Au Revoir Canada Hello United States-Vermont/New Hampshire and Home

The Long Drive Home

August 19, 2014: First Stop Vermont

Driving from Charlevoix to the Mid-Atlantic is a long drive so we decided to break it up with a stop in Vermont and adventure in New Hampshire. We drove to Canadian border and of course had to stop and the souvenir shop right before customs. It was packed with tourists rushing to get their last minute maple candies and syrup before entering the United States where the maple goods would not be as cheap. We proceeded on and after driving for hours we checked into Comfort Inn St. Johnsbury in Vermont.  After we dropped off our luggage, the kids headed straight for the pool while I figured out dinner.  We were tired, I picked up a pizza and we cozied up in bed with food, TV and each other.

The Beautiful Road to La Malbaie

La Malbaie, Charlevoix

August 17, 2014

Our first stop on the road to Charlevoix was to Parc du Mont-Sainte-Anne to visit the falls. The hike was a nice circuit that took us around the falls and gave us views from many angles. It was a perfect
amount of time, about 45 minutes and a nice morning stretch for the kids. During the hike was came across a zip line, which our 9 and 8 year old insisted on doing. A zip line right across a gorge with a 50 foot drop. Why not; most parents would say yes to this! We finished up our walk and headed back to car to continue to La Malbaie. We stayed with friends who owned a house in the area and were nice enough to allow us to crash in their guest house for 2 nights.

Quebec - A Taste of Europe

Montreal to Quebec

Sadly, no Pictures

August 15, 2014

We anxiously piled into the car for our next leg of the trip, Quebec City. Along the way we hit up Tim Hortons for breakfast and coffee. Their donuts taste like Dunkin Donuts did when they were made in store, fresh and melt in your mouth. Coffee was decent as well. We preceded along the highway and the kids were intent on finding moose (but never did). However, it kept them busy for about 5 minutes until they gave up their search and resorted to their electronics.

We arrived into Quebec right before lunchtime and checked into The Fairmont Frontenac Hotel, one of our bucket list hotels. An amazing Old World grand hotel and the kids were floored by the sheer size and elegance of the hotel. We dropped our belongings and headed out to the city to explore. I couldn't believe I was in Canada. It felt like we were in Europe. I'm sure everyone says that, but it's true. We walked through cobblestone streets, old buildings and big squares. We grabbed a quick lunch of poutine, and then made our way to see Cirque du Soleil show. Since the show got it start in the province of Quebec we decided it would be fun to see it in its place of origin. I always enjoy the shows and the kids loved it as well. They were beat after and we walked back to the hotel and just ordered room service, threw on our pajamas and chilled out for the evening in our awesome historic hotel. Sometimes, it's nice to order take out or room service instead of having to get ready again to head back out. A nice way to decompress from a long fun day.

Canada 2014- Montreal

First Stop: Montreal

August 11

Our summer road trip started out as a typical five family adventure. My husband woke us up at 3:45 woke us in upstate New York and we stopped for gas, food and to switch drivers. Kids switched on their electronics and I drove straight into Montreal. We arrived just in time for lunch. Funny how we tend to always arrive around meal time to our destinations. 
am, piled the 9, 8 and 6 year old into the back of the car with the luggage, I dropped into the passenger seat and we hit the road by 4am and left Maryland with sights on Canada. We all fell back to sleep while my husband drove straight for 4 1/2 hours in silence. Finally by 8:30 our stomachs



December 2016

I have dedicated this blog to traveling with kids, but I experienced a trip in December 2016, that impacted my family and has impacted many families world wide. I was selected to go on a free trip (airfare not included) to Israel with a group of 18 women from my area. Once we arrived to Israel we met up with other women from around the globe. We are all mothers of children under the age of 18 married, divorced, widowed, never married and at different stages of our lives. We all share in common our Judaism raising children. The goal of the trip is to connect and learn about Jewish values and be inspired to bring these values back to our homes, to our families, to strengthen our Jewish bonds in the house. We were given the opportunity to travel throughout the country of Israel, listen to lectures and learn about who we are as Jewish Women. We spent mornings in lectures learning about historical Jewish women incorporating their strengths and our strengths into current events. Learning that we could apply to our current daily lives, they were funny, interactive and thought provoking. Afternoons were spent discovering different sights of the country along with guides while having some free time to explore.

Solar Eclipse in Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

August 21, 2017

After a short visit in Asheville, NC we packed up once again and headed off to Charlottesville, VA for an overnight. We were weary after the white supremacist march in the summer 2017 which resulted in a death and unrest that followed. Fortunately, things had settled, but there were still signs of protest and anger over what had taken place. We persisted and continued with our plans and arrived to Charlottesville around lunch time. We booked at the The Graduate Hotel right in town. It was a lovely, dog friendly hotel with a room big enough to accommodate all five of us. We ate lunch at The Mellow Mushroom, a chain offering salads, subs, pizza. It was decent, kids were happy, dog joined us. We were right in time for the start of the solar eclipse and the clouds were sparse. It was fun to watch people stopping in the middle of the street to look up at the sun with wacky eclipse glasses on. At least the eclipse took our minds off things, even if it were temporary.

Blue Ridge Parkway to Ashville, NC

Asheville, NC

August 20, 2017

We packed up the car, said our goodbyes' to Echota Mountain and headed towards the Blue Ridge Parkway for a scenic drive to Asheville. Along the way we made a couple of stops for photo ops and for short hikes to take in the scenery. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in The United States. The sea of mountains and trees go on as far as the eye can see. Everything was in full bloom and the weather was perfect.

The Mountains of North Carolina 2017

Boone, NC

August 14, 2018

We set off at 4am towards the mountains of North Carolina, more specifically, Boone North Carolina. Car was packed with 3 sleeping kids, one sleeping dog (brought the dog), one sleeping mother and a father driving on a mission.  My high school friend was kind enough to give us her mountain house for the week so that we could enjoy all there was to offer in the area. After stopping for a quick bite at 8am with the dog we arrived to Boone by 12:45 and began our summer adventure.

Granada- Still a Treasure

August 23-25, 2015

Alhambra here we come

I could visit the Alhambra over and over again. It is truly one of my favorite places in the world. The massive scale of the castle, the detail, the Moorish architecture, everything about it is amazing. Bringing the family was so great. I was so excited to have them in Granada, to experience another example of a southern city of Spain, taste the food, see the sights, see flamenco in the caves and just take in every sight and smell.

Costa Del Sol, Somewhere

August 19-23, 2015

Beach in Spain, Somewhere:

We always like some days to relax when we travel. Maybe two or three if we have the time. We read a very well known travel guide, and the guide suggested we spend a couple of days in the white Andalucian town of Nerja. The description made it sound like Nerja was so quaint, quiet and beautiful, a must see. Perhaps off season. I booked a hotel, and convinced my husband this was the town of our dreams, he was skeptical. We should have gone with his instinct. We drove into the town and it was full of drunk and sunburnt non-native tourists. Every other bar was an Irish pub and just trying to drive down the street was a nightmare. Instantly our moods changed and we had to get out. This was not a quaint, quiet town, it was packed and not at all what we had hoped for. We pulled up to our hotel, paid a minor penalty for canceling and left as quickly as we came with no plans for the next few days.

Sevilla, Especial

August 17-19, 2015

August 17-

Sevilla is one of my favorite cities in Spain. I love the vibe, the energy the people.  Maybe it's the warm weather, the food, but whatever it is it's working. I love the beauty of the city itself and couldn't wait to share it with my family. Our hotel was ok, but the room had bunk beds, so the kids went nuts over who would sleep on the top bed. Immediately we put our stuff down and headed out to the Catedral D Sevilla. The line was long, but we waited and it was worth the wait. The kids loved it and were so excited by the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Especially, my daughter who spent the year learning about American history. Made it real for her. After the visit we strolled around a bit went back to the hotel for a rest and dinner. I was on a quest for the best gazpacho. My Gazpacho is the best.


Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais August 14-18 2015

I can remember visiting Lisbon in the late 80's early 90's. It was a gritty city with some sites to visit, but not a place worth staying for more that one or two nights. This was no longer the case in 2015. A truly remarkable city, transformed from the grit to chic neighborhoods and great places to eat, shop and stay.

August 14

Our plane arrived into Lisbon and we took a cab to our hotel which was located in the Praca do Comercio, the center of the city. We were walking distance to everything. That's what we did. We walked to the Castelo de Sao Jorge. I think the kids were expecting a medieval castle with great rooms and banquet halls, but instead got a fortress with some wonderful views. It was still fun for them as they were able to explore and climb while we strolled with a glass of wine in hand. We took
our time heading back to the hotel then let the kids relax, swim and prepare for dinner.  Before dinner we walked around the Praca do Comercio and strolled around some shops. I love Europe in Summer, the sun stays out, the cities are alive with people, it all feels good.

Why I Pack Light. Why You Should Too.

Packing Light for a Family of Five

If you like to travel to multiple locations during vacations, like we do then it is important to pack as light as possible. This can pose many challenges with a family of five. Especially if your trip is more than 7 days. However, it is important to pack light because if you are anything like me, you like to unpack and organize when you get to the hotel. 
Trying to have your kids live out of a suitcase, can be a recipe for disaster and add to unwanted stress. Staying organized helps to lessen the added chaos and stress and brings more peace to your time away.

Suggestions for packing light:

  • Bring small packets of detergent. You can always wash clothing in the sink or tub.
  • Versatile shoes. Two at most. Chances are with kids in tow you are not going out fancy so that one pair of sandals will have to do.
  • One black dress for dinners out. Toss a scarf on one night and earrings and a necklace the next. Two totally different looks. Most likely you are not going to the same restaurant two nights in a row so no one will know that you wore that dress the night before except your family. Kids won't notice or care.
  • Try to pack three or four days worth of clothes for the kids. Perhaps kid two tends to wear lunch everyday, then pack kid 2 an additional shirt. You have detergent.
  • One sweatshirt/sweater will be fine. A three year old doesn't care or notice that they only have one sweatshirt. A teenager doesn't either.
  • If you are staying at a hotel then use their shampoo. Airbnb, buy it once you get there.
No one cares if you've worn the same outfit three of four times while on vacation. Most people won't even notice you or what you are wearing, nor will you see them again. If you are worried about having the same outfit in pictures, just take it at a different angle. Black pants go a long way.


  • One of my favorite links
    • Having the synthetic nylon and polyester dry quickly which is nice when hand washing and hanging to dry
  • Prana one of my favorites and they have awesome sales.
  • Try to pack as many kid synthetic clothing. REI has great options, but many of the major sports brands do as well.

Toledo Spain 2015

August 12, 2015 Toledo for the Day

We woke up ate a quick breakfast and grabbed two taxis (they wouldn't squeeze 5 of us in one taxi) to the Atocha Train Station. It was not the Atocha station I remember from the 90's. This Atocha had greenery, was clean and beautiful.  We had time so we walked around and came across a pond with turtles on the bottom level. Kids of course obsessed and were desperate to feed them. It wasted time before our train, they fed the turtles.

The train ride was short and relaxing to Toledo. From the train station, you have several options to get into town. You can walk (approximately 20 minutes), take a shuttle service, or grab a cab. Given the relatively low cost of the cab and our desire to maximize time, we loaded the kids into a taxi. Toledo is a walkable city, but entails a good amount of walking, so be realistic on what your kids can do based on their age. It's also quite hilly.

Toledo is a labyrinth of small streets, which no matter which way you go, you always end up near or headed towards the main cathedral. Santa Iglesia Catedral in Toledo is massive and it blew the kids away. They loved the visit, the art and learned about the relics of saints. After the Catherdral we let ourselves get lost and walked around until we stumbled upon the Toledo Torture Museum. As a kid, this is the coolest thing in the world, so we bought tickets and let them in. Once in, it dawned on us, the parents, just how revolting this was. The Spaniards had a way of masking the truth of who the devices were used on by calling the victims "heretics." They were not "heretics," they were the Jews of Spain. They tortured and killed them during the Inquisition. We shielded the information from the kids and moved on. We spent the rest of our visit going to two synagogues, Santa Maria la Blanca and  El Transito.

We took a train back to Madrid around 3 arrived around 4, took a nap and headed to The Retiro to feed the fish and ducks.

