Twist Travel Magazine #13

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ISSUE 013

3 DAYS IN TOKYO

FRANCE

EMPRESS OF TEA

B.C'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

EPIC TREEHOUSES

MACARONS MADNESS



editor's note Do you see it? That tiny pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel as we get through the hardest year in travel for more than a generation of travelers? We see it here in the United States as vaccines roll out, Europe opens to vaccinated adults (kids will still need a negative COVID-19 test) and families look forward to more travel in summer 2021 and beyond. As we ramp up to a life of travel again, we are looking back at some of the horrors and mishaps along the way. Travel isn't always smooth sailing even when a global pandemic doesn't sweep across the world. From tech mishaps to suitcase snafus, random strangers in your hotel room and getting on the wrong train, our contributing editor Claudia is showing that travel is never perfect, but always worth the headaches that may pop up. In anticipation of getting back to Europe, we are doing a deep dive into France, from Paris to the beaches along the French Riviera. You will want to stalk our favorite flight site - Scott's Cheap Flights - for deals that are popping up well into 2022. You'll also find the fashions to accent your adventures or to just have your own Emily in Paris moment at home. Cook up some of our favorite French dishes, read some of our favorite French books and dream about French chateaus you can actually stay in. And as always, we are showing you how to bring travel back into your home with some of our favorite hanging garden containers - perfect for that Italian herb garden you want in the kitchen this summer. Although we aren't on a plane yet, my husband and I are officially vaccinated and ready to hit the road. Whether that is literally on a road trip or flying back to Iceland to hike a few glaciers, you are sure to see a lot more of us on the road this spring than you did in 2020. Cheers to us all being safe, healthy and on the road again soon!

KERYN MEANS , EDITOR-IN-CHIEF @KERYN_MEANS


Contributors

Anne & Mike Howard

Brianna Simmons

Claudia Laroye

Ethan Gelber

honeytrek.com IG @honeytrek

casualfoodist.com IG @casualfoodist

claudiatravels.com IG @itsclaudiatravels

thetravelword.com IG @bikeabout

Erin Gierhart

Guiomar Ochoa

Jade Broadus

stateofdinner.com IG @stateofdinner

cosmomommy.com IG @guiomarochoa

vagabond3.com IG @vagabond3

Katja Gaskell

Kathryn Dickson

Lindsay Garbacik

Nancy Besharah

globetotting.com IG @globetotting

kathrynanywhere.com IG @KathrynAnywhere

IG @lindsaygarbacik

LuxeTravelFamily.com IG @LuxeTravelFamily

Priya Vin outsidesuburbia.com IG @outsidesuburbia

Karilyn Owen nobackhome.com IG @nobackhome

Shobha George

Tai Kojro-Badziak

Tawny Clark

JustGoPlacesBlog.com IG @justgoplaces

tkb.studio IG @tkb.studio

captainandclark.com IG @captainandclark


Issue No. 13

Publisher: Walking On Media LLC

Tonya Prater travelinspiredliving.com IG @travelinspiredliving

Tyler Mallory tylermallory.com IG @tylermalloryphotos

Zoey Goto zoeygoto.com IG @zoeygotowriter

Editor-in-Chief: Keryn Means Contributing Editors: Claudia Laroye and Tawny Clark European Editor: Katja Gaskell Designers: Caryll Anne Marbella Cover Photo: Canva

In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours. – Mark Twain

For editorial inquiries, please contact: keryn@walkingontravels.com Sales Offices: Washington, D.C. London, UK Vancouver, Canada For advertising inquiries, please contact: keryn@walkingontravels.com Please send all general questions and inquiries to: twisttravelmag@gmail.com COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Twist Travel Magazine is published by ©2021 Walking On Media LLC No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Digital issue may contain affiliate links. WWW.WALKINGONTRAVELS.COM


4 | TWIST

Table of Contents 5 | THE TWIST

21 | SHE GETS AROUND: STEPHANIE SYNCLAIR

City gardens, kitchen favorites, fresh-takes on statement pieces, furniture and more.

Follow the journey of a single mom who traveled the world with her son and became an empress of tea along the way.

7 | VIVE LA FRANCE BOOKS

29 | WANDERFUL GERMANY

Transport yourself to the streets of Paris, the lavender fields of Provence and the kitchen of Julia.

Get out of town and into the German countryside filled with World Heritage sites and family memories.

13 | PINK SPRING COCKTAILS

37 | TALES OF TRAVEL FAILS

Cherry blossoms are what spring is all about, and so are the cocktails you should be sipping this season.

Think you are the only one who has mishaps on your travels? Think again. These parents are sharing their worst.

14 | ROCKIN' PARISIAN FASHION

43 | VANCOUVER IN BLOOM

Can't afford Dior, Lanvin, Chanel, and Hermès? We've got that Paris look that you crave, for less.

Cherry blossoms are found in more places than you think. Grab your guide to all of the blooms in Vancouver, B.C.

16 | ECO HOT LIST

51 | TWIST FAVORITES: TREEHOUSES

Throwing light on the travel pioneers who are growing back greener for future travels.

Get into the trees - literally - with treehouses in North America that will give you a fresh perspective on glamping.

18 | 3-DAYS IN TOKYO, JAPAN

57 | SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE

Mild winters and sweltering summers make Japan one of our favorite places to visit in spring, and here's how.

Paris, Marseille, St. Tropez, the French Riviera, castles, chateaus, and the French Alps are where it's at this year.


the

A QUICK GUIDE TO THE SEASON

Spring is in the air and with it are bright colors, outdoor adventures and fresh berries to fill our bellies. While we gaze at cherry blossoms and sip cocktails, get inspired to add a bit of Paris to your wardrobe while you whip up a few French recipes using your hanging herb garden. When it comes to spring, it's all about renewal and rebirth, so let's get to it, shall we?

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Seasonal

Favorites BY LINDSAY GARBACIK

As the weather warms and the sun brightens longer days, it’s time to get excited for the long awaited warmer months! This month we’ve chosen favorites that are perfect for getting outside. From picnicking in the woods with the kids to bicycling around the beach, have fun and soak up the sun this season. Miroco Light Therapy Light amazon.com/teraphy-lamp • $24.99

The Floyd Table floydhome.com • $595 Designed in Detroit and manufactured in the United States, this modern yet minimalistic desk or table is a great piece of furniture and an easy one to feel good about buying. It is made from FSC Certified walnut wood, recyclable steel, and eco-friendly materials like natural linoleum. It comes in a couple of neutral color ways, too.

All that time spent indoors means we don't always get all the sunlight that we need. This light has three different intensities of UV-free light and its built-in timer increases in increments of ten minutes. Mount on a wall or prop up on a desktop. Handwoven Picnic Tote food52.com • $78 - $120 Each tote is handwoven from seagrass that is harvested and dried throughout the year. The tote is then painted in lacquer to protect it from the outdoors. It comes in both small and large sizes and is cute enough to carry as a purse. With each purchase, a portion of proceeds goes to the Areeya Foundation supporting Thai students in need.

FASHION

KITCHEN

Bicycle Basket goodeeworld.com • $100 Handwoven in Ghana with locally-sourced straw, this colorful bicycle basket is the perfect way to add some flair to your bike handles. It attaches securely to the handlebars with two adjustable leather straps with brass buckles. Baskets are hand-woven and hand-dyed so patterns and colors do vary.

Always pan fromourplace.com • $145 This LA-based company has created the ultimate pan, said to be able to replace 8 pieces of traditional cookware. The pan can fry, sautee, steam and so much more, all while being made without toxic materials like lead. If that’s not enough, the pan also has its own built-in spoon rest.

Cityscape tabletop planters westelm.com • $50 These modern, neutral planters would make a fun centerpiece for an outdoor (or indoor!) dining table. The planters come in a few neutral shades and are made from fiberstone. With its long and narrow design it also could serve as a cute kitchen herb garden planter.

Twisted wood salad servers thelittlemarket.com • $30 Handmade by artisans in Kenya, these olive wood salad servers are a fun way to add some art to your dining table. Kenyan wood carvers are known for sculpting art from native woods sustainably. The olive wood tree has a beautiful grain pattern and is known for its durability.


Book it to ance

Fr

BY KATJA GASKELL • GLOBETOTTING.COM

Although jumping on a plane for the City of Light might not be on the cards just yet you can still travel to the land of wine, cheese and love with this selection of books. From a novel set in war-torn Paris and a wonderful foodie memoir to a collection of love stories and the French travel novel that inspired a new generation of writers, these books will transport you to France in no time. Tip: The following are best enjoyed with a glass of French wine in hand! MY LIFE IN FRANCE

By Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme • Amazon.com This wonderful memoir by the celebrated American chef was written with Child's great-nephew before her death in 2004. It's a love story to France, the country that she moved to in 1948. The story follows her journey to becoming an internationally renowned expert in French cuisine.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CAN NOT SEE

By Anthony Doerr • Amazon.com

This Pulitzer-prize winning novel is simply beautiful. The story is set in Germany and France before and during the German occupation of France. It follows the lives of young Marie-Laure, blind from the age of six, and Werner Pfennig an orphan from a German coal-mining town.

THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG

By Muriel Barbery • Amazon.com

Set in modern-day Paris this charming novel follows Renee, a concierge in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. To her employers she appears plain and boring when the truth is, in fact, very different. This funny and insightful story celebrates those often overlooked in society.

A YEAR IN PROVENCE

PARIS FOR ONE AND OTHER STORIES

By Peter Mayle • Amazon.com

By Jojo Moyes • Amazon.com

The travel novel that spawned a generation of imitators, the laugh-out-loud funny A Year in Provence has sold millions of copies around the world. The story follows Peter Mayle and his wife who move to the South of France and the amusing adventures and experiences that follow.

When 26-year-old Nell is stood up by her boyfriend she decides to go on their planned trip to Paris anyway, solo. There she discovers a version of herself that she never knew existed. This collection of 11 stories by best-selling author Jojo Moyes will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

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BY KERYN MEANS • WALKINGONTRAVELS.COM

Global Garden Bringing the outside indoors with a few tropical plants can create a zen space that will transport you across the globe. When you are short on space, installing a few hanging planters will open up a room, without creating a lot of clutter. Try a few in your kitchen, bathroom, patio or balcony where your new green babies can get indirect light throughout the day. 1

Air Plant Terrariums, $11.99 • Amazon.com

2

Mid Century Metal Flower Pot Plant Holder, $31.99 • Amazon.com

3

Greenery Hydroponic Plant Propagation, $15.65 • Amazon.com

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3 Tier Hanging Plant Shelf, $22.98 • Amazon.com

5

Triflora Hanging Planter, $39.61 • Amazon.com

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Self Watering Vertical Hanging Planters, $39.99 • Amazon.com

7

Wall Plant Holder with 2 Ceramic Pots, $34.95 • Amazon.com

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Macrame Wall Hanging Shelves, $28.99 • Amazon.com


Recipes

GOUGÈRES BY BRIANNA SIMMONS • CASUALFOODIST.COM

INSTRUCTIONS

GOUGÈRES ARE A CLASSIC FRENCH APPETIZER MADE FROM PÂTE À CHOUX DOUGH (CHOUX P A S T R Y ) . D IS C O V E R H O W T O M A K E A U T H E NT IC FRENCH CHEESE PUFFS AT HOME USING THIS E A S Y R E C IP E F O R G O U G È R E S . BY BRIANNA SIMMONS • CASUALFOODIST.COM

INGREDIENTS 1 cup water 8 tbsp unsalted butter cubed 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 4 large eggs 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2. In a medium saucepan heat water, butter and salt over medium heat until butter is melted. Reduce heat to low and mix in flour, stirring for 1-2 minutes until dough comes together and pulls away from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the eggs one at a time. Add in the black pepper and cheese making sure is thoroughly combined. 3. You can use a spoon or a pastry bag to create your dough puffs, each puff should be about 1 inch wide and spaced 1.5 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. 4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the cheese puffs golden and fluffy. Makes 24 puffs.

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Recipes

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ASPARAGUS PUFF PASTRY TART WITH RICOTTA BY BRIANNA SIMMONS • CASUALFOODIST.COM

R E A D Y IN U N D E R 3 0 M I N U T E S , T H I S ASPARAGUS PUFF PASTRY TART WITH R IC O T T A IS T H E P E R F E C T S P R I N G A P P E T IZ E R . D IS C O V E R T H E B E S T R E C I P E FOR AN EASY AND DELICIOUS ASPARAGUS PUFF PASTRY TART. INGREDIENTS 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed 1 cup ricotta cheese 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 large eggs divided 1-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves 1/2 pound asparagus trimmed 1 tbsp water

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Unfold and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 9x13 in in size. Transfer to the parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Using a butter knife score a border (do not cut all the way through) about 1 inch wide. 3. In a medium bowl whisk together ricotta, Dijon, 1 egg and thyme until fully combined. Spread the ricotta mixture over the top of the puff pastry. 4. Arrange the asparagus over the ricotta mixture. Using a fork wisk together the remaining egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush this over the outer border of puff pastry. 5. Bake the tart for 15-17 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. NOTE: This tart can be served warm or at room temperature.


