The New Yorker Hotel For Family Travel

We’re easy to please as long as we are in New York. 


Well, true. 

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. 
This View. 

Look at our faces just after arriving from half across the world. Hello Empire State Building view! ❤️
Her view of New York.. and then she sleeps soundly.



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. 

Nikolas Tesla and our Lady Traveller

Muhammad Ali would recuperate there after his March 1971 fight against Joe Frazier at the Garden. 

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee… heal The New Yorker style

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! 

For the mean time, we say… Set goals. Live the life you imagined. 

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.” 



TAKE TWO COUNTRY 6: Austria’s Really Perfect Landscape and Those Innovative, Healthy, Creative, Fine-Looking People!

“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.

 

Here goes our first THEN (2013) and NOW (2017) travel family photo in #Vienna Stephanplatz! . . Beautiful Vienna! Beautiful Austria, we are so captivated by your beauty and culture! ❤️ We’ll explore this country any opportunity we’ve got. .

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
                                           

                                                                             
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.

All about Mozart
Enjoyed the awesome creative vibes in this house! Mozart power! ❤️💚💞

 
We gave Salzburg landscape a chance to impress us like Innsbruck, but this traveling family somehow chases the fog, instead of the sun.
 
 
 

You know climbing the peak in that perfect moment of huge, gigantic enormous cloud covering over the peak followed by one cold long rain showers. Yeah, we like our peak views.. just like this. 😀 . .

 
Hallstatt 
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?
 

Another #nofilterneeded #familyphoto ! When we’re together enjoying majestic landscapes, that’s family bliss to treasure forever! .

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.
 

The oldest salt mine in the world. Read that China duplicated the salt mine minus that awesome ancient history and archeology behind the salt mine ❤️

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.
 
 

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 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 27: Incredible India 

“The world is a bridge. Cross it, but build no house upon it. ” – Akbar 


Finally made it to India as family! We’ve been to parts of India for last two years back, but we were not together and based on our own goal setting criteria which we have articulated  our own family’s travel goal   in Turknoy Travels 100 is a Lifestyle encouraging families to do the same.

 

Visiting countries separately doesn’t  count. India is our Country 27 when  we visited Goa, India , all five of us last July 2017. We definitely had the best  time  relaxing by the beaches of Arabian Gulf.

 

 

Of course, the seventh biggest country in the world deserves way more than one time visit, especially for India where the one city is a world different from the other when it comes to religion, traditions  and even geography. Visiting one city barely scratch the surface to understand India’s culture, religion, people and economy.

 

New Delhi, India

Them,  our  family traveling mom (ehhem, me! So far, the main author  of this blog) visited New Delhi twice. One time way back 2015 with kids and  their grandma and favourite  Aunt. The  second time was last year (2016) for mom-dad travel date. Fingers crossed,  we get to explore India every year,  one city at a time while we are based in the Middle East as expat family.
New Delhi  is a very progressive city with its train and metro  system ready to cater to more than20 million people living in the city. The city is crowded and buzzing with adventure ready to be discovered by local  and tourists alike.
Exploring New  Delhi is like a crash course or gateway for India’s diversity.  A very interesting city indeed.

Visited Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple with Kids in New Delhi (2015)


Couples Getaway in New Delhi (2016) visited Gandhi’s Memorial, Lotus Temple, India Gate, Red Fort and a lot of temples



Agra, India

From New Delhi, we took a  very  comfortable train transport to Agra to see a Wonder  of the World , Taj Mahal. What amazing structure it really is. Spending the day in Taj Mahal as a  couple   was very peaceful and yes,  cheesy and  romantic.

 

Taj Mahal and lots of cheesy couple talk 💞

Our conversation during our day out in Taj Mahal: 

Turknoys Mum: Would you build me a Taj Mahal when I die?

Turknoys Dad: No. I would love you more than Emperor loved her wife when she died while you are alive. 

