Tag Archives: travel

May 26, 2011

2 Continents, 3 Countries, 2 Weeks, 3 Children (Part Three)

Kimberly Brambilla is guest posting on Studio T this week, telling the story of traveling with her three young children to Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Read parts one and two of her family’s journey!

From Morocco we took a ferry back to Spain, and hopped a bus to the city of Malaga, where we fell completely in love.  Even though it’s a large city it has a small town feel.  We enjoyed walking along the cobblestone streets, listening to ringing church bells, strolling past beautiful fountains and sitting at outdoor cafes.  I was ready to move there!   It was difficult to leave this city, but we eventually headed by train to Madrid.

In Madrid the highlights were visiting The Prado and seeing flamenco dance performance.  The girls were mesmerized by the dancing, the music, and the energy of the performers.   Olivia was a bit confused at first when no flamingos came on stage, but she still enjoyed the show! Afterwards we walked around the city, and the girls were thrilled to find a flamenco dress in a souvenir shop. They put on quite a few shows with that dress once we got back home.  In the end, there was still so much of Spain I wanted us to see.

Was it difficult taking a trip like this with children? You better believe it! Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  The girls had some major meltdowns and tantrums along the way but considering all of the flights, train rides, taxis, buses, ferry ride and all of the walking we subjected them to I think they were remarkable.  This experience was priceless, and I would encourage anyone who is given the opportunity to travel with their children not to pass it up.

Here are just a few tips that might be helpful if you are planning to travel with children.

*Talk to them a lot about your upcoming trip.  I have always found that preparing my children for what is coming, no matter what it is helps.  Get them excited by reading books & watching movies that pertain to the destination.  I also talk to mine about the parts that won’t be fun – the waiting in long lines, heat/cold, tiredness, etc.

* Learn the cultural dos & don’ts with your children. By doing this, as well as learning a few words & phrases in the native language, you will be treated better & respected much more than if you assume everyone everywhere speaks your language.

*If you are a family of 5+, consider renting an apartment versus staying at a hotel. Many hotels in Europe require 2 rooms for a party of 5+.  The price comes out to about the same & you have the convenience of a kitchen, washing machine & more space!

*When traveling in large cities, take a double decker style bus that drops you off and picks you up at the sites.  It’s an easier way of getting around & seeing more with children.

*If you’re like me, you’ll want to see everything but that isn’t always possible with kids.  It’s important to keep them happy too.  In Barcelona, my kids could have stayed at Catalunya Plaza for hours, not because of the architecture or the great people watching but because of the multitude of pigeons. Stopping at a park is a great way of giving children a break from touring.

May 25, 2011

2 Continents, 3 Countries, 2 Weeks, 3 Children (Part Two)

Kimberly Brambilla is guest posting on Studio T this week, telling the story of traveling with her three young children to Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Read part one of her journey here!

Chiara, Gisele, and Olivia with their cousin in Italy

From Barcelona, we flew to Italy.  My husband grew up in Mezzago, a small town close to Milan.  He’s from a large family so there are many aunts, uncles and cousins.  It wasn’t the first time our girls had been to Italy, but it’s always a bit of a culture shock at first. They’re greeted with tanti baci (many kisses), hugs and tears.  There’s a constant flow of family members and neighbors that come to see us.  It can be a bit overwhelming even for an adult, but it didn’t take long for the girls to warm up. We were so proud of their willingness to communicate with the family. Their Italian is rough but they sure try. My oldest, after playing and having fun with cousins, told us “I like speaking in Italian”.  That brought quite a smile to my husband’s face!  It is one thing to tell the girls about their Italian heritage, but it’s another to let them experience it firsthand.  It was sad to say goodbye after being smothered with much love, affection and pasta, but in the end we set off for Morocco.

Morocco is unlike any place I’ve ever been.  Many of our friends and family were concerned about us traveling there, but I am so thankful we did, because we learned so much.  We took a short flight from Italy to Tangier, Morocco.  When the doors on the plane opened it felt like we were a million miles from home and from everything familiar.  The short cab ride from the airport to the hotel confirmed for me that the world is so much larger than the small space I occupy in my little Florida town.  My girls loved  seeing stop signs written in Arabic, hearing Arabic on the radio and holding Moroccan coins.  Upon arriving at the hotel we went to the rooftop terrace for mint tea and cookies.  The girls loved this!  Chiara began making plans of how she would make her own tea once we returned to Florida with mint leaves from our garden.

The next day we toured the medina (city) as well as the outskirts of Tangier with our guide Cherif. Our first visit was to a rug store where we were able to see the process of Moroccan rug-making.  The girls loved the experience of being given mint tea and their own “magic carpets” to sit on.  We also rode camels, an experience which my daughter Olivia had been patiently waiting for!