Recipes

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Strawberry Macarons BY ERIN GIERHART • STATEOFDINNER.COM

YIELD: 24 macarons

T H E S E D E L IC IO U S S T R A W B E R R Y M A C A R O N S A R E C H E W Y O N T H E IN S ID E W I T H A S L I G H T L Y C R IS P OUTER SHELL AND TONS OF STRAWBERRY FLAVOR. T H E Y A R E A N IM P R E S S I V E B I T E - S I Z E D D E S S E R T M A D E W IT H A J U S T F E W S I M P L E I N G R E D I E NT S . INGREDIENTS 3 (95 grams) egg whites at room temperature 2/3 cups (10 grams) freeze-dried strawberries 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) confectioners’ sugar 1 cup (112 grams) almond flour 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar 2-3 drops food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Separate egg whites from the yolks. Leave whites at room temperature for at least 2 hours. 2. Place freeze-dried strawberries into a food processor and pulse until a fine powder, about one minute. 3. Scrape the sides, then add in the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour and continue processing for one minute. Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl and sift well to remove all almond flour clumps so that you have smooth macarons. 4. In a large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add cream of tartar, then turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add sugar. Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, add food coloring, increase speed to medium, and continue beating until the egg whites reach stiff peaks (about 5 minutes). 5. Using a spatula, fold in 1/3 of the almond flour mixture until it is completely mixed in. Then add in the remaining almond flour, and gently mix, pressing out some of the air bubbles, until the batter flows like lava. To test if it is ready, let the batter run off of the spatula as you swirl it back and forth. If you can make a figure 8 then it is ready. 6. Let the batter rest while you prepare your piping bag by fitting it with a 1/2-inch round tip (Wilton 12, Ateco 806). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 7. Transfer the batter to the piping bag. With the piping bag vertical and still, squeeze a 1-inch circle onto the mat. Stop squeezing and bring the bag straight up. If the batter is of proper consistency, the circle should become completely level and smooth within a minute. If ripples remain, return the batter to the bowl and fold until it flows. When ready, continue piping 1-inch circles with about an inch of space between each one. 8. Gently tap the baking sheet onto the counter to remove large air bubbles. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, until the batter has formed a completely dry shell. Preheat oven to 325. 9. After 1 hour bake the first tray of macarons for 10-12 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. The macarons should puff, develop crinkly "feet" and not move or jiggle when you touch the top. When done, remove from the oven. Cool 5 minutes on the sheet then use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. If you are not assembling them on the same day, store macarons in the refrigerator. 10. Fill with your favorite frosting or filling. I love these macarons with a strawberry cream cheese filling. 11. Macarons absorb some moisture from the filling, so their texture is optimal after a day or two in the refrigerator. They will keep in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, for up to a week.

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Recipes

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STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FILLING BY ERIN GIERHART • STATEOFDINNER.COM

THIS EASY STRAWBERRY CREAM C H E E S E F IL L IN G IS T H E P E R F E C T A C C O M P A N IM E N T F O R Y O U R STRAWBERRY MACARONS! USING J U S T A F E W S IM P L E IN G R E D I E N T S YOU CAN CREATE A WINNING FILLING FULL OF FRENCH FLAVOR AND FLAIR. INGREDIENTS 1 /2 pint strawberries 1/4 cup butter, softened 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) confectioner's sugar

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Hull strawberries. Place the strawberries in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half. Cool completely. 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes. 3. Scrape sides and add 1/4 cup of strawberry puree, along with the vanilla. Mix on low speed. 4. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 3 minutes. The consistency should spread easily but be thick enough to hold its shape. Add additional powdered sugar, if needed.


Recipes

CHERRY

BLOSSOM GIN COCKTAIL

INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a cocktail shaker add gin, maraschino liqueur (such as Luxardo), elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, bitters and ice. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Place a maraschino cherry in the bottom of a cocktail glass. Strain drink into cocktail glass and serve.

kyoto sunrise

BY TAI KODJRO-BADZIAK

Yuzu, a wonderful Japanese citrus, plays with Empress to create the rich pink of cherry blossoms in full bloom in this brunch-ready delight. Serve in a coupe for an elegant vintage feel.

S

INGREDIENTS 2 oz pink gin .75 oz maraschino liqueur such as Luxardo .75 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur .5 oz lemon juice 2-4 dashes lavender bitters such as Scrappy's Bitters 1 maraschino cherry

t g i m n i e r p

BY BRIANNA • CASUALFOODIST.COM

INGREDIENTS 2 oz Empress Gin 1 oz yuzu juice Prosecco Pomegranate arils (seeds) In a coupe, layer in Empress gin, then the yuzu. Top with prosecco and garnish with pomegranate arils.

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Style

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FIND YOUR LOOK IN

BY TAWNY CLARK • CAPTAINANDCLARK.COM

French fashion is effortlessly chic. Our favorite Parisian looks are simple outfits with bold statement pieces like a hat or scarf. And let's not forget to accessorize with minimalist, yet classy jewelry. Iconic fashion houses like Dior, Lanvin, Chanel, and Hermès were all born in Paris, but you don't have to break the bank to blend in like a true Parisian. Here are a few of our favorite signature looks that are sure to turn heads in Paris and beyond.

BRETON STRIPED SHIRT

BERETS

Never heard of a Breton shirt? Trust us, you know exactly the shirt we're referring to. Stereotypical caricatures of the French often depict someone sporting a beret, a blue and white striped shirt, and a fresh baguette tucked under their arm.

The big question: are berets a simple stereotype or a timeless French staple? If there's one thing we know, it's that berets are here to stay. We've seen these flawless flat chapeaus come and go throughout the decades but they seem to always makes a comeback.

Breton striped tops were first deemed the official uniform of the French Navy in 1858 but have since been adopted as an iconic French fashion trend. These tops have been in style for more than a century and don't look to be going anywhere anytime soon.

But where did berets come from? We can thank 17th century alpine shepherds for starting this particular trend. The beret was traditionally worn by men but has transformed into a fashion statement for everyone.

If you want to rock the classic Breton top, look no further than French-owned Saint James. However, you can also grab the look for less at J. Crew. Both will have you looking as chic as French ingenue Brigitte Bardot, or at least as close as us mere mortals can get. SHOP THIS LOOK AND MORE AT J.CREW

We love the flexibility of the beret. It's simple enough to be thrown together with a Breton shirt and jeans yet berets have also found themselves at formal events like British royal weddings and extravagant events. Fashion icons from Beyonce to Kim Kardashian have been known to don berets, however, when it comes to finding an actual French person wearing one, the task becomes a little more challenging. Regardless, you won't be the only person wearing a beret in France. Chances are, you'll see plenty. Snag a French made beret at Maison Laulhère or shop a more wallet friendly version at Free People. SHOP THIS LOOK AND MORE AT FREE PEOPLE


Style

FAVORITE ACCESSIBLE FRENCH BRAND Say "Bonjour!" to one of our favorite French fashion brands. The story of Sézane begins with a forgotten suitcase and an appreciation of vintage. Upon discovering an abandoned collection of vintage clothing, Sézane founder, Morgane Sézalory, altered a few of the pieces and began selling them online under the name 'Les Composantes'. Attraction to her unique pieces quickly grew and her monthly drops became an anticipated event throughout France.

BLACK LEATHER JACKET A leather jacket is one of our favorite French Girl staples. Throw your jacket on with your favorite pair of straight legged jeans for a low key I'm-not-even-trying look or pair your jacket with one of your favorite mini dresses to give yourself a little edge. Black leather jackets are a year round staple piece that are perfect for your wardrobe. We have it on good authority from a French native that it's more trendy if you wear your jacket open instead of zipped up.

The brand now offers its loyal and enthusiastic customer base a permanent collection as well as monthly capsule collections and fast-selling seasonal drops. You'll be hard pressed to stroll around Paris and not find someone donning Sézane's high waisted jeans or sporting their simple leather bucket bags. Each piece is built to last and the brand is making strives for greater sustainabilitysomething we can get behind. The idea behind Sézane is simple: create high-quality, perfectly-cut pieces that can be worn forever. Born in Paris and crafted using the expertise of the best ateliers, tSézane offers all its customers luxury quality at a fair & accessible price. Sezane.com

Our favorite buttery leather jackets can be found at ALLSAINTS and Sezane. If you're looking for budget friendly options, we've found a few scores at Zara and ASOS.

SHOP THIS LOOK AND MORE AT ASOS

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BY ZOEY GOTO • ZOEYGOTO.COM

Eco Hot List The Eco Hot List is back with a bang, throwing light on the travel pioneers who are growing back greener!

COPENHAGEN TRIALS ‘PARKIPELAGO’ CONCEPT

The design savvy Danes have responded to the rising sea levels and rapidly expanding cities by creating a series of experimental floating public spaces. The wooden islands, currently situated in Copenhagen harbor, offer whimsical public spaces that can be used as floating gardens, mussel farms and swim zones, or simply as a quiet oasis offering respite from the city. Expect to see more cropping up on our shorelines in the future. Learn More SUSTAINABLE BOOKING SITE LAUNCHES

Beyond Green makes booking an environmentally conscious holiday a breeze. Hotels are cherry-picked for their efforts in protecting biodiversity and cultural heritage while offering a luxe experience. Our top pick is the Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge in Rwanda, which is actively engaged in scientific research on mountain gorillas. Learn More

DEEP-DIVE INTO A CORALARIUM IN PARADISE

One of the few silver linings from the past year has been witnessing nature reclaim its space. This is particularly evident at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort, where their coral regeneration project and underwater art gallery has recently flourished with new aquatic visitors and an increase of 20-30% coral growth. Visitors can now explore the Coralarium, the first of its kind in the Maldives, with tropical fish, manta rays and turtles for company. Learn More


Ec0 Hot List FARM STAY IN STYLE

Helping kids to reconnect with nature is currently top of many parent’s agenda and the Craveiral Farmhouse in the rugged hills of Portugal’s Alentejo Region provides the perfect spot for a back to nature break. Kids can get hands-on at the onsite educational eco farm, caring for the animals and assisting at the vegetable garden and orchards. Sample their farm to table cuisine at the renowned restaurant, or there’s the option of homemade picnics and horse riding in the scenic landscape. Learn More GO GREEN IN ALABAMA

Visitors looking for a low impact break in America’s Deep South, should head to the Alabama Gulf Coast. The ecoaward-winning Lodge at Gulf State Park is the kind of resort where sustainability is factored into all aspects, from the hay drinking straws to the natural landscaping, which blends harmoniously with the surrounding sand dunes. Kids will love exploring the onsite nature centre, showcasing the native wildlife such as turtles, hawks and owls. Learn More SOLAR POWERED SAFARI MICROBREWERY

Safari sundowners have been given a sustainability twist, with the launch of the first solar powered microbrewery in the African bush. Taking pride of place in the new Sayari camp in the Serengeti, the ground-breaking brewery removes the need for plastic bottles and cans in camp, not only reducing waste but also reducing the transport carbon footprint. The dinky brewery makes both soft drinks and beer, of which it produces four unique variations. Cheers to that! Learn More

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Shake off any jet-lag with refreshing Japanese green tea (or a strong coffee), followed by a traditional Japanese breakfast including fish and rice or a local take on a Western breakfast at your hotel. You can also ask the concierge about a nearby cafe you can check out. Imperial Palace Surrounded by moats and sloped stone walls, the Imperial Palace is the official residence of Japan's Emperor (and has been since 1868.) This impressive property includes a 115hectare (284-acre) national garden and a 3-mile (5 km) paved path encircling the property. To access the Imperial Palace's inner compound, book a free tour through the Imperial Household Agency.

TOKYO JAPAN BY NANCY BESHARAH • LUXETRAVELFAMILY.COM

With mild winters and warm summers, Tokyo, Japan, welcomes travelers year-round. In the world's most populous city, silvery skyscrapers mingle with ancient sites, sky-high neon signs vie for attention, and Michelin-starred restaurants, cozy cafes, and alley-way noodle shops serve mouth-watering meals. For an authentic Japanese experience, stay at the ryokanstyle HOSHINOYA Tokyo, located near Tokyo's Central station and the Imperial Palace.

