The family reunion
Every year, in either March or April, my husband’s side of the extended family organizes an annual family reunion getaway to a resort in the mountains, known as Avalon Springs. This quaint town is situated approximately two hours from Cape Town via Route 62.
As I reflect back on my very first visit to Montagu and the reunion, I am reminded of how I thought of this whole event as something out of the movies – minus all the drama! I was reminded of the resort ‘Baby’ visits in Dirty Dancing. One year in advance, the bookings begin and we diarise that reunion weekend. We book from the Friday (Check-in is at 2 p.m.) to the Monday, so that we can leave at leisure on the Sunday afternoon (check-out is at 10 a.m.). Since we usually book a random weekend, the resort tends to be relatively empty. As a result, we can enjoy all the facilities in a somewhat ‘exclusive’ way.
Montagu is a town known for its naturally occurring hot springs. The Avalon Springs resort gives you the opportunity to experience this hot spring. The comfort of the warm water is one of the main attractions for our family. The family is composed of many children and teenagers that love the water. The resort is thus the perfect place for adults who want rest time, and for children who enjoy the water. Since the weather between March and April is relatively cool (especially during the early hours of the morning and at night), a soak in the warm water is the perfect way to end off the day.
In terms of accommodation, there are many options from a hotel, to self-catering units or luxury chalets, that reminds me of mountain villas, synonymous to international hospitality standards. As family travelers, we prefer the self-catering units due our halal dietary requirements. The children love to snack all the time. Hence, the kitchenettes in the self-catering units are a handy feature. A daily cleaning service, except for Sundays, is included.
As parents, you will find the kids club to be a wonderful addition to your itinerary. There are several activities and the resort team comes up with creative ways to entertain the children. The kids club has puzzles, toys, books and art supplies on offer. The children are welcome to use the facilities during designated hours.
Our family reunions have always been such fun! During my first year in attendance, my husband and I organised an Easter egg hunt for the children. Year two saw the creation of an ‘amazing race’ by another couple in the family. In year three the family booked the on-site soccer court and each nuclear family became a soccer team. After each round a team was eliminated, until only two teams were left. These teams battled it out, and the winner took the trophy. This year, each family had to conceptualise and execute a ‘minute to win it’ game. Each family brought a gift to award the winner of their game.
Other activities to consider include braaing at designated areas, hikes up the mountain and walks around the resort. In addition, Montagu, as a town, has much to offer if you are considering staying for longer, or if you wish to explore more of the town. Overall, my experience of Avalon Springs is pleasant and memorable. What I appreciate most is the family tradition that we are creating for subsequent generations. Have a warm and happy winter.