Madrid, I love you

Madrid August 10-14, 2015

Before arriving to Spain I booked all of our museum visits online to make sure we wouldn't be shut out of anything. We flew direct to Madrid from Philadelphia. The plane was only half full. That hasn't happened in years. We were able to take rows and stretch out and sleep. It was awesome a travelers dream come true (for those of us that have to fly coach). Our 10 year old decided to pull an all nighter and watch movies on the in-flight entertainment. That didn't translate well the next day.

August 10

We arrived in Madrid early and checked into our hotel, NH Madrid Suecia. Our room was a connecting room which was great in order to accommodate 5 people. Good luck finding one hotel room in Europe to sleep four let alone a family of five. Breakfast was included. The hotel was walking distance to a great amount of the important cultural and historical sites Madrid has to offer. Immediately we went out with map in hand (I hadn't purchased my sim card yet for my phone, so we had to use the old fashion means of navigation) and we were off to the Palacio Real. Kids were in good spirits. I thought I knew where I was going, I did live in Madrid twenty some years ago. We were lost and everyone got a bit ticked off. Luckily we got on track and made our way to our destination. It was a longer walk than I thought, but once there the kids loved it. They've never seen such an ornate palace with so many rooms. It was a quick tour, we were tired and kids were getting hungry. We decided to eat lunch at Mercado de San Miguel. The kids got a nice introduction to Spanish food, while trying many different tapas. We went back to the hotel for a siesta before heading out for the evening. This is where it kind of fell apart. My 10 year old that pulled the all nighter wouldn't wake up after the siesta. It was hard enough rallying the other two, but he was a mess. As you know jet lag can be a nightmare so we were determined to get him up. an hour later we were out the door with some very cranky kids. Retiro Park and let the kids stroll around. we bought them ice cream and shortly after they discovered the fish and ducks in the lake. So now we had to return every afternoon we were in Madrid to feed the fish and ducks. It was fun for the kids, and it was a nice evening stroll before
dinner. We were guided by a famous travel guide to have grilled prawns at Casa Del Abuela. It was "authentic," but touristy and we were treated like tourists. After a very quick bite of assorted tapas, we left and stumbled upon a restaurant filled with Spaniards, Saporem. That was it. We settled in for an awesome meal of Jamon, queso, chorizo, tortilla Espanola and much more. Satisfying and time to crash.

August 11

I had arranged for a visit to the Prado at opening. Although I bought tickets prior( Prado tickets), I figured there were still be a line. Nope right in. Not only did we get right in it was virtually empty for such a famous museum. First stop was Goyas work. We had an entire room of his work to ourselves. It was unreal, there was no one else there. I loved it and it helped that my husband was an art history major in college. He explained all of the pieces of work to the kids. Brought it down to their level and they loved learning about all the famous works of art. They couldn't stop talking about Goya's Saturn devouring his Son piece, but thankfully noticed how much religion was painted in renaissance and that the cherubs were naked. After the Prado we had an amazing lunch outdoors in the Plaza Santa Ana, (Lateral). We had a great siesta and then headed back to the Retiro to feed the fish and the ducks. The kids and my husband rented one of the row boats on the lake and we strolled around until we found a playground for the kids. After all we couldn't eat dinner until at least nine at night and that is early. We headed over to La Latina neighborhood and ate some tapas outdoors before settling down for dinner in Barrio Las Letras. Kids were psyched it was 11pm by the time we left for the hotel. A short walk back and to bed.

August 12


After our adventure in Toledo, we had a bit of a nap and went back to Retiro to let the kids get out some energy before dinner. We went over Salamanca neighborhood and ate at Rafa. The meal was excellent, service was impeccable and the kids were awesome. White tablecloths, outside in the warm weather, great food. We will always remember it. When the waiters brought over small water bowls with lemon, the kids had no idea what they were for. We showed them how to use fingerbowls after a seafood meal, to squeeze the lemons on and then rinse our hands. It was so European old school; the kids had never seen such service. My daughter snacked on the delicacy of goose neck barnacles (she was 11), she devoured the red prawns sucked down some oysters and kept eating. We all enjoyed an amazing meal and by 11:30pm stumbled back to our hotel and passed out.