3 DAYS IN TOKYO

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FIRST DAY: EXPERIENCE THE PAST AND THE PRESENT


Shibuya Crossing Grab your kid's hands and enter the fray at the Shibuya Crossing. This scramble crossing, where a few thousand pedestrians cross the intersection in every direction, including diagonally, is considered one of the world's busiest intersections. After mixing with the masses, hunt for souvenirs or window-shop along Shibuya Center-Gai. Dinner For a meal to remember with older children, dine at Cignale Enoteca. Recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world by Monocle, an advance reservation is essential. At this intimate restaurant, tucked into a narrow alley, diners sit at a u-shaped wooden counter surrounding an open kitchen. The ever-changing menu at Cignale Enoteca reflects the four years Chef Tomori spent cooking in Italy and his Japanese home.

SECOND DAY: INTERACTIVE ARTS & NEON LIGHTS Make a reservation at Tokyo's teamLab digital, an immersive art installations before you leave home. Choose teamLab Planets, running until the end of 2022, or the permanent teamLab Borderless. Plan to spend a few hours in this mind-expanding venue that blurs the lines between art and life. After spending the morning exploring teamLab, hop in a taxi and head back to your hotel for lunch and some downtime, or visit the neon-lighted Akihabara neighborhood. Famous for electronics, gaming, anime, and manga stores, the eye-popping Akihabara is a funtastic destination. Enjoy a casual dinner at Tokyo Ramen Street, located in a mall under the Tokyo Station. Here you can choose a ramen restaurant and slurp noodles alongside locals. Daikanyama T-Site, designed to resemble a library in the woods, is an interesting place to spend a few hours. Shop for books, stationery, children's toys, and more at the T-Site complex before enjoying a meal at the Ivy Place restaurant.

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THIRD DAY: SIP, SHOP & SOAK Slip into something traditional and learn about Japanese hospitality and culture while sipping aromatic tea at a tea ceremony. Guests at HOSHINOYA Tokyo can wear one of the kimonos provided in their room and join a private tea ceremony at the property. (If you aren't staying at Hoshinoya, consider booking a kimono tea ceremony at Tokyo Maikoya.) After a full day in the city, plan to relax in an onsen (natural hot spring bath). In Japan, soaking in an onsen is a popular pastime. After our first soak, it became one of our family's favorite pastimes too. Guests at HOSHINOYA Tokyo can head to the open-air, top floor onsen that is fed from hot spring water located 4,900 feet (1500 meters) below the surface. It's a fitting way to unwind after soaking up all that Tokyo has to offer.


She Gets Around

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She Gets Around: Stephanie Synclair, owner of La Rue 1680 the Black-owned tea brand that’s bringing a touch of luxury to your afternoon tea BY KATJA GASKELL • GLOBETOTTING.COM


Afternoon tea has always been regarded as a British past-time but its popularity has soared in the U.S. ever since the fictional Featherington and Bridgerton families entered our lives. Whereas once we might have reached for a cup of coffee, today it’s all about floral teas enjoyed in elegant porcelain cups, just like Daphne and Queen Charlotte. One woman who is riding the waves of success from the hit Netflix show is Stephanie Synclair. Synclair is the founder of La Rue 1680, a luxury loose leaf tea company that was established in 2020. Ever since Bridgerton hit our screens, sales of Synclair’s teas have skyrocketed. But the origins behind La Rue 1680 go back much further and began with a year-long trip that Synclair took with her son through Europe and Asia in 2012. “La Rue 1680 was born in 2020 and stemmed from my love for tea,” explains Synclair. “But the actual inspiration came years earlier when I fell in love with loose leaf tea and tea ceremonies when traveling across Europe and Asia with my son.” Synclair explains that tea ceremonies are a daily ritual in countries such as Thailand, Bali and Singapore and that she quickly fell in love with this new way of life. When she returned to the U.S., she continued to make time for tea, adding her own tea ceremonies into her day whenever she needed a pause. “This is really where my love of tea blossomed,” says Synclair. La Rue 1680 came to market with a bang after being endorsed by Carson Kressley but things really took off with the arrival of Bridgerton with sales growing exponentially. We sat down for a virtual cup of tea with Stephanie to find out more about her passion for tea, her love of traveling with her son and the importance of packing light.

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WHY DO YOU THINK TEA IS IMPORTANT? I definitely feel like tea is important and the reason is that first of all, tea is a central part for the wellness movement. Tea has so many health and healing benefits depending on the blend of the tea. We just released a ginger and turmeric tea which is amazing for colds. Turmeric is also known to reduce inflammation, which is the cause for a myriad of illnesses and ailments in the body. So tea in itself has such a healing benefit for every type of tea there is we can come up with a healing or health benefit from that specific tea. Also, tea is a lifestyle. I believe that tea should be a core part of everyone’s self care regimen, if it's not already. Tea is one of those things you really do have to be mindful about. It takes a while to gather your tea, boil the water, and to allow it to steep. This gives you a moment to sit down and be mindful, which reduces cortisol levels and has its own benefits in itself. One of our slogans is ‘Bougie Girls Drink Tea’ so I see having your own personal tea self care ritual is the ultimate bougie thing to do! YOU’RE ONE OF THE FEW BLACK FEMALE OWNED LUXURY TEA BRANDS IN THE COUNTRY, WHY DO YOU THINK THERE ARE SO FEW BLACK OWNED TEA BRANDS IN THE US? I am the only privately manufactured Black owned tea brand in the U.S. and one of the very few luxury loose leaf tea owners. Part of the reason that I think there are not more is access to capital. Access to capital holds a lot of people of color back from positioning themselves in a way to create something that is their own brand. Also, the knowledge. People instantly assume that going into the beverage industry - specifically water, soda, tea and coffee – is that because there are bigger well-known brands that they cannot compete in the marketplace. And one of the things I think they miss is that they do not have to compete because as a luxury loose leaf tea owner you don’t compete with a mass-produced product that doesn’t have the care, story and benefits or even the story behind it.

HOW DID THE PANDEMIC INFLUENCE OR AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS? I did not start La Rue 1680 until the middle of the pandemic. The pandemic was what actually inspired me to create La Rue 1680. I am a believer that businesses can pivot during a pandemic or emergencies in order to make the business work. I’ve been an online entrepreneur for over a decade now, and I do know that online businesses can float and make it through all sorts of emergencies that a lot of brick and mortar stores would not be able to weather. So for me, starting La Rue 1680 online was a no brainer. We were at home anyway, and it just made getting a business up and running so much easier. Everyone had more time on their hands and wanted to spend more on leisure and self care and it just made sense to me.


I UNDERSTAND THAT LARUE 1680 HAS BEEN A BENEFICIARY OF THE ‘BRIDGERTON EFFECT’... Perhaps the best effect of us spending more time at home during the pandemic and watching shows like Bridgerton, is that we have experienced a much-needed reminder that we can be fabulous in our own homes, take care of our appearances, get dolled up and sip tea with our pinkies up.

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE TEAS THAT YOU CURRENTLY STOCK? We purposefully try to keep a small selection of teas in stock. I know for myself. I get overwhelmed if there are endless varieties of a thing and I can’t quite decide what to get and often that can lead to them not adding anything to the cart. So that was very central for us to make sure we kept a small selection of teas. A lot of the teas, especially the ones we release specifically, you want to make sure to grab them because they are only there for the season. We have our everyday core teas such as our Italian Creamy Earl Grey, Indian Street Vanilla Chai, Hibiscus, Moroccan Mint and most recently we made a fan favorite, our Casablanca street blend, part of the core team. We will rotate in seasonal favorites, for example during the Fall we bring in our New England Pumpkin Spice blend and during Christmas we had a great wintry blend that mixed cinnamon, nuts and spices. It was like Christmas in a cup. Right now, we are moving into spring and introducing two new wellness tea blends: Ayurvedic Wellness and Ginger Turmeric.

La Rue 1680 has seen an over 500% increase in sales since Bridgerton became part of the cultural zeitgeist. It has allowed La Rue 1680 to open a new warehouse location as well as create a cult following that is known to sell out new releases of teas in minutes.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR OTHER PRODUCTS IN THE FUTURE I am a very firm believer in finding your lane and absolutely sticking to it. With that said, I would love for us to continue offering the best organic loose leaf tea available and creating unique blends that our customers can fall in love with. Our goal is to release new unique specialty blends at least once a month.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

WHAT ARE YOUR MOST POPULAR BLENDS? I would definitely say the classics: Moroccan Mint and Vanilla Chai are consistently our top sellers but one of my favorite blends that is increasing in popularity is the Casablanca Street blend. It is delicious! Hot or iced, the fruity blend is a light and does not have caffeine in it. My son even drinks it iced, he thinks it tastes like juice. WHICH TEAPOT SHOULD WE BUY TO ENJOY OUR TEA FROM? This may sound funny, but all of the teapots I choose come from a feeling and what “speaks to me”. Speaking of that, all of the teapots I sell on La Rue 1680 are chosen by me and they are meant to elevate your experience. Currently, my fave is the pink and white ‘Kensington cup’ set.

I LOVE that I get to be creativefrom the marketing and promotions, to creating new blends of tea to the taste tasting – all those things really spark creativity for me and just make me really happy. I think it is a dream job to get to be creative and play with flavors, do taste tests and then create an amazing marketing campaign around it.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST START TRAVELING BOTH WITHIN THE US AND INTERNATIONALLY? I’ve been traveling within and around the US since I was a kid. My mother loved to travel and took us all over the US my entire life. I officially started traveling internationally around 2011 and since then, up until the pandemic, I have travelled outside the country at least once a quarter. Since the pandemic of course, I haven’t been anywhere, like most of America.

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CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE YEAR THAT YOU SPENT TRAVELING WITH YOUR SON - HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT? My son and I spent some of 2012 and most of 2013 traveling through Europe and Asia. We left in October of 2012 and returned about September 2013. It came about simply as a dream to spend a year exploring and seeing the world. I figured if I didn’t do it then, I would never do it. I talked about it for three years and it wasn’t until my son’s 2nd grade year that I went ahead and pulled the trigger and it was the absolute best, most amazing decision in the world. I wasn’t quite sure how long we would be gone but I had an idea that it would be about a year. I wanted to play it by ear, we didn’t have any strict plans at all. I had a general idea about the locations I wanted to visit but no concrete plans. We started out in a small town in Italy outside Sicily then went to Casablanca in Italy, just outside Pisa. This city was what inspired our best-selling Casablanca Street tea. From there we stayed in an old castle from the 1400’s that was incredible and we loved it. We left there and went to the Netherlands and Amsterdam before heading to Singapore and then Bali and Thailand after that. We loved it and we were absolutely hooked. At that point I knew traveling and discovering other cultures and introducing them to my son were going to be a permanent part of my life. Since that trip we don’t travel for a few days or a week, typically we will travel for a month at a time. It’s a bit harder now that my son is older and in traditional school (I was home-schooling at the time of our travels) but now we reserve our summers to spend a month, typically somewhere in Europe.

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE TEA CEREMONIES THAT YOU WITNESSED AND HOW THIS HELPED SHAPE YOUR BUSINESS? Tea ceremonies in specifically Asian countries are very common practices and you are offered tea, LITERALLY everywhere you go. One of the things I noticed was how the culture would slow down and nothing was a rush mindfulness is extremely important, really paying attention to how you are feeling and taking in the moment and noticing the small things. Typically when traveling, we are still on American time or American style. And these tea ceremonies allowed time to slow, time to pay attention to the present and be present and that felt so good. I’ve been an entrepreneur for years and at that time I realized that that place of mindfulness that place of being fully present actually helped my business and helped me feel better and I knew that when I was getting ready to create a tea company, that an integral part would be talking about mindfulness of being a tea drinker. You can purchase La Rue 1680 teas here https://larue1680.com


SHE GETS AROUND

WHAT DID YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS YEAR AWAY WITH YOUR SON? His exposure to other cultures and because of the exposure at such a young age, now he is so accepting of other people’s way of life. He doesn’t go to other countries now and think “oh they should do it this way or that way.” He recognizes there is more than one way to do everything and that works for them and he also recognizes that that also applies to him that there is more than one way to do everything and you have to choose that path that works best for you WHICH PLACES WERE YOUR FAVORITE ON YOUR TRIP? Hands down my favorite places to visit would be Bali and Thailand. They can be very touristy but also not because you are steeped in the culture no matter where you go. It’s a whole new world and they are probably some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. DID YOU HAVE ANY TRAVEL DISASTERS? I have only had one travel disaster and it was in Bali. I had rented a scooter to go around and I thought “I can drive a car, I can figure this out”. Then the very first time I went out on it, I got in an accident. I was cruising along and couldn’t remember how to stop - I was looking for foot brakes, not hand brakes. I put my foot down on the ground as the scooter was losing control, mind you this

scooter was going 30-40MPH and my foot was on its side being dragged on the concrete...needless to say I could see my foot bone. It was so painful and I have a massive scar to remind me of it everyday. HAVE YOU CONTINUED TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR SON? Yes, but it’s changed a bit since my son started going to traditional school in the 7th grade and he’s in the 8th grade now. Up until then, we were traveling every month or six weeks somewhere. Now we spend the entire summer and holidays out of the country. But of course with Covid we haven’t been anywhere, but hopefully that changes soon. WHERE IS ON YOUR WISHLIST TO VISIT FOR WHEN WE CAN TRAVEL AGAIN? Marrakesh in Morocco is the number one destination on my wish list. I want to get back to Bali and Italy because of the culture there. And I’ve visited France probably 20 times now but it's always on my list because I love it so much.

