The Pan-Asian Experiment: With teens!  Without leaving home!

It was a rainy Saturday and we were stuck in Seattle. My teen says, let’s take one of those trips where we don’t go anywhere. Awesome!  And she’s going to bring friends.  I felt a bit of pressure to make this a fun adventure for her and for her friends so I decided against anything overtly educational, plus I was banned from saying “museum.” I dug into my research … hmmm, what country, what country??  But, as soon as I tried to focus on any one country, I got sucked into details that I was afraid wouldn’t appeal to teens. After all, I couldn’t exactly expect them to get excited about a coloring sheet or learning 10 words in another language. Finally I came on an idea – a pan-Asia tour!

Like most trips to Asia, we started with a layover in Taipei, home of bubble tea! Read more »

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The BIG Maze at the National Building Museum.

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation in DC

After we had our tickets clipped and entered the BIG maze I expected to accompany my 12-year-old daughter through the special exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. But she was already gone at the first turn. If I didn’t want to run to catch up I’d be going it alone. I expected to run into her at each of the many dead ends, but she was never there. Even when I finally made it to the center of the maze, where I could see over the shorter walls, she was nowhere to be seen. Finally I emerged out the other end hoping to find her. When I turned around, she was already coming out of the maze for the second time. Such is the crazy energy that takes hold of kids when they face amazing things like an indoor maze made out of plywood with walls ranging in height from 3 to 18 feet. Read more »

Oasis in Riverside CA?

Why would anyone ever go to Riverside California?  Well, obviously not by choice right?  I got stuck there for a work trip recently and discovered the most amazing oasis: The Mission Inn.

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In my airport taxi, I cruised across miles of highway and then through an unassuming and somewhat discouraging urban area.  I had no hopes of a travel adventure or even a comfy bed.  I was therefore a bit surprised when the taxi rounded a corner and and pulled into a valet loop surrounded by large old palm trees.  I had clearly landed someplace special.

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Passing under a glorious arch, I wandered toward the lobby somewhat stunned.  I even passed live parrots on my way.   Read more »

Two Days In Taipei

We only had two days in Taipei on our way to Thailand last winter.  You can read all about it on my guest post on The Mother of All Trips blog hosted by Mara Gorman.

Descending the stairs of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Descending the stairs of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

 

100 Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe

What’s your best family travel tip?  What saved your last trip?  What makes your kids really have a good time on a family vacation?  What awesome kid-centric European destinations have you been to?  What fun kid-friendly European activities have you discovered?

Zand L at Hogwarts

OK, OK, OK – we’re adding a destination to our new book.  Everybody wants a travel destination with their travel tips so we’re going European this time – art museums, mountains, cultural icons, rural villages, bread and cheese, many languages, castles, history, beaches, music, famous rivers, East meets West, and more politics.

Share your suggestions for a great, educational, and fun European adventure with kids in the comments below! We’ll try to include it in our new book “100 Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe.”  If we do, we’ll include your first name and location so please tell us that information with your tip.  You can also click “Read more” for a nifty giveaway!

Read more »

Big Changes in Thailand

Check out my article about revisiting Thailand after 19 years away.  It’s on Wandering Educators.

Photo by Zoey Richards!

Photo by Zoey Richards!

The Family Traveler’s Handbook – New book, New perspectives

When we leave our homes, we leave behind the web of possessions and accumulated to-do lists and focus on spending time together” – Mara Gorman

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There’s a new family travel book on the market!  Why would we review the competition?  Well, because it’s a great book with lots of new perspectives to offer.  I read it cover-to-cover, enjoyed it, learned from it, and smiled regularly.  It’s a quick read with no nonsense.  Mara’s inherent philosophy is that everything can be travel.  She describes her first trip with her son – a trip down the block to visit neighbors.  Mara’s vision of family travel encompasses all activities that get parents and kids out the door, exploring the world together.  Read more »

Meditation on Coconuts

And coconut trees …

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