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.

2015-05-03 15.41.41 2015-05-03 15.53.16

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.

Long weekend shenanigans

2014-03-21 12.52.58

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.

2014-03-21 13.15.23IMG-20140323-WA0008

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.

2014-03-23 21.47.06

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?

 

A weekend by the sea would be a grand idea.

Going away for a weekend is really such a treat, a treat that unfortunately we haven’t been able to take advantage of in 1.5 years of marriage. You see, Shabbos just comes in too early on a Friday for us to get anywhere out of town to go away. Factor in Friday-post-work-traffic, needing to shower and setting up food on a hot-tray, and you’d understand why we haven’t been able to do this. Long weekends (that start on a Friday) are really such a blessing.

We weren’t going to go away at all over the Women’s Day weekend (right before my birthday) and a week or so after we decided not to – Greg drops the bomb that he’s found us a nice little place in Hermanus. It sounded perfect. Shabbos, sea, whale watching, bits of exploring – we’d actually never been away for Shabbos before, so that in and of itself was exciting. Imagine compulsory relaxing time by the sea?

IMG_3440 IMG_3442 IMG_3444

We left midday on Friday and arrived many hours later due to emergency roadworks. Either way we did some last minute shopping (like when you forget to bring bowls and spoons for your soup…) and a little exploring in the shops. There was the loveliest old school type bookshop. Tons of classics, tons of old books, so many bookshelf it seemed like a maze – I wish I’d taken photos, but I was a bit nervous of the little old man at the front desk. Eventually we got to our little rented apartment and it was so perfect. A great size for 2, sea facing, a braai and so tastefully decorated for a seaside home!

IMG_3446 IMG_3448

We showered, the food was on the hot tray, we played rummikub and monopoly deal while we waited to eat dinner, we ate, I raved more about the wedding, we read (I finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which is a seriously beautiful book. Again, my genre of “books that get made into movies”.) and eventually crashed while reading and went to bed at the grand hour of 10pm (I lie, it could have been earlier.)

IMG_3456

Shabbos morning was the greatest ever. We woke up late, we lay in bed reading and napping and playing more games. Greg even spotted some whales while I was reading in bed, calling out “show off for me, baby” while he watched through his binoculars. I couldn’t help but giggle at this boy. Before lunch we took a walk down to the sea. I think it was one of my highlights of this little weekend. It was a complete break from life and the world. It was completely secluded and there was no distraction of cellphones or social media. Not even the temptation, as it’s kind of what we do every Saturday. It was utterly relaxing. It’s what I’m sure most people want from a getaway break, and go to remote locations without signal. We didn’t even need to try for that. It was like a super shabbos on steroids. I wish that everyone could experience such a break to really take the time and connect.

We sat on the balcony watching the sunset as we waited for Shabbos to come out. We braaied (always a luxury when you live in a flat), switched between watching Come Dine With Me, George of the Jungle and Footloose before reading, and bedtime. In the morning I woke up while the sun was still busy rising, and because we were up on the third floor, and level with the horizon I could still kind of watch the beautiful colours of the sunrise. I snuck out for a photo in the cold, and then got back in to bed and continued to watch the sun rise and the day begin with Greg from our bed. What a seriously special moment.

IMG_3455 IMG_3454 IMG_3453

On our way home we stopped at a lookout point, overlooking the sea, high up from the rocks. We picked a bench, looked out to the sea, and took plenty selfies (“I love taking photos like this, it reminds me of back when we were dating.” – Greg. I think this means we need to do it more often, fun things shouldn’t stop just because you’re married.). And we chatted of course, before we headed home. It was such a refreshing weekend and just the greatest time to just reconnect and absolutely hang out with my +1. If you’d like to stay at this little apartment we stayed at (we were in a 1 bedroom, but the owner has plenty bigger options) please get in touch with me so I can put you in touch.

Weekends away like this are things I hope we will be taking much more advantage of in the coming years. We might not be able to afford a big overseas trip quite yet, but these little trips will do. And hey, I kinda like exploring my backyard.

Cape Town, you beauty.

And what a lucky girl to have a guy like this to share it with.

IMG_3458 IMG_3473 IMG_3476 IMG_3477 IMG_3490 IMG_3492 IMG_3501 IMG_3502 IMG_3506 IMG_3508 IMG_3509 IMG_3511 IMG_3512

Here is to many more times of fun, exploring, enjoying each other’s company, and photo’s to document it all.