Wading through rockpools, new water features and non-braai day 2015

It’s not quite officially Spring in Cape Town until I’ve had one last mystery bug/illness/bodily manifestation of stress to sap all the fun out of things. That’s exactly what happened last weekend – no mention of the Springboks’ #RWC2015 defeat, but it certainly didn’t help. It started with a hacking cough, moved on to body aches and shivers and even included a bit of a migraine for most of Heritage Day, so we’ve postponed our planned braai to this coming weekend.

Luckily I’m finally on the mend, and it wasn’t ALL bad, as you’ll see below…

Saturday, 19 September 2015: Coffee wisdom and sitting at the sea

Mugg&Bean coffee coaster says to be the person your dog thinks you are.
Great advice, Mugg&Bean πŸ™‚
Leigh sits in a very high-backed purple chair in Bayside Mall
I felt positively queenly – and a little bit silly – posing in this far-too-tall chair slapbang in the middle of Bayside Mall after brekkie
Leigh's dog Bertie playing with his bear
Bertie Andrews loves his bear. For some reason he’s pulled out most of the stuffing. My theory is that the animals he sees on TV are 2D, so he tries to make his toys look the same?
Leigh's Husband in the rockpools at Blouberg beach
The weather was glorious so we did some playing ourselves. That’s Husband stomping around in rockpools
Leigh sitting on rocks at Blouberg beach
I got so wet stomping across at low time that I had to sit and thaw out on the rocks.
Ice cream in front of Table Mountain
Still not cool enough, we went further up the beach for ice cream cones. Husband had a cherry swirl, I had butter pecan. Mmm!
Leigh's dog Bertie in front of the new water feature in their garden
Later that evening while I completed last week’s assignments, Husband installed our new water feature. Bertie was pleased

Sunday, 20 September 2015: Breakfast at Greens, doggie walks

A latte at Greens coffee shop in Plattekloof Village Shopping Centre
We got up a bit later than usual on Sunday and drove around a bit to find something different for breakfast – and something different we found! This latte at Greens in Plattekloof Village Shopping Centre was nice and strong
eggs benedict with spinach and mushrooms at Greens
Husband tried the eggs benedict with spinach and mushrooms, thoroughly enjoyed it
Leigh with French toast and berries and bacon at Greens in Plattekloof Village Shopping Centre
You can see I’m looking a little ill and windswept here, but look at my lovely French toast with berries and bacon! We have to return to try other things on the menu…
Leigh's dog Bertie in new walking harness
Later that afternoon, we took Bertie’s new blue harness along to his Granny’s house so he could try it out after lupper.
Leigh and her mom taking her dogs Bassie and Bertie for a walk in Sunningdale
And go for walkies we did! Mum and me took Bassie and Bertie down the road to a secluded park and let them do a few laps, all enjoyed the outing

Tuesday, 22 September 2015: Two pretty highlights

Cupcake with sprinkles in the office
By Tuesday my cough was getting noticable – luckily my lovely colleague had stayed up all night baking cupcakes to celebrate her birthday. Tasted just as good as it looks.
Sunset
The shot’s a little hazy as I took it out the bedroom window that night, but a pink-streaked sky always makes me smile

Thursday, 24 September 2015: Non-braai day

A muesli jar and eggs and beans on toast for breakfast at News Cafe, Blouberg
We stopped in at News Cafe for breakfast – Husband ordered for me as I’d lost my voice. I had the early bird muesli jar for R25, Husband had the new Hangover eggs/fresh juice option – he tried the orange-mango-chilli option.
Enormous strawberries
Our only other joint excursion for the day involved visiting a market and popping our eyes out at the size of these strawberries. We didn’t buy any. I called it non-braai day but Husband did still rustle up the most delicious ginger-chili ribs for us that night.

Sadly that’s all, folks – here’s hoping the next weekend is a little healthier and happier all round πŸ™‚ At least Bertie had an exciting time, so we lived up to the Mugg&Bean ‘fortune’…

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September SEO studies, walks along the Cape coastline and lots of lattes

I’m now into the third week of my 10-week part-time course and my brain is positively overflowing with information that you may well see filtering across into this very blog’s design soon. Exciting! πŸ™‚

Other highlights from the past week include the first true glimpse of Spring 2015 for Cape Town – always a few weeks behind those of y’all upcountry, alas. See below…

Friday, 11 September 2015: Chilly dogs in blankets

Bertie Andrews feeling the chill.
Bertie Andrews feeling the chill.
Bassie Andrews in a blanket.
Bassie Andrews also felt the need to be blanketed.

