So this year marked the sixth year that I’ve been married to Chantelle. This year around though, our anniversary day fell on a Saturday, and this being a weekend where Chantelle was working (and stressed in trying to get things organized for Jessica’s big birthday parties – yes, “parties” and not “party”), there was to be no chance for a proper wedding anniversary celebration this time around.
(Last year we did a lot better mind you).
So last weekend was spent shopping with Jessica and Emily at Somerset Mall (we did buy some roses for Chantelle), stopping at McDonalds (because this is something that Jessica now asks for. We didn’t buy Chantelle a McFlurry though), and joining up with Chantelle for a celebratory (but kid-interrupted) drink at a bustling Bossa Social Cafe and Bar in Somerset West.
Not particularly romantic.
We tried again on Sunday, but again, small kids don’t really make for romantic wedding anniversary celebration locale selection!
So pink milkshake at Mondeor Garden Restaurant it was.
Maybe next year we’ll plan ahead and do it properly! ;)
(Which reminds me. It’s six years later and I just realized that I still haven’t gotten around to posting our wedding photos on my blog. I guess I really ought to get around to doing that sometime. That said, it’s been a year and I still haven’t fixed our front door glass – so I wouldn’t exactly hold my breathe on the photos front then if I were you!)
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Apart from our play time at Helderberg Farm this past Heritage Day public holiday, I also treated my two girls to what could possibly be their first ever Chico the Clown experience at the Tallahassee Spur (currently being renovated) in the Somerset Mall.
Of course, nostalgia is never quite that great, so Chico in my mind didn’t quite look like Chico on the table – nevertheless, Emily totally loved hers.
Jessica on the other hand was distraught by the fact that the cone was upside down, meaning that she first needed to clean it off, and then put all the ice cream inside it – sans sweets and marshmallows, because she didn’t like them.
At least she thoroughly enjoyed the play area though.
The play area didn’t on the other hand agree with Emily very much. Far too busy and noisy for her liking, meaning that the two of us cuddled closely on the bench, colouring in for all our worth whilst waiting for the food to arrive.
Truthfully, it wasn’t the best of outings, reminding me exactly why it is again that I don’t ever like taking my girls to indoor only restaurants!
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Related Link: Tallahassee Spur
It was girls and I again last weekend, so after we did all the chores (that involved riding around trying to source fridge lightbulbs and other odds and ends), I figured it a great idea to take advantage of the unusually warm weather and drive out towards Stellenbosch for a visit at the always super popular and busy Root 44 market at Audacia.
As expected, the vibes were great, The Professors were creating some fantastic music up on stage, and Jessica and Emily enjoyed clambering about the sandpit and jungle gym.
Sadly for me though, Pure Pancakes continues to disappoint with its pancakes that leave that horrible dry, baking soda taste in your mouth once they’re done. Sigh, I really wish they’d fix their recipe! (Or at least copy Catje’s Pancakes of Blaauwklippen Market fame’s delicious recipe!)
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Oh, and because I had dressed the girls for Winter and in the end it was more like Summer, I was ‘forced’ to stop for a quick ice-cream at our local Burger King in Somerset Mall – mainly because I wanted to see what their kids play area looks like…
Turns out Emily is rather fond of ice-cream…
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And thanks to all that… stickiness, it was completely impossible for us to escape bath time come evening! :)
Thursday evening was an unusual event in that due to work commitments on Friday for both Chantelle and myself, Jessica and Emily (both currently on holiday) needed to sleep over at Oupa and Ouma’s house, meaning that for the first time in quite a while, Chantelle and I were able to eat out by ourselves for a change. Seeing as I was in Gordon’s Bay and she was coming home from Bellville, we opted to use Somerset Mall as the arranged meeting point.
Earlier in the week Chantelle had spotted that the venerable Music Moods had shut its doors and in its place, directly across from Spur in the mall, had opened a new restaurant named Cappuccino’s. Some further digging resulting in her learning that Cappuccino’s is in fact a franchise from up country, and more importantly, it is open relatively late, meaning that the fact that we would only be getting there around 21:00 was in fact no problem at all.
In other words, Chantelle was really keen to give them a whirl.
So, with impeccable timing, the two of us arrived in a relatively short space of one another, and got to the business of enjoying a meal together.
First things first, I have to say that I love the decor of the place. Well spaced out tables, mirrors on the walls and lots of light coloured materials makes for a particularly spacious and modern feel, something which both Chantelle and I loved – a lot more open and welcoming than say the often stodgy and much darker Spur or Panarottis restaurants already operating in the mall.
Our waiter was a particularly eager lady, but very inexperienced and not yet very familiar with the menu (which makes sense seeing as the place is so new). The menu itself is worryingly large in terms of choice, think Spur I guess, with the menu design borrowing a lot of design elements from say Mugg & Bean. In fact Cappuccino’s positions itself as a Cafe and Pizzeria, which I guess gives it licence to have as large as possible offering available, but as Chantelle always points out, the problem with large menus is that the food can then seldom be fresh, nor can every single dish on the menu ever be perfected.
Anyway, we skipped starters and went straight for mains, with Chantelle ordering their beef ribs and myself going for a gorgonzola sirloin steak. Veggies and chips were the sides, and I have to say, the chips were pretty rubbish. If you’ve ever waited long enough for McDonalds chips to go cold then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – thin, stodgy and not particularly nice. However, apart from the chips, the rest of the food was really, really good, the vegetables and steak in particular something to write home about.
