Chicago, Illinois For Family Travel With Young Kids 

“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

We were welcomed by a 100% probability of rain on our first hour in the city! Actually, strong  rain welcomed our train from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we were scared to get out the Station Union. 

Rain. Chilly and windy rain. Okay, that surprised us. A lot. Well, it’s Chicago is not called “The Windy City” for fun or pun. Windy the city really is.  

Nothing can stop our family from enjoying the beauty and architecture of Chicago. Not even 100% certainty of bad weather. 

Our first stop, to get equipped. We don’t like to shopping (window shopping specially nor shopping for fun — any kind if shopping for that matter. On the side note, this is actually obvious in all our family photos, we are always wearing the same clothes over and over and over and over….), but for necessity, we do what we need to.  Off we went to get our traveling feet warm while we explore. Although we make sure we know the weather for days and weeks of the place we will explore, we were caught off guard by the winds of Chicago! 

Bloomingdales Darlings Getting Equipped to Explore, by Galoshes, not by Tutus 🤗



Armed with a lot of umbrellas and water proof shoes, we went to visit Cloud Gate Park and checked out “The Bean.” Oh boy, was it still crowded, amidst the rain. 

The Bean at The Cloud Gate, Millennium Park

We had a blast taking photos in this architectural wonder. Oh yeah, it seems that the phrase  “architectural wonder” goes together with Chicago! The skyscrapers are extraodinaire when it comes to architecture design. Or it our visual description – fabulous and looks functional. 

In addition to the Chicago skyscrapers, we visited the Chicago Cultural Center and checked out their extraordinaire biennial exhibition on Architecture! Arxhitects, designers and students everywhere socializing with our three traveling kids talking about design, construction and mine crafts. Minecrafts mainly  from our Turknoys, of course. That counts. 

MAKE GREAT PLANS, in Skyscrapers and in Life! Designs Come True Only After BluePrints and Models – Turknoy Travels 100

Then comes the bronze cow in The Windy City.

Hear Ye Bronze Cow! A lot of statues worth talking a picture around this city!

The next day, we didn’t want to be overwhelmed with all the “must-sees” in Chicago, so we decided to visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. We didn’t realize we will be there for hours and hours of adult and kids fun! 

Chicago Children’s Museum

There are also lots of things to see and enjoy at the Navy Pier! 

Skyline from the Navy Pier

Top of our list, Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza! A pizza which takes more than an hour wait to bake. Our verdic -calorific! 
Chicago Raise Pizza is Deep Dish

If you think that’s loaded, try the glazed and infused donuts, another Chicago born and raised idea of culinary speciality! 

Chicago Donut Fun is Glazed and Infused ❤️

We went to Grant Park and enjoyed a nice sunny and cloudy (and windy!) stroll along the Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest in the world and one that resembles Versailles Fountain. That sounds familiar, yes, the one in France. 

CAN YOU SEE THE HAPPINESS ? We can almost touch it here! 😋

We spent our last day in the Water Tower Place – Dr. Seuss and Lego. Two things that these kids would want not to leave any place. 

The Art of Dr. Seuss, small gallery, great ideas!
We are counting this one as enjoying Chicago’s skyline !

We’ve seen a little of the city but the kids did a whole lot of Chicago loving their way! 
Someday, we’ll return and for sure we’ll enjoy this city more, especially the must-sees. 





Have you been to Chicago? What did you love most? Do tell. 

Washington DC for Family Travel With Young Kids

“Washington DC is a city filled with people who believe they are important.” – David Brinkley 




Our traveling family enjoyed a long stroll of memorial,  in the country’s Capital District, of very important people who are foundation of The New World’s freedom. 

The White House area (not inside!) our first stop!

We started with paying a visit to the White House. The kids had a blast playing with squirrels at the La Fayette Garden.
The next day, we started our stroll at the Lincoln Memorial.

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. ” – #AbrahamLincoln
We continued our walk down the other memorial and talked a lot about the Korean War Memorial and why freedom is never free. 

By the Korean Memorial
Add in the weather and it was a fantastic walk to Martin Luther King Memorial. 
Like Martin Luther King , she, too, has a dream!

It’s amazing to see a lot of familiar quotes in Franklin  Roosevelt Memorial and of course Eleanor Roosevelt and his dog are there. 

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial

And, opposite Lincoln Memorial is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. 

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

We ended our stroll for the day with kids playing their hearts out by the Washington Monument where we have a good view of both sides of the Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial. 

We made it to Washington Monument! Elevator to the top of the monument is still not working because of you know- Spider-Man movie. It’s under maintenance indefinite time. 😀
Now, this is some playground! 🤗

The highlight of walk would be the feee museums right after the Washington Monument.  We chose to visit the National Museum of Air and Space. The kids had a blast with a lot of jaw-dropping moments looking up st airplanes and rockets. 

A long walk has to end with airplanes!
The day after, we started from Union State to the Capitol Hill and spending the rest of the day in the American Indian National Museum.