Ha! 

Goa, India


With all honesty,  Goa reminds us of Turknoy’s Mom’s hometown Indang, Cavite. The tropical culture and the Catholic-village  practice has resemblances. Understandably, since that’s  how geography  and religion works.  The food,  however, couldn’t be more different.  Of course, we  love both.
 

A Worldschooling travel date with Unico Hijo in Goa, India (2015)


Finally explored Goa, India with all members of family (July,2017) – Country 27/100 ✈️


Needless to say, India is incredible! It’s obvious as we keep on coming back! 


With God’s will, we’ll  update this  blog with places we  will visit  in India. What is  your favourite city in India?  Please give suggestions.

 

 

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? 




COUNTRY 25: Latvia, Best Enjoyed Slowly…(Or Quick and Dreamy!) 

Promised berries will not fill the basket.- Latvian Proverb

 

There are no promises for  family satisfaction. Only commitment and lots of goal setting. In this case, plans how to get berries to fill our basket! It’s either we want baskets full of berries or not. No half hearted berry lover, right! 

There is however, best way to enjoy life… Slowly or quick and dirty… hoops, family blog… uhhmm quick and dreamy! 

With this in mind, Latvia! A very musical, creative, artistic, spectacularly cold country. 
First.. enjoy slowly. Get to know the country. 

Latvia is a not-so-big  country by the  the Baltic Sea . Come on, check it out. It’s really a country! Oh the occupation regimes seems endless… In early times, it was occupied by Balts, and was later ruled by Vikings, Germans, Poland, Sweden, and Russia. It only became an independent country in 1918.  (Corrected by our favorite Rebel Travel Family from Latvia, so this should be accurate. – Advanced Happy 100 Years of Independence, Latvia! Exciting year ahead.)  That’s barely like a person who discovered traveling to new places  and enjoying new found freedom after series of boarding schools after schools after school after 8-to-5 corporate slavery. 

A slow taste of Latvia and you’ll definitely crave for more (oh please stop me with the innuendos!)

We stayed in Riga, the capital city, for ten days. Our eldest traveller stayed with a host family for a Youth Choir trip while we stayed in the heart of the Old Town of Riga. She had a lot of fun with her host family she didn’t want to leave. They are all so musically inclined, something missing from her real family. We were sure that if they offered her to stay for a longer time even after the scheduled choir concerts, she would have said stayed. Sending all gratitude and love to  this fantastic Latvian family 

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We didn’t see nor appreciate how green the city was. We visited March, beginning of spring. Hence, our desire to go back during summer season. Another wish list in our growing travel to do list with family. 
We did however stayed indoors a lot a experienced a taste of Riga, literally and figuratively. 
 

The Riga Music School…where we left our eldest musically inclined traveler with fellow musicians and off she goes on her own for a week or so…
These kids are just happy being in churches. This one though, St. Peter’s Cathedral, we attended the service :: her choir sang during the service!
Overlooking the magnificent view of Riga Old Town are 4.1 million books in 50 languages, that’s the National Library of Latvia! Hey, a culture nurturing books and reading books, we’re hooked!
We always make it a point to visit the local market when we visit a new country or a new places. Like tourist attractions, there are lots to learn about markets and local products. Plus, cheaper and fresher home cooked meals! #RigaCentralMarket is located at the center of Riga and is the largest and, duh, #centralmarket 😀which is also one of the largest in Europe and probably the most advanced market in the world. Imagine, it’s built with the German army aircraft hangars. This food specialist dad and the quality assurance mom agrees! The experience is really one of the kind, the wet market is not very dry… in a great way! ❤️
The Railway Bridge, the bridge across #riverdaugava, inaugurated 1914 and illuminated since 2007 with two modes, normal and holidays. Daily illumination at night time is blue lights, during holiday is blue and white lights! But hey, we wouldn’t know! We only see bridges daytime, before kids bedtime. 🤣 . .
We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both. – Karl Lagerfeld Art and architecture immersion in Art Nouveau District, #riga the second time around is more love! ❤️

The more we stay in Latvia, the more we were hooked. Off we got on the trains and enjoyed this super affordable public transportation. 

