Friday, October 31, 2008

Cape Town 10/31

Before I tell you what we've been up to, Darin wants to make sure I wish you all a happy Reformation Day. That being said, we are in Cape Town. We are in the most beautiful “cottage”, which is what the lady we are renting from calls it. It is more of a condo, 500 meters from the beach, with a view of both Table Mountain and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. We won't be making it over to Robben Island, as today was booked and from tomorrow through November 16 they aren't taking people over there for some reason, so it is nice that we can at least see it. We did go to Table Mountain today, which I will tell you more about in a bit.

We left the Gariep Dam by 7:45 am. My parents were up before 5 and managed to catch the sunrise, which is beautiful even on video. They took the kids out to a playground after breakfast, Darin and I finished packing, and then we headed out. It was another long day of driving. It did not start well. Tyson was crying and saying he had an “owie tummy” and looked all pasty white. He was in the far back, so we switched him and Jori and then my mom held him on her lap and he held on to a plastic bag, just in case. He ended up falling asleep for almost an hour. It was funny, though, because if my mom would try to tip his head back to lean against her, he would pull forward so his face was almost in the plastic bag. Poor kid. He never did throw up, and seemed to perk up after sleeping a bit. We only made two long stops, and a couple roadside potty breaks for Tyson. For like 4 or 5 hours, there was NOTHING to look at, except for some sheep and cows. Seriously, it was barren.

We made it to the “Dune View Cottage” around 5:30. We would have been here sooner, but as soon as we got close to Cape Town, we hit traffic. Such is life in the big city. As I said before, the place we are staying is so nice. It has cement floors, which turn our feet black, but are awesome because there are no worries about the kids spilling anything or tracking in any sand or dirt. Darin and I ended up in the master bedroom. We did offer it to my parents, but having Jori sleep with them was part of the deal as her crib wouldn't fit in the other bedroom. We both have a view of Table Mountain, so it all worked out. Tyson is on his own in the 3rd bedroom. While we do have a beautiful place to stay and a great view, we also have lots of traffic right outside our door. It was so loud all night. Between the traffic and the wind coming off the ocean, I'm surprised I slept as much as I did.

Right after we unpacked the van, we headed across the road to grab some dinner. We went to Spur, as it is family friendly and has a play area for the kids. Tyson and Jori were both pretty restless and a little out of control, so it was a fast dinner and then back to our place to put the kids to bed. Once they were sleeping, we played a quick hand of Canadian Salad, then my parents went to bed and Darin headed back to an internet cafe that was right by Spur. I was going to stay up, but was so tired that I went to bed without him.

This morning we were all up pretty early. Once again Papa and Grandma came through for us this morning by taking the kids across the road to the beach. While they were gone, we found out that our video camera is no longer working. It could be from sitting in the blazing sun the whole drive down to Cape Town, especially since it says right on the camera “Do not leave in high heat, such as in a vehicle”. Bummer. My parents and the kids came back, and we all piled in the van and headed to Table Mountain. Once again we encountered quite a bit of traffic. Thankfully we had Doris with us, so we weren't just driving around aimlessly. For those who don't know, Doris is a GPS system that Leenstra's left behind for us to use. She's awesome. She even knows when there is a roundabout coming and tells you which exit to take to get out so you don't keep driving in a circle. Anyways, we made it to Table Mountain and thought we were in for a long wait because there were already so many cars parked along the road. However, when we were leaving, we realized that we were some of the early birds, as the line of cars now snaked down the mountain about 3 times longer than it was when we arrived.

So, Table Mountain, what can I say. We got to ride up on a huge cable car with a spinning floor. It was pretty sweet. You just stand there, the floor moves and you get to see a different view without doing anything. Table Mountain is about 3400 feet up, so the view from the cable car was amazing. Then we got off and I realized that being on Table Mountain was not going to be so much fun for me. Do you remember what I wrote about being at the Hartbeespoort Dam?? Well, my fear of heights kicked in big time. Don't worry, I wasn't hyperventilating or anything like that, but I was not enjoying myself. Having the kids up there was freaking me out. There were some lookout points where they could have slipped right through the barrier that was supposed to be holding us all back from the edge. When the other adults had the kids, and I wasn't looking at where they were standing, I was ok. It really was breathtaking up there. Then I would remember that my little babies, who tend to not listen, like to run away from adults, and had both already tried to climb on a “barrier” to see what was below, were up on a huge mountain and my stomach would drop and I would start breathing faster and my heart would race.

We left Table Mountain around noon. Then we took my parents to catch the boat to Robben Island, found out there were no spots left on the boat, drove around down town for a bit, then dropped my parents off by a church they wanted to see. It is now after 5, and Papa and Grandma have not returned. They are either taking a bus or taxi back to save Darin from driving through all the traffic. Darin is just starting to peel potatoes, Jori is watching cartoons, and Tyson is in time out. Life goes on as usual, even on vacation.

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