The Capitol Hill

There are other museums to enjoy in the area. We chose to learn a little bit of Native American history and the kids enjoyed with the handson activities and videos in the museum. 

Inside the Native American National Museum
As a home educating family, living in the city would be fabulous with all the available museums. At the moment, we can only dream. 



Do you live in Washington DC? Is it as fabulous as we think it is? Talk about family satisfaction.  🤗

COUNTRY 31: Morocco, Land of Colors and Much Mor 

“He who hunts for ostrich, will find ostrich.” – Moroccan Proverb


Oh yes, our family is hunting! Hunting hard for our life’s passions fueled by our yearning to be world educated by its unparalleled beauty, diverse culture and history! 

Hunt ostrich, find ostrich. Can’t be more appropriate for our family’s ideals on setting family goals and traveling! Set goals, its necessary! 

Our Country 31/ 100 Countries Travelled Together as Family is Morocco. Also, the second African country after our adventure in Ethiopia, Land of Origins. We’ll update this blog as we go on exploring this wonderful country. 

We visited Casablanca, Morocco’s biggest and capital city,  last March 2017 with only the parents for some travel hacking attempt. That attempt is not as successful as we have imagined. However, it turned out very romantic. It’s just us, though. We can’t state that it’s because it’s “Casablanca” but partly because traveling parents neeeds to be alone every now and then. So we said to ourselves, “we may have travelled Paris with kids, but we have Casablanca. ” Awesome, memorable couple traveling days! 

Travel date mixed with travel hacking in Casablanca! Can you tell we’re stoked and overjoyed?! (March 2017)

But what do we know?! Few months after, kids enjoyed Casablanca with us. Lots of gratitude, no complains. To explore the largest mosque in the country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with our global children couldn’t be more perfect. 
  

Family selfie portrait I Hassan II Mosque (October 2017)
Kids jumping for joy (October 2017)

Worth noting a brief description of Hassan II Mosque from Wikipedia 

The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II (Arabic: مسجد الحسن الثاني‎‎; colloquially the “Casablanca Hajj”)is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca.The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.




We just can’t wait to see more of Morocco 🇲🇦 for some serious “ostrich hunting.” 



Type of Family Travelers We Know and Want to Be! 

“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

Since  our family started our family adventures based on our family travel goals, we meet a lot of family travelers online and offline. Perhaps family travel will be the leading form of travel in the near future. Maybe (big maybe) that’s how Millennial will raise their families. Honestly, we see a lot of wins when kids travel early on with their family. It is our contention that family travel will pave the way to world peace.
 

That Big Family Traveler

More than big in number but more on big in ideas and big in luxury! Family travelers can aim for that one-time BIG adventure and they go all out. Disneyworld, Disneyland, Legoland, Atlantis – yes please! Mainly where commercial travel marketing go crazy at. Yes, after all, It’s A Small World After All!

That Disneyland Dream for Princesses

That Hairy Family Traveler

Shun all the risks, these family traveler will visit exotic places in a heartbeat! But of course, exotic is a relative place, it could be Asia for North Americans or Africa for Asians, either ways it is a dangerous, out of comfort zone place for this type of family traveler.

Off to exotic places we go!

That Audacious Family Traveler

Daring, bold and brave, adjectives we don’t normally use at the end of a fairytale like “happily ever after…” That’s boring because  family fairy tale doesn’t have to have an ending. Long term family travelers life their life without borders, that audacious! It must be really    fantastic  to wake up to days and days of something new and different which turns to weeks and weeks which turns to years to years.. up to , who knows, decades even. 

Okay, technically not long term travel.. but hey, this place we called work home for more than a decade is a place away from other home countries… still home without borders.. ha!
 

That Goal (keeper/oriented) Family Traveler

Of course, that cautious family traveler who are vigilant to source out travel deals, who master the itinerary to ensure productive travel days with family because of limited time, limited resources or any other limitations. They are the family who does not make excuses, yet makes end meet in their own creative ways.

Our first trip as family “tourist” will always be one of the most memorable family adventures: the learning curve is the best for all of us when it comes to family traits, tourism, finances and scheduling – that first jump towards own family milestone is the best!
 
 

Our family is that family who is a little bit of everything, who lives by the acronym BHAG, that Big Hairy Audacious Goal of traveling 100 countries in every continent, who appreciate every family travelers we meet.

Any type, any form, any reason, any rationale of family travel. We strongly believe, all families are unique, so their travels should be. 

Create your own family trail
 
 

COUNTRY 30: Czech Republic, Land of Stories 

Kdo hledá, najde.
“He who looks, finds.”- Czech Proverb

 

First, a disclaimer – we never explored all parts of the country, like  what we attempt  for other countries we explored , at the very least, two cities of the country. Our thirtieth (30th, baby!) was mainly spent enjoying the Renaissance, baroque and gothic architecture of its capital city, Prague.  No matter,  boy, did  we  get ourselves full  of stories, facts,  science and history in, arguably, the city with  the most tourists.
We explored the city of Prague, mainly by foot. Yes, our 10 itchy, wanderlust-y feet, plus the three-wheel stroller, which turned 5 years in the family. 
New Town or Old Town, all bridges crossing the River Vlatava, ornate castles , holy churches, monasteries and our family’s favorites, library and brewery! 

