#GreensGoTroppo – all about our Mauritian adventure

If you’ve had any interaction with me at all, both in real life and online, you’ll know that I’ve just had the best vacation E.V.E.R! It’s all I spoke about for months beforehand and it’s all my sweet dreams are about now.

A couple of months ago, Belinda, based in Dubai, decided that the very best way to celebrate her milestone birthday was with her family on a tropical island. Cue a ton of excitement from all of us and a mad panic to renew passports and get kids’ unabridged birth certificates. That, in itself, is the subject of an entirely different blog post.

July seemed a very long way away back then, but time flew by and before we knew it, the big day had arrived and the Dubai Green and the Jozi Greens were jetting off from ORT to meet the Perth Greens in paradise.

Ready, steady, fly!
Slightly dishevelled!

We stayed in the most fabulous resort – Beachcomber Trou-Aux-Biches – worth every single star of its 5 star rating. The 13 Greens shared two villas, each beautifully furnished with ALL the creature comforts including a private pool, outdoor showers and more Nespresso than even my caffeine addicted body needed. The beds were incredible – Jon reckons he should have worn his fitness tracker to roll over and kiss Jess goodnight – they were big, like super king size! The whole hotel, from the villas to the restaurant restrooms, was scented with the most unbelievable fragrance. I found out later that it’s a Beachcomber fragrance called Royal Orchid.

Basically, our days were spent as follows:

  • Wake, Nespresso, dress in appropriate resort wear – ie bathing suit, shorts, sarong.
  • Buffet breakfast where you have no choice but to try ALL the food then swear you’re not eating until supper.
  • Beach/pool, read, roll over, repeat.
  • Decide you’re peckish and might head up to the restaurant for a bite of the buffet lunch. You have no option but to try ALL the food. Wonder if you’ll possibly be able to eat dinner?
  • Back to the beach/villa to read nap.
  • Sundowner drinks and the butler arrives with a plate of pre-dinner snacks. Amazingly, you’re able squeeze one or three of the spring rolls.
  • Dress for dinner and a golf cart to take us to one of the numerous hotel restaurants – Italian/Thai/Indian/Gourmet Seafood/Themed buffet)
  • Drinks and chatter after dinner at one of the villas and blissfully to bed.

The Greens did mix it up a bit by snorkeling, canoeing, pedal boating, stand up paddling, a glass bottom boat trip and a trip into Grand Baie and a few walks to the Trou-aux-Biches village for some retail therapy. We could find pretty much anything we may have needed at Chez Popo supermarket.

That’s not me…

So snorkeling. Can’t say that was my favourite thing ever. I am a massive scaredy-cat when it comes to swimming, especially sea swimming. So the first time we went out on the snorkel boat, I decided I wasn’t even going to try. Then FOMO struck as I watched everyone bobbing about, so I borrowed a pair of flippers and tried to climb off the boat. Panic and nerves set in and I just couldn’t do it. The next time we all went snorkeling, I decided to try again, this time with the safety of a life jacket. I actually got off the boat that time. But I was too busy popping my head out the water to find Nemo. I had to make sure the boat hadn’t sailed away without me! I am quite comfortable to now admit that snorkeling is not for me. I am quite happy to marvel over the wonders of the ocean floor from a safety of a glass bottom boat.

We decided to celebrate Belinda’s big birthday on Friday night and we were treated to a barbecue in our villa, cooked by one of the chefs and served by our amazing butlers. The hotel staff made the most incredible effort and it was a special night. We spoiled Belinda with some bling in a teal box and a photo book of memories. I think the photo book that we created for her was a hit! 

Wasn’t the table setting just gorgeous?

On Saturday we had to say a sad goodbye to the Aussie Greens, so we had to take a traditional family selfie before they left.

After that, we were all very subdued. Cocktails were necessary…

And on Sunday – it was all over. My only regrets – that the hotel shop had sold out of the Royal Orchid fragrance diffusers – the little memento I was planning to buy myself to evoke memories of my week in the tropics. Oh and that I didn’t get to meet our celebrity neighbours.

