Week 1 │ Cape Town Winter Trip
Our first week in Cape Town was really wonderful. After almost a decade away, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of winter temperatures. Everyone said that it was “freezing”, but looking at the weather forecast, and remembering the clothes I had when I lived there – I knew that it wouldn’t be TOO COLD. We packed the clothes that we wear in spring and autumn here in China. During that first week, we already knew that the clothes we had taken along would still be too warm. That meant we got to go shopping – woohooo, time to stock up some new fashion!
Another HUGE realization that we had during that first week was that we were actually able to dress for “look” and not for function. Amazing! Oh my – all of these things are so foreign to us now, but when we come into contact with them, we want them back in our lives. From the very first week we felt a very deep longing to move to Cape Town. It might have been the family, the strong connections with friends, the good food, or understanding everything around us. We aren’t sure what exactly it was – but it hit us hard!
Week 1 Events
You can read about the bigger activities from our first week here: Cape Town Bound │ Traveling Separately // Old Friends New Times │ Deer Park Cafe // A Monochrome Superhero Party // Meeting “Uncle Buddy” (with *VIDEO*) // Family, Fun & Fellowship.
As most of you know, my MacBook stopped working as we arrived in Cape Town. It was quite an upsetting ordeal for me as I had a shoot that I hadn’t yet edited, and that family had moved from Qingdao since the shoot. The pictures were of the family and their new baby. Thankfully, the pictures weren’t lost but I was unable to use my computer for the duration of the trip. Hence the reason why you are only reading about all of this now. Not only was my computer a wreck, but I was also having focus-issues with my camera. To this day, I have no idea what was going on, but my pictures were a struggle. I therefore don’t have great pictures from much of the first week or two, but nevertheless… some (albeit grainy) pictures are better than none!
We Hired a Car
Cape Town is not really a city that you can get around in without a car. It is possible to do it sans wheels, but you will be missing out! And we weren’t about to be missing out on anything. We found a really great deal on a car, and decided to get one from the very beginning. I don’t think we will ever do Cape Town without a car. Even though our family and friends are VERY generous, and often offer to ride us around, we love the freedom that having a rental brings!
The Star of the Show
Our friends, the Blankenbergs, were SOOOOOOO excited to see Eli. Catherine was besotted with him. I love seeing the way that she looks at Elijah. It is so incredibly sweet!! We went over to the Blankenbergs for dinner and little man entertained us all with his cuteness.
Above, Tayla is my god-daughter. She turned 13 while we were in Cape Town (more on that in an upcoming post). She is officially taller than me. Oh my gosh – I knew that it was going to happen, but I didn’t think that it would be by thirteen.
Eli cannot say Tayla, so her name changed to “Too-wa”. Needless to say, this made all of us melt! These two are just adddddorable together. They cuddle, watch movies, and hang out like they have been best friends since the beginning of time. They bonded in the same way when they first met in our 2015 trip. I guess that they just looped right back into those old feelings.
Options Options Options
When I lived in South Africa, I remember thinking that we had barely any options. My oh my! My opinion on this has definitely changed. I know that we don’t have as many options as the States (What country does? Right?) but compared to Asian countries, we had PLENTY! I marveled at how products like American Caramel Corn now have a completely new meaning to me, and I spent about 20 minutes staring at all of the sweets in the check out aisle. Not because I wanted them – but because they brought back so many memories!
Chomp, Fizzers, Sweetie Pies, Crunch, Jelly tots… Oh goodness.
And Then There’s the Money
Look at those awesome notes! Isn’t funny how you don’t even take note of these things when you live in a country all your life? And then you move away for a decade and everytime you go home, you marvel at the simplest of things. <<Instagram post HERE.>> It was like stepping back into my old life, but all wide-eyed and amazed by everything. Truly a blessing – You should try it!
Lego and Morning Cudddles
My folks bought Eli about 10 boxes of Lego to add to the big house set that we got him for his Third Birthday. Since he’s more of a “open and enjoy” type, he never digs into all his gifts at once. He opens one gift and then plays with just toy that for a while. He barely even notices, or cares, that there are other gifts. WE LOVE THIS! Every morning he would open a new box of Lego and add it to what he had.
Eli was sleeping in the same pack ‘n play that he slept in on our first trip to Cape Town with him, in 2014. He still fits but he was able to climb out. Being the considerate kid that he is, he would play in his bed until one of us said his name and then he would crawl onto the bed with us. We were quite impressed! By the middle of the trip he was refusing to take naps, or fall asleep at night, in the baby bed. Little did we know that this would be the beginning of his transition into a big boy bed. He still uses his crib, but it has no sides on it.
We loved the dark, cold mornings spend in our bedroom with Eli. It was good quality family time. South African houses don’t have built in heating systems (since it isn’t really necessary) so during the evenings and early in the morning… IT IS COLD! Once the sun comes up, the house warms up. It was so amazing to experience Cape Town in a different way. It was relaxing and soothing.
Quality Family Time
It was an absolute pleasure to see my folks bonding with Elijah. My dad would move Eli’s Lego table to the middle of the lounge, and they would build houses together. SO SWEET! We made pizzas, and many other delicious meals, at home. My dad is an amazing chef! Since I had started my Ketogenic Journey in June, I was only a month in. My progress and energy sparked interest in many, and pretty much everyone is now on that same journey. Even my dad, who has lost 12 kg, is living a low carb, high fat, life now! That delicious pizza you see above has a base made of tuna and egg. Nothing else!
I haven’t yet done a post on my ketogenic lifestyle, but you can add me on Instagram if you want to know more! I do lots of pictures, recipes, and motivational quotes. Add me: Contoured_byCat
The Blankenbergs treated us to an amazing dinner at an Italian restaurant in the Waterfront. We sat right on the edge of the mall, close to the water and live entertainment outside. Yup, despite being winter, we were able to sit with restaurant doors open, in the open air. There were heaters and blankets of those who needed them – and it was all so cozy and beautiful. Quite different from the winters we are now used to.
We ate at San Marco’s Italian Restaurant. The food was amazing!!
Eli stayed at home with my folks, and we got to go out and enjoy a night with friends. Before dinner we stopped at H&M and did a bit of shopping. At dinner, the guys had burgers and beers. The ladies had bun-less burgers with wine. Sweet Tayla Jade had a delicious-looking lasagne – I think we were all drooling a little when we saw her dish! I will say though, that our bun-less burgers were PHENOMENAL.
It was only later on in our trip that I discovered that this beer, Castle Light, has only ONE CARB per bottle. Ahhhhhh… what?!
Love these Two People!
On our list of “Reasons to move to Cape Town” they are PRETTY DARN HIGH UP!
We love and appreciate you guys so much! Thank you for everything!
Old Favorites and New Favorites
We were happy to find options that weren’t available in Cape Town last time we were there – like Diet Dr. Pepper. We went to the Spur quite a few times while we were home. There’s a great glassed-in playarea for the kids, and I got to enjoy this incredible Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad on multiple occasions.
A wonderful first week, filled with many special moments and memories. Although we tried to get photos of as much as we could, there is so much more! This trip was such an amazing one for us. Next up we move onto week two of our winter trip to Cape Town.