Hello from Thailand

It is not always easy to know which country we are in. Maybe that is part of who we are. Nomads.

Today I am writing from Thailand. We packed up are things a week ago and flew from Barcelona to Doha. In Doha we had to wait a lot for our take off and we landed in Bangkok super late so I literally ran with Zoard and Assya to the check-in. We were the last one but who can say no to a mother of two little ones.

I did not fly alone but when we followed the strategy of “be kind to us and look at these cute children…”,my husband had to take the elevator (we took the escalators) because we had so many luggage.

I wish I took a picture of me with the nursing pillow on my neck and Assya in the carrier while pulling Zoard’s Trunki. Oh well!

I think the key to flying with children, is to view yourself as someone, who is part of a comic movie.

When Zoard had a massive melt-down because of lack of sleep, I admit I changed my philosophy and became the most patient Saint on this planet. This helped me when he was scratching, kicking me (we were waiting for our boarding).

I need to share something horrible that made me silently cry throughout our journey.

I understand that some grandmothers were idiots.

I understand that being under educated is a huge problem.

But roughly shaking a crying child is NOT going to help. It can cause serious injuries!!!

Gently rocking.

Humming.

Walking.

Changing positions.

Taking big breaths.

These are techniques to follow.

Trying to make a crying baby drink, despite the fact that the baby is NOT  hungry/thirsty is WRONG.

STOP doing it when you see that your baby is gagging.
STOP when your baby is trying to turn his head away from the bottle. Or even your breasts.
STOP when your baby is still crying, no matter how many times you are trying to calm him with a bottle.

INSTEAD

Check his diaper. Change it even if it is “just” pee. Some babies are more sensitive than others.

Help your baby fall asleep. This can be done by patience on your part. Gentle rocking, singing, humming can help you. If the seatbelt sign is not on, start walking or squatting…

Being a parent can make you feel lonely and helpless, try to reach out for help.

You can connect with me on Instagram: @zoardminiboy.

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Which Country Are You in Now?!

The last time I wrote a post, we were in Spain. Now we are in Thailand again and in between we spent a few weeks in Hungary.

Zoard has been mainly busy adoring his grandmothers and we have been busy eating. Now that we are back in Thailand, we do not have grandparents to smile at and we hardly eat. Alright, I am exaggerating…

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We came back to Samui five days ago and I have been taking an advantage of the weather here. Sure it rains a lot but who can complain when we do not need to wear tights anymore. Unless we want to wear tights…

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I take a lot of pictures for the sweet shops that send us clothes for Zoard to promote and I like to make it fun for Zoard so basically I let him do whatever pleases him. Unless I ask him to stand in front of a wall I really like in which case there is no guarantee that he will turn his cheeks so that the sunlight can fall evenly on him… But that is my problem, not his. HAHA

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Now let us discuss my NEXT post. I would like to write an update about Zoard since he will be 2 years old 2 days from now. Any questions or topics that come to Your mind?
I will probably look at the milestones of a 2 year old but if You wish to draw my attention to something, do not hesitate to comment.

Oh and I changed our Instagram username to ZOARDMINIBOY.

Thank you for reading!!!

Weee

Long Flight with a Toddler

How long is long? We broke our trip in to two parts because we had to get to Barcelona by flying to Bangkok from Koh Samui. To Helsinki from Bangkok and we had a Helsinki – Barcelona flight in the end so the first part was Koh Samui – Bangkok and we spent two nights in Bangkok.

Bangkok – Helsinki was more than 11 hours.

Helsinki – Barcelona was an extra 3 hours, plus waiting in between.

Packing FOOD

Zoard does not eat salt nor sugar. My husband is on a low cholesterol diet and I breastfeed so I need some action when my blood sugar plays tricks on me.

Washed apples
Bananas

Cooked plain rice

Cooked chicken

Cheddar cheese

Whole grain, fitness bread (brand name: Delba)

Cooked beans, peas, corn and carrots

Two kinds of melon

Grapes

The last three was from a salad bar we went to in Bangkok. This was the most fun eating for Zoard since it was his finger food that he ate independently finding joy in picking out the bits he wanted.