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WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT CHILDREN TRAVEL? So that children can experience other cultures. I think travel as a whole is important to experience other cultures but also to become tolerant of differences. One of the things I discovered was having clients come meet me out of the country. A lot of times this was their first time leaving the country, and there would be a lot of comparisons to the US that almost unconsciously goes on and what a lot of people don’t realize is that the US is not perfect, neither are any of these other countries and who are we to push our belief on other people? And I think that is such an important lesson for children to learn early on so they don’t grow into intolerant adults.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS?

NUMBER 1

tip

Pack as light as possible. We had 3-4 big bags which meant I had to pull these bags and I had a 7-year-old pulling these big bags too. He fell down the escalator in the airport once and after that we made it a point to always find the elevators, which are not always working. So pack as light as you can. Halve the things you think you need, you really don’t.

So we try things, we don’t judge, if we like it great, if we don’t that’s ok too. Because of our “try everything” rule at 7 years old, my son was eating raw oysters and caviar - and I’m not even a big fan of caviar. He eats a lot of things that young people won’t eat and won’t even try. Another part to this is trying it in different ways, you might not like it one way but maybe cooked in a different way you’ll love it.

Make a commitment to being as minimal as possible – think about it, people at home have a dresser or closet full of clothes and always wear the same thing. I know I’m guilty of that. That’s a long answer, because that is probably the biggest tip.

Do not create a strict schedule for children, it will not work. Have a general sense of what you want to do and where you want to go but do not create long itineraries for children. They do not have the patience. And try to remain flexible.

tip

Have a “try it” rule. Food from different cultures can be scary to children but opening them up to different cultures through food is such a game changer.

Looking back now, we could’ve probably shared one big bag between the two of us, but at that time I thought we needed to have all the things. One big suitcase and possibly two carry on bags are really all you need.

NUMBER 2

NUMBER 3

tip

Normally when we go to restaurants we like to order a bunch of small plates to try together and that way if we love it we can order more and if not then we don’t. A big part is to also model this behavior as well because when they see you being open to trying new things and not making a big deal if it's something you love or hate, they feel more comfortable trying new things. Now I have a 14-year-old who eats things that most adults won’t even try.


GERMANY

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HOW NOT TO LOSE A LÖSEL: VISITING GERMAN WORD HERITAGE SITES WITH KIDS BY ETHAN GELBER

For my young sons, the tour didn't really get interesting until our guide mentioned the Lösel and produced a cuddly toy out of a bag. “Lösel” is a portmanteau word combining Löwe (lion) and Esel (donkey) to make the German equivalent of a Lonkey. And the stuffy – as my kids call their soft bedtime companions – was a smiling, gray Eeyore-ish thing with a thick brown lion's main and floppy donkey ears. It was love at first sight. So much so that at the end of the tour, during which my sons nuzzled this fuzzy new friend, they went wide-eyed with delight when the guide gifted one to each of them. Of course, despite ourselves, my wife and I shared a moment of unspoken dread about what it would mean to keep these new treasured keepsakes safe. There was no doubt they would be with us every step of our independent family trip in Germany. We'd have to add a new dimension to our daily considerations: how not to lose a Lösel!


world heritage ny

a m r e G

Fortunately, our itinerary had been carefully crafted to steer clear of major urban centers where maximum distraction could lead to cataclysmic loss. We'd instead elected a quartet of smaller cities and towns, each notable for sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List, a growing global collection of places judged to have cultural and natural heritage of outstanding value to humanity. Always drawn to World Heritage Sites, I knew of their unique ability to capture the special qualities of a place and impart them in ways that appeal to both adults and children. As a committed champion of sustainable tourism, I also appreciated their emphasis on responsible management, balancing the need for money from entry fees with long-term preservation by not putting too much strain on coveted monuments. Helpfully, we'd had plenty from which to choose. As of May 2021, Germany lays claims to 46 World Heritage Sites, such as churches and monasteries, old towns, castles and palaces, industrial centers, landscapes and gardens, and cultural hubs. With only a week available to us and no hunger for long overnight hauls, we'd identified a foursome of somewhat "second-tier" locales, each a short train hop from another, and all at the geographical heart of the country: Kassel, a contemporary art hub, home of the Brothers Grimm and site of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, one of the largest landscaped parks in Europe; Eisenach, birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach and village in the shadow of Wartburg, an archetypal hilltop castle; Weimar, cradle of the Bauhaus and inspiration to poets and politicians; and Bamberg, a beer town with one of Europe’s largest intact old town centers, including buildings dating back to the Middle Ages.

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Expectations were high when we got to Kassel, a city of about 200,000 people just 90 minutes from Frankfurt by express train. After all, it has a castle, right? Patience, we told the boys.

where's kassel castle

?

We could only take in a fraction of the vast grounds, sadly skipping Löwenburg Castle, constructed in the 18th century as mock "medieval ruins." And as if that weren't enough castle, we splurged for a dinner at the Grischäfer, the restaurant of the Orangerie Palace, right near the city center. The next morning, Kassel delivered one final surprise to the boys: a visit to the Brothers Grimm Museum. Kassel takes pride in its status as a home to the two storytellers; while working as the city's librarians, they published their first book, including Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella. Since the time of our visit, Kassel has opened GRIMM WORLD, a dazzling, modern, interactive facility devoted to the lives, life work and fairytales of the Brothers Grimm.

Kassel is arguably most famous as host of the quinquennial documenta, the world's largest and most renowned exhibition of contemporary art. We were there in an off year, but we knew Kassel had inherited lots of interesting public art. We set out to take it in, a search that was as fun as the finding, challenging our boys to expand their appreciation of what art is. But where was the castle? In the afternoon, we headed to the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe World Heritage Site, a 1,400-acre park straight out of kids' wildest imagination. Landscaped in the 17th century, it runs from a soaring Hercules Monument, down a manmade cascade and feat of hydraulic engineering, through mossy grottoes and botanical veils complete with purpose-built ruins, and into the embrace of, at last, Wilhelmshöhe Palace, once a summer residence for Prussian kings and German emperors.


And then the Lösels came along. That's when they grasped the prestige of the ruling Ludovingians, whose heraldic animal, the lion, made Lösels roar. The stunning 12th-century Palas (great hall) they built is the oldest part of the castle and one of the most important secular Romanesque building in the Germanspeaking world. Another avatar of strength, donkeys have long carried water and supplies from farms below to what, by the 19th century, was such an archetypal castle that it inspired Ludwig II of Bavaria to build his architectural confection at Neuschwanstein. The next day, my wife and I had hoped to visit the adjacent village of Eisenach, home of the Bachhaus, the world's largest museum dedicated to native son Johann Sebastian Bach. Time permitting, we would have stopped at the Lutherhaus, where Luther lived as a Latin student in one of the oldest half– timbered buildings in the region.

, g r u b Wart

warts and all

However, the draw of some donkeys was too strong. Near Wartburg, the Hölzer family offers donkey rides to children and small adults. We didn't mount any animals, but the boys loved introducing the Lösels to their cousins and then showing them around the castle grounds.

A one-hour intercity train ride from Kassel, Wartburg Castle is where our family grew by two Lösels. Balanced atop an impressive rocky outcropping, the World Heritage Site hodgepodge of buildings spans nearly 1,000 years of history and a remarkable diversity of styles. Saint Elisabeth lived here in the 13th century. Martin Luther was resident from 1521-1522 to translate the New Testament into what would become the unified written German language. In the 19th century, Goethe imagined an art collection here that now includes 9,000 objects. Wagner based an opera on a story about it. And so much more. Of course, this adult-angled history made little mark on the boys, even with captivating architecture and decorations, and well-told tales of castle intrigue to keep them listening while they took photographs of their feet.

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why weimar ? Another one-hour intercity train trip east from Eisenach lies Weimar, a small city of about 65,000 people that's had an outsized impact on German history and culture. Luminaries like Bach, Goethe, Schiller, Liszt, Nietzsche and Gropius all made major marks on Weimar, and vice versa.

The Bauhaus design revolution was launched here as well in 1919. Notably, also in the 20th century, Weimar gave its name to the betweenthe-wars (1918–33) constitutional republic period of German politics, before becoming an ideological center of fascist propaganda. With so much to see and do, and Lösels to monitor – we now had them firmly tied on the outsides of the boys' day bags (so they could see around, of course) – we focused our two-day stay on the city's twin World Heritage Sites: a collection of buildings and parks associated with "Classical Weimar" and others those connected to the Bauhaus movement. On day one we took a long, easy walk and picnic through Park on the River Ilm, a 120-acre landscaped green space abutting the old town. Along the way, we paused at the Goethe Gartenhaus, where the 18thcentury writer once lived, and the Roman House, a lovely classicist building whose construction was overseen by Goethe. Back in town, we


took in the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (Duchess Anna Amalia Library), a palace turned collectibles library with a famous Rococo Hall, and the City Castle, whose expansive wood-floored 19th-century galleries can be visited through the Castle Museum. On day two, we focused more on the Bauhaus movement of modern aesthetics that relied on new materials and construction methods. This was most easily accomplished through the Bauhaus Museum, a pleasantly kid-friendly place, given the wackiness of some Bauhaus ideas. We had thought we might go the six miles north of central Weimar to the Buchenwald Memorial, marking the location of the infamous World War II Nazi concentration camp and then Soviet internment camp. However, given our sons' very young ages and the innocence of their new Lösels, we decided to pass. Oompah Bamberg A final 75-minute rail trip south delivered us to Bamberg, a city of 75,000 just 2½ hours east of Frankfurt. Draped over seven hills, each crowned by a church, Bamberg earned World Heritage status through its medieval old town, one of the largest and most intact in Europe, packed with preserved historic buildings largely unscathed by war. Guided by our trusty Lösel scouts, we spent most of our last full day in Germany wandering the old town's alleys and byways, admiring and discussing the half-timbered medieval structures and baroque facades, more than 2,300 of which are listed as part of the World Heritage ensemble. Chief among the many distractions were the beautiful Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), now an art and porcelain museum, perched on a river island but accessible via pedestrian bridges that pass through it, and the domineering 13th-century Imperial Cathedral, with its Bamberg Horseman, a life-size, 13th-century stone statue that is the symbol of the city and one of Germany's oldest surviving medieval sculptures. Lucky for us, we were exploring town on the same day the Historical Museum's courtyard had been transformed into a local food and music festival, complete with a German polka band and the best wurst we'd had. Enraptured by the ambiance, we lingered too long to detour through the lesser known Market Gardeners’ City, a neighborhood remarkable for its urban market gardening, a holdover from the Early Middle Ages.

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For our final German feast, though, we dined in a local beer garden, one of nine local breweries in this city known for its 50-plus types of beer, all handcrafted according to traditions and purity laws dating back to medieval times. I was particularly pleased to get a taste of Rauchbier, a typical local beer with a distinctive smoke flavor.

GETTING TO/FROM We were never more than 2½ hours by train from Frankfurt, whose Frankfurt Main Airport is Germany's principal international airport operating with most major international airlines.

Coda According to the Wartburg gift shop, the Lösel is a mascot representing power and endurance. There was no more apt family herald for our clan during our time soaking in German World Heritage Site history. The Lösel was also emblematic of the stalwart and energetic curiosity our sons brought to their travels, and perhaps the portmanteau nature of good family journeys – a balance of adult interests and kid-centric fun.

REGIONAL TRAVEL In Thuringia (Eisenach, Wartburg and Weimar), for discounted/free transport and free entry to many tourist sites, consider the ThüringenCard.

And nothing short of miraculous was our success, despite numerous near disasters, at shepherding our young pride/herd without losing anything of consequence. In fact, we gained far more than we ever risked löseling!

In Bamburg, try the BAMBERGcard. RESOURCES UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany: worldheritagegermany.com Kassel: museum-kassel.de/en Eisenach: eisenach.info/en/ Wartburg: wartburg.de/en/ Weimar: weimar.de/en/ Bamberg: en.bamberg.info LÖSEL Buy you own Lösel


TALES OF TRAVEL FAILS BY CLAUDIA LAROYE - CLAUDIATRAVELS.COM

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I consider myself a very experienced and savvy traveler. I sashay through security with my Nexus card. I whip through arrivals with my carry-on, waving Ciao to those waiting at baggage claim. And yet, I’ve had my share of travel fails. I’ve flown in outfits decorated in baby spit-up, sprinted to just barely catch moving TGV trains in France, and terrifyingly lost sight of children on crowded beaches. We’ve all been there, and while our travel fails aren’t so fun at the time, they make for great stories and memories as time passes. We’ve collected some fabulous fail stories from traveling colleagues, and while many lessons have been learned, one rises above all: keep calm and keep traveling.


falling in florida Guiomar Ochoa was enjoying a romantic night out with her husband after spending a glorious family day at the beach on Captiva Island, Florida. After an al fresco meal by the beach and several glasses of wine, they headed home, only to realize that the skylight above their bed would provide unwelcome early morning sunshine. Attempting to close the shade, Guiomar lost her balance and fell, landing on her right knee. “I took some Advil, iced it and decided to tackle it in the morning. Captiva had one doctor and his X-Ray machine was broken. My husband drove me to Ft. Myers where we finally got an X-Ray and bought some crutches. The X-Ray showed a sprain but only an MRI could confirm more and they couldn’t squeeze me in for days. When we DROVE back to D.C., I had the MRI and we found out I tore my ACL.” After this experience, Ochoa doesn’t recommend standing up on a bed after three glasses of wine, especially after the age of 40.

tropical break down When Nicole Wiltrout visited Costa Rica with her two children a few years back, she knew the winding and bumpy roads of this family-friendly Central American destination would cause problems for her family. “My two children inherited my propensity to get car sick, especially on curvy roads. So it should not have surprised me when my 6 year-old threw up Goldfish crackers all over our rental car - yet we were completely unprepared. In a moment of panic, I immediately pulled the car over to the side of the road, not realizing that I was basically driving us straight into a ditch in the middle of a tropical rainforest. We were a car full of Midwesterners feeling culture shock most acutely, covered in vomit and stranded in the jungle.”

Traveling with kids is no different from parenting in general. You often find yourself jumping from worst case scenarios to moments of pure bliss with barely time to blink in between. And now I always pack a sick bag!” says Wiltrout.

After doing their best to clean up the car and themselves, the next problem was how to get the car out of the ditch. Fortunately, a kind local stopped to help get them back on the road, yelling the Costa Rican trademark phrase of, “pura vida!” as he drove away.

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museum miss Amy Whitley was traveling with her mother and three young boys to Alaska on a small ship cruise. Arriving in the small scenic town of Ketchikan, they had a few hours to kill before their flight home. While walking through charmingly historic downtown area to learn about Klondike mining history, they were almost immediately (and somewhat aggressively) waved over by a woman wearing what looked like a rather ragged pioneer woman outfit. “Assuming she was a museum docent of some sort, I nodded yes as she beckoned our family group into what turned out to be a brothel museum. I'm ashamed to say this fact only dawned on me by degrees, as I toured the parlor (complete with menus and strict instructions of male cleanliness required to enter). My oldest son figured it out rather quickly, his face as aflame as you'd expect for a middle schooler touring a prostitution house with his mother and grandmother. My middle son stayed quiet, absorbing every detail of the 'guest rooms' and 'client rosters', while my youngest decided to grab ahold of the 'historic' draperies made entirely (and quite craftily) of ancient, crumbling... condoms. We ushered everyone out as quickly as we could, but to this day, I haven't lived it down.” Fortunately, no young minds were damaged by this impromptu bordello tour. Whitley recommends always asking questions before entering historic buildings.

you shall not pass Traveler Diane Selkirk was returning home to Canada from Brisbane, Australia. She accidently grabbed an old passport, but made her first flight to Melbourne without incident. The problems started when she attempted to board her international flight across the Pacific. “The gate crew asked if I had a different passport with me and pointed out the date. I wasn't allowed to board and started the mad scramble of getting my luggage back, finding a hotel and having my current passport couriered to me (which was way more complex than it should have been). I was also really worried about what would happen with my flight but lucked out when it was the same gate crew the next day. She rebooked me at no charge and upgraded me without me realizing. She told me as a flight attendant she'd made a similar error which resulted in an entire flight being cancelled. She'd never lived it down.” Kindness and humor helped save the day and Selkirk now looks back on this experience with a laugh and appreciation for travel. Also, always double check everyone’s travel documents and dates before leaving home.


baggage break down Back in 2016, Jay Kana was traveling on his first press trip to Florida’s treasure coast, an extended seven-day journey. While everyone else was traveling light with one carry-on bag, Kana had packed a full-sized suitcase, a carry-on and a backpack. Throughout the trip, he constantly struggled with his excessive luggage and quickly realized his error. “At the airport about to head home, I cleared customs and descended the escalator to the gate. I rested my full-sized suitcase on one of the escalator stairs, blinked, and then froze as it started tumbling downward, right into the back of an elderly person. I stammered a sincere apology, was frantically searching for any sized hole to crawl inside and offered to pay him if he was hurt. He noticed how embarrassed I was and gently smiled and softly laughed, picked up his bag and strolled off to his gate... which was thankfully different than mine,” recalls Kana. Kana only flies with carry-on now and learned to always ask questions when embarking on anything new.

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mystery man Echo Montgomery Garrett was on an extended trip to St. John, in the US Virgin Islands, and was staying in a brand-new secluded villa complex in a national park. After a quick dinner, she turned in for the night, but when she tried to secure her sliding glass door, she realized it was jammed and wouldn’t lock. Exhausted, she left it and went to bed. “I woke up at 2 a.m. to the light of a full moon streaming into my bedroom. Then I see this figure, slumped over in the moonlight by the sliding glass door. My heart was beating out of chest. I had no cell phone (it was 2003) and didn’t know who to call even if I did. This figure wasn’t moving at all. I thought they were drugged out and realized ‘oh my stars what do I do’?” recalls Garrett.

She crept to edge of bed and ran out of room, banged on another door but there was no answer. Disoriented, Garrett ran to other side of house, banging on every door until one opened and she rushed in, explaining about the comatose man, freaking out her new friend. Calling emergency didn’t work. Garrett and her new BFF decided to pray and then try to sleep. Unfortunately, the door of that room didn’t lock either, so the pair piled furniture in front of the door and talked throughout the night. The next morning, Garrett returned to her room. He was still there. But in the light of day, ‘he’ turned out to be just a big stack of pillows with her beach hat slung on top, tilted down. The random pile hadn’t been a man at all. “I confessed that I was an idiot, and everybody burst out laughing. It still makes a great story and travel memory.” After this unforgettable experience, Garrett recommends travelers know the address of their hotel location and know the local emergency number of their destination. In the US Virgin Islands, it’s 911.


SPRING IN BLOOM VANCOUVER, CANADA

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VANCOUVER’S SPECTACULAR CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON BY CLAUDIA LAROYE - CLAUDIATRAVELS.COM

When it comes to weather, Vancouver gets shade from much of the rest of Canada. With its mild winters harkening an early spring, often three months ahead of our eastern provincial cousins, it’s not hard to understand why. It's a burden we west coasters are willing to bear, especially when we can enjoy one of the loveliest cherry blossom seasons on the planet. Vancouver’s cherry blossom season is long, lavish and picture-perfect. Over 40,000 cherry tress bloom in Vancouver every spring, meaning that it’s impossible to miss the annual spectacle, or be unmoved by the sight of so much blooming beauty. “Mist trailed through a garden pale beneath thinning branches, to merge here and there with the blossoms and yield a scene more beautiful than any autumn night.” The Tale of Genji


When it comes to weather, Vancouver gets shade from much of the rest of Canada. With its mild winters harkening an early spring, often 3-4 months ahead of our eastern provincial cousins, it’s not hard to understand why. And it’s a burden we west coasters are willing to bear, especially when we can enjoy one of the loveliest cherry blossom seasons on the planet. Vancouver’s cherry blossom season is long, lavish and pictureperfect. Over 40,000 cherry tress bloom in Vancouver every spring, meaning that it’s impossible to miss the annual spectacle, or be unmoved by the sight of so much blooming beauty. “Mist trailed through a garden pale beneath thinning branches, to merge here and there with the blossoms and yield a scene more beautiful than any autumn night.” The Tale of Genji

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HISTORY OF CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN VANCOUVER Vancouver’s original 500 cherry trees were a gift from the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama in the 1930s, thanking the city for honoring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. Vancouver’s climate has been ideal for cherry tree cultivation and is now home to 43,000+ blooming cherry trees. Taking a page from Japan’s worldfamous ‘sakura’ or cherry blossom displays and festivals, Vancouver has its own version which began in 2006. City residents and visitors adore blossom season both for its beauty and as a promising sign of spring. Vancouver’s blooming season is long, lasting from February into May, depending on the weather and cherry tree varietal.

VANCOUVER CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Vancouver's Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the city’s cherry blossoms in every imaginable way. From food to bike tours and haiku poetry, Vancouver’s citizens love to celebrate the city’s unique and spectacular seasonal phenomenon. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has great resources for sakura season. Use its excellent Vancouver cherry blossom map to plan your route. Pick a neighbourhood or area to explore, then head out to enjoy the flowers.


BIKE THE BLOSSOMS IN VANCOUVER Pick a city neighbourhood and bike through the tunnels of pink blossoms. You won’t need to search for parking and can easily pull over to snap some photos whenever the mood – or blossoms – strike. Pack a picnic or grab takeout from a local restaurant or café to make it full day trip outing.

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BIKING TIPS: Fallen cherry blossoms can be slippery. Be careful when riding through “pink snow”, especially after it’s rained. If you stop for photos, be safe and pull over to let traffic pass. Many of these bike routes are in quiet residential areas. Be respectful. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is not hosting its organized Bike the Blossoms ride this spring. But you can follow along its previous year’s bike the blossoms route at your leisure, or use the City of Vancouver’s Cycling Routes Map to plan your trip.


best places tolovisit ssoms

B y r r Che in Vancouver

Vancouver’s parks and gardens are ideal showcases for the beautiful trees, but you can spot pink and white blooms on many residential streets in the city. It's the best free show in town. Queen Elizabeth Park has several varieties of cherry trees (Akebono, Umineko and Pink Perfection) throughout the park, blooming at different stages from early March to late April. Stanley Park has rows of blossoming trees near the formal rose garden, the Japanese Canadian WWI war memorial, along the Seawall, and in Lost Lagoon. VanDusen Botanical Garden is home to more than 100 cherry trees, representing 24 varieties blooming in white, pink and red glory. On UBC Campus, visit the Japanese-style Nitobe Memorial Garden, which was designed to show off its cherry blossom trees in spring. (Book tickets in advance.) The campus is also home to rows of blooms on Lower Mall and at Regent College at the corner of Wesbrook Mall and University Boulevard. The downtown Burrard SkyTrain station has a stunning canopy of cherry blossoms, as does Vancouver’s City Hall at West 12th and Cambie Street. In Kitsilano, look for blossoms on the south side of West 6th Ave. from Arbutus to Yew St. and a pretty lineup of blooming trees on 1st Ave. west of Burrard. If you’re near the planetarium or the Vancouver Museum, Vanier Park is a great place to see the rare Star Cherry trees at their finest. Walk or bike through the residential streets of any of the following blossom-forward neighbourhoods: Arbutus Ridge – West 22nd Ave from Arbutus to Carnarvon St. Douglas Park neighborhood Fairview - off-Broadway bike route – along West 7th Avenue False Creek Seawall Marpole (southwest Vancouver) – south of 70th Avenue Mid-town Ridgeway bike route – along 37th Avenue – through Dunbar and Queen Elizabeth Park Mount Pleasant neighborhood

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TWIST TRIPS

MEXICO Join us for an all-inclusive long weekend in Merida, Mexico, filled with rest, relaxation, exploration, and of course, food. Learn More: WalkingOnTravels.com/twisttrips/Mexico


Hotels FAVORITES

PAMOON TREEHOUSE

TREEHOUSES ACROSS NORTH AMERICA If nature heals, then spending time cocooned in one of these elevated treehouses in forests across North America will mend minds, bodies and spirits challenged by the stress and pressures of pandemic life. Whether you're searching for family-friendly treehouse accommodation or secluded spaces for romantic retreats, these tree-topping getaways will realign your spirit with the natural world. And don't worry ladies, we've got you covered when it comes to glamping luxuries... like indoor plumbing.

