Our Families Dream Night At Aquila

As parents, we often find ourselves dreaming of doing special things with our kids. Things that we once did that we loved and cherished so much. In our case, it was taking our little guy to a game park. Game parks have always been a very treasured memory of David and mine. We visited one soon after we started dating, and just fell in love with being there. That slow life, and being completely surrounded by nature and rustic beauty. That smell of thatch and wood and the delicious hearty meals that we enjoy. It’s sitting around the fire having drinks and being totally absorbed in the stories the game rangers share of their experiences. It’s absolute bliss.

This dream came true when we visited Aquila Private Game Reserve this past weekend. We couldn’t wait to finally have the opportunity to share our love for this experience with our little boy. We were told by a couple of people that he would be too young and wouldn’t enjoy such a long game drive, but we in fact experienced the opposite. We arrived a bit late on the Friday, which resulted in us missing out on the longer afternoon game drive, which actually worked out for us, as it was getting cold, but it also meant that we had the afternoon to relax a bit and to enjoy watching the two elephants stroll on the mountain side in front of our room, have some coffee and then take him to swim inside the Tranquila Spa which has two heated pools.

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We then got ready for a delicious dinner.

Before dinner, we headed down to the Pub for a drink which has the most incredible kids play area as well as a kid sitting service. Olly wasn’t feeling well, so we didn’t make use of the service unfortunately, but it was totally kitted out, neat and hygienic. The pub is super cosy with fire places and couches. Everyone was enjoying a drink to warm up while watching a bit of the Football World Cup.

The meals are buffet style, and NOBODY is left out. There is so much variety, and everything was delicious. Before going, we actually had people raving about the food and telling us that they were jealous because it was so delicious when they went. I couldn’t agree more. I loved that the restaurant was totally kid friendly and very casual. We didn’t have to feel that we needed to keep Olly quiet or seated the entire time. They also cater for the kids with food which is fantastic. We were enjoying this so much, I actually forgot to take any photos!

We then headed back to our Premier Suite and climbed into our warm, cosy beds. I loved that they put hot water bottles on our bed, already filled up knowing how incredibly cold it was. Our room had a main bed, a sleeper couch, a bar fridge and coffee station.

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We woke up early the next morning, it was icy cold and windier than it’s been in a LONG time. We layered up and headed down to the reception ready for our Private Game Drive. Memory was our game ranger and we just fell in love with him. He has been a ranger for over 20 years and has experienced almost everything. He is so passionate and just loves every single one of these animals so much. It was a bit of a struggle at first with the wind and cold air, but the sun soon started to shine and Memory made it so worth the while. He allowed my little boy to sit in the front with him where it was warmer and answered all of his 3 and a half year old questions.

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What makes Aquila so special is that it is home to the Big 5, yet it is just a 2 hour drive from Cape Town. But it gets better – Aquila is like a rehabilitation reserve for their animals. As an example, their two male elephants were once used at another game park for Elephant Back safaris. This means that they had been ‘trained’ in an inhumane way to obey commands, etc. They were used to make money. I love that they have saved these beautiful animals from such a terrible life and have replaced that with a new home that is on their on their +/- 10000 hectare conservancy.

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If you’re holding your breath for a Kruger type experience, then Aquila isn’t for you. Aquila is about educating their guests, and installing a love for these beautiful animals in the hearts of young children. Instead of having uncountable wild animals, they instead have a smaller amount, which they know the story behind. They have studied their behavior and understand their emotions and way of doing things. Due to their space, they respect the animals and only have a certain amount so that they can live a happy life in the space that they each need.

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They also have anti-poachers who follow their Rhino to ensure that they are not harmed. This truly makes my heart happy. They are known for their responsible tourism and have a non-profit, conservation and comprehensive anti-poaching solution which offers free anti-poaching training to game rangers working on African private game reserves that are home to rhino and elephants.

We had the opportunity to see their Elephants up close at the water hole, these boys have become best friends since growing up together, and it is truly something special to see. We also saw a family of hippos, Zebra, a Giraffe family, a pride of lions as well as various Buck and a female ostrich doing the mating dance for her male friend. The buffalo were beautiful but seeing the Rhino up close, and having the opportunity to have my little boy see them was quite an emotional experience. I really do pray that we are able to save these spectacular animals, so that my son can show his kids them one day.

