#81 Take a Culinary Tour of Lima, Peru
Lima is quickly becoming known as one of the top culinary cities in the world. When we only have a short time in a city between stops we look for interesting tours that show us a city and give us a chance to experience it in an “up-close and personal” way. Taking a culinary tour of Lima with The Lima Gourmet Company http://www.limagourmetcompany.com presented us with with an excellent and friendly guide who spent about half a day helping us eating our way through the streets of Lima.
We started by meeting in a local cafe and sipped wonderful lucuma smoothie (lucuma is a delicious butterscotch tasting fruit) while getting to know each other and learning a little about Lima. We drove through Lima getting information along the way and ended up in a beautiful open-air market featuring a wide assortment of fresh fruits and veggies from the typical to the exotic. We tasted many of them. We also saw lots of fresh fish and seafood form the morning’s catch. We then went on to one of the best restaurants in town for a private lesson from the chef and bartender on making ceviche and pisco sours. Then finally we went to another amazing restaurant, la Huaca Pucllana, surrounded by Inca ruins and local cuisine. We sampled several plates and desserts.
If food is the way to ones heart, Lima certainly and her cuisine made our family fall in love. The best thing about culinary tours that they are active and hands on. This day was great for the kids and would be great for anyone!
#82 Get a fish Massage in Bali:
There are lots of different styles of massages out there and in Ubud, Bali it isn’t expensive to take some time to relax. Massages are cheap and available everywhere but one of the strangest massage opportunities we saw was the fish massage. A fish massage consists of submerging your feet in a giant tank filled with tiny little fish that eat the dead skin from you feet and lower legs. Your whole family can sit together and laugh as the fish tickle your toes. It’s strange and amusing. Your legs do feel good afterwards and we all had fun. (Be warned it is important you learn about the health standards of this, as there are risks and concerns associated with it).
We had the opportunity to try a natural version of this in Borneo in a local river with larger versions of fish. It was much more intimidating and if a certain type of catfish snuck up it hurt. I’ll stick with typical tank massage with tank filter in the future.
#84 See The Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo:
Proboscis Monkeys are only found on the Island of Borneo. There are two unique ways to encounter wild proboscis monkeys in Borneo. One is by taking a jungle river tour. We had a small little boat with a driver and a guide to help point out the animals. We stayed in a nearby jungle lodge. The proboscis monkeys are quite easy to identify with their big noses and come to the river trees to sleep. We saw many family groups. Rainforests are fascinating ecosystems, but fragile and threatened. We felt that it was vital for our children to visit them and learn this firsthand.
You can also visit proboscis monkeys up close at Labuk Bay. Here, wild monkeys are fed several times a day and come in from the jungle canopy. You may also see some Silver Leaf monkeys. These animals are habituated to humans and quite comfortable being close to tourists. They are still wild animals so you can not touch them. You can get close enough for some crazy and memorable photos. They are beautiful animals and after a trip to Borneo and around the world, I am more determined than ever to be good to our planet.
#85 Vail Colorado:
After this last winter I’m not inclined to thinking about snow but I do love to ski. Family ski vacations are fabulous and Vail is the most family friendly ski area I know. With all levels of skiing available, great ski schools, wonderful instructors and plenty of family friendly activities off the slopes….vail pleases everyone! And one can argue it’s equally as exciting and beautiful in summer too!
#86: Visit the Railway Market in Thailand:
One of the most amazing markets I have seen was the daily market that is set up on the train tracks just outside of Bangkok in Maeklong. Our family was in awe of the efficiency in which this elaborate fish and fresh food market was set up and put back at each passing train. People wandered down the tracks shopping amongst the vendors but just before the train appears each market folds back or slides away to allow the train to pass and unload. As soon as it passes the market immediately emerges back into place and everything returns to business as usual. There are fresh vegetables, fruits and spices to tempt you. Eels and live fish splash in pans and a wide array of thai delicacies are available to enjoy. I am always amazed at the wealth of fresh food in some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world while in the USA we eat so much processed food and fresh food is so expensive. Markets are a great place to wander as a family. Meeting and talking with locals, discovering new foods and seeing how people earn a living is such a valuable experience. Part of the Buddhist religion is to practice “Punna” or the practice of doing a good deed. We bought some live fish at the railway market and released them back to the river as suggested by our local guide. A simple but beautiful act to make for a wonderful family experience.
