Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas Y'All !!!

Long time no hear I know! We have been away in the local mountains, the Drakensberg, enjoying a wonderful week of peace & family fun. We returned on Friday & since then it has been all systems go on our countdown to Christmas so I take this opportunity to wish all my blogging friends a blessed Christmas & a New Year filled with all that is good for you!

We always pass this "People's Market" & I try for a better photograph each time, bearing in mind that we are constantly moving & I have to make it quick at the traffic lights!

This was the view from our Chalet in the early morning...mountains & trees...just beautiful...

This is the identical view taken during the day. I was surprised to find that there was a local photographer offering one-on-one lessons at the resort so I spent 2 hours with him & learnt loads about my Nikon DSLR.

Our view to the left of our chalet & our braai (barbeque) area, which we never used because it was either raining hail or it was 36 degrees! Talk about from one extreme to the other LOL!

The flower bed in front of our chalet - there was an army of staff maintaining the property - they appear to do a wonderful job but boy are they noisy as they go about their business...especially when they all walk up from the staff accomodation & right past our chalet, first thing in the morning...definitely NOT appreciated!!!

We found Cami a Hawaiian outfit at the little hotel shop - she has wanted one for years so she was delighted! With a body like hers it certainly suits her ;-D

My two teenagers insisted on leaving their packing 'til the last minute & forgot ALL the board games so joined me at the dining-room table & made Christmas cards instead - yes, even Jack, & his were surprisingly artistic!

Chelsea made a really cute little one for her beloved...and Cami & Reilly made one every night! We also played chirades - ridiculously funny...

It's hard to believe that there is so much beautiful, open space only a few hours from home...

We have stayed in the Drakensberg before, but we rented a house, never again...this was waaaaaaaaaaaay more fun & every day was filled with swimming, tennis, golf, walking... loads & loads on offer...

There is a hotel with a restaurant & coffee shop aswell as many chalets for families. Our chalet was large, with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms & a large kitchen/dining/living area with a fireplace. I got 7 layouts done & loads of cards!

This is the side view of the main hotel. All the lawns were beautifully kept & the golf course was spectacular!

An overall view of the entire resort - I only wish we had discovered it sooner! To think that we have lived here for 4 years & never been before!

One of the FIVE pools on offer! The funny thing is I had made NO holiday plans this Christmas because we had had such a gloomy year that I didn't want to add to DH's stress levels, then a cancellation here came up at the last minute & someone ASKED us if we would like to buy their week, at a reduced price I might add...score!

Shane & Jack were so active every day & Reilly was appointed the golf cart driver so was very happy with that arrangement!

The kids absolutely LOVED every minute!

I took tons of photos practising all my MANUAL settings - so glad I finally have some basic knowledge ;-D

Unfortunately the M-Xit signal was strong at the resort so there was no keeping the teens off their mobiles!

Chelsea took 5 matric set books to read but spent most of her time in this position watching DVD's!

She complained of being bored but there were tons of other teens there - all of whom she was sure didn't like her LOL!

Cami enjoyed ordering room-service every time she took a bath - amazing how at 9 that novelty still hasn't worn off!

We had to make our bed every day which was a bit of a downer - if we left it to the chalet lady this was the result - yes really - this is the AFTER she made it picture!!!

Looking at her effort in the kids' rooms perhaps we should have been grateful!

Is it just me or is this a mess???!!!

All I could do to stop myself from remaking all the beds was just to stay out of the kids' rooms!

I finally learnt how to take perfect NIGHT photos without a blur & yellow flash tint - took the one above on manual when we returned from dinner out.

Doing my best now to get the blurry backgrounds but really need a longer lens to acheive a better effect.

So into manual now that I am not operating on auto at all any more & have already devoured all my course notes...

These were taken at mid day would you believe - but luckily we found a shady patch...

Poor Chelsea is really getting beyond sharing her bedroom with a 9 year old!

I caught Reilly making faces at himself in the mirror...something that he does often LOL!

I'm itching to cut off Jack's fringe but he's not having any of it...

Trying to get a decent photo of the 4 of them in holiday mode was {almost} impossible! Merry Christmas everyone! I have lots of layouts, cards & scrappy news to share but right now I am off to the mall - what am I thinking?!


Bernadine said...

Welcome back Helen. Thanks for mail. I will respond tomorrow after work. On my way to Yellow Sands for the night for some yummy sea food and bonding time with my brothers and their family. lol.

Vicki said...

Great photos and what a bonus getting some instruction on your camera as well. Merry Christmas.

Andrea said...

glad you had such a lovely trip and what a bonus to be able to combine it with a private photo course as well...have fun with all your new settings.
P.s. did you ever sort out your settings with the Lumix coz I am really really pleased with mine?

Jessy Christopher said...

Finally...It's so good to hear from you again!! I have been checking in all the time for an update!! LOL!! It's good to know that you took a break & the place is just so beautiful. I love the green :) Your kids are so beautiful and I am glad they are enjoying making cards! Merry Christmas to you, DH and your little angels!

Pearl said...

awesoem holiday it must have been ! & you were able to scrap & make cards too ! fantastic ! my kind of holiday ! lol Your kids look like they had a tonne of fun alright !

Here's wishing you a Blessed Christmas time !

it's almost 5 mins to Christmas !

topkatnz said...

Looks like a fabulous resort(um, besides perhaps the bedmaking!LOL) - I envy you the break!