Archive for the 'Travel' Category

June – what a month – woop woop : )

June’s almost over. And what a month it’s been for us : )

School holidays in South Africa to accommodate the World Cup. Little to almost no business for me because of support of the World Cup : )

And so I accepted the no-work reality and worked from home, and played with our family. And play we did. I won’t go into detail on each event, simply point you to albums of pics that we took to record the events.

First Gautrain ride – we attempted to go on the first public Gautrain ride. We didn’t get onto the first one, but darn close

Bafana parade through Sandton – what a day. School closed a day early and we went to join the masses to celebrate and support our National Team

World Cup prep – Jordi and I went shopping for decorations. For our bodies, our cars and our home. We all supported Bafana, and then each picked a 2nd option. Carli took England. Jordi took Brazil. Leish and I took Spain.

World Cup game in Durban – I managed to secure tickets on the Friday morning, and we hit the road (by car) to catch the Japan v Netherlands Game the next afternoon. Home on Sunday

We still have two weeks of holiday to go – woop woop : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on June 30th, 2010 .
Filed under: Family, Football, Holiday, Photos, Travel | No Comments »

Our exciting Gautrain adventure

We woke up at various points between 03h30 and 04h00 this morning. We were on our way to catch the first public Gautrain, running from Sandton to OR Tambo. The plan was to have breakfast at Wimpy, and then catch a train back in time for school.

There were a couple of hiccups and I offloaded (puked) them here, for those that are interested, but outside of that, it was one awesome experience.

The Gautrain is fantastic. It leaves Sandton underground and stays there until it ‘surfaces’ at Marlboro. It then stays above ground until the airport. The entire trip takes around 12 min which includes 2 stops. Pretty impressive. The technology is kewl, and you pay R10 for a smart card that you keep and re-charge as and when needed. This pays for the train, the bus and for parking.

Jordi’s friend Daisy stayed the night and joined us for our adventure. And the girls loved it. It was very kewl to see how easily they slotted into the vibe. As if they’d been traveling on high speed trains their entire life : )

It’s definitely something you should do with your kids. It was awesome for Leish and I, and several times more for the girls.

We got to school 15 minutes late this morning. Not because it wasn’t possible. Let’s just put it down to first day teething issues : )

If you’d like to see some pics click here.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on June 8th, 2010 .
Filed under: Family, Friends, Fun, Photos, School, Travel | No Comments »

Sprinkler Waters

I’m lying on the grass watching three little girls laughing their heads off, in what are the last few moments of our long weekend getaway at Sparkling Waters Hotel (Sprinker Waters to Carli). Jordi, Carli and a new friend (we think is called Lauren) are on a see-saw. Jordi has just tumbled off and it is hilarious. It’s been a weekend full of these kinds of moments, and I’m very aware, as I write this, of how grateful I am to be having it.

Leish is with her mom, grabbing some time out. I miss her. The girls miss her, but it’s good to miss and be missed from time to time.

I’ve often read that it’s healthy for couples to go away with their kids on their own from time to time. It is a different dynamic and I can appreciate why it’s healthy. I wondered if single parents wish for a weekend with another ‘parent’ in the same sort of way?

The age of the girls has been great. They’ve been interested in so many different things this weekend. From wanting to sign the drinks invoice to finding much amusement switching an old lamp on and off. There are many highlights when I think about this weekend. Memories I’ll treasure for a long time, and stories I’m sure we’ll be telling and re-telling for months to come.

Click here for a few pics of the weekend.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on March 23rd, 2010 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, Holiday, Photos, Travel, Weekend | No Comments »

Our Plett Holiday

3 weeks away! We’ve not done that together as a family. We do try and go away a lot, but we’ve never gone for this long. We’ve always talked about it, dreamed about, intended to do it, but this was the first time we’ve done it. And it was the most wonderful time ever.

We took a two week booking from some friends who changed their holiday plans and spent that part of the holiday in Plettenberg Bay. We’ve not been there before and it was wonderful The beaches were great, the weather rocked and I think, bar two days, we visited the beach every day.

