South Africa and High Tea Surprise


Family truly makes your heart full!

I just returned from South Africa where we surprised my Aunt for her 70th Birthday!

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I was born and raised in South Africa so it was so much fun to be back visiting again.  My mom and I went together and we showed up at my aunt's family birthday lunch with 70 roses.   They hid us in the kitchen and we walked up behind her sitting at the table.   The expression on her face below explains how surprised she was!  The three sisters were so happy to be reunited and I had such a great time with my 6 cousins and their families.

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Her kids planned a High Tea for their mom to celebrate.  I arrived just in time to help with all the decorating and setup.  My cousins did so much preparation ahead of time.

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We were able to use my grandmother's china which would have made her so proud.


 Her "Royal Albert" pattern is so lovely!


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Of course with hot tea, we needed water to drink.  I loved the color the fruit added to the water.  It was summer there so it was pretty warm!  The strawberry, lemon and cucumber water was a huge hit.

There was so much excitement in the air and loads of goodies to eat.

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The guests were asked to wear their  Sunday best and a hat or fascinator.  It was a huge success and we had gorgeous sunny weather!

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The rest of the week was spent hanging with my cousins and aunts and uncles.   The picture above is me with my wonderful mom.


The girl cousins above.


and all my boy cousins!

They took me to animal parks and we had long leisurely lunches and diners together.

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One of the days we ate at a resort and the zebra's came right up to where we were eating and starting drinking from the pool (salt water).

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Crazy huh? The giraffes were also roaming about and are such gorgeous animals.

They are fascinating to watch.

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I even got to play with the baby lions!


It was kinda scary!  Their teeth are so strong!


You can see here, I was a bit frightened.


They are so adorable!

It was a quick trip but totally worth it.


I returned to Dallas on Thanksgiving day and immediately spent the day with the Staalsen family.


Above are all the Staalsen cousins.  Such a blessing for my kids to  be raised with family close by!


There is a bond that cousins share that can't be replaced by anyone. They know you so well and the bond never changes even across oceans.

  My soul is FULL and THANKFUL for the time I had with my family in South Africa!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family!