The last city break we took inspired me to put together some tips for trips with kids. These might be valid sometimes for the “big babies” of the family (we all know who they are 🙂 ).
So, here are my tips:
– limit the number of visits per day and plan breaks every 2-3 hours, depending on the age of the child;
– look for sensorial-friendly activities. Luckily, museums these days integrate in their displays lots of interactive features for a more fulfilling experience.
– alternate landmarks with visits to zoos, amusement parks or public parks, where local kids play.
Paris, Trocadero Gardens
– with some commitment, you can find nature spots even in busiest of cities. Your urban kid and your urban self will be thankful for a day spent among trees and other creatures.
– let the kid sleep longer in the morning. They will be rested and eager to explore through the day. That’s also the perfect time to plan for the day.
– consider whether you need to book a hotel room with breakfast or rent an apartment with a kitchenette. Choose what serves better your own morning rhythm.
– book hotels with pools for a “chillaxing” (my kid’s favourite word from “chill” and “relax”) experience in the evening, after long walks. It will also serve you well in rainy weather.
– allow some TV time, if you have no TV at home (which is our case) or stick to your usual TV time-allowed at home.
– complete each day by asking the kid what she enjoyed most during the day. She is your most valuable customer, so – ask for feedback.
– enjoy every moment and look at places through your kid’s eyes. You might be surprised by what you experience even in familiar places.
Seen in Paris
I visited Auschwitz in 2000. I could not go beyond the first barracks … The atmosphere was painfully overwhelming, even after half a century.
I read “The tattooist of Auschwitz” basically in one go. It is the power of love described throughout the novel that makes it the focus of the attention. The ordeal of the daily life in most horrific times is somehow in the background. That’s the author’s merit.
The novel is based on a true story of Lale Sokolov and Gita who survived Auschwitz and reunited to live a long life together, in spite of all circumstances. It is a work of fiction based on the first-hand testimony of Lale, born Ludwig Eisenberg.
Questions like why did some survive and others not are answered by the qualities Lale had and used while in Auschwitz. His first promise to himself when he entered Auschwitz was “I will live to leave this place”. And he did so 3 years later, having overcome hunger, beatings, ice-cold winters, torture. He also saved lives of as many as he could, with a bit of bread here, a smuggled piece of chocolate there, a piece of information here, a word of wisdom there.
When you feel down, read the book. It works as an instantaneous reminder of the blessings we have.
It started on such an idle note that I almost abandoned it. Glad I haven’t, encouraged by reviews saying “if you read only one Western novel in your life, read this one” (USA Today). It had also the promise of a Pulitzer award winning novel.
“Lonesome dove” has the classic of the genre, good guys – the rangers Call and Augustus – and the bad guys. Characters are also nuanced, in fairness to human nature. The bravest ranger could be a coward father to a son, to whom he gave his horse and gun but not his name. The evil characters are of all colors. So are the noble ones.
This Western depicts through two female characters the choices women had during the times of land claiming by Europeans. They had to choose between whorehouses or settling to a married life on farms lost in solitude, childbearing, death and harshness. Some kept their sanity, others – not. It explains many societal attitudes centuries latter.
The story mingled with epic description of nature and evolving landscapes under the influence of humans, like the disappearing buffaloes. The author also pais his respects to the natives threatened by the dramatic change to their livelihoods.
Some dialogues are full of humour, while some – abound with sorrow and regret. All in one, almost 1000 pages of human nature during an important part of the US history.