Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Puppy Day!

* bounce * bounce * bounce *

She's arriving from PE at midday and The Trucker is going to collect her. I am too excited. It's gonna be an interesting weekend. Which is why I have made no plans. I wanna soak up as much time with the littlest fluff ball as I can, getting her acclimatised to her new home. I can't wait. The Trucker reckons my rules about no puppies on the bed or furniture (those are solely the Gypsy cat's domain), won't last long. But I am determined.

Man, I hope those two become friends and cuddle up. I will melt.

And no, we haven't picked a name yet ... we're waiting to meet her this weekend. Plus The Trucker and I have some fairly differing ideas about naming. He desperately wants to call her Jess. a) I don't like naming animals with "human" names and b) already know of too many dogs (and people) named Jess.

Other than that it's been a fairly uncluttered week. The Trucker worked on Monday and Wednesday. His house is finally being built (by him) so his days are spent on site and his evenings are spent earning some money. On Tuesday I skipped SCM and had a night home alone (sometimes you really need those, you know?). I reminded myself I did know how to cook by making a delish dinner for one. Sometimes I forget, living with the The Trucker ... since he enjoys cooking and takes it in his stride far better than I do.

Last night tho, I'd booked us a Date Night. Last week I heard about a new Mexican restaurant called Perron that had opened in Illovo. And you know us and Mexican restaurants ;)

I can't believe how much I've heard about this place in the last 2 weeks. There has been some buzz on twitter (where I first heard about it) and instagram. And even in my office! On the day I made my booking, some of the girls were supposed to be going that evening, but ended up cancelling. And another has been twice since I made my booking so we were even poring over the menu here the other day. Nothing like building up the anticipation. Haha.

So our evening started off with a traffic fine. Harumph. But then we arrived and the place was set to get packed, every table with a reserved sign.

I had a great evening. We stuck to the Nibbles and the Los Mas Pequenos (the little ones). I'd heard that those were definitely the way to go over the mains. Perhaps at some point we'll have to go back and try their mains to make up our own minds, but for our fist time, I'm glad we stuck with the little taster plates.

Yum yum. We ordered quite a selection: Jalepeno Poppers (yes, get these!), Mexcian Street P orn (not what I was expecting but super tasty), Popeye Empanadas (these were okay, but I would've preferred to try the banana 'n beans empanadas but The Trucker wasn't up for it), Bacon Quesadillas (mmm, okay) and Sweet Potato on Corn Fritters. That last one was most definitely my absolute favourite of the evening!

So much so that we ordered a second plate of them! And some Killer Guac to finish. But, the place was packed and there was quite a wait for our food.

And they had no ice cream so The Trucker couldn't have the dessert he wanted. I had my heart set on churros (yes!) for dessert, which we ordered. And then got told that some had been sent back and apparently there was something wrong with the batter so they were no longer serving them. Sad face, but probably for the best because I was so full!

So yeah, we will have to go back to try those churros ;) I didn't think it was too expensive, you should probably think about it like when you order sushi and you just keep picking "plates". But eating like we did definitely does that sneaky adding up thing I mentioned when ordering at Rocomamas or GBC. It's a cute little place so definitely worth a try.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

23 April: Greater Hermanus to Plettenberg Bay

Today we woke up, got ready and took a stroll around in the fynbos at Farm 215 before heading up to the main house for breakfast. I am pretty bummed we didn't properly get to appreciate their gorgeous pool setting.

Breakfast was delish. But, honestly, as spectacular (and, it really is) as this place is, I doubt The Trucker and I will be back ... for the price we paid per person for just one night, there were other places we visited on this trip that I'd rather go back to (some where the price for a night for us both equaled only one person here!). Sad but true. I still think, if you're looking for somewhere gorgeous and romantic and private, it's definitely worth a visit tho. Also, keep an eye out for specials. They were running one in April & May but unfortunately I missed out because I'd already booked so far in advance. Obviously, it's easier if you live closer and fewer things have to hinge on a weekend away ;)

Then we had a lengthy drive ahead of us to Plettenberg Bay! But Farm 215 recommended a great little mountain short-cut, to skip heading all the way back thru Gansbaai.