While Jordi pushed herself further than she ever has, the waves were still a little too daunting to fully master feeling comfortable with a ‘complete’ swimming experience. Carli took a few days to warm up to the sea, but once she did, we couldn’t keep her out of the water.

The girls got ‘tattoos’ on one of the days. A little more complex and involved than the ones you get from the vending machines in Spur, and they were very proud of them, while they lasted. See the pics for more detail.

One of my favourite memories of the holiday was on our last day in Plett. Leish and I started a ‘happy experience’ thing each morning. We’d ask each other for something that would make a happy on each day. Our last day was to swim together in the sea. It ended up being the worst day of weather we had, but we still managed to make it down to the beach in the afternoon. As I played at the back-line, I waved for Leish to come in. She hates water temp that isn’t fairly close to bath heat, and so I expected her to answer with a ‘no’. But to the amazement of me, and the girls, she got up, and did a ‘baywatch’ as she ran across the beach, and glided through the waves to the back-line. We didn’t stay long, but it was a memory I will remember. It was a ‘happy’.

From Plett we moved onto Franschhoek to a friends wedding at Rickety Bridge (see the previous post). We got to visit with our friends Tracy and Cade, and in general had a really relaxing end, with some unique experiences, before heading back to Jozi, via Bloem.

So another 11 months to the next one of these. Work work work for 3 weeks of complete relaxation and fun. Yes please.

Click here to see some pics.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on February 3rd, 2010 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, Holiday, Photos, Travel | No Comments »

Wedding in Franschhoek

Harley D got married. For those that know him, it’s for real, we were there, and we saw it with our own two eyes. He’s married Charmaine. We only met her the night before, and over the time we spent with her, they look like they’re in looooove.

The Wedding was at Rickety Bridge and as weddings go, it was a goodie. Lotsa fun, short ceremony, horse drawn carriage entry, dancing, entertaining speeches and an amazing MC (me : )

It was a new family experience for us, as Jordi stayed awake and involved for the entire evening and so Leish and my dancing was curtailed as Jordi took us out for a spin and a spin and another spin on the dance floor. It was wonderful. I did get to dance with Leish, and it confirmed what we know…. that we love dancing together. I love dancing with Leish. One of my most favourite things to do with her.

To see some pics of the wedding, click here.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on February 1st, 2010 .
Filed under: Family, Friends, Fun, Holiday, Photos, Travel | No Comments »

Fish Eagles at Umngazi

One of the defining moments for anyone’s Umngazi holiday is a river cruise at the end of the day with the infamous Kevin. It’s a leisurely cruise up and back down the river, with the main objective of seeing the pair of Fish Eagle’s swooping in to pick up a fish that Kevin throws out for it. Of course his Fish Eagle call is amazing all on it’s own, and you quickly realise he’s been doing this for a long time. He knows them, and they certainly know him. He also spots them coming in long before anyone else on the boat, binoculars or not.

It’s all over before you know it, and I often think that simply watching, as apposed to attempting to catch it on film is the way to go. This trip both Fish Eagles came in (I’ve only seen one at a time) and it was as spectacular as ever. One of them then travelled with us for a while, flying from tree to tree. Hungry I presume, and not simply looking for company.

Leish and I both had a go at catching the event on camera. Click here for some of the pics.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 25th, 2009 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, Holiday, Photos, Travel | No Comments »

Waking up to a PeaCock

This morning I woke up in the berg to a beautiful PeaCock sitting outside on the little veranda attached to my chalet. I immediately thought of Carli and took this pic to send to her. She’s definitely the animal lover of our family. Not that any of the others of us don’t, just that she makes up for where we lack.

Arrived at Alpine Heath last night, for a Builders Trade Depot conference, to an icy-cold wind. The icy-cold you expect in the berg this time of year, but the wind is just plain ugly and unwelcome. Reminded me of an exert from Ice Age 3, that Jordi was repeating earlier this week,

Listen to the wind!
What’s it saying?
I don’t know, I don’t speak wind.

I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t give you any more information that that : )

This morning was beautiful. All the crap had been blown out of this atmosphere, and the sun was shining in the most wonderful way. The mountains surrounding us were spectacular, and I wished the rest of my family was here to share what I could see.

