“A teddy bear will give you love. A grizzly bear will give you a mauling. Some bears aren’t just the same.” – Anthony T.Hincks
Do you know how a teddy bear is made and born? Well, these three traveling Turknoys definitely does now.
Once kids made the big leap of choosing to own a best friend teddy, like life, they’ll be face with more decisions to make, not just for themselves, be for their Teddy Bears.
After making their own personal Teddy Bear BFFs, the Turknoys made a Factory Tour at the Vermont Teddy Bear to check if all the teddies are made in accordance to the quality assurance of all BFFs. Spoiler alert – it does!
We are definitely going home with more luggages than we want. Better yet, from family of five to traveling family of eight, 2 adults, 3 kids and 3 Vermont teddies. Luckily, the kids didn’t choose that big, gigantic bear.
“I love it. You know, I was born almost a mile away from here, and I’ve never have a bad experience in Omaha. Omaha and Nebraska are home to me. It’s a pace. It’s relationships. There’s a lot of continuity. There’s a lot of community. There’s a lot of friendship. It’s a very solid place, a friendly place in which to grow up and in which to conduct a business. ” – Warren Buffet, Becoming Warren Buffet, on why he chooses to live in Omaha.
We tried to find where Warren Buffet, the world’s richest multibillionaire, lives. We managed to get to his mailing address and we tried to get all the billionaire vibes in the area. Omaha has lots of gorgeous houses, it’s easy to imagine Warren Buffet’s home in the city.
To be able to get around Omaha, Nebraska, we needed to rent a car and realized that fact later on after walking from the train station wee hours in the morning, coming straight from our Chicago, Illinois family travel and waking up way too early walking around the very quiet, almost deserted city, with not even a single cab is available.
Off we went to the city’s airport and rented a car to roam the city. At the airport, we realized the the city has lady Mayor! Yay, raising global girls needed a discussion of a little bit of governance of the world and what part do ladies of power play.
We then hang out at the Old Market after realizing that we won’t be able to find Warren Buffet’s house.
After driving around the city and the nearby cities in Nebraska, we went to do exactly an “American” fall/ autumn tradition… Visit a farm, explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch. We picked our pumpkin but of course, didn’t buy any.
Going back to Omaha, we got tempted yet again to visit local bookstore and had another share of our family book haul.
We didn’t want to leave the Bookstore, but dinner called and we enjoyed a very scrumptious local dinner at Upstream Brewing Company.
If Omaha is a glimpse of Mid West USA, then we definitely need to be back soon to explore the region.
What cities in the Midwest USA would you recommend?
We arrived in Chicago when it was rainy! We underestimated the windy and chilly weather about the city so we decided to enjoy the city from the indoors. We planned for a quick stopover at the Chicago Children’s Museum for about 1-2 hours only yet we ended up staying until closing time!
Kids rule in play and learning in Chicago Children’s Museum. We have all raves and praises about this awesome kids place.
The staff were friendly, the place is ergonomically designed for kids to play and for parents to enjoy their kids play; or better yet, to enjoy playing with their kids.
Now, let’s talk about Mission. Obviously, our family is advocate of setting family goals linked to one own’s Mission Statement. With the mission statement, “to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect”
“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!
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.
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.
Then comes the bronze cow in The Windy 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!
There are also lots of things to see and enjoy at 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!
If you think that’s loaded, try the glazed and infused donuts, another Chicago born and raised idea of culinary speciality!
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.
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.
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.
“Pittsburgh. I’d been there. One of the most underrated cities in North America. People who’d never been there thought of it as a graveyard of abandoned steel mills, but it was a beautiful city, and it would be good to have it back.” – Steven Brust, Lord of The Fantastic, Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny
Steel bridges – checked. Pittsburgh Pirates – checked. Square Market – checked. Beautiful skyline – checked. Friendly locals – checked. We all had fabulous time in Pittsburgh.
In addition, as part of our worldschooling, we had a blast at the Carnegie Mellon University and the two Carnegie Museums close by the university. Seeing all the university students and professors runabout their busy schedules probably amazed the kids and had them dreaming of their university days. Probably.
The worldschooling highlights of our trip to Pittsburgh are the two (out of four) Carnegie Museums. We went to Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Carnegie Museum of Art offers a lot of paintings and sculpture by Picasso, Monet, Normandie, Van Gogh not to mention all the American contemporary art and architecture.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History has its varied collection of dinosaur bones and fossils including rare gems. Great interactive activities for kids of all ages!
We know there’s more to see in this city! More than Steel City and mainly for us, it’s Learning City. What is Pittsburgh for you?
“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.
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.
We continued our walk down the other memorial and talked a lot about the Korean War Memorial and why freedom is never free.
Add in the weather and it was a fantastic walk to Martin Luther King Memorial.
It’s amazing to see a lot of familiar quotes in Franklin Roosevelt Memorial and of course Eleanor Roosevelt and his dog are there.
