Posts Tagged ‘travel’

It’s the weekend! Truthfully the days of the week matter very little to us right now but the weekend does mean that all of our friends are free to kuier!

Friday we took the kids to Weltevreden to the “trampoline park”. This has been at the top of Charlie’s list since we told him we were coming back to SA. The weather was a bit cooler (28 instead of 38) so we decided to take advantage and head out.

This place is amazing. The kids have the greatest time – not surprisingly since there are two huge playgrounds, a race track with bikes and cars (complete with speed bumps and roundabouts), two trampolines and a sand pit. Plus you get to make your own pizza and there’s a slushie machine. Jacob and I also had the greatest time since there’s wine, nachos, coffee and a place to sit where you can watch the kids.

We ended tbe day hosting Abri and his partner as well as Anlia and her new hubby for dinner. It was great getting to see Anlia again as we haven’t seen her since Korea.

We spent Saturday lazing around at the cottage and brunching at Doodles before heading to Janelie’s place for a braai.

Janelie just moved into a new place right on the beach in Melkbosstrand and the view couldn’t be more perfect. We eventually got two of the three kids to fall asleep and enjoyed some time with friends. Madeline somehow managed to stay awake until we ate (at 11 😂).

Today we headed to Warwick Wine Estate. This wine estate made every single “wine farms with kids” google result I read and it did not disappoint. The grounds are gorgeous. They have this beautiful lawn where if we had had our act together we could have booked an umbrella bean bag chairs and a picnic. Instead we scored the perfect table between the play structure and the water feature turned kiddie pool.

The kids had an absolute blast running around in their underwear, splashing in the “pool” and climbing the beautiful wooden playground. We had fun eating and drinking. Seriously guys I’m going to have to buy bigger pants to fly home in.

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We headed out first thing this morning, well it was actually 9:30 but that’s about as close to first thing as we can manage with Charlie. How am I going to get this child to school in the fall? Anyway, we were cashing in the second of the kids Christmas tickets to take them to the Drakenstein Lion Park. We arrived at around 10:15. Nora napped in the car on the way there. We thought we had executed this fairly well. Wrong. So wrong.

If you ever need a big brother this is the one you want. This boy takes care of both of his sisters in the backseat without us asking. He makes sure they get their food, water and blankies. He entertains Nora and always makes sure everyone is quiet when she falls asleep.

If you ever need a big brother this is the one you want. This boy takes care of both of his sisters in the backseat without us asking. He makes sure they get their food, water and blankies. He entertains Nora and always makes sure everyone is quiet when she falls asleep.

The kids whined from the minute we got out of the car until we finally gave in and left. Madeline couldn’t have cared less about these lions. Charlie pretended he cared twice just to try and please us and Nora just wanted to spray Cheerios everywhere.

Here’s the thing, they were essentially melting. There was a gorgeous breeze, we were in the shade and I love heat so I honestly thought they were just being difficult. Turns out it was 39 degrees out. Oops. This was not our finest parenting moment as we scolded them for not appreciating the lions. The pictures look really nice though!

We left the lion park after a very painful hour and headed to the Spice Route. We visited this place the last time we were here and loved it. Thankfully there was a nice breeze and it clouded over later in the day so we made quite an afternoon out of it. We had some lunch, sampled some wine on tap, had a coffee, played at the park, went to the chocolate factory and ended with a beer. Essentially we gained five pounds and redeemed the day.

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Today was a great day.

We started the morning slowly. Everyone got up, got their breakfast, and did their own thing for a while. The kids played together inside and out while Nora napped. Charlie is finally over his jet lag and change of routine and is back to his normal self. Thank the Lord. Once Nora woke up we headed down the street to Doodles Restaurant for a coffee with some spectacular views.

After lunch we headed into the city to meet up with Abri. We spent the afternoon at Clifton 4th beach catching up with our dear friend. The water is quite a bit calmer at Clifton than it is here at Blouberg so the kids were pleased. It’s still only about 12 degrees which is just uncivilized if you ask me.

We grabbed some pizza for supper before we left the city. The restaurant had a bouncy castle for the kids to play on and a staff member to watch them 👌. Nora dozed off on the way home while the two big kids reminisced on their day. Life is good.

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We’ve certainly slowed down our lives and travels these past few days. Phew. We are getting some much needed relaxation, this traveling with babies thing is exhausting (I know you don’t feel bad for me).

