Tag Archives: city break

An autumn love story

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On a warm autumn day, in a town on the Mediterranean, I let my kid choose where she wanted to have lunch. Her choice led us to a place were locals go. Tables next to each other. Waiters saluting clients with a non-chalance of old friends. This kind of place.

We were given a table in the middle of the room and soon enough a couple was sat next to us.

She was beaming with elegance, her hair just out of a hairdresser. White blouse, dark skirt. Let’s call her Mathilde. He was dressed as if in a hurry. A hurry to see her, I thought. Let’s call him Henry. They both seemed to have been born in the middle of last century.

They ordered the plat du jour and wine. Henry immediately became chatty with the lady at the table next to him and told her the story of his life in 5 minutes: he is retired, daughter lives in another country, he and the lady having lunch with him is not his wife and they just “see each other”. He would be good on Twitter, I thought, with such a talent for conciseness.

The lady at the next table offered them her unfinished bottle of wine. I also wanted to offer something, in exchange for more stories. I offered them our untouched basket of bread. They accepted it with the joy of 5 year olds on Christmas eve.

As we switched our attention to our plates, their dialogue unfolded:

– Oh, darling, your back hurts you again?, Henry asked with a compassion level 100, as she tried to find a comfortable posture in her chair.

– Oh, it’s fine, Mathilde tried to reassure him.

– Well, you know the remedy. You come to my place. You undress. I give you a massage on your back, his hands demonstrating circular movements, as if around her delicate shoulders.

Mathilde blushed and directed his eyes with her green eyes to my daughter, as if saying: « Shsh, there are kids around ». Henry’s blue eyes responded: “Well, sooner or later, she will find out. What’s there to hide?!”

– Well, you felt good after our last time…, his sweet smile enveloping her.

We left the place with the feeling of having watched a good movie from the 50s. Their illuminated faces – a lovely memory of an autumn love story. Ageless. Priceless.

P.S. I remembered this story in the times of this pandemic… I truly hope they are well and their love continues to brighten their days.

Tips for city-breaks with kids

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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.

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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

Thank you Munich

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Thank you Munich

for your rainy-sunny late August days,

a pleasant walk in your zoo

the wonders of the Deutsches Museum, where we learned by playing about science and progress, from mining to astronomy:

your biggest public park in Europe: the English Gartden of Munchen where you can watch surfers, have a beer next to a Chinese Tour, enjoy a ride in a 100 year old carousel or just enjoy a walk

Thank you Salzburg

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for your warm and sunny August days, a perfect picture frame for my birthday,

for the feeling of humbleness in front of your magnificent views from the 1000 year old Hohensalzburg Fortress,

a renewed feeling of romance in the splendid Mirabell Gardens


your special Makartsteg reserved exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists, flanked by talented musicians, who offered me a splendid piece of music on my birthday! Thank you!

a gorgeous hand embroidered pillow case and table-cloth from Salzburg Heimatwerk, where you can purchase both finished pieces as well as folkwear fabrics,

the taste of Italy in cafes and ice cream stands,

the unique and absolutely gorgeous Hellbrunn Palace and its Trick Fountains, built by ingenious minds. And the fun we had with surprise water jets!

the fun and educational Haus der Natur, where small and big get to become scientists 


1525 kg – that’s my weight on Sun, if you are wondering. Big time lady! 🙂

and, last but by far not least your wonderful Hellbrunn zoo, where we reconneced with our animal world friends:

Thank you Wien

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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: