Sunday, March 6, 2011

Traveling with kids - great fun!

We have done a true Odyssé of touristing this week, the kids and I. I never thought it would be possible to explore so much in Santiago alone with a three and one year old. But it was. The key to success: respect the children, clinging on to some daily routines, and always planning ahead with nutrition, having it ready when it time to eat... And off course, selecting the tourist sights based on age of the tourists.

We have seen the interactive science center MIM, where the kids got to play piano by jumping from one key to the other. At MIM they also caught gigant soap bubbles - loads of fun until G decided to try to swim in the bubblewater. We have been to three malls and tried all their coin driven cars and helicopters, without any coins. I even managed to do some bargain shopping in between the rides! We tried getting into the Aquarium without success, the place had shut down two days earlier and we were told that the fish were swimming towards the Pacific. We visited the child-friendliest library ever, Biblioteca de Santiago, where the kids played for hours and also got me to read a couple of tales in Spanish for them. We visited several parks, some bigger and some smaller, some hotter and some cooler. The kids have been enjoying all these places and all these things that we have been doing for the past few days. But actually, I think there was something they even enjoyed more than any of the above adventures and that was the journey.

You should have seen A´s face in the local bus when she got to listen to a rapper on the front row and later pass him a coin for his great performance. The five minute performance was almost as good as the preschool popular band Arne Alligator back home. "Mom, he said muchas gracias" she whispered to me after he had passed by with his hat. The Metro has been another exciting place. We have discovered museums within the metro stations and inspiring paintings on the walls. Things that I would never ever pay attention to if I passed through the stations in a hurry on my own. We have seen funny commercials on the side of the streets; a girl being splashed with orange soda and all the filosphical questions of why and how sticky she must have been after the shower... The Iron Maiden monster and the red paint dripping on the floor....the Michelin-man and the local soda figure Bilz.

The younger of the two has been busy charming every woman (and man) that happens to look at him. With his international language he can small talk for hours with strangers. Bilibilibli, pele, voffvoff, bilililibili. Smile. Audience melting. The other day he taught a gentleman on the metro how to do "high five". He bonded so well with the gentleman that he started crying once his new friend got off the train.

Every day we have returned home with a big smile on our faces. I don´t know who has been more exhausted, the guide and guardian or the little ones. One thing is certain; we have not had much fuzz at bedtime and the kids have been sleeping tight all through the night, always waiting for the next adventure around the corner.

Cheers for my excellent travel companions: los dos patiperros chicos!

No comments: