Our final stop in Bali: Holiday Inn Resort-Bali Benoa

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Our final two days in Bali we spent at the Holiday Inn Resort -Bali Benoa. Staying in the chain hotel, we thought we would save some bucks and spend our hotel points we’ve both accumulated a lot of! Both Stan and I enjoy IHG Spire Elite status level, so we were able to get one of the the nicest rooms in the hotel as a complimentary upgrade to our reservation: full ocean view, top floor king room. We were also greeted by a friendly staff upon arrival with a welcome drink and a 10% discount on their spa services, which we were definitely planning to utilize before our long trek back home into winter. 🙂

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Hotel has several lovely infinity pools, some of them overlooking the ocean.

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Resort pool all lit up at night

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Outdoor play area and pool for the little ones

This pool is very shallow (less than 30 cm! deep) designed for the hotel’s littlest guests. It features a water slide and a bucket of water that dumps on the unsuspecting pool visitors once it’s full. Richard thoroughly enjoyed playing in this (and all of the other pools at the hotel).

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Several infinity pools overlooking the ocean

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lovely view from our room

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One of the days the cleaning staff dressed up one of our towels with Stan’s sunglasses

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White sand beach

This hotel doesn’t have a super huge beach front, but it was nicely combed and groomed every morning. Even with all the effort from the staff, we noticed that some trash still lined the shores quite often during the day.

We wanted to get a couple’s massage while there, but scheduling one proved to be harder than we thought. Even though the spa facilities at the resort are quite large, the number of therapists they have there at any given time is quite limited, so if you are planning to use their services, I would encourage you to book early. They were able to accommodate us after all, but it took some effort and phone calls.

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Dimply lit couple’s massage room at the Tea Tree Spa

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Gorgeous white marble hallway in the spa reminded me of the tribute center from the “hunger games” movie

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Lemongrass tea as a welcome drink before our massage

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Even though the 90 minute massage felt quite relaxing (we both opted for the Royal Javanese massage), at times one of us felt like the therapists could have had a bit better training. Also the atmosphere was not quite the same as at some of the other spas we’ve experienced with no natural light (their spa is in the basement of the resort, designed to be secluded from the noise of the hotel) or nature sounds (like birds, waterfalls, ocean breeze) that we’ve had the privilege of enjoying previously at some other facilities.

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Playing at the Kids’ Club

One of the things that makes Holiday Inn Resorts so child-friendly to stay in with family throughout the world is their kids’ club and the offerings of various child-friendly activities. Although usually it is designed for older kids (ages 4-12), this particular resort does offer babysitting services at an additional cost, for children younger than 4. Baby Richard loved playing at the Kids’ club while we enjoyed the massage at the Spa, and he was well supervised. The cost for babysitting is very reasonable, as well.

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Hotel boasts 1 restaurant and 3 bars on the property. All of the meals were lovely, breakfast was buffet style and had quite extensive offerings. During lunch/dinner the staff were generally very friendly to us (even though baby Richard made a huge mess of his meal every single time!) and always had a high chair ready to go for us when we arrived.

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Such a lovely color on that dragonfruit!

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Enjoying the drinks by the sea with the lovely ocean view

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Welcome drinks

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My morning coffee overlooking the ocean

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Dragonfruit juice just has such an intense lovely color!

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Pistachio dessert

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Beef rendang is the best dish we’ve had in Indonesia, hands down!

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Smoked salmon and beet appetizer

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Richard thoroughly enjoyed his kids’ meal

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Too tired to play!

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We took a long walk along the beach on our last day there, which was pretty relaxing.

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Coconuts by the ocean!

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Enjoying the swim up bar 🙂

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Overall, we would recommend Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa to those who are thinking of visiting. It’s very family-friendly and we had a great and a very relaxing time there.

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Urban Oasis: Bebek Tepi Sawah Villas in Ubud, Bali

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After our delightful time in Kintamani, Bali, hiking Mount Batur volcano and relaxing at the Hot Springs thereafter, we headed down to the middle of the island, a town of Ubud. Ubud is known as the center for traditional Balinese crafts, and cultural exhibitions in Bali. There are also a lot of family-friendly options to explore there, such as:

Ubud Monkey Forest

Bali Bird Park

Puri Lukisan Museum (art museum known for Balinese arts)

Rice fields trekking

Goa Gajah elephant cave

Ubud art market (filled with traditional Balinese arts and crafts)

Puri Saren Royal Palace

Tegenungan waterfalls

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Since we were traveling this time with just baby Richard, and without the older kids, we opted not to do a lot of those fun things, but save some for the next time we are in Bali! We mostly hung out at our beautiful villa, swam in the pools and enjoyed their lovely offerings.