All the usual suspects in terms of mainstream beer and ciders are available as expected and with mains done and our table cleared for us, we finished off with a filter coffee for me, an Americano coffee, and slice of flour-free chocolate cake for Chantelle.
Again, I thought the coffee was particularly good, as did Chantelle, though she wasn’t quite that impressed with the cake. Which is fair, because as a cake baker herself, your cake has to be pretty damn good to impress Chantelle!
(I didn’t think it was that bad, but I got what Chantelle said that flourless cake certainly had more flour than what she had expected).
Prices are inline with what you would expect to pay at a franchise family restaurant, and overall we both quite enjoyed our meal together there.
That said, I’m not sure I would eat a main meal there again though. Certainly their wood-fired pizzas seem to be very tantalising (a nice big, proper pizza oven hulks at the back), but for me I think it better makes for a particularly nice spot for a cup of coffee and something light or sweet to peck on.
Anyway, all that said, overall Cappuccino’s is certainly not a horrible restaurant to be added into Somerset Mall’s eating establishment mix, and certainly the added competition should be good for some lifting of standards from the other incumbents! :)
Related Link: http://www.cappuccinos.co.za/
I’m not making a very big deal out of this, or at least wasn’t at the time, but in truth it really is a big deal. You see, today I lost Jess. I did not know where my daughter was and it was scary as heck. At the time I was calm and collected, but looking back at it now, it was scary as hell.
And it could have ended much worse.
The stupid part is that all of it was down to a very basic parenting mistake quite frankly – I should, and do, know better. Parenting 101. But mistakes do happen and today a very big one was made.
With Chantelle working, I was left on kid duty for the day, and still needing things for my upcoming trip to Japan, I bundled Emily and Jessica into the car and headed off to Somerset Mall. With Emily in her pram, and Jessica holding my hand, we entered Pick ‘n Pay and made our way through a very busy store (payday weekend) down to the furthest corner which houses the clothing section.
Together Jessica and I browsed through the t-shirts and loaded up the pram with a few new ones which she helped me pull out. Then I stopped to have a quick look at the shorts because the only pair of shorts that I currently possess has a great big hole in the crotch area and I’m having huge difficulties in sourcing shorts big enough to fit my large posterior and tree trunk legs. One pair in particular looked quite promising.
Meanwhile, bored, Jessica had taken to climbing up and down the staff ladder and was happily busy entertaining herself in the clothing area.
I asked for access to the fitting cubicle and pulled Emily, pram and all inside. I looked to my side and saw Jessica still happily playing on the ladder. I told her that Emily and I were going inside, and when she is finished she must come here to me. I closed the door and started changing pants.
All of a sudden I hear Jess’ voice crying “Daddy, daddy, where are you?!?”, and recognizing that the voice was travelling away from the area at a very fast pace, I basically flung open the door, pulled up my pants, grabbed Emily’s pram and started searching. Soon I had a number of ladies that were in the area helping me with my search (it is a very large store), and whilst they combed down the aisles, I headed straight down the line of tills, loudly bellowing “Jessica!” down each and every aisle that I passed.
As I reached the entrance of the store, one of the ladies who was helping me look down the aisles, caught my eye gestured that she had spotted Jess, and I won’t lie, my heart skipped a beat when I turned at the entrance to spot a quivering, sobbing Jessica sitting at the manager’s desk in the front of the store.
I swooped in and picked up my frantic little girl, giving her the biggest bear hug that you can imagine.
Twenty seconds later, with a packet of Nik Naks now in her possession, and no more tears in sight, we were walking back towards the clothing section, hand firmly in hand.
(For the record, this time Emily, Emily’s pram, Jessica, and I all squeezed into the cubicle together. The shorts didn’t fit.)
A lesson learned indeed.
As a toddler Jessica always admired these fun animal-themed rides found at various malls and shopping centres around the country from a safe and secure distance. However, viewing alone wouldn’t cut it for very much longer!
We were entertaining Retha who had come to South Africa for a year-end visit, and after a relaxing lunch at the Spur in Somerset Mall, Jessica seized the opportunity to grab Auntie Retha and lead her to the Pony Cycles.
A green dragon was the choice for the day, a seat was taken, and off they went, smiles firmly planted on faces (though admittedly Jess wasn’t quite strong enough to move it completely unassisted!).
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So remember that big exciting SurveyThumb Project 161 Touchwork project I mentioned here once or twice? While like I have previously noted, the culmination of that work project resulted in a nice little bonus being added to the end of my salary last month, a bonus which both Chantelle and I agreed should be put straight to use on her little soon not to be a side only project, Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes.
After discussing it for a bit, we decided to put some of the money aside for the purchase of marketing material, and the rest be used on additional appliances for the house, in a move to try and lend Chantelle some assistance in getting things done.
And pleasingly, last Friday saw the delivery of our two newly purchased appliances from Game in Somerset Mall – a Bosch dishwasher and a KIC 346l fridge!
Exciting I know.
Anyway, now all that is left is for Monty to tackle the project of removing some of our limited kitchen cupboard space in return for a nifty hole in which the dishwasher can slot in next to the washing machine.
And oh yes, if there is any of the bonus left after that, then there is still this pretty cool dark stained pine bookshelf Chantelle is pretty keen on adding to the braai room pantry setup…