Following on from Part 1, Miss E and I recently visited my family in Cape Town. And it was glorious. But it was also a little challenging. For more on that, read Part 1 here. For the most part though, I enjoyed the time spent under the African sun, with my family. Miss E was able to spend a proper summer, getting to know the side part of her family.
I grew up surrounded by lots of people. Blood relatives as well as ‘uncles and aunts’ who just happen to be part of our everyday lives. Both mum and dad have several brothers and sister. And this meant loads of cousins for me and my two sisters. I don’t think we ever had one weekend where we were just us, alone. I remember actually having one cousin live with us for a few months – this brings back memories of pretend-playing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (I was Trini, the yellow Power Ranger).
Now that I have my own family, quality time spent with family is extremely important to me.
So of course, on our recent trip, it was a main focus for me: to have Miss E spend quality time getting to know her cousins, spending quality time with her aunts and uncles. And of course, build on her relationship and bond with Grammy and Grampy.
I had a difficult time adjusting to the heat wave that had spread across the Western Cape. And I tried really hard to ensure Miss E was still comfortable and enjoying the weather. It wasn’t difficult: what with my parents having a pool in their yard! We also bought a slide which she enjoyed as well. We spent lots of time at the beach as well. And this brought back so many good memories for me. I sure do miss the ocean.
On the odd occasion that we went to the mall, I found it a bit strange being back. When I still lived in Cape Town, my younger sister and I would go to Canal Walk almost every Saturday. It was like a ritual for us: take the bus early morning; have breakfast at McDonalds; play a few games at the arcade, usually billiards after putting coins into the jukebox for some pop music; then head to the movie theatre to watch the latest movie release.
So it was really awesome to take Miss E to the exact same arcade (lots has changed though) and have her play some games or go on the rides. It was great to experience this with her.
We spent almost all our beach days with my older sister and her family. Miss E loves the water and at first was very excited to run out to meet the waves as it crashed against the sand. At a certain point though, she didn’t want her feet touching the sand – I think this was due to several small creatures jumping up out of the sand each time she took a step.
I really enjoyed those days at the beach, because I could spend this time with my niece and nephews. And I was also able to have proper conversations with my mother and older sister. We haven’t not spent this much time together in a long time and I had not realized just how much I craved it. I have come to understand now just how much I miss my family.
One thing I really wanted to do on this trip was visit Ratanga Junction. It’s a Theme Park in Cape Town. The Park used to be operated all-year, then it only opened during the school holidays. Now, however it will soon be closing its doors completely. It is a shame, because there are not many Theme Parks in the Western Cape and I’ve only been there once before. So we decided we would go for one last visit.
Grammy tagged along with all three of her girls and all her grandkids. It was such a great day! I went on some rides with my niece and nephews, and even Miss E could do some. She got her face painted, we ate junk food and enjoyed some entertainment in the main hall. All in all a wonderful day was had.
It is very sad that Ratanga will be closing it’s doors. I am very happy that we managed to go one last time.
At the end of the day…
Family! That is what I got out of this trip the most. The importance of having loved-ones around you, who still care. No matter how far away life takes us, family will always be there. Skype is great, but being in the same room with these crazy people is priceless. And my first post was all about how I didn’t get to do exactly what I had planned with this trip. But I soon realized that it was in fact the need to be with my family that made this holiday perfect.
I can’t wait for us to all get together again. And make memories!
Miss you guys!
A very huge thank you to the Williams Family for some of these pictures!