In Ubud we stayed at the Bebek Tepi Sawah Villas, which was exquisite! Since we were there during the low season (October-May is considered rainy season, although while we were in Bali we were blessed with beautiful weather and only got 1 rainstorm, and even that one was during the night/morning) we practically had the place to ourselves.

We stayed at their most luxurious Campuhan villa, which had its own yard, fishpond, and an outdoor seating area/traditional Balinese hangout space.

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Our room

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Carved decorations in our villa

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Huge en suite bathroom with a tub and indoor/outdoor shower, as well as another fish pond. That pond had lots of little fish in there as well as 3 crabs. Richard loved watching them!

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Our outdoor seating area

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private yard at our villa

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Both swimming pools were just right out the doors of our villa. They were so serene with hardly anyone but us splashing in them 🙂

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Bebek Tepi Sawah (name of the villas) is translated as “Ducks at the edge of the rice fields”. The whole hotel was decorated with ducks and there were quite a few mini-rice fields on the property to enjoy strolling in as well.

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This seating area in the midst of the rice fields usually has to be reserved 24 hours in advance. One night, while we made a reservation for 7 pm and showed up on time, there was another couple already being seated there. Turns out 3 other couples made a 7 pm reservation for the same table for the same night! Oh well, language barriers 🙂 We got to eat breakfast there next morning.

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The property is filled with beautiful fragrant flowers everywhere!

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Our little “duckling” also enjoyed the walks by the edge of the rice fields 🙂

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Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant is the neighboring property to the villas, and they have several locations all over Bali. We dined there twice (we ate the villas property restaurant the rest of the time) and enjoyed it. The servers were all very smiley and helpful (one of the times they took the baby for us so we could eat in peace and carried him around showing him various fish and flowers all around the property). The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, and we ate outdoor both times – 1 time at the western-style seating table, and 1 time at the Balinese-style seating table. There are a lot of duck dishes on the menu (namesake nod!) so be sure to try those.

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Bebek Betutu I had, which is Balinese smoked duck with the sides of rice, vegetables and 2 sambal (sauces which were really spicy!)

They also had a lot of other Indonesian, Asian, and western options on the menu as well as some vegetarian dishes.

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Another beautiful pool with fountains sat empty most of the time as well. Richard loved splashing there!

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There were a lot of exotic tropical trees on the property. This starfruit was hanging low right in our yard.

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Our welcome drinks upon arrival to the villas.

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They also had afternoon tea included in our rate. I got excited at first when I saw that when we made reservations (you all know how much I love afternoon teas!). Sadly this was a non-traditional version of an afternoon tea (served at the property restaurant daily 4-6 pm) which literally consisted of 1 cup of tea and 2 small spring rolls. Not sure who thought it was a good idea to pair spring rolls with tea, but at least spring rolls were crunchy and delicious!

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While in Bali, we got to enjoy quite a few plates of nice ripe fruit.

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Pineapple pancakes (part of breakfast)

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Eggs Benedict served at breakfast were good for the most part, but severely lacked in Hollandaise sauce.

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While in Ubud we did visit 1 art gallery, the royal palace, and the Art market to buy souvenirs for the kids we left at home 🙂 By the way, if you decide to buy souvenirs in Bali, expect to use your stellar negotiating skills or overpay for everything! It seems like when you first walk up to a seller, they give you a price at least 5-10 times higher than what they actually expect to get at the end, so be sure to take than into account and negotiate!

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While in Bali, Richard learned to love mangosteen. While we were at the art market, we were able to buy a small bag of those for him from one of the produce stands nearby so he could enjoy those longer!

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One of the delicious desserts we’ve had there with fresh mangoes!

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Fresh pineapple and papaya juice. We decided to branch out but went back to mango juice right after this, since freshly squeezed mango juice is simply the best!

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Salmon dinner at the Villa Restaurant was delicious!

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Baby Richard happily eating mangosteen

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Breakfast coffee at the rice fields

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Several cocoa trees on the property

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We also enjoyed 2 couples’ massages at their spa. I would recommend scheduling those in advance as they do not always have therapists there at all times. It was a good massage and a very beautiful relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, I would highly recommend Bebek Tepi Sawah villas, spa, and Restaurant to anyone planning a trip to Ubud.