Saturday, 12 September 2015: Breakfast at Woodbridge Island, post-assignment burgers at Rockstar Diner

Breakfast at Ilha, Woodbridge.
Some pre-brekkie grins at Ilha, Woodbridge Island on Saturday.
English breakfast at Ilha
Husband about to tuck in to his full English.
French toast breakfast at Ilha
You know I love French Toast! This is a stack with bacon and grilled banana, and a cafe latte on the side.
Long Island Ice Tea at Rockstar Diner, Cape Town
Much, much later that day, after Husband had done lots of cleaning and clearing (we visited the local dump twice and that final box that had sat in the garage since we first moved to Cape Town is gone).. plus after I finished my last assignment for the week, we treated ourselves to fancy drinks and burgers at the Rockstar Diner. This is Husband’s Long Island Ice Tea…
Burgers at Rockstar Diner, Cape Town
There we are with our burgers and big grins adorning our faces. You can just see my ‘strawberries and cream’ milkshake, as well as my cheese burger topped with a crumbed onion ring and Husband’s ‘magic mushroom’ burger.

Sunday, 13 September 2015: Breakfast and long walks along the West Coast

Cappuccino at Captain's Kitchen, Eden on the Bay.
First thing on Sunday, we headed to Eden on the Bay and dithered over where to eat. We started out at Captain’s Kitchen, where I had a strong cappuccino.
Coke at Captain's Kitchen, Table Mountain in the background
Husband had a Cola, of course. We then decided to walk “a little up the road” to see what else was on offer.
Blouberg rocks and a red ship
Walk and walk we did! All the way past the Blue Peter, Ons Huisie and the incoming sea. There’s a ship in the top left of the shot.
Walking on rocks by Table Mountain
See? As close as close can be to the sea. Actually I lie. We were walking in the sea later, and I very nearly got swept away when I stepped into a hole in the sand – luckily Husband was right there to rescue me and I only got soaked up to my knees.
Breakfast at Petit Fours, Blouberg
We ended up having breakfast at Petit Fours. Husband had this lovely poached egg concoction.
Tabasco sauce for breakfast
My favourite Boy and his favourite sauce.
Chai latte and mini cheese cake at Petit Fours
For me? This rather delightful mini cheesecake filled with salted caramel and sliced almonds, washed down with a Chai latte.
Sushi on Marine Circle, Blouberg
Later that afternoon we were back in the area and stopped off for a spot of sushi at Best of Asia on Marine Circle

Wednesday, 16 September: Dins at Fat Cactus, Woodstock

Fat Cactus, Woodstock post-work drinks
To celebrate my first assignment results, Husband met me down the road from work on Wednesday at the Fat Cactus
Espresso milkshake at Fat Cactus
For me? A super large espresso milkshake. There was enough in there to fill two glasses.
Pulled pork tacos at Fat Cactus, Woodstock
For Husband, the pulled pork, crispy tacos. He loves them
Rib basket at Fact Cactus, Woodstock
For me? The ‘starter’ rib basket. Husband helped me finish and we brought the rib bones home for the doggies.
Dog sitting on couch with teddybear
Later that night we gave Bertie the teddybear we’d rescued from the side of the road a while ago and cleaned first. He loves it.

Friday, 18 September 2015: SEO studies and delicious tea breaks

Poptarts and cappuccino and SEO study notes
I took the day off from work, so my Friday started like this – chocolate Poptarts and cappuccino breakfast while cluing myself up on the design aspects of SEO.
Chai latte and custart croissant at Carluccis, Blouberg
I had this for a brunch break later with the parents – custard-filled croissant and a large Chai latte. Yum!

That’s all, folks! The weekend ahead is set to be sunny yet windy, so who knows what my next blog update will have in store for you?