Suggestion: you can never pack too much snacks.

When to Get on the Plane

If there is two of you my suggestion is that one of you take the advantage of being with a child so get on the air plane with those who can go first. Get everything sorted out, make a mental map of the things you brought along to survive the trip.

The parent with the toddler should get on last. Try to encourage your little one to run and climb and move around as much as possible.

When you are boarding to get on your last plane which if you are lucky is a shorter journey, board first. By that time, your son or daughter might be dead tired.

Entertaiment

We do not let Zoard watch any movies yet so we needed to prepare well ahead…

Zoard has been on a plane many times but nevertheless, this is an experience so make it special if you can. We started talking about this trip at least a week ahead. And as the date got closer I told more and more about our plans to Zoard. He knew that we would transfer in Finland and that his stroller will be checked-in with our other suitcases etc.

Seat back pocket and its treasures

Reading the Safety Card

Magazines (we found a magazines about trucks and vegetables while waiting… bonus!! Oh I am talking about 2 magazines by the way, not one about trucks AND vegetables HAHA)

Let your toddler MOVE around if you feel that he or she is safe doing so.

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Zoard found crawling to be safer.

Drawing

I put a rubber band around some pencils and we brought some paper.
If you draw a story it is an extra thing to do.

Photo Album

We printed out old photos with Zoard on them, plus I downloaded some pictures (and had them printed out) that I thought would make an interesting topic for Zoard. Puppies with sticks, helicopters, giraffe, old lady singing in a microphone, lady bug etc.

Matchbox Car

We bought a new one for Zoard when we thought his old one got lost. But I do not think you necessarily need to spend money on new toys.

Tip: hide some toys and small books a week or two before your trip. It will have a positive effect on your little one.

3 Rolls of Colorful Tape

We got these but did not use them in the end.

Duplo

Zoard likes to build the tops parts of Duplo cars so this was nice for him to do.

Mini plastic plane in a sock

Some kids like unwrapping I read. I used an old baby sock to hide a toy a week before.

Make up a new ritual or a game some days before your trip that your kid finds funny of fun

I found out that Zoard can guess the names of songs just by humming parts of the songs. Very entertaining!

How to DRESS your child

We are a bit unusual perhaps when it comes to dressing Zoard because for example, he did not have any shoes and I dislike socks on little kids.

Zoard wore

Cotton tights
Cotton pants
Bodysuit
Sweater
Cotton sweater that looks like a jacket

Diapers
I asked my husband to pack 7, he packed 10 and we used up 4 or 5.

Landings – take offs

Make your child suck.
Zoard is still breastfeeding…

Dried out skin (lips)

If anyone has an idea how to prevent cracked lips, I am happy to hear. Zoard was the least affected by this but I did put some olive oil on his lips today.

Sleeping

Zoard had his nap time when he usually sleeps during the afternoon though it was a little bit shorter and he also slept in the evening when we were flying from Helsinki. Both times he fell asleep breastfeeding and I rocked him a little bit.

Front row

On the longer flight we payed extra to sit in the front row. I highly recommend it.

Stay calm

Flying in the sky in something you chose to do. There are people who never leave their home and who do not have to deal with problems like flying with a toddler. It is part of the deal. Try to stay calm and plan ahead. Work with your partner as a team player and if you fly alone remember that you are part of the Super Heroes Club.

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Happy dancing on the floor…

We had a few melt downs when we were waiting for our last plane. It happens. It is not easy for a child… Be kind.

Budapest

A friend of mine emailed me today and asked: “did you deliberately hide your mother-in-laws face on all the pictures of her?!” The answer is: “hm; no, I did not!” HAHA

I have to be selective with my thousands of pictures. In this post, I picked Budapest to be the topic but when I was looking at all the pictures I took, I realized that I do not have a lot of touristy shots. In fact, I hardly took any pictures outdoors. Hey, hey, hey! Don’t panic, please! I have SOME…

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Public transportation is a plus for me! I cannot drive. The only official license I have is for parachuting. Am I back on the list of cool people?!