Posted in asia, enjoying the lovely, pampering, reviews, travel, travel with kids, trip itineraries | Leave a comment

Destination: Kintamani, Bali (and a review of Villa Jempana)

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We just returned from a quick vacation in a beautiful paradise, a.k.a. tropical island of Bali. Our three older kids stayed at home with grandparents this time, only baby Richard came with us – this was his first international trip (and halfway across the world, no less!)

Our very first destination in Bali was beautiful village of Kintamani nestled in the foothills of majestic Mount Batur Volcano.We were picked up at the airport by a driver arranged by the villa Jempana owners where we were planning to stay. The drive up north was slow (traffic!) but lovely. Kintamani is a picturesque community tucked between Lake Batur and the volcano. It is highly dependent on tourism (volcano trekking and hot springs are the two main destinations), as well as agriculture (a lot of cabbage, tomatoes, onions, chilies, and eggplants are grown here and are distributed from here all over Bali and some of the closer Indonesian islands). The weather here is a bit cooler than the rest of the island due to higher elevation, but during the day it gets plenty hot.

When we arrived to Villa Jempana we were met by a lovely family showing us our luxurious place to stay for the next couple of nights and a watermelon juice as our welcome drink.

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We enjoyed just looking around the villas for a while and smelling beautiful flowers that are in abundance at the villas.

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Villa Jempana is run by a wonderful family who make you feel like cherished guests. They attended to our every need during our stay and made sure we had anything we needed.

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The deluxe villa we stayed in was beautifully appointed, and had everything we needed for a pleasant stay.  It was decorated in the traditional Balinese style. The bathroom is spacious, and the room has space for a whole family, if needed.

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The meals were cooked on demand and we could choose to eat in their restaurant, or by the lovely infinity pool overlooking Lake Batur, or even in the room (if we wanted extra privacy).

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Our lunch – local fish from Lake Batur

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We ate outside as much as possible since the weather was lovely and we had (a very messy) 10-month old baby with us. Our favorite was Indonesian breakfast of noodles with fried egg on top, accompanied by the fruit plate and freshly squeezed mango juice. While we were there we had mango juice so many times, we used up all of their mangoes!

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Villa Jempana currently consists of 3 villas (regular villa, deluxe villa, and a 2-bedroom villa) and they are building two more.

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During our stay all 3 villas were full and the ongoing construction didn’t bother us at all as it wasn’t too loud.

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Other guests were quiet and only came out for an occasional swim in the pool or to enjoy the serene vistas of the vegetable gardens surrounding the villas and the lovely views of the lake. The family running the villas grow their own tomatoes, onions, eggplants, chilies, which they use in preparing meals for their guests, when those vegetables are in season.

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Even before arriving we knew we wanted to hike Mount Batur volcano, but while researching the issue, we found out that the guide is required to accompany us. We were somewhat concerned about finding a reliable guide for our volcano trekking, but Indah (owner’s daughter) quickly put our mind at ease, saying that her father (Mr. Kadek) used to be the head of the local volcano trekking guide association and could easily arrange us a guide for the hike.

We were met the next morning by a guide who drove us to the beginning of the hiking trail and skillfully led us on a hike to the top, helping out when rocks were slippery and allowing us to take breaks as needed (much better than a commercial tour for not too much extra cost!).  He also carried our backpack with water (my husband had our baby on his back, and I didn’t feel like carrying anything since the guide offered to help.) Afterwards, he found a place to stop at our request to buy coconuts from a local stand and safely delivered us back to the villa.

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View of Kintamani from Mount Batur

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Volcano crater at Mount Batur

In the afternoon after our hike we wanted to relax with a massage and a Hot Springs swim. Mr. Kadek drove us to Toya Devasya and his niece Ayu, who also works as the villa, came along with us to watch our baby while we got a massage! That was so lovely to be able to relax after a hike and trust that our baby was well taken care of during that time.

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Several pools at Toya Devasya overlook Lake Batur

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After our swim and a dinner at Toya Devasya Mr. Kadek came back to pick us up and drove us back to the villas. As it was after dark, we really appreciated not having to worry about finding a taxi or walking back with our baby.

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We really enjoyed the infinity pool at the villa

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Majestic view through the doors of our villa. Mount Agung volcano is visible in the back.