Spring Day picnics, sunny beach walks and seminars at the Mount Nelson

Husband picked up a horrible cough last week. Add that to my studies and it’s fairly obvious that we had a quiet weekend – but that doesn’t mean it was boring…

Friday, 4 September 2015: Work Spring Day picnic

Note my floral pumps? Worn in honour of our Spring Day picnic at work last Friday, complete with sparkling wine, pizza and sour worms.
Note my floral pumps? Worn in honour of our Spring Day picnic at work last Friday, complete with sparkling wine, pizza and sour worms.
Ice cream in sugar cones and pretty paper serviettes sealed the scene.
Ice cream in sugar cones and pretty paper serviettes sealed the scene.

Saturday, 4 September 2015: Ribs at the Flaming Fox and Dolphin Beach visit

Apologies for the poor lighting, you can't really see just how large my bowl of 'cheesy bacon' fries is. So big that Husband and I just finished this and 200g of ribs between us. Delicious.
Apologies for the poor lighting, you can’t really see just how large my bowl of ‘cheesy bacon’ fries is. So big that Husband and I just finished this and 200g of ribs between us. Delicious.
The ribs were long gone before they could be photographed alas, but here is Husband with some of the Flaming Fox decor.
The ribs were long gone before they could be photographed alas, but here is Husband with some of the Flaming Fox decor.
After that, a trip to the beach to dip our toes and soak up some sun was in order. That's Husband walking far along the horizon at the water's edge.
After that, a trip to the beach to dip our toes and soak up some sun was in order. That’s Husband walking far along the horizon at the water’s edge.
With that icing-sugar sand I was happy to just sit in front of the Dolphin Beach Hotel for a while and set my brain to screensaver mode.
With that icing-sugar sand I was happy to just sit in front of the Dolphin Beach Hotel for a while and set my brain to screensaver mode.
The mountain looked magical.
The mountain looked magical.

Sunday, 6 September 2015: Primi breakfast, Melkbos milkshakes

With the gorgeous weather continuing, we wanted breakfast with a view on Sunday, and that's what we got at Primi Blouberg. This is my enormous cappuccino mug...
With the gorgeous weather continuing, we wanted breakfast with a view on Sunday, and that’s what we got at Primi Blouberg. This is my enormous cappuccino mug…
Husband clearly enjoyed his breakfast tacos.
Husband clearly enjoyed his breakfast tacos.
For me/ French toast, of course. I chose the sweet option and added a side of bacon and berries.
For me? French toast, of course. I chose the sweet option and added a side of bacon and berries.
Looking for another isolated beach walk spot, we ventured out to Melkbos side. These seagulls were our only companions, for a while...
Looking for another isolated beach walk spot, we ventured out to Melkbos side. These seagulls were our only companions, for a while…
We'd walked up a thirst so stopped in at 'I <3 Melkies'. Here is Husband with his doctored vanilla shake
We’d walked up a thirst so stopped in at ‘I ❀ Melkies’. Here is Husband with his doctored vanilla shake
I had the coffee version. Very yummy.
I had the coffee version. Very yummy.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015:Β A conference in the Mount Nelson Ballroom

There's a statue of Ghandi on the Mount Nelson's grounds - I was there to cover the Media24 Magazine Summit, held in the Nellie's Ballroom. T'was a lovely day.
There’s a statue of Ghandi on the Mount Nelson’s grounds – I was there to cover the Media24 Magazine Summit, held in the Nellie’s Ballroom. T’was a lovely day.
Dessert featured tiny mugs of creamy creme brulee - yes, that's balancing on my knee.
Dessert featured tiny mugs of creamy creme brulee – yes, that’s balancing on my knee.
For afternoon tea we had delicious chocolatey-pink macarons and cappuccino-speckled ones.
For afternoon tea we had delicious chocolatey-pink macarons and cappuccino-speckled ones.
Do you think he's the black sheep of the family, heading the wrong way? Such a cute installation I spotted on my way back home that evening.
Do you think he’s the black sheep of the family, heading the wrong way? Such a cute installation I spotted on my way back home that evening.

