New Year’s Eve we spent with Camilla, Dennis, Shelley, Jonathan, Samantha (Camilla’s sister) and everyone’s kids. It was a relatively quiet evening. We had a braai and arranged that we sleep over so that nobody would have to drive under the influence. Babyice had a spill on the tiles and while he was screaming I picked him up thinking he was making a very big deal out of it. Jonathan then pointed out that his nose was bleeding! Luckily Jonathan is a fireman and he checked to make sure nothing was broken. It wasn’t. Phew! We let Babyice stay up late and he slept quite soundly until around 02:30. I had to work on New Year’s day, so I decided it was a good time to call it a night. We had our bed set up in the lounge, which is adjacent to the braai room, separated by a sliding door. Dennis and Camilla were still sitting in the braai room and Rudi decided to go outside again. BANG! He connected with the sliding door. I lay snickering while trying to settle Babyice. Rudi then decided to come back inside and take Babyice through to another room with him as he was struggling to settle down. I got up to go outside for a little while too. BANG! I connected with the very same sliding door, not a few minutes after Rudi had done it! Not only did I repeat the idiocy, I did it properly. I walked the sliding door straight out of the frame. Apparently the wheels had to be straightened again. 2012 definitely started off with a bang! It was hilarious. I could see the funny in it at the time, even though I had an egg on my head that was sore for days afterwards!
On the 2nd of January we departed for our holiday we had been planning since last seeing Boogaloo for his mother’s funeral. We had discussed coming through to stay with them for a few days while we were both on leave. We had been looking forward to it for quite some time and even though I am always daunted by the task of packing for a few days away, I managed to do so and off we went. It is about a two hour drive and we managed to make it over and across the mountain unscathed.
Shortly after we arrived there another couple that were staying for a few days also showed up. They are rather a fun bunch. One of them is an events organizer and he bought a whole bag of props for us to play with. 6 litres of Cosmopolitans between 3 of us and a bag of props make for a good time!
Days were lazy…well, for those without a toddler. Babyice slept in bed with us, so we had no incidents of waking up and crying. He would sleep till around 07:00 which was nice. Except on the last day, when mommy had an exceptional hangover, he woke up at 05:45. I was really disappointed, but dragged myself around the house to the kitchen (as not to disturb the other people that were sleeping) and by some holiday miracle after we gave him his bottle he went to sleep for another two hours! The house we stayed in is truly beautiful. My favourite thing about this house is that each and every room has french doors that open up onto the garden. It is amazing and allows a lot of air and light into the house. We slept with our french doors open (since it is quite a bit warmer in Swellendam) each night and alternated taking naps with Babyice during the day with the ceiling fan running. The guest room we stayed in was lovely. It really was. We had a really nice time there and I was sad when we had to leave.
If you’ve ever been to Swellendam, you’ll know there is absolutely nothing to do there, which is great for someone who wants to get away. They do have a Faerie Sanctuary which you can visit. At the time that we went it was only R10.00 to enter. You walk through a lush overgrown garden that has faeries, dragons, faerie towers and gnomes hidden all around. There is a small play area for kids and a small selection of refreshments that can be purchased. The path ends in the shop where you can purchase your own faerie to take home. I purchased one for myself and one for Boogaloo for his garden. The other guests had already purchased him a faerie tower which he had placed there, but there were no faeries. She looks beautiful sitting there.
*apologies for the duplication in the gallery. WordPress’s fault 🙁
Our journey back was safe and uneventful. Luckily we didn’t hit any traffic. When we were driving to Swellendam we noticed a flood of cars returning from that direction and feared we would be stuck in that kind of traffic on the way back. We opted to go through the tunnel this time as I wanted to stop at Van Loveren Wine Estate. Van Loveren Pinotage is my favourite every day wine (and it is really inexpensive too!) and I couldn’t resist buying some straight from the cellar while we were in the area. We are surrounded by wine farms where we live, but this one is quite a distance from home and it is lucky that I looked it up and realized the location before we went on holiday.