It was a very rainy driving day. It reminded us of how it had rained back when we were driving on the N2 in December as well! Haha.

We stopped in Riversdale for supplies (petrol and snacks) and then continued on our way. I forget now what time we arrived in Plett, but it was overcast there too. So we did some grocery shopping, made a late lunch and then bundled up with our books under a blanket until dinner time.

Remember The Trucker's ex-girlfriend's dad who's farm we stayed at on the way in & out of Botswana ... ? Well, we're staying in his house here again. But it comes with a perfect opportunity to get our laundry washed and ironed! And it's free, so who can complain.

I'd booked dinner at Emily Moon, which had been recommended by a colleague who comes to Plett fairly regularly. Wow, I would love to see this place in the day time ... and spend a night here! It looks amazing. Although we had a pretty quick (but delish!) dinner, having had lunch fairly late (we had starters but not dessert) and a whole day of driving. We were pretty tired.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

22 April: Elgin Valley to Greater Hermanus

This morning we had a truly bizarre experience, watching a Giant Kingfisher (yes, I had to google that one, and I'm still not 100% sure if it's right) kill a crab from our balcony. Nature at work. It took us a while to figure out what was going on tho, honestly. We were just taking photos of the gorgeous view and noticed this continual movement below.

After all that excitement, we headed up for our (included) breakfast at Brinny Breezes. And it was superb.

I'd also booked us massages at 10am (check-out time) because, again, we didn't have far to drive to our next overnight stop. I was a little disappointed to discover that the massages wouldn't be in tandem (apparently you have to specially request this, but I would think when booking for a couple it would be standard practice).

Anyway, I didn't let this detract from the experience and got my Back, Neck and Shoulder massage first, while The Trucker packed the car. It's pretty awesome and if you have the time, I'd recommend it. We were lucky, because they had space to do it in one of the other available trailers.

And then I got to laze on their gorgeous loungers next to the pool and read my book while The Trucker had his Full Body massage.

And then we said goodbye to the Old Mac Daddy and headed off. Yes, I'd definitely go back there. Would love to try another of their trailers! What a great little break-away from Cape Town.

We decided to stop for lunch in Gansbaai at The Great White House. I'm not exactly sure that shark cage diving is on the list of things I'd do, but The Trucker seems pretty keen. I was more thrilled to see the whale skeleton hanging from their ceiling.

Our food wasn't memorable, but I think I had a filled savoury pancake. It's a bit of a weird spot, but there didn't seem to be much else after Hermanus, honestly.

And then it was goodbye sea as we headed inland to Farm 215. Wow, this place is pretty freaking gorgeous. So remote with only 3 Fynbos Suites. And the suites are spectacular!

All of them are very private and you walk thru the door to your little lounge area with a fireplace then past a screen wall to the bedroom. There is an amazing bath and bathroom. And the entire one side of the unit is glass doors. Gorgeous.

The weather was turning, so we didn't get to enjoy the balcony at all, but we did get to enjoy the fire place!

We settled in front of the fire for the afternoon, me with my book and The Trucker doing some work on his laptop. I swear, the only way to really have a holiday with him is to ensure he has no signal. Since he runs around most of the day and people reach him on his phone when they need him, they can't really tell that he is actually on holiday. And since he runs his own companies, he doesn't correct them or say no to them either. Drove me quite batty this trip ...

We had dinner at their restaurant in main house. I think we were the only people staying there. A good home cooked 3-course meal.

And, of course, I had to try the bath before bed! But it was quite surreal, the chocolate-brown coloured water (coloured by the fynbos, I gather) against the white porcelain.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Excitement Brews ...