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Our two and a half game drive went by in the blink of an eye, and we were sad to end the drive, despite the icy cold wind. We then headed to the restaurant for a divine buffet breakfast. We were planning on doing the Quad Bike Safari, however it was just too cold, and Olly wasn’t well so opted out. Olly was also going to go on a very special Children’s Adventure on their own Game Drive to see the Rhino Orphans with the other kids. Here they would have had the opportunity to be educated at their level on these rhinos and do activities in the ‘wild’. This was sadly cancelled due to the weather, but we were somewhat grateful as he wasn’t well, and actually fell asleep soon after. We had booked ourselves a back, neck and head massage at the Tranquila Spa, and luckily they catered for us and put us into a couple treatment room as he slept throughout the entire thing on a chair in the corner of the room.

Now, this massage should be an entire review of its own! It was something that still feels surreal. When it was over, David still looked at me and said ‘ Now, that’s how a massage is done.’ We both had written on our form that we wanted to our aim for the massage was for muscle relief. They understand exactly what you mean when you tell them the pressure you want, and I have never had that before. It was incredibly relaxing and we did leave feeling loosened up. It was such a treat, and I can highly recommend booking yourself in for a treatment at the Spa.

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We really had such a special time at Aquila, and I do believe that my son was the perfect age for us to take him! He didn’t seem to take note of the long game drive and was very alert and excited, asking questions the entire drive. Aquila is DEFINITELY family friendly. They really cater well for children. We wished that we had braved the cold and taken our little guy down to the Star Safari down on the lawn in the evening, but we were exhausted after a long day, and were ready to just climb into our warm beds and to read Olly the incredibly special multilingual book they had left waiting for him (which is available here: https://www.florenceandwatson.co.za

Words will never fully be able to describe how much this night was at Aquila for our little family. Thank you for having us! Your beautiful place is so close to our hearts.

I want to take this moment to mention that Aquila is currently running 5 Winter  specials which you can read more about here: http://bit.ly/2HuINIS

Aquila has some beautiful social media accounts, so to keep up with all of their news and specials, you can follow them here:

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A Girls Night Off The Grid & WIN A NIGHT At Copia Eco Cabins.

Before I even begin, I’d excited to announce that we are running a very special Father’s Day Competition where you can WIN a night stay at this beautiful place!
Enter here!

My dear friend Lauren McCreath, an incredibly talented local Interior designer and myself were recently invited to visit the breathtaking Copia Eco-Cabins. For those of you who have not yet heard of it – it is located on a private farm in Bot Rivier. With it being just over an hour drive from Cape Town CBD, we jumped at the opportunity to drive up for just one night. What could be more perfect than old shipping containers that have been carefully converted into luxury self-catering accommodation up on a hill in the middle of nowhere?

We had been awaiting this moment in anticipation for months, and being busy Moms – we were so looking forward to a girls night away to kick our feet up, enjoy some wine and to soak in the Wood Fired Hot Tub. We got to ditch technology for an entire 24 hours, which gave us the opportunity to truly absorb real silence, something this generation doesn’t fully understand.

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Copia, without even trying, brings out real conversation, a connection between two people – friends or lovers. It allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle of the world and leaves you in a little world that belongs to just the two of you. Being surrounded by nature and having escaped from the tech world gives you a moment to look up from your screens, and instead of wasting time watching what the rest of the world is doing, it has you absorbing and really appreciating the beauty of the basics that surround you. I left understanding, that really, all one needs for true happiness is being surrounded by the ones that you love.

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I have never, in my life laughed like the two of us did. We sat in the Wood Fired Hot Tub for hours, enjoying red wine and enjoying that blissful feel of the cool breeze brushing our shoulders.

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Time. Every second is cherished when it isn’t wasted. In a way, one day felt like two, and I can vividly remember every step we took while we were there.

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We arrived on a dirt road, with pretty much nothing surrounding us but mountains, hills and horses. We entered the farm and were greeted by beaming faces of the farm kids. ‘Shame’ was the first thought that crossed our minds – however, on departure we couldn’t believe our naivety of such an absurd thought. Shame? Far from. I’ve never seen kids laugh and play and use such imagination. Imagine living in such simple beauty every day.

