Our annual Christmas in July weekend away from the 6th to the 8th of July saw us returning to old time BMW Car Club Gauteng favourite, the Karula Hotel in White River. Upon arrival on Friday afternoon, we were greeted by warm and cozy fires in the bar area, accompanied by something cold and refreshing to quench the first. Not that the journey can ever be a tough one if it’s undertaken in Bavaria’s finest kilometer munching autobahn cruisers!
As is customary, the Friday evening dinner is a themed occasion, and for this year the theme was “black and white, with a touch of red”, which complemented the Christmas in July theme very nicely. Lots of laughs and merry conversation was shared over dinner, which was a delicious five-course meal. Afterwards some people gathered in the bar area to watch a the World Cup soccer, whilst some of us were up for a bit of friendly competition on the snooker and table tennis tables, in the games room.
With most of the rooms being recently renovated, we woke up refreshed on Saturday morning after a good night’s rest. After a leisurely breakfast, club members started making their way to their Beemers in the parking lot, and headed out to explore the many sights and activities that this beautiful part of our country has to offer.
After some relaxed sightseeing and shopping at the many interesting shops around the area, a few of us ended up at the beautiful Hulala Lodge for drinks and lunch. We made the most of the sunny weather, sitting outside and enjoying the scenic views overlooking the lake. With so much to see and do in the area, time flew by way too quickly.
On our way back to the Karula Hotel we stopped by a growing attraction of the Mpumalanga Lowveld, the White River History and Motor Museum, to get up close and personal with the more than 60 rare and beautiful classics on display. The motor museum is part of the White River Local History Museum, giving visitors an insight into the town’s history. The oldest vehicles on display date all the way back to 1911, not too long after the introduction of the automobile or “horseless carriage” as it was then known.
At the main event, Saturday evening’s Christmas in July dinner, we were once again treated to a five-course meal, fit for a king. The restaurant area was beautifully prepared with Christmas lights and decorations, and presents placed under the Christmas tree.We were all very quickly caught up in the joyful mood and ambiance of the festivities, and after dinner, it was time to hand out the prezzies.
Amongst much hype and excitement, the kids were called on to hand out the anonymous gifts, making sure everyone received one. Once all the gifts were enthusiastically handed out, each child then received their own gift and before long the dining hall was covered in Christmas wrapping paper and much chatting and curiosity as everyone tried to find out what gifts were received.
Sunday was another beautiful and sunny winter’s morning, and after breakfast everyone said their goodbyes as went to explore a bit more of the surroundings, before heading back home after a relaxing weekend away. A wonderful time was had by all, and we are already looking forward to Christmas in July 2019!