Hi all,

Happy New Year from the fairest Cape! Can you believe it is now 2010? Not only the start of a new year, but also a new decade, as well as the hosting of the World Cup in South Africa! Before I chat about the awesomeness of the New Year, I need to rewind to the start of the week leading up to the festivities.

Monday morning, still in Johannesburg, was hectic. No, it was super hectic! Mom, Dad and I were up early and ready to rock and roll. First we headed out to Midrand where Mom and Dad have a storage bin. Dad was on his bike, and Mom and I followed in the car, filled to the brim with Christmas decorations and some other odds and ends that needed to go into storage. Mom had already taken down the Christmas tree the day before, and since we didn’t need the decorations for another 12 months they were safely locked into storage. We also decided to leave Dad’s bike in storage, as opposed to at home – Dad has on more than one occasion tried to put a cover over it, but every time Roxy has taken great pleasure in tearing it off and shredding it.

I was asleep by the time Mom and I joined Dad at the storage bin. So when I woke up, Dad was driving and the car no longer looked like a removal truck! Our next stop was Cresta where we went to the German shop Lohmiller to get a travel bed for me. There we spent while chatting, in German, to the nice lady that runs the store. I got a new German pop-up book and Dad selected a bed for me. I watched with suspicion the tightly packed small circular bag that Dad bought and I wondered how I would ever fit into that? Additionally, there was lots of discussion about whether to get a self inflating mattress or a hand pump operated one. Dad settled on the self inflating model. We also picked up a set of sunglasses for Mom, and Dad popped into the tattoo shop to find out if he could have the infinity symbol on his ring finger darkened. Mom also has one in the same spot – they’re so cute, my parents. Unfortunately the tattoo artist was on leave, so another plan will have to be made.

Back home, after a snack, Mom went for a facial while Dad and I did some final errands, including getting additional supplies of dog and cat food for the house sitter (well, actually for the house sitter to use for the dogs and cats. By late afternoon we all arrived home again, but pretty soon we were heading to The Full Stop in Parkhurst for a quick visit with Bev and Claire – I slept through the visit on a blanket rolled into a mattress on the floor. I had a great snooze.

In the evening there was some frantic packing, and Dad took the house sitter through the drill of the daily goings ons of the house such as lights, the animals, ongoing chores, etc.

Tuesday morning I woke up to discover Granny had arrived during the night and had slept over. Mom and Dad went through the drill of packing and gathering stuff and putting them in the car. Pretty soon I too was bundled into the car and we were heading to the airport.

Arriving at the airport we felt like royalty as Dad simply pulled up to the drop-off zone and within seconds a team of guys were unpacking the car. Next some details were discussed between my Dad and the gentleman from DinersClub that would be looking after the car and the car was driven off to be stored. Within a few steps we were at the departures desk and we were watching our suitcases being careered along a conveyor belt. We had some time before we were scheduled to board so Mom and Dad took Granny and I to the executive lounge (also DinersClub) where we fell into the lap of luxury. There were massive plush arm chairs that were super comfortable and nearby was a buffet of food and drinks that we could simply help ourselves to – it was all free! I sensed I had made a good choice in picking my Mom and Dad as parents as they really knew how to travel in style.

We relaxed in the lounge for some time and fortunately for us our departure gate was immediately in front of the entrance to the executive lounge, so we didn’t even have to walk far.

We settled into our seats – me on Mom’s lap with Dad and Granny on either side of Mom. The flight left perfectly on time, and pretty soon we started to taxi toward our designated runway. All this time Dad was telling me what was going on, and what the pilot was doing at that time. Soon I felt the awesome thrust of the massive Rolls Royce turbines hurtling us along the runway, and then the next moment there was no more rumble, no more vibration, just the sound of the massive turbines – I realised we were airborne. This was my first ever flight and I loved it. We climbed for quite a while to reach cruising altitude (the weather was very hot and humid, and this affected the lift of the bird). I was having a ball – Mom and Dad were chatting to me, and every so often I glimpsed out the window and noticed the earth below us getting smaller and smaller, with fewer things being recognisable, and only patterns of large structures being noticeable. At cruising height the seat belt indicators were toggled off and drinks were served. We order a round, and soon after Dad took me for a walk about the plane – it was awesome, everywhere there were important controls, notices, buttons and levers. In the galley we discovered heaps of emergency equipment which Dad explained to me in detail. Lunch was announced and we returned to our seats. We all dined on some really awesome pasta, and then both Dad and I opted for a snooze. I awoke to discover we where standing at another conveyor belt (called a carousel) where we collected our luggage.

More importantly I realised I was in Cape Town!!!! Celebrations!!!! I had been waiting for this moment for what seemed like forever. It was a stunning day and the weather was incredible. After gathering up our luggage we collected our rental car (a Renault) and I was presented with a bucket and spade by the lovely lady at Eurocar. Dad crammed all the luggage into the car, and Mom adjusted my rented car seat (it did take Mom and Dad a while to figure out how it worked – I found it somewhat amusing).