We’ve been squatting at Nollie’s parents’ beach house since Thursday. It’s a three bedroom cottage (everyone has their own room!) in Franskraal which is on the doorstep of Gansbaai where they film a large portion of Shark Week. We’ve spent a couple of days hanging out at the beach. The beach gets a serious thumbs up from me (not easy to do) with it’s amazing white sand, dunes and hardly any people. The downside, that water is FREEZING. I’ve been spoiled and been going out ALONE for about an hour each morning for a walk along the beach. Charlie joined me yesterday though and we had some great fun.

It isn’t all beach though (I’m clearly not vacationing alone). We’ve done some day trips as well. Hermanus is about 40km away and a super cute little town. We have visited twice now. They have great restaurants along the coast, a cute little market and whales. In the winter it’s one of the best places to spot whales. Apparently there are so many off the coast that you can hear them singing even in Franksraal. We were lucky enough today to spot one. Honestly it was cooler than I expected. I’ve never seen a whale in the wild and it was actually quite thrilling. There’s always something special about finding an animal like that.

This morning we spent some time at the Klein River Cheese Farm. They had a great play area that C was pretty stoked about – it was huge – with a big climbing structure, balls, sandpit, trampoline and tree houses. They offer picnic lunches complete with basket and blanket. We ordered our lunch and got spread out under the trees when all hell broke loose.

Now a picnic lunch is actually no picnic (ha!) with a crawling baby, but M wasn’t the problem. The problem was the damn chickens. I mean live chickens who attacked us as we spread out our lunch. Seriously. Attacked us. This is my worst nightmare [Hannah Terpstra I know I have your sympathies]. C did a good job at first staving them off, but they eventually became too much. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so damn scary. We eventually had to move when they stole C’s bread and he had a fit.

We moved back into the children’s play area and set up on a picnic table. Unfortunately, these are some smart ass chickens (this was clearly not their first picnic) and they followed us. Now it was time for some serious anti-chicken action. Jacob stepped up and managed to hit two chickens with one bucket. That was the last we saw of them.

In boring family news on the way home today in the car C and M were playing peekaboo in the backseat to much laughter. When they were done C told M that she was his best friend. That he has ever had in his whole life. Oh my heart.

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So remember how I said this trip isn’t just sunshine and roses. Ha! That’s an understatement.

After a great day in Swellendam we headed out for dinner with Dene and Jaco (NO KIDS!). Don’t worry we didn’t forget them, we left them with Lienke and her sitters. M safely tucked away in bed and C settled very happily in front of the tv with junk food (it is his vacation too). We went back in to town to De Vagabond. They had a table outside just next to the fire, we had great wine, lovely food, great conversation (remember, no kids) then we headed back home.

We collected the kids got everyone re-settled and sleeping then all hell broke loose. Well at least our bellies. Turns out prawns weren’t a great choice for an appetizer and both Jacob and I got food poisoning. Seriously, so much vomit this trip.

We had intended to leave Swellendam today and were actually considering heading further east (not part of the original plan) to a place called Knysna from Dene’s recommendation and because it looked spectacular. Instead we spent the day attempting to manage the children between bathroom breaks. We have clearly survived and lived to tell the tale, but probably wouldn’t have without the amazing help from Dene.

These folks could not have been better hosts. Kam’Bati has been spectacular on its own without all the added hospitality of braais, treating us to brunch AND dinner (we tried to pay but it just didn’t seem to work out). Laundry service, babysitting, and lasagna brought to our door tonight since we were in no shape to leave. Incredible. We have some baie lekker friends here.



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We are staying with our friend Dene now at her beautiful resort Kam’Bati River Resort. This is seriously some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen. Our chalet is right next to the river. There are geese walking along the lawn in front of me (at a healthy distance) there are mountains behind the trees. Out of this world amazing.

Dene and her husband Jaco with their little girl Lienke hosted us last night for supper – as if us staying here wasn’t enough. They have probably the most jaw dropping breathtaking view I can imagine from their house. Seriously, if our house at home sells we’re not coming back.  Their house is at the top of the hill overlooking the resort, the river, the mountains, the sunset. There’s a fire going that will eventually cook our supper. Idyllic.

After a great sleep – both children managed to make it through the night now that we have two rooms (hoorah!) we headed into Swellendam proper for some brunch and a quick tour around town. We had a huge meal at the Old Gaol a nice chat with Dene, some great cappuccino.

I’m now sitting on our porch looking at the geese (again at a healthy distance away) sipping a beer while BOTH children nap. Life you are currently a dream.

