Our summer is nearing its end. Paolo left 2 days ago with Enzo to drive back to Kyiv. The children and I (and Pepperoni, of course!) will fly back on Friday. I feel as if these are the last days that I can really breathe slowly and relax before the chaos of an international move begins. Last week Gio and I traveled to South Africa so he could get a taste of his new school while I looked for our next house....
I probably only have a few more posts to write for this blog. I will start a new one once we are officially in Africa. Keep your fingers crossed that we end up getting the Asterix house. If not, we will find another but I am still hoping......
|I do not claim to have any gardening skills, but I am quite happy with my window boxes this year!|
|One morning Gio woke a tad bit earlier than usual. 2 hours later I found him sound asleep on the trampoline.|
|Maria's love of fruit knows no end.|
|And then all of a sudden someone turned 2!!|
|August 7th and proud to be 2 at last!|
|Okay, she was actually clueless about her birthday, |
but seemed to like how excited everyone else was about it!
|Trying to hold up two fingers. Maybe next year....|
|Oh, forget it!|
|A fun evening at a wonderful agriturismo near our house.|
|Such calm, well behaved children.|
|Well, maybe not.|
|Maria has no idea I am about to leave her with Paolo for a week.|
(I have never been away from her for more than a few hours!)
|Enzo has endless patience.|
|Last Sunday Gio and I flew through Frankfurt to Jo'burg. |
We were super excited to be on our very first A-380 plane (the double decker kind).
It was very comfy and made the 10.5 hour flight that much easier.
|Gio even got to spend a bit of time in the cockpit.|
|The morning we arrived we had an hour to clean ourselves up and then were immediately off to Gio's school orientation. Love his new cafeteria (open air most days!).|
|Such a treat to be at a school with open spaces!|
|And two pools! It is officially still "winter" here in SA, so the (heated) pool is closed but will be open soon for business.|
Gio hopes to be the first to leap in!
|"Winter" and flowers are blooming everywhere. |
I think I can handle living here after 5 Ukrainian winters!
|Gio's classroom and his terrific teacher Mr. Nate. There are only 13 children in his class!|
|And the most exciting part about school? A friend from Kyiv has also just arrived in Pretoria! |
Nico and Gio get to reunite as 1st grade buddies!
|A soccer pitch!|
|I got lots of updates from Paolo. Maria was doing just fine without me!|
|Our first full day in Pretoria Gio and I began the house search. We saw A LOT of places.|
|and a LOT of pools.|
|The houses are big and after 5 years in a small 4th floor walk up apartment it was at times overwhelming.|
|Gio's priorities? He wants a house with a pool and a trampoline!|
|This house was intriguing. Over this fence is a small animal reserve with antelope, zebras and other creatures that regularly come right up to the fence. A bit of a gimick for a gated community but Gio was certainly sold!|
|Things I liked about nearly all the houses we saw? Giant bathrooms with double sinks (a real marriage saver!)...|
|....lots and lots of storage....|
|And some rooms that are so huge I actually have no idea how we would fill them. |
This house actually had 5 bedrooms this size or bigger!
|After 20 houses in one day Gio definitely needed a break. What an amazing find to discover red velvet cake right next to our hotel! Gio was IMMEDIATELY sold on South Africa!|
|Despite quite a chilly temperature a dip in the hotel pool helped Gio recover from the long day of house searching.|
|But looking through the house was worth it for this find...check out this toilet. |
Hilarious to me, the daughter of a retired toilet manufacturer!
|Gio loved this jungle gym. The owners of the house raised their children here and it is evident that this is not an investment house (as were most that I saw last week) but a genuine family home.|
|The pool, gazebo and yard.|
|This house even has a wine cellar! Paolo might just live in it.|
|A huge fireplace in the living room for the cold winter nights. (Most houses are not well heated)|
|A separate apartment that the owners used for their live-in nanny. Guest room potential!|
|The side garden.|
|View of the back of the house from the green space.|
|Gio gave the house a thumbs up and so we decided to put in a bid. |
We celebrated with a dinner out and a few rounds of UNO.
|Friday morning Gio was picked up again at the hotel and I got a chance to Skype with Maria and Paolo back home.|
|Check out what passes for late winter temperatures in Pretoria. Enzo will like the cool mornings at least!|
|It only took Gio a few days to fully embrace South Africa's passion for rugby.|
|If there was ever a boy whose body was built for rugby....|
|South African children are often out and about without shoes. I know two Belli offspring who are going to fully embrace this habit! Can you imagine if I allowed Gio to roam around MegaMarket like this! ha ha.|
|And then suddenly it was time to head back to Italy. Our A-380 was eager to fly us home.|
|Gio needed a day to recover from the journey....|
|....but he was quickly back to form and happily doing his homework for Mr. Nate (clad in a Springbok jersey, of course).|