Chantelle and I had a nice run up to Father’s Day this year, first with a date night that saw us enjoy some good food at the recently opened Rooibos restaurant in Strand, followed by the thoroughly entertaining, Shane Black directed “The Nice Guys” starring Russell Crowe and a hilariously good Ryan Gosling.
However, the next evening brought in an even nicer treat in the form of Amadeus Rocks!, a musical show rocking out at the always entertaining Barnyard Theatre at Willowbridge.
Following the success of a previous show entitled Roll Over Beethoven, Amandeus Rocks! replicates the formula by bringing back a resurrected Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whose goal (other than impressing the ladies) is to change classical music into rock music.
Featuring two pianos, a set of drums, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, and the star of the show, an electric violin – oh, and the fabulous team of nine musicians and singers that brings everything to life, we were treated to a fantastic set of cover songs and instrumentals that covered a range that included classical, classical rock and contemporary pop tunes.
Smoke, lights, sound and a lot of energy makes for an exciting show indeed!
Our outing was put together by Rob and Tarryn, who had wanted to treat their respective dads Monty and Herman with a special Father’s Day treat, and in the end we were a nice group of ten (the dads with their wives and all the grown-up kids), with a near front row table and a spread laid out in front of us that definitely was making everyone around us drool in jealousy!
Tarryn certainly doesn’t mess around when she organises a special outing, that’s for sure!
Although the show had less rock content than what I was expecting, it was nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining evening out – with Chantelle salivating over the electric guitar player in particular – and I’m pretty confident that everyone walked out that venue with a massive smile on their faces!
The Bakesh Food and Wine restaurant in Durbanville seems quite a nice little place to stop for a bite to eat, but now thanks to Rob and Tarryn, it will forever be associated with something much more special.
You see, last weekend we were invited to a hush hush, secret surprise lunch organised by Rob, where on arrival the two of them announced that they had secretly got married three days earlier in Paarl.
Needless to say, there was a moment of stunned silence for both the Botha and Montgomery parents, followed by a LOT of jubilation and tears.
Congratulations Rob and Tarryn – may this be the start of a wonderful life together! :)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”34299,34300,34301,34302,34303,34304,34305″]
P.S. It was a good lunch.
Last Sunday (following our relaxing picnic on Saturday), Chantelle and I rounded up the girls and headed off nice and early across the Boerewors Curtain to Hout Bay, where the plan was to meet up with Monty and Cheryl at the world renowned World of Birds sanctuary. As it turned out, neither of us quite made the 10:00 meeting time – we got stuck behind a sightseeing bus whilst they got stuck behind cyclists! (Not that one complains though – driving past Kirstenbosch and then on to Hout Bay is always a fantastic treat in terms of the scenery).
Anyway, in the end we arrived at the World of Birds at pretty much the same time, and first stop for the in-laws was a cup of coffee at the little Robin’s Nest restaurant. There it was a rather nice surprise to have Robert and new squeeze Tarryn join us for the day, and with everyone now awake, and Jess pretty restless, it was off to view the feathered fowls!
World of Birds bills itself as such:
“World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa and one of the few large bird parks in the World. Over 3 000 birds (and small animals) of 400 different species are uniquely presented in more than 100 spacious landscaped walk through aviaries, allowing you the most intimate closeness with nature.
A tropical garden setting in the Hout Bay Valley is the environment in which the aviaries are spaced over 4 ha of land, framed by the back of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, Constantiaberg, Chapman’s Peak and Little Lion’s Head. A paradise for nature lovers and photographers, the World of Birds is one of Cape Town’s premier tourist attractions which no visitor should miss.”
Yup, that’s a lot of ground to cover and a lot of birds to see, so it’s no wonder that we ended up wandering around the sanctuary for 3 hours or so! The variety of bird life (from literally right across the world!) is always astonishing, not to mention the fact that you literally walk alongside them in the enclosures it an absolute delight. In fact, it is best summed up as a proper treat of an outing!
(If I was a photographer with a proper camera I would be in seventh heaven thanks to all the feathered models I would have access to… but I’m not, which explains all the tiny, tiny birds on the photos taken with my phone!)