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I am not saying this guy is a typical Hungarian because I simply do not know if he is or if he isn’t. When I lived in Arizona as a teenager, I used to tell everyone at Jack in The Box (I was working at the hamburger station) that for teenagers, in Hungary, drug abuse is not a problem. In reality, drugs were not a problem for me, nor alcohol, nor smoking but that of course does not mean that the whole planet is like me…

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This THING was new to me as well. Once again, I am careful not to come up with a story of what this is (only in my head) but I THINK this THING is a Christmas tree wrapper. Yup.

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I took this shot because I liked the look of these people. I don’t know them. I did not know the guy with the dog either. You lose your shyness with a camera, believe me! HAHA

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Did I take this picture for my husband?! Sorry, I have no recollection of this one. 

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This will be such an interesting picture for Zoárd to look at! The sign says: Take me with you.
But this will not be a big flash because of the sign but because of the DVD-s! Zoárd will ask: “what is a DVD, Mommy?”

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Be proud of me now! This is as outdoors as it gets!

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I am on a roll, here!

Before you look at the next three pictures, let me make it clear that I am not trying to make fun of my husband who thought sliding down a slide would be fun for Zoárd. I am not. But did you see Zoárd’s face?! Oh,not yet. 

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My sister.

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Here it comes…

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How do you feel about family portraits?

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Please let me know if you have a link to a picture of you and your family. I would love to see it!!!

What Do You Love About The Place You Come From? / Home For The Holidays

It took us about 26 hours to get to my mother-in-law’s flat. We left really early from Koh Samui. We flew to Bangkok. From Bangkok to Moscow. And from Moscow I had to fly alone with Zoárd because my husband had to sort out things in Barcelona so he took a different flight to Spain.

The night before, we left the island, we made a list which I think is a great thing. The stroller was on this list to remind us not to leave it at the hotel. We already experienced once what it is like to panic at the airport: “oh no! What kind of parents are we to forget the stroller?!”.

We did it again. We left the stroller at the hotel. They brought it after us to the airport. It was not ours. It was a stroller the hotel guests were using for the past years. We were not sure how to close it at the security check but Thai people are generally extra sweet and helpful when you have a baby. And eventually our stroller swap worked out for the best. This one is easier to use than ours was.

I thought about handing out some wisdom for those who are planning on travelling with a baby but I am not sure I can summarize it well.

OK, here is one or four:

1. Stay calm. It is not your partner’s fault that you have a carrier, a diaper bag, a blanket etc. hanging from each of your ears.
2. Do not think too much about what the others think of you. Do not think about germs. Your baby needs to move and yes, he will find the passengers with the smelliest feet.
3. If singing helps, sing.
4. This is the best time to practice assertiveness. Ask for help, ask to sit in the first row, ask for a bassinet etc.

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Zoárd was wearing a body suit and a footsie. And I was prepared to breastfeed like a pro at take offs and landings…

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I like people who are not shy to change their clothes at the airport. HAHA

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My boys were relaxed which is the best way to travel. 

I tried my best to pick out ten pictures for this blog post. I am planning on posting a lot about our stay in Budapest. For the first couple of days, we had to be without my husband. My mother-in-law was eager to please me. We went for long walks which I missed tremendously. Zoárd was knocked out each time we were breathing in fresh, cold air.

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Here we are in the elevator. My mother-in-law took the stairs. Another little detail you might want to know: Zoárd and I had to borrow winter clothes. I had lots of sweaters waiting for me but I already gave away my coat and scarf 3 years ago when we left Hungary.

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Sorrel can be eaten as a cream soup. Imagine a flavor so sour that you simply must add sugar to it. I always eat it with potatoes and eggs on the side. The taste is due to oxalic acid as I found out from wikipedia.

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Zoárd was a big fan of the kitchen. Here is the first picture of my mother-in-law, Ági.  

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Ági has great taste and I really like her flat.

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I love this picture. To me these carpets and the porcelain doll is so Eastern European.

