A Weekend in Vienna (with kids)

A wave of horror washed over me as I glanced across the aisle of the airplane I had just sat down in and noticed my aisle mate had crazy eyes.  OK, the person was a four year-old girl sitting, unattended, with her shady older sister, but she had crazy eyes, nonetheless.  The crazy eyes were accompanied by a howl and kicking legs as she and her sister rejoiced over their bags of airplane-shaped gummies the flight attendant had just handed them.  With this level of crazy before the cabin door was shut, I was sure she would either barf all those colorful gummies up mid-flight or charge the cockpit in a sugar-fueled hysteria.  A second wave of horror hit me as I remembered I was responsible for both of them, was outnumbered, and this was probably going to be a LONG flight.

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“No ma’am, I have no idea whose kids these are”

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A Day in Neuchatel, Switzerland (with kids)

Lake Neuchatel is the Jan Brady of Swiss lakes.  Despite being the largest lake that sits entirely in Switzerland and sporting medieval towns and Swiss-French vineyards on its shores, tourists clamor for her more popular sister Marcia Lucerne. Sure, Lake Lucerne is attractive with her covered bridge and tall, gondola-accessible peaks and is one of maybe two Swiss lakes most non-Europeans/Americans can name (Lucerne! Lucerne! Lucerne!). But, with a bit of attention and effort, Lake Neuchatel and her namesake village will show you sparkling personality and charm, without Lucerne’s crowd-drama. Taking advantage of unseasonably warm and sunny October weather, we corralled the kids onto the train for the 90-minute ride to Neuchatel from Basel. Continue reading

Hassle At The Castle (Neuschwanstein)

“Ma’am.”

“Do you think it’s warmer inside? It’s a bit cool out here.”

“Er, Ma’am” the tour guide tried again.

“Maybe a hat for C since she’s been sick?” my mom continued unaware she was holding up the line until she removed her backpack from her back and placed it instead on her front.

“Mom, you need to do what he’s doing.” I pointed to another person with a backpack.

“Why on Earth would it make any difference?” she wondered aloud. Continue reading