Saturday, 7 May 2016

Road Trip

Road Trip
Servicing the car is a must. Brakes, oil and tyres. Do we have a spare tyre? How do I lift the bonnet? Good. Driving across Europe means we must have two reflective vests in the boot at all times. We have one green and one orange, orange goes with my eyes, you see. A rickety, never to stand up triangle and a first aid kit that wouldn't be helpful for an injured mosquito with a dodgy knee. But still we have one in the boot for form's sake. It also complies with driving rules in the states we will visit. Namely The Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Germany as well as good old Poland. Children under 12, who are below  150 cm, need to have a child-safety seat. So in it goes! Another handy addition is a torch as cars have a tendency to be troublesome at night. Spare batteries are helpful, too.
Now children and a road trip.Hopefully your not into sedating your children (too heavily) for the road trip, which means  you must supply all forms of supplies and knick knacks  for them. The children are always given a tablet to help settle their stomachs about an hour before we leave.This helps them to feel better and avoids desperate calls to pull over, which always happens at a highly inconvenient moment. Another advantage is it that stops vomiting which can put a dampener on things, literally. Just in case the tablet doesn't work it is best to locate a few sturdy bags in the rear seating. Now don't go stingy here and use plastic bags from a supermarket. Firstly they are not ecological, and secondly they often have little holes that, well, you know what happens.
The children need entertainment and sustenance preferably within arms reach. No,on second thoughts better make that within finger stretch. A food hamper is located in the middle of them on the back seat. Everything is double stocked to stop the 'he/she took/ate' the Kinder, biscuit or Mars-replace as necessary.This approach helps to reduce the likelihood of a spat which could quickly escalate into playful kicking, biting and WWF syndicated wrestling. Yet another important thing to do is to make fresh sandwiches or rolls on the morning of departure.Make them well so that hours later after they are squashed, sweaty and ignored they can be passed forward to the driver because all the good stuff has been eaten.
Next and very importantly don't forget the wet wipes. This indispensable tissue can deal with a multitude of stains and catastrophes. Explosive sneezing noses? No problem. Sticky fingers (reason unknown) bring it on. As well as strange stains of which you simply never want to know the source of! All are gone in a jiffy. These utilitarian wipes are good at keeping the cockpit spick and span as well.
What next? Entertainment. Of course the children have ipads, mobile phones and tablets.Replete with games, tunes and quiz like musings.As an added back up we fix screens to both the back of the driver and front passenger's seats. Just enough of the fixture to press into the driver's neck. Wedging a block of DVD's into the back gives the children, hopefully, hours of goggled eye vision and pleasure. Of course with headphones which have not been packed in the depths of the boot, and 'Off we go Parker, Yes M'Lady'!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Walking in Rome

Eschewing any form of motor transport, taxi, bus, pogo stick or scooter whilst in Rome was the plan. And a very good plan it was. But beware! We did a lot, I mean a lot of walking and encountered stairs like these on numerous occasions. Comfortable shoes are a must preferably with a well padded insole. Back up plasters for children with chafing ankles is helpful. Especially if the footwear is new and trendy and you have a conversation like, ''I told you not to bring them'' :-)

 But on the plus side,foot slogging  did help to burn off the surfeit of pasta, pinsa, pastries and pizza in order to reach such wonderful places.


Oberza pod psem. The dog under Oberza restaurant


A bustling place and child friendly with small toys for children and lots of room. The bonus is the fact the dog doesn't bite. The food is good solid fayre. With knives last sharpened for the crusades we set about our repast. For us it was a plate of asparagus  with oil and cheese, whilst the children dove in to Zurek soup with eggs floating mine-like, and Rosol which is a chicken broth. The children also ate Pierogi which was fine for them. Tasty and well enjoyed. I would tell you about the meat balls we ordered, but they never came. We sat and we sat, for the service was enthusiastic but not systematic. Maybe the dog had already eaten our meat balls! Cheeky monkey!!

Feeling Peckish in Rome?




Of course you can swan into a fancy restaurant and pay swanky prices. However Rome is replete with good tasty food at a fair price. Heaven for children as, naturally, pizza abounds everywhere. But for us even tastier was the pinsa. Now to you and  me it resembles a small pizza. But small differences are expounded by the locals. Small  flat bread topped with cheese, cured meat and tomato sauce, but still it definitely isn't pizza. We ate ours in a small bar strike cafe just down from our hotel.

Yes the chairs were red plastic. And yes the tables white plastic that moved and shuddered when in contact with an over zealous child. But the food was super. Pinsa in any flavour you want, and even one with potato and fish on it which was to die for! The place bustled with locals so we knew it had their seal of approval. Great value from about 3 euro. Go to the small markets and load up on the tastiest oranges ever, and lots of other fresh fruit or have them whipped up into a super healthy smoothie.