The weather was perfect, and apart from a little slip and slide that saw Jess soaked to the bone, boots and all, everything ran pretty smoothly, with the kids (and adults) thoroughly enjoying themselves.
As you can see, I was pretty busy with my camera phone as well:
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”30612,30613,30614,30615,30616,30617,30618,30619,30620,30621,30622,30623,30624,30625,30626,30627,30628,30629,30630,30631,30632,30633,30634,30635,30636,30637,30638,30639,30640,30641,30642,30643,30644,30645,30646,30647,30648,30649,30650,30651,30652,30653,30654,30655,30656,30657,30658,30659,30660,30661,30662,30663,30664,30665,30666,30667,30668,30669,30670,30671,30672,30673,30674,30675,30676,30677,30678,30679,30680,30681,30682,30683,30684,30685,30686,30687,30688,30689,30690,30691,30692,30693,30694,30695,30696,30697,30698,30699,30700,30701,30702,30704,30705,30706,30707,30708,30709,30710,30711,30712,30738,30713,30714,30715,30716,30717,30718,30719,30720,30721,30722,30723,30724,30725,30726,30727,30728,30729,30730″]
Having seen our fill of eagles, owls, storks and chickens, we ended our adventure in Hout Bay by joining the heavy traffic to the harbour, where our initial plan of enjoying some takeaway fish and chips fell through based entirely on just how busy the harbour was – i.e. it was packed!
In the end, we headed up the ramp to the nautically themed Mariner’s Wharf, where after a bit of a wait in the bar for a table, we sat down and enjoyed some particularly tasty (but expensive!) fish and chips.
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”30737,30736,30735,30734,30732,30731″]
All in all, a fantastic day out for the family, and as always, a trip that I can highly recommend! :)
Related Link: http://www.worldofbirds.org.za/
The Oppiwa Festival held annually in Jacobsbaai is a brilliant little Afrikaans music festival with an interesting twist. Each musician get assigned a tractor-pulled wagon for which you then buy a ticket for, the end result being a two hour excursion that includes a ride around the dusty town with the artist, getting up nice and close and personal, with the whole thing then culminating with a stop at a random guest house for a spread of delicious eats and of course an impromptu private session with the musician.
Oh, and at the start of it all you get given a tin mug which is kept filled with wine from start to finish. In other words, a recipe for a guaranteed fun afternoon out!
Monty and Cheryl had invited Chantelle and myself to join them for the festival this year, and after an eventful journey from Gordon’s Bay to Jacobsbaai, we found ourselves in the calming and tranquil little West Coast village of Jacobsbaai late Friday afternoon, meeting up with everyone at Priscilla’s The Artists’ Retreat Guest House – our usual go to destination for whenever we’re on that side of the world! :)
Joining us for the weekend was Robert and his new girlfriend Tarryn Botha, and with all the sleeping arrangements organised and bags unpacked, it was decided to keep out of Priscilla’s hair (who was scrambling about, trying to get all the food preparations done for her hosting of a wagon on Saturday) by going out for supper to the Weskus Mall (in Vredenburg).
We knew that Panarottis in the mall has a play area, but our plans were scuppered when on entering the mall, Jessica spotted Yukon Spur’s huge outdoor play area – which of course meant Spur it was! With Jess immediately off to play, the rest of us settled down to enjoy some family food (I can never really bring myself to call Spur’s food good) and plenty of excited chatter.
Happily, despite all the tummy bugs that seemed to be in the air (Emily, Chantelle and I were struggling a little), and despite Emily’s horrendous head butt of the wall a little earlier when we were first setting up the room (the bump on her forehead pretty much remained there for the rest of the weekend!), the kids and Chantelle and myself enjoyed a good night’s sleep, only waking up on Saturday at a much later time than normal! (Sleep, beautiful sleep!)
The morning was spent walking, eating a delicious guest house breakfast, playing pool, and of course a trip through to Paternoster for a beer (with the lovebirds) at the Paternoster Hotel.
Back in Jacobsbaai, everyone got ready for their Oppiwa experience – well everyone but me.
