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
Chantelle was working this Heritage Day, meaning that it was up to Jessica, Emily and I to figure out some fun for ourselves – so given the great weather this public holiday had presented us with, the three of us found ourselves spending some playful time frolicking about on the grass at Helderberg Farm!
(Seriously, I spend far too much time glued to my keyboard and screen during the week! #FirstWorldProgrammerProblems)
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Great weather, check. Public holiday, check. Desire to be out of the house, check. In other words, I had the girls up and dressed pretty early on, and we were out the door just after 09:00am, heading off first to Builders Warehouse to get some DIY shopping done (Chantelle’s shelving is once again coming down, which translates to there being quite a lot of holes in the wall which needs filling!), followed by a quick round of clothing shopping in Somerser Mall – a completely impossible job with a toddler and little girl tearing about mind you!
With those chores now done and dusted, it was time for the fun part of the morning: a trip via the R44 through to Helderberg Farm!
Surprisingly, for a change I wasn’t pestered to let the girls feed the bunny rabbits – instead they had a quick look and then immediately headed back to the play area for some serious play time fun.
Clambering, exploring and running around – basically I just needed to pull up a chair and put my feet up – the girls were taking care of the entertainment part all by themselves! :)
We popped into the shop for some chips and was quite surprised to see the till gone and the lady writing everything down in a book. Sadly, it turns out that they were literally robbed the day before.
Late Sunday afternoon, a couple of men posing as customers came into the shop, just before closing time, and asked the ladies on duty how much it would cost them to go for a walk. This didn’t work, so the men calmly returned to their car, retrieved guns and pepper spray and came back for the goods. They pepper sprayed the ladies, and after being unable to open the till (the ladies couldn’t help because they had been pepper sprayed), they simply grabbed the whole thing, ripped out the phone, and left.
So definitely not great, and according to the lady we were speaking to, the first time in the twenty years that she’s been working there that they have ever been hit. Yet another definite sign that armed crime is starting to pick up here in our beautiful Helderberg basin! :(
Of course, this all went completely over the heads of Emily and Jessica anyway, meaning that they weren’t deterred in the least in terms of enjoying their day – the end result being two very happy chappies indeed! :)
Of course, plenty of photos with my phone camera were taken on the day:
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On the way home, we stopped off for lunch and play at Waterstone Village’s McDonalds branch, and then it was finally back home for a little rest break for two slightly exhausted monkeys…
(Shame, because Chantelle did feel a little left out – she had to work on the day – the girls and I joined her for some late afternoon play time at Mondeor restaurant. This seemed to cheer her up, so job done! :P)
Oh, and a particularly humorous sight: Easigrass is a Durban-based company specializing in artificial grass, and have just opened up shop in the new Cape Garden Centre next to Mondeor Restaurant. For branding purposes, they’ve decked out their small company cars in artficicial grass – completely covered from bonnet to boot!
Needless to say, the girls quite enjoyed this sight:
Can you just imagine having to wash and dry those? :)
Related Link: http://helderbergplaas.co.za/
Thursday was Human Rights Day and although Chantelle was forced to spend the day working in the kitchen to churn out a humongous amount of cakes and cupcakes, that didn’t stop Jessica and me heading out for a morning adventure to Monkey Town. We were there last a year ago, and this time around Jessica was a lot older and could thus enjoy the monkeys, birds and all the other little critters a lot more than what she did the last time!
We got to see the monkeys feeding, the chimpanzees come out to play, and I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we spent wandering around the park, hand in hand, as if stuck by superglue! :)
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Unlike last year’s Heritage Day (aka Braai Day to just about every man-in-the-street South African), Chantelle and I didn’t actually take the time to braai – though to be fair we had just come off an awesome Sunday family braai hosted at our place, which I detailed a little earlier this week.
What did however do was have a proper day off. Well sort of. You see, Chantelle packed Jessica in with her folks as they left on Sunday evening, meaning Chantelle and I enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing, uninterrupted night of movies and sleep, followed by a fairly lazy morning of catching up on bed and household chores time.
This was followed by a trip through to Somerset Mall, where we enjoyed a very successful pricing trip, locating an awesome solid pine shelving unit for the braai room (to replace my wonky garden shed metal shelves which currently play host to Chantelle’s varied baking ingredients and necessities), a second fridge (also destined for the braai room and Chantelle’s ingredients), as well a dishwasher – which will be Chantelle’s main assistant for when she starts doing this full-time start December. So with everything now sourced, all that is left is to buy the stuff – which should happen in the next couple of days seeing as my bonus has already come through following all that hard work I put in on our big “Project 161” project at work over the last couple of months!
