Staycation March 2016 highlights

I’ve been on leave this past week (yay) so stress levels have been at an all-time low. Here are a few of my highlights and pretty sights from in and around Cape Town. Most of them included relaxing and sharing laughs with my loved ones, but warning: There’s a worrying amount of food served on breadboards and foamy coffee shots ahead…

Saturday, 19 March 2016: News Cafe breakfast, Burgundy Estate golf and Espana paella

Pulled pork eggs benedict from News Cafe
Husband wanted the pulled pork eggs ben from News Cafe last Saturday morning, so that’s just what he got!
Muesli jar at News Cafe
For me, the early bird muesli jar – ate every mouthful.
Espana steer heads
Saturday’s chores sorted, we headed off to Burgundy Estate’s mashee golf course, where Husband and Dad had planned a game of golf. This is the outer wall of Espana restaurant, on the same grounds.
Burgundy Estate golf course
Swinging golf clubs and raising flags on the course while Mum and I read and chatted.
Cappuccino while watching golf at Burgundy Estate.
Dad tallying up their exact same scores while Mum and I finished up our cappuccinos.
Table Mountain sunset thorn tree
Sunset and Table Mountain through the thorn trees at Burgundy Estate.
Paella at Espana
Paella served! Me with Mum and Dad before we tucked in. So very yummy. I had the non-fishy version, with chicken, paella and pork belly ribs.
Dom Pedro at Espana
Dom Pedros to end the night on a fun note.

Sunday, 20 March 2016: Doggy tummy tickles, outdoor eating at Ons Huisie

Tickling dog tummies
We couldn’t start our Sunday without tickling these sweet doggy bellies. Proof that Bertie’s mainly a white doggie with brown cape and mask.
Cappuccino at Ons Huisie
We’d not been to Ons Huisie in a while so ventured that side for brekkie. This is me with my cappuccino, wind was a-blowing and it certainly felt like Autumn had reached Cape Town.
Curried mince and egg at Ons Huisie
Husband, tucking into his curried mince and egg on brown. Not pictured: My open toast – eggs and bacon on brown, drizzled in Hollandaise sauce.
Duck boat display at Stark Ayres
Interesting display of stranded duckies and lilies in a boat at our local Stark Ayres nursery.
Dog licking cup.
Later it was time for lupper at Mum’s. Here is Bassie reaching the very dregs of lemon mousse out of her Granny’s cup.

Monday, 21 March 2016; Heritage Day at Wimpy and Banana Jam

Wimpy double up.
This picture is not an illusion. Husband and I both ate the exact same thing on Monday – as it was a public holiday we were finally able to try the ‘Double up’ breakfast at Wimpy, where you get two for the price of one.
Grilled poppers at Banana Jam
After a day exploring the factory stores in Kenilworth, we ended up at Banana Jam for a late lunch. All hungry, we started off with these ‘grilled poppers’ as a starter, wrapped in bacon.
El Capitan burger at Banana Jam
Husband opted for the El Presidente burger – there’s a grilled chicken patty, chorizo, cheese and jalapenos under all that pepper. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Banana split.
If I see banana split on the menu, that’s what I’m having…
Coconut shake
The coconut shake at Banana Jam is among the best I’ve ever tasted.
Banana Jam
Group shot! Mum and Dad are in the sun, Husband and me in the shade outside at Banana Jam.

Tuesday, 22 March: Taproom lunch at Devil’s Peak Brewing Company

Taproom, Salt River
This is where the parents took me for lunch of Tuesday – my first solo day of leave without Husband. Situated in ‘that angled building’ in Salt River, the Taproom is a treat for the eyes – and nose. You can’t get away from the hunger-enhancing scent of hops in there.
Taproom, Devils Peak Brewing Company
So much to choose from! This was Dad’s Pale Ale and the ‘so many choices’ menu.
Soup and sandwich
Most amazing grilled cheese. It’s three layers of sammich, with Swiss cheese on top and served with a delightful pesto-tomato soup on the side.
Sausage platter at Taproom
Dad ended up with the sausage platter. All homemade, served with toasted rye, wholegrain mustard and sauerkraut. He left not a crumb on his plate.
Devil's Peak Brewing Company
That’s either a high five, five stars, or a friendly wave from Dad. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016: Carlucci’s lunch break

Carlucci's drinks
We didn’t head far from home on Wednesday – just up to the beachfront for a quick deli bite to eat. These were our drinks – latte for me thick, healthy red and green juice for Mom and Dad.
Caramel cheesecake at Carlucci's
Could not resist the caramel cheesecake. Shared with Mum.
Table Mountain art at Carlucci's
As seen on the walls at Carlucci’s, I just don’t know which of these Table Mountain-inspired artworks I’d choose – probably the middle one as it’s very purple.

