Tag Archives: Papachino’s

Pretoria Zoo – pay them a visit

On Saturday, we visited Pretoria Zoo which to my surprise was way more fun than I had anticipated (well except those 5 minutes where we lost Hannah, but that deserves its own post). The thing with zoos is, you know you are going to be doing a lot of walking, looking at animals who are so bored with being gawked at, that they actually appear to be sedated. But I knew the kids would love it, and we knew the weather was going to be great, so with picnic baskets packed and strollers in tow, we trekked to Pretoria.

The scariest part about this zoo is crossing a busy main straight to get from the parking to the zoo entrance. I mean really, here you are with your picnic stuff, prams and children and you have to dodge taxis and speeding cars while vendors try to sell you Ben 10 paraphernalia. How difficult would it be, to build an adjoining bridge over the street, to get visitors from their cars to the zoo entrance? Or create a zebra crossing with a Lollipop Lady (or man) to help visitors across? I think this needs to be looked at el-pronto.

How’s this kangaroo dude chilling?

Once in the zoo, it’s beautiful, even at this time of the year when everything is pretty brown and dreary. It’s clean, the animal enclosures are neat and the animals look fat and healthy. It’s massive. I wish I had an odometer to measure how many kilometers we clocked. BUT you can also hire a golf cart if walking is not your thing. We got one of these go kart type of things for the boys, which they enjoyed. There’s also a cable car to get you from the lowest to the highest points of the zoo – and all these extra modes of transport are not badly priced either.


There’s just something about being outdoors, especially when the sun is blazing, and this zoo has plenty of spots to stop off at, lay your blanket out and take a break from the power walking. There are also lots of stalls to buy food from and a decently stocked restaurant, for those who like to travel light, but we don’t… I had packed a cheese board, along with chips and sweets and chocolate. My mate, being the good mom that she is, had packed lots of healthy options like grapes and naartjies and healthy biscuits. We had a right ol’ stuffing of bellies, which we walked off so I don’t feel too bad.

The zoo has a great selection of animals, from kangaroos and koalas to tigers and okapis. Your kids will be enthralled by all the Disney/ Pixar lookalikes … Gloria, Marty, Melman, Tigger, Bambi and King Julian to name a few.

At R60 a pop for adults and R40 for the kiddies, I recommend Pretoria Zoo for a fun day out for the kidlets and adults alike.

The kidlets

Side note: after the zoo, we popped in at Papachino’s in Midrand. Prior to this, we had only being to Papachino’s on the Westrand – which I love. Happy to report that this Papachino’s was AS great – food was good, they were able to accommodate us without a booking and we were able to enjoy an adult meal while the child minders chased after the rugrats. Pay them a visit too sometime. xx

Weekend Round Up

Here’s our weekend in bullet points: 

  • On Friday night Liam and I went to church, while Hannah and Daddy stayed home. Church was awesome, Pastor Wilma shared on “the gift that keeps on giving” and how special it is to give meaningful gifts and gifts that will bless the receiver not only once, but over and over again. A simple example being a pot plant that will bloom over and over again if well looked after, as compared to a bunch of flowers (not that there’s anything wrong with getting a beautiful bunch of flowers of course!). Jesus was a gift from God – a gift that keeps on giving, as more and more people come to know him every day, even over two thousand years later. We each received a stunning black shopper, with the Sisters logo emblazoned on it. That night, as I tucked Liam into bed, he grabbed my cheeks in his hands and said “tomorrow, you are going to buy me a dog, ok goodnight mommy.” I’m not sure where that came from, as we hadn’t been discussing dogs or pets or anything related, and the complete conviction with which he said it, made me burst out laughing. I explained, as I had explained a million times before, that we’d only get a dog once we moved to our new house. He was ok with that and went to bed.
  • On Saturday, everyone slept until the sun came out, which is pretty late considering that the winter sun has started to rise much later these days. We hurried to get the family dressed and fed because I wanted to be first in line for the clinic at Dischem. Hannah needed her second flu shot, Liam needed his first and I needed my “baby-prohibiting-shot.” While on the topic of the flu injection… Hannah has yet to have a runny nose, a cough, or any other cold/flu like symptoms, even though Liam has come home with his second mild cold this season – Hannah usually catches every bug that bites Liam at school. Now I am not willing to say that the flu jab works just yet, as I’ll leave that judgement for the end of the winter season, but the first few signs are promising. I am just mad that Liam missed the first dose because he was on antibiotics at the time, and this has set him back a bit. Liam cried like a girl, while Hannah was yelling “solly(sorry) Liam!” And then I did what any mother would do when their kid is causing a scene in a shop, I took them to the kids aisle and let them go wild, because of course it’s easy to cave and just buy them something, rather than trying to shut them up in the shop. We left with Barney face cloths, Barney bubble baths, shampoos and body washes. When the hubby tried to give me a lecture about giving into the children every time they make a peep, I plugged my fingers into my ears and started singing loudly to drown him out – I am not stupid, of course I KNOW that, but sometimes we do what works, not what’s right.We spent the rest of the afternoon, trying to get some winter shopping done for the kids. That experience deserves a blog post all on its own. We took them to the park for an hour to let off some steam, an hour I spent swinging on the swing. I wouldn’t even get off for the little kids who were waiting for a turn. I made Liam jump off every time a little kid appeared to be waiting. It was good fun. The hubby made a delicious dinner of stuffed chicken, baby potatoes and a mushroom sauce with ciabatta bread on the side. Carbs, glorious carbs! We tossed a coin to decide on who got to do the bath and bed  routine – I won. So I spent Saturday night watching two movies, one being City of Angels, remember that movie? Still makes me sad!


