Road Trip In Colorado With Kids

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way! “ – Dr. Seuss 



Ohhh my! Time flies when we our family is on our goal realization/ exploring mode. It seems ages ago when we left Omaha, Nebraska on an overnight train to Denver, Colorado. 

In Denver, we have walked the nostalgia lane with the Turknoy Dad as he reminisced his good old days as a working bachelor in the city. Has it been eleven years already since he left US just to meet the Turknoy Mom? Gosh, are we on some time warp speed loop?! ❤️

After two days in Denver, meeting old friends and enjoying Denver Children Museum, off we went for a road trip around Colorful Colorado! And indeed, it was a colorful road trippin’. 
First road trip in the USA and off we passed by State Highway 5, the highest paved road in Road America. What a scenic route it is towards Mr. Evans with an  altitude 14,264 feet (4,347 m)! 

This traveling couple has their kids as photographer! At Independence Pass. Freeeeeeeee!!!

Aspen, Colorado

We head on to Aspen, Colorado hoping for fall foliage. We got that and way more, four seasons! We arrived in Aspen in a very gorgeous fall weather, and woke up to several inches of snow in the morning, summer-y mid-morning, spring in the afternoon and fall again in the afternoon. 
The snow didn’t stop us from hiking the Maroon Bells. The most photographed peaks in North America, so we’ve read. 

We also experienced our first family snowy hike, up to the Maroon Crater Lake. It took us more than two hours to hike up the Crater Lake, barely few minutes before the sunset. We were the last one on the Crater Lake, it feels extravagantly majestic and terrifying at the same time. The kids needed to answer nature’s call, figuratively and literally. After the pee-pp and the family selfie almost every corner of the lake, we had to rush to go back down. We made it in the dark, using our mobile phone as flashlights, of course, not without scary stories and grateful fun ramblings from all of us. 
We have blisters in our feet, and the fantastic traveling dad carried our youngest traveller/ hiker up his shoulder almost all the way! Such strength. We didn’t tell anyone that adventure with young kids is easy, right? It’s worth it, but nothing worth it comes easy,  right? 

 

Four seasons within 24-hour in Aspen, Colorado! This day is definitely going to one our favorite family memory.
“The highest place on Earth is a father’s shoulder!” We just got back home-based. Time to show Daddy’s shoulder some loving and rest. When we were in #Colorado for an extreme #fourseasonsinoneday #familytravel experience, we trekked the Maroon Lake Crater, up the #MaroonBells for more than 4-mile hike in snow day, with the youngest one up in Daddy’s shoulder!
The Turknoys and the Crater Lake And Maroon Bells! A perfect place and time to say Thank You God For All The Blessings with all our hearts together. Solemn, fun, sincere, full of love. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
 

The hiking we’ve done, the weather conditions, the challenges we’ve overcome will always be fondly and profoundly remebered. After all, this is what Turknoy Travels 100 is all about. It’s about realizing milestones we never even considered yet together because we are still part of the matrix of society’s rules. 

This father and some bonding moment is way too priceless, it could melt hearts. ❤️
Of course, after the adventure, we explored the very fancy city of Aspen, Colorado and off we went to two places we almost always go in any city we explore – bookstore and playground. If any city or town doesn’t have any of these, it’s really an indication of the village, isn’t it?   

The Explorers’ Bookstore in Aspen, Colorado
A Playground in Aspen, Colorado
Basalt , Colorado

Although we explored Aspen and Snowmass Billage quite extensively, we stayed the nights in a nearby city, almost one hour drive away from Aspen, Basalt. Basalt turned out to be a like Aspen, and better. Roaring Fork Valley is a river paradise for us. Basalt  sits at the confluence of two Gold Medal rivers, the Frying Pan River and the Roaring Fork River, which is Paradise!!!

Serenity, Peace, Calm … Basalt with Kids 😌
What do you know, our family adores rivers!



Vail, Colorado 

Known as “Little Aspen,” Vail, Colorado is another fancy, skiing and snowboarding, gorgeous, beautiful little town tucked away at the base of Vail Mountain within the White River National Forest. 

Vail, Colorado



Colorado Springs, Colorado

From West to South, we drove almost three hours to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to visit the Garden of Gods in Colorado Springs. A drive worth every minute. 

Road Trip In Colorado With Kids
Garden of The Gods
“My profession is to always find God in nature. ” #HenryDavidThoreau #Colorado #GardenoftheGods
Road trip with kids in Colorado? We’ll do it again in a heartbeat! 

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 22: Ethiopia, Land of Origins

Do not hesitate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing. – Ethiopian Proverb

Woohoo! Our 3rd continent and our first  African country  to explore with kids. 

It maybe our love for discovering human history when our family travels that had drawn us in visiting Ethiopia. Our primary goal was to see Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil, probably the first evidence of humanity. The continent Africa is known as The Cradle of Humanity, then Ethiopia is its evidence repository.

