Wow, another weekend flew past!
We got to have dinner with Mom, at ORT while she was stopped over on her way to the Serengeti for a week! I am jealous ... I am sure she is gonna have an amazing time :) So, yes, not many options for dinner there, but we went to The Keg. The food wasn't that spectacular. Mom's burger looked the best. My nacho's we're tasty, but they use that weird "samoosa type" pastry to make the nacho's, I think .. .well that's what it looked and tasted like. So it probably would've been a good dish if they'd actually used nacho chips. Plus the chicken was a little dry. But otherwise, you can't go too wrong with nacho's, really. The boy's both had the chicken schnitzels and I think were disappointed at how tiny they were ... the ones we buy at Woolies are bigger!
But yeah, lovely to see them and catch up for a bit. We left after dinner, but they had quite a wait for their plane onto Kenya. It was supposed to leave Joburg at 00:40 but was delayed an hour. Luckily they didn't miss their connecting flight from Kenya tho. But I do hope they got their luggage safely. Apparently the Travel Agents have been warning all the passengers to take *two* changes of clothes these days because since the fire, all the baggage handling has been done manually, not by conveyor belt anymore (?) and things have been getting lost or misplaced. Having had that experience in Zanzibar, I know it is no fun to only have what you were wearing on the plane with you, so it seems like good advice, but what a schlep!
On Saturday we had breakfast at Doppio and then headed out to test drive a few more cars. After careful discussion we decided to look at more realistic options in the New Car Department. So went to test drive a few Polo's (the 1.4 Comfortline vs. the Vivo). Apparently they keep their resale value really well.
We were going to try a Ford Figo TDi as well, but it had already sold. And then we drove the Hyundai i20 and a 2008 Mercedes A-Class. Busy morning.
I'd definitely pick the Polo Comfortline over the Vivo, although the drive in both is fine, I prefer the features in the Comfortline (obviously). The Vivo interior reminded me a little too much of my sparse little Citi Golf. I did not like the Hyundai. While the drive was fine, the interior was awful ... reminded me of when I tried the Yaris. I dunno why they add the silver plastic-y bit on the dashboard, it makes it *look* plastic, whereas if they just kept it all black, it'd feel more consistent and less noticeably plastic. I think it's clear, hate silver dashes.
I adored the A-Class. It has a much bigger boot than I expected too. But the worry with that would be the maintenance costs. I don't really like the look of the Ford, but The Trucker wanted me to try driving it. Doubt we'll bother with that.
Next on the list is to try the automatic Hyundai i20 (from the pictures, it didn't have the horrid silver) and a Polo 1.2 TDi. The Trucker thinks that's a great little car but that it won't have enough power, but I'm already in a 1.4 and drive mostly in traffic ... I'm not convinced that it'd be a bad trade-off for the amazing consumption those cars apparently get. So yes, quite exciting, folks.
Although, I was thinking this morning about how much I've loved my little car ... its still great. But getting expensive to maintain and being a 2 door is wearing thin.
We relaxed the rest of the afternoon and then headed to a friend's 40th. It was quite a fun evening and we got home after midnight.
On Sunday morning, we tried a new spot for breakfast. I'm finding Doppio is getting a bit tedious. The food is often more than I want. I do adore their new Scrambled Divine breakfast, but even so, it's still a bit much food. So we are on a hunt for somewhere new for Weekend Breakfasts. Unfortunately all Northgate provides in Mugg & Bean (which I don't like for breakfast), Wimpy (which is fine occasionally) and Nino's (which I wasn't blown away by when we tried it last time).
Urgh, why is Salvation Cafe so far away?! I saw Jenty had mentioned Chocolate et Gateaux on her blog a while back and I'd spotted it when we were driving around on Saturday, so thought we could try there. I'd added it to my list of places to try, but more as an afternoon tea sot of spot.
I think we may try it again for some pastries, but I doubt we'd go back for breakfast. Their menu is tiny, which makes sense as it is a pretty tiny little place, and it's not really their focus. I wish I had been in the mood for something sweet, because that looks like their forte. I had ordered the Croque Monsieur, but they had no ham. So I switched to a Chicken Mayo. I wasn't thrilled as they used smoked chicken, but it was alright. The Trucker had a Bacon & Egg baguette, which I think was more bread than he was hoping for so while he said it tasted nice enough, I don't think it was exactly what he had in mind.
We did order a cream cheese and salami croissant to share as well, and I think that was my favourite :) I'd have that again.
That done, we got the grocery shopping out the way and then The Trucker headed off to cricket. I went to look at bunnies at a pet shop in Bryanston ... awe. I so want to get Lily a friend, but The Trucker says not yet. I know, logically, this makes sense, but I just want to fill my garden with animals!
So I headed to Lifestyle to oooh and aaah over their bunnies and try their Gourmet Market. I was in some dire need of some sort of retail therapy, but I couldn't pin point any specific need. Luckily, I found some very nice things there which sated me :)
I *finally* found somewhere that sells Buffalo Mozzarella! And then I found Elbows Up and bought a fortune's worth of stuff (well, not quite, but close!). See, they made me taste the combination flavours in a little spoon and they were sooo good. I ended up buying myself one of their little 3-in-a-pack gift packs (with some kind of Peri-Peri, Pomegranate Dressing and Ginger Balsamic), which is perfect because I don't need the massive bottles, we don't use enough of the stuff! And then there was their corriander mousse. Yum! Gonna use that on some chicken breasts tonight :) And then, I found a little bottle of White Truffle oil (they have Black as well) and bought that ... The High Life had used it in Bermuda and it seemed like a very smart addition to our kitchen!
Then I went to look at a new development nearby. We'd cut out a few places to look at from the Property newspaper, but realised, as with the car, we need to be somewhat more realistic. There is no point in stretching for a big house when we may end up in Cape Town in the next year or five.
I adored the new development, but after doing the math, it was just out of our reach. But, it a weird twist of fate, we found and went to look at a 3 bedroom place in my old complex ...
I think we might put an offer in on it today ... we're going quite a lot under what they're asking, because we'd pretty much need to re-do a lot! But we've worked it out and it should still come in on budget for us. We're trying to keep paying what we pay in rental now, including the levies, and it looks possible. Even with taking out a bigger bond to cover the renovations! And we would end up with exactly what we wanted. It feels right.
I was very happy in my little house, and although the garage problem is not 100% solved, the new one is right next to visitor parking (the old one had nothing nearby, which caused a problem when we were living there together) ... honestly, that is probably the only problem. OMG. Wouldn't that be the best thing ever?
It's not massive, by any stretch, but it would suit us for now and be easily rentable if we moved or scaled up after we had kiddies (it'd definitely still work with just one). We would need to get rid of some more stuff, things that are currently being stored in the outside room in the current place, but that's the plan anyway! And the rooms are smaller than where we are now, but it'd be ours. And we could make it exactly what we wanted!
For dinner we had already bought Woolies Cheese Tortelloni and some Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, which I made a decadent green salad to go with. Shew, I am loving the buffalo mozzarella and these new dressings. It was superb. Yum.
*Trying not to get too excited right now* But it feels like a good Monday :)
Monday, October 28, 2013
Wow, another weekend flew past!