“Daddy, can we go on the choo-choo train today?” One of the sweetest questions I overheard my little girl ask.
I took a step back in the kitchen and smiled to myself. This was a proud moment for me. It made me think about last year this time when Kitana refused to go anywhere with her father because she used to cling onto me, but today that changed. All she wanted was a little adventure with her father and that made me realize that my little girl is growing up and becoming more independent.
I wasn’t jealous or hurt. I was happy.
I have always heard the saying: “Daddy’s little girl” and unfortunately never got to fully experience that because my father passed away when I was 8-years-old. I do have fond memories of adventures with him but it wasn’t enough. He always used to travel for work and that gave us limited time together.
Seeing my husband and daughter together reminded me of how important one-on-one time is with your child.
I stood in my kitchen and eavesdropped on the conversation happening between my husband and daughter. It seems like Kitana already knew what she wanted to do for the day. It included the choo-choo train, pictures, and ice-cream.
Sometimes us moms just need to relax and let our husband’s parent.
Kitana loves adventure. She had overheard our conversation last night about the Gautrain but little did I know that she would wake up thinking about it. She just heard the word train and thought ‘choo-choo.’ Now the reality is that although I would love to take my baby on a train, the only ‘safe’ train for me would be the Gautrain. I know that it’s not a ‘choo-choo’ train, but a train none the less. She’s been on the train before but she doesn’t remember much because she was only a year-old.
I did plan on taking her on the Gautrain but not on this particular day because my son Kiaan wasn’t feeling too good – but when she asked my husband, I knew it was the perfect day to send them for a father and daughter date.
Every day we see the Gautrain buses going past or we spot the train on the railway along the highway but we never realize how exciting it could be for a 3-year-old.
I remember my first time on the Gautrain; my stomach was filled with butterflies as I sat on the seat waiting for the train to move and once it did I was amazed at how fast we were moving and the scenery around me.
As much as I knew all this, I was a little skeptical because like most people, I also thought that the Gautrain was really expensive. Well, they surprised me! I went on their website to look at the prices and schedules. I needed to fit in her ice-cream request and was not prepared to pay premium prices just for ice-cream and pictures. I had heard that a single trip could cost up to R150 per person. I know that the prices differ for different stops, so I wanted to see which would be the best way to fulfill Kitana’s request. I also wanted to see if their amazing summer promotion could do this. I was impressed because their promotion meant that the entire family could go for an adventure at a reasonable price.
Our high-speed railway system; the Gautrain is more than a world-class, safe and reliable public transport system, it’s an enabler bringing many of the province’s most-visited tourist destinations and shopping centers to an easy reach through its high-speed journey.
The Gautrain Summer Special:
Between now till 17 January 2016 you can enjoy Gautrain’s festive promotion whereby if you travel using the train to various destinations, you will qualify for Gautrain’s R1* offer plus score a discount or voucher for venues nearby.
Gautrain has partnered with a few venues across Gauteng. Each partner has offered a discount voucher / special package for passengers traveling on the Gautrain trains.
You can ride the Gautrain bus to any destination along the bus route and pay only R1* per trip using your Gautrain Gold Card. You will also pay R1* to park at any Gautrain station on a return train trip.
How does it work?
1. First you will need to purchase a Gautrain Gold Card if you don’t have one already, then you need to load sufficient funds for your trip.
You can purchase a Gautrain Gold Card and load funds at the Ticket Vending Machine or at the Ticket Office at the station.
2. Redeem your festive offers. Once you arrive at your destination station, find the promoter positioned in the vicinity of the Ticket Office and ask for the voucher relevant to that particular station. The Gautrain bus will then take you to the destination.
Kitana kissed me goodbye and started her little adventure. At first, I was a little stressed but as time went by I knew my daughter was in good hands – her father – who is also allowed to spend quality time alone with her. I received pictures throughout the day and over Face Time I could see how much fun she was having.
They journey started at the Sandton station.
Vije described the day for me which I just have to share with you…
Toddlers are adorable and will always make you smile.
Kitana: “Daddy, why are we in a parking? Where is the train?”
At this point, she was a bit confused because she couldn’t see the train. After my husband had purchased the tickets, they made their way down the escalators which made her gobsmacked. She realized that they were going further down into a tunnel.
Once they reached the platform, there were pictures everywhere of the train and she became anxious.
If she was a train PA announcer she would tell you the train is coming every 5 seconds.
“As the train approached a few minutes later, we felt of gush of air, inviting us in to sit inside,” said my husband.
And their adventure finally began.
My husband decided to take her for a quick trip to Rosebank Mall because all she wanted was ice-cream but he didn’t realize what a quick trip it would be (thanks to no traffic) and Kitana wanted more. So after seeing her long face, he promised to bring her back for another trip but this time to the zoo.
They spent the afternoon indulging in ice-cream, playing games and taking out selfies. Thanks to the summer promotion, they received a voucher which they could use at the mall.
She even got spoilt with a little gift from her dad – building blocks to build her own train at home.
The day ended with Kitana falling asleep in her father’s arms after giving him a little thank you kiss.
The train allowed them to bond without traffic, music or noisy hooters and it reminded me of how little things like a train ride can be exciting for small people.
The Gautrain in itself is a magnificent, awesome experience for adults – especially for first-timers but for kids… it is the gateway to adventure!
Vije and I take alternate to spend time alone with the kids and, of course, we plan family outings. Last week Kitana and I spent the morning at Sorbet getting our nails and feet done. This Sunday she is going with her dad on their next Gautrain adventure.
They will be spending the day at the Johannesburg Zoo for Boomerang’s so funny safari while mommy spends some quality time at home with her little man. 😉