You'll recall our last visit from American family came back in 2013 when the Wizard and his friend Susan came out around Thanksgiving. Our next set of intrepid explorers hail from New Jersey: Kelsey's mom Brenda and sister Whitney. They came out for two weeks at the end of March and we explored Johannesburg and Cape Town. We fit so much into their visit that this blog post has to be done in two parts. So, without further ado, we give you “the Americans, part one”.
Kelsey and I waited impatiently the night before, sipping sundowners on our porch while Brenda (affectionately known as “Bestie”) and Whitney (affectionately known as Aunt Nini) rode the skies above the dark continent on South African Airways. Trusty commuter flight SA 203 dropped them off at OR Tambo International at 8:40am on Easter Monday.
After a day of mimosas, present unwrapping, and furious catching up, we motored for the Melville Koppies behind our house and enjoyed a brisk sundowner with all the blonde girls.
We introduced Besti and Aunt Nini to Jonah’s students with a big meal of roast brisket and hung out late on the porch drinking wine.
The next day, Besty, Aunt Nini, and Kelsey went out and bought some toys to keep the little girl busy. Of course putting these toys together is not as easy as it looks, and cocktails were required for assembly.
Some of the toys were received with great acclaim, while others engendered much suspicion.
Once the cocktails were empty, aunt Mimi took an interest in macro photography and took some great shots of the flowers blooming in the Late Fall around the house.
Before you know it it was time for our trip to Cape Town! So we boarded Mango airlines and settled ourselves for what we thought might be an unpleasant flight. But Freyja never complained once, and after various misdirections in the city were were settled in our AirBnB with a fantastic view of Table Mountain.
The next day, we spent the morning at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, possibly the best garden of its type in the world and a repository for rare flowers and trees.
Bestie caught this magnificient picture of an Orange-Breasted Sunbird feeding on a nearly extinct species of heath.
Kirstenbosch is no place for the unfit - it backs right up to Table Mountain National Park and in fact if you wanted to you could walk to the top of the mountain along this trail.
One of the new installments at the Garden is this canopy walk - affectionately called the “Boomslang” after a particularly deadly snake that hides in the canopy (and is occassionally seen on said Boomslang).
Another interesting installment at Kirstenbosch are these metal dinosaur sculptures, done by Jonah’s colleague David Huni and placed artfully around the cycad garden.
Next up: Penguins! Wine! Freyja!