Couldn’t Ask For More

The last few weeks have been full steam ahead. Mom had a list of things she wanted to do in the Garden Route, so we followed her requests.

We went to Knysna and had a wander round the shops. Mom remembered several shops which she had been to when here years ago and most of these no longer exist other than the bead shop. But we had a walk around the waterfront and the kids’ Dad Hugh joined us for lunch.

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The view was stunning and the weather perfect, if a bit hot.

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There was a guy standing on the boardwalk who would dance when given a tip. Mom loved his mad, energetic dancing.

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We had various seafood platters at Ocean Basket and they were delicious.

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I had the seafood platter for 1 which had a delicious piece of hake, prawns, calamari rings and heads, mussels, rice and chips. It was a feast for R110 , which is about $10USD. So, very cheap. We all laughed and had a few drinks, other than Cait who was our designated driver. We had a lovely afternoon.

We also spent a day in Wilderness. My son and his girlfriend have just bought a house there and are moving in a few weeks. It’s so lovely. The view is of open state park ground, so no one can ever build opposite them and there is all manner of wildlife to be watched from their 2 balconies, one off the upstairs and one off the down. So heavenly.

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The view is stunning and so peaceful.

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It’s really lovely. Just about a 10 minute walk away is a stunning beach.

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The little village of Wilderness consists predominately of art galleries, hippy / surf shops and restaurants. We wandered around a few shops at ground floor level as mom can’t manage much more. We went to a cute little cafe called Flava Cafe and I had Thai Fish Cakes which were beautifully spiced with cumin and coriander and Cait had a prawn salad which looked amazing. I was very impressed with the food. It’s such an unassuming simple little place.

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We headed back to Trevor’s place and played Cards Against Humanity. It’s so rude but oh we laughed our legs off.

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It was very funny. My mom loved it but she has a bawdy sense of humour.

We also spent a day at the mall, they had wheel chairs which we could borrow so Lily, Caitlin. Mom and I had lunch and wandered around the shops as Trevor was at work.

We had a lovely visit, all of us hanging out at Trevor in the evenings watching movies and playing games and us girls going on outings during the days.

We headed back to Cape Town after a few days so that we could attend Caitlin’s graduation. She now has a Bcom Honours in Information Systems. I was a very proud Mommy. She worked so hard.

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Later that evening we went for celebratory burgers at Ragafellows. Lovely Vic brought Caitlin some stunning flowers.

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We had a fab evening. I do love the vibe there. Efficient yet relaxed.

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It was so special having my Mom there to see Caitlin graduate.

On Sunday we were invited to our friends’ Andy and Alison’s Summer Solstice party and we trouped off en masse to enjoy a special afternoon. The owner and chef from Pescarne catered the event. He kept it simple, there was a table of starters with crackers, breads, cheese, spreads and other snacks, and a main of a chicken and cous cous salad, big slabs of fillet steak, roast potatoes, topped by either pepper or mushroom sauce. It really was divine.

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The property is stunning especially since the latest renovations.

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It was lovely seeing my friends.

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And it was nice for my mom to meet more of the women in my life. And to have all of us girls together.

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We wandered all over taking pics and exploring the changes in the gardens.

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We went to Chinatown at Century City and then met my friend Di at Maestro’s on the Beach. I had ordered a Cushi for my mom who loves Alice In Wonderland and we were meeting up to collect it and intro my Mom to Di. If you are looking for a cool gift, Di can make a Cushi with any design. http://www.cushi.co.za

Mom loved her Cushi.

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The food is consistently good there – however this time the service was abysmal, the waitress was miserable and pushy. I felt so rushed, however she had told us at the start that the kitchen was really busy so we should order starters. We ordered cheesy garlic bread and then I had the fillet steak. I also had a few strawberry daiquiris. The food was great but we felt pressured to eat and bugger off with the abrasive waitress actually trying to clear my friends plate while she was still holding her cutlery.

Added to this was the weather, dark and cloudy, totally obscuring the view.

