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.

Advertisements

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.

improguise_Theatre_sports_cape_town01 improguise_Theatre_sports_cape_town02

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.

improguise_Theatre_sports_cape_town03 improguise_Theatre_sports_cape_town04

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

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 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.

2014-02-09 10.54.35 2014-02-09 10.54.49 2014-02-09 10.55.49 2014-02-09 11.12.29

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.

2014-02-09 11.24.02 2014-02-09 11.27.19 2014-02-09 11.27.24

 

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.

2014-02-09 12.57.092014-02-09 13.00.26 2014-02-09 13.19.13 2014-02-09 13.19.18 2014-02-09 13.19.25 2014-02-09 13.29.25

 

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.

2014-01-19 18.18.452014-01-19 18.09.06  2014-01-19 18.19.37  2014-01-19 19.56.45 2014-01-19 20.07.41 2014-01-19 20.07.48 2014-01-19 20.11.52 2014-01-19 20.08.23 2014-01-19 20.08.55  2014-01-19 19.56.26

Cape Town, I love you.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

I feel like I’m a little late to the party, but I felt the inner need to share this with you anyway. Everybody loves those cosy nights on the couch, with friends or your boyfriend/girlfriend, popcorn, some food, a great movie and a blanket? The Galileo brings you all of that, but outdoors in some of Cape Town’s greatest locations. You’re spoilt for choice with an incredible selection of movies against the most magical scenery of either The V&A Waterfront, Hillcrest Quarry or Kirstenbosch Gardens.

I’ve already seen two movies there, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Love Actually. We wanted to see Harry Potter as well as the Addams Family, but never got around to it or things came up. I’d recommend trying to get there a little early, as it fills up quickly. If you can’t, don’t stress, because the screen is so massive that you can see perfectly even way at the back. For something that could go either way with sight and visibility, they’ve really hit the nail on the head. And I can’t tell you how efficiently it is run.

Movies run 3 nights a week, each time at a different venue, and no movie is repeated – so you better get in there and check out the full schedule. Tickets range from R70 up, but I recommend getting a chair at least. You can bring your own blankets, but be warned – don’t let “summer” fool you – it’s freezing once the sun goes down. So bring extra blankets and jerseys in case.

Greg and I had such a wonderful time at Love Actually, one of our favourite movies. It’s really a perfect summer date night, and the greatest upgrade to a girls night at the movies. If you can do it with a picnic and wine, it’s automatically better, right? So if you haven’t checked the schedule or booked any tickets, please, go do yourself a favour.

2013-12-23 18.54.19 2013-12-23 18.56.35 2013-12-23 18.59.46 2013-12-23 19.13.55 2013-12-23 19.58.51 2013-12-23 19.58.59 2013-12-23 19.59.09 2013-12-23 19.59.24 2013-12-23 20.30.56 2013-12-23 20.31.00

4 things I’m looking forward to doing on the Garden Route.

We’re finally going on holiday tomorrow, driving up to Knysna along the Garden Route for a week! I don’t know if I could be more excited. We have wine packed, copious amounts of meat for braaing, vegetables for Africa and 4 geared car to get us there 😛 It’s funny because for the greater part of the last 7 or so years I’ve spent along the Garden Route. Usually I would be running a camp in Mossel Bay, and a couple of times I’d been with my family on holiday in the Wilderness or driving the whole route down to PE.

I never understood people who went to the same place year after year, but if you’re like us, you’re going to find different things to do on each trip! Here are some of the things that I can’t wait to do!

1. Knysna Elephant Park

knysna-elephant-park-elephant-back-rides

I don’t know why, but I have the maddest urge to ride an elephant. On a school trip with Greg at the last school he worked, we got to walk with, touch and feel elephants (which I totally recommend if you’re not into riding one), but I’m just dying to ride on one. People just say I should go to Thailand, but I don’t see myself there in the near future, so why not just do it now?

For more info visit the Knysna Elephant Park website. Bookings are required.

2. Beaches

The truth is, Knysna doesn’t have it’s own beach so either way it’s a little bit of a drive but nothing tragic. It’s all part of the roadtrip experience, right? We loved Buffelsbaai last year, and can’t wait to check out Noetzie (pictured above. Can you even believe  those astles?!) as well as beaches further out like Plett and the Wilderness.

3. Picnic at the Jubilee Creek

We’re huge picnic fans. So the Jubilee Creek looks like the perfect spot. Forest, grass, a little creek to put your feet in. It looks lovely. And you can also braai there. I definitely want to try check this place out if we have time. For more info, check this link.

4. Boating along the Keurbooms River

keurbooms

Well, if you don’t own a boat to take out to see when the feeling strikes, you may as well grasp the opportunity when you’re on holiday. I’ve done this before, but never just Greg and I, and I think it would be so much fun. Sea, boat, picnic, sun, and trying not to get stuck in the sandbanks.

These are some of the things I’m looking forward to doing, but I don’t want to plan the entire holiday. It’s a time for relaxing, not strategic planning. There are so many more places to visit and activities to do, perhaps I’ll do a round up in the near year. For now, all I want to do is lie on the beach far away from bustling Cape Town.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Bring on 2014!