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I think it is very typical to go to pastry shops for Hungarians. Fisher is the family name of a couple who make all sorts of cakes and pastries I personally can die for.

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Nice, nice, nice!

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It is so special when you can still find people who make their products with their hands. This couple is over 70 years old. They are the Fishers. And they keep a picture of me and my husband in their shop. Once, my mother-in-law bought 4kg-s of apple pie from them and posted it all to Thailand. We sent back a thank you picture.

This is it for now. Thank you for reading my blog and I would love it if you would leave a comment!

 

 

Singapore – Traveling With a Baby

I found out, a day ahead of my birthday, that not only we are heading to Singapore but that I will be given special permission to eat cakes and pastries through out this trip. Otherwise I am only granted this privilege on Sundays.

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Basically this said: I can be a pig again for a couple of days…

When we travel with our son I am always hoping to come back with pictures of me and Zoárd looking angelic.

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This is how I would ALWAYS want to be pictured…

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But usually…

Zoárd has been on a plane 11 times. He is 9 months old. My theory on traveling is this:
think of your motives and put aside the adventures that are risky for a baby… those adventures will wait for you if you put them on hold.
I believe that short, safe trips are perfectly fine with a baby if you try to stick to the routines that make your little one feel secure.

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Zoárd likes to play with the freshening towels on the plane. We also read to him a lot. Ten times the same book is the minimum. We try our best to make this part of the journey as much fun as possible. Walking with him can also be soothing. Breastfeeding is a must at taking offs and landings to prevent his ears from hurting.

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You really have to show a lot of empathy towards your baby. Understand that his needs come first. Your desire to go shopping or to see the architectural masterpieces are not as important as the need to have clean diapers on, to move around, to rest etc.

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I am starting to except that I need to bring winter and summer clothes for all of us. Usually the hotels are freezing cold.

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Taxis will have strong air conditioning inside.

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Some walking is also great in Singapore but often receptionists will advise you to take a taxi saying that your destination is FAR AWAY. For us a 15 minutes walk is absolutely alright even with a baby but the opinion of locals will differ.

These can be seen for example, if you go by foot:

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Our focus was on visiting cafes. Fellow bloggers like Ena and Christy helped us with this.

In the evening I did not take pictures. We did visit two restaurants after Zoárd’s bed time. La Villa was very relaxing since Zoárd fell asleep after we did a few circles in the parking lot. At the other Italian restaurant we did not have a happy dinner. I even erased the name of the place. One of us had to stand outside of the restaurant rocking Zoárd who previously made it clear that he is not happy about dining out since he was not able to fall asleep.

Here are the cafes we went to:

Common Man Coffee Roaster 

I liked the atmosphere of it. Service was quick and cool. The carrot cake cupcake was delicious. The coffee tasted bitter but it could be that this is a type of roasting I personally do not find tasty. The place was packed.

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Zoárd did not mind sitting in his buggy, nevertheless this never means he is encouraging you to eat a three course meal.

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I had a latte and cake.

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I forgot what my husband had. Zoárd had milk that is for sure. HAHA

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I had a quinoa salad at this cafe and we ordered french fries with truffle sauce. I became a vegetarian 17 years ago because I was making hamburgers and french fries. I really do not know what I was hoping to get when I ordered the french fries. I read about it, it seems fried eggs and truffles are also popular in Singapore but deep fried food is yucky for me. Sorry.

Otherwise we chilled out at this place. It was not too busy when we were there so Zoárd was able to come out of the buggy and do some serious stuff.

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Department of Caffeine

You can only pay with cash here. There is no ATM machine walking distance from the cafe. Believe me, we tried. I had a coffee latte here that was bitter and a pear cake that was too sweet. At least I took a cool picture…

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Department of Caffeine might have a cool name but it did not become are favorite place.

L’etoile Cafe

This place is hard to find but you are prepared for this if you have read ironladychef’s review on it. The confusing about the place is that it is a small cafe and though the review talks about a second floor, we only found the ground floor that was a little bit sad looking. Not to mention, that the cafe only has one single review on tripadvisor. A 2 point one. So I am not sure what happened here.

