As the official website says: “Gordon’s Bay hosts the spectacular Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights from 19 June to 19 July 2015. The highlight is the Carnival Weekends from 26 – 28 June & 3 – 5 July 2015. Come join us for music, markets and merrymaking!”
As it stands, other than seeing Geon’s magic show on the last day of the last carnival weekend (very entertaining), and strolling through the fairy light lit up milkwood tree walk along the beach at night, we kind of missed it all – even the kids rides.
And besides, the kids had a blast regardless:
(My phone’s camera can’t really take pictures at night, hence a complete lack of awesome fairy light photos!)
As you can see, Emily definitely reckons I should get a better camera! :P
Next year we’ll make more of an effort to attend this awesome Gordon’s Bay event. Promise!
As per usual, we had a nice and busy weekend, with things kicking off on Friday when Chantelle abandoned us for Bellville in order to go and watch the much hyped 50 Shades of Grey movie with Natasha and Michelle Garrett. She opted to take Emily with in order to leave her with Ouma and free up some Daddy/Daughter time for me with Jessica, and taking full advantage of this generous offer, I picked up Jessica from Vergeet-My-Nie at the end of the work day and headed off to the Gordon’s Bay Spur!
Needless to say, Jessica was particularly excited, even more so when we were handed a table literally next to the play area! For the next hour and a half she was bobbing between playing in the kids area (our Spur has really jacked this part of their operation up!), eating food and drinking pink milkshake with her dad, and running around with two other random little girls who seemed to be having just as much fun over at the Spur as what she was!
(Footnote: I didn’t stay up to find out how much Chantelle enjoyed the BDSM-tinged 50 Shades of Grey movie – which as it turns out was quite a lot – but I am rather pleased to report that I didn’t wake up chained to the bed or something like that the next morning).
With Chantelle working and an Eskom loadshed looming, Saturday morning saw me escape to Somerset West with the girls for some retail therapy (no, actually just household and DIY shopping – lightbulbs seem to be really, really expensive these days, not to mention the price of garden tools!), followed by a visit to the always busy, always pleasant Root 44 market at Audacia.
There it was to be pancakes, playing in the sand pit and of course going down the slides (yes, even Emily joined in) that was the order of the day!
The rest of the afternoon/evening was pretty uneventful now that I think about it – Chantelle and I attempted to watch Liam Neeson getting rather confused in the movie Unknown, but sadly as we got just over half way, Chantelle’s gentle snoring and permanently shut eyes became a subtle enough hint, and so we abandoned the film for some much enjoyed bed time.
Sunday was work day for Chantelle once more, but I had more than enough on my own plate to keep me busy. I had invited all the friends around for a Boerewors braai at our place – the first informal get together at Country Mews of the friends in I don’t know how long!
Anyway, all the rushing around paid off, because by the time our guests in Michelle, Damen and Logan, and Evan, Natasha and Evalynne arrived, everything was set up and ready, meaning that chilling in the driveway around our newly bought outside table could commence in ernest!
What followed was an enjoyable afternoon of chatter, boerewors and spanspek, and even a short trip to the park here in Country Mews. Of course, boys will be boys and FIFA did at one point get hauled out and played – and to make things even better, Ryan eventually showed up in Gordon’s Bay, coming through for a visit and some FIFA following his outing to the Art of Brick exhibition in Waterfront earlier in the day.
Eventually though, the day and early evening were done, and with the kids in bed and the last of our guests gone back across the Boerewors curtain, Chantelle and I settled down to finish off the enjoyable Unknown (for the record, Chantelle didn’t quite make it – she’d have to catch the ending again the next morning), rounding off what was a great little weekend.
So the 13th of January rolled in and with it, Emily turned one. Seriously can’t believe how the first year of having the cutest baby in the world as part of our family is already over! Anyway, taking Chantelle’s guest house shifts into consideration, we decided that the best date to hold Emily’s birthday party would in fact be two days earlier, namely Sunday 11 January. (Funnily enough, Claire hosted little Grayson’s 1st birthday party on Saturday 10 January, meaning a weekend filled with 1st birthday parties!)
Mom and Dad graciously let us use their home as the venue (we wanted the space and more importantly the pool), and to sprinkle Smarties on the top, the day’s weather was absolutely perfect!
Chantelle, Jess, Emily and I made the trip through to Bellville early morning to start the setup operation, and believe it or not, our timing was exactly spot on because we finished up just as the first guests started arriving – in other words, right on time! :) (So, so many rolls were cut and buttered, Spanspek diced, and Watermelon sliced!)
It didn’t take long for the kids (and the parents) to find themselves in the pool (where the coloured balls soon made an appearance and were an absolute hit – with the dads, who couldn’t stop pelting one another with them!). The fire was soon on the go, and lots of boerewors rolls, spanspek, watermelon and cold salads eventually descended onto the outside table in order to attempt to feed the hungry hordes.
