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Christmas Break!

I may not have quite achieved my blogging goals for 2012, but at least I made a small comeback there at the end. Here’s to a fresh start in 2013! Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Much love from LB, JG, and RoxyPug xoxo

Pug Tidings to You

Trailer Parking

After a couple of days hiking on a rain- and windswept coast, we headed back inland to the Elgin Valley to hole up at The Old Mac Daddy trailer park for one night before our Monday morning flight. Trailer park, what?? It’s a sister property to Cape Town’s Grand Daddy hotel, and the “trailers” in this case are refurbished Air Streams, decked out in hardwood floors, claw foot tubs, and all the trimmings.

We were on-site for about 10 minutes before the four of us decided that ONE night wouldn’t be enough! So flights were changed, rental cars were extended, jobs were notified, and we settled in for two chill days of doing nothing in a quiet apple orchard. In short, bliss.

Raising a toast to our friends Phil and Marguerite, who welcomed baby Mimi over the weekend!

Raising a toast to our friends Phil and Marguerite, who welcomed baby Mimi over the weekend!

JG tests out the hammock chair on the porch of the "Birdie" trailer

JG tests out the hammock chair on the porch of the “Birdie” trailer

Interior of the Birdie

Interior of the Birdie

C having a float on the giant pool cushion

C having a float on the giant pool cushion

View over the pool from the chair where I spent pretty much our entire stay

View over the pool from the chair where I spent pretty much our entire stay

JG in front of our home, Life Before Colour

JG in front of our home, “Life Before Colour”

Clawfoot tub in a trailer? Yes, please!

Clawfoot tub in a trailer? Yes, please!

Rolling hills from our front door

Rolling hills from our front door

The black-and-white scheme of our trailer, "Life Before Colour"

The black-and-white scheme of Life Before Colour

Not a bad spot to while away 36 hours.

Not a bad spot to while away 36 hours.

 

Cape of Storms

We headed back down to Cape Town over Thanksgiving weekend (my 2nd trip in 5 weeks; JG’s fifth!) to meet up with Catherine and her friend Steve. We headed out to Gansbaai (with a few – okay, five – stops at various Elgin Valley wine farms along the way) for a 2-day guided hike along the coast. Mother Nature had a few tricks up her sleeve, but overall it was a smashing weekend!

We had fun with waiters and wine-pourers asking the group where we’re from, replying that we are two Americans who live in South Africa, one South African who lives in a America, and one un-confused South African who’s where he belongs.

Setting out on a 15km hike through 50km winds

Setting out on a 15km hike through 50km winds

"Spookdorp" (Ghost Town). South African planning at its best: the government built a sort of national park holiday resort right on the sand dunes, which the beach reclaimed within 5 years of opening.

“Spookdorp” (Ghost Town). South African planning at its best: the government built a sort of national park holiday resort right on the sand dunes, which the beach reclaimed within 5 years of its opening.

Catherine struggling to stay upright against the wind (I just mistyped that as "wine", which is rather another story altogether)

Catherine struggling to stay upright against the wind (I just mistyped that as “wine”, which was only later!)

Self portrait to demonstrate how many layers were involved in this "springtime" hike. Sunglasses were employed as sand goggles.

Self portrait to demonstrate how many layers were involved in this “springtime” hike. Sunglasses were employed as sand goggles.

In the mouth of one of the caves

Johnny G in the mouth of one of the caves

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4 hikers + an angry sea

4 hikers + an angry sea

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Day 2 = much nicer weather

JG, on top of the world

JG, on top of the world

We did a bit of caving with the most enthusiastic old local guy, who gives tours for free just because he loves to show off the caves.

We did a bit of caving with the most enthusiastic old local guy, who gives tours for free just because he loves to show off the caves.

Whales! Hard to capture, but this was a mother/baby pair, and the baby was albino. So cool!

Whales! Hard to capture, but this was a mother/baby pair, and the baby was albino!

We walked by the house where we stayed with the Cape Town peeps for Halloween 2010!

We walked by the house where we stayed with the Cape Town peeps for Halloween 2010!

Bye Bye American Ty

Roxy has been in a funk since the departure of her doggy boyfriend Tyson. His parents, Jaime and Langa, are moving to the US at the end of December, so Tyson hopped a plane to head to Jaime’s parents’ house in upstate NY.

He may have found a fun new hobby in chasing the neighborhood deer, but he’s sadly missed by the little lovelorn Pug.

Living life pug-style

Living life pug-style

Roxy checks to see if there is room in Ty's travel crate for her to stow away.

Roxy checks to see if there is room in Ty’s travel crate for her to stow away (and thinks better of it when she realizes that both of those buckets are only for water, not food).

 

Mud Camping

A weekend camping trip to Albert Falls to celebrate Lisa’s birthday seemed like a fabulous idea … until the torrential rains started as we were all getting packed up to head out on Friday. It had mostly stopped by the time we arrived, but UGH the muddy mess that awaited us! Regardless, we had a fabulous time, and gorgeous weather Saturday and Sunday for chilling by the lake and cruising on Terry’s boat.

Our muddy home for the weekend

Our muddy home for the weekend

The (questionably smart) people at the campsite next to us had brought their tiny adopted vervet monkey who was abandoned by its mother. This was the highlight of John’s weekend – and possibly his year:

Monkeying around

Monkeying around

Cornhole at dusk

Cornhole at dusk

Pug Shot

A quick Roxy interlude to brighten your day!

She popped this pose all by herself – I just put my hand there to keep her from rolling off of the bench. So dainty.

She's a lady, whoa-whoa-whoa, she's a lady...

She’s a lady, whoa-whoa-whoa, she’s a lady…

This is Rox’s latest preferred sofa position – draped around someone’s neck. Takes me back to her puppy days, when she used to ride like that in the car. (Sigh, they grow up so fast!)

Neck roll!

Neck roll!

Noncensus

I will keep my opinions to myself, but here’s a quick snapshot of the results of SA’s 2011 Census. Fairly eye-opening (and more than a bit horrifying to this American, but again, I’m keeping the editorializing out of it).

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(Current exchange rate = R8.86 to $1)

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Racial clipart courtesy a “Dick and Jane” primer, perhaps?

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