A long weekend in the winelands

These extravagant long weekends. I feel they’re definitely a uniquely South African thing. We love a good public holiday, and they really are absolutely joyous.

We decided to take an afternoon drive out the the Paarl winelands side. Have you ever thought how many wineland areas there are in Cape Town? Constantia, Durbanville, Paarl, Franschoek, Stellenbosch… not bad for a small stretch! We’d had a cheese fondue the night before so weren’t really into cheese tasting at Fairview, but we thought we’d try some wine tasting at Backsberg Estate – lucky for us – kosher wine.

We brought our usual picnic attire: food, blankets, books, and our latest addition – the selfie stick. We found a secluded spot (exactly where my friends got married, actually) – were we allowed to picnic there? We’re not sure, but we did anyway.

It’s been a while since we hung out somewhere just the two of us, and took a silly amount of photos. So we took full advantage, and selfied ourselves silly! We don’t always have a chance to get out much together these days, between Greg working in Stellenbosch every second weekend and his studies, I have to book afternoons out with him in advance. Which is fine, I guess it makes those planned outings more exciting.

Then we actually went to taste some wine – we’ve never been to a tasting before. It all seemed (and sounded) very fancy, even when a bloke of student age explained it all us (hey, he definitely knew more than we did!). I can’t say I remember all we learnt, other than the merlot and pinotage were particularly delicious. Oh, and that we look silly when smelling and holding wine correctly.

And in the spirit of yolo, and exploring our beautiful City  like a tourist, we hopped on over to Babylonstoren next door. I’ve heard so much of this place and it’s really so beautiful. It definitely is sucky not being able to eat at these places, but walking around the gardens were really beautiful enough. I wish we’d had more time, but we’ll definitely be back. I’d love to stay in one of their cottages, but a little google search told me I’m far from being able to afford a night there. I’ll settle for a Sunday drive.

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I like a good day exploring, and the great thing is you don’t really need a long weekend for it – it’s close enough for a simple Sunday afternoon! Here’s to more adventures.

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A night out in Cape Town: Improguise Theatre Sports

Remember Whose Line Is It Anyway? So last night we went out on a whim to Improguise Theatre Sports. So basically, that. They used to be based at the Intimate Theatre at Hiddingh Campus in Gardens and I used to drive past every day when I worked in the area. I’d always wanted to go but just never got round to it.

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Hysterical actors (including Anne Hirsch of The Anne Hirsch Show – watching her alone was worth it), fun games all mixed with suggestions from the audience, accents, repeated scenes, literary styles, even a conversation used entirely out of an audience member’s whatsapp chat… It really is the greatest combination for a night out. If you’ve seen and loved Whose Line, way back when, you’ll definitely love this.

The best part is that all you have to do is watch. But Greg loved it so much that he’s actually signed up to take part in their 8 week improv course! And because it’s all off the cuff and takes it’s cues from audience suggestions, there’s really nothing stopping you going week after week. Greg and I are thinking of this a monthly outing (at least!).

If I tell you it was the best night out I’d had in months (or longer) I wouldn’t be lying. When you are consumed by the type of laughter that takes over your entire body and releases all the air from your lungs that you look like you’re having a fit of pure joy. I literally just felt like a lighter person from a night of good laughs.

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They perform every Monday night, so there’s really no excuse to miss out. I’m on a serious mission to tell everyone I know about this, so, here’s my attempt in doing so.

When: Every Monday

Time: 8pm

Where: Galloway Theatre, Waterfront Theatre School (dont be fooled, it’s not at the Waterfront, but Google Map directions are here)

Follow them on Twitter:  @TheatresportsSA

And like them on Facebook: Improguise

The hiiiiills are aliiiiiive…with The Sound of Music.

Soundofmusic01Guys, I’m a little late to the party, but I absolutely cannot help but gush. We saw the South of Music a couple of weeks ago (ok, almost a month ago) on our Hebrew anniversary (all the reasons to celebrate, right?) and I loved every second! I didn’t remember the story too well, I knew a bunch of the songs, knew that it had some war-time connotations, and knew it was going to be good. Greg knew that there was someone who was 16 and was turning 17 (and ultimately 18, 19, 20, 21). That’s it and even admitted that during the opening scene he thought it was going to be crap. Soundofmusic04 Soundofmusic05 But seriously – this show. The singing, the kids – it was so much fun! I actually didn’t realise how many of the songs I knew. I did know that it took place during the time of the war and stuff, but I won’t lie it was a little scary sitting there during a Nazi rally and being Jewish. Obviously, it was all part of the show, but when you don’t expect it, and there you are sitting in a crazy part of your history – it’s a little shocking. Soundofmusic03 Soundofmusic02 I’m sad to hear, but utterly not surprised either that the show has been fully booked out. I’m so glad I bought tickets ages ago for Greg and I, we really love these yearly productions. If unfortunately you didn’t get tickets, here’s a little montage of the show 🙂 IT seems like we saw the other cast to the one in the video, but they were great too 😉

