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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 πŸ˜‚).

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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Swimming with Penguins

Yesterday was a pretty chill day for us. We hung around the cottage for the morning before heading to the beach for a few hours. Charlie and I finished up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while the girls (and Jacob) napped in the afternoon. We ended the day with dinner at Wendy’s house.

Today ended up being a bit touristy than we had initially thought. We decided to head to Boulders Beach to see some penguins and then when the kids all fell asleep en route we figured we would just drive all the way to the Cape of Good Hope since it was only an extra 30 minutes.

We hadn’t done any research at all on the Cape of Good Hope. We knew it was not the most southern tip of Africa (common misconception) so we assumed we would just drive down to a lighthouse where there’d be some pretty views. We have been to Cape Agulhas, the actual southern most tip, and it is really just a walking path with a sign. Turns out the fake tip gets a lot more attention.

The Cape of Good Hope was a whole thing. It’s a national park so you have to pay to enter and it turns out they’ve blocked off quite a large section to preserve it. The tip itself has a restaurant, cable car, curio shop, scary baboons and about nine million tour buses. We should have known it was not our thing when we hit a lineup to get in to the park. By then we had already committed to go, and Nora had pooped all over her car seat so we needed to spend some time out of the car.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was stunning. The views were spectacular and they had what I’m sure are marvellous walking trails. Problem is, we have three kids who do not enjoy being out in the heat as we learned at the lion park. Plus, someone got scratched by a baboon at the restaurant just after we left, so it was a relatively short visit.

We headed back to Simon’s town and Boulders Beach to check out the penguins. The kids truthfully were more excited by the ice cream and the beach then they were by the birds but it was fun all the same.

Mom, we’re hottttt

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.

Monday Funday

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 πŸ‘Œ. Nora dozed off on the way home while the two big kids reminisced on their day. Life is good.

Friends

Since it’s the weekend we are getting to spend some quality time with the friends that keep drawing us back to this beautiful country. We have known these girls for almost nine years now and feel so fortunate to have been able to maintain the friendship over huge distances. It’s always so nice to come back and pick up right where we left off.

We made plans to meet up at a beachside restaurant early afternoon so in an attempt to ward off the inevitable 2:00 toddler drama we stopped at the beach for a quick picnic and play.

Lunch today was at Damhuis. This is one of the most fantastic restaurants I’ve ever been to. The food was amazing, it overlooks the beach and has an epic play area. Right in the middle of the restaurant they have a sandy section with a play ship, lighthouse and all kinds of sand toys. Guys, the kids played in there for over three hours while we lunched. Three hours! They both found older kids that adopted them for the afternoon and had a great time. Now if we could just find someone to adopt Nora πŸ˜‚

After lunch we took a little stroll and stopped for ice cream where Nora got to have her first taste. I know she’s just a baby. Don’t judge. She’s the third child.

We rounded out the day with a braai at our place. We put the kids to bed and had a lekker kuier. I so love these people.

Two Oceans Round Two

For Christmas this year we gave the kids “tickets” for some of the outings we had planned for our time here. One of the tickets was for the Two Oceans Aquarium so we came good on our promise and headed to see some fish today. We visited the aquarium the last time we were here and the children remembered their visit, or at least remember the pictures from the family photo album of the last trip so they were doubly excited to go.

The aquarium is at the V&A waterfront which is like Peakes Quay with money from more than two investors. It has a couple of marinas, several shopping centres, all kinds of restaurants and a number of family focused attractions. The first thing we came across when we walked into the pedestrian area was a Thomas the Train ride. Jacob climbed aboard with the two kids and they headed out of the station for a fifteen minute tour of the area.

Jacob and I enjoyed our coffees while the kids played on the huge play structure and Nora napped in the stroller and then we set off for the aquarium. Inside we got to revisit the Nemo tunnel, the penguin exhibit, the shark tunnel, the touch tank and the kids play area. We ended up spending about five hours with the sea creatures before heading back to the cottage.

Charlie is struggling to adjust himself to all the newness here. This little boy loves his routine and familiarity and a 6 hour time difference and switching hemispheres is not easy to handle. After we dragged him out of bed for the second day we decided to take it easy and head back to the beach. It gets him outside and burns some energy so he can start to get over his jet lag, the beach is something he is very familiar with and well I love going to the beach; a win win situation.

We set up camp at Bloubergstrand again. The kids had fun with their squirt guns, avoiding the scary water, eating sand and seashell hunting. I had fun sitting in the sun looking at table mountain. Jacob probably enjoyed himself too.

After nap time we had some time to kill before we met up with Wendy, Christo, Janelie and Nollie for dinner so naturally we headed to the grocery store. Since very nearly everything in SA is designed for families the grocery store complex has a whole play structure right outside the entrance. Madeline, as per usual, had two older kids competing for her attention at the playground and she was led around like the little doll she is.

We had dinner at Ons Huisie which overlooks the ocean with views of Robben Island in the distance. We had a great evening seeing everyone again.