Yes, Americans need to learn English before traveling to London

Whenever we visit new countries, we try to learn at least a few words to use in our daily interactions with the people we meet and encounter. Whether it’s “hello” when walking into a store, “pardon me” when moving past people on the sidewalk, or “thank you” when being served a meal, it always adds... Read more »

Four lessons families can learn from watching Hamilton: An American Musical

Like many families, mine has Hamilton fever. My husband and sons sing the song lyrics in the car. My older sons sings from Hamilton: The Revolution while he waits for us to leave for school. And, of course, we saw Hamilton: An American Musical on stage in Chicago. Recently, we had the pleasure of seeing... Read more »

5 reasons why a hotel breakfast buffet is always a good idea

Whenever my family stays at a hotel, we always select the room option that includes breakfast – if that means we get to indulge in a breakfast buffet. No matter if we’re in Athens, Greece or Sofia, Bulgaria, we’re always ready to select and enjoy the breakfast buffet. And, we’ve never been disappointed to start... Read more »
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Family travel: Coming to terms with choosing to eat at chain restaurants

At home in Chicago, my husband and I are always on the search for new, local restaurants to eat at with our family. We seek out ones offering new ethnic cuisines. We seek out ones in new neighborhoods. We seek out ones with healthy, local fare on their menus. So, when we travel, we often... Read more »

It's National Volunteer Week! Use these resources to learn how to volunteer with your family

Today marks the start of National Volunteer Week. Throughout the week, people of all ages will come together to give back to help people and organizations in their communities and around the world. From April 23 – 29, you can give your time, your expertise, your passion and your heart to the causes and organizations... Read more »

N.B.: I learned a bit of Latin thanks to my sons' school emails

Sometime earlier this year, I noticed that the bilingual emails sent out by administrators at my sons’ school included a bit of another language. But, it took a while for me to get it. Why? Because, it can be hard to spot a language when it shows up as two letters – N.B. Like many... Read more »
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5 reasons you should watch Supergirl with your children

When my family used to sit down to watch TV together, we’d run through a litany of potential shows to watch together, with everyone saying why we should or shouldn’t watch certain ones. Often, we’d come up empty and just decide to read or hang out instead. But, then along came Supergirl – first on... Read more »

My sons' favorite English king is King George III - thanks to Hamilton

I never thought I’d say it. But, my American sons have a favorite English king: George III. And, it’s all thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical. For months, my sons have absorbed the story of Alexander Hamilton, as they’ve heard the Broadway musical soundtrack played over and over again by my husband. In... Read more »

We need a big "thumbs up" statue in the U.S., too

These days, it can feel like you’re drowning in the news or in your social media feed. Based on the “news” of the day, it’s easy to be disheartened. To be pessimistic. To be jaded. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can fight to stay positive. To stay upbeat. To stay hopeful.... Read more »
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Products you can buy to take a stand - and do good

These days, chances are you’re taking a stand to speak up for people’s rights – and you know plenty of people who are using their voices to do the same. We share social posts. We write emails. We place phone calls. We participate in protests. There are so many ways to “stay woke.” And, you... Read more »