Thursday, 24 March 2016: Coffee at Royal Bavarian Bakery

Cappuccino with foam art at Royal Bavarian Bakery, Waterfront
On Thursday we headed off bright and early to the V&A Waterfront for a spot of window shopping, coffee inhaling and movie-watching. Didn’t our cappuccinos look lovely together?

That’s all, folks. And now it’s the Easter long weekend. We’re set to be hit by a cold snap so expect to see us dressed in woolly layers in the next update…

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Parental airport returns and colleague’s Mexican (Japanese) goodbyes

This week has been a super busy one, mainly because I’m on leave next week soย had quite a bit of work to tick off my to-do list, then its Easter weekend and before you know it we’re in April! A quarter of the year gone! It’s hard to believe. Here are the past week’s highlights…

Saturday, 12 March 2016: Driftwood breakfast and parents airport pick-up

Coffee at Driftwood Cafe
We woke early and dropped the car off at the nearest car wash then trotted across to the Driftwood Cafe. I had this pleasing cup of coffee as part of my R25 breakfast.
Breakfast at Driftwood Cafe
Husband buttering toast to go with his bigger-than-mine breakfast.
Mum and dad's plane taxiing along the runway
We’d been tracking the parents’ planes through an app on Husband’s phone so timed our arrival at the airport pretty well. This was their flight from Joburg taxiing along the runway…
Watching plane disembark at Cape Town International Airport
We watched them disembark from the viewing deck before dashing down to the arrivals hall.
Sad dogs on couch
The doggies were very keen to see Granny and Grampa again, see their sad faces when I asked “Where’s Granny Grampa?”
Eyeball window display
Later that day we were at Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. I couldn’t help snapping a pic of this eye-catching window display at Identity.
Hot-air balloon mall display
Such a cute ‘hot-air balloon’. Husband snapped me sipping a McDonald’s caramel latte beside it. Yes that is Rey from Star Wars looking at it jealously over my shoulder and photobombing me.

Sunday, 13 March 2016: Breakfast at Rusty Oak Bistro

Rusty Oak Bistro buffet breakfast
We read up on the Rusty Oak Bistro at Ruslamere through Zomato and decided to try them for breakfast. Husband opted for the hot buffet – and promptly toppled the pepper grinder onto his first plateful, teehee.
Large cappuccino at Rusty Oak
My rather large cappuccino, just delicious
Waffles at Rusty Oak Bistro
I went for the waffle topped with berry and bacon bits – ahem, and got the double. And finished it all. Kept me full till we got to Mum’s for lupper that eve (note my fancy Roo shirt from the parents’ trip).
Heart fountains at Ruslamere
The pretty outdoor area at Ruslamere.
Raspberries and coffee icecream.
Much, much later, at Mum’s that eve we had raspberries with her homemade coffee icecream. Goodness me it was delicious. Washed down with a delightful pink wine.

Thursday, 17 March 2016: St Patrick’s Day work events and celebrations

Lightsabre lights in FCB building reception
I started my Thursday at an exclusive presentation at an agency walking distance from the office. Just love the multicoloured light-sabre type lights that hang from the reception area of the FCB/Hellocomputer building in Woodstock, and the little window near the ceiling. This picture does not do it justice.
FCB wall art Skrik vir niks
Walking to the lift I saw this interesting wall art – which I later found out was printed by Husband! Tis a very small world.
Coffee at FCB
There was time for a quick cup of coffee before the presentation began. Note my stripy pants did not match the stripy carpet.
Clouds over Lion's Head
Lots of pretty clouds about on my way to the bus stop after work that evening. There’s a definite chill in the air these days – the start of autumn so soon?
Guinness for St Patrick's Day
We were just too tired to head out anywhere after work for official celebrations, but Husband had a Guinness in St Paddy’s honour.

Friday, 18 March 2016: Fat Cactus farewell to Meg

Farewell Megan!
My colleague Megan (two down from me in this pic, she was in most of my pics from last year’s Loeries blog post) is jetting off to teach English in Japan in a few weeks, and as most people are on leave next week we had a brief farewell at the Fat Cactus across the road from the office today. I was sat at the ‘espresso milkshake’ end of the table ๐Ÿ™‚
Espresso shake at Fat Cactus
The Milkshake Queen strikes again! These are the espresso shakes in question. |I almost had another.

