Nov 12

More Pictures from Week 8 to 9

(8 weeks)

Hurricane Sandy came on Monday and we got to work from home and stay with Violette. Over the course of the day, she definitely grew and was much heavier to hold at the end of the day then she was at the beginning. And, Jeannette swears she grew a bridge for her nose during one of her naps. The rest of the week was good, more fun outfits, and V made her 3rd trip to the salon – not bad for 2 months old. She smiles all the time now, giggles some, and has learned to grab the crinkly wings on her owl mirror.

Jul 10

Sad Goodbyes to Cape Town

Monday, July 5

Cape Town, RSA

We woke up early to finish our packing and say our sad goodbyes to our dear Cape Town friends.  They made our South Africa trip so special and we feel we truly experienced the trip of a lifetime.  We have the best memories to reminisce over through the years and we will never forget the great times we had here, the amazing sights we have seen and the kind and welcoming and fun people we met in our travels.  We will certainly aim to be back.

We left for the airport super early to return the car.  When we saw the gas station by the airport we tried to direct ourselves in to top off the tank, but ended up going the wrong way on the road – our first and only mistake while driving on the left hand side of the road!  On the way to return the car!! That flub had us give up on the gas-getting task, we just decided to return the car as is (we had filled up the night before anyways).  This time at the airport was our first run-in with carry-on weight limits… we had to shuffle some of our luggage weight to Jeannette’s purse to make each bag under the limit.  It was silly.  At the Jo’Burg airport we had an easy pickup by our driver, Lance, and Sylvia called us on his phone to assure everything went according to plan.

Claire, Carol and J:

Our brackets – a few still standing at this point:

Jul 10

Cape Town Day 8: Cape Winelands & Send-off Braai

Sunday, July 4 – Happy Independence Day!

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, and Cape Town, RSA

Our USA flags went back up on our rental car for the day and we wore some of our USA gear to celebrate our Independence Day.  We called Sylvia (from our Jo’burg B&B) for help in arranging a driver tomorrow in Jo’burg.  She totally remembered who we were and was as delightful as ever!  And she got us a driver!  We made one last valiant effort to find stamps to mail our postcards (Thanks again Richard and Carol for taking care of that for us!) and then took off with Claire and Ali on a tour of the Cape Winelands.  We drove through Stellenbosch (and the Stellenbosch campus) and then on to L’Ormarins in Franschhoek for wine tasting and old car viewing.  There is a car museum (Franschhoek Motor Museum) there with a TON of priceless cars on site.  There are so many cars that they rotate the selection through the three viewing warehouses.  Josh really liked checking out the old cars.  After the wine tasting, a worker there gave us a personal tour on the grounds past the historic buildings of the winery with beautiful Cape Dutch architecture.  The worker was quite taken with Josh and was certain that he was famous, but just couldn’t place him.  Ali tried to tell him he was a Kennedy, but the guy thought he saw him in a movie so we told him maybe he thought he was related to Daniel Craig.  It was so funny how sure this guy was that Josh wasn’t related to anybody, but actually WAS in the movies.  After our little tour we moved on to the Fairview winery in Paarl for cheese and wine tasting.  We checked out their goats and then headed back home for a proper braai send-off with Claire and Alistair, Richard and Carol, and Malcolm.  We had a great dinner with amazing people.  We were so sad to leave them.  After Malcolm, Claire and Ali left, we had one last evening of tea and biscuits with Carol and Richard.

Cape Winelands:

L’Ormarins in Franschhoek:

Franschhoek Motor Museum at L’Ormarins in Franschhoek:

Wine tasting at L’Ormarins:

The grounds at L’Ormarins on our personal tour:

The old historic buildings:

Fairview at Paarl:

Cheese (and meats) and wine tasting at Fairview:

Claire & Ali at Fairview:

J, Ali, Claire, & Josh at Fairview:

Fairview’s goats:

Our send-off braai, Richard, Claire & Malcolm:

Ali & J:

Jul 10

Cape Town Day 7: Muizenberg, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay & Camps Bay

Saturday, July 3

Cape Town, RSA

Our previous drives to Hout Bay and to the Cape of Good Hope had left a small stretch of the Cape Town peninsula that we hadn’t seen.  After sleeping off the previous night’s wine and writing some postcards (though no one appears to use regular postal mail service in South Africa – that was a struggle, our lovely hosts Carol and Richard took the hassle on for us! Thanks guys!), we headed to Muizenberg with Claire for brunch at Knead.  There are some super famous changing shacks there for surfers and swimmers.  And Knead is a gorgeous refurbished building, as well.  From there, we drove the rest of the way of our missed loop around the Cape up to Chapman’s Peak, through Hout Bay to Camps Bay.  We stopped at roadside (really, cliffside) stalls for some crafts shopping, but didn’t buy anything.  We were in Camps Bay in time for the day’s first game so we went back to Sandbar.  We got to watch the Germany-Argentina 4-0 blowout and have sundowners (finally, proper sundowners – drinks in hand, with a view of the setting sun).  We also did some more shopping, buying a handmade soccer ball from Vida.  Our loop of the Cape now completed, we drove over the mountain pass back to Claire and Alistair’s house for wine and some Ben time!  We walked over to their neighborhood pub, Caffe Verdi, for dinner and the late Spain-Paraguay game.

Changing rooms:

View from Chapman’s Peak:

Josh, J & Claire at Chapman’s Peak:

We noticed how buggy our car got after our road trip while we were here:

Sandbar at Camps Bay:

Our Sundowners:

Enjoying drinks and the game and the view:

Camps Bay at dusk:

Jun 10

Cape Town Day 5: Cape of Good Hope

Saturday, June 26

Cape Town, RSA

After seeing the penguins, we headed the rest of the way down False Bay to the Cape of Good Hope.  There were all sorts of signs for baboons and Josh finally got to see some on the way into the National Park (Jeannette was taking a cat nap).  The old lighthouse was beautiful and we had a good time exploring around Cape Point.  It was SUPER windy (as will be evidenced in the photos below).  All in all, this day out on the Cape of Good Hope was a very successful trip for Josh’s inner child to finally see where Prince Henry the Navigator dabbled in exploration, as it had fully captured his imagination when he was a boy.  When we left the park, we decided to go home the “quick” way so that we could catch some of the Round 2 Uruguay-Korea game.  We were able to do just that and watch the second half at home before heading back downtown to watch the USA play in the second round.

Our drive from Kalk Bay, to Simon’s Town, to Boulders Beach, to Cape Point:

Inside the Cape of Good Hope National Park:

The old lighthouse:

Hold on to your cap, Josh!

Needless to say, we needed a comb after we left!

You’re looking at the southernmost tip of… Cape Point! (They have determined that Cape Agulhas is farther south on the African continent, though most Cape Towners still talk about the Cape of Good Hope as the southernmost tip.  When you remind them it isn’t, they say “Well, it’s the symbolic southernmost tip of Africa. They have no need for L’Agulhas. Haha!)

This is the modern beacon for the Cape Point.  The old lighthouse is no longer functioning.

A story of the bad hair day to come:

Looking North: