(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Category: Travel (page 2 of 3)

Road trip!

We’re heading out on a family road trip early tomorrow morning, so I won’t be blogging until the end of the week. Hopefully, I’ll have some fun pictures and stories to share, and if we discover any new tricks for keeping three young ones entertained on a day-long drive I’ll be sure to share!

GeoBeats is so cool!

In case you think we’ve completely forgotten about our trip around the world, we haven’t. Life has just taken us on it’s twisty path for a wee little detour this past month or so. Last night we agreed that we needed to re-ignite out travel quest, but this time we won’t be so strict with the rules — it’s so much more fun to meander than to feel like you have to follow an itinerary. Especially since the whole point is to try new things and have FUN.

A few months ago we discovered an awesome site called GeoBeats — The site is truly magical, and highly addictive (you’ve been warned). They provide video snippets of everyday experiences and historical landmarks from around the globe, complete with vibrant colors, and music. I almost wish we had smell-o-vision to round out the experience.

Check it out!

[just click on a destination from the drop-down menu to get started]

How to travel with kids so they don’t drive you insane

Best kids on the plane One of the {many} nice things about writing this blog is that it gives me the opportunity to reflect a bit. I often find myself browsing through our photo library, and I feel so lucky to have captured so many wonderful moments (even a few not-so-wonderful ones like this, and this).

An e-mail exchange I had with Maya’s Mom (she does have a real name, it’s Ann) about traveling with kids had me looking up this shot.

In this particular photo we are flying back to the Bay Area from Nice last winter. At the end of the flight we had an older woman stop us, all smiles, to say how great our kids were(!!). They hadn’t been perfect (none of us ever are, on principle), but they had played, and napped, and had fun without anyone throwing any major tantrums or fits.

I think I know why. We were prepared. Simple as that.

When we fly, each kid gets to pack a carry-on backpack with Three of their favorite books, and One special toy.  After they’ve gone to bed I add the Mommy Touches & they aren’t allowed to peek before we get to the boarding area:

  • Decks of cards for playing solitaire, poker, go fish, crazy eights…
  • Dice to play math games. Roll ’em and add, multiply, subtract… depending on the child’s age.
  • Coloring books & new pencils
  • New notebooks to chronicle their trip
  • Assorted craft items that don’t take up a lot of room like origami paper, and scratch papers.
  • A couple snacks they like (raisins for him, granola bars for her)
  • A pack of Starburst candy each. This is for take-off and landing to help with the ear pressure — the last thing we want is to begin, or end, the trip in pain and in tears.
  • Two more books each that they haven’t read before

Each kid gets items that are just-for-them, as well as things to share and play together or with Mom & Dad. The only rule I set for all this is that they can only take one item out at a time (so Mama isn’t on her hands and knees at the end of the flight, searching for some tiny thing that’s probably wedged in a seat where no one will ever find it again).

The point is that travel is a Big Adventure for a kid to go on, and we do our best to keep it that way without letting them go over the edge from happy-excited to over-excited. That is not fun.

A wee bit o’ Scotland on the way


With Christmas now behind us, and a simple New Year’s planned, it’s time to rev up the Birthday Machine.

Tomas (the husband) is turning 40 in a couple weeks and while he would dearly love to visit Scotland and the Isle of Skye, that just isn’t possible right now. Instead, I’ve invited friends to help us celebrate with a little bit of peaty goodness (the real reason for his interest in the trip, to be honest).

Since I haven’t quite used up my obsession with garlands, today I completed a banner of plaid pennants in alternating colors (with fabric bought on sale at Joann’s for $4.99 a yard — score!). I’ve yet to decide where to hang it… A couple of weeks ago I broke the bobbin-thingy on Miss M’s sewing machine so I opted for fabric glue instead. I think it looks quite nice! (I will of course post a picture of the garland when it gets hung up).

Miss M has asked that we make her a mini-skirt out of the remaining fabric (in the lighter shade). I’ll need to figure that one out. Quick. I’ve never sewn an article of clothing in my life, and the dear girl has a Very Specific Skirt in mind. Add the fact that I need to repair her sewing machine first… Oy.

I’m also thinking that I should do something for the boys. Like appliqu├ęd shirts or something. Erin Harris posted some shirts she’s made as gifts, and while I don’t think I could do as clean a job of it as she has, I’m sure I could do something along those lines… but something Scottish… Would Scotties be too precious?

I found this site that lists interesting-sounding food, but I don’t think I’ll be up to and over-the-top cooking marathon, so Trader Joe’s might once again be my ally in the kitchen :-)

Last up in my planning (I think) is finding activities for the kids who will also be dashing about in our teeny tiny apartment. I am so looking forward to that “research!”

Off to Italia!

italyContinuing our trip around the world, this week we are off to Italy. It’s been a busy week, so we haven’t gotten very far in our exploration. We’ve had several discussions about what to cook. The parents would prefer not to have pasta or pizza. The kids would really, really like to make pasta or pizza. Any suggestions?