travel

The Paul & Paula crew loves to travel.

Near & far. And we love to share our trips – our favourite stops, eats and things to do with the kids. Nothing teaches you more than traveling the world.

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12.10.18

15 happy things for your October!

Paul & Paula 15 things for October
Oh hello! At the moment I am not so sure how I feel about Fridays. On the one hand, I am happy for the weekend to start. On the other hand, I feel like time is literally rushing through. Another week has gone by… waaaaahhh…

I cannot wait to slow down again and breathe. We do have a really great holiday coming up for the Winter break (Dec/Jan) and I just love the pre-excitement before going away. This time even more, because we all really need a break. To relax, to spend time together (slow and quality) and do not follow any wake-up calls, appointments, and other commitments.

How about you?

I do love autumn very much and this year we are lucky to see some sun shining through the pretty leaves as well. But I can also see that this is always a rather hard period for the children. Between the middle of August when they went to school and the very end of October – it is a long period of school weeks. On top the days are getting shorter, the mornings are dark and a little chilly. Everyone is tired. Do you feel the same?

Nevertheless, I have gathered quite a few cool finds as well as reads for you. I hope that you will enjoy them:

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mum and daughter dress minime look
Oh, the perfect mini&me look. Black dresses! (here are more twinning outfits that are really cool)

Loving this DARLING cushion!

 

tiny door for sylvanian in kids room
OMG! You see what I see? This tiny door? Isn’t adorable?

Super cool collab!

 

wooden play fishes
I love the play kitchens from Macarena Bilbao. She added lots of cool play food and other bits to her shop like these wooden fishes!

You like to eat like a local while traveling? Here are some great tips on how to actually do that…

 

boheme-shelf
Beautiful boho inspired shelf.

You want to eat more healthy? This is a really good article with a good dose of humour and tons of facts!

 

turtle-organic-cotton-cushion
Adorable big turtle cushion!

From Berlin! Ultra cool backpacks for mini and maxi!

 

family home in malmo
Love seeing ‘real’ family homes. And here, the dad is really creative and makes lots of cool stuff for the kids. Fun fact – the family lives in Malmo. Ha!

Very detailed article about fake Instagram followers, comments and likes. If you are interested!

 

children's room with bunk bed
Very different to this ultra modern and clean version of a kids room. But I like the functionality and use of space.

Wow! Just wow! Very intense and personal story

 

the hey gang
The Hey Gang! Really cool and relaxed styles for children. Mostly unisex!
 

Happy week end! xoxo
 

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28.08.18

Iceland with kids – part two

Iceland with kids

And here we are for the other half of the trip of Iceland with kids!

I hope that you enjoyed the first part and started checking on how to get to Iceland. Are you ready for part two? Because today I will show you another side of the surprising Icelandic nature…

 
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Day six

Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Direction: Vik
Camping: Mýrdal
Early start and a first stop: Farm Holmur

Big stop: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon and its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of the larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach.

Again, I know I repeat myself, that glacier was so impressive. And a little funny to see these masses of ice and snow when you were just driving through a green landscape. In fact it is pure and beautiful and a little unreal! You can just stand there and keep on watching…

The photos look like we are standing in front of a wallpaper, so unreal I feel. Even so I know we were there and it was me who took them…

Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
And that black beach! The kids were so fascinated and so was I!

In the evening we went to the supermarket opposite the campsite to re-stock some fresh stuff. And then we had another visit to the local pool that was close by! (yes, we did visit a lot of pools!)

Day seven

Iceland with kids
Direction: Golden Circle
Camping: Brautarholt

Stops: many – Golden Circle time!
iceland with kids
Seljalandsfoss waterfall – 65m tall. You can walk behind it was well…

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids

Typical road sign! Please try to pronounce the cities… :)

Secret Lagoon natural hot springs. Yes, we had to visit another geothermal bath because this is just soooo Iceland and so nice and relaxing. Here you even have a spouting geyser and when you are done there is a cute kiosk outside on the parking. Make sure to get a portion of their fish & chips! Yum!

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Gullfoss Waterfall
Impressive waterfall that really shows you how strong nature can be. The water cascades down for around 32m and the raw power is amazing. And very loud! It is the most famous waterfall on the island and part of the Golden Circle so it is all a bit more touristy here (huge gift shop, a cafe and so on). But hey, nonetheless, so spectacular….

iceland with kids
Haukadalur Valley Geysers
A geothermal field of geysers, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. One geyser, Strokkur, is active and erupts every 2 or 3 minutes!

iceland with kids
Kerid Crater
Kerid is a volcanic crater lake on the Golden Circle route. Filled with blue-green water. You can walk around it and feel really tiny…

Day eight

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Direction: Reykjavik
Camping: SANDGERÐI

Oh beautiful Reykjavik. To round up our trip we left the visit to the capital for the last day and we were so lucky. It was sunny and nearly 20C. Which meant that the city was busy and happy and smiling. Everyone was out. On top there was a marathon and a music festival going on. In the beginning we were slightly overwhelmed because the last week was so quiet, peaceful and ‘silent’. So this was a lovely change and we also enjoyed to see the city so full of live.