Shew, so in case you thought a weekend with not a single thing planned would be quiet ... let me tell you otherwise ;)

First things first: PUPPY!
So it's been a very emotional ride this one. Every time we see and advert on Gumtree or Junk Mail, we call and they're already all gone. We looked at a few breeders, but they seem to sell out as soon as the pups are born, booked and paid for long before they are old enough to leave their moms. Before we went away last weekend, we'd spotted a promising one. We called. Yes, she was still available, but the lady was away all weekend so we couldn't go and see her or the parents (and it was in Brits, so would've been perfect on our weekend away!). We'd call again on Monday. By Monday, she told The Trucker the pup was sold. Sad faces. We kept looking.

On Friday we heard that she did in fact have the same puppy in question available. Apparently she likes to keep a spare in case anything happens. So she promised us this spare little girl and we could collect her as soon as the other pups had been collected with no issues. Awesome. Getting excited now! (Notice: that is Gypsy's "completely unaware of the impending arrival" face ... playing with her new toy, which she loves)

On Saturday the silly woman emails The Trucker to say sorry, she only has males left. Urgh. After all that. But then, turns out, he'd been keeping in touch with someone else in PE. Which we'd originally scrapped the idea of since he wanted to meet the parents and didn't want the puppy flown to us. But he has seen loads of photos of her dogs now and reckons they're what he's looking for and she has a little girl. Who will be arriving on a jet plane on FRIDAY! Melt. It's a little more than we were expecting to spend, but she is already chipped and inoculated etc.

I can't wait. She is booked (yes that's her over there), we'll pay today. She will be ours <3 We can get excited now!

Aside from that, I stayed later at work on Friday. I was giving a presentation and then stuck around for some good old Cards Against Humanity. Love that game. Hysterical.

On Saturday we had a lazy morning. Breakfast at Doppio where we bumped into some friends. Then we decided on a house admin day. The Trucker took the last of the building rubbish to the dump (finally!). It has really been bothering me because the bunnies play in it ... luckily they loved all the nooks and crannies. They're pretty unimpressed right now ;)

I headed to Lifestyle and got some potting soil and a plant for my hanging planter (did I mention I found one in Plett?) in the bathroom (it still needs to be hung, but we're one step closer!). Photos when it's up.

What else? Oh yes, he fixed some of the skirting and sanded one of the doors so it'll close properly. I had his niece and a friend over to watch Vampire Academy. I'd lent her my book when I finished with it, so it seemed appropriate.

And then, being tween girls, they wanted to follow that up with some Frozen (which I had yet to watch).

Naturally, I preferred the Vampire Academy book. I didn't find it especially well cast (except Rose). And they fiddle a little (not too much) with the storyline and when certain sub-plots come out. But other than that they basically stuck to the book. Quite sure I won't bother with the sequels (of the book or the movies).

Frozen was a giant yawn for me. Not a big fan of animation in general. But the girls had both seen it before so I had them explain things before they happened and singing along. It was quite entertaining.

I think The Trucker was relieved. It left him to do some more admin (and he took more of our "donation" bags which had been sitting in the lounge for weeks!).

When they left, we decided to try the new burger joint at The Buzz, GBC. So, turns out this is following the Rocomamas model. Order on a piece of paper and tick all the ingredients you want included. Personally, I think this is quite sneaky. No idea (without some math on your part) how much your order adds up to until your bill arrives. I reckon that people order & spend a lot more than they ordinarily would, this way.

Now we adore Rocomamas. I like the vibe there and their burgers are delish. GBC has less of a vibe and more of a sterile feeling to it. Reminds me a bit of a Chinese restaurant, with it's minimal decor, actually. Take-out seems to be the order of the day.

But what about the food? So some people's biggest complaint about Rocomamas is their lack of alternatives to Beef (I think they offer a Veggie burger, but definitely not a Chicken one). GBC offers Chicken and Lamb options as well as the Beef and Veggie. The biggest selling point, for me, was that GBC offers a variety of sides, like sweet potato fries and chilli cheese fries (we tried one of each, both totally worth it!) ... which is exactly what I thought Rocomamas was missing when I first went there.