Note: for those of you that read this and think this trip is nothing but sunshine and roses or you think it sounds easy and you’d like to try it yourself (I still think you should!) you should also know that C cries in the car after about 45 minutes saying that everything under the sun hurts. So in a true ‘boy who cried wolf’ fashion, we did not believe him on this trip and he threw up all over everything the minute we arrived at Kam’Bati. We make a grand entrance.

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For our final weekend in Cape Town we decided to make it as family friendly as possible. IT’s been a bit of a tough balance between choosing things C would like (and M might enjoy too) vs seeing what we really want to see and experiencing the things that make this part of the world special. We hopefully struck that balance this weekend.

Saturday we headed in to Green Point Park, Cape Town’s “new” green space for families. It sits alongside the Sea Point Promenade and the same grounds as the stadium built for the soccer world cup. The park was lovely, C especially enjoyed the spinning bowl. M had her first ride on the swings.



We attempted to head to The Grand Beach Cafe for lunch, but were turned down because it was holding a wedding. We had visited The Grand the last time we were in Cape Town with Zanelle – it’s a restaurant set right on the beach – but instead we were pointed towards the City Market held basically overlooking the beach. The market was well done – open air, great food, same community sitting as home. It was a bit more hectic with the kids than I would have liked but we all survived.

After lunch we headed to the Kirstenbosch gardens. In a pro tip from our friend Dene we found out that the Kirstenbosch gardens have a dinosaur exhibit set it in Cycad ampitheatre. Now for those of you who know us, and really, that should be all of you, you should know that C LOVES dinosaurs. It did not disappoint; C loved it. He spent the better part of an hour (basically eternity in toddler time) walking the paths pointing out all the different dinosaurs tucked away in the plants.

Zanelle met us at the gardens and strolled through them with us before we all headed to the restaurant for some dinner. Not bad for day one, if I do say so.

Sunday was a bit more relaxed (as its should be). We stayed closer to home instead of heading into the city. We started our day at the Giraffe House – which is more or less a low security zoo. We got to take our pictures with Gerry the new Giraffe, C got to feed a zebra (well kind of) and see some snakes and crocodiles. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing and M didn’t scream, so we’ll call that a success.

After the Giraffe House we headed a little farther down the road to the Spice Route Wine Estate. I can’t say enough good things about this place. It has it all – wine tasting, micro brewery with tasting, chocolate factory (also with tasting!), home made ice cream shop, a kids play area and one hell of a view.

This place was packed. There were families and friends everywhere. The kids were running around on all of the open green spaces, the adults are all relaxing with great food and drinks. This is my kind of place. Again – why don’t we live here???

Janelie joined us and we spent the day enjoying what was on offer. We stayed until they closed down at 5 before heading home with overfull bellies and tired children.


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Our amazing friend Nollie is a teacher at the Curro High School around the corner from where we are staying. The Curro branch also has a daycare and she arranged for the kids to go for Thursday and Friday. Seriously. Two whole days. With no kids. In Cape Town. Dream come true. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. But I also love going places without them. So now the question became what to do.

With the help of Zanelle we settled on the city bus tour for the first day. We figured it was an easy way to see the downtown area without the stress of having to drive or park. She recommended the blue line which takes you around Table Mountain by the coast. We wandered around in a pedestrian square hosting a market. We passed through the oldest wine estate in Cape Town, Constantia. We hopped off and wandered around Hout’s Bay and had sushi lunch in Camps Bay.

Day two we figured when in wine country, better visit the wine estates. Conre and Janelie gave us amazing suggestions and we set off. Our first stop for the day was Simonsig. Simonsig is known as the first wine estate to make bubbly in SA. They’re very sure to say that it is NOT champagne (but really it’s the same). At Simonsig they give you a sheet listing all of their wines, you select five you would like to sample and then you work through them at your own pace. We also did a short cellar tour to see how they process the grapes. Our first stop cost a whopping $3 each,

Next on the list was Brenaissance where they do a pizza and wine pairing – four different wines paired with four different slices of pizzas. We followed it up with a nougat/fudge/wine pairing at JC Le Roux. Seriously delicious.

We had time for one more stop before collecting the kids so we headed to Conre’s favourite stop and we were so glad we did. Delheim estates is tucked in behind another wine estate but it was so worth the journey off the main road. It is a cute little cottage covered in vines set in an opening of trees overlooking the vines growing in the valley. The cellar where they do the tastings was full so we just ordered a glass before ending our wine tour day.

Note: The kids loved the daycare – C got to run around, play with blocks and paint a picture (his recap) and M got along perfectly as well (their recap).


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