Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day in Outeniqua

This Mother's Day we did one of my favorite things - we took a little road trip. We decided to head over the Outeniqua mountains and into the Klein Karoo, in the direction of the Cango Caves. As always, the drive was beautiful, but each time we make that trip, we notice something different. This time it was a hill covered in blooming proteas. Further inland we saw lots of flowering aloe (ferox) plants, with their characteristic orange bloom. What a special treat!

When we got to the caves, I suggested Tobi to go on the tour on his own. I know only too well how difficult it can be to enjoy the tour with a crying baby... and an hour and a half is a bit long for the 1-year old attention span. So we set up camp at the restaurant, which really nice. It overlooks the surrounding hills and mountains, and is a popular hang-out for the local birds (a welcome distraction for the little ones).

The restaurant personnel immediately took to Lukas, wanting to play with him, hold him, and talk to him. From the restaurant terrace, I noticed some lovely hiking trails. I sure do hope we make it back there for some hiking!

As it turns out, it's a really good thing we decided not to join "Da-Da" on the tour, since he wound up inadvertently taking the "adventure tour" - meaning lots of cave crawling and squishing through small openings! He said it was wonderful, though. Another "must-do" for my remaining time in South Africa!

On the way back we stopped in Oudtshoorn for dinner at a restaurant called Jemima's. We sat in the back of the restaurant, just next to the garden. The service and food (they're best known for their lamb and duck) there is good, but what I like best about Jemima's is the ambiance. The candles, book shelves, photos, and wood-burning fireplace really make you feel "at-home", making this the perfect ending to my 2nd Mother's Day.

Even more special than the dinner though, was Lukas' perfect behavior (despite having skipped his naps) and the belly-laugh he gave us on the way home. At the end of the day, what better gift can we, as mother's, possibly receive, than healthy, happy, and beautiful little people, that help to remind us what life is all about?

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