That’s all, folks! I’m going to use the next few days to switch off, reset and recharge my batteries. Hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

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Happy doggy beach walks and carboloading with paella for Argus 2016

If you were a fan of the previous version of this blog, you’d already know my father-in-law drives down from Joburg to Cape Town each year around this time, both to spend some quality time with his son and to participate in the Argus. Yes, all 109km of it, despite the fact that he’s in his 70s. Click here for a reminder of last year’s Argus post, here for the 2014 rendition, and see highlights of the past week below…

We loved having Dad-in-law and Will with us - they left early on Tuesday for the long trip back to Joburg. A few of the arm-stretch selfies we took during their stay were a little blurry, but they make me smile so I made a little collage of them here. Expect more next year!
We loved having Dad-in-law and Will with us – they left again early on Tuesday for the long trip back to Joburg, post-Argus success. A few of the arm-stretch selfies we took during their stay were a little blurry, but they make me smile so I made a little collage of them here. Expect more next year!

Friday, 4 March 2016:ย Braai at dad-in-law’s cousins

Braai in Cape Town
This is one reason last week’s blog update was a little delayed – we had plans to be elsewhere that evening. These are our tired but happy faces, braai-ing at Dad-in-law’s cousins’ house, who live just up the street from us. Their daughter also completed the Argus this year – her first.

Saturday, 5 March 2016:ย News Cafe brekkie, Espana dins

Pulled pork benedict
When Husband saw a pulled pork benedict special at our local News Cafe he simply had to try it. Fully of porky deliciousness.
Muesli jar at News Cafe
My News Cafe weekend standard – the muesli jar (it’s automatically rung up at half price if you order before 10am) and a cafe latte – fun as you get a glass mug of hot frothed milk with a side jug of espresso to blend in, at your leisure.
Tikka chicken wrap at Nadeem's, Parow
We had things to do in the Parow area after dropping mum and dad off at the airport for their Ozzie trip, so popped into their China Town – had delicious tikka chicken wraps at Nadeem’s.
Evening sky in Parklands
We took the cyclists out for a final carbo-load meal that evening and the Parklands sky showed off just a little with this pretty scene.
The pizza oven at Espana
Is it an igloo? Is it half a golf ball? Nope, you’d be almost right with the last guess, though – it’s the pizza oven at Espana, the Spanish restaurant at Burgundy Estate Golf Course.
Paella at Espana in Burgundy Estate
Top choice on the menu at Espana, at the Burgundy Estate Golf Course? Fishy paella. Dad-in-law and Husband practically licked their plates clean. Will and I went for the Fettuccini Alfredo instead. It was slurpingly good. We’ll be back.

Sunday, 6 March 2016: Argus Sunday

Salmon eggs benedict at Village Place Cafe
We were up and about fairly early on Sunday, and as most restaurants in the area only open at 9 (why is this?), our breakfast options were limited. We opted for a local favourite, the Village Place Cafe at West Coast Village. This was Husband’s salmon eggs benedict…
Flapjack and cappuccino at Village Cafe
For me, the choc-chip flapjack with lots of ice cream, a jar of berry coulis, and a tall toffee-infused cappuccino to wash it down. Yummy.
Dogs on the beach
Next on the agenda was a beach walk with the doggies. They had a whale of a time as the wind had died down and it wasn’t too hot yet.
Dogs in car
Look at those excited little faces! Kreeftebaai, one of the doggy-friendly beaches between Blouberg and Melkbos, was our destination, and they knew it.
Dog in car
Everyone was lightly dusted in sand and singing happily on the way home after a few runs back and forth along the dunes and into the rock pools.
Argus 2016 finish line
Dogs safely home we headed off by bike (motorbike, not bicycle) to Green Point Stadium to cheer on the cyclists. We’d been tracking their progress through an app so had a rough idea when they’d cross the finish line. Here is Husband, waiting with camera poised.
Will finished Argus 2016
And then they were done! Will crossed the line in 4 hours 17 minutes…
Argus medal 2016
Dad-in-law did it in 6 hours 18 minutes, good enough for a medal. His start time was earlier than Will’s so he didn’t finish two hours later. The neck brace is for his arthritis.
Dog with rope toy
Having almost completely removed the stuffing from his piggy toy received for his birthday last week, Bertie spent the evening chewing on the colourful stretchy rope his grandparents gifted him. Tis almost completely unravelled.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016: Sleepy dogs and Truth coffee at conferences

Dogs in bed
We got off to an early start on Wednesday as I was attending a conference with a 7am registration time. The doggies decided they’d rather stay in bed.
Truth cappuccino at Inner City Ideas Cartel
One of the most wonderful things – complimentary coffee to wake you up and get your system firing properly when you have a busy day of note-taking, tweeting and networking ahead. This cappuccino from Truth did the trick! Click here to read my highlights from the Programmatic Summit at the Inner City Ideas Cartel in the CBD.

