Monthly Archives: April 2010

Day Trips

As promised, here is a little look at the day trips we took with my parents when they visited us for Christmas in South Africa.

Trip #1

Trip #1 was supposed to be a meandering drive through some mountains to see a few waterfalls and then a BBQ at the base of the waterfall.  Total drive time was estimated to be about 3 hours roundtrip.  The reality was a teeth jarring, 4×4 required nauseating adventure with NO waterfalls with total drive time at 6 1/2 hours roundtrip.  We were literally on the edge of a cliff for most of the drive which was ok until another car coming in the opposite direction needed to pass you.  My parents had a super attitude about the whole thing.  We kept joking that the waterfalls had to be around the next curve in the road, the next mountain, etc.  The area we were in is experiencing a drought so the promised waterfalls haven’t been running.  Paul’s brother is the one who planned this trip.  We thought he had been there before so we trusted his time estimates and the other details about the trip–come to find out Henk had never been there before either!  So new family rule #1–only go on day trips with people who have actually been to the destination before.  We finally stopped beside the road for a BBQ only to discover no one brought plates, chairs or any utensils so we ate T-bones with our hands.  Our kids were not very impressed!  The scenery was beautiful though.  We saw some orange and other citrus orchards and my dad claims that alone made the drive worth it.

A citrus orchard

The kids desperate attempt to be rescued!

Some beautiful everlastings

The happy couple BEFORE the treck up the mountain pass!

All in all, the trip was a success in that it gave us a lot to laugh about later.  All of our bottoms were sore and my mom kept hitting her head on the ceiling of the car so I am sure she had a few bumps there too.  The geology was beautiful and my dad kept assuring us that the rocks looked like waterfalls should be there.  I guess we could always go back when it has rained but I think I might let others go and come back and tell me about it.

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We’re Baaaack!

After a long hiatus, I am finally updating again.  In the middle of December we took to the road and headed for South Africa.  We weren’t even 2 hours down the road when we were stopped at a road block and asked to provide driver’s licenses, etc.  African nations LOVE road blocks and especially love it when they can meet American drivers who have an expired license (Paul being the guilty party.) We were asked to pull over, I was asked to drive since I was legal but the policeman wanted to make copies of both of our licenses so that he could show how some countries list the date as month/day/year instead of day/month/year like they do in Namibia and I guess the rest of southern Africa.  So, we followed this guy around town until he found a COLOR copy machine (we still don’t know why he needed it in color).  After a good 30 minutes we were back on the road but some little people needed a bathroom break.  Bathrooms in Namibia tend to be less than hygenic so Paul is very particular that everyone wear shoes if they are headed to a restroom.  Charlie of course could not find his so Paul carried him.  On the way back to the car Paul missed a curb and fell, tearing all the ligaments in his ankle!  I was grateful he chose to sacrifice his foot instead of Charlie’s head but his vacation dream of snorkeling, long walks on the beach and rocks, swimming, etc was shattered even before we were far down the road.  Needless to say I drove most of the way the next 1 1/2 days with Paul sitting beside me in intense pain.  As soon as we arrived at the beach Paul’s dad took him to a hospital and he returned in a huge cast and on crutches!

My parents flew in from the US on Christmas Eve and we were so excited to see them!  They say that all their clothes fit into 2 carry-ons and that all their other luggage was for us!  We had “ordered” somethings from the states but I didn’t realize how much until I saw their luggage.  My parents rented a house close to ours and the kids’ favorite thing to do was to walk over to Gran Jan and Big Daddy’s house FIRST things (as in 6am) to visit.  Luckily my parents are good sports and early risers.  They said they loved hearing them call out to them as they walked up the driveway.

My parents house was a two-story with the main bedroom and living room on the top floor.  They had a beautiful view of the lighthouse, the rocks and the breeze was the best.  Most mornings I would pick my dad up and we would head to the beach for a long walk.  He has the best eyes and would see dolphins or seals in the waves that I was never aware of until he pointed them out.

View of the lighthouse and ocean from my parents' window

The kids had the best time playing in the sand, adding to their seashell collections and trying to catch crabs and little fish.  Annelise was the champion boogie boarder even after getting dumped hard by some waves!  Chapman’s big fun was to take a shovel to the beach and see how deep a hole he could dig.  Once he dug a deep hole and covered it with a towel.  A teenage girl walking with her friends fell all the way in-as in up to her stomach–we and all her friends laughed so hard.  She was covered in sand but was a good sport about it.  Audrey mainly ran in and out of the waves with Charlie.

Ready for the beach!

All of Paul’s family was there with us and we loved getting to play with all our cousins.

We took a lot of day trips with my parents so look for a post on that later this week!

African sunsets are hard to beat!

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