As a mum of three daughters who are all quite close in age, I have a constant struggle to give each of them my full attention sometimes and I understand how important it is for me to bond with them individually. A few months ago I decided to do mini holidays or a ‘holidate’ with each of them on their own. It has been so fulfilling for me and them. Basically I plan a custom trip for the daughter I am travelling with so that we plan age appropriate activities and adventures so that we can really connect and spend quality one of one time together.
Three kids are just as exhausting as it sounds. Three daughters needing constant attention from me can sometimes be quite the challenge. Recently Aara outgrew her running shoes and tried on mine to discover that they were a perfect fit ( I was not designed to share shoes) so my heart was double not ready for this moment. This moment made me realise that the beautiful baby I once held in my arms and so carefully brought home from the hospital is growing at the speed of light. While for a time she had all my attention for the little period that she was an only child but ever since her siblings arrived we have gotten into the routine of always being surrounded by one another. I am not complaining don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than the the crazy chaos that makes up our home. I decided to make a new rule in our home and to schedule a holidate with each of my girls annually so that we can connect and touch base and so I can focus on each of their emotional needs. This idea was especially attractive because it involves travel, my favourite hobby.
Firstborn got dibs on this trend and because she is nine ( a really cool age for exploring and doing touristy things with) we decided to book a weekend in the Mother City. This decision was also made because she had been learning about South African history and Nelson Mandela as well as farming at Geography, so I thought we could make it fun while keeping it educational as well. We scored because we had a long weekend in August so we left on Friday morning and arrived to a slightly cooler than Durban, city. Aara was super easy to fly with, occupying herself with a nose buried in a novel for most of the flight. I gave her a little notebook to keep so she could write all her memories of the trip in. During the flight we decided that we would get tickets for the Hop On bus and behave like proper tourists. We had gone on the Hop on In New York when she was six and the double decker is a child’s dream.
The President Hotel was our accommodation of choice, nestled in the prime location of Seapoint with the glorious view of Lion’s head from our hotel window. I checked us in and we freshened up and had a bite to eat before heading to the waterfront to enquire about our red bus adventure for the rest of the trip. We were even more pleased to find out that the bus stops right outside our hotel.
After weighing the costs we opted for the premium two day pass which cost R1095 for myself and R795, this cost includes most of the entrances to all the attractions. We collected maps with all the information we needed then headed back to the hotel for a quick sunset stroll on the promenade and then some hot chocolate filled with conversation under a heater by the deck. We then showered and got into pjs and shared dinner in bed together ( something totally not allowed at home and much to my daughter’s delight). We both talked a bit more and then lost ourselves in our novels before sleeping soundly in anticipation of the day ahead.
Saturday showed itself with rays of sunshine dancing above Lion’s head inviting us to celebrate the day. We got ready and took a stroll to a nearby coffee spot to get some morning beverages, neither of us are big on early morning breakfasts, something I discovered only because of this trip! The red bus arrived at our stop and Aara raced to the top securing us two seats at the very front.
Our personal itinerary for our day included Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Hout Bay and the Seal Island Charter. We were very disappointed to discover that the Cableway to Table Mountain was closed for maintenance so that was omitted from our plans. This just makes an excuse for us to revisit another time.
We stopped at the V & A Waterfront to swap the red line for the blue line of buses. Our first stop for the day was the majestic Kirstenbosch gardens, an absolute heaven for nature lovers. We ventured up onto the tree walkway to capture the full view of the this beautiful landmark. Aara loved watching the ducks and guinea fowls in their natural habitat.
Moyo Restaurant is situated within the gardens so we made a stop for a quick and delicious brunch before heading back to the bus.
I had a very adamant nine year old wanting to see the seals next. It was decided that our next stop would be Hout Bay while the weather was still good. We hopped off at Hout bay and indulged in some ice cream while we waited for our cruise. It was very windy and the sea was rather choppy but Aara was glowing at the sight of the hundreds of seals all around us. It was the highlight of her trip by far.
We got back onto the bus and headed to our next point of interest which was The Cape Wheel. It was here that I discovered that Aara has a mild fear of heights and she decided to read her novel to distract her from the views at the top.
It was a long and fulfilling day together. I watched my daughter enjoy the talented artists singing on the streets and welcomed all the spontaneous hugs and kisses she gave to me because she was too thrilled to spend some alone time with me.
The weekend definitely strengthened our connection and we both got the chance to be lost in our world together. I got to be her friend and we did things that would not usually be allowed at home such as eating dinner in bed and sleeping way beyond bed time.
I packed along various activities, games and toys for us to tackle together. We talked a lot and we had hot chocolate while watching the sunset. We laughed so much and my I felt overwhelmed at most times to realise that my daughter is growing up and she is such a incredible person. On this trip I also observed our many similarities inn mannerisms and habits ( good and bad) . We spoke about the years ahead and I watched my child light up while she confessed all her hopes, visions and dreams to me.
This is by far one of the best decisions I have made and we both benefitted so much from our little trip to the Mother City together. I cannot wait to see what I learn when I go away with my other two daughters.