Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Adventures with Grammy and Poppy

Well after all the excitement of the first week we headed back to PE and stopped over night in Knysna. Knysna was celebrating their annual oyster festival so we took the boys to the carnival for some rides and then had a great relaxing dinner on the water.. and of course had oysters! Then the next morning finished our drive to PE and began our last week of adventures. We did lots of fun stuff but also finally had some time to relax. We toured around town, did some souvenir shopping, played on a couple beaches, saw whales, went to the lion park, explored a few of the kids play places and ate lots of good food! The last week of the visit was much less jam packed but just as fun. We had a GREAT time with Grammy and Poppy and wish they could have stayed much longer! It was very sad to see them go.

The boys petting 6 week old lion cubs at Seaview Lion Park....

Grammy & Poppy petting 6 month old male lions at Seaview Lion Park...

Grammy & Poppy at Sardinia Beach watching the boys play in the sand and watching the whales go swimming by! We watched a huge pod make its way past us.

Us doing some shopping at the beachfront... bargaining!

Backyard visitors....

Dinner out with Friends!

I hope Grammy & Poppy enjoyed it as much as we did! Miss you and Love you!

Wineland 2

Our second day in the winelands we spent in a very quaint village called Franschhoek. Very scenic and lots of great wineries everywhere. We only had a chance to get to two for the day... We started the day in the village for some breakfast and a quick walking tour of the town. The first winery was an awesome tour at Haute Cabriere they specialize in sparkling wine and it was fabulous! The entire winery is under ground to regulate the temp of the wine and the use gravity to bring the grapes into the winery which does less damage to the grapes during the process. The tour was very entertaining and informative. The owner was obviously very passionate about the wine and the history behind what he did, which made it even more interesting! Part of the tour was the tasting.. when we tasted the three sparkling wines they make he opened each bottle with a sword and a lucky girl got the top of the bottle with the cork mounted as a keepsake. Very cool!

The house we stayed in Franschhoek

The Owner starting the tour...

After the regular tour we purchased a bottle of sparkling wine and the owners son opened it for us with the sword! Very cool.

Our next stop was Boschendal for lunch and wine tasting. This wasn't our favorite winery but was nice. Then off to the house to rest up for dinner at the Haute Cabriere restaurant!!

Another end to a perfect day!


Now the fun part...We were off to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to check out some wineries. Here there are some of the best wineries in the world! I know some people will debate this but I will stand by it. They are amazing and here wine is very inexpensive! You are paying alot if you pay over $20 for a bottle, we typically pay $10 or less for really good wine. Anyway.. Our wine extravaganza began in Stellenbosch at the Spier winery. Not only do they have wine tasting, etc they have two other great attractions; the Eagle Encounter and the Cheetah Outreach.. both are run by non profit agencies. The Eagle encounter was really cool.. we attended a show about a few different south african birds and actually had the birds landing on our arms! From owls to buzzards.. very cool. They also have lots of birds on display and you can also have an encounter with a huge black eagle. The boys enjoyed it so much that they have performed bird shows for us multiple times since that day.

Then we checked out the Cheetah Outreach Program and were able to pet an adult cheetah.

Oh and the wine... we finally got around to the wine tasting and tasted 6 different wines and liked alot of them! It was a great morning but there was more to come!!

So the next stop was Ernie Els.. we had to stop here if nothing else for the name. Being golfers we had to check out his winery. It did not disappoint! The wines were very good, but by far this winery had the most breathtaking views! Absolutely gorgeous. We had lunch there along with the wine tasting and had a short tour. We got to see the private room that Ernie has dinner in when he visits. And, of course, Evan found a dead frog while playing in the grass... only my child!

The breathtaking views.......

There was a huge green area for the boys to run and to work off some energy!

This is the private table that Ernie Els has at the winery..

Evan and his dead frog.....

Grammy & Poppy enjoying the view and the wine!

We topped off our day with one last visit to Kleine Zalze winery for some more great wine and a very nice lady who gave us lots of advice and information. Then we were off to our house in Franschhoek to get ready to start all over tomorrow!

Cape Town Day 2

Our adventure continues... We headed south to Cape Point. Known to be the point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. It was a very scenic drive and took close to 2 hours. Once you get to the Cape Point area.. you take a small cable car to the top of a viewing area and then you need to take a short hike to the actual point... well the day we were there it was sooooo windy that we were not allowed to hike to the point (since you walk along a cliff-- no one wants to be blown over!) But it was more gorgeous views. We took a break and had some lunch at the restaurant.

The lighthouse at the top

Amazing Views

Our next stop.. Boulders beach to see the penguins. This area is home to tons of African penguins... they are so cute! We walked the boardwalk at the national park to view the penguins.


Penguin sitting on her eggs.

Boys checking out the penguins

Then the last stop of the day we stopped at a place called scratch patch in Simons Town. It is a Rock & Mineral mine. You can tour the mine and there is a place for the kids to fill bags with whatever rocks they want. The boys had a blast! We filled 3 bags each. Most if not all of the stones are mined here in South Africa so it was very cool.

Searching for the perfect rock....

Day two was a huge success. Once back in Cape Town we went and had a delicious dinner at the waterfront and got ready for another fun filled day ahead!

Cape Town Day 1

The fun never stops... we were still basking in the amazement of our experience in Kruger, but were off onto another adventure to Cape Town. Cape Town has been said to be the "New York City" of South Africa. It is a beautiful city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, has lots of night life and has amazing people and history. We stayed at the Waterfront which was wonderful! On Day one, we got up and headed to the harbor to take an amazing tour of Robben Island. Robben Island was the home to many things over the years but the most remembered is the site of the prison that Nelson Mandela was held. You take a 30 min ferry out to the island, then a bus tour around the island with lots of info about all of the history and then to the prison to tour some cells and the yards. The guide thru the prison is a former prisoner that served time there. Amazing to hear the stories and events from someone that was there and lived it. So interesting! Nelson Mandela wrote most of his autobiography while he was there.. check it out "A long walk to freedom". Dad read it before he came and was completely thrilled with seeing it and talking to the guide about his views on some of the things in the book. Puts everything in perspective.

Grammy & Poppy with Aiden and Evan waiting for Ferry...

Front of Prison

A cell ... same cell Nelson Mandela was held in.

Poppy & Aiden in Jail....

Our tour guide.

After an amazing tour we walked around the waterfront, did some shopping and had a great lunch right on the water.

Photos of the waterfront...

Our hotel just blocks from the waterfront.

After the relaxing lunch we headed to Table Mountain. It was a gorgeous, clear day. We rode the cable car up to the top and looked at the sites. WOW!!

Layout of the mountain and peaks...

Cable Car... going up

Grammy, Mommy and boys on Table Mountain

Views from the top.....

Grammy & Poppy.. so cute!!

What a great end to the day!