After arriving home I decided to unpack and get everything tidy and organized. The housekeeper had been once while we were on leave, but after unpacking the suitcases chaos ensued. I worked hard and managed to get everything more or less back to the way it was. The next day we wanted to take Babyice out somewhere. We wanted to maximize the holiday with as much activity for him/us as possible. I was considering going to Butterfly World, but Rudi had been hankering to go to Monkey Town since before we left on holiday and I relented. We drove out to Somerset West, got a little lost and eventually found our way to Monkey Town. We were impressed by a large play area we saw as we came in, but it is separate from Monkey Town itself, so we headed in. The cover charge is quite a bit and I really thought it was very overpriced. The website says there is an interactive area where you can play with the tame monkeys, we saw no such thing while we were there. The monkeys are cute and everything, but it was really boring. We went to the restaurant by the play area (you can come and go as you please for the day once you’ve paid) and had some lunch, waiting to return to Monkey Town for the chimpanzee’s feeding time. The service was quite slow, the food average, but not bad and the play area is nice. The play area is very large though and it is difficult to have your kid in view the entire time. Lunch was quite pricey. Rudi had hake and chips, I had a chicken schnitzel and a plate of chips for Babyice. I had a milkshake and a Spin, Rudi had two beers and the bill came to R240.00. We returned to Monkey Town for feeding time. It was just as boring as everything else had been. Only one of the 3 chimpanzees was out in the open (it was quite hot, so the others may have been under some form of shelter) and he/she was just drinking from a water bottle and ate one piece of fruit. I was quite disappointed by the venture and the money spent on it. We’ve decided to take Babyice to Butterfly World on the weekend of his birthday.
The entire trip was not a waste though. I called my grandmother that lives in Gordon’s Bay and asked if we could pop around for coffee since we were in the area. We haven’t seen them since last year January after I reconnected with them after almost 20 years of not seeing them. We spent the afternoon chatting with my grandmother and looking at photo albums she had scrap booked. She still has a few photos of me from when I was very small and visited them in Bloemfontein. She also had a couple of photos of my father. I haven’t seen him since I was around 11 years old and even then it was a brief visit of an hour or so while we were driving through Bloemfontein. Prior to that I saw him very little and mostly stayed with his mother when I went there. I don’t really know him at all and it seems he has little contact with his mother at the moment. She did have a photo of my each of my two half brothers. We all look so different. I met one of them when he was a tiny baby (I was very young at the time) and the other I have never met. We have been planning to go and visit them again long before this impromptu visit and have now set the date for the weekend of the 21st/22nd of January. My grandmother kept saying how it’s nice to get to know us and to see how we interact with Babyice. While we were there Medical Detectives came on TV and my grandmother got quite excited about it. I finally know where I get my love of such things from!
On Saturday Leebeesa babysat for us while we went out with Camilla and Dennis to shoot some pool. On New Year’s Eve a challenge was laid down as to who the best pool player is and we decided to determine this by shooting it out! I had no doubt that I would be the worst since Rudi and Dennis play quite well and Camilla’s father had a pool table in their house where she grew up. I played my first game against Dennis and won! I then beat Camilla and nearly beat Rudi in my third game. My beginner’s luck immediately ran out and I only won two more games with a doubles partner. It was nice to get out and it was almost like old times. Time went by extremely quickly and I made sure we head home as to not inconvenience Leebeesa any further. She is really the best and most reliable babysitter ever. I completely trust her with Babyice and he always has a blast with her. We also have nobody else that is nice enough to even want to babysit for us. I try my very best not to abuse her kindness, although she is very good about it.
On Sunday I didn’t want to do anything since I would be returning to work on Monday, but I ended up getting a lot done. I copied and organized a whole lot of series/movies. This took HOURS to do and according to Rudi (who is at home) he can’t find the stuff I copied 🙁 I really hope he is just being daft, otherwise it’s a big old mess and I’m not sure I’ll be able to fix it. I can’t wait to get home to see what is wrong 🙁
I did all the washing, including a comforter that had been lying in the boot of the car for months. It was a lovely hot day yesterday, but when Rudi wanted to hang the washing out, someone had already filled the communal washline. They left there washing there ALL DAY. I was so peeved. I ended up hunting around the complex for another line since we had LOADS of wet washing and we found one that was completely open. Thank goodness! I would have cried if I had to put the tumble dryer on with such wonderful weather. It was a schlep carrying the washing to the distant washline, but it saved a lot of electricity and a little extra exercise never killed anyone. I also washed out the bath, cleaned the kitchen (which looked like a bomb had hit it) and I managed to fit a nap in!
My leave was really amazing. It felt like it was longer than a week. We did so many things and had so much fun. It was the best leave I have had in a very long time! I think having Rudi and Babyice home with me and keeping busy with fun activities made all the difference 🙂