Fun in the sun with the December Joburg visitors

We’ve been looking forward to December ALL year, mainly because we’d have friends and family visiting but also because we’d finally have the time to explore the beautiful city we’ve lived in for 12 months now.

One of the best ways to do so is by using the MyCiti bus, as I’ve explained before it’s relatively inexpensive and reliable if you plan your route in advance (click here for more).

And so, explore we did! Here are some of my favourite moments…

26 December – Boxing Day meal out at Eastern Fusion, Eden on the Bay

Spec waiting for his Boxing Day sushi
Spec waiting for his Boxing Day sushi
More excited sushi faces
More excited sushi faces
The excitement! Chocolate spring rolls with ice cream! Mmm
The excitement! Chocolate spring rolls with ice cream! Mmm
See how good they are? So good, in fact...
See how good they are? So good, in fact…
... That Spec also ordered them
… That Spec also ordered them

27 December – Bussing around Cape Town, Camps Bay

Spec and his brother on the MyCiti bus to Camps Bay
Spec and his brother on the MyCiti bus to Camps Bay
Someone was brave enough to get in the water
Someone was brave enough to get in the water
The rest of us were happy to sunbathe on the beach
The rest of us were happy to sunbathe on the beach
Gatsby time! Our favourite is the tikka chicken one from Durban Diner, this one was enough to feed the five of us for two days
Gatsby time! Our favourite is the tikka chicken one from Durban Diner, this one was enough to feed the five of us for two days

28 December – Breakfast at Driftwood Cafe, train to Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town, MyCiti Bus back home

Saturday dawned cold and drizzly, so we stopped at the Driftwood Cafe for hot drinks and breakfast
Saturday dawned cold and drizzly, so we stopped at the Driftwood Cafe for hot drinks and breakfast
Spec and I enjoying the train trip to Simon's Town
Spec and I enjoying the train trip to Simon’s Town
That was our first destination - the Brass Bell, a hop away from the Kalk Bay station
That was our first destination – the Brass Bell, a hop away from the Kalk Bay station
You can tell from this photo that it was still rather cold
You can tell from this photo that it was still rather cold
Group shot at the Simon's Town harbour after we ate at the Salty Sea Dog
Group shot at the Simon’s Town harbour after we ate at the Salty Sea Dog
Me and my two favourite Jozi lads
Me and my two favourite Jozi lads
Hugging the poser
Hugging the poser

29 December – Ratanga Junction and MyCiti bus (again)

They were tall enough to go on the Cobra, so of course they did - twice!
They were tall enough to go on the Cobra, so of course they did – twice!
Proof that the rest of us were also at Ratanga
Proof that the rest of us were also at Ratanga
Despite the long queue, we couldn't resist the canal boat cruise around the perimeter of Ratanga Junction
Despite the long queue, we couldn’t resist the canal boat cruise around the perimeter of Ratanga Junction

All of us in the bus back home

All the boys in the kitchen, cooking CBP (corned beef pie)
All the boys in the kitchen, cooking CBP (corned beef pie)

30 December – Hiking up Table Mountain for the second time this year, up Constantia Nek

The shoe shot. All wearing the same colour and brand of hiking shoe :)
The shoe shot. All wearing the exact same colour and brand of hiking shoe πŸ™‚
See how beautiful the scenery is? That's Constantia behind us and Muizenberg sea in the distance
See how beautiful the scenery is? That’s Constantia behind us and Muizenberg sea in the distance
Such tall trees that we felt tiny. Very peaceful out there
Such tall trees that we felt tiny. Very peaceful out there
Spec taking in the breathtaking view near the top
Spec taking in the breathtaking view near the top
We made it to De Villiers' Dam on top of Table Mountain - no entry though
We made it to De Villiers’ Dam on top of Table Mountain – no entry though
Two tired brothers outside the Overseer's Cottage on top
Two tired brothers outside the Overseer’s Cottage on top
So many options to get back down the mountain! We chose the shortest route of course
So many options to get back down the mountain! We chose the shortest route of course
Happy hikers on our way back down the mountain
Happy hikers on our way back down the mountain
Success! We conquered the Constantia Nek trail both ways
Success! We conquered the Constantia Nek trail both ways

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Christmas 2013 with the Joburg rellies

Ah, Christmas time. I am fully in Christmas mode once I’ve had my annual viewing of ‘Love, Actually’ for the year. And while December’s not exactly a ‘mistletoe and wine, snowy winter wonderland’ in South Africa, it’s still a favourite holiday for many.

Last year was a different one as it’s the first Christmas in almost a decade that we didn’t spend with hubby’s family (click here for a reminder).

