Despite the cold and overcast conditions, the girls and I decided that we needed to stretch our legs a bit to close off the day, and so we headed down the road to a nearby park, a couple of streets away from our place here at Country Mews in Gordon’s Bay.
Youth Crescent Play Park is the field’s official municipal title, and yes, it is situated in Youth Crescent, hence the name. It consists of a large green field, with a couple of old kid-friendly play park equipment pieces scattered around, and for some or other reason, a section of concrete pipe just laying there.
Although large sections of the park was rather wet and muddy, this did not deter the girls one bit, happy to finally be out of the house and able to run about!
Naturally, we had to try out each and every piece of park equipment, and all in all it was a pretty fun afternoon out. Jessica got to practice taking photos (with me nervously watching to make sure she didn’t drop my phone!), snapping this pretty nice picture of Emily and I:
And yes, the concrete pipe turned out to be an attraction for the girls!
Finally the cold and unpleasantness of the weather caught up with us, and in order to avoid the rain but let the girls burn off all their remaining energy, I made a snap decision to head down to Sunset Bay Spur, where I could indulge in beer while the girls could get lost in Spur’s play area.
Win-win situation for us all! :)
Photos of the park (just in case you didn’t know of its existence before):
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We used to head out and feed the ducks at Dam Park in Strand (just opposite Strand High School) quite often when Jess was still a baby, but in recent years we’ve kind of slowed down on doing that for some or other reason. (Maybe the fact that it has become socially unacceptable to feed ducks bread has had something to do with it?)
Anyway, Sunday saw Chantelle working, and so not wanting to waste the wonderful sunny Winter weather of the day (and also not really being in the mood for the last day of this year’s Winter Wonderland Festival – which we sadly completely missed out on by the way), I rounded up the girls and headed out towards Strand to the duck pond for a bit of a play and walkabout session.
Obviously, the girls were overjoyed at the prospect, and pretty soon the two of them were darting between all the play equipment, making sure not to miss any in the process!
The old, colourful tractor and train remains the biggest hits of course, a problem because Emily is way too small to clamber all over those by herself yet – which of course she simply HAS to do, seeing as big sister Jess is doing it!
We spent a good amount of time playing on all the equipment, and even Teddy got roped into the fun!
We ended off the session with a leisurely stroll around the dam, watching the ducks and Egyptian geese, and of course taking selfies – because just like any other little girl, Jessica really seems to enjoy having her picture taken!
Visiting the Dam Park here in Strand never really disappoints, and is always great if you are looking for something local to do that doesn’t require you to open your wallet. (Plus, it was really nice to see the dam back to its fuller level – the last time I was here it was halfway empty!)
We had some time to kill in the general area because we were meeting up with Chantelle, Retha and Miguel a little later at the mall in order to say goodbye and wish them well for their upcoming Camino de Santiago (St. James Path) pilgrimage adventure in Spain.
Teddy wanted a milkshake, burger and chips, so we popped into McDonalds Waterstone for that, and after spending some time there, we headed up into the hills of Somerset West in search for more public park spaces.
As luck would have it, we stumbled across this one brilliant wooden jungle gym at the bottom of a sloped grass patch with perhaps the most magnificent view any play park is capable of having.
Talk about a swing with a view! :)
Here are the rest of the photos that I happily snapped on what turned out to be a very pleasant, sunny Winter’s day out with my girls:
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The seasons are definitely changing for the better at long last – so, so many more hours of sunshine in a day!
Of course, the means that we get to spend much more of our evenings playing on Country Mews’ little communal patch of grass after a long day at playschool – which the kids definitely seem to adore (even more so, if I decide to roll about on the grass with them!).
Cara, one of the girls also living in the complex, invariably joins us on these evenings (in fact, she can pretty much always be found in our house over a weekend), which is loads of fun because a) Jessica gets to play with someone who isn’t a toddler, and b) Emily is massively entertained by this big girl who seems to rather enjoy playing with her.
So yay, more swinging and more sliding is a definite sign that Summer is now well and truly on its way! :)
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So despite the fact that I said no more plastic things for the kids following the earlier destruction of Jessica’s playhouse, I couldn’t exactly say no when Michelle Oosthuizen offered to pass on Logan’s slide to us for Emily (because they were taking over Zandea’s bigger slide).
Not that Emily would have let me say no mind you – judging by just how much fun she had it when it arrived home following our visit with Michelle and Logan to the Giraffe House and Wild Clover.
Clambering up like all little girls do:
Sliding down face first because when you’re this small, you fear no heights:
Thankfully I had the foresight to plonk down some pillows on the tiles, because… faceplant!