Oh the places we’ve been around Latvia

Out of Riga, maybe our quick and dreamy version of Latvia. We head on to Jumarla for three days to freeze our beautiful .. faces.. by the Baltic Sea. Such a shame we didn’t get to swim and see the beach crowded with hot bodies. There still saw  lot of tourists walking by the beach.

 

It won’t be our #turknoy #familyadventure if we don’t include a visit to the beach soaked in rain in freezing temperature. 😘🤣 Hello Baltic Sea!
There was really no one in the streets of #Kemeri when we visited. And we took a picture of their attraction – The water tank! It was a fun walk with the family in the cold in a very quiet village. Priceless! ❤️
 
We took more trains and visited more quiet towns, we have enjoyed the serenity and silence of empty streets.  The kids definitely has their share of echoing screams. We felt like we were in the opening credits of a country movie, eerie silence, solitude. We’ll, it was fun, cold experience. 

Oh the food, wine, cheese and coffee! Let’s not elaborate on that in this blog or we might go booking a ticket to Latvia for a hot wine and salmon. We ate a lot of meat, too. It might be not politically correct to post photos of them, you know…. pork. 

Culinary Journey for all types of senses – burp!

No matter how you travel Latvia or any country in particular , slow or quick, night or day, fast food or fine dining, herbivore or carnivore, medium rare or well done, train or bus, music or story, travel it your own unique busy way! Just be  alive. Let’s be busy being alive



Have you been to Latvia with kids? 

COUNTRY 24: Epic Estonia? Exactly! 

 “He who does not jump into water will not learn to swim.” – Estonian Proverb 



Tallinn, Estonia

Our family stayed right in the middle of  Tallinn’s Old Town. Needless to say, we  were deeply fascinated. We can  almost hear and  feel the stories of  Tallinn’s Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and,  it seems  like  another super awesome  tick in our  UNESCO World Heritage Sites  family bucketlist.

Tallinn Old Town is captivating like our little lady traveller

 

Ghost stories, medieval history lessons, perfect view, another day well spent with kids… *swooonnnnn*

Of course,we will  not walkthrough our family travel blog readers with options on how to explore Old Town  of this  fantastic city.  When it comes to travel and  to life,  one family’s logic is another family’s crazy.

We would,  however, highlight what makes our family travel  memorable. After all, this blog, at  the very least, is a testament that we can travel to  places we’ve never imagined  if we set our goals together  as family.

When we travel, we are inclined to be biased to cities or countries who have the culture of reading. Reading is a symptom of desire to learn and innovate.  That’s really important to  develop anyone or any  place.

So, guess what we think of Tallinn, Estonia. We stayed one full  day at the Estonian Children Literature Centre, with lots of reading and creative activities for our kids, for free!  Yes, not  every kid can travel like our kids do (that’s why our kids are very grateful day in, day out… gratitude is our top family value,  right next  to faith.) But, every kid should have access to this kind of  learning environment. How we wish every city, province, state or territory would provide this to every kid, free read,  free to  play, free to imagine! The world would  be  a way  better place.

I guess,  what we are saying,  check out what this Literature Centre is about.

Estonian Children Literature Centre, Free, Fun, Fabulous
 


Tartu, Estonia

After having stimulating medieval lessons in Tallinn, we had  quite  an   impression of Estonia.  Much more when we visited  Tartu, the second largest city of the country and known as the intellectual centre of the country!

 

We breezed through walking around  Old Town, University of  Tartu, Toomemagi Park among others.   It’s not another  town in Europe for  us. We enjoyed staring at famous people’s statues  and reading the history behind them.

