Happy National Archaeology Day! Last year, Congress designated October 22 as National Archaeology Day and we’re celebrating with a trip to Ancient Egypt.
We started preparing for the tip back in August at the King Tut exhibit (in Seattle until January 6th). The audio guide was well worth the extra few dollars. In addition to information about the artifacts, the audio guide offered information about Ancient Egypt and the archaeologists who uncovered the tombs. The kid’s favorite artifacts included a box etched with cat drawings and the golden mask. We demo’d the final versions of the museum scavenger hunts for our book and I was happy to discover that they worked well. At the gift shop, the kids had their names written in hieroglyphics for $1 – always a crowd pleaser.
We did find Africa in our own backyard!
Our journey began at Blue Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. I expected that my kids had eaten Ethiopian food before but I was completely wrong. Zoey had spent a lot of time in the Enat Deli as a baby. We were regulars back when it had only 4 small tables and baby Zoey was often whisked into the kitchen by the fabulous Ethiopian owner so Bill and I could enjoy a peaceful meal. But, when we moved away from the Enat Deli, we hadn’t found any place as good and, without realizing it, we had stopped eating Ethiopian food at all. Our rainy day luncheon was turning out to be more of an adventure than I had expected. Read more
Unless you’re going someplace extremely remote, you can expose your kids to the language(s) they’ll hear on your trip. If they’re old enough, insist that they learn the few phrases below before entering each country. (It might take an adult 4 hours to learn 10 phrases but your kids can memorize these words in no time). It is so much more fun to greet people in their native language and the reception your kids recieve will likley be much more genuine. There is no need to try to become fluent, just a few words can make all the difference. Read more
Why have a Disney party or a shark party when you can have a party that travels? Get your kids excited about a trip you’re about to take, share a trip you’ve recently taken, or enjoy a virtual trip that’s not likely to be in your budget for awhile. Our last party was simply an “International Party” – gelato,
It turns out that wiener schnitzel is more often made with pork than with veal. This apparently isn’t because of any moral outrage over eating baby cows, but has to do with the iron curtain being erected between the producers of veal in Hungary and the consumers in Vienna. The local farmers in Austria couldn’t keep up with the demand, so they had to substitute with pork. Now that the curtain has been drawn, pork has become preferred because the higher fat content of the pig appeals more to Viennese palate. Anyway, I can now order schnitzel without concern for the poor baby cows, but with more concern for my cholesterol. Read more
I’ve seen a couple of them regularly in my neighborhood, emptying the litter bins at the local tram stop, sweeping up the gravel put on the sidewalks back when it was cold and icy, and picking up empty beer bottles in the park. They wear bright orange suits with reflective tape on the sleeves, legs, and chest. The younger one always seems to be leading the way and is quick to make a joke. The older one has darker skin, a lazy eye, and a more thorough custodial approach. They have a camaraderie that only comes from long days of shared manual labor. But lately there have been a small army of them, as if management has finally recognized that some threshold has been broken and has sent in the reinforcements. Maybe their inside intelligence has told them that the nice weather is going to hold on for awhile. The army is sweeping up debris from the previous several months of snow and wind storms and making piles on the curbs – leaves, branches, and hopefully some of the dog crap. I can’t believe that spring is nearly here and there’s still a week to go in February. I’ve even noticed buds forming on some of the hedges. Read more
More from Austria:
The cars seem ready to stop on the streets of the city. A pedestrian could step off the curb, a car could pull out from a parking space, a tram could turn quickly into traffic, but the drivers of the cars always seem to stop without a tantrum or blown horn. It is a good thing. Read more
Of course I’ve heard about balls, Strauss, and waltzing, but it was always through a corrupting American filter. I learned how to waltz in gym class in fourth and fifth grades, but it was more about not contracting cooties from the girls than about where I was supposed to put my feet. I also slaved through a few years of piano lessons where I may have butchered a simplified Strauss song. But while my parents also tried to get me to respect the classics, I didn’t know the difference between “the father” and “the younger.” And finally, a few years back, I can remember hearing that Paris Hilton was invited to a ball in Vienna, but I had a hard time reconciling the idea with my image of Cinderella. Read more