More exciting than all of the above though was the lucky break we got as we pulled into the parking lot at Fruit and Veg City, spotting a man carrying the exact plastic container we’ve been searching for well over a month and a half now! You see, a while back we stumbled across this awesome plastic container, high enough for Chantelle’s cupcakes, very stackable, lockable lids and removable dividers at Mambo’s Plastics Warehouse, where we bought the last and only two they still had left in stock – and after discovering just how awesome these containers really are, we’ve been searching high and low for more of them, without any luck up until now!
Anyway, Chantelle immediately altered course, pulled into a parking bay, I jumped out and ran into the Plastics for Africa shop, grabbing a handful of these containers and hoisting them into the air, a huge grin on my face as I awaited Chantelle’s arrival in the store.
After that bit of win, Chantelle treated the two of us to a light lunch at Limnos Bakery in the Mall, before we headed home and Chantelle got ready for work, while I hopped into my car and made the long trip through to Bellville.
There I met up with Ryan for some epic and enjoyable FIFA clashes on the XBOX 360, though it was a pity that none of the other guys could join us – it’s seriously difficult to do something spontaneous when everyone is now married! :P
After two hours of digital soccer, I handed back Ryan’s controller and drove through to the Montgomery stronghold, where I caught up a bit with Cheryl and Robert, before swiping back my little Jessica and driving her home for a lazy bedtime routine, followed by some peace and quiet as I awaited Chantelle’s late return from work.
So yeah, no braai for me this Heritage Day, but I don’t think that I completely wasted this public holiday Monday in the end! :)
So Women’s Day 2012 has come and gone, not that it allowed us to do a whole lot seeing as Chantelle’s work doesn’t really allow her off for public holidays. Oh well, at least the weather played along nicely for Jessie and my day off from creche and work respectively, and so naturally we made the most of it!
With wifey off to work in the morning, Jessica and I spent the morning playing, before grabbing the pram and going for a nice lengthy walk, out on our shopping mission to Pick ‘n Pay. A successful bout of picking up and paying then saw us walk back home, just in time to receive a phone call from Mommy inviting us to join her on her split at the newish Bay Coffee Shop that had opened up on Beach Road in Gordon’s Bay.
It’s a cosy little coffee shop that served us some nice scones and coffee, while Jessie happily entertained herself with some toys the waitress put down in front of her. By the looks of things, my little Jessie is just about ready for her first dose of Duplo blocks (though Chantelle thinks I’m seeing things).
Back home Jessie went down fairly easily for her afternoon nap, which presented the perfect opportunity for Chantelle and I to follow suite, happily dozing off in the warm sun under the covers. Of course, like all good things that didn’t last, as Jessie eventually woke up, Chantelle got up to finish off Ryan’s order (gift box for his boss’ wife), and I sprung (more like dragged my feet) into action to gather up all Jessie’s stuff and get her packed for her mini-break with Oupa and Ouma.
Seeing that today is a school holiday due to the public holiday yesterday, creche also closes its doors, and seeing as both Chantelle and I work, we’ve been forced to ship young Jess off to Bellville to stay with her grandparents for a couple of nights. What it does mean is a Jessie-free Thursday night which will allow us to tidy up the house, followed by a Friday night date night for wifey and me. Saturday the plan is to either visit The World of Birds in Hout Bay or the Aquarium at the Waterfront depending on the weather, followed by a big family braai at the Montgomery Stronghold in the evening. Sunday depending on the weather will either be a trip through to Betty’s Bay in order to see the penguins, or alternatively a scenic drive through to Hillcrest for some of their always awesome scones and jam!
Anyway, back to Thursday. So I successfully dropped ‘the package’ off at Cheryl and Monty’s pad, and after a nice cup of coffee and a chat, I hit the road and made my way through to Ryan, to drop off his delivery. There he entertained me with his brand new Kinect on the XBOX, and boy must I say that I was thoroughly impressed (or rather enjoyed the fun experience) – so much so I’m seriously considering selling off a kidney to get one! (However, I somehow doubt Chantelle would approve…)
18:00 and I found myself back on the road, making the long trip back home, where I arrived to an empty house (Chantelle was still at work) and immediately set about tidying up the place – which really does look like a Tornado (also known as a Jessica) ran wild in it at the moment!
Supper, Olympics and a little web work, followed by a DVD of the rather naughty Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher on the couch with wifey, rounded off the evening, thereby completing a rather non-celebratory Women’s Day 2012.
Oh well, at least a break from all the hectic admin I need to take care of at work these days was pretty appreciated! :)
We enjoyed a pleasant Heritage Weekend this year, pity of course about the public holiday falling on a Saturday, but Chantelle was off so that always makes for a nice weekend in the Lotter household! :)
Friday evening after the putting Jessica to bed routine, Chantelle and I treated ourselves to some delicious home-made pizza, the first time we had made those in absolute ages! As a companion to our deliciously decadent supper, we sat down and watched Leon Schuster’s Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa, marvelling at just how much kak Leon actually manages to get away with!