Friday, 11 September: Study break snack at Col’Cacchio, Big Bay

Mom and dad fetched me at noon on Friday (I had taken the day off to catch on my studies, there's just so much reading material and group discussions to add to). This was my salted caramel milkshake.
Mom and dad fetched me at noon on Friday (I had taken the day off to catch-up Β on my studies, there’s just so much reading material and so many smaller online group discussions to participate in and Wikis to add to). This was my salted caramel milkshake treat.
See? It was long, tall and delicious.
See? It was long, tall and delicious.
For lunch I opted for the half-price half-half pizza. (So many halves! Plus I brought half home with me.) One of few food items that photographs well.
For lunch I opted for the half-price half-half pizza. (So many halves! Plus I brought half home with me.) One of few food items that photographs well.

That’s all, folks! We’re now two weeks down with my studies and Spring is well on its way, so here’s to another relaxing, enjoyable weekend ahead.

8th anniversary fun at Avalon Springs, exploring Montagu and more

The most common question I’ve been asked in the past week? “Where’s Avalon Springs?” The answer? Just a few steps further down the road from the more well-known Montagu Springs. We were there last weekend for a two-night mini-break, between the madness of the Loeries and the start of my 10-week GetSmarter SEO course. More on that soon, for now let’s look back on some of the weekend away highlights…

Friday, 28 August 2015: Good bye doggies, hello hot springs

While Bassie was suitably sad when we dropped the doggies off at their granny's house for the weekend, Bertie seemed to be thinking ahead of all the treats he'd be on the receiving end of.
While Bassie was suitably sad when we dropped the doggies off at their granny’s house for the weekend, Bertie seemed to be thinking ahead of all the treats he’d be on the receiving end of.
We made good time and before you know it, we were about to enter the Huguenot Tunnel. 4km on the dot, according to the car odometer.
We made good time and before we knew it, we were about to enter the Huguenot Tunnel. 4km long on the dot, according to the car odometer.
Suddenly we had entered the land of sunshine and cloud-draped peaks, how very pretty!
Suddenly we had entered the land of sunshine and cloud-draped peaks, how very pretty!
Of course we stopped off to explore some ancient trains when we were just outside Robertson. We climbed in, on and over them, as you can see...
Of course we stopped off to explore some ancient train carriages when we were just outside Robertson. We climbed in, on and over them, as you can see…
And of course we stopped to photograph the pretty pre-Spring flowers! Silly me squinting in the bright sunlight instead of wearing my sunnies.
And of course we stopped to photograph the pretty pre-Spring flowers! Silly me squinting in the bright sunlight instead of wearing my sunnies.
A little further down the road you go through this hole in a mountain to reach the town of Montagu.
A little further down the road you go through this hole in a mountain to reach the town of Montagu.
After a few more stops along the way we were finally at our destination.
After a few more stops along the way we were finally at our destination.
The check-in person told us to check out the 24-hour indoor hot mineral pool. Check it out we did, and we had a lovely dip later that eve.
The check-in person told us to check out the 24-hour indoor hot mineral pool. Check it out we did, and we had a lovely dip later that eve.
Exploring the outdoor hot baths, just visible behind me. Yes, squinting in the sun again with my sunnies on my head. Tsk tsk.
Exploring the outdoor hot baths, just visible behind me. Yes, squinting in the sun again with my sunnies on my head. Tsk tsk.
Do you see the little dassie at the deck area? They were hidden all around the car park, and on Saturday morning we saw them sitting on a few car bonnets, like cats do.
Do you see the little dassie at the deck area? They were hidden all around the car park, and on Saturday morning we saw them sitting on a few car bonnets, like cats do.
Our deck-facing room meant we had access to a jacuzzi, too - here we are in our brown hotel room gowns.
Our deck-facing room meant we had access to a jacuzzi, too – here we are in our brown hotel room gowns post-dip.
You can barely see this tiny flower bud I plucked from the surface of the jacuzzi!
You can barely see this tiny flower bud I plucked from the surface of the jacuzzi!
We dined in the main restaurant at the resort that night as reception gave us R30 discount vouchers each - just look at how much pinkness was involved in my strawberry milkshake! Even with a glace cherry on top.
We dined in the main restaurant at the resort that night – just look at how much pinkness was involved in my strawberry milkshake! Even with a glace cherry on top.
This is Husband’s “I’m so full as I ate starter snails followed by a full portion of beef curry” face. We rested awhile before returning to the water or we may well have sunk to the bottom!

