Durban’s got the ocean and rickshaw men (even though I’m petrified of them). Cape Town’s got their mountain, recently voted the new 7th wonder of the world and nature’s very own GPS system (“I’m lost” says non-Capetonian. “Are you facing the mountain or driving away from it?” asks Capetonian). Well people, Jo’burg’s got Serendipity, a haven for moms and dads, a play-place for kiddies and a serene place for new babies to rest and relax…and in my humble opinion, we win hands down.
Let’s look at this way. Ocean – blue bottles, sharks and currents. Yes, it’s a giant sand-pit but with that comes sand in ice-cream, on sandwiches and in bum-cracks. Not exactly THE place to leave your kids for hours on end.
Mountain – crevices and crannies, steep edges, high up and wild animals, including dassies and tourists. Again, not somewhere you can leave your kids to play.
Serendipity on the other hand, well, it’s heaven on earth. There’s enough going on to keep the sproglets entertained for hours and with their amazing staff there’s no need for moms and dads to worry about. Nothing is too much trouble and it’s like a home away from home.
Emma was feeling a little under the weather on Saturday so I thought it best to stay at home but Sunday morning we were off as soon as we had run all the necessary errands. The excitement for Emma starts as soon as she sees Future, the charismatic car-guard, who greets every single kiddie on their way in. With high fives and smiles all round from this wonderful man, you feel like part of the family before you’ve even put your foot inside the gates.
And then there’s Thabani. Everyone loves Thabani. He’s the pied piper of sproglets, with kids flocking around him, like flies around a crappy nappy. Emma LOVES Thabani. She hugged him this morning as though she hadn’t seen him in years and lovingly told him she had missed him.
Serendipity is awesome…and it’s gotten even awesomer. There’s three new play things, a castle, a train and a little house as well as a super duper car that the kiddies can ride round in. And they’re already a huge hit with the children. Emma was so excited she didn’t know which way to turn. First she was in the house, then she hitched a ride with two little boys on the car and then I saw her head sticking out from the top of the king’s castle.
And when we thought things couldn’t get any better, Nicki, Luca and Mika arrived. Emma was over-the- moon-happy, running and giving Luca an enormous hug! And that was them for the day. They played, they fought, they made up. The two of them took a fancy to the little house and sat in there for ages. They ‘allowed’ visitors in but when the guests had overstayed their welcome they were unceremoniously shown the front door.
They jumped on the trampoline with Thabani and played on the swings. They zoomed around on the bikes and spent some time in the car. They sipped on their Barney juices and dunked sausages and chips in their Appletizer, all the time laughing and giggling.
Thabani has the patience of a saint and the endurance of an energiser bunny. He is kind and caring with them and is genuinely having fun too.
At one point I asked Nicki if she thought it would be a problem if I married Thabani. “Only if I’m not married to him at the time” was her response…
So yes, even with our traffic jams and fast paced lifestyle, we have Serendipity and I wouldn’t swap that for anything in the world.