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Africa Family Fun Thoughts

holidays in the southern hemisphere

hat ornament

Christmas is over, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the holiday season in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s quite different than how I grew up and always take a little adjusting in my mind.

christmas tree

A couple of weeks ago, with a sweltering 90 something degrees outside, we had our staff Christmas party in South Africa. There was such irony in listening to tunes of chestnuts roasting over an open fire while making snowman ornaments. Creating a pile of water with a carrot, top hat, and scarf on top would have been more appropriate. Such is Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.

do you wanna build a snowman

This whole scene made me fully aware of just how much weather creates mind associations when it comes to holidays. When I’m in South Africa on December 25th, it never feels like Christmas, but I know if one of my African friends ventured to the Northern Hemisphere in December, they would say the same thing.

kerplunk

tic tac toe

I like traditions, but they must be replaced if I’m going to survive a Summery Christmas.
Sipping hot chocolate in front of the open fire is replaced with slurping ice cold Appletizer in front of the pool.
Beautiful Winter scarves are replaced with tank tops and swimsuit cover ups.
Baking is replaced with cold salads. No one wants to fire up the oven or even eat in this heat.

braai masters

Gingerbread house creativity is replaced with creating fun outoor games. (Every gingerbread house we’ve done here lasts less than 24 hours before collapsing into a melted pile of sugar. Sadly, this was the first year we abandoned this tradition.)

making ornaments

We don’t count snowflakes. We count how many showers we took in one day. It’s the best way to cool off.
We don’t get cabin fever from staying indoors. We try to be outdoors as much as possible since our cooling system involves ceiling fans and open windows.

twister

croquet

I am happy to report that Christmas day at our home this year was cooler than it was in my hometown in Texas. I was shocked but bubbling with joy. It put me in the mood to cook a big ole Christmas dinner enjoyed by 11 hungry mouths. This week, leading up to New Year’s, is teetering between sweltering hot and rains which cool it down to a bearable state.
I hope your holidays have been fabulous spending it with the people you love!
Family Fun

geeking it up

the cutest geek

geeky friends

the geeks7

the geeks6

the geeks5

the geeks4

the geeks3

the geeks2

the geeks1

We celebrated Emma Grace’s 12th birthday in September. (Yes, I know I’m terribly behind in posting.) She’s a gal after my own heart as she tends to think about what she wants to do for her birthday months in advance. Her notebook is full of ideas on how to execute her day, down to theme, food, and activities.

This year’s theme was GEEK, and I think we all pulled it off quite well. The best part was seeing how all the adults dressed up. Oh, my!

Family Fun Travel

the chiang mai experience

Our Thailand trip feels like so long ago! Our time in Chiang Mai was such a blast! We experienced so many new, fun things as a family. I don’t even remember anyone getting grumpy! Check out a brief photo journal of our time and click over to Petit Elefant to read the specifics of where we went so you can plan your own trip to Chiang Mai!

riding elephants

elephant kiss

sticky falls

cooking school

food trucks

fish spa

Family Fun Travel

bangkok

On our trip to Thailand, we got to spend a day in Bangkok. It was short, but we packed as much as we could into that time. Here is a photo journal of our day there. To read about the adventures of where we went, click over to Petit Elefant!

Bangkok

Tuk Tuk

Water Taxi

Weekend Market Stall

Weekend Market

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Family Fun Travel

island life in koh chang thailand

family photo

We returned a week ago from an amazing family holiday in Thailand. Jeremy and I were in this fabulous country 15 years ago, and although, there was some familiarity and memories that rushed back to us, experiencing it with family that we hadn’t seen in 3 1/2 years was the true highlight.

kayaking

beach fun

jellyfish
A washed up jellyfish…I wonder if this is the culprit that stung Joshua’s arm.

We started our journey in Koh Chang, an island accessible by a 30 minute ferry ride. It was rainy season on the island which meant crowds were low which meant beaches were perfect. Our days were spent lounging by the water, snorkeling, checking out waterfalls, and eating…lots and lots of eating. (Click over to Petit Elefant to read the specifics on our Koh Chang activities.)

snorkeling

Admittedly, I’m not a water person, so the soft beach sand, warm sun, and a good book were every bit of relaxing to me. The snorkeling was fun, although I did get a bit banged up when I hit some rock or coral, not sure what it was.

at the waterfall
I thought this sweet family from Bangladesh offered to take a family photo of us until they stood next to my family waiting for me to click. Ha!

my family

This was only half our trip. I have LOADS more photos to share. Stay tuned!