The burgers themselves are tasty, but much harder to eat than the Rocomama's ones. Rocomama's come nicely presented and "well-contained". The GBC burgers are in a basket, tricky to reach into and grab. They are bigger and I think contain more of the toppings, and there was a lot of spillage. I can not imagine what it'd have been like had I added a sauce onto mine.

Still. Hit the spot. And I'd probably go back if I were in the area ... or craving sweet potato fries ;) (Gourmet Garage still wins with their chilli cheese fries tho!)

On Sunday we had breakfast at home and then The Trucker went to play cricket while I did the grocery shopping. And when he got home we headed off to our first Ice Cream Sunday. I heard about it in March (I think?) but thought it was a once-off. But last week I found out it happens on the last Sunday of every month. Definitely worth a visit!

We thought it was a bit of a weird set-up when we first arrived. But it's actually quite cool. Outside under the trees. Unfortunately just not enough chairs to sit at (but that might be because of the time we went). It also took us a while to figure out that you order on a little slip you get at the till (or on a table if you can find some space to sit at one, I think). We tried the Apple Pie Sundae (Cinnamon ice cream, Caramelised apples & crumble) and the Icing Sugar Dusted Donut Sandwich (filled with Cinnamon ice cream and salted caramel sauce).

Yummy! I wouldn't bother with ordering drinks if you're not planning on staying very long. Our ice cream and donut were long gone by the time The Trucker's cappuccino arrived. And it was totally unnecessary. I've gotta say, that Donut Sandwich was amazeballs. I was a little sad I had to share it ;)

What a fun way to spend an afternoon. I would highly recommend it.

After that we had a very relaxed rest of our Sunday.

Oh, did I mention? Puppy on Friday !!!! :D

Friday, May 23, 2014

10 Years in Jozi

Shew. Am I ever ready for Friday. It's not that it's been a particularly busy week or anything, it's just that almost every day, all I've wanted to do was go home and hibernate / sleep / read my book. I think I need a Duvet Day.

Work has been fine tho, good even. Working on an awesome project that I am unusually enthusiastic about :)

Here's to a weekend with no plans (as yet). I had plans for Sunday, but they got cancelled. I have 3 friends with kiddies in hospital at the moment :( (one of whom I was sposed  to be seeing on Sunday).

Anyway, the week ... right. Erm. I don't think anything really happened on Monday. I forget. Tuesday I went to SCM although I was fluctuating with that decision up till the last minute. As I said, hibernation.

Gypsy was awol before I left so I left The Trucker with strict instructions that he better make sure she is home before more or I'll be kicking him out of bed to find her ... got home to find him in a mild panic, she was still gone. He'd been around the complex and looked outside on the road-side twice but no sign of her. I went outside, calling her and thought let me check on the bunnies while I'm outside. And guess where I found her! Locked inside the bunny hutch. Silly girl has been going in again to explore but because it was already dark when I locked them in (around 6pm, I'd guess?), she'd been locked in too, for about 3 hours. Shame. Poor girly (bunnies are fine too). But hopefully she's learnt her lesson about their house now!

On Wednesday I had a great start to the day, I went to a work Kitchen Tea. Wow, what a fabulous way to start the day :) Had a great morning. Nice to socialise with some people outside my usual circle.

And I went to gym with the SCM Girl's Gym Group after work (!). I have been hurting ever since. Yoh. We tried a 24 class ... which I heard was 24 exercises in 24 minutes. I thought that meant 24 *different* exercises. Even so, when we arrived and the guy was "Well I assume you've all warmed up already" I knew I was in trouble. And then it is the most awful repetition of exercises ever. Hated it. I must say, I especially hate when you aren't given room to make sure you're doing an exercise correctly, this was all timed by a tape recording o_0 Nope. And now I hurt. Stairs, do you know how many stairs there are at the office!!

What else? This week has been full of pup-hunting. No luck as yet. But my fingers are still crossed. And trying to plan a trip to Kruger with my folks ...