FREE SPIRIT SPHERES: VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA By Claudia Laroye • claudiatravels.com

NORTON CREEK RESORT’S TREEHOUSE GROVE: TENNESSEE By Guiomar Ochoa • cosmomommy.com

MOHICANS TREEHOUSE RESORT: OHIO

By Tonya Prater • travelinspiredliving.com

PAMOON TREEHOUSE : GEORGIA By Claudia Laroye • claudiatravels.com

CYPRESS VALLEY: TEXAS By Mike & Anne Howard • honeytrek.con

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VANCOUVER ISLAND

FREE SPIRIT SPHERES BY CLAUDIA LAROYE • CLAUDIATRAVELS.COM

If you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping up high in the treetops, the fantastical Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, will make your fantasy a reality. Located in a lush temperate rainforest near Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, Free Spirit Spheres can be reached from Vancouver via a 90-minute BC Ferries trip to Nanaimo, followed by a short 45-minute drive north along the Island Highway. The Free Spirit Spheres are nestled in a tall pine forest, offering some of the most unique and beautifully created accommodation options in this Canadian province. There are three spheres, and of course, each has a name. Eryn, Melody and Luna are handcrafted spheres of Sitka Spruce, yellow cedar and fibreglass, suspended between 10 and 15 feet above the ground.

The sphere floats in the center of the triangle, formed as if in the center of a web that mirrors the human connectedness to the eco-system. Free Spirit spheres are functional and elegant, and like anything perched in a treetop, they sway gently in the breeze along with the trees. Large circular windows look out onto the forest and tree canopy, making for a sensation of being one with nature. The spheres have power, electric heat, a small fridge, sink, table and bed, and are available in every season. Guests have access to composting toilet facilities located on the forest floor, and each sphere has its own bathhouse for privacy. Amenities and restaurants are in close driving distance at Qualicum Beach. For those interested in underground adventures, book a spelunking tour at the spectacular Horne Lake caves, just a 30-minute drive inland from the sphere property. Be at one with nature and float in the trees at one of British Columbia’s most unique boutique treehouse resorts.

ADDRESS

420 Horne Lake Road, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia WEBSITE

The spheres are cozy but spacious enough to comfortably accommodate two adults (think of this as a romantic hideaway escape). They are accessed via circular staircases or rope bridges.The spheres are securely tethered by vertical ropes and anchors to strong points on each of three separate trees.

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freespiritspheres.com STARTING PRICE

$335-375 CAD per night


TENNESSEE

TREE HOUSE GROOVE

BY GUIOMAR OCHOA • COSMOMOMMY.COM

Who doesn’t dream of a vacation where you can spend some time hiking and fishing while sleeping in a comfortable treehouse? At Norton Creek Resort’s Treehouse Grove your family can make those dreams a reality and create long lasting memories. Situated among the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Treehouse Grove features eight treehouses designed by Pete Nelson, the host of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters.” Most treehouses have two queen-sized beds, a bathroom, and mini kitchen. Some even come with their very own fire pit. Oh, and they all have A/C, heating, wireless internet, and a TV. Your personal cabin in the sky is built with the finest techniques acquired over a lifetime of effort by Pete Nelson. The quality and attention to detail found in these treehouses will remove your stress, clear your mind, and fill your soul with life. Ridge upon ridge of forest overlaps the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ageless mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park. Hikers enjoy the Smoky Mountains throughout the year with every season offering is own special beauty and attractions.

Treehouse Grove Developers, Joe and Joseph Ayres, are a 4th and 5th generation Knoxville family, with deep roots in Eastern Tennessee. As developers searching for the best and most talented team for designing and building treehouses, the Ayres turned to Pete Nelson and the Nelson Treehouse & Supply team. Nelson quickly developed his passion for the Ayres’s treehouse project and his enthusiasm for the treehouse project at Norton Creek carried over into his carefully selecting specific trees, location, and design of each treehouse. After months of design and planning, the Nelson Treehouse & Supply crew arrived in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and hit the ground running, building eight unique luxury treehouses. This year is the perfect time to write your own adventure story at Treehouse Grove. With this rustic location serving as your base of operations, you can strike out into the valleys and hills of the Great Smoky Mountains and make precious memories that your family will treasure for a lifetime.

ADDRESS Treehouse Grove 475 Norton Creek Rd. Gatlinburg TN. 37738

WEB SITE

treehouse-grove.com STARTING PRICE

$279 per night

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OHIO

MOHICANS

TREE HOUSE RESORT BY TONYA PRATER • TRAVELINSPIREDLIVING.COM

If your childhood is full of memories of days spent hanging out in a treehouse in your backyard, you’re going to love the upscale version for grownups located at The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue. Tucked away among the backroads of Glenmont near one of the most popular outdoor recreation areas in north central Ohio you’ll find 77 wooded acres of land boasting the largest treehouse complex east of the Mississippi. The Mohicans Treehouse Resort can only be described as the stuff dreams are made of. These luxury treehouses are perfect for romantic getaways but also double as the perfect escape for those looking to simply unplug, get away from it all and recharge in an enchanting setting where the local wildlife, white-tailed deer, chipmunks and squirrels are sure to make an appearance during your stay. You’ll find several cabins and nine treehouses currently located on the property with plans to expand to a total of 15. The owner of The Mohicans, Kevin Mooney, was introduced to the treehouse concept when a friend passed along a book to him about treehouses. That was all it took for Kevin to reach out to famed treehouse designer Pete Nelson of the Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters who designed two of the treehouses, White Pine and Little Red located at The Mohicans.

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ADDRESS

The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue Glenmont, Ohio 44628 WEB SITE mohicans.net ADDRESS 16205 SE Kreder RoadDayton, OR 97114 STARTING PRICE WEB SITE $400 https://www.the-vintages.com STARTING PRICE $95/night By day you can explore the miles of hiking trails at

Mohican State Park and Forest, canoe or kayak along the Mohican River or zipline at the nearby Tree Frog Canopy. At night you can climb the stairs and cross over a suspension bridge to your very own treehouse where the comfortable bed linens, down comforters and duvets ensure you’ll have an amazing night’s sleep. Each treehouse offers a unique layout and amenities from Little Red, inspired by the red barns that dot the Ohio countryside with an outdoor shower to a vintage Airstream travel trailer that rests on a platform 25-feet in the air and offers an impressive steam shower for two. The beautifully decorated View and Tin Shed invite the outdoors in with floor to ceiling windows and large decks that provide the perfect spot to drink your morning coffee or sip an evening glass of wine. El Castillo features a gorgeous spiral staircase that leads to the second-floor master bedroom and balcony. You’ll find treehouse options for the solo adventurer and for families of four depending on the treehouse that you select for your stay. The treehouses are also petfriendly, for an additional fee.


GEORGIA

Pamoon Treehouse

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BY CLAUDIA LAROYE • CLAUDIATRAVELS.COM

Surrounded by the tranquil forests of the Appalachian Mountains, Pamoon Treehouse is situated on a forested ridge, with stunning views of Pigeon Mountain in northwest Georgia. The secluded one-bedroom treehouse is located on 15 acres of private woodland. It’s built in a contemporary style with a screened balcony and rear deck that connects to an elevated outdoor relaxation area. Guests can relax on loungers and enjoy the forest breezes and sounds of nature. The outdoor heated wooden Japanese Ofuro soaking tub can accommodate two people, and is perfect for long soaks while admiring the forest or night sky. Stays include fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor BBQ, Wifi, full bathroom and a washer dryer unit. The Pamoon Treehouse is 50 minutes from Chattanooga, and 2 hours from Atlanta and Birmingham. Pamoon Treehouse is perfect for parents and couples in need of a private and secluded romantic escape.

ADDRESS

1152 Fayetteville Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 WEB SITE

VRBO.COM STARTING PRICE

$210 USD per night

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ADDRESS

1223 Paleface Ranch Rd S, Spicewood, TX 78669 WEB SITE

CypressValley.com

TEXAS

Cypress Valley

STARTING PRICE

$200

BY MIKE & ANNE HOWARD • HONEYTREK.COM

Ever dreamt about leaving the rat race and starting over on a remote plot of land? What about growing your own food, harnessing electricity, purifying rainwater, and raising a family of five in a yurt? That’s where the dream might wear off for some, but not the Beilharz family. It was a bold leap to leave the cushy Austin life and buy 88 acres of raw ranchland, and equally brave to turn it into the one of the first zipline courses in the USA. They saw how much the kids and their friends enjoyed playing in the rocky ravine, meandering creek, and oldgrowth cypress trees. And if one afternoon in the trees could make a difference, they knew a few nights could do wonders for families. A year later, they opened their first treehouse and have been turning heads with the New York Times, Architectural Digest, and the world of glamping enthusiasts ever since. Stay in any of their five luxury treehouses, each built to highlight the magnificence of the tree and its location in the ravine. The six-person Nest is particularly fabulous for families and fit for Peter Pan, with its fantastical living spaces spread across multiple cypresses.

When a five-zipline course is connected to your room, you don’t have to go far for adventure. Time your trip around a full moon, when Cypress Valley decorates the creek with twinkle lights and glow sticks for wild nighttime rides.

The charming Juniper and Willow treehouses each sleep two; win points by renting one for your teenagers and the other for a couples hideaway. These neighboring suspension-bridge beauties may not have an en suite bathroom, but the price savings and the prime location by the pool make up for it.

Cypress Valley’s location in Hill Country offers weeks’ worth of fun for adventurous families with kids. Hike the moon-like dome of Enchanted Rock, swim behind the waterfalls of Krause Springs, and go vineyard hopping along the Hill Country Wine Trail. Just remember to kick back and enjoy the high life in the treetops.


Spotlight

ON FRANCE

CITIES

CASTLES

Dig into some of the best cities in France, including Paris, of course!

All of the castles you should visit and a few you can rent on your trip to France.

BEACHES The low down on the best beaches on the sun-soaked French Riviera.

MOUNTAINS The French Alps are not just for winter. These resorts are summer ready.

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o d o t s g n i Th IN PARIS

BY NANCY BESHARAH • LUXETRAVELFAMILY.COM

Paris, France's capital, is a family-friendly destination and an excellent first European city for many travelers. Paris is known for its expansive boulevards, world-class museums, impressive landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, French couture, cafe culture, leafy parks, and the Seine River (France's third-longest).

CRUISE THE SEINE Cruise along the Seine River and watch the Eiffel Tower climb into the sky, travel under a few of the city's beautiful bridges, and see the grand Notre Dame Cathedral from a unique vantage point. Choose the Batobus, hop on and hop off riverboats, and access multiple attraction stops along the Seine. Or splurge and hire a private riverboat and spend an afternoon sipping Champagne and soaking up the sights.

modern pyramid and surrounding reflecting pools are fantastic places for photos. STROLL THE CHAMPS The grand Avenue des Champs-Élysées stretches over 1 mile (2 km) between Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe. Plan to spend a few hours strolling this leafy boulevard lined with luxury boutiques, restaurants, and shops.

ASCEND THE EIFFEL TOWER

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

With close to 7 million visitors per year, it is essential to reserve your tickets to this famous landmark well in advance. Visit the online ticket office and select lift tickets to the second level or the very top. If you or your children are afraid of heights, you may find the second level (377 feet/115 meters) high enough. Regardless of which level you choose, it's an unforgettable experience!

The Arc de Triomphe is a symbol of national identity and one of the city's most famous landmarks. Walk under the carved Arc de Triomphe and purchase a ticket to climb the almost 300 stairs to the top for gorgeous views of the Champs-Élysées and the city.

GO GREEN/GET INTO THE GREEN

TAKE A SPIN ON THE CAROUSEL

SWEET STOPS

Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), covering almost 25 hectares (around 60 acres), is a gorgeous green space. Visit the Grand Bassin duck pond and race small wooden sailboats (a local tradition since 1927). While exploring the extensive property, relax among Parisians on the green metal chairs scattered through the Luxembourg Gardens. You can dine at the on-site restaurant or purchase take-away at a food kiosk.

