Meditation on Coconuts

And coconut trees …

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Thailand Finale – A Perfect Day

IMG_9111It’s hard to wake up to the last day of the trip.  We weren’t flying home until the next day but this was our last full dawn till dusk day of adventure in Thailand.  On the agenda were temples, ruins, shopping, and eating.  We already knew that the mid-afternoon would be too hot to accomplish much so we aimed for an early start.

Breakfast at Luang Chumni Village was easier today.  We had already discovered Read more »

Traveling in Thailand with Kids

IMG_20140107_173006_311I’m writing from an old, wooden Thai guesthouse with a peaked roof and a romantic white mosquito net hanging over the bed.  We’ve just enjoyed two glorious weeks in Thailand with our daughters, returning to a country we love after about 18 years away.  There’s been an enormous influx of tourism since we left.  Where we were once the only westerners on islands full of mangroves and Thai villages, there are now fancy resorts and throngs, yes throngs, of tourists from all over the world.  These tips are for you as a traveling family to help you enjoy Thailand.  They are also aimed at educating traveling families about how they can contribute to protecting the country and the culture as they explore.  There’s so much to enjoy for families in Thailand and the more you know in advance, the better travelers you can be.  What do you need to know to make a trip to Thailand with kids successful? Here are a few questions you might be asking … Read more »

Great Family Lodging in Ayutthaya, Thailand

IMG_9176Looking for the perfect place to stay with your family?  Explore Ayutthaya from affordable, interconnected rooms in Luang Chumni Village.  We were offered no special promotion to review this wonderful guest house.  We were simply lucky enough to stumble on it.  OK, Bill found it on-line after a bit of research.  I was simply lucky enough to be traveling with him.  The “village” is a traditional Thai house surrounded by water and is tucked along a quiet street.  It’s just a short walk from the famous statue of a Buddha head in a tree, nestled among exciting ruins.  Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand for 417 years and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing many temples and historic sites. Read more »

Taipei with Kids – 10 Wacky Experiences in the First 10 Hours

IMG_8164We’ve been in Taipei just over 24 hours now.  We stayed up for the first 14 hours straight and then finally slept.  Ah, glorious sleep.  When we planned this trip, we were hoping to set up a Taipei with Kids writing opportunity.  There’s not a lot out there on the subject.  Is 1 day really enough to say anything?  Well, within 10 hours, we accumulated quite a few funny and “educational” experiences plus a few “rules” for enjoying Taipei with kids.

1. First stop was breakfast at a little hole in the wall restaurant.  They took one look at us and handed us some sticky, laminated menus.  One had American food.  The other listed Chinese breakfast items.  Rule #1: Stick to the local specialties.  We ordered breakfast crepes with egg and bacon, egg and pork, and egg and corn.  All were delicious!  And the milk tea for the kids arrived in a sealed cup that we Read more »

Remembering Thailand – Ashley

boatWe’re going back! Eighteen years ago, I promised friends that I would be back in two years.  Easier said than done.  There was a wedding and then a baby and then another baby.  Somewhere in there we gained car payments, a mortgage, and two full-time jobs to go with it all.  Plane tickets aren’t cheap and vacation time is priceless.  What seemed so simple, never happened.  I thought about my friends; I sent cards; and even experimented with Internet calls in their first incarnations.  But I never got back.

Then, a few years ago, we were outrageously lucky enough to spend six months in Vienna, Austria.  As we made new friends and began to feel at home, there was a strange underlying sadness for me.  How could I commit to this new culture, to the German language and its torturous grammar, and to our new friends when I had never made it back to Thailand? Read more »

Fall Family Camping Adventures

DSC07530Before kids we were adventurous campers. We camped while backpacking, rafting, sea kayaking, and even skiing.  Rarely, if ever, did we go car camping.  In fact, we wondered why anyone would pack the car and head to a campground full of other people.  But now that we have kids, we know better.  It’s fun, affordable, relaxing, and great for the kids.  Camping with children, however, takes a bit of work and some practice to do well.  Fall is the perfect time!  The number of both bugs and people is greatly reduced.  Here’s some our favorite tips for a fun and successful camping trip. Read more »

Vienna ist fur Kinder

Vienna ist für kinder!  Vienna, Austria boasts castles, boat rides, music history, gorgeous Hapsburg-yellow buildings, and fantastic parks.  We lived in the 19th district of Vienna for six months with two young kids and we fell in love. Many activities and museums are designed specifically für kinder (for children) and others are just naturally fun für kinder. Here are a few of our favorite hidden family hotspots. Read more »