That’s all, folks! We’re collecting my parents from the airport tomorrow, so everything’s almost back to normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bertie’s sixth birthday

Hello, poor loyal blog reader who’s been set adrift along the winding paths of the internet with no safe harbour in which to dock your thoughts, fretting over my lack of update last Friday. Not only did I have much more to do than I usually do on any given Friday – father-in-law and a friend from Joburg were staying with us to participate in last weekend’s Argus Cycle Challenge (more on that in the next update) – but I also ran into some space/image storage issues right here on WordPress. So much so that I wondered whether it was even worth continuing with this. But, on reading up on how taking photos helps keep memories alive in later years, I gave myself a little pep talk and plunged in, for the benefit of my future self if nothing else. So, rather than pay to keep adding to the blog you’ve known for four years I chose to go with a whole new blog, which you’re now feasting your eyes on. I know, I know, it actually looks very similar to the old blog, but I’ll slowly be easing in some changes to the format so it’s not too much of a shock to the system.

For now, here’s last week’s promised post on Bertie’s sixth birthday…

Saturday, 27 February 2016: Wimpy brekkie, choc-cross buns, Jerry’s Burgers

Wimpy breakfast
We had a full day of weekend admin ahead of us, so first stop was the local Wimpy, to make sure our belly grumbles were at an all-time low. Husband demolished this tasty plate…
Wimpy coffee and toasted cheese
I had my default toasted cheese, drenched the chips in sauce and washed it all down with a Wimpy coffee.
Dogs on couch back rest
The doggies tested their ‘cat skills’ by perching on the back rest of the couch. They’re very good at it.
Dogs looking at vaccuum
The doggies prompty stopped the cat act when the vaccuum cleaner came out to ensure all was a-sparkle for Grampa’s visit. Both look very much like dogs here.
Chocolate hot cross buns
With Easter just around the corner, I couldn’t resist these chocolate-topped and filled hot cross buns. With coffee, of course.
Jerry's Burger Bar on Kloof Street
Later that afternoon we lunched at Jerry’s Burger Bar on Kloof Street with mum and dad.
Pulled pork burger at Jerry's Burger Bar
I went for the pulled pork burger with a slice of cooked apple, washed down with a gingerbread milkshake – just as good as the version in Blouberg. T’was, as Roald Dahl would say, ‘scrumdiddlyumptious’. But Husband’s Philly Cheese Steak burger was even better, remind me to have that next time!

Sunday, 28 February: Eggs benedict in Melbosย 

Heart napkin
We felt like a little road trip for Sunday breakfast, so headed out to Melkbos. These are the pretty heart-stamped napkins at I โค Melkies
Eggs benedict at I <3 Melkies
Husband had the full salmon eggs benedict, I went for the half-size option with bacon. Very tasty indeed.
Hill's Science Plan
We remembered to stop in at our local vet pet shop to redeem the doggies’ Hills Science Plan voucher. They were very interested in what the packaging said…
Dogs on couch
The new kibble seemed to go down a treat as they spent the rest of the afternoon lying close together, acting like siblings for once. They say, “Thanks Hill’s, for another wonderful woofy surprise!”
Scones with jam and cream
When we got to Mum’s for lupper, she whipped up a batch of fresh scones with jam and cream. Lovely afternoon tea.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016: Bertie turns six

Can’t believe our furry little boy dog is already six. Click here if you’ve forgotten what I wrote about him on his fourth birthday.

Dog wearing birthday hat
Doesn’t he look smug! Over the years he’s learned to tolerate wearing the birthday hat. Click here for a reminder of last year’s birthday hat photo.
Dog with pig toy
The second he unwrapped his squeaky piggy birthday toy Bertie ran off to unstuff and desqueak him. He happily pulled out bits of piggy innard for hours on end.
Dog eating chewy rawhide toy
While Bassie doesn’t like squeaky toys, she’s a real jealousy custard, so her grandparents got her a chewy rawhide toy. This was her guilty face when I caught her eating it on the bed.
Sleepy dog on couch
Soon he was a happy, tired boy, happy to snuggle on the couch. Happy birthday, Bertie Andrews!

That’s all for now, next update to follow soon…

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