabulous Franschhoek Motor Museum at the L’Ormarins Estate. Chantelle had organised a tour guide for the session, and we spent the next couple of informative hours strolling through the four massive barns filled with some of the most beautiful classic cars you have ever seen – an experience which even load shedding couldn’t take the shine off of!

IMG_20150509_141234 franschhoek motor museum classic car

And then the day got even better.

As we stepped out of the front door following our excursion, I was greeted by a beautiful 1959 Cadillac Series 62 convertible – to which Chantelle then strode and climbed in!

Yes, Chantelle had organised for us to be driven along the estate, stopping for a light snack in between. What a fantastic experience!

IMG_20150509_145924 franschhoek motor museum ride in a classic red 1959 cadillac series 62 convertible

The excitement of the car museum behind us, we then decided to head out on a bit of a drive, and made our way through to the Hillcrest Berry Orchards for some scones and tea – a personal favourite of Chantelle and something we do without fail at least once or twice a year! :)

IMG_20150509_162050 scones and muffins at hillcrest berry orchards

Relaxed, full and rather content with life in general, we finally headed back to Maison d’Ail to put our feet up for a little bit, before once again heading into Franschhoek, our goal the fabulous Roca restaurant perched on the top of a hill on the Dieu Donne wine estate.

Needless to say, the food at this particularly cosy and majestic eatery was absolutely brilliant!

IMG_20150509_184939 chantelle lotter having supper at roca in franschhoek

Sunday was to be the day of wine, and following a good night’s rest and a great breakfast, we packed our bags, bid farewell to Maison d’Ail and headed off to the pickup point for the Franschhoek Wine Tram, looking forward to our first ever taste of their hop-on hop-off tour.

We selected the estates that we wanted to visit (in the end, we only made it to three of the six on our particular line!), and off we went, the cute and clever little tram and busses shuttling us off to the most wine tasting sessions we’ve ever experienced in a single day!

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Rickety Bridge, Grande Provence, La Couronne – we had an absolute blast, took in some beautiful views of both landscape and art, enjoyed particularly good wines, experienced a cellar tour and even paired chocolates, cheeses and wine!

An absolute stunning day out which I can only but highly recommend to anyone who enjoys drinking wine!

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter tasting wine at la provence wine estate

And that was that.

The weekend was over and reality returned, meaning that after a quick stop for a bite to eat and coffee to rid us of the last tipsy effects thanks to all the wine, it was off to Bellville in order to pick up the kids and then finally back home.

Without a doubt, a birthday weekend to remember! :)

FASHKOSH 2015 Stellenbosch Airshow (2015-04-11) Photo Gallery 22 JUN 2015

Saturday the 11th of April saw Chantelle, the kids and myself make the drive through to the Stellenbosch Flying Club in order to hand over some money and spend the day watching all manner of aircraft blasting past with the most magnificent backdrop in the world – The FASHKOSH 2015 airshow had finally landed!

A clear, beautiful day, with the beauty of Stellenbosch and the roar and excitement of airplanes all around – no wonder I was as excited as a little girl who had just been given her very first puppy!

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(Chantelle couldn’t get over the fact that I just couldn’t stop grinning the whole morning long!)

Needless to say, my phone is not particularly great at taking photos of all these magnificent beasts of the air (the Mustang, really, really enthralled me), but thankfully aviation photographer Renier Siebrits Flickr captured some pretty nice shots!

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See, much better!

Ricky Fouché wrote up a nice little piece over at Pilot’s Post, giving a quite a nice breakdown of the spectacular day:

“The first Air show of the 2015 season was held on the 11th April at the Stellenbosch air field and was organised by Alewyn Burger and his team from the Stellenbosch Flying Club. “Air Boss” Rikus Erasmus compiled the program and ensured that most of the various aviation sectors were represented.

Displays ranged from Sky divers to Business Jets. In the mix we had the opportunity of viewing, among others, a Power Paraglider, Glider, Magni Gyro and Warbirds in the form of North American T6 Harvards, Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros, Aermacchi Bosbok and a North American P51 Mustang.

