Kiddos train for walking in Spain

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Kiddos are earning euros! One euro per mile… This gets their legs ready for long walks and increases endurance. No one wants to hear “I’m tired!”

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They love comparing colorful euros to the US dollar.

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The miles and euros are adding up! Each kiddo has earned 10.

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One kiddo chose 2 five euro bills.

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One kiddo chose just 1 ten euro bill because it would be less to carry.  :)

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Happy travels!

Miss ET

Still looking for the perfect combo….

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Today…. Shoe insoles!

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I have to admit that 20 years ago I never gave my shoes a second thought. If they were cute and matched my outfit they were perfect. Fast forward a few years ;) and I am carefully comparing comfortable shoes and insoles!

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These are both Spenco brand insoles. Both have a firm arch and those colorful spots on the bottom are cushiony gel.

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See that bump? It supports the metatarsal bones which are in the middle of the foot behind your toes. At first, wearing this feels a little like  having a rock in your shoe. For me, the added support had me staring for long periods of time (teaching school) and walking for miles (on travel adventures) with happy feet.

What to look for in your own travel shoe?

1) Support-  you will be walking farther and standing longer than in your regular day to day activities and good support is important. You’ll encounter uneven surfaces like cobblestones and at the same time you will be paying less attention to the ground as you’ll be busy soaking up the more interesting things! Don’t ruin a trip because you fell off your high heeled shoe and twisted an ankle.

2) Cushion- Those streets and museum floors and cobblestones are HARD! You can literally bruise your poor feet without enough cushion. Dainty, thin soled shoes need to be left at home.

3) Style that fastens- Choose a lace up or Velcro shoes that completely encloses your foot. No- slip ons or clogs. Even if you aren’t thinking about it when you wear a flip flop or backless shoe you are ‘hanging on’ With your toes. This might not matter at the mall but several miles into an adventure say and those toes will be talking to you and saying ugly things!

What else to consider?

Insoles –  A wonderful website to read up on foot pain and how to deal with it:

http://www.drscholls.com/Conditions/TiredAchyFeet

Socks – For all the walking and standing you’ll do on your adventure you’ll want good socks. By good sock,  I mean NO COTTON. Choose wool. Why wool? Wool cushions, regulates temperature (yes, wear them even in the heat) and washes and dries like a dream.  You’ll find a wall of socks at places like REI and Sun and Ski Sports.

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Be picky about how tall your socks are. It does matter. My daughter prefers the very, very short ones. I like one that comes just above the ankle and hubby and son like the  mid calf ones.

Socks are fancy now – cushioned bottoms, no seams, different weights. Be picky, picky, picky. They will save you from blisters and are worth the time, effort,and money to find the perfect ones!

Once you find the one you like, try a source like http://www.sierratradingpost.com for overstocks and last year’s color. You’ll get the same performance for 1/2 the price.

Happy travels with happy feet!

Miss ET

 

 

The Grand Socco in Tangier, Morocco

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photo credit: grayline.com
photo credit: grayline.com

So looking forward to seeing the Grand Socco (market) in Tangier, Morocco. Such color! The smell of all these spices must be amazing, too. What a contrast to the tiny bottles we have in stores.

photo credit: mrsdash.com
photo credit: mrsdash.com

How do they keep things from rolling off? I’ve seen oranges in piles 1/10 that big at the grocery…you sneeze nearby and they all go rolling!

photo credit: atasteofmorocco.net
photo credit: atasteofmorocco.net

So many new things to see!! What do you think is the blue stuff??

photo credit: viaggi.nanopress.it
photo credit: viaggi.nanopress.it

I read you can find absolutely anything here – except pork.

photo credit: panoramio.com
photo credit: panoramio.com

Like….a sheep?

photo credit: stylewithsubstance.com
photo credit: stylewithsubstance.com

Happy Travels!

Miss ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tooth Fairy in Spain

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photo credit relialt.blogspot.com
photo credit relialt.blogspot.com

The tooth fairy in Spain…is a rat! His name is Ratoncito Perez.

Shoe solution

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FinnComfort-Logo

The German company, Finn Comfort, still hand makes each shoe. They are the end all be all in happy feet! But, they are expensive, too. The good news is that they last absolutely forever. You can buy new footbeds. This year I’m having mine ‘refreshed’ and they will be returned looking brand new. Considering how many zillions of miles these have had put on them in the last 2 1/2 years – they still look great!

Keen on the right
Finn on the left

 

Do you have an all time favorite walking and traveling shoe? Comfortable, supportive? Are they looking a little long in the tooth? Don’t buy new – get them refreshed – new soles, new footbeds, new laces, leather conditioned…

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Happy comfortable feet = happy travels!

Miss ET

Tips for choosing hotels

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Location, location, location

Ideal location is within walking distance of the top sight you want to visit. Otherwise, near the train station or bus stop is a good choice.

You might find a hotel for a better price but …. Will you need a taxi? If so, that will eat into your ‘better’ price.

Amenities

Is there a restaurant or cafe attached?

In Sorrento, our hotel had a cooking school attached. Meals were whatever the students learned to cook that day. The food was delicious and inexpensive.

Is there a laundry service?

        If you watch carefully which hotels have this service you can pack less.

Free Wifi?

        If yes, you save money and time by not having to find an Internet cafe.

Do the rooms have hair dryers?

If so, leave yours at home. Less to lug around, worry about, and more room to bring stuff back!

Someone manning the reception desk 24 hours?

       No worries about late check in, getting a taxi for the airport a o’dark thirty in the morning, and if, heaven forbid, you need tooth glue for a loose crown (yes, that    happened), you can get some help.

Refrigerator you can use?

These are usually not in the room, but often you can add your milk/formula for a little one to the staff or cafe refrigerator.

Price

Is there a discount?

Using Rick Steve’s travel guides gets 10%-15% discounts at some hotels he recommends. Teachers, seniors, and groups are all eligible for discounts at times. AAA   travelers, paying in cash or in advance are all ways to get discounts, too. Always ask.

Is price quoted in euros or dollars?

When comparing hotels be sure to compare euros – euros and dollars to dollars.

Is breakfast included? Other meals?

This can really add up in savings of time and money.

Before you book

Find the hotel you want from looking in a guide book like Rick Steves? Before you book, try looking on a site like http://www.booking.com. I’ve often found a better price for the exact same hotel that way.

When in doubt

Always err on the safe side when in doubt. Spending a few extra dollars to make your trip easy – whether that means being closer to the heart of town or choosing a place that will do your laundry is always worth it. This is a once in a lifetime vacation opportunity. You’ll be happy you rounded up instead of down.

Happy travels!

Miss ET

Booking hotels for Spain

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Exciting! Time to finish booking hotels for Spain!

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Happy travels!

Miss ET