August 13

We took the kids to the Museum of Archeology today, didn't go as well as planned. It is a very well laid out museum, but not of great interest to the kids. There is a lot to cover in the museum and a LOT of detail. Somehow we felt married to the museum and conquering it in its entirety. Not the best choice, but did it. The rest of the day followed the natural pattern of a long lunch in Plaza Santa Ana followed by a nap and then a stroll to Retiro. We decided to go back to Barrio La Latina for another amazing meal which started at Casa Lucas. We however did not stay out late as we had an early flight to Lisbon the next morning.

Tips on Trips- Williamsburg

Where to Stay- 

We stayed on sight at the Williamsburg Woodlands. The hotel was fine and staff friendly. When making the reservations I was told I could only have a room with two queen size beds because of our package, but upon arrival we were upgraded to a suite. Breakfast is included. It's self serve, not anything to write home about, but the kids thought it was great and that's all that matters. You will have to look somewhere else for a decent cup of coffee. They are next to the visitor center and you can pick up the shuttle to the historic district or walk.  It's a nice short walk to the village. I recommend the walk, very pretty. We have stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge before. A nicer hotel with a better breakfast and closer proximity to the historic village. In my opinion they are both fine and accommodating.

Where to Eat-

The historic village of Williamsburg has a couple of " historic" Taverns where you will find items similar to the 18th century Williamsburg. Not our favorite choices, but for the kids, it is fun. They like the idea of eating in "historic" eateries. Best for dinner, maybe one meal unless you have a package deal that includes meals at the taverns. We love the The Blue Talon Bistro, it is very kid friendly and great quality food. Outside of the park a couple of great places for younger kids are The Peking Restaurant and Captain Georges, two fun buffets, not the greatest food, but fast and easy for the kids. Plus what kid doesn't like a buffet. A nicer option a bit outside the park is La Tienda, this is great for older kids or kids that are able to sit through a longer meal. Great wine selection and wonderful array of tapas.

Lunch time can be a bit trickier in Williamsburg as your options within the historic park are limited to the taverns. However, right outside in Merchants square are some wonderful options. Our favorite is The Cheese Shop. They have great sandwiches as well as an array of amazing cheeses. You can get it to go and picnic in the historic village or eat on site. Dog Street Pub is a great option for both lunch and dinner. Fun gastropub with a kids menu. Of course the other options are just to eat from some of the stands that sell hotdogs and sandwiches.

Williamsburg VA, why not? Presidents Day, February 2017

Williamsburg, Virginia 

A Short Weekend Away

Williamsburg  Virginia, a step back in time,  is a great place to take the kids for real time history lesson without using a screen. If you plan it just right you can get great deals and that is exactly what we did. Entrance to the park, hotel and "breakfast" all for  $129/night. This was for the  Williamsburg Woodlands. For the five of us.  So we thought, "Why not escape for a couple of nights during Presidents Day Weekend."  For us, it's not a long drive, although it feels like forever because we have to go through the DC area. When I missed the on ramp to EZ pass express lane, it was forever.

Upon arrival in the evening, we were upgraded to a two room suite, that consisted of a king size bed and a queen pull out couch.  Kids loved it. We loved it as there was a door in between the rooms. It was short lived as our seven year old proclaimed he would sleep in between mommy and daddy. That translates to sleeping on top of mommy and kicking her all night.

We used Uber and went to our favorite restaurant in town, The Blue Talon. It's been our go-to over the years when in Williamsburg. It's an engaging combination of French and American classics, as well as a nice bourbon selection.  And  it's kid-friendly. Great meal and great time as a family. We shut down the restaurant, thanks to DC traffic getting us there so late. Fine with us, as it was Friday, the kids had school all day, and they were tired and ready for bed so they could have a full day the next day.

As I've said before, do not treat your trips like a classroom.  Do not try to cram everything down their throats or it becomes a chore. My husband and youngest were up and out early, played mini golf and headed to the historic town.  Thanks to climate change, we were all in tshirts this weekend. The other two and I were up later and met them in town. We picked out a couple of landmarks to visit so the kids could get a feel of the historic significance and then decided to have a leisurely lunch at The Cheese Shop. Sometimes, the best times are spent over a meal, together. Of course on the way to lunch they passed by the outdoor ice skating rink and the begging started.

Tips for Kids- Thailand and Cambodia

Thailand and Cambodia. We went in 2016 when our kids were ages 11,10 and 7.