Needless to say, Chantelle had prepared an awesome upside-down ice cream cake for Emily (hastily prepared seeing as we were out the previous day attending Grayson’s party), but the real treat for the day was without a doubt the kids’ ice cream station that Chantelle had set up – complete with about eight flavours of ice-cream, a selection of cones and bowls, and a gazillion different topper treats! Young and old alike gorged themselves (multiple times) on the sweet treats, and then as before, it was back in the pool for pretty much the rest of the afternoon!
Towards the end of the day, the guys mostly gravitated towards the television in order to sit down and watch the unfolding T20 game between the Proteas and West Indies (sadly, South Africa lost), whilst the girls remained outside, rolling their eyeballs and chatting up a storm. (At that stage I’m not sure what the kids were up to because I was watching cricket).
All in all, the day was a huge success story, the kids had a blast, and the parents looked to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves (even if that sentiment is based entirely on all the dads pretty much pelting each other in the pool with coloured balls for the entire day – seriously, we never grow up, do we?).
On Sunday the 18th of November we found ourselves free of a market commitment and so organised a birthday boerewors braai in celebration of Jessica’s second birthday. And blessed as we are, pretty much all our friends could make it through on the day, not to mention the wind free, bright sunny afternoon we got to play in!
Chantelle worked hard to get the place spick-and-span, with me keeping Jessica out of her hair long enough to actually get most of the stuff set up and prepared. As for the outdoors, I got the outside braai cleaned up and ready to use, stuffed pretty much all our chairs around the braai, flicked on the front door fountain that only really runs when we’re expecting guests, and set up our solitary beach umbrella for some much needed shade.
It wasn’t too long before the rest of our guests started rolling in, and pretty soon we were playing host to the Stapelbergs, the Montgomerys, the Storbecks, the Grangers, the Oosthuizens and of course Ryan, who brought along the old Lotter Gazeebo which we promptly set up to cover the rather exposed side of the house where we were all gathered around the fire and enjoying the rather soft grass underfoot (which Chantelle had sneakily watered just a while earlier in the hope of making it a little softer).
Zandea, Evalynne, Logan and Jessie seemed to enjoy themselves on the day, Logan in particular loving splashing in the water fountain, and Jessica who seemed to find a new mom in the form of Zania, much to the consternation of poor little Zandea! And of course there was the usual playful squabbling between our little Jess and the even littler Evalynne, neither of which seem all that comfortable with the notion of sharing just yet!
My boerewors (enough to feed and army) came off the coals perfectly, and was complemented by a delicious potato salad and carrot salad to go with the rolls, followed of course by a decadent dessert of freshly cut bar-one chocolate cake!
Ryan had also brought along his Kinect for the XBOX, which was dutifully set up in the lounge for anyone to play – which of course was all that was needed to coax out the competitive side of Karl as he battled hard against anyone man enough to challenge him at Kinect Tennis.
All in all it was a gloriously awesome, long day of fun, sun and friends, and we are seriously blessed to have each and everyone that was there in our lives.
So happy birthday to you young Jess, I hope you enjoyed your special day (even if Mommy didn’t bake you a cool, customized cake)!
(Oh, and if you are worried that this post seems a little light on the photos, never fear, I posted all the snapshots taken on the day over here, just in case you’re wondering of course!)
Boerwors rolls, outdoor braai, balloons, umbrellas, gazeebo and sun was the order of the day, as all our friends joined us in celebrating Jessica’s 2nd birthday.
And as you can see from the footage below, a great day was had by all! :)
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We were forced to cancel our Spring picnic two weeks ago, on account of all the friends being sick never mind the slightly miserable weather, but in the end this worked out for the best, because jump two weeks forward and we are blessed with a hot, sunshine-filled day, the perfect weather for a Spring picnic with the friends at Klein Joostenberg Farm! :)
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In celebration of Trish Storbeck’s 30th birthday, they organised a big Lord of the Rings themed party which needless to say, turned out to be a whole lot of fun (as chronicled here).
A photographer was hired to capture the events of the evening, and these are a couple of photos I managed to grab off Facebook once they finally went live! :)
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Wow, I see that I’ve been a bit sloppy when it comes to reporting on the last three weekends past, so sorry about that, I guess I had better bring you all up to speed then.
Obviously four weekends ago, the Gordon’s Bay Lotter Clan was resting with their feet up in Jacobsbaai, but that you know already. The weekend after that though, little Jessie and I caught a lift up with my Mom and Dad to Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay, meeting up with Ryan and Claire for a Lotter Family weekend away (shame, Chantelle was working so she missed out). The weather played along beautifully, I got to play golf at Pinnacle Point, a picturesque journey out to George, plenty of evening Uno – in other words, apart from the incident in which Ryan nearly killed Claire by tossing the two of them out of a moving golf cart, it really was an enjoyable family weekend of some proper rest and relaxation.
The week that followed Pinnacle Point saw Chantelle and Jessica pretty much living in Bellville with her folks until the next Monday, as Chantelle was pencilled in for the laser op on her eyes, and the extended recovery time meant that she needed to be at home with her folks.