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Copia is so well equipped, with everything you could possibly need for the duration of your stay. There were rusks and fresh eggs awaiting us in the kitchen along with tea and coffee, etc. I love that they had a little jar filled with all of the things you may need while you stay. Panado, plasters, etc. This means that there really is no need to leave for any reason while you stay.

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Night fell, and we enjoyed a dinner for two. Copia has really put in that extra special touch with providing little gas lanterns to create chemistry and beauty even when its complete darkness surrounding you.

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We climbed into what must have been the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in, and found ourselves chatting for hours. With no curtains, you find yourself staring at the stars, and the faraway farm cottage light, which really looks like nothing but a star itself.

It is truly something special being blessed with time away at such a unique place. I love that they promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. Providing people with an off the grid escape. However, they have done this in a way that is still comfortable for visitors.

I can’t wait to return, with my hubby in tow as it really is just the most perfect escape. Copia currently has two cabins – Copia Cabin, which is the one that we stayed in AND Lone Tree Cabin. They both cater for two adults.

I must say that many may be put off visiting in Winter – but it has to be the best time! We absolutely loved being there with the rain!

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Please do yourself a favour and read what inspired Lucas to create Copia Eco Cabins here: https://www.copiaecocabins.co.za/our-story

I haven’t touched on anything decor wise as Lauren has covered this section (see below), as she has a phenomenal understanding of Interiors due to her expertise.

DO follow their social media accounts as they are always sharing beautiful images shared by their visitors and that’s also where you’ll see any last minute deals!

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INTERIOR REVIEW: Lauren McCreath Interiors

When it comes to out of the box thinking, Copia Eco Cabins has taken this one step further. Who would have thought a mere shipping container could become a sophisticated and endearing little house on a hill.

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Overlooking the beautiful valleys of Bot Rivier, this ticks all the boxes. The creators have seamlessly married the metal, boxy structure of the reinvented shipping container with the landscape. Using dark charcoal and organic tones of wood, it’s symmetry is juxtaposed with the rolling hills and mountains in the distance.

Once inside, you are immediately drawn to the large glass stacking doors which allows you to be fully aware of the stellar views outside. That’s the beauty. There is little distraction of the interior to the exterior. A carefully thought out colour palette of greys and neutral tones only enhance the beauty of what’s outside-fynbos and stone, fields of the working farm below and the mountains of greenery in the distance.

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A simple yet sophisticated, minimalist approach to the choice of furnishings, allowing guests to truly relax, and focus on nature and each other. Being almost completely off the grid, there is every opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Copper tones are used throughout. From the shower fixtures, (that shower was absolute bliss) to smaller details seen in the kitchenware and cutlery. I love how this adds a warm element to the decor without making it obvious and cluttered- in keeping with the Scandinavian feel.

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Wooden elements from the outdoors have been brought into the interior, and can be seen as bedside tables, and cleverly, as a basin stand in the bathroom. This creates a perfect balance of organic and industrial.

The bed was absolute heaven. HUGE pillows and lovely, crisp white linen on the king size bed says “let’s stay in bed all day! “ Again, a less is more approach works so beautifully against the backdrop. A huge window adjacent the bed allows you to take full advantage of the scenery outside. Waking up to the soft morning light, delicious,freshly brewed coffee and quiet.

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Don’t stay for just one night- it’s so worth an extra day.


*Please note that ALL professional images have been extracted from Copia’s website.

*Lauren & myself make a great team when it comes to reviewing beautiful places. We love travel and are adamant to find some of the best places to stay that tick all of the boxes (experience, hospitality and interior) to share with our readers. If you have a place and would like for us to visit – please email me a proposal to onemodernmom@hotmail.com

A Night In Hermanus: A To The Point List Of Things To Do!

Planning a night away can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re wanting to find something special to do. If you aren’t familiar with an area, you can really end up at some interesting places, which can really either be a hit or a miss.

I took my best friend away for a night in Onrus, just a 15 minute drive from Hermanus. It was just the two of us, no kids. It was a late birthday gift, and we wanted to have two days of fun. We wanted to try some new experiences. So, I took those matters into my own hands and did some research. But, I wanted to try them out for myself. So, that we did. Continue reading if you’d like to hear about what we did, where we stayed and where we ate while we were staying in Onrus.