Surprisingly enough, Jessica isn’t even particularly jealous over this new addition to our house – she’s far more concerned with playing princess in her new blue princess dress that Chantelle bought for her from the princess shop in Willowbridge:
So much excitement in the Lotter household – no wonder I tend to find them like this more often than not on our weekends out and about! :)
It turns out that beating (or at least dealing with) load shedding is pretty easy when you are little.
Simply get your dad to find and take you to the nearest jungle gym!
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Following a fantastic evening out in Greenpoint and Camps Bay, not to mention the wondrous experience of being able to sleep in late for a change on a Saturday morning, Chantelle and I eventually needed to make the trek through to Bellville to retrieve Jessica and Emily who had spent a fun night over at Oupa and Ouma’s house.
The plan was simple: let’s treat the kids by taking them out to somewhere they can stretch their legs and have a little bit of fun at the same time.
Now I’ve mentioned Funky Frogs before, but this time around we wanted to try out something new – Blasters, situated out at Cape Gate Décor Centre and a venue previously mentioned to us by friends on numerous occasions.
From their website (which isn’t very good mind you): BLASTERS is a new concept in Entertainment, creating a safe and secure environment for children and adults of all ages to relax and have fun. The main services we offer are:
I had to laugh, but poor old Jess has properly outgrown all of her 2-3 size clothes. Today I got her all dressed up for our Daddy and Daughter day of entertainment while Mommy worked the Willowbridge Market, and the plain and simple green t-shirt that Jess had picked out to wear pretty much left the whole of the bottom of her tummy uncovered!
However, she was determined to wear this piece today, so we hopped into the car and after stopping off to purchase some baking ingredients for Chantelle, I made a detour off to the mall, where we parked, marched in to Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, grabbed a 3-4 t-shirt in the same shade of green, purchased it, and once outside the store, promptly whipped off the tummy-baring, offending top for the much better fitting new wardrobe addition!
(Full disclaimer, she made me buy a pink one as well).
With her tummy now nicely covered, we were ready for the rest of the expedition, which saw us head out for some time spent at the Root 44 Market, playing in the play area on the slides and in the sand pit, not to mention wolfing down pancakes and listening to the live music on show.
Following on from there we also popped down to Helderberg Farm where we bought some carrots and feed and spent a decent amount of time strolling around and feeding the bunny rabbits, ducks, and rather vicious goats!
Oh, and there was even enough time before mommy arrived back home to still pop into the shops on our way home for supplies and booze (we’ve got visitors in the form of Retha and Miguel this evening), as well as spend some time crashing an endless amount of planes into the water in Battlestations: Pacific on the XBOX 360 – something that seems to amuse Jessica to no end!
Anyway, the point is that once we had gotten home and I threw her now very dirty clothes in the wash, I was forced to dig through her wardrobe to find something that fits her – the end result being that I had to settle on her new, just purchased this morning, bright pink t-shirt.
In other words, my little baby girl is definitely growing “up” quickly! :)
P.S. She went down the slide pictured above really, REALLY fast. Probably explains the expression!
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We popped in to the Somerset West Stodels branch the other day to have a look as some of the specials that they were running (not really) and more importantly to let Jess play with the fish, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, not to mention jump on the convenient jumping castle that they always have erected.
Except that this time around the jumping castle wasn’t there, much to Chantelle’s disappointment (it was her idea to come here anyway!).
Of course, the wooden play area is a bite more difficult to make disappear overnight, so the three of us headed in for play time, and whilst Jess enjoyed her swinging, it was her first proper unassisted slides on a decent sized slippery slide that turned out to be the highlight of her visit.
As for Chantelle, it took more than just a few slides before her nerves finally calmed down! :)
Fun and games, fun and games.
Jessica is madly in love with slides, so whenever I get an opportunity or find an unused slide, I make it my mission to let her have a little bit of fun. (Sadly, this means the employees at Reggies probably don’t love me all that much). She’s developed a habit of going down them head first, meaning you have to be pretty quick between getting her to the top of the structure and then hurrying back to the bottom of the slide in order to catch her as she throws herself down.
This particular video was captured at this weekend’s fun picnic event at Klein Joostenberg Farm on a glorious Sunday afternoon, and features Ryan and Jessica, making the most of the sliding opportunity!
Funnily enough, this also happens to be the first time Jessica ever had a nose bleed that I can remember. Unfortunately that kind of spoiled this video ever so slightly…
(P.S. for more photos of the day, check out that photo gallery)