Skye Cottage in Onrusrivier, near Hermanus is a sanctuary of sorts. It’s a simple child-friendly cottage with oodles of rooms, clean and neat decor and all the conveniences of home. For most, the best part is the beautiful seaview and the breathtaking sunsets. But for me, it’s the complete sense of relaxation I have when I am there – the kids have a huge lawn to play on, safely tucked behind a picket fence. The veranda overlooks their play and the sea just beyond. And the lounge, dining and kitchen areas spill over each other making the main space (sorry, Scott: "room") wonderful for relationship. We can all enjoy each other while doing the daily tasks of cooking, eating, setting tables, and sorting laundry – or while resting on the couch, playing board games, or, in winter, enjoying the roaring fire. So why has it taken me a year to get back there? Simply because, when we do head out to Hermanus we like to stay with my parents in their home and with even more modern conveniences there, we quite enjoy the extra bit of "holiday" we get.
But, we did get to enjoy Onrus for the last days of November with the Aussie Newills and it was wonderful. We did nothing of great consequence aside from hanging out, talking and enjoying the company. Jetlag robbed us of some late night conversations, but it was a small price to pay for quality time together. And, once again, the kids absolutely loved it.
We spent time on the beach with the kids. Unfortunately I am still waiting for the dropbox photos of those!
Plus we enjoyed time out in town, visiting a wonderful restaurant called Olympia. Wonderful because it was so kid friendly – plastic cups for their water, lots of toys to play with, a waitress who very cleverly advised us to split the adult portions with the kids rather than buying them all kiddy versions of the same thing at greater cost and more. Even the food was good! I enjoyed my chicken wrap immensely. And the children had a ball.
We enjoyed lots of time at the Cottage too – the kids made super good use of the front garden for play, meals and more:
And we enjoyed a good ol’ Seffrican braai! Yum yum!
The kids went horse riding at Tanya’s stables: Clouds End Stables. But before any horses could be saddled, the kids were distracted by the latest batch of kittens to be born. So adorable!
When we finally managed to drag them away, the kids all went riding – and had themselves a blast.
Granny dutifully sorted out stirrups and seats and took each willing child for a few loops around the paddock. All the girls loved every minute of it. As did most of the boys.
Jesse was not too keen – but, he did brave a walk on a horse a week later in Carmel – there he had a blast! Here the Newills plus Sam pose for a family photo – well, I guess jet lag plus posing fatigue kicked in for the kids on this one – too funny!
Brian and Tony Frost, owners of Cloud’s End farm and good friends of my folks invited us to picnic in the back yard. I wish my back garden looked like this! We had a lovely picnic. The kids had a lovely play time and were overjoyed when Bella and Julia arrived from school later – pushing up the kid numbers to 9. Kerry finally got to meet Tony and thoroughly enjoyed her wonderful personality and genuine interest in people. If the rest of the world could take a leaf out of her book, this world would be a better place to live in. Tony is one of those rare people who are genuinely interested in other people – she asks questions and gets involved and one walks away from a conversation with her feeling like you were cared about. I would take good conversation with someone over meticulous hospitality any day, but having all rolled up into one like Tony is a real treat!
When the kids weren’t having fun outside, they were getting up to mischief inside. Micah moo being the chief instigator in most cases, like on this occasion when he roped Emma into a lipstick session in the car. Oh dear!
Of course, no family time together in Hermanus or Onrus is quite complete without a Sally Breakfast. Granny Sally roped Katie and a few others into making a delicious hot egg, bacon and tomato breakfast. Yum yum!
And it was polished off in no time with lots of requests for seconds!
It was a glorious time of togetherness and over too soon. The days were filled with so much activity that the kids passed out quickly at night, with little to no issues – even with these two naughties sleeping in the same bed! Too cute!
We headed home that Wednesday afternoon and then enjoyed a pizza meal with the Newills at our house – that way Craig could spend some quality time with the in-laws. A lovely evening! A lovely time away. And it’s over now One more thing to enjoy, tick off and then wish you could do it all over again.
Keep posted for the next update in the "Newills are here" saga – coming soon!