Jessica, Emily and I found ourselves having to kill some time before we were allowed into Jessica’s birthday party venue (Ouma’s house!) last Saturday, so other than the nice nature stroll in Vink’s Arboretum that we took, I also let the girls run wild in the fun Funky Frogs indoor play centre at Tygervalley.
Funky Frogs indoor play centres is actually a pretty decent franchise now, with seven play centres open in places that include Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Swaziland!
The Cape Town branch which is actually nowhere near Cape Town – i.e. it’s in Bellville – first opened its doors in December 2012 at Cobble Walk Centre in Durbanville, before moving to its current location in Tygervalley Centre, Bellvile in 2013.
As you might have guessed via the photos, it’s packed with colourful things for the kids to play on – and with – and is a genuinely enjoyable experience for the smaller ones.
Oh, and they also host birthday parties as well.
Needless to say, the kids had a blast, and pleasingly, didn’t completely tire themselves out before the big birthday celebrations officially started! :)
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(P.S. My phone camera seriously struggles to capture decent photos in Funky Frogs. Too much movement, too little light. Sigh.)
Oops, stumbled across another small set of photos that I completely neglected to post way back in April. I’ve already mentioned what a nice Easter we enjoyed this year, complete with excited Easter egg hunt and visit to the legendary Scratch Patch, but these photos were grabbed at the start of the long weekend, when we paid a family food visit to Bossa Social Cafe, a pretty hip and popular hangout spot in Somerset West that doubles as a pretty good place for families with kids to visit as well!
Big grass lawn, sandpit, two jungle gyms, and plenty of outdoor seating, means that Chantelle and I can laze behind some tall refreshing glasses of whatever tickles our fancy on the day, while the kids run wild.
In other words, highly recommended if you’re looking for something local that caters for kids, but isn’t exactly aimed at kids either!
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(However, my favourite part of the weekend might just have been the special Easter cookies Chantelle surprised me with!)
As always, last weekend was plenty entertaining for Craig and his little girls. With Chantelle working, it was up to us to go exploring, and as such, Emily, Jessica and I found ourselves making the trip through to Bellville to spend a large chunk of Saturday morning browsing around the Tygervalley Shopping Centre, darting in and out of toy, book and clothing stores – much to the delight of young Jessica it must be said.
After a refueling stop at the Tygervalley McDonalds (Jessica had pleaded for a hamburger), we travelled through to Mom and Dad’s pad where Jessica and Emily were to spend the next couple of hours alone with mom, seeing as I was joining Ryan and Dad for the big Super Rugby game at Newlands between home team Stormers and the visiting Chiefs. Traffic was heavier than usual (or as Ryan would put it, we left later than what Dad wanted to because I made myself a cup of coffee first), the result of which was that the stadium was already making a lot of noise by the time we finally parked our car!
That said, I don’t think arriving a little earlier would have made any difference anyway – lines to get in through the various stadium gates were crazy – it would look like the new ticket scan system is slowing down access into the stadium badly, resulting in a lot of angry people in the process!
Anyway, it took a little longer than expected to find our seats, but once we were sitting and settled in, we were treated to an awesome first half spectacle of the Stormers dominating the Chiefs in the scrums and just a tight, exciting game in general. Newlands had a little earlier paid tribute to the heroic firefighters who had been involved in those massive fires just a few weeks earlier, and so there were quite a lot of men in uniform dotted around the stadium. In addition, high school Stellenberg had a contingent of students doing high school track meeting flashes/cheers, which was a bit weird to see at a rugby game, but good for the atmosphere anyway!
Sadly, come second half and things changed badly for the Stormers – despite the lovely cheerleader girls doing their best to motivate the boys on, the Chiefs turned up the gears and with their superior handling and running down the wings, gave us a proper hiding and lesson in how good rugby should be played.
So that was saddening and disappointing to say the least. After all, I only go to the rugby stadium like once every 1.5 years or so, and so to finally go and then lose is quite depressing as you can imagine.
Anyway, the ride home was a lot smoother and quicker than the ride to the stadium, and after some visit time back at Spolander street with Mom, Dad and my little girls, it was in the car and back to Gordon’s Bay to close off what had been a pleasant Saturday after all.
Sunday was another glorious day in terms of weather, and so I took Emily and Jessica through to Lourensford Market for some pancake time. However, the closer I got, the more and more signboards signboards appeared that pointed out that today was the day of the big Getaway Expo held at the Lourensford grounds, meaning a snap decision was made to avoid the massive crowds, parking headaches, and bumper to bumper traffic, and instead make a sharp turn, amble leisurely through the leafy glades of Somerset West, before hitting the R44 and driving down to the always enjoyable Blaauwklippen market instead.