And I discovered a VERY COOL new app for my phone called Touch Note. Basically it is awesome for anyone with relatives who are not computer-savvy. It'll take a photo from your phone and turn it into a real life post card to be snail mailed to them. Awesome. I plan on regularly surprising my grandmother with post :) Did I mention our next trip to Cape Town is already booked, in August, for her Ninetieth (!).

What else ... I found another IndieGogo campaign called Solar Roadways to contribute to Mars One was my first, but that was mostly just to "buy" the TShirt. This one has rubbish "rewards" but is such an awesome concept! Seriously, too freaking cool.

Oh yes. And yesterday (Thursday) it was officially 10 years since I arrived in Joburg, to live. Yoh. That's a long-ass time. 3 serious boyfriends and 7 houses later. But life is what it is and it just sort of happens while you're busy doing other things ;) I'd never have believed you if you'd told me back when I was moving up back in 2004 that I'd still be here now, that is for sure!

I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion, but I didn't get around to organising anything and at some point it didn't seem like such a big deal anymore ...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

21 April: Cape Town to Elgin Valley

Okay, so you may have noticed I skipped a day. The 20th April. Well, the day did very much happen, but since it was mostly comprised of a massive early birthday family lunch (for me) and a family farewell for my twin cousins (who were both heading off to start gap years in Europe on 24 April and 01 May). Make no mistake, it was a truly superb lunch (cooked mostly by my Mommy, but Daddio contributed a delish crayfish salad, at my request :) ) and a lovely day, but did not provide much blog-fodder that I thought would interest all of you.

The only time I left the house was a quick sunset walk on Noordhoek Beach, after everyone had left, with The Trucker (gotta get some sea sand between our toes while we can!). So I figured it was safe to skip ahead.

On the 21st I had hoped to go to Kirstenbosch and try out their new Boomslang Canopy Walk (which looks amazing!), but it still hasn't opened to the public yet ... so I'll have to save that for another trip (it opened this week!).

Instead we started the morning by taking Mom to breakfast at Tribakery. And then we packed up our stuff and headed out. Handy that we could leave all the bedding we'd brought for the train at Mom's while we Roadtripped (borrowed my gran's little Honda Jazz again).

Since it wasn't much of a drive to our overnight stop, I decided we should try a wine farm on the way ... although most of them were a bit out of the way, I'd been wanting to try Hidden Valley for a while now and it wasn't too much of a detour. PLUS they do a Chocolate & Wine Pairing. Hello? That sounds like it is worth a detour, for sure! Haha.

Shew, it is a beautiful venue. But it was very quiet since the restaurant, Overture, was closed ... being Easter Monday and all. Luckily they were open for tastings tho :) So I got myself a Chocolate & Wine Pairing and The Trucker did an Olive Tasting with his wine.

Stunning. And yummy. I forget now how much it was tho ... sorry. What a lovely afternoon. We'd definitely go back to try the restaurant or one of their picnics sometime.

And then we headed off in search of the Everson's Cider Tasting Room. We found the spot in Grabouw, which looks very like a house, and rung the bell at the gate. William Everson arrived to greet us and told us the tasting room wasn't open but they were doing tastings at Peregrine Farm Stall, back on the N2.

So we hopped back in the car and headed there. We got to try some of the Everson Wine (which I didn't even know about). After that, we headed to our first overnight stop, the Old Mac Daddy Trailer Park.

If you haven't heard of it yet, you are missing out. And if you're wondering if it's worth a visit, it most definitely is!

With twelve completely unique trailer options, I wasn't even going to try and chose one for our first visit and decided to leave it to chance (like I did at 12 Decades) and we ended up in the Birdy. Loved it.

It's one of the private ones, below the Parking for the Restaurant / Pool area (the majority of the trailers are on the hill above), and it has a gorgeous view of the lake. Even better, it has 2 swing chairs. The exact kind we'd been looking at, at the Rosebank Market to get when we build up our outside area at home! So it was nice to have an opportunity to really try them out :) We read our books and enjoyed the view.

