Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Zip-lining in the Magaliesburg

Posted: April 29, 2017 in Family

Being in the time-demanding careers we are in, with limited finances, N and I decided when we reached our 40’s, not to buy presents, but rather celebrate experiences with our family.

For my birthday this year, N got me a zip-lining voucher for 3, which we cashed in this weekend. An experience I was fortunate to have whilst working at the Sports Illustrated “Ruff Stuff” Challenge  in  Swaziland back in 2010, one which I’ve been saying for years we should do.

We arrived early at the Magaliesberg Canopy Tours, in the Ysterhout Kloof region of the Magaliesburg Mountain Range in the North West Province of South Africa.

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After the briefing and kitting  up, we drove a short distance to the cliffs to begin our adventure

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….off our brave little one went… (with the odd squeal or two to awaken the local habitat )

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….way above the trees…

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enjoying the views…

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the smile getting bigger after each slide…

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precarious cliff face photography..

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some a little faster than others…

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Ultimately, a family adventure I highly recommend for anyone!!

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A Flower girl becomes a bride

Posted: November 26, 2016 in Family, wedding

On the 6th of May 2000, I watched a little 8 year old girl dressed in a beautiful pale yellow dress, with flowers in her hair,  walking towards me down the aisle in a chapel.

 

Little did we realise, that 16 years later, she would, again, walk down the aisle. This time in white with the man of her dreams.

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Yesterday we attended the wedding of Nicole’s cousin Leigh, as she married the man her dreams, Kyle, who clearly, swept her off her feet.

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It was a beautiful ceremony at a most incredible venue Galagos Country Estate. Despite the pouring rain hampering an outdoor wedding, the ceremony went off perfectly in their little chapel.

Whilst Leigh and Kyle had the photos taken…

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(photo credit to Lesley, Leigh’s mom)

… the guests were entertained by live music…

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There was a bubbling happy vibe in the reception, where excellent food and elegant decor made the night even more special

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It was a very special evening for us, experiencing our flower girl getting married.

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Leigh and Kyle, a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

Oh, and lets not forget the dessert plates, on which chocolate print screening thanked the guests.

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And so holiday comes to an end…

Posted: October 9, 2016 in Family, holiday

…sadly. Every year we choose a different place for our annual vacation, and this year, it was Erin’s choice. She chose, quite literally, “Aunty Kathy’s house”.. So off to Somerset West we went.

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Where we woke up to amazing views everyday…

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…beautiful beaches…

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…trips up the coast to Hermanus…

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…walking with hundreds of  Butterflies

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…exciting thrills…

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…checking out lazy lizards…

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…meeting Servals..

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…experiencing the most incredible encounters with cheetahs at the Cheetah Outreach. An experience I encourage everyone to do, to meet these most beautiful animals, and learning of the program the Outreach performs to protect them..

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…amazing foods…

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…and stunning estate wines.

Overall, a well deserved (albeit short) break away from the daily grind.

Next year?… well thats up to this young lady, who is growing up way to fast

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Ballooning at 40

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Family
Tags: ,

Nicole wanted an experience rather than a present for her 40th… So I figured, I know exactly what to do. 

Air Ventures meets at Kloofzicht in Muldersdrift. An early start had us arriving there at 05:30, being greeted by friendly staff with coffee at hand. About 20 very excited people, families and couples, piled into the transport vehicles and off we went to the field … 

2 massive balloons lay in their side, with the seemingly small baskets dwarfed alongside them. 


The hot air started pumping into the balloon, expanded it…. 


.. And finally majestically rising up… 

Both balloons finally up and ready, we boarded.. Each basket contained 4 compartments for passengers, with the middle section allocated for the pilot and 4 huge gas cylinders. 
With bursts  of 1500 degrees Celcius flames, we began our ascent. 


