Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for road tripping

Jiggedy Jog

…home again!

Wowee, the break was awesome! I wish I had had another week. My battery is not completely recharged yet, but, beggars can’t be choosers. And it was fabulous!

It all started with the trip to the Guest farm, which really was  special. As I mentioned we celebrated my cousin’s 40th birthday there, and it was great. We arrived in temperatures of 7°C on Friday afternoon, and left in temperatures of 25°C on Sunday, after Thandi even had a dip in the pool!128(Gotta love her wearing my sunglasses!)  The trip up seemed eventful for everybody! Cousin took 7 hours, after a drive that had even the farmers shaking their heads, considering the passes he drove. We took just over 3 hours, but we were flummoxed by our GPS every now and again, but really, compared to the 7 hours, it was easy! 048The scenery was really stunning! Friday night was all about just relaxing and getting into the swing of holiday mode. On Saturday morning the boys were off to do some off road motorbiking. It was all fun and games, until someone fell off, and broke his hand… So with a bone sticking out of the skin, back home they travelled for surgery, I was just so grateful it wasn’t Charlie! That did put a bit of a damper on things, but anyway, we celebrated in style, with bubbly and lots of laughs. Thandi had a whale of a time – playing with her cousin, horse rides and tractor rides!080  Sunday Charlie and I got up for a run, to run off a few of the previous night’s excesses, and then it was time for a lazy morning before we all packed up and headed home after a tasty lunch.

Then we were home for a day and a bit – a day and a bit of running around, getting things ready! On Monday evening we had a mini Oktoberfest with our German friends – from sauerkraut, to obazta and fleischkäse, to black forest trifle and beer, we had a great evening!136  Thanks TJ and MB!

Then Tuesday dawned and we were off to Umngazi River Bungalows. Ah, one of my happy places!216  144 Despite some serious wind, we had some glorious days! Thandi got to play up a storm with her Umngazi friend, Tay, we got lots of exercise and rest in – running, hiking, cycling, swimming.146 178 173  And there was some eating and lots of wine and fun and games!161 224 Really, for a family with children, it is the best holiday you could wish for, great kiddie meals (Thandi ate more than I believed possible), awesome nannies who take care of the children while you sun yourself next to the pool. I love the Wild Coast, the vibe, the friends we have made, all special! And it was a good time for Charlie and I to recharge and reconnect. Bliss!

157    195 203 love the little girl secrets being shared in this picture…

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Home again

Jiggety jig; home again, home again, jiggety jog!

After a great weekend away with TAFKAD, DrHF, CB, Charlie and Thandi, we are home, following a brief stop in at the neighbours for a little laparoscopy and hysteroscopy for me. Needless to say, I am glad to be home, and am nursing a rather tender tummy.

We arrived in Knysna, checked into our accommodation and DrHF and I went off to register for the half marathon. My nerves were shot by this stage, but I did keep trying to remind myself that I was the best prepared that I had ever been. Funnily enough, my brain knew that, but just didn’t want to believe it! Anyway, after a hearty lamb shank and cauli mash meal, it was off to bed for an early night. I struggled through the night, a bit of tossing and turning, but I made it to 05h00, and then DrHF and I were off to the taxi pick up zone. From there we were ferried to the start, deep in the forest, and then we waited for about an hour and a half before the 08h00 start to the half. My run went according to plan, I paced well, had my energy chew at the right time, and pushed for the last 8kms. I was really chuffed with my finishing time. In a mere 4 months I have come a long way from a 2:55 to a 2:10. Thanks to Coach Mo (soul running, if you want to look him up)

Saturday continued with a gorgeous lunch at Zinzi’s, set in the gorgeous Hunter’s estate, looking out onto the garden; I appreciated the falling rain, very glad it hadn’t happened a few hours earlier when I was still on the road. We enjoyed some delicious bubbly, tasty red wine and a glorious meal (kingklip main for me) all round! Yum! Then a nap and an early night for us, as the 3 singletons hit the after party! Sunday was a casual day, breakfast at Il de Pain, and a wander around the shops. DrHF and I headed off for a late afternoon massage at the Amani Spa at the Turbine Hotel – highly recommended! then finally there were some oysters, some tapas and the World Cup Final (go Germany!)

Monday after a slow start, we meandered down the coast, as I prepared for my date with the surgeon’s knife. we stopped in at the Storms river Mouth, showing Thandi one of the most incredible places on our coastline. Whales were breaching, the sea was fairly furious, the aloes in bloom, it was a very special afternoon. Photos to follow.

 

Greetings!