Again for us, our family travel adventure highlight is  the modern Science Centre AHHAA, full hands-on exhibits and the 4D cinema.


Science Centre AHHAA: This is the way to build a wall – take that D Trump.
With science, nothing is possible. Lift up a car, why don’t we?!


Epic Estonia has been viewed by the some travel blogs to be the worst tourism slogan because of how the small the country is. But hey, we’ve been to Estonia and it’s not the country’s size which decides how epic the country could be. He possibilities, the intellectual and creative opportunities, exactly epic!  

How did we bring “Epic” home with us?!! Books about Estonia!

COUNTRY 23: Finland and Dreams!

“Happiness does not come from happiness itself, but from the journey towards achieving it.” – Finnish Proverb 


Our gateway to Eastern Europe from Middle East  is Helsinki, Finland. Making Finland, our 23rd country to explore as family.  If you know our family up close and really personal (which will be the case if you read all our blogs because that’s really us! – read on! ), then you’ll know that NO. 23 is a huge life sign for us. Not in a Michael Jordan kind of way. But that huge and enormous impact. We guarantee, that Finland will play part of our family life’s future. We’ll do all efforts, of course, and God wills will pay the wave. Anyway, we are a happy bunch because we are loving our journey. 

That moment we landed in Helsinki… it’s like taking a huge breathe of fresh air! Inhale, exhale. We felt we were home in a strange land. Actially, we always feel at ease in Scandinavia countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Although some geography experts will claim that Finland is not part of Scandinavian Region. Oh well, either way, these countries are our true north. (Literally and figuratively!) 

When in Helsinki, do what the city statues do

Unique Christian churches, busy people going on their business, convenient transportation system, artistic places everywhere and of course, playground of big and small kids abound. 

WHAT WE BELIEVE : Faith is personal, religion optional. Prayer is between us and God and very private, place of worship is communal – we just love this place!

We stayed in memorable accommodations  in this capital city – cabin by the sea and an apartment owned by an awesome artist. You know those phrases we, as  traveling parents often say during our holidays, became more surreal —-“People live this way?! Day in and day out? What a spectacular way to live.” Of course, the optimistic family family members will rave and say with conviction – We can live like this, too!”  

Cabin by the sea in the forest close to the city! Hhhmmmmm blissful family bonding
Our second apartment in Helsinki where we stayed is homey and artsy! Very! 💞
 
With  this energy and vibes, we started the first day of spring with the biggest bon fire our family has ever seen! And yes, spring coincided with Easter festivities, oh what fun.  Easter bonfires in Seurasaari is a Finnish Tradition during Holy Saturdays . According to Finnish folklore, evil spirits, witches and trolls are particularly busy on that day and bonfires are believed to scare them away. 

For our family, this actually  makes sense more than Easter bunnies, don’t you think? Since Jesus Christ is yet to rise, the Black Saturday is like a fun day for evil spirits, hence, bonfires can help! That’s how our family interpret this tradition. Anyhow, it’s really cool to witness world traditions  especially one that we can relate to. 

We are the Mom and Dad on fire with the desire to live life with kids 😄👍
Experience over things. Rationale over traditions
Another highlot of our Finland adventure will be life’s celebrations! I ur eldest kid traveller celebrated her 11th birthday in Helsinki at Linnanmaki, an amusement park we enjoyed way better than Disneyland. 
Traveling with 11-year old little lady! That’s a load of leadership there!

Oh yes, she’s feisty , courageous,  determined, gorgeous, visionary  and eleven! Her talents, wits, beauty and brain will sure change the world we live in. What better way to celebrate this by pumping the adrelin with adventure and sugar in a very metropolitan city? 
We definitely made family memories in this country. True to our vision of living up to the uniqueness and individuality of our family members, up to paving our own family trails. It’s just really fantastic exploring a new place while kids grow… by age and by number of countries visited. 
The strongest survives, and the most adaptable to change, THRIVES! Let’s keep traveling ❤️