Sacred Ground ordered so many cupcakes for their big launch event that Chantelle had no other choice but to rope in the helping hands of Retha (who just happened to be spending a few nights with us at the time, fresh from Spain)!
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So for the next four days I’m back to being a bachelor again, what with Chantelle and Jessica abandoning me to join Retha (who is taking a break from her South Korea English teaching job) for a nice four day long breakaway to Retha’s folks’ home in Nieuwoudtville.
The two of them picked up Retha and left on Thursday morning already, and from what I understand, should be returning home on Monday afternoon, just in time for Chantelle to pick up her first work shift in the evening. Shame, it is a long 4 to 6 hour drive for poor Jessica and mommy to endure, but as always I’m sure the payoff of a nice relaxing break from home will more than make up for it!
Anyway, it’s not like I’ve been left twiddling my thumbs this weekend mind you. I think this evening I’ll head over to the cinema to catch either Amazing Spider-man or Dark Knight Rises, Saturday will see me joining the pals for the rugby and a bit of a braai in the afternoon, followed by supper with Ryan and the folks, and capped off with me sleeping over at Ryan’s place. Sunday I’ll do some shopping in Bellville before heading off to join up with the friends in order to celebrate Zania’s birthday as well as break in Dean’s newly built braai room.
Yeah, so hopefully I’m kept busy enough such that I forget that I’m already missing my two loved ones. In any event, I’m hope they’re having a good time and that Jessie is at least giving mommy a little bit of a chance to rest!
(Had to chuckle though. First night off, and what do I do instead of putting my feet up to relax? I initiate a one-man braai while completely revamping the layout of the study. Sigh.)
It was a fairly busy weekend as always for the Lotter family, though shame, after two nights of only going to bed in the early hours of the morning thanks to baking for orders and the market, Chantelle certainly could have done with some more rest! (Not that she got it of course).
With Saturday being a market day meant that Friday evening was pretty much a write-off, as Chantelle and I spent the night getting everything ready for the next day’s market. What was cool however is that Friday marked Chantelle’s first day of leave (she’s off for about ten days in total), which needless to say is a nice change of pace then.
Saturday morning saw an early departure of the two Getz’s as Chantelle and I made our way through Bellville, Chantelle carrying the all important baked market produce and I the equally important package of Jessica and her associated luggage. Dropping Jessica and her toys off in exchange for Cheryl’s crates of fudge at the Montgomery Clan Stronghold, Chantelle and I made it to Willowbridge more or less on time, set up and began to trade. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too great and being the end of the month combined with some big rugby on in the morning didn’t help our cause, but somehow against all expectations, we ended up not having too bad a market, turning a nice little profit which meant a smile on our faces and happiness at the fact that we hadn’t just wasted 5 hours of our lives!
After the market we split up again, with Jessica and myself heading back home in order to neaten up the place a little as well as get the braai sorted and all ready, while Chantelle shot through to the airport where she excitedly proceeded to pick up the returning Retha, who has come home on a whirlwind two week long break from her English-teaching job back in South Korea!
Back in Gordon’s Bay and reunited once more, Retha was essentially re-introduced to Jessica, I got the fire on the go, and after that the wine flowed freely and we enjoyed a great evening of playing catch up, discussing all manner of topics, and enjoying a fairly tasty, genuine South African traditional meal.
Sunday wasn’t much of a change of pace, as Chantelle spent the morning rushing around to complete Claire’s order, before we could finally break free from the house and take a drive through to leafy old Constantia, where we joined up with Claire and Riley who were hosting a big family and friends picnic at their house in honour of Riley’s recent birthday. For the most part the weather played along, and it turned out to be a thoroughly relaxing afternoon of eating snacks, playing with the kids, and catching up on all the family gossip. As it turned out, Derrick and Lana had made a surprise stop in at Bellville via their extended holiday trip, and thus ended up at Claire’s place as well – certainly an unexpected but pleasant bonus in other words then!
(Unfortunately Pops couldn’t make it to the big shindig as he was tied down at work, but I assume that the necessary steps were taken to ensure some snacks filtered off home to him…)
Anyway, the evening was spent back at home, tidying up the house, relaxing on the couch, and then finally ending with Chantelle and I snuggling together to watch the thoroughly engaging and entertaining, feel good movie that is “We Bought a Zoo”. (Which is now highly recommended if you’re looking for a nice family friendly DVD to rent by the way!).
And that in a nutshell (well not really in a nutshell mind you), was my weekend.
And now you know.
Retha is currently down on a holiday following her teaching stint in South Korea, so what other obvious way to celebrate her return to South Africa other than to take her out to a High Tea function at the luxurious Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town.
And that is exactly what happened on Tuesday as Chantelle and her folks joined up with Retha and her folks, and partook in the decadent outing that is a High Tea!
