Despite Friday being a bit of a write off thanks to a horrible stomach bug that saw me throw up at work, go home early, and then crash into bed and sleep for pretty much the whole evening, Saturday was 300 hundred times better thanks to having woken feeling 100%, having enough time to faff around the house and get Jessica ready, before Chantelle, Jess and I took a drive in traffic to the mall, to pick up a last minute addition to my brother Ryan’s birthday present as well as hand in Chantelle’s broken Samsung Windows phone for repairs.

Amazingly enough, despite having lost time thanks to us having left a little later than planned and then the increased traffic on our way to the mall, Chantelle managed to get us in her little green Getz all the way through to Kirstenbosch with two minutes to spare, just in time to meet up with Mom, Dad and Ryan, who were busy pulling their car into a new parking space, having arrived a little earlier to suss out the perfect picnic spot.

Unlike Gordon’s Bay where the wind had been pumping non-stop throughout the night and into the morning (so much so that we dissuaded Evan and Natasha from coming through to take Evalynne to the beach here in our part of the world), Kirstenbosch was absolutely, breathtakingly picture perfect – not a breath of wind, radiant sunlight, and of course that spectacular, leafy view.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve last visited Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, so I have to admit to having been quite pleased when the Facebook event notice came through inviting us out to Kirstenbosch for a family picnic in celebration of Ryan’s big 29th birthday.

Claire had been tasked with saving the earlier selected spot, the perfect shady area under a bushy thorn tree, on top of luscious green grass and next to the stunning “cheetah attacking a springbok” statue, and most important of all, close enough to the entrance of the Botanical Gardens that Mom would be able to comfortably make it with her still recovering knee.

And of course, the first thing everyone did on arrival was dump the gear and remove the shoes, with Jessica being plucked from her pram and being thrust straight in as the centre of attention (or entertainment if you must).

After a bit of lazing around and taking in the splendour around us, Ryan began to break out the food from his dazzling array of cooler boxes and shopping bags, revealing a huge spread that catered to everyone’s taste buds. At this stage Riley had also joined us after finishing up at his Kung Fu practice, and so we all dug in, filling the afternoon air with the sounds of chomping, chatter and of course loads of laughter!

We spent a good couple of hours in the Gardens before eventually packing up and hitting the road, but everyone was quick to agree that this had been a fantastic family day out and a great way to celebrate Ryan’s birthday, so much so that Chantelle is now pretty sure what we’re going to be doing in December to celebrate her 32nd! ;)

(Oh, and a reminder to myself – taking Baden Powell because it should be a nice scenic drive home and not too roundabout a route, doesn’t really work when a) the road is busy and b) the cars are driving rather slowly along it! Oh well, at least we did get home in the end!)

P.S. Check out the Kirstenbosch Picnic photos here.