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Next morning after we checked out, Mr. Kadek himself (the owner of the villa) drove us down to our next destination in Ubud, stopping on the way (at our request) at the coffee plantation/coffee tasting place. He stayed with us the whole time and drove safely to make sure that we got to our next hotel safely.

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Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Villa Jempana and would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering visiting Kintamani. Our only regret is that we didn’t plan more days there to simply relax and take in the beauty all around us. We will definitely be back again with our 3 older kids next time!

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Tips and tricks for traveling the world as a family of five on a budget

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Kids enjoying the beach time at the Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, Thailand 

Many people ask us how we are able to afford to travel as a family of five. The answer is simple – it usually requires a lot of planning and being flexible with our plans. Usually we start out planning a trip with a certain budget in mind and see how far we can go with that budget. Sometimes, we find special deals on sights like flyertalk, but usually the deals like that require lightning-fast decisions whether we want to snap those plane tickets up or not. Quite often, even if the destination wasn’t on our bucket list, we decide to go if the deal is good enough, because new places are always fun to explore. Sometimes, though, even when the plane ticket price seems relatively good, by the time you multiply it by 5 people, it becomes out of our reach.

Another way to save on the airline tickets for us is quite often choosing to fly low-cost carriers. We have done that in Europe, Asia, and in Canada, and even flew on Air Canada Rouge internationally from Vancouver to London during our most recent trip to Europe. I am planning to write up a separate review-comparison type post about the various low-cost carriers we have flown, so for now I’ll just say that our experiences have mostly been positive ones, as long as we were willing to put up with smaller seats that do not recline, no checked luggage requirement, tiny carry-ons, sometimes seats not all together, and snacks/water being sold to you on board; it was ok.

After we decide on a destination (or sometimes multiple ones), we check out a lot of guidebooks and general informational books about those countries from the library and do a lot of research online to decide what specifically we want to see at each place. Since we homeschool, very often a geography unit study happens organically in this manner, based on the destination we are researching. It allows the kids to get excited about the trip, to learn all about the country and the culture of where we’ll be going, and gives them highlights to look forward to.

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Visiting Singapore, Marina Bay Sands

Next step is figuring out where we will be staying, once we’ve decided on which countries and cities we’ll be visiting. Quite often our choices are limited by the hotels where we happen to have free nights or points accumulated (another separate post about that will be coming soon), but we are usually not picky, and are used to sleeping in small quarters while traveling. After all, we are there to enjoy the destination, and hotel room is mostly to just lay your head down at the end of the day. Sometimes, though, European and Asian hotel rooms are so small, there’s hardly even room on the floor enough to stretch out. 🙂 We try to, as much as possible, to either get a room with two beds or sometimes a bed and a fold-out couch for the kids. There were cases in the past, when the rooms were so tiny, we had to get two, but then we usually try to get connecting rooms to still be close to the kids.

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Fun day at the Taman Mini-Indonesia Indah in Jakarta, Indonesia

If we are staying at one of the chain hotels (like IHG or Marriott, where we have points and elite status from staying there often) we try to get the cheaper hotel within the chain, that has breakfast included as well, because then it takes care of one meal already each day 🙂 Sometimes with having elite status we do receive upgrades to larger rooms or sometimes club access (internationally, nicer hotels within the chain wouldn’t typically have breakfast included, but the club room usually has breakfast in the morning and sometime snacks during the day/evening).

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Exploring Tulum-by-the-Sea ruins in Tulum, Mexico

As for the other meals, we typically try to go out to eat for lunch, rather than dinner, since it’s cheaper usually, and quite often we share meals, too. Since, while traveling, we don’t usually want to take leftovers back with us to the hotel room, and restaurants provide giant portions these days, that usually works out pretty well. When we do go out to eat in the evening, it’s typically a smaller meal.

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Edward’s handstand by the Monas National Monument in Jakarta, Indonesia

As for the attractions at each destination, it is usually a mixed bag. Of course, there are some, that are iconic to each destination, and we try to visit those as much as possible, but sometimes high costs and long lines do not justify our time and cost, and we opt for some cheaper or even free options, like self-guided walking tours around the cities or visiting parks or cathedrals, that still have a lot of historical value, but are typically free/inexpensive. Kids love visiting various museums, especially science-related ones, so we try to do those as well, if a certain destination has a really high-rated one and we usually make a full day trip out of that.