Long weekend shenanigans

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Ah, long weekend. What a blessing. As a student I always looked forward to these days, when I’d be able to spend days doing as I pleased, and not excited about the extra time it gave me to work. It wasn’t a particularly eventful weekend, but we filled it with fun things, times and people that we love – and I guess that’s pretty important in life.

Friday we actually started out at the gym. I wish I could say it was dedication, but it was really just because we’ve been slacking so badly. The allure of warmth as the mornings get colder, and the sun rises so much later. By the time we leave these days, it may as well be the middle of the night and I wouldn’t know the difference. It was nice actually. We don’t gym together anymore. We go at similar times before work, but do our own things as our morning schedules are different. It was nice to be pushed a little harder and laugh together at gym again.

We were having guests Friday night, but we were smart and did all our Shabbos cooking Thursday as if Friday wasn’t a public holiday at all (don’t worry, we’re no superheroes, and even we couldn’t avoid that “Shabbos Rush” feeling). We spent the afternoon at one of my favourite places Kirstenbosch, which is especially lovely on days when the weather is so glorious. I somehow persuaded Greg to take a bit of a walk up towards the protea gardens, they’re way way up the mountain, in search of the bench where he proposed. I also wanted to find that random patch of grass he almost proposed at, which we’d never found since then – but we did this time.

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The afternoon passed with a lunch of one massive salad (I’m really not a salad person. I give funny looks to people who order them at restaurants. But I just had this craving), lounging chatting in the sunshine and playing bananagrams, another thing we hadn’t done in such a long time.

Shabbos was a great one. We had a great evening with guests we loved – you know it’s a good night when you suddenly check the time and it’s after 12! We don’t usually do anything on a Saturday night, but this one was all sorts of fun and filled with so much love (and more food!) and one of my best friends’ engagement party. I still can’t believe how so many of my best friends are getting married in one year. I love it!

Sunday was a bit of admin. I had grand intentions of getting a haircut. I usually go to this small little place at the mall, kind of secluded, kind of closed so not every passer by can see my and my long locks. But they’d disappeared and I didn’t feel like finding another one. So here I am, sitting typing this with hair down my back. After a non-successful mall adventure – almost every shop we needed to go to was “closed – be back in 45 minutes”, we had a braai at friends. Seriously, I don’t think we’ve ever been so social in one weekend!

After the braai, we rushed home because we were actually hosting a board-games night. We’d never hosted one before, but my friend and I had the idea, she organised and I offered to host. No-one really knew how the night would pan out, everyone just brought some snacks and we brought out all the games. Oh, did I mention all our friends happened to be Rabbis and their wives? Let’s just say it was interesting, and the laughs from our living room will remain a secret. We played a great round of Apples to Apples (if you haven’t played, it’s kind of similar to Cards Against Humanity. Just less dodge. Obviously), some bananagrams and even articulate. Guys seriously, a board games night with friends is seriously underrated! Next time Greg and I plan on introducing Settlers of Catan to the mix, but we might need to split up the games a bit. Lots of planning for next time.

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So when I was asked at work this morning the obligatory “how was your long weekend” and I answered “yeah, chilled” as I always do, I quickly took it back when I realised how much we’d gotten up to. What did you all get up to for the long weekend?

 

My first ever massage experience: Happy Feet

Around when we first started dating Greg kept telling me about this place he’d gone to for a foot massage called Happy Feet. “Eeeeewww, I don’t want people touching my feet! Gross!” I just couldn’t get to grips with the idea of a stranger touching my feet, and paying them to do it (I mean, shame for them, right?). Now we’re considering going for a spa day for our 2nd wedding anniversary, so it seemed like at some point I’d need to get used to the idea of this massage business.