The next day we visited the quiet town of Assilah.  In Morocco you can hire a taxi not just for one trip, but for the day.  The driver will wait for you while you explore, or accompany you, but most of the drivers speak little or no English.  Our driver Unes was wonderful.  He showed us around Assilah, ate lunch with us, and taught the girls a few Arabic words. He even bargained for Moroccan slippers for the girls at the marketplace, and we were all a little sad to say goodbye at the end of the day! It’s amazing how quickly you can connect with people even if you don’t speak the same language.   The next morning as we packed our bags to leave, Chiara sat at the window looking out onto the street.  She got so excited when she spotted Unes as he picked up more tourists in his taxi, and I was thrilled when I heard her say to him “Ahlan (hello) Mr. Unes”!  I knew in that moment that the goals I had set when planning this trip were becoming a reality.  My kids were learning about new cultures & peoples and embracing them as well.  Beautiful!

May 24, 2011

2 Continents, 3 Countries, 2 Weeks, 3 Children (Part One)

This week we’ll be featuring three posts by guest blogger Kimberly Brambilla. Last summer she and her husband took their three young daughters to 2 Continents and 3 Countries in 2 weeks! This is Part One – stay tuned for Parts Two and Three.

“Are you crazy?” I’ve become used to being asked this question as I’ve planned trips and traveled with my 3 small children.  Having children doesn’t stop me from doing what I love most– in fact having children has actually made me more determined to continue traveling, so that I can share this love with them.  I wish to instill in them a sense of adventure, an openness and appreciation of other peoples and their cultures and a love of exploring the world.

Chiara, Gisele, and Olivia

Last summer we embarked on a journey of a lifetime.  We traveled to Spain, Italy and Morocco.  I knew that traveling with a 7, 5 and 2-year old would present many challenges, but it would also undoubtedly be an incredible experience for my daughters Chiara, Olivia and Gisele.  We were going to Spain to vacation, but were also headed to Italy to spend time with “la familia”.  My husband’s family lives there, and the girls do not get the chance to see them often.  Since Morocco is only 9 miles from Spain I couldn’t pass up the chance to expose my children to a culture very unlike their own.

To prepare and get them excited we read library books about places we would visit, looked at maps, made art projects and learned simple words and phrases in Arabic and Spanish My husband also speaks Italian with the girls, so going to Italy would be an opportunity for them to practice.

With bags and camera packed we were off, and began the adventure in the colorful and vibrant city of Barcelona.  We were thoroughly exhausted after traveling by plane, train and automobile to reach our apartment rental in the city.  After dropping off our luggage, we began the search for a place to eat dinner.  We were so tired that we stopped at the first place we found.  It didn’t look like much, but boy were we surprised!  Chiara wanted to order spaghetti but we reminded her that we were going to try new food on this trip.  Once the paella, green olives, manchego cheese and fresh bread arrived at the table we were 5 very happy travelers.  Although the girls were a little shy about using Spanish words with the waiters, they loved their first Spanish meal.

The next couple of days we toured the city in double-decker buses, which we found was the perfect way to see a city with kids. We saw many of the famous sites such as Sagrada Familia Church, Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and also spent time at the beach.  Our time in Barcelona was short but the memories we made are long lasting.  Next it was time for the girls to experience and learn about their Italian heritage and roots.  Italia here we come!

May 4, 2011

Tourists in Our Own City

san francisco tourists with skyline

Last week it was too beautiful to stay inside, so a few of us snuck off for a little walk on our lunch break. It was such a nice view we asked a passer-by to take our picture.  He asked us where we were visiting from.  We told him we were from the bottom of the hill.

(pictured from left to right:  Erin, Katy, Laura)

April 18, 2011

Studio T is looking for Foreign Correspondents

Above, Tea explores Korea, Mexico, and Spain

 

At Tea we are all about bringing the world home. Each season we visit a different global destination, and share our inspiration and the stories of our travels. We are appreciative of the beauty we find and the countries we explore. We’re cultural adventurists, apparel designers and global travelers. We believe in the journey. In discovery. In caring and connection. In diving in. In experiencing life with every bit of our souls. We go there. Across the globe. And across the street.

And now we want to hear about YOUR adventures. We’re on the hunt for three Foreign Correspondents to share their experiences with us on our blog Studio T, between now and the end of the year.

If you and your children are traveling internationally in the near future, write to us! Email blog@teacollection.com and describe the trip you’re planning on taking. Tell us:

- Where you are going, and for how long

- What the purpose of your trip is – is it to experience a specific culture, reconnect with family roots, or do community service?

- How you plan on maximizing your travel experience with your children along the way

Before you leave we’ll give you a $500 Gift Certificate to fill your suitcase with travel clothes from Tea.

