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Distant Lands

Thursday, 13 March 2008

A Room with a View... of the Kitchen

Traveling with all the kid gear is tough enough.  Finding a quick, affordable solution to jet-lagged hunger - especially with multiple appetites - is added misery.  Instead of late-night room service, or a plastic packet of blah, we've found another solution that has worked for us everywhere we've been so far: if possible, find a hotel room or apartment with a small, ensuite kitchen. 

What it (sometimes) removes from the charm, a kitchen adds in peace-of-mind, as well as savings.  Real Simple recently noted, "Even if you have to pay a bit more for the accommodations, you’ll easily save money by not taking your family out for breakfast ($5 a person), lunch ($10), and dinner ($15)."

The Hotel Henri IV in Paris was one of my favorites - its closet kitchen was amazing in terms of how much was packed into a small space.  We were able to warm up a snack, store drinks (many rooms have [...]More

Tuesday, 04 March 2008

It's Not You, It's Your Airline: Flight Leader From Hell

Made it.  Something more than 20.5 hours, all told, but made it.  The child was actually really good, except for a couple incidents on the Paris-Atlanta leg.  Those were exacerbated by the Flight Leader, who wouldn’t allow me to walk him in the aisles.  She also woke him up from his Benadryl-induced nap, just to mess with his pillow. 

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That's the summary; now the details:  The kidlet was pretty happy during the ride to the airport, pointing out taxis and cars and then airplanes.  He was thrilled to be on the plane, nose pressed to glass, reporting on all the


Thursday, 28 February 2008

March Madness

We are all going stir crazy, so now that I'm thinking about things to do in March, my main criterion is "Must Be Outside."

Fortunately, it seems everyone else feels this way too, and there are a lot of outdoor activity options that are family-friendly next month. 

The county parks association where I live is sponsoring numerous nature activities, including nature walks, spring peeper spotting, bluebird box-building, and park clean-ups.  Most of these are for ages 6 and up, but we'll be attending "Lessons from the Lorax," in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2.
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St. Patrick's Day Parades are fun for kids of all ages - if your community has [...]More

Monday, 25 February 2008

What your flight attendants know that you should too, Part 2

media_114;right;thumbHelpful tips from some anonymous friends in the skies - who have, trust us, seen it all. The tips we got for preparation and airport terminal survival were fantastic.  We're looking for how-to-ask-for-help stories next…

A couple of great on-the-plane survival tips:

  • After boarding, and before takeoff, avoid letting the kids turn on music, dvds or anything electronic. This way they won't be upset when they have to turn them off until it is safe to turn them on in the air.

  • Sit the children, if possible, next to the window and not the aisle.  It gives them a great view, and keeps their extremities out of the aisle when we are coming through with the galley cart, especially because many smaller kids fall asleep during flight, and we avoid bothering them.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Top 5 Places To Go in Greece

Outside of Athens, there are a lot of cool destinations in Greece.  For the mainland sites, it may be most convenient to book a bus tour, which will take care of hotel reservations also.

1. Santorini - If you only visit one island, this is the one.  The caldera is one of the natural wonders - take the boat tour.  Avoid June and July if possible to avoid the mass of tourists and nightclubs.

2. Nafplio - this charming fishing village is just what you'll need after the big city bustle of Athens.

3. Meteora - maybe not for toddlers or carried infants, as some of the climb up to the monsteries, set atop pinnacles of rock, is pretty steep.  However, Meteora must be seen to be believed.

4. Delphi - another location whose photos don't do it justice.  Again, toddlers may have trouble with the ascent, [...]More
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