 
Where did we stay?
C’est Ca Cottage: Onrus
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21051956
Price: R1203.00 per night

Although it was a short stay, we decided that we wanted to stay somewhere that would feel homely to us. We found the gorgeous C’est Ca Cottage in Onrus which was everything we wished for and more. Our host, Stuart was friendly and helpful and really made us feel at home. The cottage is in a separate area to the main house, which means that you have your own privacy and space, but are still close by in case you need anything. The cottage is stylish and was so well equipped. Had we left absolutely anything behind, we would have been sorted. They even had a mini dishwasher in the kitchen! The beds are super comfy too! I can highly recommend checking this place out as an option if you plan on visiting the area. It is just a short drive from Cape Town, and in walking distance to Onrus beach!

 
Where did we eat?
Oskars:
Shop 7 Carriages Centre, Main Road, Hermanus
Instagram.com/oskarscafeandbakery

 


On arrival, we made our way into Hermanus to get a couple of essentials for breakfast. Having visited Hermanus at least once a year, I had enjoyed delicious breakfasts at Oskars before they moved to a new space. They have now moved to the Woolworths center close to the book shop, and seem to have changed a little bit – but in every good way possible. They are home to the best carrot cake and cheese cake I have ever tasted. We treated ourselves to a slice of cake and a Coconut Iced Latte. Their deli and bakery is so beautifully and tastefully decorated, and really leaves you feeling happy when you visit. They do also do breakfast and lunch – however, I still need to pop in for a proper meal sometime!

 
Do take note that they are closed on a Sunday, so be sure to visit weekdays, or on a Saturday in normal working hours. You don’t want to miss this.

Dinner:
Molteno’s
Molteno Street, Onrus River, Hermanus
Contact for reservations:  028 316 2658

We were quite persistent to have dinner at a different restaurant, until we arrived and realized that their online menu was completely different to what they actually had to offer, as well as totally overpriced. So, we took our Airbnb hosts recommendation, and found ourselves at what he referred to as ‘the locals go-to pizzeria’. And how glad I am that we finally listened! The restaurant was cosy, and buzzing. We had great service, phenomenal pizza and good wine! The pricing is standard and we had a lovely evening. This restaurant has been around for many, many years and when you visit, you will see why! Do make a reservation to be safe, they do get very busy, especially in the holidays and over weekends.

Lunch:
Lizette’s Kitchen
20 on 8th Street, Hermanus

Another recommendation by our host of our Airbnb, as well as by another local from the area who referred to this beautiful place as ‘the place in town that the chef’s like to go to eat’. We decided that we wanted to try something slightly different. Lizette’s Kitchen was started by Lizette herself. Her website shares this: “Lizette’s culinary history includes four years as Executive Chef in the Franschhoek Valley, followed by a similar position at the famous five star Caravelle Hotel in Saigon, home once to war correspondents from all over the World. Subsequently, Lizette joined the Sailing Club Group, where Sandals restaurant was established, later escalating to four restaurants within three provinces, featuring a fusion of Western and Asian specialties’. It is here, with the amalgamation of these experiences, that Lizette’s cooking style was born, focusing on excellent flavours and freshest produce.​​​”

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My food was delicious and a real experience! The portions are large, which means you certainly are getting value for money.

There were quite a few children there with their families, however, I couldn’t shake the thought of being happy I didn’t have my busy three and a half year old son with me due to no fencing (apart from low bushes) separating the lower area to the main road. So, do keep this in mind when deciding when to visit. Perhaps drive past and check it out for yourself before making your decision. They do have lovely kiddies options on their menu.

 
What experiences did we do?

Millionaire Tasting
Benguela Cove
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, R43, Hermanus, Western Cape
Price: R40pp for tasting of one wine | R55pp for tasting with two wines

 

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I am a sucker for sweet things, and especially something more decadent. When I heard about this Millionaire Tasting, I just had to try it for myself. We had a few hours to kill before we could check-in to our accommodation, so this was a perfect stop before continuing on our way.

The Millionaire Tasting is paired with two dessert wines, their very own Noble Late Harvest and Matilda’s Secret Natural Sweet. I personally found the wines very sweet, but I suppose the name is a give away. I had never had a dessert wine before, so I didn’t know what to expect; however, I could totally understand why these were paired together.

Now onto those Millionaire’s – I’ve never tasted something quite so close to perfection before. They were divine, and just the right quantity to not overpower your taste buds.