Once you return, share your stories and photographs of the people you’ve met, the food you ate, the fashion you saw, and the landscapes you explored. Bring the world to us. Write five blog posts on or shortly after your trip with accompanying photos or short videos detailing your adventures. We’ll devote a week of our blog to showcasing the story of your travels.

We will review all submissions. Please recognize that we may get numerous submissions, which makes it difficult for us to respond to everyone individually. We can respond only to the submissions that we’re considering featuring. Thank you for sharing. Happy writing. And happy traveling!

January 27, 2011

The Horses of Spain

Horses have been an important part of Spain’s culture, agriculture, military, and sport for hundreds of years. However Spain’s most famous breed of horse would have to be the Andalusian.

horse 8

Engraving of Andalusian, 1743

 

The breed was developed in the Iberian Penninsula in the 15th century, and was originally used as war horses to carry warriors during battle. They were eventually replaced by sturdier, larger horses who could carry men in armor, and since then have become sport horses, doing anything from dressage to bull-fighting.

collage

This Spring we celebrated Spain’s love of horses with our Caballo Graphic Tee, inspired by the cubist art movement and Picasso’s horses:

B1S2001_FLINT

November 12, 2010

And the Winner Is….

Congratulations to Stacey Brown– she is the winner of the eBags Holiday Travel Giveaway! She is the recipient of the Caribbean Joe 3 piece hardside luggage set from eBags.com.

Caribbean Joe Malibu Luggage Set

When asked what ebags.com bag, backpack, or piece of luggage was her favorite, Stacey responded:

“The Mother Lode mini-wheeled duffel is my favorite. With a toddler on my hip, I can’t balance a backpack, and this duffel holds everything I need to have within easy reach on a flight. LOVE IT!!”
http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-mini-21-wheeled-duffel/125538?productid=1325214

Thanks to everyone for sharing your favorite eBags products with us!

October 7, 2010

Petrut Calinescu

Picture 4

Petrut Calinescu is a Romanian photographer who is based out of Bucharest. An accomplished photojournalist, Calinescu’s work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, Business Week, and Esquire.

This body of work focuses on the Danube Delta in Romania, a lush area of marshes and lakes that originally stemmed from the Black Sea.

Picture 1

Calinescu’s work manages to capture quiet moments of human interaction with the Danube, with their jobs, and day to day tasks.

Picture 3

Viewing the perspective of the region from someone who is native to this country is a unique experience. For more of Petrut Calinescu’s work, on subjects such as Transylvania, The Ocean, or countries foreign to him, such as India, or Afghanistan, visit his website.

Picture 5

September 7, 2010

We [heart] travel!

Something about being back at work after the long weekend turns my thoughts to wandering. How about a post with a few random travel thoughts?

From Laura B, our resident design guru and America’s favorite dancer: If you’re in Budapest, don’t miss Gellert Baths. Here she is on the Old World Hungary Inspiration Trip with Emily (Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder). Love that taxi!

Emily and Laura B in Budapest

From Tami, graphic designer extraordinaire and recent vacation returnee: Check out Krakow, Poland, especially the nearby Wieliczka salt mine, a Unesco World Heritage Site. And definitely bring your kids.

Look for a blog post from Tami later this week, all about her fabulous European travels (including Hungary).

Who doesn’t love the idea of active travel? I’ve been wanting to go on a Backroads trip forever. I think 2011 is the year. Perhaps a little yoga, cycling, hiking, golf? Read Athleta’s blog post for a little inspiration to unleash your adventurous traveler. I think their new adventure travel clothes with an easy, athletic spin are pretty fun.

And speaking of travel clothes…our new women’s (that’s right, I said women’s) Palace Tee and Cafe Merino Henley make great lightweight, fashionable and consummately wearable traveling pieces. Add one of our new scarves and you’ll be ready to go there, wherever there is. Take them with you on your next journey, even if it’s just across the street.

Share some of your favorite journeys with us here by commenting on this blog post. Cheers!

August 20, 2010

Happy St. Stephen’s Day!

fireworks

Today is a Hungarian national holiday, celebrating St. Stephen I, Hungary’s patron saint and First King (between 1000 and 1038 AD). Through his powerful role as King he helped to establish the Kingdom of Hungary, so August 20th, while commemorating his life, also celebrates the birth of Hungary. During the Soviet occupation of Hungary St. Stephen’s day was dismissed as being “too religious”, and was replaced with a celebration of the Stalinist constitution, as well as a “celebration of new bread”, referring to the beginning of the harvest.

Modern day Budapest celebrates St. Stephen’s Day with fireworks, air shows, and outside fairs, with stands selling bread and cakes.

This season we happen to be carrying a shirt that references King Stephen’s reign – our Knights Double Decker Tee was inspired by the Knights of King Stephen’s army:

B042008_LAWN

 

Have you ever been in Hungary during St. Stephen’s Day? Did you celebrate it as a child? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.