So for my most recent birthday (last year), Greg gave me a little voucher (i.e a piece of paper stating) that he’d treat me to a foot massage at Happy Feet whenever I want. Well, we finally found a time last Monday (only a little bit after my birthday. About 6 months as a rough estimate). We booked for 9pm which we figured would give us enough time to get home from work, make and eat dinner, and head out on our way.

Well, first let me recommend that the person taking you knows where they are going. Walking around Thibault square in circles in the dark did not have me feeling the safest. Eventually we found the sign outside some Chinese restaurant and some hotel. Going up into a lift that smelt like cigarettes (I chuckled at the “no smoking” sign) and walking into this Asian themed area and directed to our designated little room.

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The couches were the comfiest I’ve sat on, if that counts for anything, but the rest of it seemed a little brothel like to me (or what I’d imagine a brothel to look like). I shuddered to think of the activities that go on there after dark (Greg and I were debating whether any of these actually happen). He then assured me, no, promised me, that it seems a whole lot less dodgy in the day time. Point for next time: go while the sun is still shining.

In comes the Asian masseuse ladies (who don’t seem to speak much if any English), with the most powerful little hands I’ve ever felt. This was my very first professional massage experience at all (clearly not girly enough to be considered female, am I?) and I found it, interesting. I spent most of the time watching what she was doing to my feet (trust me, they have some fancy moves), and I kind of wished I’d had a copy of that reflexology chart located on the door.  Sometimes, she’d press too hard into my little foot, and I’d kind of wince and smile all at the same time. We’d kind of smile at each other awkwardly in understanding, and she’d press a little less hard accordingly. I was tempted to take photos, but figured that could have been pretty awkward too.

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I’ll be honest, it hurt a little (or a lot sometimes), but was oddly relaxing. It felt sinful to actually walk on solid ground again afterwards. I came out having enjoyed myself, but with mixed feelings – I’m a teeny tiny bit apprehensive about this spa day situation, in case I come out hurting, but Greg assures me we’ll find something suitable. Either way, it was a great night out, especially different to the norm (night in, on the couch, watching Survivor) and a pretty cool “date night” (which we totally don’t do enough of). So remember, if you do go, do so during sunshine hours. And don’t think of brothels, whatever your do.

As a side note, if you have any wonderful spa recommendations in Cape Town, please send them my way 🙂

A half-day “holiday” in my new favourite place: Kalk Bay

Isn’t it amazing to live in a city where a short 40 minute drive can take you somewhere so different to your daily life that it just feels like you’re on holiday (albeit a short one). Yesterday we finally actually visited Kalk Bay. Don’t be judgy. Usually we’ve just driven through on the odd occasion of driving friends through to Boulders Beach or something, but we’ve never actually stopped to explore this little seaside fishing village.

Filled with quirky little shops, tons of vintage shops and plenty of wonderful little places to eat or grab a drink (which I wished so badly we could try out). I didn’t expect the amount of random vintage shops. Like tons and tons of just old stuff. Sometimes I like the vintage appeal, but other times I just don’t get it.

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We walked in and out of all the little shops (Greg was such a sport!), down to the harbour (I’ve never been that up close to a seal before!), and stopped for coffee.

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Next time I want to stop for drinks at the Brass Bell, the day was shorter than we would have liked as we had a friend’s birthday to attend. On the way home, we stopped somewhere just after Muizenberg on a cement ledge to have a bit of lunch. Usually we’re the type to do household admin work on a Sunday morning, and I’m so glad we put that off to enjoy a morning out together. Good company, beautiful views, and a fun day.

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Table Mountain, you beautiful thing.

We were lucky enough to be given a set of tickets to go up Table Mountain the other day. I was really looking forward to it as the weather had been lovely and the last time we’d gone was before we had even gotten engaged. So it really was a fair while. We graciously accepted, probably to many locals’ (and possibly tourists’ too) dismay at not hiking our way up.

Last week we met up with friends from Australia, who wondered if Cape Tonians ever noticed the natural beauty around them. I proudly told them how much difficulty I have keeping my eyes on the road on my way to work, with Table Mountain spanning my entire view (don’t worry, I always win this internal battle). I asked Greg the other day “isn’t it weird and wonderful how there is this massive mountain in the middle of our beautiful city?” and he rightfully responded “Lee-Ann, you mean what is this city doing built around this mountain?”, which I thought was true and somewhat insightful.

We went up, walked around, took some photos, admired the view, picnicked on sushi, chatted to lots of tourists – and offered to take photos for them, and ended the evening watching the sunset.

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Cape Town, I love you.