Saturday, 29 August 2015: Bat cave hike and exploring Montagu

This way to the (upside down) bat cave! Follow me, kids! Note the marshy river we had to cross to get to the cave and back, filled with slippery rocks and pond weeds. That's before we even started the climb up natural rock stairs and even a ladder bit.
This way to the (upside down) bat cave! Follow me, kids! Note the marshy river we had to cross to get to the cave and back, filled with slippery rocks and pond weeds.
Success! Cave hikes always seem to result in the end-point being filled with graffiti instead of bats - click here for a reminder of similar outcome on our Woodstock Cave hike.
Success! Cave hikes always seem to result in the end-point being filled with graffiti instead of bats – click here for a reminder of similar outcome on our Woodstock Cave hike.
Husband admiring the view...
Husband admiring the view…
View from the top - that's the Avalon Springs resort, hotel and cabins with Montagu's springs just visible to the left of them. Note the marshy river we had to cross to get to the cave and back, filled with slippery rocks and pond weeds.
View from the top – that’s the Avalon Springs resort, hotel and cabins filling most of the shot, with Montagu’s pools just visible to the left of them.
Hike done and dusted, we headed into Montagu and had to stop to take a photo of the 'cat crossing' sign. Teehee.
Hike done and dusted, we headed into Montagu and had to stop to take a photo of the ‘cat crossing’ sign. Teehee.
As if that wasn't enough of the odd animal sights for the day, we then encountered a VERY grunty tubby piggie. Husband bravely patted its belly.
As if that wasn’t enough of the odd animal sights for the day, we then encountered a VERY grunty tubby piggie. Husband bravely patted its belly. It squealed. I ran.
Our destination at last, Klipdrift, where Husband did a tasting of four of their brandies. He followed the advice in the sign above his head by “making himself at home”.
Lovely flavoured water for the table when we stopped in at the Rambling Rose for late lunch.
Lovely flavoured water for the table when we stopped in at the Rambling Rose for late lunch.
Another outstanding milkshake - this time an iced coffee with chocolate streaked all around the innard of the glass.
Another outstanding milkshake – this time an iced coffee with chocolate streaked all around the innard of the glass.
Husband's ridiculously good Portuguese roll with fried egg. He added all the chilli sauce you see in the snap, of course. I had spicy Tuscan bacon and bean soup.
Husband’s ridiculously good Portuguese steak roll with fried egg. He added all the chilli sauce you see in the snap, of course. I had spicy Tuscan bacon and bean soup.
Some of the pretty tea things on display at Rambling Rose. I was tempted to try a slice of their cheesecake but was just too full to even try.
Some of the pretty tea things on display at Rambling Rose. I was tempted to try a slice of their cheesecake but was just too full to even try.
Back at the resort we got into our cossies, sped down the Boomslang water slide (yes, me!) and then spent a few hours relaxing at the hot pools. Glorious way to spend a Saturday late afternoon!
Back at the resort we got into our cossies, sped down the Boomslang COLD water slide (yes, me!) and then spent a few hours relaxing at the hot pools. Glorious way to spend a Saturday late afternoon!
Husband's phone did something murky here - that's me attempting a lap around the pool just by pulling along the rock wall perimeter.
Husband’s phone did something murky here – that’s me attempting a lap around the pool just by pulling along the rock wall perimeter.
ON our way back to our room we noticed a waterfall of sorts, so went to explore.
On our way back to our room we noticed a waterfall of sorts, so went to explore.

Sunday, 30 August 2015: Good bye Montague, hello CT

It was drizzly and foggy when we woke on Sunday, so after a lovely buffet breakfast we checked out and started making our way back home. We stopped at the 'Padstal' for this photo.
It was drizzly and foggy when we woke on Sunday, so after another lovely hotel buffet breakfast we checked out and started making our way back home. We stopped at the ‘Padstal’ for this photo.
Stormy grey skies on the trip back home.
Stormy grey skies on the trip back home.

That’s all, folks. We missed the doggie children lots but had such a special time together, with lots of laughs and enough memories to keep us going for a while! πŸ™‚