The big birthday post

Being born close to Valentine’s Day isn’t all hearts and roses. Christmas babies – nay, make that December babies – know what I’m talking about. Everyone’s so focused on the main event of the month that your birthday sort of falls to the wayside. That’s why those of us born in the second week of February have to be clever about how we market our birth date to ensure we don’t miss out.

Luckily, I have a husband who hates the commercialism of Valentine’s Day and scoffs at the ‘I’ll buy you chocolates once a year and ignore you for the rest of the year’ mindset. We like to make each other feel special and appreciated all year round (maybe that’s why we’re into our seventh year of marriage, eep!) But I digress. This was a very long-winded way of saying No, we didn’t go out somewhere special for Valentine’s Day (unless you think a McFlurry is the ultimate symbol of affection), and as a result of that – yes, I had a wonderful birthday weekend πŸ™‚

It involved one breakfast with a beach view and another where I had a slice of Bar One cheesecake at 9am, shopping to my heart’s content, splurging on R5 imported cans of Vanilla Coke, two relaxing beach visits under our new beach umbrella – one with a view of Table Mountain, a delicious coffee milkshake and shared plate of stuffed chilli poppers at Woodbridge Island, travelling up said mountain in the cableway at sunset (it’s free on your birthday, and half price until the end of February – click here for more), a long swim in the pool to beat the heat, egg mayo sandwiches and carrot cake muffins, as well as two scrumptious mom-made birthday cakes for the office…

One of my LOVEly presents
One of my LOVEly presents
You can't see me but you can see my gorgeous view of the mountain on my birthday breakfast
You can’t see me but you can see my gorgeous view of the mountain on my birthday breakfast
We bought ALL the Vanilla Cokes! Well, almost
We bought ALL the Vanilla Cokes! Well, almost
Having another Vanilla Cake with Bassie, on her swing bench
Having another Vanilla Cake with Bassie, on her swing bench
Coffee milkshake and feta-bacon stuffed chilli poppers, mmm
Coffee milkshake and feta-bacon stuffed chilli poppers, mmm
See? They really are stuffed!
See? They really are stuffed!
One of the beach visits, under the new beach umbrella
One of the beach visits, under the new beach umbrella
Me in front of the cable car with our 'golden tickets' (Mine had 'Happy birthday Leigh' printed on it, and the ticked issuer sang to me)
Me in front of the cable car with our ‘golden tickets’ (Mine had ‘Happy birthday Leigh’ printed on it, and the ticked issuer sang to me)
The gorgeous sunset, as seen from the top of Table Mountain
The gorgeous sunset, as seen from the top of Table Mountain
Proof we were both on top
Proof we were both on top
My boy looking down on Lion's Head, which he climbed again with his dad just a few days ago
My boy looking down on Lion’s Head, which he climbed again with his dad just a few days ago
Look at the smoky clouds behind me - wind was very strong. So strong we were warned we may need to return down the mountain
Look at the smoky clouds behind me – wind was very strong. So strong we were warned we may need to return down the mountain
More of the smoky cloud, and the sunset
More of the smoky cloud, and the sunset
In front of the harbour view - still needed sunnies at about 19.45
In front of the harbour view – still needed sunnies at about 19.45
There it goes!
There it goes!
Gazing at the disappearing sun
Gazing at the disappearing sun
And then we got to watch the moon rise! Beautiful
And then we got to watch the moon rise! Beautiful
All the lights were twinkling below us when we got back to the car
All the lights were twinkling below us when we got back to the car
Egg mayo sandwiches and carrot cake muffins went down a treat the next day
Egg mayo sandwiches and carrot cake muffins went down a treat the next day
My two yummy birthday cakes made by mom to take to the office! The famous nutty carrot cake and an amazing chocolate marble loaf
My two yummy birthday cakes made by mom to take to the office! The famous nutty carrot cake and an amazing chocolate marble loaf

All in all, a fantastic birthday. Who said turning 30 has to be a big kerfuffle?

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Three parties, one weekend

Phew. You’d be forgiven for thinking the past weekend was completely crazy based on the title of this blog post alone. But all was not lost – there was still some time for relaxation before, between and after the celebrations…

Friday, 7 February 2014 – Uncle Des’ official 90th birthday party

When one turns 90, one can have their birthday party any day they like. Even on a Friday πŸ™‚ Des is my husband’s uncle, and looks really well for his age. Here are a few snaps from his party at the Zandvlei Yacht Club in Lakeside (I was at work alas, but most of the family made it)

The 90th 'cheese' cake - such a quirky idea, goes down a treat
The 90th ‘cheese’ cake – such a quirky idea, goes down a treat
That's the birthday boy, standing - doesn't look anywhere near 90!
That’s the birthday boy, standing – doesn’t look anywhere near 90!
Most of the young 'uns were there
Most of the young ‘uns were there
Love the 'back-to-front'-ness of this one, of the slightly older set - there's my boy in the background
Love the ‘back-to-front’-ness of this one, of the slightly older set – there’s my boy in the background

Saturday, 8 February 2014 – Boulders Beach, Des’ unofficial birthday braai

Luckily the rest of the family could attend a great family get-together at Des’ daughter Janet’s house on Saturday. What a gorgeous house it is in St James, as you’ll see from the pictures below – but first, we treated ourselves to a Boulders Beach visit. We’d been once before but only walked along the walkway – this time we splurged on the R55 entry fee per person to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, too.

