Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring is here!!

Finally, it feels as if spring has arrived in Colorado and boy am I ready for it!

There are all sorts of interesting flowers popping up all over my garden and I am so keen to get stuck into it this weekend and get these green fingers of mine working.

We had our last cold, snowy snap last weekend, where we had a few inches of snow, but that too has passed and now we can enjoy the balmy warm spring weather.

We have some work to do in our little garden, Chris needs to airate the lawn tomorrow ,that where you get this machine that spikes the ground, because it's so hard, it needs holes in it to absorb the moisture.
We then need to lay new wood chips down in the flower beds, where the squirrels have pulled up the lining.
I need to plant some flowers and a tree for earth day and arbor day which was this week.

Next week I'm also going to get my little veggie patch going, this year's all about organic and natural goodness.

So, watch for more updates on our gardening project.

Have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Columbine - 10th Year Memorial

Yesterday, the 20th April 2009, marked the 10 year anniversary of the Columbine School Shooting, in the quiet little neighbourhood of Littleton, Colorado.

10 years ago, on April 20th 1999, the world was shocked as 2 young students of Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into the school, shooting fellow class mates and teachers, unfortunately killing 12 students and a teacher, and wounding 23 others. The massacre ended with Eric and Dylan taking their own lives.

Eric and Dylan

This is very real for me as Columbine school is only 3 minutes down the road from where I live. I drive past it every other day on my way to the store. I can not help thinking about the tragedy of that day every time I drive by.

In Clement park next to the school, a memorial has been built for the 12 students and teacher who died in the shooting, which many people visited yesterday and paid their respects. A memorial service was held and many people spoke about their recollections of that day, but many also spoke about hope and the future the youth has to look forward to today.

The Memorial Site in Clement Park

But the one question I keep asking is WHY?
I'm sure many people do. Is it because they were bullied to breaking point. Were they social outcasts or taunted because of their choice of clothing or beliefs? Did this lead to depression?
We all know how cruel kids can be at school, we all have experienced some sort of nastiness at one point or other, but sometimes it can get out of hand.
I do think schools, parents and teachers are more aware of what is happening in schools and the behaviour of children and should continue to be aware.

I also feel very strongly about leveling the playing field at school. Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, we all wore school uniforms, and had strict rules on hair, nails, make-up etc. I think this takes out the added stress of labelling kids by what they wear or don't wear, or if they have a cool hair style, make-up etc.

Kid's, be kind to one another, parents, be conscious of what's happening in your children's lives.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours - An experience of a lifetime!

"Experience the Real Adventure", This is what the brochure of the new Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour says.

Well, let me tell you, this is definitely no understatement. As an adrenaline junkie, I have taken up abseiling (or repelling as my American friends know it), rock climbing and in the past, done 2 of the 3 South African Canopy Tours, Karkloof and Magaliesburg.

2 weeks ago I was fortunate enough to experience the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour, which I thought would be much of a muchness to the other 2 I've done. Boy, was I mistaken. From the minute we started descending down into the gorge to the first platform, I knew this was special. The route follows the Letaba River, which provides access, other wise unaccessable to be most amazing and spectacular river and waterfalls views. Marc and Tarryn our guides and the owners of Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour, told us interesting stories about the building of the cable lines and platforms as well as about the fona and flora around us. You really do feel like a Tarzan or Jane swinging through the forest, what a feeling!

There was a special surprise around every corner, be it a spectacular waterfall (there are several on route), or view or sighting of some sort.

I feel blessed for being able to have taken part in this special experience, with such special people, who are very passionate about what they do and how they do it.
The impressive entrance to Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour

Marc giving us a introduction talk before gearing up

Marc explaining the in's and out's of how to be safe and how it all works

The "Team"
Adele zipping along like a pro

The amazing view of one of the longest platforms

Just one of the spectacular waterfalls on the route

The Official Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour Brochure

Check out the following link the their website:

and a cool video of our experience on you tube:

So, if you are keen to experience an amazing adventure, something different and special, take a trip on the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trip to SA 2009

My trip to South Africa was AMAZING, a bit of a whirlwind, but a fab one at that.
Saturday morning, I waved goodbye to my hubby at DIA and caught my United flight to Washington. From Washingtom, I then caught my long and tedious SAA,16 hour flight o JHB.

The main reason for the trip was Adele and Marc's wedding, which naturally also results in a big reunion for all of us. Marc and Adel from Indonesia, me from the US, Amori from Dubai and many of Marc's friends from afar. Originally the wedding was going to be held in Bali, but then Marc and Adele decided to come home and have it SA.

