#66 Visit a Children’s Home in Guatemala, Volunteer:
There is a children’s home in the center of Guatemala City that is doing fantastic work. Hope for Tomorrow offers a real home environment for the abandoned and orphaned children of Guatemala. Home to about 17 children, Hope for Tomorrow provides for the physical, educational, medical, psychological, nutritional and spiritual needs of each child and is also now opening the doors to a new preschool program. The preschool will offer more needed services to the community. Hope is truly a home and the people living and working there are a family. After our family visited the home it became a place very close to our hearts. Meeting the children and spending time with them makes you willing to undertake every effort on their behalf. It also makes you appreciate the family you have and mourn the families that these children have lost. Hope offers a wonderful environment in which to grow up. The home works with the government to assist the children in returning with their families or placing them with new adoptive families. Taking time as a family to work with these children, and the fabulous people who have dedicated their lives to them, is a rewarding experience that makes you want do more.
The Louvre is a “must-visit” destination on most itineraries of visitors to Paris, and rightfully so. With over 70,000 pieces of art, the world-famous museum has been open for over 200 years and currently hosts over 8 million visitors a year. Audio guides are available on rented Nintendo units or downloadable to your own smartphone. Guided tours are also available for in-depth opportunities to visit and explore specific artwork of interest. Our kids were most satisfied with a visit to the Mona Lisa and were interested to learn that at one point in time Napoleon had removed the world’s most famous masterpiece from the museum, to hang it in his bedroom! Whether you want to spend an afternoon or three days, the Louvre is a Paris landmark you wot want to miss.
When you think of Fiji you probably picture the beautiful beaches and fabulous coral reefs. The diving and beaches are amazing and definitely what draws visitors to Fiji. One of our family’s favorite experiences while visiting the Yasawa Island’s was taking a tour of a local school and meeting the children. Dressed in purple uniforms the children shared music and dances with us and gave us a tour of the school. It doesn’t take long for kids to bond and friendships to be made. The children of Fiji are learning english and were happy to try it out with their new friends. Visiting schools in a different country is always a fascinating glimpse into daily life of a different culture.
Although this is quite touristy, there is something quite enjoyable about an evening spent at Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua. Learning about the art and ancient rituals and traditions of the Maori is fascinating and enjoyable. It is definitely worth a visit.
“It looks like were on the moon” That’s the first words my son said when he looked out to see the red rocks that surrounded us on our way to Arches National Park. You really can’t imagine how unique the landscape is from anywhere else in the USA until you see it. Arches National Park is home to over 2000 natural stone arches and and hundreds of stone pinnacles. It is breathtaking. Take lots of water, go for a drive and hike the trails. It’s a red rock wonderland.
While driving up the eastern coast of Australia, we discovered the most beautiful little towns of Agnes Water and 1770. These small little towns are fantastic stops to take in the Australia coastline and just stay a few days. The beach was close to erfect. The water was a perfect swimming temperature. There were no crowds. No stingers. and a perfect small break for beginning surfers. There were beautiful views and both towns offered lots of history for the rare moments we left the beach.
The local surf school was fabulous and had both kids learning to surf really quickly. They were both standing up on their boards on the first day!
We stayed right on the beach in a raised tent (chalet) in Agnes Water. It was like an african safari tent with A/C, TV, ensuite bathroom and room for four. It was an ideal setting for several days on the beach in small town Australia.
Scuba diving is such a great family activity. Bonaire is one the most beautiful and accessible diving communities in the world. Shore diving is the way to go here. Rent a truck, pick your dive center, load your gear and map, and away you go! There are dozens of dive sites alone the western coast of the island – all marked as part of the National Marine Park system. The water is clear, the coral is healthy, and the marine life is abundant. If you feel better with dive-master and guides there are plenty of guided dives and boat dives available too. Bonaire is a diver’s paradise. Take the plunge!
#73 Visit The Ferrari Museum, Maranello, Italy
My son and husband love cars. It was a dream come true when they got to visit the Ferrari Museum (Museo Ferrari) in Maranello, Italy. Full of race car history and more cars than you can imagine, it was truly a dream for these boys. I have to say, I enjoyed it too. The museum takes you through the history of an Italian auto empire and the cars are as beautiful as they are powerful. Kids, young and old, will like the F1 driving simulator. The nearby town of Modena has some amazing restaurants including the one owned by Luciano Pavarotti’s family called Europa 92. In rural Modena and adjacent to the late maestro’s home – it provided one of the best meals we had in all of Italy. Home to rival auto manufacturer, Maserati and the 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) there is much to see and do in this part of Italy.
Bangkok in a busy city and there are lots of things to do and see. Take some time away from shopping, temples, and the palaces to see one of Thailand’s most famous sporting events- kickboxing. Muay Thai boxing is like nothing you have seen before. There is live music, raucous crowds, and lively betting. It’s loud and rough but something to take in. Traffic is quite horrific in Bangkok so leave plenty of time. My son loved it and has his own Thai boxing shorts as a souvenir – cheaply available on the streets of Bangkok.
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!