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Distant Lands

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.
Click on image for a larger version

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

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

What your flight attendants know that you should too, Part 1

media_114;right;thumbHelpful tips from some anonymous friends in the skies - who have, trust us, seen it all.  Next time: on-the-plane survival tips…

Packing and airport terminal survival tips:

  • Always get to the airport as early as possible.  Flights start to board 45 to 25 minutes before departure, so try to be at your gate at least 45 minutes to an hour before the flight. 

  • Because you're going to be in busy public places, to keep an easy eye out for your children, dress all kids in similar clothes, all in khaki pants or jeans, and all in red or orange shirts.  This makes it easy to see them as well as describe them.

  • Have each child take a small backback with some of their favorite toys, activities and books.  Child back packs are best because they can wear them and you

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Ascending the Acropolis

Here's what you do:  You take the Athens metro to the Monastiraki station (at night, if possible).  When you exit, the Acropolis is to your right and will take your breath away.  The enormity of it, the glimpses of the Parthenon on top, the sheer ancient impact, can't be conveyed by photos.
Click on image for a larger version

From Monastiraki, you can get overpriced souvlaki at a number of tavernas, do some tourist shopping, see some cool things (Hadrian's Library, the Temple of the Winds).  I don't recommend entering the Acropolis site via the Monastiraki side, however: I like the tempo of ascending the other side and exiting through the Agora.  Also, on Sundays there [...]More
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