I arrived on Sunday the 22nd, and Adele and Jules met me at the airport. We headed back to Jule's place, where the 3 of us caught up over dinner, 2 bottles of champagne and 2 bottles of wine, mmmmm.

The next few days we spent sorting wedding things out, checked out the venue, got the flower vases etc. Of course no visit back to JHB would be complete with out a dinner at the Baron, yummy, my old favourite, Ostrich fillet!
The stunning Venue - Misty Valley
One of my favourite menus - The Baron

On Wed I caught a flight to Durban and spent the rest of the week with the Seagram family. Chris Mom and Dad met me at the airport and off we headed to Cath's place to see the girls. It was so good to see everyone.
A walk on Umhlanga's new Pier with Pam and Gaston
I was still a little jet-lagged and eventually got some stuff to help me re-set my clock and get some sleep. I caught up on all the news, got to see Lolly swim in her school gala, where she did really well, and had dinner at Razmataz on the Umhlanga beach front. On the Sat we headed off to Tala Game reserve for my fix of game watching. The day ended off with a good old braai and of course some rugby, where we watched the Sharks kills the Brumbies.

Lauren after her race

Little Miss Sarah
Rhino sighting on our game drive

The magnificant KZN Bushveld

Unfortunately time flew by too quickly, and it was time to head back to Joburg. It was my brothers birthday, so I got to spend the day with him, Jo and the kids. They are all growing up so fast, it was wonderful to catch up, swimming and braaing with them, in the great hot weather.

Jarod getting into the swing of golf early on
Aunty Leigh in the pool with Camy
Madam Cameron

Mark,Jo and Me

Monday - 5 more sleeps until the wedding, yay! Wednesday also brought along with it, my Birthday. I also decided to chop off my hair, very liberating. I had breakfast with Jules, a facial, lunch with Del and Jules, and then a mani and a pedi with Del at Sorbet.
Jules and I, with my new short hair

The bride to be,Del and Jules

Marc met us afterwards, where we headed off to Pretoria for a braai with Terry,Sylvia and Tanya. What more could a girl ask for.
Little Teressa, good as gold, tell us again how Tanya?

Adele,Marc and I headed off to the wedding venue on Thursday to start setting things up.

The stunning Cosmos on the way to Mpumulanga

The amazing sunset over the dam

Friday all the guests started to arrive, and the girls all had a fab time at Adele's Lingerie Party that afternoon. The weather started getting chilly and we were just hoping it would be warmer the next day.

The wedding day was perfect. The weather was great, Adele looked stunning, and apart from a few snags, Adele and I forgetting our flowers, the pastor being a little strange and the DJ being fired half way through the evening, everyone had an amazing time. It was truly an intimate and blessed wedding, where everyone had a great time. Adele looked amazing, the most beautiful bride!
The bride wearing in her shoes

Having some crazy fun - Sylvia and I
Del and I all ready - breath, doesn't she look amazing!
The happily married couple - Congrats!
Sylvia and I
Tarryn and I

An old tradition continues..

The Sunday we were supposed to head back to Joburg, that was until Marc and Tarryn suggested we go back to Magoeboeskloof with them, and try out their new Canopy Tour, which they have just launched.
So, without much persuasion, off Marc, Adele and I went, with Marc and Tarryn to the great Limpopo province, to the breathtaking Magoeboeskloof.
You have to love this - the oldest form of transpoting goods.
The girls fooling around

Now, let me tell you, I have done 2 of the other canopy tours, Karkloof and Magaliesburg, and this, the Magoeboeskloof is by far the BEST!! The views, fona and flora, the waterfalls and river below you, make it magical. I would definitely do it again.

Ta,Les and Del
Del and I all kitted up and ready to go

Loving it!

The view of the dam, late evening on Marc and Tarryns farm
What better way to end a great day, than with a braai, good company and a good wine.

My last few days in Joburg was spent with my brother and his family, catching up with old friends, Odette and Adri over lunch and visiting Rob and Taryn.

Lunch with A3 and Odette at Papachinos

One last dinner at an old favourite, Lucas, gave us the chance for one last get together.

A final dinner at Luca's

My last evening was spent with Tanya, little Teressa and Sylvia, who spoiled me with a great dinner and company. The next morning we popped into Irene Craft market, where I got to sample some samosas and koeksisters, one last time.

And as I say, "See you later" not goodbye.

I had the most amazing time, I still love this country and the people in it.
Thanks to all my friends and family for making it a special visit, and to the newly weds, Marc and Adele, may you have a wonderful and happy life together.