A bit later, we took a walk down to the lake deck and then up to see the restaurant and pool area. Such a pity it was a bit chilly cause the pool area is gorgeous. And guess what! We bumped into a girl I work with, her husband and a couple of their friends.

We ended up having such a fabulous afternoon and evening chatting and drinking with them. And we discovered the wonders of Everson's new Cloudy Apple.

The food at the restaurant, Brinny Breezes, was delish ... for both dinner and breakfast the following morning. What a great spot. We'd definitely come back to try out another of their trailers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dark Revelations by Anthony E. Zuiker

The conclusion to the groundbreaking Level 26 trilogy, a series of edgy, unconventional thrillers about an FBI operative tasked with the ultimate search-and-destroy mission: to take down the world's most dangerous serial killers.

Anthony E. Zuiker's Level 26 novels have blazed a highly successful interactive trail, with a groundbreaking cross-platform combination of novel, Web site, and hi-def video: There are more than 100,000 registered users on, all of them eager to see what happens next. And for the finale to his trilogy, Zuiker has outdone himself.

In Dark Revelations, Steve Dark faces the most intricate, intense, and explosive case of his career. The killer calls himself Labyrinth, and the riddles, puzzles, and wordplay with which he announces his new targets have caused a worldwide media sensation. The case has already claimed a number of highprofile individuals as victims-not to mention several government agencies, which have tried and failed to stop a growing global panic. But what point is Labyrinth trying to make? Who will be his next victim? It's up to Dark to assemble a team from among the smoking rubble of the international crimesolving community, find Labyrinth wherever he may be, and put a stop to the mayhem, once and for all.

Can Steve Dark solve the biggest riddle of them all? Only time will tell.

So, I finally heard about this last bit of the Level 26 when I got onto Good Reads. I read the first two ages ago, both in the first 6 months they were published, I think. So this was rather an oversight on my part ;)

I really enjoyed this one. I'd hazard saying it was my favourite of all three, but to be honest I don't really remember the first two very well anymore.

* This book is part of the Level 26 series: Dark Origins (2009), Dark Prophecy (2010), Dark Revelations (2011)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

19 April: De Aar to Cape Town

This morning we woke at sunset, stopped at De Aar station. Got some gorgeous photos! The Trucker got his new S5 just before we left Joburg and it takes awesome photos.

Then we made the mistake of checking the schedule ... and discovered we were supposed to pass thru De Aar at 1:30am. Turns out our train was now running a whopping 5 hours late o_0

We had a lazy morning still bundled in our bedding reading and looking out the window. Well, I read ... The Trucker had brought along one magazine and no books. He got pretty bored. Also there was no way to charge our phones or tablets so he was even more bored than he expected. He dozed some more.

Someone came around to tell us that at 10am, when we got to Beaufort West we'd all be transferred from the train onto buses which would take us to Cape Town because they could get us there quicker.

We ordered toasted sarmies for breakfast and packed up our cabin and waited for Beaufort West. I chose to see it as a huge plus we got to enjoy the Karoo views that we'd usually have missed by sleeping thru it. But then again, you run alongside the road for a lot of it too ... probably I'd rather the train was actually reliable and on time :(

We got there a bit late and climbed onto a bus and started the 5 hour drive to Cape Town. Luckily we still had some snacks as there were some plenty annoyed people on the bus complaining about all sorts of things.

We even ended up stopping on the side of the road to let some people off because they'd arranged someone to come and collect them and then the bus driver hadn't stopped when he said he would and blah blah. It was all fairly tedious. I kept reading. The Trucker kept dozing.

We stopped briefly for a loo/lunch stop in Worcester and ended up arriving at Cape Town station only an hour after we were supposed to (but I supposed we did leave Joburg an hour late).

Mom collected us and we headed back to her house.

I'd booked dinner for just The Trucker and I for Saturday evening since we had a full day of family scheduled for Sunday ... and this trip for Cape Town was supposed to be more of a holiday for us and less of a family visit than I've ever done before.

Naturally, being Easter Weekend, I struggled to find a spot for dinner in Cape Town, when I'd booked 2 weeks before. So we tried something I'd only just heard about a few days before I made the booking. But it was fantastic!