Interestingly enough though, it turned out that Blaauwklippen had decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s day a little earlier than the official date (Tuesday 17 March), and as such everything was decked out in green and a lot of Irish music and culture was on display – which doesn’t really make much sense considering the fact that I don’t think Ireland has that much representation down here in South Africa?
Not that it matters though, the girls and I enjoyed the vibe, and Jessica was particularly enthralled with the duo of Irish dancing girls that entertained the crowd with all their kicking and flailing about.
The pancakes were good, the girls had fun, and Jessica has already booked a horse ride for the next time that we return – which in itself is something rather amazing given her general fearful nature!
From there we were summoned to come through to the Mondeor Garden Restaurant to meet up with Monty and Cheryl who were driving through from Bellville in order to meet us for a cup of coffee (Chantelle was busy finishing up her shift for the day – i.e. this was all her sneaky plan for some coffee and cake time), which is then exactly how the rest of Sunday afternoon was spent.
The carrot cake was particularly delicious.
In other words, yet another activity packed weekend for Craig and his girls done and dusted! :)
Well, we certainly enjoyed a very different weekend this weekend past. Monty and Cheryl had been missing Jessica and so asked us if they could borrow her for the weekend. After a lot of careful consideration, Chantelle finally decided that she would be able to survive a weekend without Jessica’s cute little face, and so on Friday afternoon the handover commenced, meaning that for Chantelle and I, date night was on! :)
A quick change after work and then it was off to Somerset Mall, where we enjoyed some fantastic pizza at Panarottis (so high class, I know :P), before dashing out to catch Captain America, my movie pick for the night which ended up being fairly enjoyable, though certainly not a movie I’ll need to see again any time soon. (Chantelle also enjoyed it to an extent, particular the parts where Evans didn’t have a shirt on after receiving the Super Soldier serum!)
Saturday was our first sleep-in in literally months, before we eventually roused to make our way through to the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, where Chantelle treated me to breakfast at the Lourensford Deli on what turned out to be a stunning morning in terms of weather, fully complemented by the quite beautiful surroundings I might add! With our omelettes being no more and our tummies sated, we then strolled out towards the Lourensford Family Market that conveniently happened to be held this weekend, where the locals were having some fun with plenty of little stalls selling all sorts of odds and ends neatly set out, a giant bedouin tent to provide some shade as well as shelter for a pretty monotonous singer and loads of families out and about enjoying the sun and eats to be had (hint, the pancakes were delicious).
On our way back to Gordon’s Bay I popped into Mountain Streams nursery, the first time I had been to this little floral paradise in our own backyard, and must admit to being pleasantly surprised by what I found in this little unassuming operation. As it was, I picked up some cobblestone pavers to add some decoration to the cement slab work that I was planning on doing on my return home, the end result of which is actually pretty pleasing if I say so myself! :) (Chantelle slept through the whole thing!)
Outside of my epic long phone call with Candice all the way from Potchefstroom (as Chantelle was unavailable at the time), the other mission that was achieved was a fair bit of weeding, the first time our garden has seen some action in weeks! (It really did help that Jessica was away for the weekend – so much more time to do all the necessary chores and work around the house!)
Anyway, the wind eventually started to whip up, forcing Chantelle and I to call it quits and pack up for the day, prompting the decision to make it two date nights in a row, the end result of which was another trip through the mall, Simply Asia cuisine for her and Subway for me, followed by Conan the Barbarian in 3D, Chantelle’s pick for the weekend, but possible only because she wanted to lick actor Jason Momoa’s nipples.
Unfortunately for us though, the movie did drag on a bit and ended up not engaging either of us, ending up by just sapping up what remaining energy we had and sending us straight to bed!
Sunday it was an early up and at them, compared to Saturday morning’s lazy pace, as we got ready and set out on a detour to pick up Michelle Oosthuizen’s Respisense device that she had purchased from a guy out in Strand (plus a long overdue phone call to Claire to find out how life on that side of the world is treating Riley and herself), before hitting the N2 and heading out to Bellville to join up with the Montgomery Clan, where Chantelle got busy preparing the epic pork belly roast which was to be the highlight of the upcoming lunch. I in turn popped out to spend some time with Ryan, fitting in a quick three tight games of FIFA in the process, before spending a bewildering bit of time in the completely unnavigable Tygervalley which is currently undergoing major renovations in search of a cheap HDMI cable and some extra necessities for lunch that Chantelle hadn’t yet had a chance to pick up.