On the General aviation side we had a very rare Howard, a Husky and The Absolute Aviation Group entertained the spectators to a formation display of a King Air 250 and a Beechcraft Bonanza G36. NAC displayed a Bell 407. Business jets were represented in the form of a Dassault Falcon 50 EX .

The South African Air Force were represented By the Silver Falcons, Super Lynx on static display and 35 Squadron that set up a very interesting display in one of the hangars.

Working on Fire did a simulated fire fight. Mark Jackson and the WoF team from Stellenbosch did a display that included fire bombing from an Air Tractor AT 208 and a Bell Huey using a Bambi Bucket. They also demonstrated how a line of “fire Beaters” go about their business.”

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Sadly, it turns out that an airshow isn’t particularly exciting for a toddler and a four year old little girl, so needless to say they were rather chuffed to be leaving the proceedings a little on the early side (we had another engagement on the day, Damen’s birthday braai if I remember correctly).

Lesson learned – next time the airshow rolls into town, the girls are definitely staying at home, and I’m bringing a better camera! :)

Related Link: Renier Siebrits Flickr | Pilot’s Post

Beans, Stodels, Blaauwklippen and McDonalds (2015-03-29) Photo Gallery 21 JUN 2015

Found another folder of weekend photos that I forgot to post, dating back to the end of March this year. Another dad alone weekend, but man, looks like I once again found myself with the pony at Blaauwklippen Family Market on the Sunday.

I’m beginning to wonder just how many times Jess has ridden that little pony this year… (I suspect more than what I can count might be the answer!)

IMG_20150329_135821 jessica riding a pony at blaauwklippen family market

From the look of it, this was a pretty good weekend. Planted beans and swung in the crate swing with Oupa Monty, spent some time with the friends at Stodels (Logan, Evalynne and Jessica had a ball), pony rides, ice cream and pancakes at Blaauwklippen, and some burgers and play time at Waterstone McDonalds.

Seeing these kind of makes me eager for Spring and then Summer to roll back into our lives! (After all, looks like possible snow hitting the Cape this week…)

IMG_20150329_104256 logan, jessica and evalynne playing on a climbing frame at stodels

A Sunday of Ponies, Bossa and Strand Beach (2015-04-12) Photo Gallery 20 JUN 2015

Back in April, only two months ago, the weather here in the Western Cape was still pretty good (as expected). Having already enjoyed a fabulous first half of a weekend thanks to the fantastic Fashkosh 2015 airshow at the Stellenbosch Flying Club, followed by a birthday braai with friends in celebration of Damen’s birthday, Sunday morning saw me flying solo with Chantelle out and about on some or other mission which quite frankly I simply don’t remember any more.

Not that this stopped me from enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather mind you – the morning routine was done and dusted before you could blink, and pretty soon Emily, Jessica and I were chilling on the lawns at the Blaauwklippen Family Market, eating our way through a pile of pancakes while taking in the vibe and good music.

IMG_20150412_130108 jessica eating pancake at blaauwklippen family market

Of course, this has been the year of Jessica becoming rather fond of pony rides, meaning that you can’t exactly leave the market without her having ridden their faithful old pony at least once or twice!

IMG_20150412_134211 jessica riding a pony at blaauwklippen family market

See? ;)

The next morning/afternoon stop for the kids and I was to Bossa Social Cafe in Somerset West, not the first place that comes to mind if you think kid friendly venues, but one that does surprisingly work quite well, thanks to its outdoor tables and decent lawn / sand pit / jungle gym setup.

(Seeing as the kids were playing and Chantelle wasn’t present, I resorted to striking up a conversation with Cuddle Cub over a refreshing glass of strawberry milkshake)

And as if all of this still wasn’t enough of a weekend out and about to my satisfaction, we capped Sunday off with an impromptu trip through to Strand Beach once Chantelle had finally returned home – the perfect way to end off an Autumn Sunday afternoon! :)

In other words, definitely not a horrible way to spend an Autumn weekend out here in Cape Town!