There are lots of amazing and historic things to do in London, And yes, the West End theatre district is amazing. We had a very busy and fun time in London and other adventures are on this “100 Days” list – but we can begin with a Rock and Roll Walking tour around the city that we really enjoyed. Our guide was a lifelong music fan and true Rock-n-roll historian. He took us through the streets, back alleys, and shops of London where rock history was made. We listened to the stories and visited the sites where the Beatles, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix; and The Who (and many others) played, hng out, got their start, or recorded. My husband is a music history fanatic and was very excited. The kids and I also enjoyed the tour as our guide was a great storyteller. The London streets came alive as walked Denmark Street, Carnaby Street and stood on the steps at 3 Saville Row – the location of Apple Corps Ltd. where the Beatles were headquartered and held their last live (rooftop) performance. Sometimes hearing about a city from a specific time or subculture opens your eyes to streets in a new way. We just happened to top off our day with the lucky opportunity to see Sir Paul McCartney himself. There is nothing better than going through London on a Rock and Roll Tour and then actually seeing a Beatle!
At apple studios:
The beautiful and impressive Batu Caves, near the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are a fabulous family experience as they have something for everyone. The Batu caves are first and for most a shrine and a place of religious importance. You will see Hindu families participating in many hindu rituals.
Guarding the caves is a giant statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, that stands an impressive 42 meters high. The adventure lover will enjoy the hearty climb up the 272 steps leading to the cave. It’s not an easy ascent and even more daunting for those dedicated souls who have fasted and/or participated in ThaiPuSam.
For the animal lover, Macaque Monkeys line the steps and try to steal food and act silly. There are lots of photo opportunities. As a rule- never feed the monkeys!
#91 Visit a Coffee Farm in Guatemala
Any opportunity to learn how something is made is a great experience for a family. It always amazes and delights to learn the process from start to finish and somehow it makes you appreciate the products a little more. My kids feel that way about Guatemalan coffee. Taking a tour of Finca Filadelfia coffee farm is a day of fun and education. We started with an amazing zip line through the Guatemalan tree canopy. It was Fast paced and loaded with gorgeous views.
My kids were not sure they were going to like the coffee tour but they were mesmerized once it started. Coffee in Guatemala is grown on the volcanic soil and grafted from two different plants. The process is fascinating. You can see is drying in the sun and watch the hand sorting. Taste testing at the end is just as fun as the coffee is some of the best in the world. We bulk order it so we can enjoy it at home now!
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#93 Hike a Volcano in Guatemala
The city of Antigua, Guatemala is surrounded by 3 beautiful and active Volcanos. For a thrilling experience be sure to hike to the top of Volcano Pacaya. Pacaya erupted as recently as 2010 raining ash on the surrounding cities. It is hot at the top and if you bring marshmallows you can actually roast them over the hot rocks and fire. It is a tough climb. You’ll be offered assistance to get to the top. You can expect to be followed by eager gentlemen offering you rides on horses and by children renting inexpensive walking sticks. I accepted the horse about half way and have been heckled by by family ever since. (It was worth it!) The climb is not easy but you will be rewarded for your efforts! Bring LOTS of water and snacks for the top. Bring your own marshmallows! Be careful…Volcanos are still dangerous. Fuego, the neighboring Volcano erupted a few days after our hike, causing the evacuation 35,000 residents and shutting down airports as far away as Miami. It was an amazing site to watch from our little house in Antigua.
100 Family Travel Experiences
#94 Visit Weta Cave in Wellington, NZ
New Zealand is the home to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. You can see it in the landscapes of the country as well as in the pride the country takes in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of the J.R.R Tolkien novels. Not only can you take sightseeing tours to see where scenes are filmed but you can actually visit intact hobbit houses in Hobbiton where filming took place. For any fan or family a visit to Weta Cave is a must stop. Located in Wellington, Weta Cave is Peter Jackson’s special effects studio and museum and provides a behind the scenes tour of the movie magic. It’s fun and your kids will love it!