We headed all the way back into town (considering my Mom lives at the other end of the M2, it really is *all* the way) to a little spot called Orinoco Flavours.

Shew. What a fabulous dinner. I was immediately thrilled when I spotted Pisco Sours on their menu. I haven't had one since I made them for Dad with the Pisco I brought back from Peru. Yum yum.

And then for dinner? We weren't too hungry, having had a fairly sedentary day traveling so we just shared a Tapas Platter for Two and a plate of Chili Poppers. The plan was to start with that, but we decided we didn't have space for anything more afterwards ... except dessert;) I think we tried their Flourless Chocolate Cake and some kind of special Almond Tart (?) Whatever it was, the special was by far the better dish :)

I'd definitely recommend you give this place a try. They have a fab little deli area too :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Third Anniversary

Shew, so The Trucker is most officially the longest relationship I've ever had. And as has become tradition, we went away for an anniversary weekend. I was a little worried, because it's becoming hard to top every year and this is only the third - haha. But I think we did just fine!

I found this place called Eagles Eyrie, which is super nearby, just this side of Harties. And it was pretty much perfect. There is only one place on this farm and it is superb.

I left work a little early on Friday afternoon and headed home, where we packed up our stuff and hit the road. Nice to arrive before sunset. The place is gorgeous. There's a warm splash pool (not warm enough for me to even get waist deep in this weather tho, I tried on Saturday afternoon) and a whole gorgeous decadent tent with the bedroom and bathroom. And an outdoor shower! An awesome deck area with loungers and a whole separate Kitchen tent across the way (including a little dining area). With a braai area / fireplace between the two.

My word, I was pretty much gobsmacked. Don't be fooled by their awful website, even the gallery there doesn't quite do it justice (the kitchen tent is where the gazebo used to be).

We spent a lovely long lazy early evening reading our books and just taking in the gorgeous view. At 7, The Trucker went to make dinner. He made us some yummy spicy tomato and chorizo pasta which we enjoyed with a bottle of Hermanuspietersfontein Die Martha from our Roadtrip. Must get some more of that.

And then we just sat and watched the moon rise. It was a perfect evening.

We didn't really know what to do with our whole day in Harties ... But we had a lazy morning and a superb shower. I'll admit I was a little nervous. Thought it might be too chilly but the water was hot and warmed us right up. And the sun was shining. It was a superb day.

We headed out around the Dam and thru the tunnel and then up the cable car (R165 per adult) to have some breakfast on the top. I haven't been on that cable car since I was dating Bean, so a good 9 years ago, probably? It was bizarre seeing those old rickety ones on display.

But now it is all shiny and new. And there are restaurants at the top (I don't really remember what was up there before?). But sadly, none of them offer anything in the way of a decent breakfast. The one had burgers and hot dogs and the other sold pizzas. Our only option was a breakfast pizza with a view. It wasn't too bad, but certainly wouldn't have been my first choice. Guys, seriously, I'm sure there is a market for someone selling bacon and egg and cheese rolls up there. The place wasn't packed, but there were quite a few people up there.

If I knew better, I'd have taken a blanket and my book and just spent some time lazing up there. It's lovely. But then again, we did have superb weather!

After breakfast and a walk along the Dassie Loop (who knew we had nukes ?!), we headed back down ... and luckily we seem to have missed the rush because the queueing at the tunnel was crazy as we drove back in the opposite direction.

We decided to go and check out the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary (R195 per adult). Mkay so this was kinda cool, but not *that* amazing. Although I'm still okay with having paid to check it out ... being that it's a sanctuary and the money will go to continuing to look after these animals. We didn't see *that* much ... or rather, as much as I was expecting (not sure what my expectations were based on exactly). A few were curious about one or two people in our group, but there wasn't much interaction.

Still, it is a gorgeous place and you go on a beautiful walk thru their natural forest with the guide. Must get the photos off my camera this evening.