We were finished and off in an hour. Not our usual hours long drawn out events. Rather disappointing for my mom all round but we still enjoyed being together.

We had a few outings to the local pub, Woodcutters Arms. I hadn’t been since they opened and I wasn’t too impressed then, but both of these times it was good. I had fish both visits. Lily had Panko chicken. Mom and Trev and Cait the bacon and Brie sandwich. Their chips are very nice.

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My son flew down on Christmas Eve and I made a southern style meal of ham (gammon) cooked in coke, brown sugar and pineapple juice, potato salad with chunks of boiled eggs and browned onions in a sour cream, hellmans mayo and mustard sauce, baked beans in brown sugar, Worcester sauce, tomato sauce, onion and garlic. I also threw in some rosa tomatoes and baby mozzarella balls. We had a loaf of fresh ciabatta bread. My mom had brought vanilla wafers and pudding and made my childhood fave of banana pudding, after eating like pigs we tried to get the dogs in the spirit,

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We relaxed and watched movies that night, just enjoying being together.

On Christmas morning we woke early and attacked the pile of presents.

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I didn’t take many pics as we were all just rolled out of bed, but here are a few of our presents. I was given a gorgeous white necklace from Mauritius which Trevor and Amber brought back,

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And a necklace I had admired at Rock Chic in Hout Bay.

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Lily got cute shoes and tons of clothes.

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Caitlin had asked for Up The Creek tickets and I got her other various bits and pieces. Trevor received mostly clothes but many were a bit big. I also received a stunning African mask from my girls and vouchers, a scarf and sarong, and a plain silver chain and a charger for my apple products from Norm and Trevor and my mom. Everyone seemed very happy. We made a huge feast with a small turkey, yet another ham, roast and mashed potatoes, southern cornbread dressing, carrots, red cabbage,, Brussels sprouts, little pork sausages wrapped in bacon, broccoli and cheese casserole, gravy and 3 different desserts. We ate ourselves into a food coma. It was wonderful having us all together.

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We played Settlers of Catan after dinner. It was loud and full of hilarity. We all love games.

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The next day was Mom’s last as she flew home at midnight on Boxing Day evening. We made a pic of us all and headed off to the pub again.

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We stayed there for a while, it was chilly outside and they were kind enough to move us inside.
We then just relaxed until we had to take mom to the airport. We went for a coffee and waited until we had to get mom escorted through.

She made it home safe and sound, she must have been so thrilled to see her cat.

Yesterday Trevor and I went shopping and exchanged the items that were too big for him and then last night we went to the pub quiz at Woodcutters Arms. We had low hopes as I am the only music knowledge of the lot of us, so we called ourselves the 4 Anchors on the theory that Trevor, Caitlin, Vic and Norm knew nothing and were going to drag me down. They knew nothing about the 60s but were helpful on the movie and TV show questions. They were laughing about all of the musical theatre I’ve made them attend over the years. Living near London we took full advantage and went to the theatre every 6 months. For once it paid off.

We sang, laughed, yelled and laughed some more. We really had fun. We didn’t win, but we didn’t come in last. I’m ok with that.

Today we got up early and rang to see if the weather was fly-ready as I had booked Trevor in to do a paragliding tandem jump off of Signal Hill.

We drove up the stunning drive around the mountain which was busy with hikers and cyclists. There were many companies operating on the jump site, a steady queue of people hurtling off the mountain towards the open air, swooping over the ocean and landing in the park below. We used http://flytandem.biz/

Trevor was fitted in a helmet and harness and strapped to Ant the guy who does the flying. They simply run and jump. It’s amazing.

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While we waited for them to drive Trevor back up the mountain we amused ourselves with taking pics.

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We then headed off to the airport yet again, to send Trevor back to George.

When we got home I straight away got into the pool with a savannah to cool off and mark the start of doing absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow we are popping to my friend for birthday drinks, and then I intend to be dressed in either my swimming costume or my pajamas only for the next week. We still have no plans for NY Eve, if we only do lunch and have a quiet night at home I’m also ok with that. After all not much could top the Christmas I have had.