If you are flying from the United States like we were, this is a very long trip to get across the continent.  Make sure to find the fastest route there.  It may cost you a little extra, but worth it in the end.  Luckily because it was international, in-flight entertainment meant we didn't need to worry about ipads or iphones or downloading millions of shows or movies.  The kids had access to so many movies and tv shows.  This was also a problem, because it meant they would be stuck and probably not get any sleep.  Set limits.  Make sure they get 5-6 hours of no TV time and hope that they get some sleep during this time. Or else you are doomed.  As far as food is concerned, it is always a good idea to pack some snacks.  We flew Air Emirates, they kept us well nourished and when it wasn't meal time they had baskets of fruit and candy.  They also had drinks available the entire time. Of course, our kids hoarded the candy.

Tips on Trips- Thailand and Cambodia

Where to stay


You could drive yourself insane looking at all of the possibilities. My job at my job became searching every website for the best location, most reasonable, kid-friendly hotel in the city.  Finally, we decided to go with a big hotel name, mainly so the kids could have a pool to decompress. We were surprised by how good a deal we got at the Shangri-La Bangkok. This was commensurate with what we discovered years ago, in casting the net wide. Often, deals emerge at more expensive spots making them cheaper than ostensibly cheaper hotels. In this case, the Shangri La was refurbishing their luxury tower and ws offering great deals in the other tower.  So instead of trying to find the best deal in the best location and the newest/chicest hotel, we just went with a reputable name.

Cambodia- A must See

August 15-19 Siem Reap

When we planned our trip, I told my husband there was no way I was going to Thailand without seeing Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  We have flown half way around the world and to be so close to Cambodia, who knew when I was getting back. He agreed and the plans were made.  We hired a guide for three days and spent all four nights in Siem Reap. In order to enter Cambodia you must have a visa, but as long as you supply customs with a passport picture, they will create one for you upon your arrival in the airport. Customs in Cambodia consists of the developing world practice of getting as many people as possible to work a single task.  Oh, and the workers' children that hung out in customs behind the desk.

Koh Samui, Paradise for Sure.

August 8-15 Koh Samui

What an amazing island.  The summer monsoon season hits the Andaman Sea hard but largely spares the  Gulf of Thailand, so we concentrated on island there. Koh Samui did not disappoint. We decided to stay on Choeng Mon Bay. It's known as among the more family friendly beaches of Koh Samui, and Koh Samui itself avoids the full moon revelers. Wow, the horseshoe shaped beach was beautiful, the water was so warm and the eight dollar massages on the beach were the best. Right behind the beach is a small village of shops and restaurants, so finding food and supplies and laundry is a step away.
We chose The Imperial Boat House Beach Resort, and it did not disappoint. The hotel is surrounded by lush trees and vegetation which made it feel very secluded. We were fortunate enough to get an actual rice barge boat that had been converted into a hotel room. Upstairs was a lounge area, while downstairs was a bedroom. The hotel set up an extra bed in what was dressing area. The kids loved it as did the adults.

During our time in Koh Samui, we did two excursions through 100 Degrees East. We chose this company based on the fact that it is small groups  and at least 4 staff members. Moreover, they were so awesome as our youngest broke his heel while in Koh Samui and one of the staff carried him up and down the stairs to see the Emerald Lake, if you do this tour you will understand how hard this climb is. On one of these, we visited the Angthong Marine Park. The islands of this park provided the inspiration for Alex Garland's book The Beach (it should be noted that the movie was shot on Phi Phi Le island in the Andaman Sea). We sea kayaked around tropical islands and had lunch and some time on our own beach (pictured). The other excursion was to snorkel off Koh Tao. The snorkeling in Koh Tao is spectacular: clear water, huge schools of fish, intact reefs, giant clams along the bottom.

Chiang Mai, Oh My

August 4-8 Chiang Mai

August 4 

The family of five left Bangkok and headed to Chaing Mai. A few options exist to getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. One is the night train, and another is flying (bus is cheapest but least comfortable and slowest). We opted for flying and booked five relatively inexpensive tickets on Thai Airways. The taxi from Chiang Mai airport into town is quick, easy, and not expensive (which is true about taxis in general in Thailand). We again chose The Shangri-La, and were welcomed with the same nice welcoming customer service and we were able to get upgraded to the concierge floor. This included drinks, snacks, evening cocktails and newspapers at all times. Oh were the kids so excited, it was actually a nice way to unwind after a day of touring.

