I’m not a fan of my birthday and I really don’t like celebrating it. My family and friends probably dread my birthdays as much as I do. It’s usually a day of drama and tantrums, which ends in me staying in bed all day. I can be such a drama queen when I want.
Before I left for Australia, I met up with my lovely friend Deshnee and she brought up the upcoming big birthday. Now Desh is one of my closest friends and has witnessed my 'birthday behaviour' so she offered to arrange a birthday weekend getaway that I’d be comfortable with.
We’d discussed going to Vic Falls for the weekend but it turned out to be even more expensive than it normally is thanks to it being Valentine’s Day weekend.
So Desh ended up planning a surprise getaway instead and knowing that I’m not a people’s person (generally, but more so on my birthday), she arranged the trip for just the two of us.
The getaway was fun even before it began. I met Desh at her office and the giggles started with the size of my suitcase. I had no idea where we were going to so naturally I packed for all scenarios (even though she did send me a wardrobe guide) and ended up with a suitcase too big for a two-day getaway.
Desh’s laugher stopped when she realised she’d forgotten most of her own stuff and had to use mine.
As we headed out to the not-so-secret destination (Desh let it slip we were going to Magaliesberg), she realised the dress she was wearing was way too thick and hot so while we were stuck in traffic I got out of the car to grab her bag from the back and she ended up changing on the highway with an audience.
Like I said the laughs started even before we got to our destination and got progressively worse especially during my my three bouts of bad luck (so to speak).
We stayed at Hodge Podge Lodge, a backpacker’s lodge, which was a first for me and can I just say that South Africa’s backpacker lodges are really awesome!
Aside from a few glitches like no hot water in 3 of the lodges and me having to bounce from shower to shower until I finally got one that worked properly (bad luck scenario 1) and the lodge's overly friendly dog that just didn’t know its limits, it was adorably cosy.
On Friday night, we had dinner at BrauHaus, located near the lake and surrounded by the mountains. It was a really beautiful setting and the food was delicious. Desh had a steak served with potato wedges and some sauces on the side while I had the grilled red prawns and hake with lemon butter and braised vegetable rice. For dessert we had the candied apple and sultana strudel and malva pudding. Yum!
Brauhaus, as the name suggests, is also a brewery and they offered a sample of each of their beers at dinner. Desh tried 'em all and found her favourite which she then ordered. I know nothing about beer so I actually can't remember what she chose but click here for a list of their selection.
On Saturday, my birthday, the shower drama resulted in us missing breakfast so we headed straight to my first birthday surprise, a spa morning at Sparkling Waters. Desh booked us in for full body hot stone massages, after which we just chilled at the relaxing resort.
We also had a light lunch at the Spa Resort accompanied by cocktails. I had a toasted tuna and Desh chose the russian and chips.
My second surprise was really the biggest surprise of all - a canopy tour. Desh booked us in for the 3-hour eco-adventure that involved sliding from platform-to-platform across the top of Ysterhout kloof.
I’m not an adventurous person at all so this was very new to me. I was extremely hesitant at first (and almost ruined poor Desh’s surprise and her excitement) but we went for it and it wasn’t all that bad (I can say this now that it’s over). The idea was to start off the new decade with a new experience and saying yes to adventure so mission accomplished. Your true friends are supposed to push you to your limits right?
The Deck Restaurant
Later that evening, we had dinner at The Deck restaurant. I still have no idea how Desh spotted this place but I’m so glad she did.
Apart from me having weird case of heartburn before dinner and ending up with a broken tooth during dinner (bad luck scenarios 2 and 3), the food was amazing. I had the calamari and chips while Desh had seafood platter.
The food was so good that we ended up back there for breakfast the next morning. Desh went for the full breakfast while I decided on crepes and ice-cream. We also had the dessert we missed out on the night before thanks to the kitchen being closed. I can't remember what they're called but they were some kind of waffle/ice-cream rolls.
After brunch, we headed back home to watch Fifty Shades of Grey with Desh’s mum and her friend (yes we did this).
Off course I had a few celebrations with my family later on Sunday evening and I celebrated with Monika during her trip to South Africa last month but it was all low key and I loved it.
Note to family and friends – please can all my birthdays be like this?