Friday, July 25, 2008

hotards in south africa: durban

And so Friday we headed back to Joburg to stay with Heather Bellew before catching a flight back to Durban on Saturday. We had a nice dinner with Heather’s family and then we ducked out to catch a movie. I had been dying to see Sex and the City while it was still in the theatre and so we made our way to the theatre, bought ice cream and pop corn and enjoyed the show.

We navigated our way to the airport and returned the car and hoped that the rental car wouldn’t notice the scratch (ok, it was more like a gash) I had made while we were in Limpopo. One of the mornings I was trying to protect the poor undercarriage of the car from the huge bump going into my house. We managed to avoid scraping going in one direction but trying to go out at the same angle proved a bit more difficult and I ended up scraping the door on the brick post. Oops. Lucky we had insurance and the rental car guy didn’t actually notice it. I made Katie and Teresa run through the car park just in case he changed his mind called us back.

We were met in Durban by Pat and Francois who had graciously offered to put the 3 of us up while mom was still on the ACTS retreat. They were the sweetest hosts, offered us delicious food, made 2 birthday carrot cakes and even took us to the mall so I could find a shirt to wear the next day. They were part of the ACTS retreat last year so they we were all able to go to Candlelight to see mom and the others from Texas for a few minutes before the big reunion the next day at Sunday mass.

Sunday was also my birthday and it proved to be a spectacular day – I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate than with two of my sisters, my mom and my fiancĂ©! After mass and a nice lunch, we headed to the hotel to check in and rest up for a bit. In the afternoon we walked on the beach, got our feet wet, admired sand sculptures and just goofed off a bit. We headed back to Taco Zulu for my birthday dinner and enjoyed another night of Mexican food and even a shot of Patron tequila! When we got back to the hotel we met up with some others from the retreat and had more drinks. Mom ordered a white Russian, Teresa ordered a non-alcoholic Pina colada and I tried to get a dirty martini – Katie and Jason ordered beers which turned out to be the better option. Teresa’s drink turned out to be a red fruity thing, mom’s was an interesting looking shot and my dirty martini was pink with cherries AND red olives (not pitted).

The next day was devoted to shopping at the Victoria Street Market. Jason debated if he should stay back and work but we won him over and he came with us. Not sure if it was the better option because we shopped for 4 solid hours! He was amazed at how much stuff was bought! Finally we were rewarded with a very late lunch (early dinner) at the Wharf, where we had bunny chow. Basically it’s a hollowed out loaf of bread with curry inside. We didn’t order the hot ones but we were all sniveling messes when we were done – but happy because it was so good. We goofed around as we left the wharf and Katie and I decided to play on the mechanical rides. The rest of the evening we spent relaxing in the hotel room and enjoying our last night together.

Sadly we all boarded planes the next day. Although I wasn’t on the same flight as the girls, we met up at the terminal and we hung out for a few more hours before they headed back to board their international flight. It was hard to believe their visit was over – I won’t lie, a few tears escaped once they walked past security. It’s amazing how much fun I can have with them and just how much I love them (even those the 3+ that weren’t actually here). Sometimes I wonder why I live so far away but it’s apart of life and the old adage is true, distance does make the heart grow fonder. Or is it time? I don’t know but either way, I do love them more every day despite the time elapsed and the distance between us. My cup over floweth.

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