First stop: Harpa – the concert hall. Such an interesting building and since there was a music festival we could attend some little concerts and work shops. So fun!

iceland with kids
Hallgrimskirkja
Incredible and even more fascinating when standing right in front!

iceland with kids
Coffee: Reykjaviuk Roasters – Karastigur
Street food: Fish and chips. Yes, another round but so good and fresh!

In the whole we just walked around the city, let us guide by the street concerts and people. Checked a few shops, had a nice little break with coffee and pastries sitting outside in the sun. Bought a souvenir and enjoyed our time, the moments…

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
All in all – Reykjavik is cute and inspiring with some pops of colour and very friendly locals.

And we also had our last night in the camper! Whom we dropped off on Sunday morning to catch our flight at 1pm. All glowing and impressed!
In fact, a little note about Iceland Air. Great airline with lovely attention for children and a very funny plane security video. Which reminds me that I found the Icelanders to have a very good dose of humour! I like.
On the whole, all of us went home with so much energy and inspiration!

Iceland with Kids Part O N E

All images: Paul & Paula

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27.08.18

Iceland with kids – part one

iceland with kids
Wow! Ok, so this trip happened just about one year ago and it is rather embarrassing that I only manage to get this out now. Better late than never, I know… but still. On the positive side – it is so lovely to relive everything again by going through every day and stops we made to write them down.

Because let me give you the Iceland message before I start to get into the details: This was one of our most amazing and memorable trips ever. We are still talking about it, the kids do talk about it and if there is a chance to go – take it!

Why? Because Iceland is different, it is so beautiful that you think that are driving through a postcard all of the time. Because you will discover so many different landscapes in a week and because it is energizing. I remember how ‘high’ we were for a few weeks after the trip. All glowing and full of sparkle! Iceland really does something to you…

What did we do: We rented a camper van for our family of six and did the tour of the island in one week. Yes, all the way around the whole of Iceland (staying on the main road).

Age of kids during trip: 10, 7, 5 and 2

What you need to know before going:

Iceland is/ can be windy so bring wellies and good rain/ wind jackets. We were very lucky during our trip and only experienced one full day of rain. Otherwise the weather was quite good and dry. Nonetheless temperatures never exceeded 20C and a good jacket was essential.
It is expensive! It is a fact. And when going during the ‘high season’ which is mid May – mid/ end August then everything like cars and hotels is even more expensive. We did go in August because the chances of dry days and Okish temperatures are much higher. We did not feel ‘cool enough’ to deal with cold, rain and wind and four kids in a camper.
Get all the assurances you can for your rented car/camper. Because of the wind and terrain that can easily throw tiny stones at your car windows and so on…!
Supermarkets are a little less expensive in Reykjavik and since you will start from there (usuall) it is wise to stock up. BONUS is one that has good prices (compared) but I will share what we did on our first day below.
Make the most out of all the pools and thermal hot springs. This is divine, so amazing for your skin and warms you up. Plus, if you drive in a camper, you have showers included which means you do not need to use the one in your car.
You can pay with your card everywhere. Very common in Scandinavia and so practical. Even a hot dog at a gas station or a coffee – just pay with your card. Convenient!
If you camp, you can get the Camping Card. You can pay a fee, get a card and then you can use all camp sites that participate with the card. No reservations necessary!
And please note: No wild camping and no going off main roads. Iceland is getting very strict about it to preserve their beautiful nature!
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But lets start and see what we did, step by step. Any questions or things I missed please feel free to leave a comment and/ or send me an e mail:

We arrived late on a Friday, so we could already enjoy the Saturday 100% and stayed in a nearby airport hotel.

Day one

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Getting up, little breakfast and off we went to pick up our camper van. We could have gone of Friday evening BUT we felt it was better to be ‘fresh and awake’. And the kids too. Because there is usually a fair bit to explain for camper vans like the cleaning of tanks, changing of gas bottles and so on. Therefore we felt it was better to have some time and children that are not about to fall asleep.

After we were ready to hit the road, our first stop was Ikea! Yes, for lunch and some shopping in the food hall. Like I mentioned above – Iceland is expensive. And Ikea is famous for their good prices. Therefore we had a lunch here for a decent price and then got some hot dogs, cookies and jam and such things from their food store. (you might want to steal this tip!)

And then we went to the supermarket to stock up on groceries. Just opposite Ikea and called Bonus! We googled before and learned that this is a good option in terms of quality and price. You need to buy SKYR – Icelands version on delicious yoghurt. And Hraun – a very crunchy chocolate snack.