Before or after your trip up the Eiffel Tower, go for a whirl on the adjacent carousel. It's a great spot to shoot some photos looking back toward the Eiffel Tower.

There are many sweet temptations in Paris. Visit Berthillon on Ile Saint Louis, one of the most famous ice cream parlors in Paris. Stop at one of the Ladurée bakery and pastry shops for rainbow-hued macarons. And last, but not even close to least, pop into La Maison du Chocolat, founded in 1977, and satisfy your chocolate cravings.

SEE THE MONA LISA The Louvre, the world's largest art museum, is home to the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and many other priceless art pieces. Children will enjoy peering down into the massive glass and steel pyramid that serves as the museum's main entrance. Designed by I.M. Pei, the


10

am e r D

IN FRANCE

Castles

BY ETHAN GELBER • THETRAVELWORD.COM

Think of castles as conspicuous consumption... medieval style! For hundreds of years and well into the 18th century in France, powerful people spent good francs to stay in power and, of course, made sure to look good and live well while doing so. Their fortified Middle-Ages castles and stately Renaissance chateaux now dot the countryside in every region of France. Thousands of structures. Many are in ruins, but some of the finest are open to visitors as historic monuments, hotels and regal structures at the heart of winegrowers' estates. Here's 10 must-sees sure to inspire your kids' fantasies about life as princesses and princes. PALACE OF VERSAILLES Versailles is simply not to be missed. Built with grand, jawdropping splendor in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the ultimate expression of the French monarchy's prestige and authority. Today its numerous galleries and extensive gardens, now a World Heritage Site, are one of France's most-visited sites. Other noteworthy royal castles in the Paris area are found in Vincennes and Fontainebleau. Learn More

MONT SAINT-MICHEL

HAUT-KOENIGSBOURG CASTLE

More fortified abbey than actual castle, this tiny isolated island on the coast of Normandy has history going back to the 8th century. Even at first glance, kids will immediately understand how its impregnable battlements have withstood the test of time and war. They can visit its rock-topping Romanesque-style church, monastic buildings and wee village, all connected to the mainland by a single elevated over-water road. Learn More

Like a pink sandstone mirage, HautKoenigsbourg shimmers atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Alsace Plain. Twice rebuilt, most recently in 1908 but faithful to its 12thcentury origins, it stunningly evokes its purpose as a sentinel watching the roads of the region and providing security to besieged lords. Comfortable protected courtyards and gardens lead to collections of medieval weapons and arms, and frescoed inner chambers. Learn More

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CASTLES OF THE LOIRE Of the hundreds of castles located along the Loire River and its tributaries, 42 are part of the Loire Valley World Heritage Site established in 2000. While each one has special qualities, these four stand out, collectively capturing the spirit of the Loire, once central to the Renaissance royalty of France. Learn More Amboise Castle: On a promontory dominating the town and river, this 15thcentury chateau had its heyday as home to Francis I, the king who underwrote the French Renaissance. Francis invited Leonardo da Vinci to spend his final years at the nearby Clos Lucé, now an unforgettable museum and park with prototypes of his inventions.

Chambord Castle: The biggest chateau in the Loire, 16th-century Chambord was Francis I's "hunting lodge," a lavish architectural wonder influenced by Da Vinci (double helix staircases, geometrically designed chimneys). Its size, grandeur and vast grounds wow everyone. Kids can be set loose to sleuth out carved salamanders, the symbol of Francis I.

Blois Castle: This royal residence has seen it all. French history is brought to life through its beautifully furnished rooms, mix of architectural styles (13th to 17th centuries) and tons of kid-worthy tales (Joan of Arc was blessed here). Afterward, right across the street is the House of Magic, an awesome magic museum.

Chenonceau Castle: Uniquely, this 15thcentury chateau bridges a river – an enchanting setting that complements its pleasantly appointed rooms and riverside gardens. Called the "Women's Castle," Chenonceau is the only one designed, decorated, inhabited and even saved from destruction by women. During World War II, its bridge was a link between occupied and free France.


CITÉ OF CARCASSONNE The cité, or walled town, of old Carcassonne is located on a rocky spur in Languedoc-Roussillon. A World Heritage Site since 1997, its renowned double ramparts and architecture date largely to the 13th century, restored to majesty in the 19th. Kids can really flex their muscles and imagination in the three kilometers of lices, or free-to-access open space between the two fortified walls. Learn More

ROQUETAILLADE CASTLE The chateaux in Bordeaux are usually closely associated with wine estates, and Roquetaillade is no exception. But it is exceptional. The 14th-century "new" keep – in contrast to the "old" castle ruins behind it – is a study in contrast between its austere and imposing exterior and its lavish interior. Incredibly, the castle has been owned by the same family for more than 700 years. Learn More

MILANDES CASTLE Located in Perigord, the 15th-century castle of Milandes is a fairytale made real. Most famously, American-born performer, entrepreneur and activist Josephine Baker once made it the home of her "Rainbow Tribe" family, for which she and the site are celebrated. Turrets, winding staircases, stained-glass windows and gargoyles add to its allure, as do its landscaped gardens and bird of prey display. Learn More

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Where to rent a

FRENCH CHATEAU

BY TAWNY CLARK • CAPTAINANDCLARK.COM

If you're lacking a little joie de vivre at the moment, take a peek at one of these gorgeous castles in France to stir your wanderlust. You're going to want to bookmark this article for when you start planning your trip to France.

FRENCH CASTLE RENTALS YOU'LL WANT TO BOOK FOR YOUR VACATION IN FRANCE Maybe it's the fresh spring air, or the fact that we're stuck in our homes attempting to recreate the beautiful freshly baked loaves we've seen on The Great British Bake Off, but we're longing for lazy afternoons spent lounging in an open field, snacking on a picnic of crusty bread, brie and fresh fruit. We can almost feel the soft breeze! Since you've most likely memorized every corner of your home by now, a majestic castle nestled in the French countryside is looking pretty good, non? Here are a few chateau rentals that have caught our attention while we mentally plan future trips to France. CHATEAU LE CRUGUIL Chateau le Cruguil is very close to PerrosGuirrec and Lannion, near the ocean, in full greenery on a 5-hectare park. The property is well worth a visit and brings together the classical feel of a French garden with the fantasy of a romantic hideaway. With seven bedrooms sleeping up to fifteen guests, this is a beautiful place to reunite with your friends and family. Spend your afternoons strolling around the fragrant gardens, lounge by your private pool, or challenge a friend to a match on the tennis courts. In the evenings, wind down with a glass of French wine by the fireplace. Click here to see more of the castle for yourself - bookmark it for your future stays.


VACATION CHATEAU IN TOURNON-SAINT-MARTIN You'll feel like royalty in this whimsically restored 11th century chateau. This fairytale castle boasts nine hectares of private and secluded grounds. This truly medieval property also offers modern comforts including Wi-Fi, a heated pool, and six large ensuite bathrooms. You can also treat yourself to meals with the private chef onsite and visits to wine-tasting cellar with original vaulted ceilings. Between family reunions, romantic weddings, or simple just needing to get away, we can't think of a better French chateau for your escape. PETIT CHATEAU NEAR SARLAT This beautiful and quaint (by castle standards) chateau can be found in the heart of the Dordogne, near medieval Sarlat. The area is steeped in thousands of years of history. Key attractions include the town of Sarlat, one of France's best preserved medieval villages, as well as two of the most famous chateaus in the region, Beynac and Castlenaud. Spend days exploring the cliff-hanging village of La RoqueGageac, the prehistoric sites of Les Eyzies, and the famous caves of Lascaux. This petite chateau has a total of four bedrooms that can accommodate eight guests. The castle grounds come with their own private gardens, a unique tower with open battlements, and a serene lily pond. What more could you possibly desire? Whisk yourself away to the French countryside by checking out the Petit Chateau de Salat for yourself.

CHATEAU DANS LE PERCHE You can't get more picturesque than this ivy-covered French chateau nestled in the forest. Whimsy abounds in this seven-bedroom castle that comes equipped with a tower game room and grand wood fireplace. Stay cozy on the castle grounds or head out to explore the town of La Framboisière. Whatever you choose, this castle is perfect for small family stays or reunions with friends from around the globe. Bookmark your future stay by clicking here.

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BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED 18TH CENTURY CASTLE This 16th-century castle near Champagne-Ardenne is simply magnifique! We can't get over the incredible woodwork and the carefully curated designs in each room. Staying here might be a little bit of a splurge, but with eight bedrooms and five bathrooms, this is the perfect place to stay for a wedding, anniversary party, or family reunion. The castle dates back to 1732 and its history is incredible. It once belonged to an alleged mistress of King Louis XIV, whose daughter Sophie was a close friend of the French writer and philosopher Denis Diderot. Diderot was rumored to have stayed at the castle at least twice. More recently, it was the property of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. And if you needed any more reason to book your stay, you'll want to note that the castle is located in the Champagne region with the very first producers of the bubbly located only thirty kilometers away. Santé! Look at dates and book your future stay by clicking here.


STAY NICE Nice is a perfect place to stay for a few days for a classic South of France experience. It is well connected with the neighboring towns by rail and road. With amazing French Riviera views the iconic Westminster Hotel in Nice, France is our favorite place to stay. Ask for a room with a balcony that looks on to the Bay of Angels. Spend a day exploring the old town.

Riviera

ROAD TRIP BY PRIYA VIN • OUTSIDESUBURBIA.COM

You don’t need to master the red carpet walk or own a Birkin to visit the French Riviera. While the rich and famous flock to this area of Southern France, it is accessible, affordable and offers some fun adventures for the whole family. We did a road trip one summer and drove from Marseilles to Provence through some pretty the villages of Roussillon and Gordes, went looking for lavender fields in Sault (even though it was a little past the season) and spent a few days basking in the balmy Côte d'Azur sunshine. The drive from Marseilles to Nice would take about 3 hours if you didn’t stop anywhere. Saint Tropez, Cannes are on the way, you can either spend a few hours enroute or plan a day trip to visit them later. I recommend taking a boat to Saint Tropez, that way you can experience a little yacht life and see some of those mega boats in the water, complete with their helipads and staff in crisp white uniforms.

Stop at the Cours Saleya market in Nice located at the heart of the Old Town to see the Marché aux Fleurs (Flower Market) where locals and visitor flock Tuesdays through Sundays to buy not just flowers but fruits and vegetables. The farmers and flower growers around the area bring down their cut flowers every morning. After the wholesalers have made their purchases, the market would be opened for individuals to buy their flowers. It all started in 1897 when Nice opened the first wholesale cut flower market in the world, and it continues till this day. If you head to the eastern edge of the Cours Saleya and then turn left, you'll be in the heart of Nice's Old Town. This area of narrow streets features historic attractions, pastry shops and a diverse mix of shopping. You can't go wrong with any restaurant for dinner in Cours Saleya, we dined here three nights in a row and enjoyed every one of them, make sure to order some Rosé with your meal.

Vence, to admire the beautiful windows and designed by Matisse. DRIVE ON THE GRANDE CORNICHE TO MONACO On you second day drive on the Grande Corniche to Monaco. Views from the spectacular cliffhanging Grande Corniche are mesmerizing, and a must do when visiting the French Riviera. You will want to stop at every bend to admire the vistas, villas and the Mediterranean – it is all about the journey, take you time and savor the views! There are there corniches (coastal roads) that hug the cliffs between Nice and Monaco, each higher than the last, with dazzling views. If you are after the grandest views, take the Grande Corniche, but the Moyenne Corniche runs a close second. The lowest of all, the Corniche Inférieure, allows you access to a string of coastal resorts. It passes through the towns of Villefranche-sur-Mer, StJean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-surMer, Èze-sur-Mer and Cap d’Ail. Take you pick and stop at a couple on the way to Monaco.

