This last weekend was what has become our Annual Hendricks Weekend Away at Coaton Cottage in Bainskloof. Since 2008 we have been making the hour long trip into the mountains above Wellington for some much needed rest and relaxation. Much has changed since the first trip: small children (in the form of nieces and cousins), big children (in the form of boyfriends who have become husbands), new cars (to transport all the children), and dates. For the last two years, we have gone over the Women's Day long weekend, which means we have been there for both parents' birthday.
As most of us did not have an early end to the week, we decided to drive through on Saturday morning. The family weekend however started in full force of Friday evening when my parents had all their kids, their spouses and their kids sleeping over - six of us side by side, asleep on the lounge floor in front of the fireplace (and the TV). It definitely set the tone for the rest of the weekend!
On our way to Bainskloof on Saturday we stopped for birthday breakfast with Mom: in addition to feeding us all, it also gave Jorja an opportunity to play, the girls a chance to pee, and the boys the luxury of picture rugby!
We had hardly been at the cottage 10 minutes before we got our first visitors: Paul, Ronel and friends. It was a nice treat for Mom's birthday.
Sunday we did the whole birthday thing again - this time with homemade breakfast (ala PJ), and with Roger, Carolyn and their friends visiting. Later the afternoon Annie joined us (she had been dancing the previous two night so didn't make the trek with us). What a presence Annie brings to a room... I wish I could post a video on here!
Monday was a little more chilled (birthdays over and all). Being a school holiday, Paul returned with uncle Jamie Poole for a boys' day. The weather was particularly warm and sunny so we took a walk down to the river in the mountains. What a majestic sight! While some of us lazed in the sun, others were skipping pebbles across the water, and still others exploring in between the rocks. Jorja was the most fascinating thing: this was her virgin river expedition experience.
The drive home Tuesday was bitter sweet. I love being away. I especially love that there is no mobile phone signal - for my phone anyway :) - and when returning from holiday I always wish I had one extra day to pull myself towards myself before starting the week.
It's funny, when I reflect on these holidays, I think about all the things that I get annoyed or impatient by: waiting to leave, forgetting important ingredients, being too cold or getting fluey. I think about how sometimes, the end of the weekend away comes at just the right time because I seem to be all 'familied out'.
And then I think about how that doesn't really matter, how most times my favourite times are our family times, and how I must really love this annual holiday. I mean, why else do I keep going? :)
ps. I went into so much detail so that I could post all the pics... And now they don't want to upload :( I'll keep trying!