Saturday, and Jessica and Chantelle were out for the majority of the morning and early afternoon attending Chane’s surprise stork party in Somerset West, and with no baby gym to attend or rugby being showed on SABC2, I found myself pottering around the house, catching up on housework and admin, and even forgoing the gardening for some time spent working a bit on this here website.
I had to however get out eventually to enjoy the stunning weather Gordon’s Bay was experiencing, and so on Chantelle’s return we grabbed the pram and made our way over to the beach for a pleasant stroll and soft serve ice-cream, before hitting the shops in order to get all the necessities for the mandatory Heritage Day braai.
And braai we did, with chicken, steak and boerewors all making their way on to my grid (though after a fairly lengthy struggle with some very wet wood!). For a change, we had even hired out a DVD, again the first in absolute months, and although it didn’t leave much of an impact on me (I can’t remember its name, but it was kind of a slice of life comedy involving a girl whose brother is marrying the girl who made her life absolute hell during high school), it was just lekker to curl up next to wifey and enjoy a lazy evening in her company.
Sunday was a different story, and after a brisk early morning stroll with Jessica in the pram to return the DVD while mommy slept in, it was up and at them (after the fantastic Argentina versus Scotland game of course!) as we prepared for the trip through to Bellville to meet up with Evan and Natasha, Karl and Trish and Ryan for a Sunday afternoon braai.
Jessica had started coughing on Saturday evening, and Sunday it had gotten much, much worse. So on route to Evan’s place, we swung by the 24 hour M-Kem pharmacy in Bellville, where the on duty nurse took one look (or rather listen) and said that it was straight to the doctor with us. Seeing as there was a waiting list, we decided to first go through to Evan’s place to get things started, with Chantelle tasked to take leave of us halfway through in order to take Jessie to the doctor – who then proceeded to inform us that Jessie’s tonsils are inflamed as is her right ear canal. Ouchies!
Shame, so our little dribble monster is not feeling all that great at the moment. :(
Anyway, as for the actual braai, it was a blistering hot day in Bellville and so while we all hugged the bit of shade provided by the outside Simba-branded umbrella so kindly provided by Mr. Granger, it was left up to Evan to place himself slap bang in front of the hot coals and handle the tongs, a job which admittedly he did rather well, even if it looked like he needed a shower once he was eventually done! :)
Natasha had baked peppermint crisp tart for dessert, but before we partook in that, the three Lotters zipped away through to Durbanville, to pay a visit to Mom who is currently in hospital after having her knee replacement operation on Friday. It turned out that dad was also visiting around the time that we were there, resulting in a lekker little family catch up session in the hospital ward.
Anyway, back it was to Evan’s place for some of that delicious dessert, before packing up the coughing princess, putting in some petrol to get us home, and then make the arduous trek back to Gordon’s Bay, where it was straight into the bed time routine (with Idols blaring in the background) and getting everything ready for the new week to come.
Oh, and vienna sausages on cheese rolls for supper.
So yeah, a pleasant Heritage Day after all, I’d say! ;)
Tuesday was a welcome break from work with this year’s Women’s Day public holiday kicking in, but as we all know by now, public holidays don’t mean squat for Chantelle, as she still has to work while I get to enjoy some extra hours in bed. Well, at least that is how things used to be – with Jessica around and Baby Steps closed for the public holiday, it means no extra sleepy time for me, seeing as parent/baby time starts first thing in the morning, whether you like it or not! :)
However, as luck would have it, Chantelle was scheduled in for a late shift on the day, meaning that we could take a slow start and had until at least 15:00 together, time we pretty much used to entertain Monty and Cheryl who had been keen to come and visit us before we take our long weekend to Pinnacle Point this coming weekend (which will be followed by the crazy guest house adventures scheduled in for the weekend following that!).
It has been absolute ages since Chantelle’s folks have visited with us at our house (which of course triggered Chantelle’s frantically clean the house routine the night before), and to celebrate Jessie’s teeth which I’m sure will eventually pop through, come 11:00 I whipped up a batch of my famous pancakes for the visitors, which I’m happy to announce we all tucked into with much gusto (even if I had to toss the old expired golden syrup I dug up out of the cupboard)!
After a long visit with the folks, Chantelle eventually had to trigger the goodbyes as she left for work, Jessica in tow as she needed to be shown off to some of the visitors at the guest house. I grabbed the hour I now had free to read some Bleach and catch a deserved snooze (oh, so delightful I tell you), before heading off to pick up Jessica from the guest house and then proceed to entertain her for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
For a change my little dribble monster didn’t give me too much hassle in terms of the bedtime routine, and before long wifey returned and we could sit and enjoy a good ostrich steak with salad supper, complemented with coffee and Kit Kat Dark to round off what had been a pretty relaxed day in the end (well for me at the very least. Poor working wifey).