Catching the air currents, our pilot made his way to the gorge, explaining that the cold air flowing down there will push us through at a decent speed… Very interesting watching how he assessed the currents, at times dropping us just above ground level.. Heading into the gorge, we were blessed with a beautiful sunrise 


And then we ascended to 5500 feet above sea level 


Making our way back was entertaining.. Having no control over the direction, our pilot kept directing the ground crew to where he estimated he could land, a few times having them turning them around , then back again… 

We landed very gently on a field nearby Kloofzicht, and when the ground crew arrived, he had 2 people from each side of the basket climb out.. Nothing happened.. Then 1 more each side, and we began to ascend, and landed perfectly onto the trailer. 


Ended the flight, we had champagne and orange juice


Before being whisked away to an amazing breakfast. 

What an unforgettable experience !!

And to wrap up the morning, we each received certificates having “the courage to defy gravity and soar above the earth in a hot air balloon , the oldest form of flight know to man” 


Easter raffle

Posted: March 19, 2016 in Erin, Family, Uncategorized

It seems I have a little bit of luck when it comes to raffles. I’ve come home, much to the amusement of my family, with whiskey, brandy, braais, the odd phone or two every so often. So when the school held the Easter raffle, Erin was determined to win it. Her rules were very simple:

  1. Only daddy can enter
  2. Only daddy can write his name (absolutely no help) on each line
  3. Daddy can only fill in the form on the last day

So imagine our surprise when an excessively happy Erin got fetched yesterday from school.. Carrying (or being helped to carry) the raffle prize.
   

   
   
…A serious amount of chocolate…

   
Now if only I can get that luck working on the National Lottery

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This weekend we traveled to the Midlands to attend Nicole’s cousin’s wedding. We stayed in an awesome rustic house in the Mbona Private Reserve owned by family.

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…thick bush with narrow paths for approximately 4 km (great fun in the rain !!!) to get to the house….

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… and a stunning view of the Albert Falls on the other side…

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… visited occasionally by the local inhabitants.. (this little guy was right outside the lounge window)..

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.. the wedding venue was at the stunning Cranford Country Lodge

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… a tiny chapel overlooking a tranquil lake…

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.. peaceful outdoor reception area..

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.. decadent foods…

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.. great beers..

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… with families reuniting. Nicole’s aunt Soo from the Stayed with us (we last saw her at my father-in-law’s funeral) pictured here with her older brothers (Keith’s siblings)

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.. and the happy couple…

All in all, a fantastic weekend, albeit muddy one…

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An observation on leave 

Posted: October 13, 2015 in Family

With our holiday over, and back at home, naturally my mind keeps going back to our glorious stay. One thing which keeps playing on my mind, and something Nicole and I both noticed, was the complete lack of appreciation to fellow man we saw.

Initially I viewed this as guests in 5-Star facilities just believing they were superior to those “serving them”. I’m a bit anal when it comes to service, and tend to get annoyed when I don’t receive what I expect, but what we saw really disgusted me.

You see, this wasn’t based on poor service, rather the “no care” attitude and impolite action of guests. At the  Valley of Waves, Erin and I experienced this waiting to go down the awesome tube rides. Erin smiled and said hello to the lifeguard, who was controlling the slide, and she seemed so shocked. She returned a massive smile and said we were the first to greet her. It was 11h00 and the water park was packed. From then , I started to observe the interactions by others, and noticed how the lifeguards, waiters and staff in the water park and other parts of Sun City were completely ignored. No smiles, no hello’s or thanks you’s…it was as if they were not there. And the worst part, most of the culprits were children.

Are we the only ones who teach our daughter to treat others with respect? To greet those helping us? To smile and thank them?  Last week’s observations made it seem like that, but I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

Very disappointing indeed at societies complete disregard for our fellow humans taking their time and effort in making our holiday special.

Anyway, ending off my holiday blog, I can at least say it as fantastic and something we definitely must do again.

 ….from getting lost in the Maze….

……crossing over the swing bridge….

 ….swimming in the wave pool…
 …. exploring the bamboo forests…
 ….zooming around on Segways….
 ….admiring rock art…
…sitting on the bridge as it shakes….

  …. playing golf on hallowed ground…
 We relaxed and had fun together as a family, which I will always cherish