a bit about how it went


So! We have been back for about a week and I am just getting organized to post here.  On day two, we took a commuter train out of Riga to take a dip in the Gulf of Riga.  It was freezing, but the kids didn’t seem to notice.  I of course shivered and twitched until we managed to find some hot soup.  It was the BEST soup I’ve ever had (funny how food tastes SO good when you really need it).  It was full of greens, potato, egg, dill and hot broth, with a giant dollop of sour cream on top.  Everything rules with sour cream on top.  I have filled a couple of notebook pages with Latvian recipe ideas… most of them containing either sour cream or cottage cheese.  Evil and yummy.

We played at the beach for much of our four and a half week trip.  Baltic beaches are amazing. 

There is so much to say here, but it all feels a bit overwhelming so I’ll say a wee bit today and add bits throughout the summer.  Overall, it was fabulous!  AZ totally unplugged from work and we got to explore two very beautiful countries.  We also had many many great moments together, tasting new foods, exploring markets, learning new words and figuring out transit systems. 

Moments after this picture was taken, E collided with this large flat of dead pigs.  We thought it was funny, though I am not sure E or the butcher did:

To be completely honest, W and S were a bit young.  The castles and ruins did not interest them.  W also has some trouble with volume control, which caused me a bit of grief  in hostels and on trains.  Latvia has a slightly more exotic/developing feel to it, which kept the kids interested.  Sweden was a lot more like home – so I was glad we camped to keep things exciting for them.  I am glad we didn’t attempt Italy or France, or AZ and I would have had to spell each other off to see anything!  On that note, I would have no qualms about taking them to Thailand or Peru or Vietnam.  Random chicken sightings and families crowded onto a single motorcycle would have blown them away.

Axe-throwing at the Viking village was a hit.  AZ was surprisingly good at it:


The kids were super hardy when it came to the moving around part.  We rode buses and trains and rental cars and bicycles.  They helped carry stuff and attached flowers to our bags.  They learned many new words and used them well: Paldies!, Tack!, Varshagod, Lodzu…  S in particular, jumped on new words and used them without fear.  It was hilarious.


In case any of you are planning a similar trip, I hope to write a post about some of the best things we packed.  There were a few things that we could not have done without.  And yet, we managed to haul around very little (also recommended).

Youth hostel, old prison:


Picking berries, en route to morning coffee:


We managed, more or less, to travel on a shoestring… in Scandinavia.  Seriously.  Forget the nasty plane tickets we bought months ago, we managed to get home unbroken.  We ate Mr. Noodle/egg drop soup in the hostels… and peanut butter/cucumber sandwiches on the road.  The kids were too little for the pricey museums, so we did a lot of walking (free!) and beach combing (also free!)… and, get this… in Sweden camping can be free (as long as you are willing to plunk a tent just anywhere). 

Stockholm.  Royal Guard.

So?  Where do we go next?? (grin)


5 Responses to “a bit about how it went”

  1. 1 Leah

    Pretty nice looking prison! Remind me to stand back when E. has an axe…

  2. 2 Alice

    Oscar: So, are they back yet or are they still there?
    Me: They’re back now. These are the photos from their trip.
    Oscar: So, they just went there to throw axes and then they came back?
    Me: Pretty much, Oscar. Pretty much.

  3. 3 erin

    awesome. looking forward to hearing all about your adventures! xo

  4. looks fabulous – can’t wait to read your traveling tips for families!

  5. 5 rodgerlevesque

    Yes, travelling tips for families. Travelling, or sight-seeing with kids is totally pearls-before-swine territory. There you are looking at the vista, while your little ones hang on the hand/guard rail. But my guess is that if you want to travel with your kids when they are old enough to appreciate the pearls, you need to travel with them well before then. You know, how can you handle a 13 year old on the road if you can’t handle a 3 year old. Travelling with young children is as much a learning experience in travelling together for the parents as it is for the children.

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