Logan and I were sitting on a bench on a train station platform, as we’re want to do several times a day, looking across the tracks at the people on the opposite platform waiting for the train going the other direction. At this time of day, the small crowd is mostly teenagers going to and coming from school, older ladies toting their two-wheeled grocery trolleys, and the odd person whose age is in between, sometimes with a small child. Most of the time it is very quiet, with people lost in their own thoughts, but sometimes groups of kids make the loud noises that groups of kids make. Logan suddenly breaks our silence by saying “Boobs and beer!” I must be mistaken in what I understand her to say and I ask her to repeat, and she says again “Boobs and beer!” Now my fraternity brothers will attest that I have nothing against either the boobs or the beer, but I want to know why they are on the mind of my five year old. She tells me to look at the poster across the tracks, behind the people on the platform. Not the one with smiling cell phone users on the chairlift, or the one with the woman with brightly-colored lettuce on her head, but the one showing a woman from the neck down carrying four large steins of frosty lager, while giving equal space to her ampleness spilling out of the top of her dirndl. Logan, finally responding to my rants about how we need to be aware that advertising is intended to get us to buy things that we don’t necessarily need, has correctly deciphered what it is that they are selling. Our train arrives and we go to kindergarten.
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Bill Richards and Ashley Steel are the authors of "Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids", from Rumble Books. The book is packed with bulleted lists of travel tips, fill-in pages for packing and journaling, ideas for inflight entertainment, strategies for browsing museums with kids, and much more. It is unlike other family travel books in that it is not about where to go. "Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids" details how to make any family trip smarter and more fun!
Bill and Ashley have two wonderful and well-traveled daughters. As a family, they’ve visited or lived in the USA, Canada, Japan, Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Slovakia, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Denmark, The Netherlands, and The Czech Republic. They've traveled by discount airline, overnight train, crowded bus, rental car, and camper van. They’ve slept in fancy hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, with friends or family, and in rented apartments. They have all carried backpacks, squeezed into one family backpack, rolled suitcases, and even traveled without so much as a toothbrush.
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