So yeah, Women’s Day 2011. Not entirely sure why we celebrate it in the first place, but hey, I got to enjoy pancakes, have a snooze and not go to work, so no complaints from this peanut gallery then! :)
(Note, this post is now officially more than a week late. I started it off last week with the best of intentions, but you know, things just always seem to get in the way…)
So as I may have alluded to earlier, this long weekend past proved to be the perfect refreshing getaway, as Chantelle and I both took off Friday and headed up to Pinnacle Point with Retha and Miguel to enjoy a weekend of leisure and relaxation.
Of course, as expected with Chantelle and myself, we did only get away from home on Friday morning after midday, but the morning wasn’t spent entirely in vain as the flat had gotten cleaned and more importantly, we finally purchased that suede headboard we had ordered from Boardman’s all those weeks ago!
But on the road we did finally end and with Chantelle at the wheel, we rocketed along the N2, making our first stop in Buffelsjag at the delightful Rolandale restaurant and rest stop where we tucked in and replenished the fuel in our tummies. From there I grabbed the wheel and we were back on the N2, enjoying the beautiful green scenery dashed with the brilliant yellow of all the canola fields in full bloom.
Admittedly, my eyes did get a little heavy under the beautiful sunlight we were enjoying, and after a quick refresher break in Albertina, we continued our journey into Mossel Bay, where after a police roadblock we found ourselves making a detour to the local Checkers in order to pick up our meat for the evening’s braai before turning around and hitting the road up to Pinnacle Point.
Thanks to Dad’s organising, getting into the resort was a snap and surprisingly enough, we found the house first time round, in other words a welcome return to dad’s share of that Top Billing lifestyle that we’d all so love! ;)
By this stage the light was rapidly fading and the wind was starting to whip up, and seeing as Miguel and Retha were only expected to arrive after midnight, Chantelle and I got stuck in trying to light our fire which was proving remarkable annoying thanks to the gusting wind that kept killing off all of our matches!
Frustrated but not willing to give up, we eventually got the thing burning and as it turned out (with the help of a innocent desk lamp which I grabbed to provide some outside light), produced a fantastic supper! As for the evening’s entertainment, we attempted to watch Angela Jolie in Tomb Raider, but for some or other reason the fatigue hit us hard, and so we found ourselves fast asleep by the time Retha gave us a ring around midnight to let them in!
Saturday morning was another late start as the four of us opted to sleep in, but after we all finally got up and ready to go, it was time to pile into the fully charged golf cart and give Retha and Miguel a proper tour of the massive estate, before ending up at the clubhouse where we tackled the stairs down to St. Blaize’s trail and made the trek to check out the caves down below.
The next stop for the day was of course, wait for it, Checkers, again to stock up on supplies, but from there it was on to new adventures as we drove through to Jukani, the big cat sanctuary which had impressed Chantelle and I so the last time we were in Mossel Bay.
As expected, Retha and Miguel were as impressed as we were, and we spent the next couple of hours taking in all the sights and sounds, as well as enjoying the awesome feeding presentation conducted by Jukani’s always likable staff.
The final bit of entertainment was of course still to come, and after everyone had gotten prepped, we hit the short road down to the casino, where we targeted the Admiral’s Buffet for a very long and filling supper, followed by a brief (and loss inducing) stint in the casino.
(As per usual though, I enjoyed the period we spent in the arcade far more than what I did in the money grabbing casino main! :P)
Some television and chat rounded off the rest of the evening back home, and leaving Miguel to do his usual late night documentary watching stint, the rest of us piled into bed for some well deserved pillow time.
Sunday and the weather started taking a real turn for the worse, meaning we pretty much lazed around after enjoying a delicious bacon and eggs breakfast courtesy of C, before we braved the elements and drove off to Mossel Bay to do a bit of whale watching, eat a soft serve (in Chantelle’s case enjoy some mini doughnuts) and then scour Mossel Bay for a film to enjoy at a cinema.
And whilst we had no luck in terms of finding a movie cinema showing anything worth watching in Mossel Bay, we were treated to a spectacular whale sighting in which we got to see a whale happily splashing his tail around, just off the rocks by the St. Blaize cave!
By this stage the weather was now properly miserable and so we spent the rest of the day lazing around and reading, before the girls got stuck in and prepared us an awesome cooked chicken supper!
Monday I’m afraid the weather really was against us and so after a good long sleep in, most of us simply opted to pack our bags and hit the road back home – though it must be said that the traffic coming back over Sir Lowry’s pass was pretty hectic and getting home took a lot longer than expected (think bumper to bumper coming down the mountain!), but nevertheless, it couldn’t detract from what in the end was a pretty damn awesome weekend after all! :)
And hey, just because I can, I even posted some pictures I took while in a state of snappy happy! ;)
Related Link: http://photos.codeunit.co.za/v/20100806-Pinnacle-Point/