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What a bonus, Jessica slept just about all the way through on Monday evening! She’s been quite niggly for the last week or so, particularly during the evening, something that can either be attributed to a side-effect from her shots (states so on the packaging) or perhaps just because of the unbearable heat and humidity we have endured over the last little while. Anyway, we put her to bed after a good feed late evening and come morning when the tell-tale hunger cries began emanating from the nursery, we were quite surprised to see that it was already past 05:00 in the morning! Score! :)
By this stage almost everyone who needs to meet our little princess has done so, and this weekend was certainly no exception in terms of visitors. Friday night saw us hosting Karl and Trish for a Come Dine With Me dinner right out of the top shelf cook book (home made buns, chutney chops, home made soet koekies, home made ice-cream brownie sandwiches – you get the picture!), followed by some hilarious Blur racing bouts on the XBOX.
Well, we’ve been settled in our new home here at Country Mews for less than a week, and already we’ve entertained twice, the first being a nice Sunday morning visit from Dean, Zania and our uber cute god-child Zandea (with mother-in-law in tow), who stopped by on their way back from a weekend away at Hermanus. Of course having been in the house for exactly one night meant that the place wasn’t exactly ready to be shown off just yet, but technically it counts as the first proper visit – I’m not counting the numerous visits by the Montgomery Clan as they were invited to work (by their daughter mind you) and not to visit! ;) (That will still come, I promise – Chantelle owes you something really special!)
The exciting news on their side is of course that they too have just purchased a beautiful little house in Kraaifontein, though it did come at the expense of poor Dean’s boat, a project that has been teetering on being complete for so many years now! On a side note, little Zandea is growing more and more with each visit and she’s in that absolute cutie-pie stage at the moment which makes me all the more eager for my own little Jessica to come along!
The second visit was a far more formal affair, our very visit dinner event in the new house. While I was away at work and then sweating it out at karate, Chantelle busied herself with cooking up a fantastic “Surprise Chicken” meal, complete with pumpkin (butternut) fritters and of course the all important chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Estate agent Len’s freshly dropped off celebratory bottle of champagne was at the ready as we welcomed Retha and Miguel into our home for the very first time!
The two of them are freshly returned from Spain, and so it was great to catch up on all their adventures over a fantastic supper, good European football (Barcelona and Valencia in one night!) and of course that previously mentioned all important pudding. We don’t have much time with them as in a month’s time they are off to Austria, before a quick trip back here before heading out to South Korea (or was that China? I can’t remember now) for at least a year, so its good to grab a hold of them as much as possible in the next little while!
(Oh, and the gifts they brough back from Spain for us was pretty cool too!)
Of course, the European soccer was of no great interest to Chantelle and Retha, and my wife somehow convinced Retha to give her a proper back massage while the men remained glued to the telly, something which C really, really enjoyed and more importantly, somewhere inbetween afforded Retha the opportunity to feel little Jessica kick for the very first time.
So yes, our little house is probably only at about 80% settled in now, but already we’ve got a visit count well up and running. And hey, we haven’t even begun to organise the official house warming yet!
(Note, this post is now officially more than a week late. I started it off last week with the best of intentions, but you know, things just always seem to get in the way…)
So as I may have alluded to earlier, this long weekend past proved to be the perfect refreshing getaway, as Chantelle and I both took off Friday and headed up to Pinnacle Point with Retha and Miguel to enjoy a weekend of leisure and relaxation.
Of course, as expected with Chantelle and myself, we did only get away from home on Friday morning after midday, but the morning wasn’t spent entirely in vain as the flat had gotten cleaned and more importantly, we finally purchased that suede headboard we had ordered from Boardman’s all those weeks ago!
But on the road we did finally end and with Chantelle at the wheel, we rocketed along the N2, making our first stop in Buffelsjag at the delightful Rolandale restaurant and rest stop where we tucked in and replenished the fuel in our tummies. From there I grabbed the wheel and we were back on the N2, enjoying the beautiful green scenery dashed with the brilliant yellow of all the canola fields in full bloom.
Admittedly, my eyes did get a little heavy under the beautiful sunlight we were enjoying, and after a quick refresher break in Albertina, we continued our journey into Mossel Bay, where after a police roadblock we found ourselves making a detour to the local Checkers in order to pick up our meat for the evening’s braai before turning around and hitting the road up to Pinnacle Point.
Thanks to Dad’s organising, getting into the resort was a snap and surprisingly enough, we found the house first time round, in other words a welcome return to dad’s share of that Top Billing lifestyle that we’d all so love! ;)
By this stage the light was rapidly fading and the wind was starting to whip up, and seeing as Miguel and Retha were only expected to arrive after midnight, Chantelle and I got stuck in trying to light our fire which was proving remarkable annoying thanks to the gusting wind that kept killing off all of our matches!
Frustrated but not willing to give up, we eventually got the thing burning and as it turned out (with the help of a innocent desk lamp which I grabbed to provide some outside light), produced a fantastic supper! As for the evening’s entertainment, we attempted to watch Angela Jolie in Tomb Raider, but for some or other reason the fatigue hit us hard, and so we found ourselves fast asleep by the time Retha gave us a ring around midnight to let them in!
Saturday morning was another late start as the four of us opted to sleep in, but after we all finally got up and ready to go, it was time to pile into the fully charged golf cart and give Retha and Miguel a proper tour of the massive estate, before ending up at the clubhouse where we tackled the stairs down to St. Blaize’s trail and made the trek to check out the caves down below.
