Not literally, of course.
1 May. Labour Day. France. Family trip plan to one of most famous fortresses in Alsace: Haut Koenigsbourg. Incited by 1 May invitations “all – to the fortresses” which invaded Facebook, I bought the train tickets Strasbourg-Selestat on-line the evening before. They are polite, the French railway: tickets for itineraries offered on line are guaranteed strike-free.
The next morning, Labour Day lesson 1: no buses or trams. They expect you to know that. Especially, after some years one lives in France. So, we do some “kilomètres de solidarité” to the railway station. Some celebrate the Labour Day. Some have to labour it.
The train is on time and we get to Selestat. Labour Day lesson 2: read the small script. The navette driver announces that of all castles only Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today, as he heard himself this morning on radio. I open the facebook event on Alsace castles, click couple of pop-up sites to finally get to the text in small letters: Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today. Merci beaucoup!
The driver’s entrepreneurial spirit comes to rescue. He tells us about La Montagne des Singes on the same itinerary and offers not to charge the kid for the trip.
20 minutes latter we are there, meeting the loveliest creatures. Sorry, Haut Koenigsbourg you lost it to monkeys this time. Without even a battle 😉
Time spent there was lovely: we fed them with pop corn distributed by the park’s employees
watched baby monkeys playing
witnessed a love story
and learned how to stay zen even when surrounded by hoards of curios visitors
I was looking to upgrade our bedtime stories. With Jessica Joelle Alexander’s recommendation http://www.jessicajoellealexander.com I found “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
The book was first published more that 50 years ago.
The book teaches the value of nurturing relations in a mutually beneficial way. It helps to explain to children that a balanced give-and-take is a good foundation for friendships they begin to develop.
It is a heartfelt story of a relationship between boy and a tree. At first, their relationship is loving and mutually nurturing.
It is a story about faithfulness and borderless generosity: As the boy grows, so do his demands for entertainment and support. The tree is a constant supplier and satisfies all his needs with all it has until it becomes a stump. The tree demands nothing in return. It is just happy to be there for the boy.
A beautiful story for bedtime reading. For both children and adults.
In a doctor’s waiting room, a very talkative grandmother tries to get her granddaughter’s attention. The 15 year old tries to read. The dialogue goes like this:
– You can read your book at home.
– I can read and listen to you at the sane time, grandmother. I finally learned how to do it.
– You can keep your book. In my younger days, I was reading books all night long. I was 18.
– I am 15, grandmother.
– You can still read your book at home. What’s in you backpack?
– School things.
– Look at this! The grandmother seems surprised by the way the girl’s colorful backpack is made.
She then goes on about the lost value of Christmas, her neighbor crazy driving, religious tolerance … .
The appointment was for the young lady. I thought “How sweet! The grandmother accompanied her grandchild!” I almost wished she would never stop talking. I wished she would turn to me to get me to listen while waiting for her granddaughter to come out of the doctor’s office.
Then I got it. It’s their special thing: a 85 year old grandmother – 15 year old granddaughter dialogue, tune, reverberation.
Here is to all sweet grandmothers-granddaughters joy of sharing!
for a wonderful and sweet time with friends and family,
staying true to kids-friendliness and all the fun which goes together,
creating royal experiences at Kinder Museum in Schönbrunn with lots of fun for both kids and adults,
your tour train to keep us dry on a rainy morning in the Schönbrunn Park,
gorgeous Gloriette, where Maria Theresa – the only female ruler of Habsburgs, used to have breakfast,
the Sunny afternoon for the Zoo visit and all the delights of meeting cute koala, panda, a baby elephant, baby zebra, my fave pink flamingos and the rest of the rich animal world in the oldest zoo in the world,
a brief hide and seek moment under generous tree branches,
the treasures of the Natural History museum: the 29500 old statue of Venus, huge dinosaur skeletons, largest turtle in the world and many other interactive and child friendly features. And for getting a dinosaur roaring to my face. Scared of nothing now 🙂
the gorgeous Belvedere and coffee&cake with friends to celebrate Sofia and friendship
and a small pink print for Vienna – street art by Sofia:
This piece is sharp as a scalpel. The type of writing to which i secretly aspire to.
Thank you, Jordan Reid, for the inspiration.
“Being a parent is different from being a friend, and it’s different from being a boss. You want to be both, but the truth is that you’re neither — you’re something in between, and something much more.”