Czech Republic, Land of Stories , oh boy do we have lots of stories
Library, architecture, churches and food! All in one city – Czechia

The heart of Central Europe definitely left a mark in our hearts to come back. We want to know more about the Bohemian and other parts of the country. 

 

Hey-O! Completed 30% of our goals. You can be like our family, too! Whatever your families’ priorities are, just go for it

COUNTRY 28: Hungary, More Than Expected 

“One cannot fight the wind. ” – Hungarian Proverb 
We got very inspired to write about our family travels when we were in Budapest, Hungary. We arrived at a conclusion that kids travel in Europe with Beauty and The Beast for two very obvious reasons , the continent’s natural beauty and it’s beastly barbaric history. Both great topics for worldschooling. 

For Country 28 of our 100 Countries travel goal, we explored Buda and Pest in great detail. We have walked both sides of Danube River admiring the landscapes and history of the country. We are very much aware that the country offers a lot of many diverse destinations, but this particular trip, we decided to simplify our country visit and get to know one of the most beautiful capital city in the world, Budapest. 

Budapest City Tour with Kids for several days is just what our #worldschooling family needs
Getting  to know the Danube River , the second longest river in Europe, serves a gateway for discussion of other countries the river runs through… and yes, more bucketlist and travel goals for the our worldschooling family – Black Forest, Romania, Belgrade. Oh the places we want to go when we visited places we’ve already been. Do you experience that as travellers? The more we know, the more we want!  
Danube River Cruise… uhhmm maybe someday!
 
The diversity of the metropolitan city is very evident. We were exploring St. Stephen’s Basilica one morning and the next morning, we were learning something new about Jewish faith inside the Great Synagogue, second largest synagogue in the world. 

Ice cream after exploring Basilica for the day. Very well deserved for well behaved explorers 😀

The Great Synagogue not only features learning about the Jewish faith but an introduction to the holocaust memorial for Jews. A little heavy discussion for the kids. Maybe next year , there will be more serious discussions about this topic. 

Inside The Great Synagogue

For this moment, in this country, is perfect. Not fighting the kids playful attitude in all sacred places we visited, not fighting the wind of change, trusting God’s will, going with the flow of the river.. Danube it may be. 😂 

There are lessons in every country we visit. We are not traveling with kids because of photos, but of moments we try to capture with our phone cameras. 

Just most of the time, we capture it so well, the memory of that certain place and certain time with kids melts our hearts. All the time. 

Flushed from all the running around Budapest (literally!) the view, the kids, the moment, perfect!

Budapest, Hungary is one for our books. The rest of the country… kids will decide . If Atlas is  a myth, Hungary definitely is not.

COUNTRY 26: Lithuania, Real is Beautiful 

Dogs cannot make dreams come true — people must do that. – Lithuanian Proverb

Well, we’ll, well.. Our  traveling family has a dog. We kind of know that our dog didn’t make us travel to a lot of awesome countries and made us realize our travel goals.  We are avid advocate of the necessity of goal setting. Set goals. Live the life you imagined. 

We’re glad to have made it to Lithuania. Positively surprising, this country indeed is. We visited two cities, Vilnius (the capital city) and Kaunas. We walked around these cities and for whatever reasons, the kids were very playful and carefree.  Even the traveling parents has lots of time for romance, in between churches, museums and monuments. 

Full Day City Tour in Vilnius means kids playing half the time!
We celebrated our youngest traveller’s 5th birthday in a very petite  ice cream and cake shop. 

She celebrated her 5th birthday in Lithuania 🇱🇹! She says this a lot 😕
Basketball and Trampoline, that’s a great way to celebrate 5th birthday, right?
Of course, we had fun exploring a new city for another year of our little explorer’s adventures. 
Read books and drink coffee. Those words are music to our ears when we had a long day exploring. The locals and residents are still heavy on reading in this country, cafes are so beautiful to observe and to just relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee and books. We took with us a lot of books home, too. 
Beautiful City, Books and Coffee

Exploring another city in Lithuania, Kaunas is the second-largest city, former citadel of Russian Empire, temporary capital of Lithuania during the interwar period, point of intersection of all main roads. In addition to all historic infrastructure, plazas and monuments, the  landscape is magnificent. 

Kaunas is seriously gorgeous!
Walking around Kaunas, there were a lot of stops to appreciate the landscape
Oh, the Ant and the Grasshopper story, it may look like. But did you know that Vladislavas Starevicius is the first to creat masterpieces in puppet animation?! She learned that while eating a bag of fresh strawberries we got for less than a euro.
If this country is a person, Lithuania is beautiful inside and outside. Do you agree?