As things turned out, when we’d originally bought tickets for the sold out festival, we managed to get just enough for the five of us (Anna Davel, formerly of Cut Glass, being the only wagon we could still book). However, with Robert now bagging a girlfriend at the last minute (and the first one in a very, VERY long time), I refused to stand in the way of young love and gave my ticket up to Tarryn, meaning that for the afternoon whilst everyone was drinking wine and making merry, I would be spending some time with Emily and Jessica, treating them to clothes and ice cream at the mall. (Which I always enjoy doing anyway!)
From all reports the Oppiwa experience was loads of fun, Anna Davel was mesmerizing, and we’ve pretty much already decided that we’ll just have to be back next year again! The evening was then spent around a blazing fire on the roof deck, dancing to some Afrikaanse treffers and chowing on all the Oppiwa stopover leftovers – the perfect way to round off what had been an excellent day.
As for Sunday, well that was spent mostly around the pool table and big, big braai on the deck – yet again the perfect was to spend a Sunday at the close of a good weekend away. Oh, and of course, I managed to grab some photos on my phone whilst we were there:
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”30494,30495,30496,30497,30498,30499,30500,30501,30502,30503,30504,30505,30506,30507,30508,30509,30510,30511,30512,30513,30514,30515,30516,30517,30518,30519,30520,30521,30522,30523,30524,30525,30526,30527,30528,30529,30530,30531,30601,30533,30534,30535,30536,30537,30538,30539,30540,30541,30542,30543,30544,30545″]
(Oh, and unlike our trip there, we didn’t get lost on the way back).
Related Link: http://www.oppiwa.co.za/
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. It is situated 15 km north-west of Vredenburg and 145 km north of Cape Town, at Cape Columbine between Saldanha Bay and St Helena Bay.
It also happens to feature a very nice beach.
One which early last year saw the whole gang of Debby, Gail, Peter, Cheryl, Montgomery, Robert, and of course the Gordon’s Bay Lotter Clan descend upon it for an afternoon out and about in Paternoster.
This little outing formed part of a great weekend away in Jacobsbaai – which also happened to be little Emily’s first official getaway! (Not bad going for someone who was only a month and half old at the time!)
In August last year Dad let us and the Montgomery Clan use the Pinnacle Point pad for the week (well for Chantelle, myself and the kids, a weekend and a little bit), which turned out to be a pretty good getaway in the end. We enjoyed great weather, Jess loved her time out on the golf cart, and of course we did a fair bit of walking and sightseeing.
As for rest time? Well with Oupa and Ouma on hand, there was plenty of rest time to be had! ;)
Halfway through this year Monty and Cheryl invited Chantelle, myself and the kids to join them for a weekend away at the Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, perched atop the Piekenierskloof pass, just outside of Citrusdal.
The chalet we stayed in had the most fabulous of views, you can literally see for miles all around you. It’s spacious, comfortable and features an awesome outdoor braai on the patio – which turned out to be very important because sadly the weather for the weekend was pretty sad. Rain, cold and mud were the order of the day, though that didn’t stop us from having a brilliant family weekend away anyway.
Good food, warm braais, lots of swimming in the resort’s heated indoor swimming pool, and of course a trip or two down to Citrusdal were the order of the day, and in the end pretty much everyone had a fantastic time. (Except maybe Chantelle, who was targeted one evening by an epic throw up all over her from a clearly upset Emily, and perhaps Robert, who was forced to abandon his bed because I simply snored too much. And not just me, Chantelle’s snoring eventually had him sleeping on the floor in the lounge! Only once we put Jessica in the same room as him was he finally able to get some decent sleep of his own!)
Oh, and did I mention that the chalet had DSTV? That was of course super important, because naturally I wasn’t going to miss a single moment of the 2014 World Cup (which was awesome just by the way).