The weekend however saw me join up with my missing family, and the Saturday evening saw Chantelle and myself join up with Evan, Natasha, Ryan, Karl and Trish, for a fun-filled evening of poker (Ryan won), Uno Jenga (I lost), and then to the surprise of all involved, “Donkey”, a card and spoon-snatching game that I haven’t played since my early childhood! (I walked out unwounded, so I’m taking the win then. Evan gathered the most letters, so the loser tag belongs to him). Sunday was the big birthday celebration for my mom, and we enjoyed another great extended family get together around the fire and the big outside family table. (Oh, and I simply must add that my folks’ new front garden which was just recently landscaped looks absolutely stunning!)
As for this weekend just past, well Chantelle was back on duty as per usual, so that afforded Jessica and myself the opportunity to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in preparation for next weekend’s big Trish 30th Lord of the Rings-themed party. (Wow, what an incredibly long slog I must say. But at least now I can join in on the conversation, seeing as I haven’t watched the Peter Jackson masterpieces since they first came out on the big screen all those years ago!)
Oh, and we managed to get our costumes pretty much all sorted out as well. Wonderland Costumes out in Strand really are amazing!
Anyway, that’s pretty much it in terms of weekend activities catch up, so now you are all up to date. As I mentioned, next weekend is Trish’s big 30th costumed birthday party (we’re having spit roast, can’t wait!) as well as, just need final confirmation, Chantelle’s first ever food market exhibition as Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes makes an appearance at the Willowbridge Slow Market. (I trust you’ll be there to support?)
Interesting times I tell you, interesting times! :)
Ugh, it had to eventually come to an end, but of Tuesday 3rd of January 2012, I find myself firmly back behind the keyboard, banging out fresh new SurveyThumb code for my wage masters over at Touchwork. In truth, I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks or so off, having spent a lot of time with family and friends, and just generally unwinding as I recharged my batteries in full preparation for 2012!
New Year’s Weekend was very much a Northern Suburbs affair, with Jessie and I traveling through on the Friday to my mom’s place in Bellville, where the three of us spent a lovely day in and out of the pool, despite the nasty little wind that kept popping up and threatening to drive us away. The evening on the other hand was spent back home in the company of wifey, where we got together to enjoy a delicious homemade pizza over a Eagles DVD after a successful putting Jessica to bed routine!
Saturday was literally Braai Day, and after packing both of our little cars to the brim with all of Jessica’s hardware and software, we sped off back to Bellville in order to offload the little one with all her belongings at the Montgomery Clan stronghold, where she’ll be spending the next two weeks with Ouma and Oupa until the Baby Steps daycare reopens mid January. After settling her in with Cheryl, and then promptly grabbing her away again, it was a quick stop off at the local Spar for supplies, before hitting the N1 to Kraaifontein, where Jessie, Chantelle and I joined up with Damen and Michelle, as well as the rest of our friends who had made the trip through for an afternoon New Year’s braai.
With Damen elected tongmaster and stuck behind the raging fire, the rest of the boys dug out a tennis ball and plank, and proceeded to carefully destroy Damen’s backyard with a hearty round of cricket (in a very confined space). Food was eventually served, before the boys once again peeled off from the womenfolk, picked up the XBOX controllers and proceeded to smash each other with a few rounds of FIFA 11.
From there it was back to Bellville as this time we properly managed to leave Jessie behind with Ouma and Oupa, as Chantelle and I headed out back into the breach, this time to Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Kuilsriver, where we joined up with Malcolm, Andri, Michelle, braai master Gary and all of their collective kids at the Ollewage’s swanky pad. There we enjoyed a fantastic evening of good company, good stories and even better food, making it all the way through to midnight for that all important countdown and many ‘happy happy’ wishes!
Finally, it was back to the Montgomery Stronghold in Bellville, where a tired but happy Craig and Chantelle hit the sack for some well-deserved shuteye, the first of 2012!
Sunday was a delayed start for Chantelle who slept in thanks to a massive headache, but when Jessica and I did eventually manage to get mommy out of bed, we persuaded her plus Ouma to join us for a walk around Sonstraal Dam in Eversdal in order to feed the multitude of Egyptian Geese and ducks that call that spot home. After a successful stroll and having depleted our loaf of fresh white bread, we beat a hasty retreat from the busy feathered fiends, heading off to Tyger Manor McDonalds, where Robert joined us so that I could treat everyone to some McDonalds as a late lunch.
From there Jessica, Chantelle and myself shot off to my folks, dropping in at the perfect time to catch both Great Grans (plus Ryan) at Mom and Dad’s pad. More visiting was had, a watermelon devoured, and then it was finally back to the Montgomery Clan where we handed over Jessica to an excited Cheryl and Monty, before hitting the long road back to Gordon’s Bay, and more importantly, our awesome bed!
So yeah, a pretty good New Year’s Weekend after all then I reckon! ;)