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Enjoying a beautiful sunny day in Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

We know we are blessed with the kids who are excellent travelers, love to see new places and try new foods. Each of them has now been to 19 countries already (some of them more than once), and they loved every minute of it.

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Watching the ships go through the Miraflores locks of the Panama canal

Although it may seem daunting and challenging to travel the world with the children and completely out of reach financially, I would encourage you to try. It allows the lessons they get from the pages of the books to come alive, they get to see the beautiful world around them and expand their horizons. And it’s not as scary as it might look at first! 🙂

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Destination: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Afternoon Tea at the Abkhazi Garden.

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For some unbeknownst reason (but my heart loves it!) all 3 of my children LOVE tea parties! The boys get giddy about the fancy dainty food, and Margarita enjoys the whole experience. We love to share the loveliness of a quiet afternoon tea ceremony with our kids, and they have enjoyed formal tea ceremonies with us in several countries now.

One of the first things we did when visiting Victoria, BC this summer, was look up places for one of our favorite traditions. Abkhazi Gardens Tearoom beckoned us with quiet loveliness of a small place, beautiful setting, and a legacy of a real prince making that place his home once upon a time.

Lovely stroll through the gardens whet our appetites for the beautiful food awaiting us a little while later…

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When entering the gardens, we picked up a self-guided tour card, which told us all about the history of the gardens and the tea house, as well as described various plants in the gardens.

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The gardens aren’t that huge and a slow stroll through them while talking photos didn’t take us more than about an hour.G16_4541G16_4556G16_4539G16_4553G16_4548

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Although for our afternoon tea we opted to sit inside since it was a little chilly that afternoon, outdoor seating at the Abkhazi Garden tearoom is plentiful.

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Reservations for the tea house are strongly recommended, even though when we visited on a quiet summer Saturday afternoon, the tea house was far from full.

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Connor was excited that there was a tea cup there with a yellow flower (his favorite color is yellow!)G16_4573

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And Margarita just loved being fancy! We got two full afternoon teas as well as two sets of “elevensies” for the 5 of us and it was plenty of food. Kids loved sampling all of the teas we got!

The menu for an afternoon tea included:

Finger sandwiches and savories (cucumber and watercress with cream cheese on rich, whole wheat bread, free-range organic egg salad on rich, whole wheat bread, smoked salmon profiterole with caramelized shallot cream and dill, savory mini quiche ham and cheddar, croissant)

Baked things and sweet little morsels (freshly baked currant scone with devonshire cream and delicious homemade preserves, freshly baked cheddar scone with crisp apple slice, and a delicious selection of freshly baked desserts)

Choice of Tea

The “elevensies” (which the waited recommended to us especially for children) included fewer choices and included just two tea sandwiches, a scone, and a couple of simpler desserts (think something like cookies).

To finish off the “experience” of our afternoon high tea, we enjoyed visiting their tea gift shop located right on the premises, where they sell all things lovely and tea-related. I would highly recommend visiting there, just plan in advance and in accordance with the weather so you can enjoy the gardens as well.

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Destination: Vancouver, Canada. Our lovely afternoon at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens

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After a pretty long drive from Seattle this summer we had a few hours left before our scheduled ferry over to Victoria, BC. By a popular vote we decided to visit VanDusen Botanical Gardens. It seemed like it would be a great place for the kids to run around and let off some pent-up energy from sitting in the car for two days. And boy, did the gardens not disappoint! If you are in the Vancouver area and have a few hours, I would highly recommend visiting there to enjoy the lovely beauty all around you, no matter the season of the year. We were there in June, so blooming flowers were plentiful, and it was a feast not only for our eyes and ears, (a lot of birds there singing!) but also the aroma of all the flowers was just delightful! I invite you to settle in and see some of the loveliness captured in pictures for yourself…

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Our first stop was the whimsical visitor center, where we stopped at the information desk to inquire about the tours of the gardens. They offer individual and group tours daily during the summer months, so you want to be sure to ask so you don’t miss one before you start exploring the vastness of 22 hectares of beautiful gardens.

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Right by the seed shop they have a few plants kids are encouraged to touch and smell.

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Lovely fountain in the center of the gardens provides soothing backdrop to the loveliness while you explore.

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Various flowers are luscious and bountiful to enjoy.

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Stopping to smell the roses is, of course, part of the experience, too!
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Lovely formally laid-out English garden with stone arches is super cute.

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My gymnast always prefers to pose upside-down 🙂

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Visiting Botanical Gardens provides the whole family bonding experience while exploring the beauty of God’s creation.

