Saturday April 1st –
Hi ho, hi ho, off to market we go 😁
We meandered around the Red Barn Market for a while that morning.
Taking in the generous assortment of items available.
Of course the juice place caught my eye.
Resulting in my great enjoyment of an apple, pineapple and minty juice 🍹
Spring rolls were tried and found very acceptable and I really wish there would have been a chance to just chill at one of the food markets we’d went to.
Just eating and waiting to be hungry again on repeat for a few hours 😋
So, not sure if I mentioned this already or not… but I’m totally into olives now 😏😋
My Dad likes olives and I’d tried them the odd time… never hating them but never embracing them either.
Unaware if I could like them or not, Craig and Jolien convinced me to try one again when we’d eaten out with them at it had been tasty and it began the era of a whole new Jess 😜
From that meal on I became braver and braver about trying them, liking them a little more almost every time, but that mornings market was the tipping point.
I tested some sun-dried tomato red olives and some herb and garlic green ones and there was no question of them being good or bad… they were delicious 😂
I bought and assortment crossing my fingers (or holding my thumbs as the saying goes in South Africa I learnt 😉) that they’d last until we made it to Canada so I could share my newfound enjoyment with father 😋
Once we were done at the market, we had a much bigger, grander task ahead.
Heading to The Farm Inn to hold a baby leopard.
Yep… a major bucket list item was getting checked off and it was more flabbergastingly amazing then even I could have imagined.
(That means a lot 😋)
We were introduced to Sky, the five month old, baby leopard who felt like clouds, smelt like baby (cat) and never, has being stalked by a wild cat, felt so perfect 😝
She was adorable to say the least and her trainer was super friendly, offering information and answering all of our questions happily.
He feeds her multiple times a day and even sleeps with her at times to help regulate her body temperature.
Dream job found… cuddling baby leopards while getting sleep. ✔️
She was hardly any bigger then our house cat but much heavier and her soft, feather light paws filled the palm of my hand.
Much like a child she had to put everything in her mouth… including our fingers, arms, legs and sometimes getting a nibble in on our sides.
Her trainer made note of how much gentler she was with girls than with the guys and of course she doesn’t restrain herself at all with him since she trusts him so completely.
He showed us something she learnt herself, where she goes to a certain rock, jumps from one tree to another and finally flings herself onto his chest.
She didn’t even look when jumping to him, looking away and just trustingly throwing herself toward him.
She crushed our dreams of it happening to us though 😜
After much encouragement and her finally making the leap from rock to log, she’d stop juuuuust short of jumping to us, lifting her front paws and then dropping back in disbelief of our abilities to be acceptable catchers 😂
So much rejection felt in that moment.
We over stayed our 15 minute allowance by far, loving every moment but eventually we had to part ways.
Her trainer led us over to look at some jaguars they’d had since youngsters too and I know I’m a cat person, but they really are beautiful animals.
We were all pretty tired from the late night before/early morning so we went back to their house to have lunch and then take a nap😋👌🏻
Mike wasn’t feeling great so he went right to the nap part of things but the girls and I visited and they prepared a tasty lunch.
Fresh mango and watermelon were cut up and a quiche like pie eaten 👌🏻🍴
And then, a nap 😁
A lovely, long nap… one of those naps taken during a hot day, sleeping super soundly with a thin blanket and it just feels wonderful.
(I’m really tired while I write this so the memories of the nap are overly potent 😉)
Mike had to wake me up… twice, and then went to the mall for some more hoodie hunting, coffee sipping and bowling.
No hoodie was found but coffee was ☕️😎
As for bowling… it was my first time and the bowling balls were greasy 😬
After my second turn which resulted in a strike, I rapidly fell to showing my beginner status 😜
It was fun though and minus my awkwardness at the whole thing, I’d be willing to try it again🎳
After all the exertion of bowling, we required food and the girls readily supplied back at the house!
Ever the gracious hostess’s, we weren’t allowed to help prepare anything 🙄
Which was nice but believe it or not, I do have a small guilt factor 😉
Supper was very good and a table-cloth and candles were set out to add to the mood 😉
Bread fresh out of the oven was placed on a wooden board, a salad cut up and displayed, butternut mashed and (a pretty popular thing there) pasta dished out and all enjoyed👌🏻🍽🥗🥖
We (I) maneuvered ourselves to the couches and after a ‘quick’ (ha ha) game of ’30 seconds’ we called it a night.
Needing to rest up for church and packing the next day 😴
Sunday April 2nd –
After the breakfast spread was enjoyed, we drove about 30 minutes to get to church.
A large congregation was joined and the many musicians efforts enjoyed.
After church the never seeming to end introductions to people Mike knows began.
Rarely have we been to a place where he didn’t know of at least someone who lived or had lived there and South Africa was no exception.
All greeting him happily and then meeting me for the first time with a ‘so, you’re Michiel’s wife’ 😏
Instead of calling people you don’t know or want to show some level of respect to, Mam or sir, or mr and mrs, they call them Aunty and Uncle.
Mostly the children do it but it’s a pretty friendly thing and I can’t say we disliked it.
Having been deemed Aunty and Uncle by the children we’d had dinner with the previous night, they ran up to us with hugs and one stated that ‘Uncle Mike sure seems to know a lot of people doesn’t he?’ 😋
Yes, yes he does 😉
We then went out for lunch with the family again, this time to a Greek restaurant.
Mike and I were happy with that, getting back into our past traditional Sunday lunch rhythm 😉
Unfortunately, we did have to wait overly long for the food but once it came it was really tasty.
Final goodbyes to them were said and then back to the house we went, some very disorganized suitcases that needing repacking, calling to us.
Mike was pretty relaxed about getting everything done but I wanted to have it finished before relaxing so I did some folding and sorting pre last day visiting and sun soaking😉
We didn’t have to leave for the airport until 8:30 pm, so having the entire day to spend normally, pre flying was a new experience.
The whole trip in general had felt long, which was fine by us 😁
Maybe since we so often took weekend trips, the length of this one felt even more luxurious but either way, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and were glad for the last day being a full one.
After a dinner of seasoned chicken and toppings, dessert of tart and homemade coffee milkshakes, polaroids were snapped to really ‘capture’ our time with the girls and then we said our farewells.
We searched around the airport in one last attempt at finding me a South Africa hoodie but I guess they really think it’s just men who wear them because I only seen about two for woman.
One being black with pastel pink writing (not really me😉) and the other being to big.
Mike said we could find one online but somehow that just doesn’t seem… authentic 🙈
And that was that, the end of our South Africa adventure, our last hurrah, the end of an era, our grand finalé… 😜
If you know Mike at all, you know the above statement probably isn’t really true… he will find some way to travel in Canada, I’m sure of it 😏
We took off and the 10 hour 45 minute flight loomed in front of us…