Tag Archives: travel

Gangster Minivan Packing (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Today’s minivans are no longer stodgy, dad-approved cubes designed for the sole purpose of taking third graders to and from practice, but sleek, practical and fully modernized vehicles designed for the sole purpose of taking third graders to and from practice. But they also work for vacations, which is nice, because they contain an awful lot of stuff and, if there’s room, people. Here’s how to maximize space in your summer road trip vehicle:

Electronic device: Three hundred years ago, in the ‘80s, travelers were required to pack for road trips by bringing a Walkman, 24 batteries, 30 cassette tapes, a pallet of comic books, an extra set of headphones and myriad Garfield collections, and that was just to make it out of Indiana. Sure, electronic devices may be shattering our attention spans into fragile bite-sized fragments of their former selves, but man, they make packing for road trips a merry breeze. I have found that one game of Goat Simulator can get two children through Tennessee and Georgia, and Georgia is like 16 hours long, so that’s simply technology improving our lives.

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How We Briefly Sort Of Totally Lost Our Son on the London Underground (via the Washington Post)

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — One day, during my retirement, if there is still Social Security or whatever, I plan to write a collection of short stories called “Places I Have Lost My Son.” I lost him once in a state park, where, during a verdant and filthy family hike, he ambled ahead 10, then 20, then 500 yards, past a vigorous series of intersections and switchbacks. (We found him at the ranger station, making plans for what to do with his months-long iPhone ban.) I lost him once from his own bedroom when, at age 4, he let himself outside at 1:30 a.m. in a half-sleeping dream state, in search of the Polar Express. (We found him 20 minutes later a quarter-mile down the road, where he’d been discovered by two teenagers named Kevin and Brendan who were most assuredly not Tom Hanks.)

I’ve had to find him in zoos and museums, malls and airports, when something catches his imagination and instinct compels him to follow it. In my son’s brain, imagination is not some zingy, lively Peter Pan-type. It’s a 500-pound sumo wrestler who lumbers in and shoves aside all of the functions used for mindfulness and consciousness and “remembering to look behind him to see WHERE HIS DAD IS.” It’s both delightful, as there is no greater gift than childhood creativity, and god-awful terrifying, as there are few worse feelings than having to ask the nice security guards whether they have seen a 12-year-old in a blue hoodie. Twice.

Which brings me to how we totally lost him on the London subway.

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Why I’m Not Powering Down My Toddler’s Approved Electronic Device

This man is all that stands between my 2-year-old and a deeply unpleasant 20-minute landing process.

This man is all that stands between my 2-year-old and a deeply unpleasant 20-minute landing process.

Island Packet — You’ve no doubt been in awkward situations before; you may have had to endure uncomfortable meetings or entrances or appearances. But there’s nothing that tops the stabbing looks you get when you stroll onto a plane carrying a squirming, lip-quivering and visibly mucus-covered 2-year-old.

Due to my wife’s lively work schedule, and the fact that she’s far too smart to actually board a plane with a tempestuous toddler, I recently flew to Chicago with the baby and, for one leg, his 9-year-old brother. I did this both to hit up a family reunion and because of my love of extreme inconvenience. I did this because when I booked the flight the younger one was still of “lap-baby” proportions. When I booked the flight he was an infant; when I boarded the plane, he was a giant moody red-haired potato.

This was supposed to be so easy.

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Worse On A Plane: Crying Baby Or Foul-Smelling Adult? NO CONTEST

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Ugh, and she’s got the cool window seat too.

GateHouse — Over the years I’ve had occasion to fly with my children, now ages 9 and 1.5, to various spots along the East Coast, which I’ve done each time for one very simple reason: The “government” apparently doesn’t let kids fly by themselves, as I discovered years ago during a particularly heated and revealing conversation with an O’Hare ticket agent.

(There’s also a second reason: I prefer flying because I’ve driven with these kids in cars. And in cars, they trouble only myself and my wife for hours upon endless highway hours; on a plane, it’s maybe two hours, and they also get to annoy everyone else, which is bad for the rest of the plane I guess but makes me feel like I’m sharing the burden, which is comforting.)

I bring this up because of a recent Harris Interactive study that asked 2,000 adults which airline seatmate would be preferable: A crying baby, or a foul-smelling adult. If you’ve flown with any regularity you’ve probably been exposed to both; you’ve possibly been exposed to them at the same time. You’ve possibly been exposed to a foul-smelling baby or a crying adult, which would actually be a much better survey question, actually.

Yet this choice really isn’t a choice at all. It’s zero content. Go with the baby. Duh.

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The Worst Sentences To Hear Right Before Boarding The Plane (NickMom)

top-9-worst-sentences-to-hear-right-before-boarding-the-plane-article
NickMom — There aren’t that many good ones, tbh.
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  1. “Whoa, 24 babies on one flight? That must be a record!”
  2. “The captain really hates talking to children.”

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Read the full list at NickMom.

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The Slovakia Olympic hockey bandwagon, now boarding, choo choo

Slovakia’s hockey team, pictured here immediately after making Russia look like a bunch of silly kindergarteners.

GateHouse — Ladies and gentlemen, if you are not on it already, it is time to join me on the Slovak Train to Olympic Glory, good seats still available, departing twice daily, choo choo.

There is always room, we are a welcoming if hirsute people and what we offer in warm greetings, a genial nature and gypsy-folk music will easily make up for the smell of much of what we are cooking. (Sorry about that, but you try to prepare dishes containing this volume of sauerkraut and not smell like the sweat-soaked inside of a snowboarders’ boot. Also, my cousin Kevin is going to try to get you to drink something called slivovica, do this only if you wish to spend the rest of your week powering your car with your breath.)

Indeed, I am flush with homeland pride this week because right now, for the first time in recorded Slovak history, which is almost eight years, we are melting faces at the Winter Olympics.

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The Brotherhood of the Traveling Cows, or, Somewhere In The Swamps Of Jersey

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"Now boarding Section 2 only." MOOOOOOOO.

GateHouse — I generally try to avoid writing about things like the repeated body blows of awfulness that befall you during an average visit to the airport, but having been absorbing CNN at My Bloody Valentine-level volumes for an hour, and also having just been hit in the leg with a skateboard, I’m giving myself a pass here. (I am not kidding when I say that my iPod is powerless to drown out the sheer force of Wolf Blitzer right now. I have also just learned that even when it’s just to ask you to change your seat assignment to accommodate a family, having your name called over the loudspeaker immediately makes one think, “OH, GOD, I’M BEING DETAINED” and hope that President Clinton has some free time in the next few weeks).

But this is actually not just an airport. This is Newark International Airport, which, in addition to being a really crowded airport, carries the added bonus of being in New Jersey.

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