World Books: The Elves and the Shoemaker by John Cech

The Elves and the ShoemakerOn our weekly visit to the library my 4 year old tot picked up a book called “The Elves and the Shoemaker” by John Cech. It was a great read, short story with unusual illustrations. It reminds one of the old belief that the best solution when trying to solve a difficult problem is simply to “sleep on it”. Things might just be put right while we’re fast asleep.

After reading the book we continued reading the author’s note about the origins of the story. I was quiet surprised that it was also a story collected by the famous German brothers – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. It was a story in their 1812 collection of stories called “Children’s and Household Stories”. A diametric opposite of the fairy tales this was a story of a humble shoe maker and his wife distressed and in financial trouble till the elves come to their rescue. Another great read for the weekend.

We have added this book to our list of Books from Germany.

Happy reading and wishing you a great weekend – TitterTot

My secret to traveling light

85470709What makes up most of our luggage during a trip? Clothes. With a toddler who just turned four I am changing him at least twice a day during my travels. When he was little I used to carry blankets, sheets, burp cloths etc. How do we reduce this luggage and make traveling more convenient?

A. Find hotels, B&B’s or rent homes that have washer and dryers available (small hotels in Europe do provide this facility)
B. Carry a clothes detergent
C. Carry clothes that are made from quick drying fabrics. Most active wear clothing are easy to clean, dry quickly even when hung indoors. They are wrinkle free, wicking, offer stretch and are preshrunk. A perfect solution for an action and family packed travel

I finally found a solution for a clothes detergent. Try Method’s travel size Laundry detergent – a 8 load solution. I even used this detergent in the bath tub – just soaked clothes in the detergent, rinsed them in the morning and hung them dry. They smelled great and felt clean.

Method Laundry Detergent

A tiny bottle that is easy to pack and easy to use. Pack it in a ziploc – it did leak in my bag on my way back from my trip. Check out more details about this product on the Method Site.

We were on our way to Lindau, Germany in the super fast RailJet. In the train we met a family on their 2 month trip with their 3 sons (age range 5-12 yrs old) and they were carrying one back pack each. I am no where close to packing so efficiently but they surely inspired me. Check out this blog that provides a lot more information on how to travel light: OneBag

Bavaria (Germany) and Austria – A great family destination

Imagine a historic land with fairy tale like castles, abbeys, emerald lakes, dark dense forests, tall snow capped alps, a living culture of arts and music. This land exists and it’s called “Bavaria”. It is the largest state of Germany (by area).

Parks, Playgrounds, Petting Zoos, Gardens and Lake

Parks, Playgrounds, Petting Zoos, Gardens and Lake

On the other side of the Bavarian alps lies Austria. Equally beautiful and culturally similar to Bavaria. To tour this wonderland you can drive at 150 kms/hr on the Autobahn or ride at 230 kms/hr in the super fast trains that span both countries.

Schliersee

Enjoying the public parks at Schliersee, Bavaria, Germany

With so much to offer for each member of the family this is a dream destination. Devam who is 4 years old enjoyed the zoos, public parks, lakes, petting animals, picking cherries and the super fast train rides. Each unique hotel provided us with all the comforts for the entire family. There is only one drawback this vacation can get pricey very easily so I would suggest you pre-plan your hotels and maintain a budget for food, tours and entertainment. Also travel with very little luggage so you can take advantage of trains. Thanks to Eurorail – you can get a great deal on train travel for multiple days and for larger groups.

Playing the zither at Geigenbau Museum - Mittenwald, Bavaria, Germany

Playing the zither at Geigenbau Museum – Mittenwald, Bavaria, Germany

Alpenclub – Scliersee, Germany

Read our TripAdvisor review of Alpenclub in Schliersee, Germany.