I'm going to London with Luca next week and I've been thinking a lot about how to make the trip memorable for both of us. The Divine Italian is going to be there as well, but he'll be busy working, so most of the time it'll be just me and The Little Prince out on the town.
Luca is a great traveller. Obviously, when you travel with kids, it's not just about you anymore, but I firmly believe that you don't have to sacrifice your own desires for theirs. Everyone can be accommodated. It takes a little more patience and sometimes a little more stealth, but it's possible.
Here's what I've learned so far:
1. When staying at a hotel, tell them if they're really really REALLY good...
...you will let them sleep on the floor just this once.
2. If the splendors of the Woodrow Wilson House don't do it for them...
...playing "jail" in his private elevator will.
3. No matter the age, Roald Dahl never disappoints.
4. Be understanding if art in action fails to move them...
...but running backwards on a moving platform does.
5. Know that sometimes they need to get away from us just as much as we need to get away from them.
6. Accept that sometimes boredom can be remedied...
(Liberty and Co., London)
...by switching seats...
...and sometimes they just have to figure it out on their own.
7. If you're washing one, you might as well wash five.
8. If the restaurant staff doesn't mind, neither should you.
9. If your child insists on eating pasta with butter every night for dinner, breathe deeply and let it go.
10. The path less-traveled...
...usually leads to trees. This is a good thing.
11. The more you let them loose now...
the better behaved they'll be at that nice outdoor cafe later.
(St. Germain, Paris)
12. When you need a break, never underestimate the somnolent power of the road.
(Somewhere in the French countryside)
13. And at least once on every trip, pull a Willy Wonka.