With the incredibly enjoyable Christmas Eve present unwrapping event done and dusted, it was on to the main event, Christmas Day itself. This year we opted to join Monty (now a pensioner, so guaranteed to be home every Christmas from here on out), Cheryl, and their brand spanking new kitchen for Christmas lunch at the Montgomery Clan Stronghold, which was a particularly good choice given the fact that all parties attending were to bring some sort of mains – in other words, a LOT of varied food would be on offer! :)
Robert, Peter and Gail joined us for the day, and what followed was a fantastic day of lots of talking, laughing, Christmas crackers, Christmas hats, drinking and of course eating (gammon, lamb, sirloin, pork neck, etc), not to mention the sheer delight that Jessica exuded after learning that there were in fact, lying under Oupa and Ouma’s Christmas Tree, still a few more presents which HAD to be opened.
Oh, and Chantelle capped off a marvellous day with some ice cream and her world famous baked cheesecake (topped with cream and raspberries) for dessert!
All in all, a Christmas day well spent I (and my stomach) would have to say…
As children we used to open up our presents on Christmas Eve. Or at least, I seem to recall that we did, which is why I continue the tradition with my kids. Last year didn’t go so well, as Jessica was still a little too young, meaning that the whole “Santa ate my cookies and drank my milk off from my plate” routine had her in tears, not to mention the sheer volume of gifts simply overwhelmed her, leading to a tired and grumpy daughter not having the best of Christmas Eves.
However, I’m delighted to report that this year was a spectacular success!
With Chantelle working a late shift, it was up to me to handle the evening, and as such I found myself hitting Pick ‘n Pay on the 24th to gather all the necessary supplies for my finger foods evening.
Of course, this was just plain stupid, and I took forever to get out of there! See?
Of course, I did eventually make it out, and with Jessica lending a helping hand (at times), I set about preparing all of the food, which pretty much alternated between slicing things, baking things, and arranging things (so, so many sandwiches were made).
Thankfully, during this rather lengthy process the kids were as good as gold, entertaining themselves in the hope that Dad would soon finish up and come over to play with them! Again, see?
As for the guests, it was a family affair, with Mom, Dad, Ryan, Cheryl, Monty, and Robert all joining us on the night. The kids had magically all had a nap (in fact Jessica remained asleep in the tub chair for at least the first 30 minutes of Mom and Dad’s arrival!), meaning that there was to be no grumpiness from their side on the night.
Eventually all the guests had arrived, the presents sorted and secreted away (without any of the girls, i.e. Jessica, spotting us), and the kids wide awake and bathed, meaning that at last I could break out the food which much to my delight, proved to be a hit. After lots of chatting and nibbling (on the food), Chantelle eventually joined us following her shift at Gordon’s Beach Lodge, and at last, “Operation Father Christmas at the Backdoor” (not the name of a porno) finally kicked into action.
The plan was simple. Mommy and Jessica puts a plate of cookies and a glass of milk outside the back door, whilst Daddy secretly waits alongside the house. When Daddy hears the door close, he silently approaches the door and devours both the cookies and the milk. That is followed by a hard knocking on the door, before sprinting (hah, whom I kidding, a gentle but frantic shuffle) back along the side of the house and in through the front sliding door, just in time to help Ryan distribute Jessica’s presents into her little pink and white playhouse, and the rest under the tree in the lounge. Of course, the knock on the back door elicits a shriek of delight from Jessica, who is then taken outside by Mommy in order to investigate. The investigation takes a super excited Jessica all around the house, desperately scanning for Father Christmas so that she may catch him. A fortuitous plane flying overhead gives us the twinkly lights that we need in order to explain that Father Christmas is already up and away, going on to the next child’s house. At this point, Jessica is prompted to look in her playhouse, where on sight of the bag full of presents, she literally jumps up and down, flapping her arms wildly whilst she shrieks in sheer delight. (Fact. It’s incredibly joyous to behold). Everyone shuffles back into the house, where Jessica then spots all the other presents under the Christmas tree, again completely unable (and rightfully so) to suppress her sheer delight.
Most amazingly of all, this year all of the above did actually play out exactly as planned. Translation… it was awesome!
What followed was a fantastic evening of present unwrapping, laughs of delight, and just a genuinely enjoyable time, which I really, REALLY enjoyed. (Though perhaps not quite as much as Jessica, who was over the moon with her bag full of presents, including Duplo Lego, Frozen dolls, and lots and lots of My Little Pony figurines and playsets!)
In summary, kids make Christmas magical, don’t they? :)