Back at the Montgomery stronghold it was a return to my daddy role as I played with a very joyful Jessie who is now actively rolling from her back to her tummy, clapping hands, holding her own bottle and reaching out for toys if she spots them. Lunch was served, consisting of a delicious mix of pork roast belly, pork chops, crackling, roast potato, savoury carrots and salad, followed by ice-cream, strawberries and Bar-one chocolate sauce!
It was a pretty late lunch and the day stretched into Idols which of course Chantelle needs to religiously watch, but eventually it was time to pack up the Getz, retrieve our long lost child and head back home, all without incident, before going through the usual Sunday night chorelist and at last, hitting the bed hard! :)
(P.S. For the rest of the Lourensford Wine Estate visit, check out the gallery here.)
Nice. There is nothing better than an unexpected gift. Like emptying your desk drawers in order to pack the contents into boxes for the move over to your new house and noticing a sturdy little mini blue envelope staring back up at you from the bottom-most drawer.
On closer inspection, the mini blue envelope reveals it is the packaging for a Tygervalley Gift Card, one which seems to have never been unwrapped before.
Punching its numbers into the extremely useful What’s On My Card website then reveals its hidden bounty: R500!
And the card expiry date? 10/10. We literally found it just in time!
Turns out that it was one of our gifts received at our wedding back in November last year, one which somehow slipped out the pile and lay hidden in the bottom of the drawer, out of sight and out of mind.
Until now that is. And believe you me, the timing couldn’t have been any better if it tried.
Related Link: http://www.whatsonmycard.com/
Seeing as we just didn’t get to go bowling over the weekend as we had originally planned, we turned Monday night into our impromptu bowling night and drove out to Somerset Mall to check out the Let’s Go Bowling franchise out there, in the hopes that it was at least in a bit better condition than the monstrosity that now inhabits Tygervalley.
As it turns out, yes, yes it is better than the one down at Tygervalley. Sure the price is still ridiculously high and the equipment is quite a bit older than that at Tygervalley, but the lanes and equipment are far better cared for and there seems to always be staff on duty watching out for technical difficulties which is an instant plus in my book considering the mess I usually sit with when trying to play out at Tygervalley. Now that I think about it, we didn’t experience a single fault the whole game, something rather impressive if you take into account the older equipment we were using.
It seems that Monday night is league night as a whole lot of people with scary customized balls and single hobo gloves where duking it out in the lanes next to us, but that didn’t stop Chantelle and myself from putting on a dreadful display of just plain bad bowling, with nary a single strike between the two of us! (I’m just going to put it down the fact that this was a practice night, getting all the cobwebs out before we invite the rest of the gang out to GB for a night of pizza and bowling.)
Now a game of two-man bowling does not exactly last long (you really do need to bowl in a group to get the most out of your money!) and when our rather paltry final tally appeared on the board, we decided to lengthen the evening just that little by grabbing the nearby pool cues and getting our game on – something we perhaps really shouldn’t have done.
Seems that lack of practice really does affect one’s game :)
Oh, and for the record, I took the honours in the bowling, with Chantelle trailing behind, but she turned the tables on me by winning both games of pool, thanks to faults on the black by yours truly in each and every game!
Damn the little black ball I tell you!
Damn my weakness when it comes to gaming. I specifically told myself I wouldn’t purchase a new game until I’ve completed all the games I’m currently busy with. Lo and behold, last night I pop into Tygervalley Mall for a quick trip to Pick ‘n Pay and decide to make a quick stop in at Musica just to have a look around. And there was the damn Ultimate Spider-man (PS2) game I’ve been looking to get for a while now just staring at me at the wonderfully low price of R150. Unable to control my collector obsessive disorder that plagues me to this day, I regrettably have to say I purchased, all the while grinning like an idiot.
But what a good purchase! Sure GameSpot only gives it a 7.1, but for any comic book fan, this is one perfect purchase. From the start this is a game about a comic book and is played and presented like a comic book. Happiness.
Now my busy playing list looks as follows:
– Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
– The Matrix: Path of Neo
– Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
– Ultimate Spider-man
(I won’t mention the fact I’ve got a bead on a cheap copy of LOTR: Return of the King which I probably will give in to)