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Kids loved hiding behind these giant plant leaves. It reminded them of giant rhubarb leaves!

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One of our favorite places in the botanical gardens was this gorgeous rhododendron alley. Rhododendrons of all imaginable colors graced the sides of the alley, and children enjoyed running around from plant to plant to see which one had the lovelier scent.

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I would highly recommend visiting VanDusen Botanical Gardens if you are in the area for at least a few hours.

Posted in Canada, travel, travel with kids | 1 Comment

15 destinations in 8 countries in one month! Our whirlwind trip to Canada and Europe.

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Our family visiting Stonehenge, England

This summer we were privileged to take a month long trip of Europe and Canada. It was sort-of-last minute planning, but ended up creating amazing family memories along the way. I am planning to write a separate post about each of our destinations to highlight everything in more detail; this is just to provide an outline of our trip for a big picture. This trip was pretty intense, even for us, traveling with 3 kids. I have to make a disclaimer though, that our kids are really good travelers, and experienced ones, having visited 18-19 countries each already, but this kind of itinerary seemed pretty tight even to them at times 🙂 This trip, however, gave all of us a great taste for the places we might want to re-visit someday and spend more time in.

Our trip itinerary:

Day 1: left Montana and drove to Seattle

Day 2: appointment at the passport agency in Seattle (two of our kids’ passports were expiring, and even though we applied 9 weeks before this time, the passports were still not ready in time for our trip. We ended up needing to pay expedited fee and picking them up in person in at the passport agency in Seattle). Thankfully, the passports were ready for pick up right away and we ended up having most of the day free for other pursuits. We drove to Vancouver, Canada, where we spent our afternoon in a beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens, then took evening sunset ferry over to Victoria, BC.

Day 3-Day 7: time in Victoria, BC. We did quite a bit of sightseeing and enjoyed beautiful weather there, while Stan had a conference to attend and customer labs to visit.

Day 8: ferry back to Vancouver, from where we flew to London directly.

Day 9: arrived in London, rented a car, then drove for a few hours to a small medieval town of Salisbury, England, where we visited the famous Salisbury Cathedral and admired one of the 4 remaining originals of Magna Carta. After that we drove to Stonehenge and Woodhenge.

Day 10: Visited ancient town of St. Albans (north of London) with Roman ruins and beautiful cathedral, then caught a flight to Vilnius, Lithuania.

Day 11-16: time in Vilnius, Lithuania. We enjoyed sightseeing, while Stan was there for work.

Day 17: flight to Prague, Czech Republic. We had  a 5-hour long layover in Vienna, Austria, so we took advantage of that by taking a train into the city and quickly walking around some of the main sights.

Day 18-19: time exploring Prague, Czech Republic. Day 19 was actually Connor’s (my middle child’s) birthday, so he got to spend it in two different countries, as in the evening of that day we flew to Munich, Germany.

Day 20-21: Munich, Germany. Stan was there for a trade show, and we spent time exploring the old town and enormous  Deutsches Museum.

Day 22: rented a car, and drove on the German Autobahn to Cologne for close to 8 hours. It was a rainy, kind of miserable sort of day 🙂

Day 23: explored Cologne, the kids really loved visiting the gorgeous Cologne Cathedral. In the afternoon we drove to Dortmund to see my high school geography teacher who lives there now for a few hours.

Day 24: Dusseldorf, Germany. We actually (without knowing it in advance) ended up visiting there just as the Tour De France was starting, so the whole town was in a celebratory mood, despite the rain and somewhat gloomy weather that day. In the evening we flew to Dublin, Ireland.

Day 25-26 : exploring sights and sounds (and tastes, of course!) of Dublin.

Day 27: super-long, never-ending day of our flights back to North America from Dublin. We had a layover in Toronto, where we missed a connection due to our flight out of Dublin being severely delayed, but we got on one of the later flights and still made it back to Vancouver same day. After re-claiming our car from long-term parking, we drove to Seattle and were back on the US soil.

Day 28: our scheduled-way-in-advance appointment at the Russian embassy was on that day, so we got all of the passport issues settled then started back on our way to Montana.

Day 29: late at night (or rather very early in the morning of day 29) we finally got back home!

Which of these destinations would you be most interested hearing about first? Please leave your suggestions in the comments 🙂

Posted in Canada, Europe, travel, travel with kids, trip itineraries | 5 Comments