Our Exploring Family with Lucy (model)
These traveling kids with Lucy!
As a worldschooling family who sets SMART goals to travel to 100 countries in all continents by 2022. This is our attempt to live life to the fullest with kids. Ethiopia is our first country in Africa (our third continent, 30th country visited, to date.
Ethiopia Tastes Awesomeeee!
When it comes to food and accommodation, we had the most unique experience in the country. Barely 4 hours away from Qatar, we were amazed with a totally different world. We definitely had a crash course in archeology and paleontology and how it works in the real world. Our three traveler kids had been to countless of Natural Museums in Europe and Asia yet we were impressed with somewhat “shabby” museum in Addis Ababa containing real human history treasures.

Look at our 5-year old, at home in a new continent ready to explore!
Lucy aside, here are 5 interesting facts about Ethiopia that everybody, yes, including kids, can appreciate:

1. Country History: Ethiopia is the only African country, which successfully fought against the scramble for Africa. It was never colonized, though Italians attempted to occupy it twice.

Ethiopia is a beautiful country worthy of independence.

2. UNESCO Heritage Sites: There are nine, day trips from Addis Ababa possible! Most famous sites are Lalibela twelve-rock-hewn churches. We visited Christian Orthodox churches which gave an interesting perspective for a family with both Islam and Catholic members.

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

3. Religion: Ethiopia appears in the Bible 45 times both in Old and New Testament.

Inside An Orthodox Christian Church

4. Origin of Coffee. Coffee is Ethiopian’s gift to the world. It was found in the Kaffa Region (South-Western Ethiopia.) Even before the visit, we are non-Starbucks coffee drinkers. Enjoying the real “coffee culture” experience in Addis Ababa with really strong and delicious coffee with local ceremonies

5. Abebe Bikila, a star Ethiopian marathon runner, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in 1960. Add in the country’s high elevation Addis Ababa is athletes’ heart’s working out paradise. Made us want to become runners and marathoners.

Street Soccer in Adus Ababa
Vast fresh air, massive wild… Ahhh life is perfect with a horse
And oh, more pluses — the Ethiopian women are really gorgeous and almost everybody is kind to tourists. Ethiopia is one of the safest country in Africa to visit. With low costs airlines flying to Addis Ababa almost every day from Doha, Qatar where our family’s currently based, for sure, we would be back for some backpacking with kids.

Take us back to Addis Ababa where kids run wild with the horse and dogs

Kids Travel in Europe  With Beauty and the Beast 



” Más kárán tanul az okos.” – Hungarian Proverb 

Translation- The smart one will learn from the mistakes of others.

Take as old as time. True as it can be…. 
We’ve said this before in our blog. Let’s Be Busy Being Alive. 

“Every time we visit a new country or a new place or do new activity together as family, we always have that feeling of vigor, of expanding our horizon, of being reborn (in a non-radical-religious-kinda-way!)”

That’s every single time. Insert music, tale as old as time… 

Family travel offers a tremendous potential to learn – learn from local people and fellow travellers, learn from history.

For us, learning from history is one of the best way to learn. History is never boring when we visit actual places where certain events actually happened. We get to see or even touch artifacts and memorabilia. We get to breathe the same air (almost!) of people involved in the events of the past. We get to feel the eeriness , of solemness , of the haunted or happy past.  

Ain’t that the truth, even on personal level, learning from people’s history gives us enormous potential to self check if we are walking on the same path, doing the same mistakes and gives us the chance to correct our wrongdoing. That is a mark of a matured individual, however. And yeah, there are lots of mature people out there. 

In a way, we get to see the full picture of the past and how it’s domino effect is reflecting in the present. 

Exploring Europe with kids gives opportunities to see the beauty of the industrialized circulations, almost ancient countries enjoying the technologies and way of life for hundreds of years, magnificent buildings, spectacular way of living (even third world countries in Asia and Africa are yet catch up.) 

On the other side, exploring Europe with kids? for us, also pave the way of magnified “narcissism” or worse “psychopath” tendencies of world leaders.  

It’s not easy to explain to kids how the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle is where the “unfit to rule” King Ludwig II was arrested and how the history has declared him “certified insane” despite of all his inclination to beauty, good architecture and love for landscapes.

Walking in his castles, it’s difficult to imagine, how can someone be lonely with all the extravagance and beauty of God’s creations. 

Exploring the Danube River on the Pest side of the beautiful city Budapest, the kids learned about horrific Shoes on the Danube Bank. We stand on the very side where at least 500 people where asked to take off their shoes and got shot at the edge of the river. 

Somehow, Beauty is always accompanied by The Beast
It’s a serious topic for a serious walk
The beauty of Europe is, yes, beyond stunning. On the other side, the humanity which created the civilization is almost always beyond words. 

Not just millions of names engraved on leaves, so much horror.. in Memoriam

How do we explain to kids the horror of wars and wrongdoings of world leaders of the past? 