And, opposite Lincoln Memorial is the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🤗
“To get such beauty from something that has been produced from the artists’ own imagination appealed to me enormously. ” – Solomon R. Guggenheim
Guggenheim Museum is modern art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It’s a stone throw away from Metrolpolitan Museum of Art on the other side of the street. We were very impressed with the paintings we found in the museum. The museum was established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim, hence the name. He is a philanthropist and quite obviously, art lover.
The kids enjoyed the paintings we saw inside the museum and these are their favorite.
Woman With A Yellow Hair, Pablo Picasso, 1931. We read a lot about Pablo Picasso and one of our favorite is “The Girl With A Pony Tale.” Okay, the note about the painting is a little trolling because the little girl was only seventeen when she met Picasso and became the object of a lot of Picasso’s art works. Despite that fact, this painting our little fierce traveller’s favorite in the Guggenheim Museum.
The Palazzo Ducale, Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore. Claude Monet. Who loves Venice and Impressionism Paintings? Well, obviously our future scientist in the family. The one who loves Venice since he visited when he was three ( and of course, he remembers.)
Woman Ironing. Pablo Picasso.1904. Since our eldest traveler is the master of shades, she knows good art when she it. She’s happy being in the Guggenheim Museum.
Top of the cherry in this Museum is its architecture and design which the kids never got tired of looking… and climbing up and down.
We’re easy to please as long as we are in New York.
Hey-O! Our family is on to our 32nd country of our family travel goals and we are going all out – Hello New York! Hello, United States of America!
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, our first stop, New York staying in the heart of he city, The New Yorker Hotel managed by Wyndham Hotels since March 2014.
The New Yorker Hotel is family friendly for a reasons.
Location. Location. Location. The hotel’s addresss in 481 Eigth Avenue, literally a stone’s away from Penn Station, six blocks away from Empire State Building and eight blocks away (or less) from Times Square!
From the airport, we took Air Train and Subway to Penn Station and we’re all tuck in New York. Definitely a big A+ for family with kids.
The View From The Room. We booked a Standard Double Bed Room With A View.
Famous People in History. One of the most effective way to teach kids about awesome, extraordinary “already dead or old” people in history and not get snores, name drop that they stayed in the same hotel. List goes on for The New Yorker Hotel.
Top of the list, Nikola Tesla. Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327 at The New Yorker Hotel.
Muhammad Ali would recuperate there after his March 1971 fight against Joe Frazier at the Garden.
Rosa Parks in one of the hotel’s conference events
See the happy traveling dad in the photo below:
High Value for Money For A Family Luxury Travel. To be bluntly honest, the hotel is 3-stars at best when it comes to facilities (our room doesn’t even have fridge) and typical of city rooms, even the double bed rooms are way too small for family. But hey, for our family, this is pretty much luxury. We won’t hesitate to book again when in New York.
New York! New York! Now off to explore! More travel adventures from us soon!
“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!
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.
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.”
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Austrian Proverb
The easiest thing to do in Austria, based on our family opinion, is to appreciate beauty. The landscape all throughout the country is phenomenal. We meant it when we say, “jaw-dropping, inhale exhale majestic.”
During our first visit in the country back in 2013, we visited Vienna and Innsbruck and we were floored with amazement in every country landscape we saw during our train rides passing through towns from Vienna to Innsbruck. We can ride the train back and forth and we’ll never get tired of the nature, view and even houses with their happy cows grazing in the majestic field.
Never did a month pass that we didn’t talk about visiting again Austria. We wanted to go back to Innsbruck and leisurely enjoy the mountain peaks. However, this second time around, we enjoyed worldschooling our little travelers in Salzburg and discovered the UNESCO World Heritage Town, Hallstatt.
Salzburg is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace, the city where legends are born. Kids noted that their mom was being “weird’ in the room where legend was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. Like any “typical” traveler, Mozart didn’t quite like Salzburg as much as he loved Vienna. That fact alone comforts our traveller’s hearts. The understanding of Mozart’s childhood, dreams and environment he grew up basically validates our family trails we seek for our three Mozarts.
We gave Salzburg landscape a chance to impress us like Innsbruck, but this traveling family somehow chases the fog, instead of the sun.
Oh Hallstatt! A small village by Lake Hallstatt in the moutainous region of Salzkammergut. We went to explore Hallstatt from Salzburg on a day trip taking two trains one way. It was well worth a day visit and probably more! We really didn’t want to leave. Would you leave a view like this?
We also enjoyed the Salt Mine which took more than 3-4 hours and we didn’t even notice! Definitely a recommended activity for kids in Europe – tourist mode or definitely event long term travel. How fantastic it would be to stay more than a month in this place, we can only imagine.
One of our favorite country to explore is definitely Austria. We have explored 30 countries to date across three continents. That makes us well travelled family, right? We say, yes! We set goals to live the life we imagined.