After a short journey we arrived at Blouberg where we met a lady who handed us the keys to our apartment; it was awesome, a luxurious three bedroom place. We were going to be very comfortable here. And not only was the apartment great, but the view was incredible! From the balcony it felt like I could reach across the bay and touch Table Mountain. It was magnificent! I’d seen pictures of it, but I’d never realised how awesome it actually was. All I could think was wow!

Once we’d settled down Mom and Dad left me in Granny’s care and they headed out to the shops to buy some basics which they’d opted not to bring with. On their return all four off us went for a walk across the road and down to the beach – even though it was late in the afternoon we’d all agreed that a quick visit to the beach was mandatory. I played a bit and Mom and Dad took me to the water’s edge. It was a little windy and cool, so we didn’t stay on the beach too long.

Back at the apartment Dad started getting me ready for my bunzy run, but I protested, as it wasn’t even dark outside. Dad then explained to me that in Cape Town the sun set at about 8pm in summer, and not 6:30pm like it did in Johannesburg. I felt strange being ready for bed, drinking my last bottle of the evening, and it was still light outside! Well, I guess that’s what holidays are for – new experiences.

On Wednesday morning we woke up to incredible weather, so a walk on the beach in the morning was in order. After a stunning visit to the beach we all decided that a snooze was in order. We all felt very refreshed for the afternoon, which was great, as we were heading off to cousin Linda’s place. I was overwhelmed with excitement, as I’d never met Linda before, but I’d got so many messages from her over the past 18 months. We arrived and massive amounts of hugs were shared all-round. Linda even shed a few tears of happiness at meeting me. I just flashed a huge smile to her and hugged her. After meeting cousin Linda I got big hugs from Lisa, whom I’d met a few month before in Jo’burg. My next awesome surprise was to meet Lisa’s girls Jenna (6) and Erin (4), who were also my cousins therefore! It was great to meet the girls and we played and played. I also spent some chatting to Wayne, Linda’s husband, and he even braai’ed for us. We had a stunning afternoon catching up, getting to know my cousins, and playing really hard.

Breakfast at Eden Bay’s Café Sofia was the order of the day on Thursday morning. There we met up with Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne (meeting lots of Wayne’s of this holiday). We had a stunning breakfast together, and after we let our food settle we headed out onto the beach at Big Bay. It was a stunning day again and I stormed up and down the beach. Admitedly I didn’t enjoy this beach as much as the one by our apartment, as the sand here was quite muddy and looked like wet cement. On the upside, the tide was out, so Big Bay’s enormous beach area was my playground. I crawled up the beach and down the beach, I stormed to the water’s edge and back, and I successfully demolished every sandcastle Dad constructed for me! Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne spent the time with us on the beach. It was a really stunning morning.

Afterward we headed back home, and as is customary on holiday, it was time for all of us to have a snooze. Linda came to visit in the afternoon and we all chatted and spent time together. During Linda’s visit, Shannon and Adolf popped in for a quick hello as well. I was left in Granny and Linda’s care as Mom and Dad started getting ready to go out – it was New Year’s Eve and Mom and Dad were heading out to the Buena Vista Social Café with Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne for some heavy partying. As Mom and Dad were getting ready to leave it emerged that chaos had broken out at Aunty Kim’s place back in Jo’burg. She too was on holiday, but in Knysna, and their house sitter had called Granny to say one of the dogs had attacked the other dog. No one, still in Jo’burg, would help as it was New Year’s Eve, so Mom was left trying to resolve the matter from 1200km away, which she did incredibly well. Granny, Linda and I watched the proceedings from a distance, and by the time Mom and Dad left to go into town Mom had arranged a doggy ambulance and a vet to attend to the animal.

Granny, Linda and I bid Mom and Dad farewell, and I knew the next time I saw them it would be 2010! Linda visited with Granny and I for a while longer, but pretty soon I had to retire to bed, as I felt it was late. At about midnight I did briefly wake up as I heard fireworks practically outside my bedroom window. Granny soothed me, as Mom and Dad wouldn’t be home for another while.

I did hear Mom and Dad come home well after midnight, and soon after they too were in bed sleeping.

The next morning New Year’s wishes were exchanged all around and before long Granny, Mom and I walked up to the local shops for ice cream. Dad had taken charge of my morning cares, but he was quite tired from the previous evening’s late night so he opted to have a bit of a snooze while we walked to the ice cream parlour. As had become custom, a midday snooze was on the menu, and afterward we headed out to the Blue Peter to meet some friends. After finding parking we marched into the Blue Peter where we met Wendy, Kerry, Clyde and Alicia. We visited for a while, and then Linda and Wayne joined us. Kerry, Alicia, Clyde, Dad and I headed to the beach for some sandy playtime for me; I loved the beach – anytime, any day and any weather!

