Sunday, September 9, 2012

West Coast Wild Flowers

We went to Langebaan and the West Coast National Park last weekend with our friends Lauren, Jono, Amelia (6 yrs) and Jo (almost 2 yrs) McGill.  Lily and Amelia are in Soetlief together, and Lauren and I get to hang out every week while they are in class.  Her friendship has been such a gift!  Through an online search, Lauren found a house on the beach to share, and it was SUCH a good and affordable find!  I'm so used to our small apartment, that when we walked in to the house I was almost in shock!  I said "we get to use this whole house?"  It had 4 bedrooms, full kitchen with a dishwasher (I've never been so excited about loading a dishwasher), a downstairs living room with comfy couches and an indoor braai (fire place), an upstairs living room with a table and chairs, more couches, and a deck with a grill and a view of the beach!  Plus, there was a fully enclosed and secured yard so the kids could just go outside and play in the grass!  It was a perfect fit for our two families to relax, play, get to know each other, and enjoy the beautiful weekend.  It felt like home.
On Sunday, we wend to a restaurant on the beach called the Strandloper, which means "beach walker".  The stone benches and tables were all set up around a middle gathering point where the food was continually replenished as the afternoon went on.  Throughout the afternoon braai they served fresh homemade bread with butter and jam, grilled snoek, grilled angel fish, "potbrood" (pot bread rolls), sweet potatoes, garlic mussels, paella, and lobster!  Yum!  It was a beautiful sunny day, and the kids enjoyed playing in the sand while we visited, listened to the man strumming his guitar and singing traditional Afrikaans songs, and feasted as the food came off the grill.  Very fun!

Us with the McGills (Lauren, Jono, Amelia-6yrs, and JoJo-22mos) at the Strandloper

The next day we went to the West Coast National Park outside of Langebaan to see the wild flowers. Even though it was a windy and cooler day, the sun still came out and that means the flowers were in their fullest splendor.   Let me just tell was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!  I'm convinced we saw a corner of heaven.  Breathtaking!  We were told they are the best they've been in 20 years.  When we first arrived in Cape Town, I saw a postcard of the wild flowers, and I've been anxiously awaiting August/September so we could see them.  Well, I'll let the pictures do the talking!

We saw some wild zebras, spring bok, elands, ostriches, and other animals in the field of flowers.  So cool!

It makes me sad to think I might never see the wild flowers again!  When we were leaving the park Lily said "I took lots of pictures in my mind, Mom!".  I did too.  But we still might go back again next weekend for one last mental picture.  It's only a little over an hour away.  Cape Town is beautiful too.  There are wild calla lilies blooming all along the ditches and in the vineyards.  Loving it!  What a beautiful country this is!

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