ARTISTS WHO WERE INSPIRED BY THE FRENCH RIVIERA Many artists flocked to the French Riviera for its beautiful light. From Henry Matisse, Van Gogh to Paul Cézanne spent time in the French Rivera. Cézanne was so obsessed with a mountain near Aix-en-Provence and is said to have painted it over 60 times. At the Matisse Museum, located high atop the city Nice, you can see the artist’s masterpieces, including many from his Nice period. Visit the Chapelle du Rosaire, a Catholic chape in nearby

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MONACO One of the popular attractions in Monaco is the Monte-Carlo Casino. If you are not interested in gambling and just want to take a peek at the Grand Casino, you can take kids inside till 12 noon. After which the casino is closed for the public and only those high rollers interested in gambling can go inside. Enjoy a leisurely lunch right across from the famous Casino and then visit the Prince Rainer's private collection of fancy cars. Learn about the history of Monaco Grand Prix race at ACM (Automobile Club de Monaco) and buy some souvenirs at Automobile Club de Monaco boutique store. NICE TO ANTIBES On day 3, take a train from Nice to Antibes. Once you get there it is a ten-minute walk from the train station, down Avenue de la Libération and then Avenue du Verdun, to the Port Vauban. At the Port, you can spend some time at the port of Antibes looking at the different boats and superyachts. A must stop on your day in Antibes will have to the Picasso museum at Château Grimaldi. The museum features work of art from the artist while he lived in Côte d'Azur. Indulge in a meal or stay a couple of nights at the Eden Roc perched on the tip of Cap d’Antibes, overlooking the seawater pool blasted out of the rocks below. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Lérins Islands and the Esterel coastline bathed in sunshine. It is one of the most famous and exclusive luxury hotels in the world that is a favorite of A list celebrities and the world’s elite. You can easily spend a week or two in the French Riviera just relaxing or visiting the many towns like Menton, Cannes and the perfume capital of the world, Grasse. Famous for its perfume industry, the city is filled with lush gardens and fields of sweet-smelling jasmine and mimosa flowers. Every year in August, the city celebrates its heritage with the annual Jasmine Festival.


Saint Tropez the Glamorous

FISHING VILLAGE IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA BY PRIYA VIN • OUTSIDESUBURBIA.COM

The legendary actress Brigitte Bardot put Saint Tropez on the map when she filmed And God Created Woman here. When we were in Southern France, we spent a day in Saint Tropez. While we didn't get to the beach, we spent a leisurely day exploring the glamorous town. We didn't have a plan like we most always do when boarding the boat to Saint Tropez from Nice. We just wanted a day out in the Mediterranean waters, just a relaxing day. And that is exactly what it turned out to be – a Provencal escape! The boat ride from Nice to Saint Tropez stops at Cannes and Antibes before it gets to Saint Tropez, and you will see some mega yachts in the water, double layered and some even had helipads. Once you arrive at the port of Saint Tropez, make your way to the provincial market and pick up some cheese and bread. Place des Lices in the heart of Saint Tropez. It is a delightful square lined with 100 year old planes trees where the open-air market is held. You will find everything from French bread, flowers to French market bags here Walk up around the cobbled lanes leading to Saint Tropez Church and the 17th century Citadelle de St. Tropez for the best spot to see views. A great spot for lunch or dinner is the Dior De Lices located in the stunning Jardins de L’Ambassade. The Dior fashion brand runs this amazing restaurant with a 3 Star Michelin Chef leading the kitchen. Chanel sets up a pop-up store in Saint Tropez during the summer months that is worth the splurge. From Hermes to Louis Vuitton, you will find many high fashion brands in this tiny little fishing village. Unlike the pebbly beaches of Nice, Cannes and Juan Les Pins, Saint Tropez has some of the best and beautiful white sand beaches, stretching out into the fabulous azure blue waters. The wealthy Plage Port Grimaud is the best beach to see and to be seen; pack your designer bathing suits if you are headed to this beach. Plage de Tahiti is notorious for its

"unspoken" clothing-optional policy and has the reputation for having quite the risqué atmosphere. Plage de Pampelonne is lively and has more than 25 beach clubs offering something to suit every taste. The best beaches for families can be found at Plage de la Bouillabaisse, Plage des Graniers and Plage des Jumeaux, which also offer beachside playgrounds. If wandering the quaint town of Saint Tropez for a day does not satisfy your need for a French Riviera escape, spend a night or two in town. With only 31 rooms and suites, Cheval Blanc StTropez is a beautiful hotel for the Tropezian holiday. Located in the heart of the village, each room uniquely decorated in Provençal style, Byblos Saint-Tropez is another great option. Who knows you might fall in love with that Saint Tropez way of life and want a long term vacation rental to enjoy the sun and the sea!

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Marseille, France

WHAT TO SEE AND DO WITH KIDS BY KATHRYN DICKSON • KATHRYNANYWHERE.COM

21st- century civilizations, covering all aspects of the cultures of the Mediterranean area in Europe. Thee main floor is home to a library/bookstore where the kids have an opportunity to sit and read. Carrousel de la Canebière - Need a latte break? The kids can ride an old Venetian carousel that dates back to the 18th century while the adults enjoy a breather with a coffee on a street side cafe patio. Visit Notre-Dame de la Garde Climb the steps to take in the views from the most visited site in all of Marseille. So popular that it sees over 2 million visitors a year. Since the Middle Ages, this church, known as the “Bonne Mère” (Great Mother) watches over the city day and night. Considered a guardian for sailors and fishermen, the exterior of the church is an architectural marvel. The interior basilica is stunning and includes intricate artwork.

The city of Marseille is located on the beautiful southern coast line of France. It’s often skipped by travelers in favor of Aix-enProvence, Nice and the glamorous area of Cannes. But overlooking Marseille when traveling with kids is a big mistake. From cuisine to culture and ease of location, Marseille is a must do in the south of France with the family. As one of the oldest and the second biggest city in all of France, Marseille is easily accessible by train, car or by bus. It’s a bustling area with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. The city is extremely walkable, but the public transit system and city trams are easily accessible and handy should little feet tire from exploring city sights. The city of Marseille has a rugged feel, but its character, culture and charm are sure to win you over.

Visit The Vieux Port - Wandering through this area means strolling through 26 centuries of history. While the buildings themselves aren’t that old, there is an amazing historic vibe here and the imagination can run wild. Where did fisherman from the Meditteranean dock and bring in their haul? The ancient harbour has born witness to trading and nation building over the years. There are almost always street performers to entertain and every restaurant there is a hit. Take a tasty scavenger hunt and see if you can find the best pizza (or the first pizza van) in all of France in the Old Port. . Ride the Grande Roue de Marseille The second tallest ferris wheel in France gives you a perspective of the city like none other. Take in a breathtaking 360 degree vantage point from one of the 42 gondolas. It’s a great place to enjoy a break from all of the sight-seeing in the Vieux Port area, as long as you aren’t afraid of heights. Visit The Museum (MuCEM - Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) - This is a must-see in Marseille. The MuCEM is a museum of

Visit Calanques National Park Calanques National Park covers over 20,000 acres and 12 gorgeous miles of coastline. It’s the first suburban park in France, stretching from Marseille to Cassis. This is the playground for all adventure seekers and nature lovers to find themselves in. If you want to feel like you’re in a tropical paradise, this is the place to be. Hiking, swimming and sunbathing are enjoyable activities in summer. What trip to Marseille would be complete without a stop to Savon de Marseille soap? This local soap is famous worldwide and makes for excellent souvenirs to bring the scents of Marseille and the south of France into your home, and those of your friends. Twist Tip: The Metropolitan Tourist and Conventions Office awards the tourism label “Famille Plus” to tourist establishments throughout Marseille (hotels, restaurants, etc.) catering to and meeting the needs of traveling families.


French Alps in Summer OUR FAVORITE ALPINE TOWNS BY KATJA GASKELL • GLOBETOTTING.COM

The French Alps are magical in winter, but visit during the summer months and you'll see how spellbinding the mountains truly are. Sure, winter brings skiing and snowboarding fun but summer offers dozens of activities from hiking and mountain biking to stand-up paddle boarding, foraging, bivouacking and much more. The promise of long sunny days, delicious French food and fresh mountain air has seen the Alps' popularity as a summer destination rise - and this only looks set to continue. If you're thinking of hitting the slopes in summer then here are some of our favourite spots. MORZINE The traditional Alpine village of Morzine forms part of Les Portes du Soleil, an enormous ski area that covers 12 resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. During summer months the 600 km of ski slopes become marked trails for hiking and mountain biking. There are also golf courses and zip lines; white water rafting and horseback riding; guided foraging walks and forest bathing. One of the best things about Morzine, however, is the Lac de Montriond. This large freshwater lake is simply stunning and the turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking, canoeing and SUP. There's also a small man-made kids' lake attached, which is always busy in summer months. LES GETS Next door to Morzine is Les Gets, (pronounced ‘les jeh’) the unofficial capital of downhill mountain biking. The resort is home to 128 km of marked trails, 13 downhill tracks, 1 Freeride track plus a jump park and a kids’ zone. They also boast Enduro (cross-country style) bike tracks as well as electric mountain biking tracks. Les Gets is also home to Alta Lumina, magical, multisensory night walk through the forest that is the first of its kind in Europe. LA CLUSAZ Within easy reach of Annecy is the pretty village of La Clusaz. Summer sees the centre of town transformed into activity heaven for families. There's a luge (toboggan) run down the mountain, a kids' park with bumper boats, an adventure course, and a Big Air ramp where you slide down

a ramp in an inner tube before flying through the air and landing on a giant inflatable cushion. Of course there are hiking and MTB options too but its the fun festive atmosphere in town that the family will really love. ARC 1950 Unlike the other villages listed here, Arc 1950 is a purposebuilt resort. But this doesn't mean you forgo aesthetics for functionality. Arc 1950 has been designed to resemble a traditional Savoyard village and is full of charm. Where this resort really stands out, however, is with its summer schedule of activities, many of them free. There are ping pong tables scattered around the village centre as well as a bouncy castle, slack-lines and climbing walls. Organised kids' - and family - activities take place regularly plus there are weekly shows and concerts during summer months. ANNECY The Alpine city of Annecy is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in France. Located in the Haute-Savoie region in the south east of France, this good-looking town sits at the tip of an aquamarine lake of the same name, Lake Annecy, surrounded by the snowcapped French Alps. Although you can't walk from your apartment to the slopes, you have a handful of resorts and villages in easy reach. Annecy's Old Town is charming and full of character. But the jewel in this town's crown is the lake. Come here for swimming, sailing, water-skiing and diving (including free diving), or simply enjoy a long, leisurely lunch at one of the lakeside restaurants. Beaches pepper the shoreline and a cycle path runs for 50 km alongside the lake. This is also a fantastic place to go paragliding - around 150,000 flights take place here every year.

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TRAVEL LEMONS THE REAL FACE OF FAMILY TRAVEL BY KARILYN OWEN • NOBACKHOME.COM

Spending the night deep in the Bornean jungles of Malaysia was the top item on my son’s wish list. His hope was to see Pygmy elephants or maybe even orangutans. Instead, he got a lesson he won’t soon forget.

I awoke to a not unfamiliar sound. A sick child, vomiting all over the bed in the pitch black night. We had no electricity. It was thundering and pouring rain. Our toilet was a shared outhouse downstairs from our hut.

After taking a boat down the Kinabatangan River for a couple of hours, we arrived to our jungle camp. There was no electricity or running water, unless you count the roaring river. Just us and our hut in the middle of the jungle.

I cleaned my son’s bed as best as I could with my minuscule phone light before taking him down to the outhouse to wash up and use the restroom. With no dry clothes left, we just ventured down in our night clothes.

During our first day, villagers from a local community came by to provide a traditional cooking lesson to everyone at the camp. We worked all afternoon alongside the villagers preparing our menu for dinner.

Then the real fun started. He was now sick from both ends. Vomiting in the trash can while sitting on the toilet. To make matters worse, this was an open-air outhouse and the mosquitos were buzzing around ferociously.

Sweating up a storm in the sticky humid air, my sons eyes lit up when he saw a bucket of ice. Having traveled all over the world he knew to ask if it was clean ice. Meaning could he eat it? Was it made with purified water? The villagers said yes and he proceeded to fill his water bottle with it, salivating at the cold water he was about to drink. He quenched his thirst and gave me the last little sip. It wasn't good. I tasted fish, which had probably been stored on top of the ice. Oops. Nothing to be done now but wait and hope for the best. The skies opened up around dinnertime to a monsoon-like rainstorm. Drenched from dinner and a nighttime jungle walk, we return to our hut thoroughly exhausted. My son slid under his mosquito net and crashed soundly on his mattress on the floor, and I retreated to my own bed.

Our night consisted of back and forth bathroom visits in the pouring rain. Me “sleeping” sitting up to make sure my son didn’t vomit on our last remaining mattress since we had one more night left in the jungle. After a time, he got it all out and was good to go the next morning. Apart from the extreme itchiness he felt in his under pants… apparently the mosquitos had found the most uncomfortable of spots to feast. Unbeknownst to me, my sick day was still coming. Thankfully it was not at the same time and we made it to civilization just in the nick of time. Lesson learned: No matter how alluring ice may be in the middle of the jungle, it is probably not safe ice to eat!

Have a travel lemons tale? Email us at twisttravelmag@gmail.com


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