Yes – I almost forgot to tell you – we had celebrity neighbours, just a few villas away! Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are staying at the resort to film a movie. Sadly, I only got to spot the back of Anne – but other family members got really good sightings and Jess even made eye contact with Ms Hathaway. I did consider doing some real stalking, but that would be a bit uncool, you know?

A resort holiday is absolutely indulgent from the minute you set foot on the resort, but everyone agreed that by far the biggest treat of all was spending a full week together as a family. The cousins bonded, as did the mom, siblings and siblings-in-law, and we all treasured the quality time together.

I am also so grateful for the opportunity for my kids to experience an overseas trip. Travelling broadens your horizons in so many ways. I am pretty sure an overseas gap year is definitely on Ewan’s to do list now! He’s even talking about wanting to be an exchange student.  And I have a travel bucket list as long as my arm, so it’s time to start doing some planning and budgeting!.

P.S. I wanted to call this post How the Greens got marooned – you know… marooned on an island and a play on the colours – geddit? Instead I chose #GreensGoTroppo – that was our chosen holiday hashtag for all pics we shared on social media. “Troppo” is a nod to the tropical island experience and Aussie slang for going nuts. And since we shared the week with the Aussie Greens, it seemed appropriate!

Our Wonderful Vacation (Part 1)

I started writing this post on the long drive between dorpies in the great Karoo. The scenery in the Karoo is beautiful in a desolate, African way. Windmills, sheep, greeny-brown vegetation, big sky, dusty towns and long, straight roads. 

I’ve shared some of my favourite photos on Instagram and Facebook already but thought I’d share them  and more in a blog too for some context. 

On the drive down, we overnighted in a tiny town called Victoria West. We have had great luck with food in the small dorpies this holiday! 

This was quite the best lamb pie I’ve ever tasted! We found these pies at a little padstal advertising Pizza Hut and Karoo Fried Chicken! Got to love a good sense of humour!   
 
We had dinner at the Karoo Deli in Victoria West. They weren’t technically open for dinner but we popped in at lunch time and the restaurant owner said that she was cooking for another couple, so she would cater for us to! She laid out the best spread of boere food that only my late Ouma would have been able to compete with!   

Our Capetown accommodation was fabulous – we stayed in a house Nick found via AirBnB in the Marina Da Gama in Muizenberg. 

Below is a photo I took of the kids from the look out tower in the house. 87 steps to get to the top of the tower! The kids counted! 

And the view from the deck!  

A view of the marina from the tower…
 

As soon as we had unpacked we took our first trip And then of course the first trip to the beach!

  
 
After collecting our race packs from the CTICC on day 2, we went to Hout Bay and the best fish and chip lunch at Snoekies.
  

Oh, and a drive over the incredibly beautiful Chapman’s Peak! This was a recce mission before Nick’s big ultra run a few days later!

  On one of the afternoons, I met my friend Elsabe for a coffee and cake at the Olympic Cafe in Muizenberg and took this photo on the railway line across the road. I just loved the bright colours oft the buildings against the blue sky!
 
Of course we spent a fair bit of time just chilling – books and wine… Bliss! 

Credit to Claire for this pic. 
 

Even though us adults considered it to be less than ideal beach weather, the kids still insisted on swimming and boogie boarding. I’m sure our next trip here will involve surf lessons!  

  

And of course Claire posed upside down… #handstandsaroundtheworld  

A highlight I didn’t take any photos of was a lovely lunch last Friday with my cousin Graham and his family.

I haven’t seen him or his wife Careen in years and have never met their son, so it was great to catch up. The kids loved meeting a cousin they didn’t know and spent the afternoon playing. 

Careen ran Two Oceans the next day and it was wonderful to see Graham’s familiar face supporting the runners on the race route! 

The next day was race day, which I’ve already blogged about in my previous post. 

Stay tuned! I will be back soon with part 2 of my my vacation blog post. 
  

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