Proof we were there - note pretty penguins near the boulders below us
Proof we were there – note pretty penguins near the boulders below us
I carefully posed near a penguin at Boulders Beach - note the photobomber above my head, lol
I carefully posed near a penguin at Boulders Beach – note the photobomber above my head, lol
Our lovely hostess Janet with just some of the delicious spread
Our lovely hostess Janet with just some of the delicious spread
This is the view from Janet's lounge. Jealous? Very.
This is the view from Janet’s lounge. Jealous? Very.
Dappled sunshine through the trees - looks much like Natal to me with all the greenery - see how many people were there!
Dappled sunshine through the trees – looks much like Natal to me with all the greenery – see how many people were there!
That's 'Ben laden', my father-in-law and Ben's dad, Phil
That’s ‘Ben laden’, so named because of his ‘beard until done studying’ pledge; my father-in-law; and Ben’s dad, Phil
Drinking Hunter's Dry to keep cool
Drinking Hunter’s Dry to keep cool
Hubby with the birthday boy - me in the corner
Hubby with the birthday boy – me in the corner
Clifton with his aunt Sybil - Des' wife
Clifton with his aunt Sybil – Des’ wife

Sunday, 9 February 2014 – parents return to Joburg, tea and cake for cousin Luke’s 18th

And just like that, my in-laws’ time in Cape Town came to an end. Click here for a reminder of everything they got up to this week with us. We had a relatively easy day resting and relaxing, with milkshakes at GrandWest Casino after dropping the parents off at the airport, then heading off to celebrate my aunt Theresa and cousin Luke’s birthday in the afternoon – they live just 5 minutes down the road!

Banana shake for he
Banana shake for he
And a coffee shake for me
And a coffee shake for me
Solemnly sipping champers
Solemnly sipping champers

And that’s all for now folks – hope you’re enjoying the wonderful summer weather

The in-laws’ “between birthdays” visit 2014

The end of January is usually time to slow down from the excitement of the new year. But not in our family. For the past two years this has been the time of year my parents-in-law have come to visit us from Joburg (here’s a reminder of last year’s visit) – it’s the perfect time for them to do so as it’s slap bang between my husband’s birthday and mine, and this year they also had a 90th birthday to celebrate – I’ll blog about that another time though.

Why not blog about it all in one go, you ask? Well, with over 200 photos taken across our various cameras and phones it was hard to pick just a few, but these are my favourites from their first few days with us…

Saturday, 1 February 2014 – collected parents from the airport, explored Hout Bay, had supper at Simply Asia

We had 'Boy' and 'Girl' cans of pop at Mariner's Wharf in Hout Bay along with a fish-and-chipp-y lunch once we'd collected the parents from the airport
We had ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ cans of pop at Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay along with a fish-and-chipp-y lunch once we’d collected the parents from the airport

 

We ate at Simply Asia that night as a delayed birthday meal for the lovely birthday boy. The waiter was kind enough to take a photo
We ate at Simply Asia that night as a delayed birthday meal for the lovely birthday boy. The waiter was kind enough to take a photo

Sunday, 2 February 2014 – we visited the Sunday Market in Milnerton and the Italian Club’s lunch buffet

We celebrated the parents' visit with my parents the next day, by having the buffet offered by the Italian Club once a month
We celebrated the parents’ visit with my parents the next day, by having the buffet offered by the Italian Club once a month
The queue to eat! Such delicious, authentic food
The queue to eat! Such delicious, authentic food
See? Mmmm it was good
See? Mmmm it was good
My favourite coffee milkshake from the Italian Club
My favourite coffee milkshake from the Italian Club
Eating with his mom
Eating with his mom
Not enjoying the dessert quite as much as he did the mains
Not enjoying the dessert quite as much as he did the mains

Tuesday, 4 February 2014 – boys climbed Lion’s Head

Success! They conquered Lion's Head
Success! They conquered Lion’s Head
Taking in the breath-taking view on top
Taking in the breath-taking view on top

Wednesday, 5 February – dogs were walked on the beach, lunch at Driftwood CafΓ©, home-braaied roast lamb

Pretty birdies at the beach
Pretty birdies at the beach
During his walk, Bertie made his way on to some rocks and couldn't find his way back. See the panic on his face? His dad had to hop across to rescue him
During his walk, Bertie made his way on to some rocks and couldn’t find his way back. See the panic on his face? His dad had to hop across to rescue him
Lunch at the Driftwood Cafe is always filled with the sound of ruffled feathers as various birdies come to see what you're eating
Lunch at the Driftwood Cafe is always filled with the sound of ruffled feathers as various birdies come to see what you’re eating
Lunch at the Driftwood Cafe to celebrate hubby's new job
Lunch at the Driftwood Cafe to celebrate hubby’s new job
Very suspicious of this photo-taking business, the cooks were
Very suspicious of this photo-taking business, the cooks were
The only way to cut up left over lamb bone...
The only way to cut up left over lamb bone…
Much to the doggies' delight
Much to the doggies’ delight

That’s all for now, folks – watch out for my next blog post, which will cover the last bit of the parent’s visit this past weekend, including snaps from three parties (two for the same person) πŸ™‚