For now, we focus on lessons. On people and government (kinds, queens, world leaders)  to not repeating the same horrors of history. 

Now on to current events. 

Qatar 5: Al Fuwairit Beach and Turtle Hatching

“And the turtles, of course… All the turtles are free, as turtles,  and maybe  all creatures should be.” -Dr.Seuss 

 

The turtle nesting season in Qatar starts April and since 2015, the Al Fuwairit Beach is closed during the season until the cute teeny tiny little turtles are off to their place in  the ocean.

Helping tiny turtle hatchlings go to their home in the Arabian Gulf is a very spectacular experience for all of us

The beach normally  opens again first two weeks of August. That would  be a tad hot to swim, not too hot to appreciate the sunset, the fine beach and the calm sea water.

 

Our family photo in Fuwairit Beach! We have the beach to ourselves ❤️
Life is always good at the beach

Maybe it’s our perfect timing to visit the beach, maybe it’s our  instinct way from crowd, but we never really see Al Fuwairit Beach crowded. If we are to describe the beach based on our  experience, it  would be the adjectives “desolate” and “serene.” We usually go  right after work hours of the week day to watch the sunset or Saturday afternoon when  everybody might be heading back to the  city for the work week.

 

The Al Fuwairit Beach is  almost 50-km away from center of the  city through Al Shamal Road. There are no  facilities such as shower, toilets or supermarket   but there will be at least two fuel stations with convenience stores for stop  over along the way .

 

The  kids always have a blast swimming or  just running around the long stretch of white beach.

Dad says Jump… Son says “How high?!”

We sincerely hope that the visitors will  not leave their trash behind to preserve the beauty  of the  Al Fuwairit Beach.  Just like anywhere in the world, nature preservation is the responsibility of every  one of us. If we can’t contribute,  the least we can do is not cause any damage.

It’s a blessing to live in a Peninsula Country. Beach around us! Add in sunset watching and life is always blessed and awesome!

Enjoy Al Fuwairit  Beach, but please..  please.. leave  only footprints and adventure memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTRY 7: Liechtenstein: The Prince and Us!

“I think it can be taught, but of course, to be successful, you have to be at least gifted to a certain extent. When I was a boy I was taught to play the piano. The teacher gave up soon because I was totally ungifted,” he says. “I think it’s the same with leadership. It’s still a little bit of a black art.”
– Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein on Leadership
 
After our family’s visit to Monaco, a very small country, our family started to become fascinated with small monarch countries. It’s amazing how a small group of (very rich and powerful) people look up to their monarch leader and enjoy all the citizen’s benefits of a what-it-seems to be a powerful state.
 
Liechtenstein is a tiny alpine state nestled on a narrow strip of land between Switzerland and Austria. The landscape of this narrow strip of land is indeed magnificent and resembles mountain paradise.

Turknoys Exploring Liechtenstein

We spent a full day of awe in Liechtenstein. We watched a marathon of healthy people, young and old, we ate at the healthy restaurant, we trekked the path leading to the Castle of Vaduz, where apparently, the Prince of Liechtenstein live. 

A majestic landscape of a small monarch country!
kids watching the marathon!

Having that bold tourist attitude, after the long beautiful trek up the Castle, we knocked at the gate of the Castle of Vaduz and asked with lots of enthusiasm the heavily armed guards where the entrance to the Castle is. To which they replied with a polite laugh, that the Castle of Vaduz is not open for public as the Castle is where the Prince of Liechtenstein lives.

Castle of Vaduz , not a museum but a monarch residence!

 

Ooopps!

We retreated to our family photo taking when the citizen running pass by and we asked him, again boldy, to take our family picture with the castle. Poor guy didn’t have any choice; we won’t let the moment pass by without that family photo.

One of our most loved family travel photo!
Turknoys Exploring Liechtenstein

 

And then the gate of the Castle of Vaduz opened! The BMW car drove out of the Castle, the Prince on the driver seat looking so ..”normal.”

We were not sure it was the Prince himself until another citizen, this time a beautiful woman passed by us and we asked her again to take a family photo of us (yeah, we know, tripod, right?!) and she asked: Did you see the Prince?

And husband replied, quite merrily: Yes!

Kids were curious and happy. The prince driving his own car, without a desperate princess running after him asking him to save her! A prince who is actually a real person living in a real life castle.

Just like that, our kids’ eyes were open to the “real world.” Which turned out to be more wonderful than what Disney fairy tales want us to believe!

It turns out the Prince Hans-Adam II really lived quite a great monarch example. One of the wealthiest monarch who saved his family’s business right after business studies like any other normal student. He then saved the country and built a name for it, hence, he is quite well-loved among all the citizens.

 Prince Hans- Adam II will always be a great example of a leader for our family. 

We feel very lucky spending one day in Liechtenstein. The Prince will never know how much his life gave so much impact to a traveling family like us. Yet, we will remember this as one of our fondest traveling moment.

We want to be part of this world!!

What a beautiful place to be!!!