So after being on leave for two weeks, I’m baaacccckkkkkk 🙂 I am rested, refreshed and ready to tackle the last few months of 2018.
Our trip to PE was absolutely amazing!!!! Somebody actually said to me at work this morning that in all the years she’s known me, this is the first time that she’s heard me describe a family holiday away as amazing and she’s possibly right. We just had the best time.
Remember I was afraid of the long distance drive with the boys?! Well, they were absolute stars. In general, our kids hardly sleep in the car and true to form, they really didn’t sleep much on this trip, but they thoroughly enjoyed the drive. Of course we went prepared! Before we left, I bought them a variety of activities to do in the car – from plastic peg boards to beads with pipe cleaners for art, colouring and activity and sticker books and then the cherry on top…portable DVD screens for the cars which we only gifted to them half way on the journey 🙂 🙂 🙂 – they were kept entertained and hardly complained in the car.
We also played a lot of games that we grew up playing on long trips when we were kids, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. On the first day, we drove for 7 hours and arrived at our destination De Stijl Hotel Gariep Hotel. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to really experience the hotel fully because it was already nearing 10pm at that stage. All I wanted to do was get the boys into bed so that we could relax after the long drive, but on the drive back, we stayed at the same place and as we arrived just after 4pm on that day, we got to experience the hotel and it really was lovely. Absolutely ideal for our family. For the first time, we all slept in one room and it worked fine…clearly the kids are getting older 🙂 When it was sleep time, they slept without a problem and even fell asleep with the tv on, so we didn’t have to all go to sleep at the same time #bonus. The roads to PE were surprisingly good and we were fortunate to travel in my parent’s automatic BMW making the drive comfortable and an absolute pleasure for the hubster.
The kids could hardly contain their excitement as we got to PE. Meeting their cousins at an age where they could all play together was so special. [Side note: on my side of the family, I am the only one with kids, so they don’t have any first cousins here in Jo’burg…they’re all in PE :-)] All the children had an absolute ball with each other and the adults could totally relax.
Some of the highlights of our holiday;-
- Being together with family after three years of not seeing some of them. Our little nieces are just the cutest and I couldn’t help feel a bit broody ❤
- Going away “chalet camping” with my sister-in-law and her family and the rest of the family joining us there for the day right at the sea! The kids swam in a tidal pool and on slides. Ethan went fishing for the first time at this resort and caught four fish much to his delight 🙂
- The Addo Elephant Park…although, as we’re not “nature” people, the excitement did not last that long and hungry bellies made the drive feel a lot longer than the 3 hours we took to whizz through the park. But the elephants were really magestic.
- Breakfast out and some shopping with my sister-in-law alone, no kids – we literally chat every day over the air waves, but being together face-to-face with no interruptions and nowhere to rush to was priceless.
- Letting the kids swim in the beach. Even though the hubster and both grew up in coastal cities and have swam in the beach for all of our childhoods, I am not a beach fan and after the hubster lost a few friends in a rip tide many years ago, he is also very weary of kids swimming in the sea. But as the get older, more confident and more independent, we are allowing them that freedom and they totally loved it!
- Not having wi-fi (although I think the hubster would totally disagree on this one ;-))…although I did use a whole bunch of data, I was very cognisant of the fact that every time I did anything, it COST a.whole.lot, so I spent a lot of time distanced from social media.
- Meeting a fellow blogger, Debra, at her home for the first time ever after following each other’s blogs for a number of years now. Helen, we missed you!
We arrived back to Jo’burg last week Sunday, and then I spent the entire week doing a little bit of this and that. But for now, back to the grindstone. I’ll have to do a whole new blogpost on the adventures of my second week of leave soon soon xxx