…it has been a while! I had a glorious holiday, staying at some incredible places – if you are travelling in RSA, I can thoroughly recommend http://www.perfecthideaways.co.za/ as a great starting point for planning an amazing holiday, if like me, you like to escape the madding crowd, embracing silence and peace… No cell phones, no TV’s, no noise, except the wind in the trees, rain on the roof… 096 065 051 048 041Karoo memories!

283 277 230Western Karoo moments, with my monkey in the tree!

393 401 406 441Windswept coastal isolation…

To follow – my Mydiba thoughts, What we ate on holiday!

Back to life,

back to reality… anyone hear 80’s tunes?

Yes, we are back home after a lovely sojourn in CT, seeing the friends was awesome, catching up with some family was lekka, the conference was interesting, the road was long, Thandi was an angel.

Friday afternoon, after some serious toy shopping (Thandi is getting such cool christmas presents), I caught up with my friend, Lou, and it was awesome to see her and her children. I only really notice the passing of time when I see how the children have grown! Charlie and I had a quiet evening and had an early night. Saturday was a shopping extravaganza, for Thandi; gone are the days when this bird indulged herself with dresses and clothes and stuff, it’s all about Thandi now, lots of irresistable outfits were acquired, which given that Naartjie had a sale on, was really worthwhile. On saturday afternoon, we celebrated Jacqui’s stork party, with pink cupcakes, delicious chocolate cake, sandwiches and snacks, and a ton of presents, Olivia’s imminent arival was toasted, yay! And after that, it was off to Sake House in Claremont for a sushi dinner for Charlie and I. Wow, I had forgotten how good decent sushi can be (ours is all a bit substandard here), Charlie and I shared a 2 ocean’s platter, some rainbow rolls, spicy prawn tempura rolls, and our discovery of the night was some non-sushi sushi, sshi want fly, which involved crispy duck in rolls, with plum sauce – ridiculous! After finishing off a bottle of KWV merlot, and a chocolate banana spring roll, we rolled into bed.

Sunday trned into a bsy one, after a delicious breakfast at Melissa’s Newlands (french toast with berries and marscapone for me (and they got it right, crispy toast!) and a full english for Charlie), it was time for a stroll around the Kirstenbosch market, and some more purchases for Thandi – lucky girl! We met another old friend who when I last saw her had no children, and who now has 3! Time waits for none of us, relentless, unforgiving time. And in the afternoon we trekked to Stellenbosch to catch up with my brother, who had been in Paarl for a bar mitzvah. It was good to see them, and to let Thandi interact with them too, she is such a happy beamy girl, that she steals hearts wherever she goes!Then it was home for a Butler’s Pizza (sadly not as impressive as I recall them to be…) and bed.

early yesterday morning, we hit the road, and travelled home. Thandi was an angel, sleeping most of the day, with breaks for leg stretching, feeding and nappy changes, we made it back without any drama. We did however have a rather active and awake little girl last night, who was still going at 20h30(!) eventually collapsing in a heap at abot 21h00, I was beginning to despair. And now its Muesday (you know when it’s a tuesday, that feels like a monday…) and I must work.

Mooching in the Mothercity

So, it’s been a great couple of days here in Cape Town, we arrived in the midst of an unseasonal storm, and settled in to DrHF’s house – thanks for the loan, you have a great spot! It seemed like we had just settled in, when it was time for Don and I to head to the Lindt Studio for our truffle course. Ooh, what an indulgence. On the menu were artisanal truffles, white chocolate and coconut truffles, butter truffles (might sound awful, but they were magnificent!) and almond pralines, which were both of our favorites. So we concocted mixtures, rolled truffles, piped others, let them set, dipped and rolled them, until we finally tasted them, and then boxed the rest to take home and share with our families. Charlie was quite happy to taste the products of my labours and his babysitting! They were delicious! And totally doable at home, which is the best part.

Yesterday was another windy day (I’m sure that’s going to be one of my daughter’s first words – windy) I conferences for half of the morning, then headed off to Cavendish Square to do some light shopping. A few items (no gap jeans though – bloody hell -the only thing I really need!)into the shopping basket, a quick (and delicious) pizza at Colcaccio’s (Mediterranean for me, with tasty chunky chorizo, sweet peppers, sundries tomatoes and roasted artichokes- a magnificent combination; a foresta for Charlie, salami, crisp peppers, feta and mushrooms – another hit, both on ultra thin crispy bases, served speedily by Patrick) then it was back to the conference and a workshop on tying knots, which might sound simple, but doing that through key hole surgery ports is simply bloody tricky.

