Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

From us to all of you... we hope you all have a very happy, healthy, blessed new year. We are celebrating by going out to dinner with friends and then having a few drinks here after. Enjoy your evening and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We did some celebrating early at the beach today. It was gorgeous. Here are just a few pics of the boys in the water!


There was a Polo test match just outside of Plettenburg Bay on Monday the 29th.. so a group of us decided we wanted to go check it out and see what a polo match was all about. Us, the McCarty's and Wolf's all headed out on the 2 1/2 hour trek to Plett. Before going we found out that you are suppose to take picnic baskets, chairs, food, drinks, etc... sort of like tailgating. So you know me.. I put together a spread of food for the group and the kids, everyone brought food, and coolers. We even took tables to set up. When we got there everyone had their chairs and blankets set up but noone had a setup like us!!! I even brought flowers for our table!

The horses were just beautiful and it was really cool to see the way the game was played. There was a match at the beginning that was young kids (not sure how young)and then the big match started at 4pm.. It was South Africa vs Australia. South Africa won! YEAH!! And we were given many compliments on our set up! It was alot of fun, so we may be going again! Scott and Pat had to dress for the occasion! Scott actually wore a pink polo shirt, with khaki shorts and a blue sport coat! Pat did his preppy dressing with a sweater vest and those preppy embroidered shorts! Too funny!

Our Food... Yummy!!

Here Scott and all the kids went out on the field to replace the divets! Those of you who have seen Pretty Woman (which is one of my favorites) have heard of replacing the divets. Our crew were the last ones on the field, of course.


The day after Christmas we went to a cricket game here in PE. Cricket is the big sport here... I still don't understand it really well but it was fun to go see. Our local team is the Chevrolet Warriors (in the black and green uniforms). We sat in the grass and just hung out with the McCarty's, Stout's and Comiskey's for the evening. There is a batter and bowler.. they hit the ball and run back and forth between the wickets.. and try to earn as many runs as possible before they reach a set number of "overs" Once they reach the over amount the other team bats and trys to beat the number of runs. Some games depending on the rules and type of game can last for days!! When we finally left it was "half time" (our team had reached the overs and the other team was going to bat) and it was almost 8pm and had taken 3 1/2 hours! Crazy. A few guys in front of us were trying to explain the game ... I got part of it but there is so much more to it!! Here are some pics...

The inside of the stadium. We are seated in the grass family section...

This is a car like the one I am driving now.. a Captiva.

They had a band that played alot of the game. Of course, Evan was most interested in the band and not the game!

Brett and Evan having some yummy ice cream! Brett was eating his so nicely and then he saw Evan licking his like a dog and had to play along! Sorry Kimberly!!

The kids hanging out..As you can see they are not real excited about the game!

At what would be considered Half time.. they allow people on the field. Most of the groups were playing their own small cricket games.. ours were just running around like monkeys! Scott was chasing Taylor and Hunter and they would sneak up and tackle each other. Again... those Crazy Americans!!

Pat checking out the field with Claire.

I am sure we will learn more about the game while we are here! So we will keep you updated!!

More Christmas 2008

After tearing thru the gifts.. we relaxed for a bit. The boys (mostly Aiden) played Wii with Daddy. And then in the late afternoon we headed to our SA Family Christmas dinner at the McCarty's. It was great... great food, drinks and new friends.

It was a really strange Christmas... it didn't even feel like Christmas. First it is warm here which is different than normal. And you are not bombarded with Christmas! There are very few commercials on TV here so you don't see the sale ads, etc and the stores are pretty low key about it as well. The one big change is that no one here puts out lights or decorations on their homes! I always love driving around looking at Christmas lights!! One of my favorite things about Christmas. But here it is looked at as a waste of electricity and just not the culture. But we had a great time and enjoyed the day. Hope everyone enjoyed theirs!

The boys... Randy, Joel, Scott and Pat

The kids hanging out playing Wii...

Joel, Claire (on his back) and Graham!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 08

Well it is here...the day the boys have been waiting for! They had a great morning and have gone thru all the toys and candy out of the stockings and it is only 9:30 am! Here are some pics for you to enjoy.. a few are from Christmas Eve. Everyone have a great day! We are headed to our South African family dinner tonight at the McCarty's. I will post more pics later! Talk to you all soon!!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tsitsikamma National Park

After the cheetah experience we were off to our next destination... we stayed in Storms River/ Tsitsikamma National Park. The hotel was like a little village.. very cute. We spent the night hanging out and the boys played on the playground. The next day we headed into the main gate of the park and drove thru the forest and ended up at the beach where we just had a relaxing morning before heading home.

Below are the pics of the hotel and the beach...

It rained just for a few minutes and we got this rainbow that appeared...

Beach and scenery at Tsitsikamma...

Well we hope you enjoyed our trip.. We sure did! It went by fast but was wonderful to see new things and meet new people. We look forward to many new adventures as we travel around some more in the coming year.


After some beach time and lunch we headed to Tenikwa wildlife awareness center focused on African wild cats. It was recommended to us while we were in town so we thought we would check it out.

You go on an hour guided tour thru the camps of some beautiful cats.. you go into their fenced areas and are able to interact with them (some more than others). It isn't very large but for the experience it was fantastic! They have many different types of wild cats but the big draw is the cheetahs.. we saw baby's that were just a few months old, teenagers that were about a year old and then adults that were 18 months old.. up close and personal. They have been hand reared so are very use to humans but still have their instincts. That was evident...when we went into the teenager cheetahs area, I was told to hold Evan and Aiden was to walk right in front of Scott. Aiden got just a couple of steps away from Scott (just enough to show distance between them) and the cheetahs sat up and were checking him out. You could just see it in their faces. Amazing! We were able to pet/touch the babies and the teenagers... Unbelievable!

This species of wild cat is dying off because it is getting cross bred with domestic cats and its habitat is being taken away.

These are the baby cheetahs.. they are about 3 months old. We were able to pet them while they lounged under a tree.

The lynx were pretty active.. there were three. The younger male was very active and actually came up to us and was rubbing up against our legs. So cool!!

Below are a few other cats that are wild and being threatened in their natural habitat. The big cats of Africa get alot of attention so these are falling by the way side.

Here are the teenage cheetahs which are around a year old.. They are two brothers. These are the ones that took notice of Aiden when he got a step away from Scott and they noticed it wasn't just one person but two and a smaller one at that!

These are photos of the adult cheetahs.. they are becoming endangered in the wild as well. The larger cats are preying on them as well as other animal steeling their food. They run very fast to catch their prey but then have to sit and rest before acutally being able to eat or get the prey out of the eyes of other others come steal the prey they just caught. They are just facsinating animals! Very alert and beautiful.

This is us with our guide. It was a great tour with unbelievable interaction! I never thought I would be able to pet a cheetah or be in the same open area with one.