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The setting was breathtaking, and it was a perfect and relaxing start to our short getaway.

The lovely lady who was our hostess, gave us an indepth short description on each wine, and was divine. We really enjoyed having her give us the breakdown and we found her to be happy to answer any questions we may have had.

The décor of the tasting room was absolutely gorgeous. There was a fire lit, and music playing. Every corner has something unique that stood out to me. For a large place, they have really managed to make it something special.

 

 

This is a lovely place to stop by on your way into Hermanus.

They do various other tastings which include:

– Oyster & Wine Pairing
– Gourmet Tasting Menu Experience
– Vineyard Safari & Wine Tasting

*Please note that Benguela Cove does also have a restaurant which I have not yet been to, so cannot give my own personal review on. My review is based on the tasting room!

Pirate Golf:
Benguela Cove

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Yes, I did mention that I didn’t bring my son along, but that didn’t stop us from jumping at the opportunity to let our hair loose and have some fun playing Putt-Putt. Benguela Cove’s 18-hole adventure golf course is a new addition to the wine estate.

Don’t for a second think that you can’t join in if you don’t have kids, we had such fun, and lots of laughs playing. Neither of us being overly coordinated, I think the kids playing did better than what we did.

 

 

This course has been created with so much love. I was astounded at how much effort had been put into making it so special. Each hole has something awaiting you, and I really did appreciate every little detail. It is a perfect stop if you have kids tagging along, as they have a chance to do something fun and to stretch their legs. But, also a perfect activity to do after a tasting or lunch. They do have a little shop there which enables you to buy snacks or something to drink in case you don’t want to sit and eat something at the restaurant.

It’s always fun to do something different, and this was definitely a highlight for me.

Horseriding:
Heaven & Earth Trails
Karweyderkraal Farm Cell 1 No 7, Hemel and Aarde Valley, Hermanus, 7200
http://www.heavenandearthtrails.co.za/

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As one does, you save the best for last – and this is exactly what I’ve done. For a little background – I am (WAS) terrified of horses. I had a bad experience many years ago, which had left with a fear of even being in close proximity to a horse, not even just being on one! For anybody that knows me, they’ll be laughing right now, and they are likely to not believe what they’re about to read. Hence, so many pictures for evidence…

Now, my best friend whose birthday we went away for loves horses. If she could choose any activity, it would be to go horse riding. So, I arranged with Danie from Heaven & Earth Trails to go on a trail ride with her because I knew just how much it would mean to her. We kept this as a surprise until the night before. I’ve never experienced such excitement from another human!!!

To be totally honest, I was rather terrified the night before and leading up to it. But, this is my year of facing my fears and experiencing new things! There was no way I was backing out. With my little boy always asking to go on pony rides, I knew that it was important for me to push my fear aside so that he wouldn’t become fearful.

We took a beautiful early morning drive to the farm, and were greeted by Louzanne, the trail and field guide instructor. Within the first 10 minutes, she already had me feeling confident and more comfortable standing next to my beautiful horse. Knowing my fear, she paired me with the perfect gentle giant, Mr T. Her love for the horses is absolutely contagious and truly makes you realize just how special they are.

 

 

 

We were finally all ready to head out on our Standard Trail. This trail took us through the beautiful fynbos, wild flowers and the pristine mountain scenery. Louzanne, having many years experience working in Game Reserves and having done horse back safari’s in amongst some of the Big 5 has a vast knowledge of the environment that surrounds us, and stops along the way to explain amazing things. This isn’t just any horseback ride, but a phenomenal experience that you leave having learnt so much more.

What I really loved about our ride was what Louzanne and Danie’s objective is about the business – they just want people to understand the horses and to leave feeling a sort of connection with them. They want you to have a positive experience that makes you see the beauty in each of the horses.

The time flew by, and I was sad to leave. I couldn’t believe the connection I had with the horse I was riding after such a short time. They just want love and affection, and want to trust you as much as you put your trust in them.

The team is just wonderful, and you’ll love how well-loved the animals on the farm are.

This was an unforgettable experience, and I will definitely be back again.

 

Heaven & Earth Trails has the perfect trail and horse for everyone. Depending on your experience, they can match you to the ideal ride. Be sure to book in advance on their website to avoid any disappointment, and check out their terms and conditions regarding their weight limit, what to wear and what type of rides they don’t do.

