Jeffreys Bay is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world. It hosts the Billabong Pro World Tour every July:
photo from jaybay.co.zo
Unfortunately, our timing was off, and the weather was cold and windy. Everyone we talked to told us that the weather had been absolutely perfect, right up until the week we arrived.
The main reason we made a stop at Jeffreys Bay is because my friend, Mandy, kindly offered to let us stay in her beach house:
Here are my notes for for Day 12:
New Family Rule: NO MORE COLLECTING ROCKS AND SEASHELLS!
Steve and I went to scout out the beaches by ourselves. Mostly because I was still recovering from my meltdown the night before. After some self introspection, I concluded that I was volatile because I hadn't been doing some of the things that normally keep me "grounded". I hadn't exercised in two weeks. I hadn't gone to church in two weeks. I hadn't talked to my friends in twelve days. And I hadn't been able to keep up with my blog. (Which is more than just a way to record my thoughts, it also helps me process my thoughts).
Actually, there were probably a dozen other reasons why I was volatile. . . but those were the ones that I had control over.
This was the smaller beach at Jeffreys Bay:
There were a few men fishing and at least five stray cats in the parking lot. . .
Because of the weather, we had the beach to ourselves:
Seriously. There was nobody else around.
Kaleigh and Adam were off playing near the water:
And then, without any prompting, they turned around and ran towards me. Holding hands. I barely got my camera out fast enough to get this shot. It instantaneously brightened my spirits. . . and might be one of my favorite moments of the whole trip.
It started to rain, so we left the beach and checked out the town. Rachel said it reminded her of Jackson Hole. We walked through the Billabong store and the RCVA outlet:
And then we went back to the house for lunch. Steve took the kids back out to another beach, but I stayed behind to pack up and clean.
They had a wonderful time building sand castles, and Rachel came back with an expansive collection of seashells. I generally tend to discourage my kids from any form of hoarding. Especially when it involves dirty, delicate, rotting animal skeletons that are completely unrealistic to transport halfway across the globe. (Remember the large bucket of shells and sea stars we painstakingly brought home with us from Alaska? Well, after traveling with them for some three thousand miles, they had to be thrown away because we couldn't get rid of the foul smell.)
I made the new "No Collecting Rocks and Seashells" rule. And then Steve vetoed. He imposed a rock/seashell limit of three per kid. (Rachel, of course, hid an additional ten shells in her luggage. We pretended not to notice.)
While they were at the beach, I made an executive decision that we were going to stay in Jeffreys Bay another night. It was a lot of work to unload the car, figure out sleeping arrangements, get set up for the night, repack, and clean. And sometimes it wasn't worth the effort for just one night of sleeping. Steve and I went to Woolworth's to find food for dinner.
Travel tip: Plan your road trip so you can spend at least two consecutive nights in each hotel. It will help preserve your sanity.
You know. . . if you are into that sort of thing.