Life has been tough in recent months, and one thing I have realized is that it’s important to give yourself time to breathe, get a bit of a break from the madness, and to sometimes just do nothing. You’d lose your sanity if you didn’t. It was time for another weekend getaway. Oh, how we love weekend getaways. Let me tell you why I love them so much..
Knowing we both needed a break, Ross and I wanted something close by, that wouldn’t take ages to get to, as I was unable to take any work days off – it would have to be a Friday to Sunday holiday. We settled on the Magaliesburg region, because it is sooo close – and we found a great estate, just over an hour out of Johannesburg, called Steynshoop. We were extremely lucky – we had looked at so many different places, and everywhere was booked up. However, there was a suite left available at the Steynshoop Valley Lodge, and it was glorious.
The Valley Suite is actually the honeymoon suite, and one of their premier suites. I cannot explain to you how huge this suite is. It is actually three cottages next to each other – the first cottage is the kitchen, dining room and lounge, the second cottage is the bedroom and the third, the bathroom. There’s also an outdoor shower. We spent a good amount of time running from one side of the suite all the way to the other, including chasing eachother. You know how we roll. There are two fireplaces in the suite which kept us nice and toasty. Here are some shots we took of the suite.
There was also a massive doggy on the property – she was huuuuge. Let’s call her Horse Dog. I had to embarrass Ross by calling Horse Dog over. Of course, she then became our friend and made sure to be present whenever boerewors was around.
It was such a lovely weekend. We instilled a ‘technology/social media’ ban, and I struggled with this more than I care to admit, but it was also quite freeing to not constantly be on my phone.
‘So what on earth did we do without technology?’ you ask. Well, we read our books, we sat in the sun and stared at the birds and the ducks nearby. There were activities on the lodge, such as tennis (Ross kicked my butt, damnit). A pool to swim in (too damn cold), as well as croquet, badminton, volleyball and tons more.
We played a game of Monopoly – weirdly, our first boardgame where just the two of us played. I slaughtered Ross. It was great. I can’t believe our relationship stood the test of Monopoly. Just look at his ‘I hate you’ face.
There was another lodge adjacent to ours – called the Mountain Lodge – where you can go on hikes, have drinks at the bar, or partake in archery. Tip: do not walk to the mountain lodge, as we did, because this in itself is a hike, and will exhaust you to the point of being unable to complete the actual hikes on the lodge.
On our last day, we drove to Hartbeespoort, which is really close by. We went on the cable car to the top of the berg (check out the Harties Cableway), which was nice but the visibility wasn’t great. Thereafter, we stopped off at the Chameleon Village for some pancakes and a stroll through the market there.
It was a lovely weekend away, and even though it was short, we both felt totally rested. We want to make a concerted effort to go away more often, try different things, explore new places and I feel like we have been pretty successful thus far. It also strengthens your connection with your loved one, you’re in it together, and there’s no one you’d rather be spending your time with. That’s why I love weekend getaways.
P.S. For those wondering, I didn’t get paid to write this post and recommend Steynshoop. I wish.