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The furniture was truly sad looking here but I tried my very first cookie ice cream. I am happy when there is something new I can try out since I am extremely picky.

Highlander Cafe 

We were looking for Strangers Reunion (another cafe) but it was closed. We ended up in Highlander because of this and I am extremely glad. They were super kind to us. They even creatively solved the problem of our desire to change Zoárd’s diaper.

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This guy showed my husband a technique he was curious about. They made a certain type of pressed coffee together. It was like a mini training. Simply because we asked them to and because they were kind and willing to do so.

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I had two latte-s here and this wasn’t my first dessert either. I did not like this apple pie but their carrot cake way yummy.

Brunetti

This place is listed among the child friendly places. It is in a mall that is full of baby shops. I was too full to try their dessert. My cannelloni had too many black pepper in it but I found that to be the case at La Villa as well with my other wise delicious pizza. So maybe it is a trend.

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You have to pay ahead at this place. It was full when we arrived but I spotted a family who was about to leave. We had to wait a lot for our food but we were relaxed about it.

Go where the locals eat…

Ready for chaos but the best duck of your life?!

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Though duck is not the best for a vegetarian. I am sure that vegetarians and mothers alike can enjoy this place…

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I am mean. We did not eat at this place. I just took this shot because I found it funny how many times they wrote out their name.

I will end this post by showing you a few ways we made it possible for Zoárd to move around.

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Sport’s department.

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Golfers’ section.

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A hotel’s lobby.

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At the airport.

Of course moving was not always an issue…

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Did I almost forget the Swedish cafe we went to because of Ase?

Fíka

Let the pictures do the talking. This post is getting long as the dough of a strudel. HAHA

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I am really ending this post now with a question:

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Take a wild guess: what kind of car does this gentleman have?

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This is not the correct answer. Though this gentleman wore a Rolex…

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The correct answer.

We Left The Island For My Birthday

I am never going to write a post again if I cannot let go the idea of showing You ALL the pictures I like from our trip.

For my 34th birthday my husband surprised me by giving me the best birthday present ever. Spending time together far away from his work. If you do not already know where we flew to, you are welcome to take a guess

Since we live in a five star hotel, I had to find the modest university student in me, who used to be nervous upon entering a simple restaurant. I think I can say that I found her! I was able to enjoy everything almost as much as Zoárd did…

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I made so many hints to my poor husband that I insist on having a birthday cake, that I ended up enjoying one in the morning and to our surprise the hotel also prepared a birthday cake for me. 

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This was the view from our room and if this is not helping You to guess where we flew to than maybe nothing will… HAHA

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We went to a lot of cafes and we tried to walk as much as it was possible since we miss our big walks from the time we lived in Europe.

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It was dream like to spend this much time together.

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I am satisfied easily on a vacation. I like to stare at people and I prefer to bring back memories of them.

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Can I take back what I just wrote?! Maybe not everyone would enjoy being on a vacation with me because it is one thing that I like to pose with stuffed animals but I also believe in team spirit when it comes to having “fun”… My husband was very supportive as you can see…

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My husband also had some ideas of his own. He likes to eat things like noodle soup with beef and grilled duck. So now that you know who likes to do what it will be a piece of cake to guess who was inspired when I took the following pictures. Oh by the way: the cool, elderly couple took this picture of us and I also took a picture of them (with my camera before I talked to them and with their camera after I offered to take their pictures).

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Ducks.

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I found these people hanging around in the lobby of our hotel…

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We got free tickets to go to an aquarium. This was a little bit out of our comfort zone but we went with the flow.

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I realized that fish make me very relaxed. Look at the awesome picture I took of this… hm… fish.

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I saw some fish in trees!

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Not everyone was paying attention…

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The tailor shop was not a hit either…

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So we showed Zoárd this very famous bar and he got breastfed.

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But no worries! We understand that Zoárd needs slightly more entertainment…

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Reading at the hotel…

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Reading on the floor…

I think I should publish this post before I have to start all over. For some reason, I am denied adding more pictures. Message taken.
xoxo