Yesterday evening we caught up with Jacqui and Pat. Jacqui is 31 weeks pregnant, and is looking so good, she even managed quite a spread, a walk down an 80’s memory lane, with prawn cocktail (so delicious, smothered in pink mayonnaise) and nachos (crispy and spicy)to start, followed by cheddar melt burgers, ala spur, with a Jacqui twist, (delicious chicken fillets, adorned with mature cheddar cheese, smothered in a delicious wild mushroom sauce, with a hint of truffles). For pudding Jacqui served a modified pavlova, with a delicious (completely ridiculous actually) cheese cakey kinda filling, dressed with seasonal cherries. We left with groaning tummies, and satisfied souls. Thanks my friend, a magnificent meal. Served with grace and 80’s elegance!

Today I am conferencing again, and hopefully catching up with another friend this afternoon, later peeps!

Wordy Wednesday!

…it almost feels like the nation has a hangover after yesterday’s parliamentary vote in support of the POIB, Black Tuesday indeed, and I fear that we, as apathetic South Africans finally have the government we deserve. What arms deal? What corruption? What criminal behaviour? It’s classified…

So after a busy few days, we are finally in Knysna. The weekend away with the book club girls was great, we ate well, we laughed lots, we shared some special memories. It’s so great to have such an awesome group of friends! Friday night we arrived in cool, misty conditions, the fires were blazing, and after a drink and a feet upping, supper was ready, and we feasted on a tasty braai. Saturday morning dawned cool, rainy, overcast, so we settled in in front of the fire, with books and chats to go around. An afternoon game drive, and we were ready for our evening entertainment, a magnificent potjie, after a creamy and delicious mussel chowder, a bar quiz, and for the late nighters, a few rounds of ’30 seconds’. A magnificent Sunday awaited us with a walk and a swim, hot and sunny for everyone. Soon it was home time, and Thandi got to meet her great aunt for the first time, she was of course on her charming best behaviour, and smiled and coo’ed at all the right places. Sweet little thing, my girl.

The week began, and as I said in Monday’s post, it was chaotically busy, and I hung on by my broken fingernails, trying to get everything done before we left yesterday. Finally, at about 12, we hit the road, Madam Thandi was a dream, and behaved beautifully on the road, with only one big wail, requiring a stop and a feed on the side of the road. We arrived in Knysna, to find our accommodation such a gorgeous little spot, The Lofts, on Thesens Island. We have a lovely room, on the first floor, overlooking the lagoon, we arrived as the sun was setting, sun streaming into our room, voices of paddlers carrying across the water. Heavenly start to the unwinding of the birdie. Supper was a mediocre to nice affair at Sirrocco, also on the Island, Charlie and I shared a starter of arancini (little risotto balls), which were nice, but cold. Mains, I had seared calamari, which was nice, although the rice was overcooked, Charlie had a Thai prawn stir fry, which was rather delicious, but the outside of his plate was a bit dirty, with a piece of pepper stuck to it. Pudding we had chocolate and macadamia brownies, which were overcooked too, and dry, served with a very tasty vanilla ice cream, we washed it all down with some Beyerskloof Pinotage, always reliable, and a decaf cappuccino, which when it arrived was a coffee… So all in all a nice meal, but the chef at the pass showing poor quality control…

And today we hit Cape Town, and this evening, the Artist formerly known as Donzil and I are heading to the Lindt Chocolate studio for a truffle making course. So excited!

Day 193

…and it’s cool and still quite dark here, Charlie is still asleep next to me, Tenanacious is giving a good morning skop, the morning chorus is starting…still bliss, but starting to miss my house and my friends.

So yesterday, as I mentioned, I went off to watch Charlie paraglide, he started to prepare, practicing some ground work first, and then, as he was psyching himself up to throw himself off the mountain, the wind changed, and that put a stop to that. We’ll try again, we still have lots of time here, so a bit more practice on cooperative weather and he’ll show that mountain who is the boss! It is a very beautiful site they jump from, I was moved by that, and a bit saddened that there wasn’t even a tandem jump in it for me, but that’s the joy of becoming a mom-to- be, priorities change. Anyway, a huge storm blew up, and we had thunder, lightening and lashings of rain.
I also got to collect the body casting from Catherine yesterday, it is beautiful, and what’s even cooler is, she had offered to come and do one of me! She’s prepared to head to our little shady spot, make a cast of me, and any other girls in late pregnancy too, and then make a ceramic cast of me! How cool is that? I’m very excited, I’ll post a picture of the one I bought when I get home, it’s all wrapped and boxed for travel now.

So today, we reach for new heights, as we head, hopefully, to Sani! We’ll do the pass, while it is still a dirt track, and stop at the highest pub in Africa for a drink or hot chocolate (it’s legendary stuff) take some cool shots of this traveling belly of mine, and absorb some of the incredible atmosphere up there. Enjoy your Thursdays!