Tuesday, November 3, 2009

South Africa in my heart & on my mind (take me back Tuesday)......

About 3 years ago my parents went to South Africa on vacation, after years of
begging from my Dad's business partner to go, with the promise that 
they would love it.

They went for a month and of course loved it, but to my surprise much more then
we ever thought they would.
They had fallen in love and came home to announce they had
bought a HOUSE!

Since then they go back about every three months and stay for a month or so.
We went at Christmas in 2007, traveled for a full 24hrs, 3 planes, 20 hrs in the air with a
18 month old.  But Buggie did AWESOME!

Their house is in the beautiful valley of Franschooek.
The sky is a shade of blue, Crayola could not duplicate. 
It is wine country, which makes for some wonderful
wine and food! 

We took a short flight to the Kalahari to go on safari.  And 
 stayed at Tswalu Reserve, it was AMAZING!  
They were so family/kid friendly. 

So kid friendly they had a high chair and kiddie silverware all setup before we got there!
(Buggie was so little looking back at these pictures!)

 It was what our family affectionately calls
Africa HOT out, so we took full advantage of the pool.

They have the reserve divide with two sides, this was the predator side (Buggie stayed back
at the room with my Mom for this ride!) And let me just mention I was not
happy about turning my head on these guys!

We did many other cool things (Great White Shark diving included).
But for me one of the best things was meeting some fantastic people. 
One of which was a friend my parents had come to know over their trips, Frances Kendall.
She is by far one of the most talented, accomplished, and genuine people I have met. From Politician, Noble Peace Prize nominated writer and accomplished painter, I mean seriously! If you go check out her website you can read her whole story, plus see the portraits of our family and her other amazing pieces of work.
My parents had commissioned Frances to do an oil painting of my Mom, which hangs in their home in South Africa (see below hanging over the fireplace in their bedroom).

So with us kids together they knew that they wanted her to work her magic on our family.  This painting is stunning, not just cause I am in it, LOL!  But to see it up close is eye popping, gasping, and beyond stunning.  This beauty hangs in their home here in the states.

And to my surprise my parents wanted Frances to paint a portrait of Buggie for us!  It is gorgeous.  I love and cherish it ooooh so much.

With Jellybean coming (any day now 3cm!) we are not going to South Africa any time soon.  But we are planning a trip for next Christmas, I really can not wait. It is a place I never
imagined going and now can not imagine not going back.


Amy C said...

Those paintings are ah-maz-ing! So life-like!
My best friend just got married in South Africa over the summer (her husband is from there) and I wanted to go SO bad but was low on money. I still hope to take a trip with her there one day.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I remember seeing those pics of your trip awhile back. The paintings are AMAZING!!! So one of these trips you may have to slip me a valium and pack me in one of your bags! I'm afraid to fly but I have a feeling it would be so worth the fear!!

Jacci said...

Those paintings are stunning. What a precious, amazing gift! I voted girl for little bean, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CAN STAND NOT KNOWING! Can't wait to find out. Enjoy your last few days of being a mommy-of-one! :)

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh. My. Word. I LOVED this post! Those paintings are BEAUTIFUL!!! Oh what a treasure!!!

Love Love love it!!!

Kelly O. said...

oh my word! I thought that painting of your family was a picture!! I looked your post ove twice to see the painting until I realized it WAS the painting!

SoBella Creations said...

What great memories! Love the paintings.