  • On Sunday we went to church and onto Papachinos for lunch. I’m not sure what was better, the bacon and cheese nachos followed by my seafood pasta, or not seeing my kids for close on 3 hours except for the odd check in for a bite of pizza or a sip of juice. Seriously, I have developed this deep emotional attachment to Papachinos, so much so that I want to make a monthly booking in advance for the last Sunday of every month, because they get so busy and unless you have a reservation, you can wait up to an hour to get a table. This way, I’ll know I have a standing date with Papa’s. We got home and I had a nap while the kids played outside and the hubby assumed his favourite position for a Sunday afternoon – in front of the TV watching the English Premier League. My mom arrived this morning, so I spent some time changing the linen, making space in the cupboard for her clothing, spraying my fabulous room spray from the African Pride Hotel group (thanks to our wonderful rep who always drops off these special goodies for us!). Last night I washed Hannah’s hair with my fabulous new products which I received last week (I need to blog about this too) and everyone was in bed early after a full and busy weekend.

 The next few weeks are going to be awesome! My mom is here, my sister and her family arrive next week, as does my dad. I’ve taken some time off work during the Easter break and I can’t wait to unwrap the red ribbon and gold bell off my Lindt bunny. Happy Monday, ya’ll. xxx

Friday Quickie

And now… an update… in bullets!

  • I am taking part in the Biggest Loser at work – a blog for another day. Point is, I gained .03kg this week. Sigh. I guess the roll dripping in garlic butter and the speckled eggs and the muffin I had yesterday, didn’t help the scale. And the rest of my weekend isn’t looking too healthy either. My mission is to lose 10 kgs in a very realistic 4 months, so I think one more weekend won’t matter. I hope.
  • Today I paid the deposit for our July holiday to Mozambique. I need this holiday so badly, and it’s for big people only. The little people will be with their grandparents, although the grandparents don’t know that yet. My husband and I celebrate 5 years of marriage this year, so this is our treat to ourselves, to say well done for not killing each other – yet. So we, along with some good friends, are going to spend 4 glorious nights in Mozambique. My payment today made it real and I am so excited! Hence my previous bullet, I need to be 10 kgs lighter so that people don’t run in the opposite direction when they see me on the beach. And no, I am not doing it for other people, I am doing it for me!
  • This afternoon I’m going on a date. With my little man. On his request, we are going to McDonalds  – just the two of us, as Dad will spend time with Hannah. I’m looking forward to spending time alone with Liam because we rarely get one on one time. I just want to sit there and watch him. Watch how his eyes light up as he tells me about his day at school, watch how he dips every single item on his plate into the little tomato sauce holder that McDonalds issues, watch him as he greets everyone in the store and happily gets on with putting his toy from his Kiddie Meal together – I’m just going to take my baby boy in, and enjoy our QT together. After MickeyD’s, we’re off to church! I’m going to a Sisters Evening and Liam will be in Kidszone (his second most favourite place, after school) enjoying his own little kiddies service.
  • I seriously need to fill our empty grocery cupboards at some point during this weekend. I think my kids have had about enough two minute noodles until the next last-week-before-payday. Grocery shopping is one of my pet peeves, so I am working on all sorts of tricks or treats to get the husband to do the groceries in return for “favours” – or something. The thing about shopping for monthly groceries with two kids, is that it is virtually impossible to fill one trolley with two kids and all the groceries. So we take a trolley and a kid each, but the kids see this as some sort of a race, with them as the drivers, we, the cart horses and the aisles as the race track. They spend the expedition yelling things like “go catch Daddy, Mommy!” or “get out of the way lady!” or “no no no, don’t stop here, we don’t need bread, hurry up, Daddy is beating us!” At first it was fun and cute, but when I get yelled at for deliberating a bit too long over which brand of biscuits to choose, it becomes a bit of a pain in the butt. So yes, I’m devising a new plan on getting through the monthly shop – ah look, that’s another blog post all on its own!
  • On Sunday we are lunching with my brother and his family at the one… the only…the fabulous… PAPACHINO’s! Love that place! It’s like Spur, but with child minders, an exciting park with play houses, a mini bicycle track, swings, slides and boats AND the food is awesome. Oh wait, that means it’s not like Spur at all. I joke… we spend many an hour in Spurs across the country, but seriously Papachino’s is a really, really cool joint to take the kiddies to.

And that my friends, is a wrap. Have an awesome weekend with your families xxx