The next stop for the day was of course, wait for it, Checkers, again to stock up on supplies, but from there it was on to new adventures as we drove through to Jukani, the big cat sanctuary which had impressed Chantelle and I so the last time we were in Mossel Bay.
As expected, Retha and Miguel were as impressed as we were, and we spent the next couple of hours taking in all the sights and sounds, as well as enjoying the awesome feeding presentation conducted by Jukani’s always likable staff.
The final bit of entertainment was of course still to come, and after everyone had gotten prepped, we hit the short road down to the casino, where we targeted the Admiral’s Buffet for a very long and filling supper, followed by a brief (and loss inducing) stint in the casino.
(As per usual though, I enjoyed the period we spent in the arcade far more than what I did in the money grabbing casino main! :P)
Some television and chat rounded off the rest of the evening back home, and leaving Miguel to do his usual late night documentary watching stint, the rest of us piled into bed for some well deserved pillow time.
Sunday and the weather started taking a real turn for the worse, meaning we pretty much lazed around after enjoying a delicious bacon and eggs breakfast courtesy of C, before we braved the elements and drove off to Mossel Bay to do a bit of whale watching, eat a soft serve (in Chantelle’s case enjoy some mini doughnuts) and then scour Mossel Bay for a film to enjoy at a cinema.
And whilst we had no luck in terms of finding a movie cinema showing anything worth watching in Mossel Bay, we were treated to a spectacular whale sighting in which we got to see a whale happily splashing his tail around, just off the rocks by the St. Blaize cave!
By this stage the weather was now properly miserable and so we spent the rest of the day lazing around and reading, before the girls got stuck in and prepared us an awesome cooked chicken supper!
Monday I’m afraid the weather really was against us and so after a good long sleep in, most of us simply opted to pack our bags and hit the road back home – though it must be said that the traffic coming back over Sir Lowry’s pass was pretty hectic and getting home took a lot longer than expected (think bumper to bumper coming down the mountain!), but nevertheless, it couldn’t detract from what in the end was a pretty damn awesome weekend after all! :)
And hey, just because I can, I even posted some pictures I took while in a state of snappy happy! ;)
Related Link: http://photos.codeunit.co.za/v/20100806-Pinnacle-Point/
One of the nicest outings you can go out on here in the area is to Butterfly World, where they literally breed butterflies. Hundreds of colourful, flitting little creatures that delight both young and old. Miguel and Retha joined Chantelle and myself on this particular trip, and needless to say, we had loads of fun – even if that little snake tried to put an end to me! :)
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So last, last weekend (yes, yes, I’ve taken my sweet time to write this quick post), Chantelle and I effectively cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, jumping into our little green Getz and jetting along on a 5 hour trip through to Nieuwoudtville, tucked in the Northern Cape near Calvinia, and one of the best sources for great tasting lamb and spectacular natural flower shows come every flower season.
We were there to spend the weekend with Retha and Miguel at Retha’s mom and dad’s little smallholding which comes complete with big rambling house, sheep, geese and one or two minor little crops surrounding it. Needless to say, Nieuwoudtville’s one tarred street doesn’t really feature well on the GPS and thus it was no wonder Chantelle and I managed to get just a little lost when we rode into town in pitch black darkness at around 22:00 in the evening – though for once we were both in agreement and was able to pin the blame squarely on Retha’s shoulders thanks to her rather ambiguous directions! ;)
Outside of a wonderful supper (bobotie), breakfast (pap for chantelle), lunch (braai), supper (braai), breakfast (toast with eggs) and lunch (sunday roast) there really isn’t all that much else to talk about because this was one weekend that consisted 100% out of nothing more than sitting around, chilling, enjoying good company and conversation and just letting your stresses and strain simply flow right out of you.
We took in the few sights that Nieuwoudtville has to offer, namely the completely dried up waterfall which is situated in a stunning drop gorge, the amazing quiver tree (kokerboom) forest which is basically a hill densely covered in these alien-looking trees and sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. (Plus we got to see sheep on a farm that included “Plooie”, the world’s ugliest mutated sheep and the mad one – which we attempted to cure by hitting it over the head!)
We also spent a lot of time in Loeriesfontein, about 50km down the road from Nieuwoudtville. Unfortunately Chane and Jasper were in Cape Town for the weekend so we didn’t bump into them, but we enjoyed the hours spent with the rest of Retha’s aunts and uncles, some of who drove all the way down for Kimberley for the big get together.
It was just well and truly proper “kuier” time in other words.
The trip home went a lot quicker than getting there and in truth, it was a real pity that essentially we were only there for Saturday and half of Sunday, but man was it worth it. Both Chantelle and I had slept like logs throughout the stay and had now returned refreshed and feeling like new.
So thanks to the Vorster’s for their wonderful hospitality, generosity and friendship – rest assured we’ll be making our way through to that side of the world far sooner than later! :)
Nieuwoudtville may be a small, speck on the map, but it comes packed with wonderful people, great food, and more importantly, that feeling of just getting away from it all – exactly what us city slickers sometimes need!