I can’t thank Louzanne and Danie enough for changing my perspective on horses, and for helping me conquer my fear. They truly are beautiful animals, and I am so excited to have had the opportunity to experience a horse ride in a positive light.
If you were like me, and too  have a fear, this has got to be the best place for you to get your good experience that will change your perspective forever! Challenge yourself, make your booking and go! It will be life changing.
*Might I add, that although my friend is a far more experienced rider than me, she still thoroughly enjoyed going at a slower pace for me. So, she mentioned that she can still  highly recommend it for a group that is of different levels.
Please note: Kids are also welcome! They have many children who come, and Louzanne has some exciting tricks up her sleeve to keep them entertained for the full duration of the rides. Tempting? You bet!

Have you had the opportunity to explore beautiful Hermanus and surrounding areas? Be sure to share your favourite finds and things to do there!

 

 

 

Flying With Children – Travelstart.

Traveling with children can be quite a challenging task, but flying with kids is a whole other ball game. We haven’t had the opportunity to fly with my three and a half year old son yet, which we hope to do soon once we find some cheap return flights to Cape Town at the right time – however, I chatted to a few friends of mine as well as family who have flown with their kids of all different ages. Many of them having only done short trips, and then some family members who have had longer international flights.

For some, they found it to not be as bad as they thought it would be, and for others it was the complete opposite. Each gave their own personal tips that they found worked for them, but each of them gave one piece of advice that was the same for all of them – PREPARATION. Preparation is key for many things in life, but it will save your sanity when flying with kids.

I just love this video about families who have flown with their kids put together by Travelstart which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPt5DTFE6iA

Here are a few of my own tips you can try when preparing for a flight:

– Collect some special activities for your kids – things that can be done without making a mess. Be sure to keep these packed away until you are in the airport or on the plane. You want them to be kept occupied and entertained. Make sure you find activities that are not disruptive to other passengers on the plane. Worrying about your kids disturbing others can be stressful.

– Make sure you have packed a change of clothing for your kids. Meals on the planes can easily be knocked over or drinks can be spilled. You don’t want your child to be restless and irritable because they are uncomfortable.

– Do research on flights and try to find the best suitable time to fly with your young family. Try to pick a time that your little ones would nap, or at a time where they are usually well rested, if a short flight. You’ll be kicking yourself if you’ve chosen a bad time that throws you all off.

– Be sure to educate your kids on flying. Make sure that they understand that they need to be respectful of other passengers. Also try and make it an exciting and special thing so that they see it as something fun rather than something they dread or are afraid of.

– Something I learnt from traveling a lot as a child with my family is TIME MANAGEMENT. Leave home early so that you have plenty of time. There may be an accident or traffic which means that you will be unexpectedly late or left with limited time. You never know what may come up with young kids in tow, so rather have an extra hour to waste than having to rush around frantically once you arrive at the airport. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re about to miss your flight!

– Double and triple check that you have everyones travel documents packed and in a safe place the night before, especially if you have a large family. Keep it all in one place so that it isn’t stressful when checking in and boarding.

Those are just a few of my tips, but see Travelstarts 10 Tips For Flying With Children below:

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Flying with your children should be an exciting adventure – for me, I still look back on our family trips, and the ones that stood out to me most were when we got to fly. I can’t wait to do some traveling with my small family, and my son chats excitedly about all of his dreams of going on an airplane oneday.

I would love to hear your tips on traveling with children. If you have done some flying, do share your advice on what you found worked. Or even share some funny stories about what went terribly wrong.

Wanting to do some traveling soon and on the hunt for Cheap Flights From Johannesburg to Cape Town and just awaiting some good deals? Check out some of Travelstarts amazing flight specials!

DISCLAIMER: This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart.

Shimmy Your Way Through Summer.

It has been awhile since I last visited Shimmy Beach Club. Probably about 4 and a half years since the last time to put it into perspective. I clearly remember dressing up for a night out with some girls, and having the best night ever!

Fast forward to today, I had kind of pushed the thought of revisiting out of my mind, because I just wouldn’t have a chance to with a kid in tow. There had been times when we visited the Waterfront where I saw the turn off to Shimmy at the circle, and imagined how perfect a place it would be to take my toddler to. With a divine swimming pool and beach sand – as well as it being outdoors and spacious. What I would do to return.