First stop and last stop, Bangkok. Summer 2016

August 1-4, 2016 Bangkok

After traveling more than 24 hours, we arrived bleary-eyed to the big city of Bangkok. Fortunately, we arrived at night which meant straight to bed.  We chose The Shangri-La, Bangkok and were surprised by how good a deal we received. This was commensurate with what we discovered years ago, in casting the net wide. Often, deals emerge at more expensive spots making them cheaper than ostensibly cheaper hotels. In this case, the Shangri La was refurbishing their luxury tower and was offering great deals in the other tower.  So instead of trying to find the best deal in the best location and the newest/chicest hotel, we just went with a reputable name. Great hotel with great service. So, after settling into our hotel, we all crashed and were ready to hit the ground running the next morning.

August 2

Our first morning we were off to see the Royal Palace and Wat Pho. We'd heart about the heat and humidity of Bangkok, but experiencing it was more impressive than we anticipated.  Our clothing was drenched after the first ten minutes. The kids were so enamored by the sights and the details, smells, colors and just the vastness of the Wat that fortunately they didn't realize how thirsty and hot they were until about thirty minutes into the visit. By this time the visit was over at least for them and we were able to get them a much needed drink and then head off to the next Wat (the Thai word for temple). On the way, this was a chance to discuss the tenets of Buddhism, and the Thai people's strong faith and reverence to the Buddha and his images.

Bring the kids? About the five family travelers

Traveling with Kids is the Most Rewarding

All too often, parents say they can't take their kids traveling; "It's to far away, my kids do not adapt well to new settings, their schedules will be off, they are too young to appreciate the experience."
Watching children experience new tastes, smells, cultures, and places is the most rewarding part of traveling as a family. Ever since we had kids, we have taken them on adventures nationally and internationally. They were never "too young" to travel, they never had issues adapting to new places and there was never a plane ride that was too long for them (technology helps with this). Children will adapt and embrace their new surroundings. They will want the new adventures and keep you going until you, the parent, are ready to collapse at the end of the night.

Traveling with kids doesn't mean fancy or expensive. It can be as simple as planning a weekend camping trip or driving an hour away to the next city/town over.  Or it can be as extravagant as flying halfway around the world to far off destinations.  Of course, moments of epic meltdown will happen, as will eye rolling, fights in hotel lobbies (for us, those are standard). But all of this is part of the wonderful moments, the moments that we cling to and remember, the moments that make you realize this is why we brought our children.

We continue to pursue our love of travel and constantly look for adventures that we think our children will enjoy and embrace.  My hope and goal is that this blog will help guide you and give you ideas on traveling with kids. Through our experiences and recommendations, we will help transition you from not wanting to travel with children to embracing the idea and opening their world to new experiences, tastes, smells and learning opportunities that they can have with them for the rest of their lives.

The wonders of family travel come when you don't treat your trips like a classroom or a history lesson.  You can't do or see it all, but you can introduce your kids to new cultures and experiences, and hope that they will gain a love for travel.   Remember, you want your kids to gain a love for travel and a passion for discovery.  I promise, you will be able to sneak in some learning without them realizing it.

I have always been an avid traveler. When I met my husband and discovered his love for travel and adventure it was a perfect match.  We promised each other to never stop exploring. Now that we have three children, it has become our mission to expose them to as much travel as possible.

Thailand and Cambodia, Summer 2016

August 1-21, 2016 Thailand and Cambodia: An Overview

For the first time ever, my husband and I were able to put together three consecutive weeks of vacation this summer. The kids were 7, 10 and 11 and ready to go.  We toyed with the idea of visiting couple of countries in Europe. Perhaps South America. We loved the idea of going to the Cook Islands, but realized we wanted to combine sightseeing along with adventure travel with some leisure time.  After reading up on Vietnam and Thailand, we chose Thailand.  And if we were going to go all the way to Thailand, seeing Angkor Wat in neighboring Cambodia was a must.  We have never before traveled to Southeast Asia with the kids nor as a couple.  We were ready for the adventure of a lifetime!