Then we started our first journey and drove in the direction of: Snæfellsnes peninsula
Camping for the night: Hellissandur

On the way we stopped:

Ytri Tunga Beach. OMG. It was sunny, was saw a lot of seals and just walked by the water. One of the few beaches with golden sand instead of black.

Bjarnarfoss waterfall. Quite a dramatic waterfall!

Kirkjufell. A picturesque mountain.

Then we found our first camp site and prepared for the first evening and night in our little home for the week. And you see, so many things we already did and saw in just one day!

Day two

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
First night survived!

Direction: Budardalur
Camping: Laugar
This camping had a hot pool which we fully enjoyed.

We parked our camper and went out to the nature and did some hiking. Stopped at a playground that we found close to the camp site and then had our first pool experience. Way too cold, for my liking, for just swimming in the normal pool. But the heated ones are awesome. If you are brave enough you do the hot pool and then go and sit in the cold one. A very nice person we met at the pool shared some if his pool wisdom and did a very long sit in the cold water. The kids did try as well and Romy even stayed for a few minutes.

Day three

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Direction: Akureyri
Camping: Lonsa

Stops:
We are in the North of the island now and this is the area where you may see the Northern Lights. But unfortunately not in August. The downside of going in ‘high season’. The days are very long and the nights very short.

Beautiful journey and the second biggest urban area in Iceland. In Akureyri you will find little colourful houses, an incredible fjord and Akureyrarkirkja. The Church of Akureyri which is a distinctive landmark and is sitting beautifully on the top of a hill.

Day four

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Direction: Egilsstadir
Camping: Seyðisfjörður
We were now at the other side of Iceland and landed there with quite an impressive journey that had us driving in the deepest fog I have ever seen for the last kilometers. It was also our one full day, and luckily the only one, of rain!

Stops:
Myvatn – a must do and a great choice if you skip the Blue Lagoon as we did.
Mývatn Nature Baths is a naturally heated lagoon, with mineral-rich waters. It does smell a little, the water is ‘white’ but your skin is sooooo soft afterwards! What an experience. And it is not as crowded as the Blue Lagoon!

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids

Hverir
Amazing geothermal spot with bubbling pools of mud and steaming fumaroles emitting sulfuric gas.
In short – the colours are incredible and so inspiring! And the children could not believe everything that was going on there.

Day five

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Direction: Höfn
Camping: Camping Höfn

Stop: Afternoon treat at Langabúð.

The fog was gone and we were off for another day on this beautiful island!

Iceland with kids part TWO

 

PS: Talking about high season and Iceland. Yes, mid May until end of August is declared ‘high season’ however the island never feels overcrowded. More the opposite. Sometimes we drove around for a long while without seeing another car. (And we only drove on the main road.) The camp sites were never full, we always found a spot whatever the hour was we arrived…

All images: Paul & Paula

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22.06.18

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

We visited Charleston, SC for the girls’ spring break this year. Our original plan involved a couple of beach days at one of the many beautiful islands near Charleston but the weather never quite warmed up enough to do so. We ended up staying in Charleston the entire time and made the most of what the charming city had to offer!

I had done extensive research on kid-friendly things to do in Charleston before we ventured there. Some of the activities that came up in the searches included: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Fort Sumter, South Carolina Aquarium, etc. The girls vetoed all indoor museums since we had done enough museum-going in Boston all winter long.

The openness and ease of being in the outdoors is what we were all craving. Naturally, we decided to not plan anything and simply go with the flow. It was so freeing and just what we needed as a family.

Take a peek at our top 5 trip highlights below:
 
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Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Family Style Spring Break in Charleston, SC

1. Long, unstructured walks

From bustling streets like King Street to quieter, residential neighborhoods, we walked through it all. The lush greenery and pretty spring flowers were breathtaking. And the cozy backyards and beautiful porches helped us discover what southern living is all about.

I, of course, enjoyed taking pictures and so did my five-year-old. We had recently bought her a ‘real’ kids camera and she went all out taking pictures during the trip! It was fun to do together and so cute to watch.

2. Middleton Place

Middleton Place has 110 sprawling acres that include 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, a house museum, plantation stable yards, a restaurant, inn and organic farm. The plantation was the only ‘planned’ or ‘ticketed’ activity we did. The girls led the way and we happily followed them and enjoyed the quiet outdoors. The alligators, piglets and a colorful peacock were wonderful surprises to see.

3. Downtime at bookstores/Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

To take breaks from our long walks, we found bookstores and enjoyed some reading downtime to recharge for the rest of the day’s adventures. The girls were totally into it and us adults appreciated the quiet time, too.