I was then told that Shimmy, in fact, has been misperceived as a venue that only caters for the rich and famous, as well as a venue for parties. I suppose I was one of those who once felt that way, having only really visited in the evenings many years ago for that very reason – to party!

I couldn’t wait to return – WITH my toddler this time.

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We had the best day ever! Words cannot actually begin to describe how relaxed I felt. That rarely happens. With two swimming pools – you’d think that being a mom with a toddler, you’d be stressed out more than ever, but with there being a lifeguard at each pool keeping close watch over your kids for that extra bit of safety, I was totally at ease knowing that if he happened to make his way to the pool without me seeing, there was somebody there to watch him.

 

They also have a large jumping castle set up in between the two pools which is directly in the middle of all seating areas. That way, parents can keep an eye on their kids from their tables or the pool. My 3 and a half year old son just loved this – especially once he was wet from the pool which helped him slide faster. There was a large variety of ages of kids, and they were all just as happy as the other!

Apart from that, there is also an indoor play area at Shimmy. Believe it or not, they have an au pair that looks after the kids. The play area is complete with everything a child could possibly need to keep busy and entertained. Jungle gyms, soft play, a ball pit, slides, an imaginary dress up corner and even an arts and crafts section. The au pair was divine, and each time I went back to check on my son, he had her close by helping him with the sand art he was busy with.

Shimmy-Beach-Club-Child-Friendly-Restaurants-in-Cape-Town

The food was out of this world. I have never eaten so much, and having had the opportunity to taste a variety of options from their menu, I can confidently tell you, THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

I tried the following, and all were out of this world:

 


– Margarita Classico with fior di late , fresh tomato and basil (their pizzas are on the most decadent thin base, I have never tasted anything like it before! They do have a cauli base too).
– Burgers were all homemade and the patty was light weight and very tasty – I also enjoy mine well basted, which they were. Absolutely divine!
– We had veggie and cheese spring rolls which were the nicest I’ve ever had in my entire life. The pastry was crispy and fresh, and very thin. It came with the most incredible dip!
– Chicken kebabs (fresh, well-seasoned and extremely tender!)

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– Kids had the chicken strips with chips – it is a generous portion of both, and the chicken wasn’t oily which I love. It will definitely full up your little ones tummies!
– The kids then finished off their day with a bowl of ice cream & chocolate sauce – it’s not just any vanilla ice cream, and again – the portion size is generous. The chocolate sauce is melted dark chocolate which I even licked out of the bowl after pouring it over his ice cream!!!

*The table was also given a sushi platter, but I don’t eat sushi – so I can’t rate it. But it looked amazing. Shimmy is also the first restaurant in Cape Town to offer carb conscious sushi – which means that they change the sushi rice to cauliflower rice which has been raved about!

The menu offers a wide variety of food which means that nobody gets left out! They have incredible cocktails, which is what I loved about Shimmy when I used to visit before I fell pregnant. I personally find their prices to be affordable (after having experienced the value for money and the amount of food and quality of food you are getting).

I have to admit that I was worried that I would feel a bit self-conscious getting into my costume with the group of people I imagined being there – but within the first 10 minutes, we were in our costumes and joining other families in the pool. There was a lovely group of people – tourists, families, grandparents, older couples and ladies coming for a cocktail and some tanning. Not once did I feel that it was superficial. I actually felt as if I was on holiday at a resort. It sort of reminded me of being in Mauritius as a teenager.

Lisa

I will definitely be back. I think Shimmy has moved to the top of my list for sunny weekend mornings with my family. We really did have such a wonderful day, and my son is already asking me when we can go back!

If you are visiting Cape Town, or live here – do make sure to visit Shimmy when you are in Town area. They are just around the corner from the V&A Waterfront. You won’t be sorry! Your kids will thank you, and you can finally have that much needed glass of bubbly to reward yourself for all of your hard work as a parent! Take advantage of the au pair, and be sure to take your swimming togs and kids armbands!

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You can see their menu ahead of time, as well as any other information on their website: http://www.shimmybeachclub.com/

I hope you do go and visit, and also hope that when you do, your experience is just as wonderful as our was today! Can we go back now?

#ShimmyFamily