Saturday we decided to take advantage of the awesome weather so we headed off to Big Bay in the morning. Dad set up my UV shelter and we played hard making sand castles and digging holes. Mom and Granny left us for a long walk up the beach, during which time Daddy and I bonded playing in the sand in the water. I started getting tired, and it was getting hotter and hotter, so we headed home to get out of the midday heat. Snoozes were issued all-round, and by mid afternoon plans had been made to meet Linda, Lisa, Jason, Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne on the beach opposite our apartment. Mom, Dad and Granny took three steps onto the beach (Dad carrying me), and we ditched the idea as a bad plan – the sand had gotten so extremely hot that there was no way I could sit and play on the beach.

Alternate plans were hurriedly made and we let everyone know we where heading back to Big Bay – although the beach sand there was like muddy cement it was cool as it was permanently wet. It seemed everyone had the same idea as parking was a nightmare! Eventually we settled down, and everyone managed to locate us. Linda, Wayne, Aunty Birgitt and Uncle Wayne visited with Mom, Dad, Granny and I. A short while later Lisa and Jason arrived with the girls, Jenna and Erin. We were one big happy family on the beach. The girls and I played while the adults chatted and entertained us.

We spent a long while on the beach and then we all headed to our apartment for dinner that Linda had prepared. I was so excited at having a full house of guests. Dad, Jason and Uncle Wayne were sent on a mission to buy alcohol, but after visiting seven liquor stores Dad conceded that the liquor laws in Cape Town were indeed 10 times stricter than they were in Johannesburg. Linda had however come to the rescue and raced home (to her neighbours) and raided their pantry of alcohol. Dad wanted to know where we could get neighbours like that?!

The evening was spent with everyone chatting and eating and drinking, but again I had to retire before the party was over. Throughout the evening I heard some hard partying going on, and by late in the evening I heard the last guests giggling goodbyes.

Sunday morning we woke up to find the day cooler and overcast, so it was the perfect opportunity to visit the beach opposite our apartment. We sat there and played for ages; Dad built sandcastles and sink holes. Mom and Dad even buried me in a massive hole Dad had dug, and I thought it was really funny!

With the weather not being 100% summery, we then opted to go to the Two Oceans Aquarium. We’d planned to be there in time for the shark feeding – but first we needed to be fed! So we had a super healthy lunch at Melissa’s at The Waterfront and after wondering around the stores we headed to the aquarium. We zoomed through the first part of the aquarium at speed, with the intention of seeing it again later. Even though we arrived at the shark tank’s amphitheatre 40 minutes before their feeding time, it was already filled with spectators. Mom, Dad, Granny and I went to the base of the tank and settled on the carpet – perfect viewing. As the sharks, turtles and rays’ feeding time approached there was much frenzy of activity, both in front of and in the tank! We weren’t disappointed, as soon three divers appeared with food (dead fish) spiked on long sticks to do the ‘targeted’ feeding of the sharks and turtles. I found it really fascinating. The turtles even had their own different coloured cutting boards from which they ate – and they knew which was their designated colour of cutting board. Most impressive. After the feeding at the tank, we wandered through the remainder of the aquarium and then through The Waterfront.

Pretty soon the day was drawing to a close and it was time to head home. Wow, my first week in Cape Town had drawn to a close, and what a stunning week it was.

In addition to a stunning weeks’ of holiday, and meeting some new cousins, I also now stand on demand, and for really long periods. I reckon at this rate walking is just on the horizon.

By for now, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!



Figure 1 Loving the Executive Lounge at the airport

Figure 2 We’ve arrived in Cape Town

Figure 3 First time on the beach in Cape Town

Figure 4 The Sea!

Figure 5 Checking out Table Mountain

Figure 6 We discovered a shipwreck in front of our apartment

Figure 7 Our view

Figure 8 Meeting Jenna and Erin for the first time

Figure 9 Playing with Jenna and Erin

Figure 10 Going for a walkabout

Figure 11 Hanging out with Granny

Figure 12 Me and the girls! (f.l.t.r. Jenna, Mom, Linda, Lisa and Erin)

Figure 13 With cousin Linda

Figure 14 Bathies in Cape Town

Figure 15 Mom and I chuckling at Café Sofia

Figure 16 Aunty Birgitt and I

Figure 17 Beach time at Big Bay

Figure 18 Spending some time with Mom on the beach in front of The Blue Peter

Figure 19 Beach crawler

Figure 20 Loving the surf

Figure 21 Last sunset of 2009

Figure 22 Afternoon snack

Figure 23 Passed out from a heavy day’s beaching

Figure 24 Let me out – need to get to the beach

Figure 25 Buried in the sand

Figure 26 Dad and I playing on the beach

Figure 27 Finding Nemo

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