This year was especially special for us as some of the Joburg rellies we’d not seen in months came down to spend time with us. In addition to brother-in-law Spec (click here for more of his early Cape Town adventures), we have Gords and Natalie in the house… and their visit is all the more special as they got engaged at Sunset Beach on Christmas Eve! So, lots of excitement all in all.

Added to this, it was our first ever year hosting the main Christmas meal, but with minimal stress (mainly on my part, as I’m the worrywart in this family), we produced an excellent spread! Clifton braaied the turkey based on a combination of advice from his dad and recipes he picked up online, mom made her famous potato salad with sausage and gherkin bits, there was gammon with candied clementines, and for dessert mom outdid herself with the best trifle ever (cherry jelly, custard, a base of Christmas cake, cream and fresh cherries and blackberries, mmm).

Here are some pics of the celebrations…

Christmas Eve – 24 December 2013

The pretty tree - finally put the lights up on Christmas Eve!
The pretty tree – finally put the lights up on Christmas Eve!
While Gords and Nats went to Sunset Beach on Christmas Eve, the three of us stayed home and ate pizza while waiting to hear if she'd said yes
While Gords and Nats went to Sunset Beach on Christmas Eve, the three of us stayed home and ate pizza while waiting to hear if she’d said yes
Still trying to distract ourselves from the suspense of waiting to hear if she said YES with some Dance Central! (She did) :)
Still trying to distract ourselves from the suspense of waiting to hear if she said YES with some Dance Central! (She did) πŸ™‚
The lovely engaged couple on Sunset Beach
The lovely engaged couple on Sunset Beach

Christmas Day – 25 December 2013

Bassie getting into the Christmas spirit
Bassie getting into the Christmas spirit
Just some of the doggies' presents
Just some of the doggies’ presents
Bertie took his present outside but didn't manage the complicated opening process
Bertie took his present outside but didn’t manage the complicated opening process
"Daddy help us open it!"
“Daddy help us open it!”
Bassie REALLY enjoyed all her Christmas treats!
Bassie REALLY enjoyed all her Christmas treats!
Christmas conversation in full swing
Christmas conversation in full swing
My lovely family - hubby, dad and mom <3
My lovely family – hubby, dad and mom ❀
Waiting not-so-patiently for the turkey to finish it's cooking process - those are hungry grins!
Waiting not-so-patiently for the turkey to finish it’s cooking process – those are hungry grins!
Mmm, turkey in the Weber
Mmm, turkey in the Weber
Braaied turkey on a base of potatoes with bacon topping - success!
Braaied turkey on a base of potatoes with bacon topping – success!
Proving her status as dessert queen! Best homemade tiramisu and trifle ever
Proving her status as dessert queen! Best homemade tiramisu and trifle ever
Puppies having a nap with granny, all tuckered out after Christmas lunch
Puppies having a nap with granny, all tuckered out after Christmas lunch
Cooling off in the pool
Cooling off in the pool

Boxing Day – 26 December 2013

Boxing Day breakfast pizza and Coke at Primi - Spec had the same, I had a more sophisticated croissant and cappuccino
Boxing Day breakfast pizza and Coke at Primi – Spec had the same, I had a more sophisticated croissant and cappuccino
Above Noordhoek - the water was so beautiful today
Above Noordhoek – the water was so beautiful today
Above Muizenberg on our Boxing Day drive
Above Muizenberg on our Boxing Day drive

That’s all for now folks, keep an eye out for more pics of the Joburg visit to Cape Town – coming soon…

Spec arrives in Cape Town!

To distract everyone from the rather awful cricket match we just watched (match-fixing if I ever saw it), have a look at some of the excitement from the Andrews household this past week.

My brother-in-law Spec (or Derek, to those who aren’t in the know) has been the focus of my blog just once before, when he turned 30 – click here for a reminder.

He arrived at Cape Town International Airport last Wednesday evening having flown in from Lanseria, so we went to collect him from his shortest flight ever – sadly I JUST missed the reunion hug after these two had been apart for a whole year… if you don’t count the weekend we flew up for my dad-in-law’s 70th in April.

Wednesday, 18 December: Cape Town airport and home base

The eagle has landed!
The eagle has landed!
Bertie greeting Uncle Spec
Bertie greeting Uncle Spec

Thursday, 19 December: CafΓ© Villagio at Sable Square and pool side, home base

Name on the Coke can is just right
Name on the Coke can is just right
Posing at the pool
Posing at the pool

Friday, 20 December: pool side, home base

Dad and me having fun in the pool
Dad and me having fun in the pool
Mom, Spec and Bassie had already had their pool time
Mom, Spec and Bassie had already had their pool time