While walking around the campus of the College of Charleston, we went and explored the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on a slightly chilly morning. We looked at student art and discussed the different mediums of artworks – charcoal on paper, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, and watercolor on paper. We also watched an intriguing documentary on making of one of the saltscapes by Motoi Yamamoto at the Halsey Institute.

4. Leisurely Meals

Besides walking, leisurely meals were our favorite! This was one of the first trips where the girls were not selecting meals only from the kids menu! They were experimenting with food and ordering for themselves. We tried great southern food and some amazing inventive cuisine. A few memorable meal experiences were at Butcher and Bees, One Broad Street Cafe, 82 Queen and Toast.

Some quotes from the girls: “I think I’m going to skip lunch!” (after a big breakfast). “Try the mashed potatoes, they are killer.” “I’m full alright. All I want is a movie and a good night’s sleep.”

5. Movie Nights at the hotel

Last but not least, plunking ourselves on the bed and getting some screen time after dinner was the best! This was a zero screen time getaway for all of us but we allowed ourselves movie nights once we were finally back at the hotel for the night. The girls watched kid-friendly movies together and the adults caught up on a few episodes of Sneaky Pete. It was perfect.

 

Author: Surabhi

 
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27.04.18

Malmo with kids

malmo with kids
Ok, this is actually so embarrassing that I am not sure what to say. Ha. I have a draft called ‘Malmo with Kids’ sitting in my back end for around 4 1/2 years. Yes! That long. Soon we are here for 5 years and I wanted to share some tips and stuff to do for ages. I receive e mails and questions about it on a regular basis and how practical would it be to just send a link :)
Now! Here we are. Clap Clap. Proud moment.

Let’s start with Paul & Paula’s guide to Malmo with kids. The best things to do, to see, to experience and and and… enjoy and when you are around, give me a shout!

Malmö is called the City of Parks which makes it perfect for a family to live here. It is a very green city and it is surrounded by forests. On top – it is a beach city too. From our apartment we can actually walk or take the bikes to the city beach called Ribbersborg beach. It is amazing to be able to go for a walk along the beach any time you want.

The city is stretched along the coast and you can cycle or drive all the way along the coast from the East End to the West End. Start at Vastra Hamnen and go all the way to Bunkeflostrand. A beautiful scenery will welcome you!

And when you are here, you have to plan these sights and stops:

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Folkets Park

Which translates “People’s Park” and that’s what it really is.
There are several really cool playgrounds, a children’s theatre, a mini golf, various kiosks, an ice cream bar and even a tiny zoo {really mini} with turtles and birds. In summer there are lots of concerts and open air events. The beer garden always has live music during summer evenings. A great melting pot for people living in Malmo and around.

 

malmo with kids

Slottsträdgårdens Kafé

My absolute favourite spot in Malmo is the Slottsträdgårdens Kafé, only open from around March until September/October. Depending on the weather. A great organic cafe in the middle of Slottsparken and connected to a communal garden. Only outdoor seating available – so I take every chance of good weather I get to meet here with friends and, of course, my family.

 

Sibbarp

Another spot perfect for gatherings is Sibbarp beach. Here we meet with friends for a relaxed picnic and sometimes a little swim in the water.

 

Saluhall

The Malmö Saluhall {food market} is T H E destination for anyone who loves quality produce and delicious food. Very popular during lunch hours. There is a great florist just at the entrance! Make sure to get a coffee from Koppi.

 

malmo with kids

Turning Torso

Vaestra Hamnen with Turning Torso and Stapelbaeddsparken and the best ice cream in Malmo.
190m high and twists 90C from the base to the top. Malmo’s landmark.
Stapelbaeddsparken is a skateboarding park covering over 2000sqm. One of the largest in all of Europe.
You need to come here for ice cream too. Just by the water you can find Cafe Italia and they serve the best in the city!

 

malmo with kids

Ribbersborg/Kalbadhuset

At Ribersborg’s cold bath house you can enjoy a sauna and nude bathing in the sea. ALL YEAR! Situated right at the beach.

 

Malmohus Castle

A Renaissance castle including Malmo Museum and aquarium. For rainy days.

 

Moderna Museet

A part of the Moderna Museum in Stockholm and featuring works from the 20th century and more contemporary art. During week ends you can enjoy activities for kids too.

 

Playgrounds

The city has many playgrounds. Really! Here is a list of the themed playgrounds.

 

malmo with kids

Old city

Cosy, coloured house, huge graffiti (find it!) and life at Lilla Torg. Here, in the heart of the city, you can find lovely cafes and restaurants.

 

Malmo City Library

The main library has two kids sections. One for younger kids (0-7) with a big play area. And one for bigger kids and tweens. Here it is more quiet but it also includes a small play area and music room. You can rent, for free, lots of crafting utensils.

 

malmo with kids

Enjoy the city. I am busy writing a post about Skane with kids so you can discover more from the South of Sweden. Stay tuned!

 

All images: Paul & Paula

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