Tomorrow I head back to Durban to fetch them for our next stop of the ‘no-school tour’. We’re going to Little Switzerland for another conference with AMASA. I speak for an hour on Saturday morning. The rest of the time, is family time.


Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 20th, 2009 .
Filed under: Family, Holiday, Travel, Work | 1 Comment »

Road Trips

One of my happy memories that I’ve shared with Leish in our marriage has been taking a road trip together. In our early years of dating and while we were married, before kids, road trips took on a very different shape to those that had Jordi and Carli in the car. I guess those of you with kids know what I’m taking about…

The romantic chatter, the exploration of a young couple setting off on an adventure, no crying and questions like ‘are we there yet?’ from the back of the car. The stopping in unfamiliar spots with a glass of wine, a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat. Discovering each other while confined to a very small space with no other agenda than simply passing time on the way to somewhere.

Children do change all of that. I’m not suggesting it gets worse. It just gets different. New agendas are added to the mix. New reasons arrive not to stop, but to rather ‘get there’. Romantic chatter is replaced by the need to occupy the very short attention span of 2 beautiful girls hating the concept of being confined to a very small space : )

In the last 12 months we’ve had a few opportunities to re-visit those trips. Last year we went to London for a weekend. We’ve been to Fancourt for a night. We’ve spent a night in the Magaliesberg, and today we returned from an overnighter to East London.

It’s all been intentional, but made possible by our two beautiful children who are becoming less phased being apart from us, and if we’re honest, we from them.

I must admit that it’s taking me some time to un-learn and re-learn the art of these trips. Suddenly having this time in a confined space with my beautiful soul mate, often has me rushing to aparently important conversations that are a little too heavy for what road trips are all about. I don’t stop enough, still driven by the need to arrive and ‘get there’ instead of savouring the journey.

I’d like to think I’m getting there though. Each time we take a trip I remember more of what we used to do and forget more of what we have recently been doing. I feel a little more romantic and find more and more pleasure in the journey and less and less in the destination.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 11th, 2009 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, Holiday, Travel | No Comments »

Stirling High Reunion

Friday night was Leish’s 20 year high school reunion. Mine was 2 years ago. So that makes me older and provides a little insight to the interesting feelings that float around at such events : ) I don’t know if there is a correlation, but one of Leish’s good mates pulled out on Friday afternoon around 16:00. Of course there was a good reason, but I wonder?

The 20 yr reunion shared the school hall with the 10 yr reunion and the school celebration of 25 years in it’s current form. So it couldn’t be and wasn’t the piss up mine was, and it did lack the intimacy of focus just the
20 yr reunion might have had, but it was a beautifully diverse and a proud night shared by all.

I enjoyed meeting Leish’s school mates and getting a taste of her world way back then. Some really good people have shared her world.

It’s not often, if ever, that I’ve seen such pride in a school, as speech after speech gave testimony to a school that made something very spectacular of itself over the past 25 years.

Leish contributed 2 years to the history that was unveiled last night. If friends, stories and teachers who remembered her are to go by, she certainly added more than what was expected of her.

Had I been her last night, I would have felt incredibly proud to have been a part of Stirling High School. But I’ll leave that for you to explore….

Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 10th, 2009 .
Filed under: Friends, Fun, School, Travel, Weekend | No Comments »

Airline Disaster Stories

I don’t know if it was because I read this at 06:00 this morning, or because the temp outside was less than 0 degrees, or that it’s Friday? Perhaps a combination of all three. But the link below to a post, about how the airlines hate us so much, had me giggling and thanking it’s author for starting my day of on the right foot.

Hopefully it’ll do the same for you?

Click here for the article on

It’s hard for an industry to be more hated than insurance or telemarketing, but airlines have been trying for decades. Whether it’s charging $50 to check one bag or bumping paying customers at a moment’s notice, it truly seems like they couldn’t give half a damn about their passengers.

P.S. For those of you sensitive to language and the fantastic contribution words that start with ‘f’ make, you’ll probably want to give this one a skip : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on July 24th, 2009 .
Filed under: Stuff, Travel | No Comments »