Being Free

My Mom has come to South Africa for a visit. She arrived late on Monday evening. Hard to believe she has already been here almost a week! It goes too fast, She hasn’t been here since July 2010. And I haven’t been to the USA since BFB. That means ‘before Facebook’ so I can’t look at a folder of pics to determine the date but it was most likely 2005?

It’s quite the trip from Atlanta Georgia to SA and it’s very expensive so it’s not easy for her to come here and I can’t afford to fly all of us to the US, not to mention trying to coordinate all of us getting time off of work and Uni etc. so I am really happy to have her with us.

The 1st week of her trip I was still at work, so Lily and Caitlin and Norm looked after her during the day and in the evenings we all hung out. Tuesday Lily and Caitlin cooked as I was exhausted from staying up late after Mom arrived. We just relaxed at home and chatted and spent time together.

The girls went to Foo Fighters on Wednesday night, so Norm and I took Mom for the best burgers in Cape Town at Ragafellows. We had a lovely evening and she loved the burgers.

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The girls had an amazing night too, so everyone was happy!

The next day Lily came to George with her boyfriend Josh and Cait was attending a wedding with her boyfriend Victor, so I took Mom along to my bookclub Christmas party. We decided to do something different and chose to go for pottery painting at the Clay Cafe, so we drew our secret Santa names and chose an item and painted it for the person we drew. We took our own bottles of champagne and white wine and bought pizzas there. It was such fun, even though I have no skills I enjoyed it. That’s my efforts there with the dots, once fired it should be a deep red inside and a dark blue outside.

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I can’t wait to see them when they are finished.

By Friday Mom was feeling a bit tired from the journey catching up to her as well as our itinerary and all the late nights and so we just chilled out and ordered take aways from our fave Italian and rented a movie.

Saturday we were up early, loaded the car and were off to Mop for me to get my hair done at 930 am. Caitlin went off to find some breakfasts for us and came back with some delicious croissants filled with ham and cheese. Mom has had a knee replacement recently and could not manage the stairs up to the upper floor so she and Cait waited downstairs for me. The funny thing was that Cait had her hair done on Tuesday so Mom and Lily tagged along and they did the same thing. I am sure the staff there thought my Mom was a secret shopper or some crazy lady who only eats in hair salons. She watched one guy Rob cut hair for 2 days and decided he looked so talented she would book in with him even though she doesn’t really need a cut, so she is back in there next week. Hilarious.

After my hair appointment we were on the road down the coast to George, about 4-5 hours away. We arrived late afternoon at my son Trevor and his gorgeous girlfriend Amber’s house. Unfortunately Amber is away working and couldn’t be there. We miss her.

We tried to get Mom to take a pic of me with Trevor and Caitlin but photo taking is not one of her skills. But it made us pack up laughing, I tried to maintain for the sake of a decent pic. It was funny and best appreciated seen all in sequence.

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Last night we all went to dinner at Joplin’s in Wilderness. It is just opposite the stunning beach. It is owned by Rose, Amber’s mom and has the best steaks ever. They keep the menu simple and serve steaks of any cut, cooked in garlic butter and topped with a fried egg and served with chips or salad.

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These steaks are good enough to make you weep with pleasure.

My kid’s father, Hugh, my ex-husband also joined us. That was a milestone for me. We had a tumultuous relationship and nasty divorce. This is the 1st time in almost 20 years that we sat at the same table. It was relaxed and easy. I think we have both put all the past behind us finally. This was a huge shift.

I couldn’t see this pic last night, I am a bit sad that Caitlin has her eyes closed but this is Mom, Caitlin and Hugh.

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And me with Trevor.

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We had a brilliant night, drank too much wine and had far too many shots of Milktarts! A delicious sweet shot with condensed milk, vodka and nutmeg.

My Mom is staying with Caitlin at Hugh’s and I am staying at Trevor and Amber’s. We all went off and then I fell asleep almost the minute I was horizontal.

It is so wonderful spending time with my Mom and my kids. This is what life is all about. I am a happy Kitten.