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Distant Lands

Friday, 30 May 2008

The Accidental "Naturist" Hotel

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"Let's get the rooms with the kitchens if we can," I suggested when my in-laws asked about which hotel option to pick for a family friend's wedding in Stollberg-Zweifall, (near Aachen,) Germany.  I was thinking of my daughter's love for yoghurt and cheese, and how it would be very handy indeed to have a cold place to keep those things, and a small stove to cook pasta if/when she decided nothing else would do.  There were [...]More

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The World's Greatest Travel Game

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When I was a kid, my family used to drive 18 hours straight from our home in Maryland to our summer cabin in Hilton Beach, Ontario.

Let me state that a little more clearly: 4 kids, 18 hours, 1 car.  Okay, so it was a full-sized van, but still.  Oh, and a dog.  You get the idea.

This was long before the era of the PSP, the iPod, and the in-car DVD player.  Heck, this was before CDs - when we got bored of the radio, we had to pull out a cassette tape!  Uphill! In the snow! Both ways!

But what we did have [...]More

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Postcards 05/08

So an interesting thing happened when a bunch of us got together to write postcards to our kids and to our moms for the mother's-day-postcard-all-in - see for yourself, below (click on the cards to view at full size), or at our Flickr photo pool (which we like so much, we're keeping open).  More to come!

Happy mother's day, to all who travel, to everyone who was or is or has been known to act like a child, to the moms of Travels With Child, to Raq, and especially to my mom, and to Little Miss Thing. 
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Monday, 05 May 2008

Recharging the Light Brigade

As much of a pain in the diaper-covered area as it is, I do not travel without my laptop.  Especially when I'm travelling with my child.  Not only can it entertain him with movies and simple games, but once he and I found ourselves locked out of our destination, stuck in the middle of nowhere, at midnight, with no locally-functioning cellphone.  I was able to use the laptop to skype and get us a taxi and a hotel.

Aside from the laptop, we often have an iPod, a cellphone, a Blackberry, and a PDA loaded with eBooks (yes, I plan to ditch all but the crackberry in favor of an iPhone…and that may obviate the need for a laptop.  But we'll need to charge that too).

Despite all this interconnectivity and globalization, there is not yet a worldwide power standard, and there certainly is not a worldwide standard electrical outlet.  And even when there is, thirty years from now, the French will refuse to participate.

Thus, I found this Wired wiki article very helpful:  S [...]More

Friday, 02 May 2008

Potty Training at 30,000 Feet

My daughter actually likes the airplane potty.  It's a chance to get out of her seat, walk down the aisle, smile at the flight attendants and hear how cute she is, maybe snag a snack, AND use the potty with the loud flushing noise. 

Despite the inherent fun in using an airplane bathroom, taking a child in the process of potty training on the plane can be nerve-wracking.   I always just got out the pull-ups to reduce overall stress.

When she was only mostly trained, she kept telling me she had to go.  Every 20 minutes. I'm not exaggerating there.   I put her in pull-ups while flying even when she was essentially trained, to reduce overall stress, but I had just spent months teaching her to tell me when she had to go — I couldn't ignore her.  I was so thankful that the man sitting in the aisle seat was a very understanding grandfather who had no problem getting up every 20 minutes. 

In fact, she likes the airplane potty so much that on our last flight, the worst happened.   [...]More

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