After that we headed back to Eagles Eyrie for the afternoon. I made us some lunch and then I read, and finished, my book. The Trucker napped. We watched the sunset and then when it got dark, I hopped in the gorgeous victorian bath to warm up before we headed to dinner. Gotta make use of all these facilities, you know. It was totally worth it ;)

I'd booked dinner for us at African Swiss ... hello Cheese Fondue! I'm sure someone recommended this place to me. I'm not exactly sure why tho. It also wasn't at all what I expected. First, when you arrive, you seem to walk past/thru their kitchen. Then there is a little indoor seating area, but it feels a lot like the outdoor area (it's very open). Outside there was a movie (Avatar) playing on a projector against a wall. And there were only 2 other families there when we arrived at 7pm.

It was chilly, but they had heaters available. We ordered drinks and then a cheese fondue to start. The cheese fondue was yummy and I am a fan. This seems to be the last place left you can get one (there used to be a restaurant near Throbbing Strawberry, but it's closed). But after that we couldn't face any more food so we left. In and out in under and hour.

But it was a chilly evening so we climbed into bed with our books and had an early night.

So, I highly recommend Eagles Eyrie, but be warned, it seems like it should be an idyllic peaceful place. But it's not. There are "city noises". I don't know what it's like in summer, but in the thin cold air of winter, the noise from the road travels. But so does the noise of the birds.

Did I mention we saw loads of hares hopping around? Awesome! And I saw my favourite bird, a Hoopoe. Along with the road noises tho, there seems to be a shebeen night club somewhere in the valley that plays music till at least 4am (when The Trucker got up to go to the loo). It's noisy, but not the sort of noise that stopped either of us going to sleep ... just the sort of noise that ruins the perfect peace and silence you might be expecting in this sort of blissful location.

The weather turned on Sunday so we decided to pack up and head out instead of making breakfast there (everything would keep). Instead we headed to The Culinary Table and had an awesome breakfast there. So good. This time I had the Frittata and it was delish!

Then it was back to reality. Grocery Shopping and kitty loves. Yay. The hunt for a puppy is on, but it seems like little girl schnauzer pups get booked so far in advance :(

Other than that we had a restful Sunday afternoon. And I made my crustless quiche for dinner (with the left over chorizo, yum!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Days

Shew, so 5-day week. Yeah, that happened. It definitely got a little iffy when my alarm went off on Wednesday morning and my body and brain screamed NO! But I pushed thru. Although if I was thinking straight I'd probably be working from home today. But, it is what it is.

So, now, let me try and remember what I've been up to on this longest week in ages ... erm.

Monday The Trucker went out with some of his friends and I stayed in and had a Good Wife marathon. Yep, I'm past *that* episode now. On Tuesday I skipped SCM. Didn't do anything exciting on Wednesday either. But last night I met up with some of my friends for dinner at 310 Sustainable Eatery.

Wow, what an improvement on the old Adega that was there. The space is gorgeous. High ceilings, wide open spaces with clean, white design. And gorgeous light fittings.

And they have a decent range of craft beer (for me, which means Dragon Fiery Ginger Beer and Eversons ;) ) and then an impressive menu too. But, being a sustainable eatery means that they don't have everything on their menu all the time. I won't lie I was a little disappointed that they didn't have the ostrich, cause I would've ordered that.

We skipped starters and I had the Chicken Breasts stuffed with Chorizo. The other's tried the crusted Kingklip, the Salmon Fish Cakes and the Fillet. By all accounts everyone enjoyed their food. And what was amazing (even tho it took up soooo much space) is you get either salad or Roasted Root Veggies along with a choice of starch. I had the veggies which were yummy, but the salad also looked awesome. And I had the Truffle Fries ;) Was dying to try the Butternut Fritters and someone else had the Courgette Fries which I'd also like to try.

Yep, I'll be going again and taking The Trucker!

Hmm, what else. I got my car washed. Yeah, that's the kind of excitement I've had this week. Haha. And, clearly, I finally got a move on with those holiday blog posts ... enjoy!

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