Saturday, 21 December: Grand West Casino and Burger King on Heerengracht Street

Very pretty Christmas scene in Grand West Casino
Very pretty Christmas scene in Grand West Casino
Couldn't resist taking a photo at the booth
Couldn’t resist taking a photo at the booth
Spec has his first South African Burger King experience
Spec has his first South African Burger King experience

Sunday, 22 December: Waterfront, Long Street (we’re not crazy – went by bus to prevent a parking problem!) and home base

A free litchi-flavoured ice cream for me at the Waterfront
A free litchi-flavoured ice cream for me at the Waterfront
Spec had passion fruit
Spec had passion fruit
So did his (reluctant) cowboy-hatted brother
So did his (reluctant) cowboy-hatted brother
We couldn't resist a photo at this sculpture in town after exploring Long Street
We couldn’t resist a photo at this sculpture in town after exploring Long Street
Spec enjoying his second ever Gatsby - this is a chicken tikka one from Durban Diner
Spec enjoying his second ever Gatsby – this is a chicken tikka one from Durban Diner

There’ll be more pics up soon as the rest of the ‘Joburg invasion’ arrives tomorrow, so keep an eye on my blog πŸ™‚

One year in Cape Town!

A lot can happen in a year. And a lot HAS happened this year.

Some bad but mostly good, and it feels like just an eyeblink since we were planning our big move from Joburg to Cape Town (click here and here for a reminder).

With this long weekend marking the end of the 10-day mourning period for Madiba, it feels as though we can finally breathe a bit, brush off some stress and get into holiday mode before our Joburg guests arrive… which is just what we did to mark the anniversary of our first year in Cape Town! See below πŸ™‚

Thursday 12 December

Beautiful clouds and sunset
Beautiful clouds and sunset
Lovely clouds scudding over 'our' mountain
Lovely clouds scudding over ‘our’ mountain
Jump for joy on the beach
Jump for joy on the beach
Doodles at sunset last week - look how full it is! Just look at it!
Doodles at sunset last week – look how full it is! Just look at it!
Victorious!
Victorious!

Friday, 13 December

Pondering his "I'm on holiday" steak at the Driftwood Cafe
Pondering his “I’m on holiday” steak at the Driftwood Cafe
What big eyes I have! That's an almond-crusted camembert wheel with figs and honey-roasted nuts
What big eyes I have! That’s an almond-crusted camembert wheel with figs and honey-roasted nuts

Saturday, 14 December

Sampling the sushi buffet at Trologos
Sampling the sushi buffet at Trologos

Sunday, 15 December

Bertie sitting on the comfy cushions
Bertie sitting on the comfy cushions
I usually have a doggy 'book end' when I read in the lounge
I usually have a doggy ‘book end’ when I read in the lounge
This is how we wait for Granny and Grampa to arrive for a visit
This is how we wait for Granny and Grampa to arrive for a visit
Bassie and Granny getting some sun
Bassie and Granny getting some sun
Bertie smiling as he licks clean his paper plate of potato salad
Bertie smiling as he licks clean his paper plate of potato salad

Monday, 16 December

No better way to wash down a fruit mince pie than with coffee in a reindeer mug
No better way to wash down a fruit mince pie than with coffee in a reindeer mug
Hair blowing in the breeze as I enjoy an ice cream on the beach
Hair blowing in the breeze as I enjoy an ice cream on the beach

It’s been a wonderful first year here, but boy are we glad it’s time to unwind! πŸ™‚

Have a great week, everyone…

A very puppy potjie

Fretting over the title of this blog post? Don’t worry folks, we didn’t decide puppy would be a great flavour for our most recent potjie.

It’s just then when I looked through the photos I had taken, I noticed either Bertie or Tabasco (or both) appeared in almost every photo πŸ™‚

See what I mean…

Bassie and me contemplating the non-alcoholic blue drink
Bassie and me contemplating the non-alcoholic blue drink
Bassie guarding the potjie with her dad :)
Bassie guarding the potjie with her dad πŸ™‚
Bassie getting some attention from Danni
Bassie getting some attention from Danni
Bertie getting in on the action too
Bertie getting in on the action too
The best puppy dog face!
The best puppy dog face!
Chewing her Ghostpop with gusto while Bertie waits patiently for his (excuse finger blur in corner of screen)
Chewing her Ghostpop with gusto (excuse finger blur in corner of screen)
See who's looking hopeful under the table?
See who’s looking hopeful under the table?
Dessert! And no puppies in this one :)
Dessert! And no puppies in this one πŸ™‚

The Muscadel was delicious (read more about it here) and the strawberry ice cream that Frank brought with for dessert was heavenly – lucky fish works at The Creamery, tasting the lovely flavour combinations.

All in all a great (puppy-filled) afternoon, with a gorgeous streaky sky at sunset:

Beautiful sky at about 8pm
Beautiful sky at about 8pm