The older I get, the more I realise quality time with one’s parents is important. I'm 30 years old and my folks aren’t getting younger.
A few weeks ago, I watched the Champions League final with my father Marc Parker, and instead of heading to a smoky bar and, granted we both fell asleep late into the game, I wanted to experience it with him.
We discussed and debated decisions, goals and he'd compare footballers from his era with the likes of today's superstars: Virgil Van Dyk, Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi. This was our time, a time to connect.
But what I really enjoy is going for a drive with my old man, particularly when I have an exciting car on test.Watching his eyes light up when I mention I’ve got an Audi R8, BMW i8 or Porsche 911 GTS parked in the driveway is fun. Whenever I visit he’ll always ask what I’m driving this week.
Our drive then becomes more a time to bond with my dad - he tends to ask how much car costs, and comments on how smooth the ride is.
Thinking back, I realise it started on family road trips when I would keep my dad company while we drove at night. He'd say: "it's time to stretch her (the family’s Opel Zafira) legs". While my mother and sister were asleep on the backseat, he'd go a little faster to make sure we reached our destination sooner, and always safely.
These days it's me in the driver's seat. I love taking him for a quick spin to the CBD via De Waal drive and up to Signal Hill.
Admittedly, sometimes my driving is a tad 'dynamic' for him. He doesn’t say much, but I catch him holding onto the grab handle with a force stronger than Thor’s hammer.
Mercedes-AMG models are arguably some of the best-sounding production cars on sale today and my dad’s a big fan of them. So, it’s brilliant to take them for a blast and listen to the big V8 roar in the E63 S or C63 S, the gear changes sound like a shotgun being fired.
Even better is when we have time to drive out of the city and tackle Helshoogte or Franschhoek Pass, or another one of our favourites Clarence Drive, through Gordon's Bay. It offers spectacular views of False Bay and I rate it as one of the best driving roads in the world.
A few years ago, I was driving the powerful BMW 335i coupe, and, with it being rear-wheel drive, it made the twisty bits of Clarence Drive even more exciting. It was a gorgeous summer's day and the turquoise water in Gordon's Bay beckoned.
This prompted us to stop off at the starting point of the Crystal Pools hike and take a dip in the Steenbras River Mouth section. With our clothes hanging on the rocks along the side of the river, we jumped into the cool, refreshing water, exclaiming every few minutes at how great the water felt.
It was such a lekker spontaneous experience, but only because we went for a drive. Who knows what experience you can create with your father, all you have to do is jump in the car and go for a drive. Happy Father's Day.