Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Swakopmund Vacation

 This weekend we finally got out of Windhoek for the coast. We made the four hour drive to Swakopmund, Namibia, the second largest city in Namibia (not saying much) and the closest city to Brad and Angelina's place in the country. We had a nice time, but I think it it overrated. Don't think that it would be nearly as popular if there were more to do here.

We got to Swakopmund at lunch time on Friday. Everyone always talks about the cute little cafes and restaurants. They are supposed to be kid friendly (which I have decided means you can let your children run around like brats without regard to their safety or any consideration of other people), but come on, my kids are four and two. We decided to just hit KFC and even waiting for that was hard for the kids. They were EVERYWHERE! At least they enjoyed the food. We made our way to where we were staying, a 3 bedroom place in the north end of town. It worked out perfectly for us. We had plenty of space and had a kitchen, meaning we didn't have to eat all our meals out. :) We rested a bit and then walked over to the beach for a bit. Yes, we had to get sandy and wet so we had to go back home and change. We made a quick stop at the Snake House. For about $4 each, we were able to see snakes in three roms that all together were smaller than our kitchen. The boys enjoyed the snakes, and loved watching the chameleon get fed. They also loved climbing on the jawbone of a whale. Easily entertained. We walked around the downtown area for a bit and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items.

Saturday was cool and rainy, but we headed for the main beach area and playground. Next to the playground, a bouncy castle park was set up. For a fee, the kids could bounce around to their hearts' content, and oh how they loved it. We spent HOURS there. Justin's favorite was the inflatable water slide. Ryan tried it once, but when he climbed to the top he was freaked out by the water and perhaps the pitch of the slide. I think it was just as well because otherwise he would have been wanting to climb up it all day. Instead he kept climbing up a rope cargo net, using his arms and not his legs. He got really tired, but what great upper body strength!

For lunch we found a charming cafe (meaning overpriced mediocore food) and then headed over to the Kristall Galerie. This is a pretty small museum that could be seen in about 10 minutes. It has a cave replica which frightened the boys the first time through. Ryan was wrapping his legs around mine, afraid to move. After the first time through, we couldn't keep up with the boys. They thought it was great. They also have an area where you can "find" polished rocks. Ryan mostly wanted to throw them in the water.

Back to the bouncy castle area for a couple more hours.  Justin kept gong back to the water slide over and over, while Ryan and I wandered over to the ocean.  Justin and Rob eventually joined us, and we enjoyed having the waves get our feet and legs wet.  When the boys started to shiver, it was time to head home.

Sunday was a lazy day.  We had gotten WAY too much sun on Saturday and all ended up with burns. :(  We headed out to a pizza place for lunch and had an African take on Italian food.  Home for a quick nap and then we were back at the beach.  This time we had hats and protective clothing as well as PLENTY of sunscreen.  Justin liked playing in the sand and Ryan liked playing in the water.

Each evening after the boys were in bed, Rob and I watched a DVD.  While taking small children on a trip means it is a trip and not a vacation, it was still nice.  It was good to be at the beach and to have a few days without laundry and other routine chores.