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Posts tagged ‘Travel with Kids’

Family travels

While I wish every trip could be an Italian getaway, I’ll take some Arizona sun any day. Here’s to family adventures and creating travel hungry children.

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Get lost in the right direction

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Copyright 2014   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Travel doesn’t become adventure until….

Italy travel with kids

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Copyright 2014   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Give her a lifetime of adventures…

Italy Travel Inspirational Quotes

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Copyright 2014   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Daily Italian Doses | Gradara Medieval Festival

I absolutely love this picture perfect town in Le Marche.  I can only imagine what it would be like to visit during this festival.

The entire town will replicating life in the Middle Ages.  Homes will be furnished, streets will be lined with stalls selling goods and everyone will be in full dress.  Activities are said to include sword forging, chainmail making, cooking meals, mixing dyes or training as castle guards.

When: 19-21 July.

For loads of information click HERE.

Courtesy of La Tavola Marche

Courtesy of La Tavola Marche

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Copyright 2013   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Featured Photo Friday | Grandparents Day Tribute

pienza italy

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Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Featured Photo Friday | It’s My Birthday, I’ll Post What I Want To!

rome

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Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Reasons Traveling with Kids is Cool

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I was crazy to take my toddler to Italy by myself I would have never come back.  “You are wasting your money; she will never remember anything.  She will be a mess on that long flight.  How will you pack everything by yourself?  She won’t stand going to museums or sitting through long dinners.”  Jet lag, potty issues, getting sick, being bored.  I heard it all.

But one month after my daughter’s second birthday I defiantly boarded a flight to Rome armed with a backpack of her necessities, one suitcase for both of us, a stroller and Benadryl.  I could see that look in the other passengers’ faces.

You know the one, just before they quickly darted their eyes away hoping to avoid direct contact.

The dread and fear of having to sit next to a kid on a long flight.  Then the absolute elation as we walked by.  I could actually hear the sighs of relief.  I don’t blame them for hoping we were nowhere near their seat; thirteen hours with a small child in an even smaller space could be considered a version of hell on earth.  Yet, she fooled them all.  To the shock and relief of those around me she was an angel on the plane.  After devouring her ‘fancy’ meal, she watched a movie and then proceeded to pass out.  I can’t say the same for many of the other passengers.

Once in Italy, I quickly found out that traveling with my daughter did two things:  opened doors to experiences and got us free stuff.  People who would have done nothing more than complete their transaction with me or more likely not even noticed my presence were suddenly whisking us behind counters and showing us part of the real Italian life I had not seen before.  We met dogs; we met grandkids.  We watered plants and learned to make pizza.  We held rabbits and petted goats.

I haven’t even gotten to the free stuff.

My daughter learned a simple smile meant extra scoops of gelato or little candies in her hand.  I don’t think I went anywhere with her that some old lady wasn’t trying to feed her or put sweets in her pockets.  She was the star at dinner, our waiters taking pride in her appetite.  She had no need for a menu, they would prepare whatever she desired without hesitation.  I was once chided for not ordering her enough food and found extra plates appearing on the table free of charge.  Did I ever pay for dessert?  Maybe my own.

She loved the Roman Forum, although it was the beetles not the ruins that caught her eye.  Every new hill town was exciting; who knew how many kitties would be hiding in the narrow cobblestone streets.  Trains were a marvel.  Maps became new toys.  Piazzas her playgrounds.  My passion for travel deepened with each new discovery she made.

Maybe I was crazy and it is true that she doesn’t remember that trip, but my daughter has no fear of the unknown and loves new experiences.  I have since taken her back to Italy (see the photos below) and she now has her own travel bucket list.  The lesson to be taken here is that having a family does not mean your travel dreams are over.  They are just different.  I may not be able to travel as much as I did before, but I never use children as my excuse to stay home.  Travel is good for them.  They begin to understand the world is a bigger place and differences are to be celebrated.  Travel is good for you.  You will find indescribable joy watching your child experience another culture.

I could list the top reasons why traveling with kids is cool, but I think these pictures do a better job.

Joining up again with the fabulous writers at yeah write. Click the button below to read some truly wonderful writers and don’t forget to return on Thursday to vote for your five favorite posts.

Copyright 2012  Andi Brown  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Roman Art Through The Eyes Of A Four Year Old

A few years ago I took my four year old daughter to the Seattle Art Museum where they were having a fantastic display of Roman art and sculpture as well as a chance to see Ghiberti’s Golden Doors before they were to be sent back to Florence forever. It was a great chance to expose her to art and history before our big trip to Italy! We had spent so much time talking about travel, looking through pictures and magazines and even learning Italian together. I even had a section in my travel office with a little desk and supplies so that she could do “business” with me.  This exhibit was going to be the first time I could expose her directly to what we had been talking about.

Beyond excited for her adventure, she descended from her room and down our stairs like the Queen of Sheba.  Decked out from head to toe in sparkly Barbie party accessories complemented by a blue sundress and magic wand, she was ready to hits the rainy streets of Seattle. We spent the ride into town deciding which exhibit we would see first and finally settled on the statues.

Once in the museum, I was beside myself surrounded with an amazing collection on tour from the Louvre. Wanting to share this excitement and teach her how to appreciate what she was seeing, I went into full art historian mode. I’ve always prided myself in my ability to explain art in a simple way that anyone can understand and more importantly remember. While we walked around the room I talked about everything from mosaics to marble while she listened and commented appropriately.

I could not help but swell with pride as I noticed she was the only child in the museum, not to mention I was the exceptional mother who brought her there.  Don’t think I didn’t notice the admiring glances from other patrons.  The many passing conversations in my mind went something like this:

Why thank you, I do my best

Yes, she is an exceptional child

Quite brilliant, I know

I was practically throwing my shoulder out patting myself on the back when my incredibly  and outrageously clever child stopped dead in her tracts and made an announcement to the entire room.

“Mom, this really isn’t my favorite part of the museum.”

Always trying to encourage open communication, I asked her what made her feel that way.

“There are too many penises here.”

Now that she mentions it....

...she does have a point.

Silence.

Averted eyes.

Was that a stifled giggle?

A pause for thoughtful reflection.

Indeed there were quite a few, and from her perspective (and more imortantly eye-level) they must look even more pronounced.  Always one to make each experience a positive learning opportunity, I decided to switch gears.

I would later regret this snap decision when traveling in Italy.

To keep her interested and to allow me to finishing viewing the exhibit, we spent the rest of the day counting the “yucky, squishy penises.”

Joining up once again with the fabulous writers at yeah write. Click the button below to read some truly wonderful writers and don’t forget to return on Thursday to vote for your five favorite posts.

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Featured Photo Friday | Chasing Pigeons in Florence

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