IMG_20150412_174313 chantelle and emily on strand beach

Of course,

Visiting Butterfly World in Klapmuts on a Rainy Day (2015-05-31) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 14 JUN 2015

If you are ever looking for something to do with the kids then the zoo for small animals, Butterfly World Tropical Garden in Klapmuts never fails to disappoint.

IMG_20150531_143628 holding toddlers hand at butterfly world tropical garden in klapmuts south africa

Essentially a massive green house where butteflies are free to flutter about to their hearts’ content, Buttefly World Tropical Garden is an absolute treat of tropical sights and colours, importing around 300 butterfly pupae per week (all year round) in order to ensure guaranteed delight!

Free roaming small animals, tropical birds, reptiles, and fish can all be found in this fun family outing, with both plenty of indoor and outdoor space available to ensure its viability as a destination in both good and bad weather.

IMG_20150531_150412 pathway at butterfly world tropical garden in klapmuts south africa

We tend to head out to Butterfly World quite a lot (probably around twice a year), and even a weekend of bad weather isn’t enough to put us off!

With Chantelle working at the guest house for the day, I opted to take Emily and Jessica out for some adventure, and after buying Emily’s very first set of boots to cope with the wet weather, we had some fun at the Blaauwklippen Family Market before making the long drive through to Klapmuts.

Now of course, I was more than aware that the butterflies wouldn’t be making a strong showing on the day due to the cold weather (they are only really active when it is warm), but what I wasn’t aware of is that Butterfly World actually gives a nice discount to visitors coming in on bad weather days – Certainly a nice little surprise then!

IMG_20150531_143412 mosaic bench at butterfly world tropical garden in klapmuts south africa

As expected, the girls had a ball hunting down the few butterflies brave enough to come out and play, and the plenty of other small critters, both feathered, furry and scaly, did a great job of keeping both Jessica and Emily properly entertained.

IMG_20150531_151018 jessica looking for meerkat at butterfly world tropical garden in klapmuts south africa

To end of a fun afternoon of wandering around and taking in all the colourful tropical sights and sounds, we of course popped in for some food at the Jungle Leaf Cafe, opting to sit outside despite the cold weather in order to give Emily the proper run of the place (she was rather enjoying the sensation of stomping around in boots!)

IMG_20150531_152331 craig lotter with his girls selfie

In other words, a great outing as always!

Related Link: Butterfly World | Stellenbosch Connect

Lunch at the Red Disa in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, Betty’s Bay (2015-05-03) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 13 JUN 2015

Back in early May, Chantelle and I took the kids out for a day, heading down the beautiful Clarence Drive to go and see the always cute penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

For lunch we stumbled across a beautiful national botanical garden that I never even knew about, the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens (in Betty’s Bay).

From Wikipedia: “The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden located between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve to the east of Cape Town, South Africa. With about 1,600 plant species, the area contains a floral diversity per unit area that is greater than anywhere else in the world. The Garden consists of 10 hectares of cultivated gardens and 190.5 hectares of pristine natural fynbos.”

IMG_20150503_150400 scenic harold porter botanical garden, betty's bay

It’s an incredibly stunning botanical garden, nestled in the mountains with an abundance of walking trails and jaw dropping vistas, not to mention a massive variety of plant life and plenty of paths to wander about and get lost in.

Lots of great picnic spots and needless to say, a place I see ourselves visiting more than just a few times now that we know it exists!

IMG_20150503_134338 red disa restaurant in harold porter botanical garden betty's bay

We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Red Disa restaurant (which admittedly, I did think a little pricey on some of their items), sitting outside to soak up the sun and admire the views (which is difficult to do in reality when your two little ones are not particularly adept at sitting still – and not grabbing each and every little thing in front of them!)

IMG_20150503_140540 jessica lotter at the red disa restaurant in harold porter botanical garden betty's bay

A good find indeed!

IMG_20150503_134329 chantelle lotter and family in the harold porter botanical garden, betty's bay

More photos from the day:

Related Link: SANBI: Harold Porter | Wikipedia