The Wilde Family Adventures


The Wilde Family Adventures

We are a family of 5, traveling to see life outside of our own neighborhood. We plan to home school our kids and use travel to provide educational and fun field trips for our family (parents included). We enjoy traveling to places where we can see people living everyday lives and generally stay 'off the beaten path' as far as tourists go, but are always up for a popular Cheezburger dive or dessert find.

In this blog you'll find posts from Mom and Dad, and in the future, from our kids. We hope to share some of our experiences for better or worse and encourage other families to adventure together.

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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Loch Ness September 2nd 2014

We don’t do guided bus tours. Who really wants to sit in the back of a bus with 3 kids through bouncy Scottish highland roads for 13 hours? But, we were inspired by a Scottish ancestor who lived in the Highlands and were determined to see the area. So the bus tour was an easy way to see the Highlands on a short stay in Edinburgh. On the tour, we drove through fields of purple heather and past huge lochs nestled in the mountains. It was fun to connect the sites we drove by with movies such as Brave Heart, Monty Python, and Harry Potter. The fog drifting over the hills helped us to imagine the fairies of the Scottish folktales we had studied. But the highlight was Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. We were given ... read more
Alex spotted Nessie!  ;-)
GG and Brecklyn exploring the castle.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 2nd 2014

Part 1: Edinburgh - Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle Part 2: Edinburgh - Calton Hill and Greyfriars Area Part 3: Scottish Highlands and Urquhart Castle/Loch Ness Whenever you see an image of Edinburgh from any travel magazine, it is nearly always from the top of Calton Hill with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground. This is a very iconic part of the city and is a great place to have the kids run around, take in the city skyline, and have a picnic lunch. On top of Calton Hill, there are several buildings of differing origin showcasing an interesting mix of architecture. The unmistakably Greek-styled Dugald Stewart Monument sits across from the similarly styled National Monument of Scotland, which oddly sits unfinished and is therefore known by several names such as “Scotland’s Disgrace”. N ... read more
Alex charming the ladies.
We found Bobby!
Trying on armor at the National Museum of Scotland

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 31st 2014

The choice to visit Scotland was kind of unique for us, as it was a destination that we chose because of some family history on Jessica's side. Because of this history, there were some key sites - mostly the highlands and Urquhart Castle, and so we tried to plan around these destinations (more on them in another post). Otherwise, it was 'How do we get there easily and cheap?'. Edinburgh was very convenient as we had enough MileagePlus miles, and United had just introduced a new non-stop from Chicago to Edinburgh that had a lot of award seats available. So, Edinburgh was our central base, and the rest of our planning and activities fell into place in time. Part 1: Edinburgh - Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle Part 2: Edinburgh - Calton Hill and Greyfriars Area ... read more
Sir Walter Scott Monument
The Scottish Whiskey Experience
Alex loves his bagpipes.

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima April 13th 2014

We were quite aware that our trip to Lima coincided with Palm Sunday. In Lima, it is known as Domingo de Ramos, and it is the glorious start to Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Lima. We didn’t know how much this would impact our experience in Lima. It’s kind of a big deal. Our first exposure to the festivities began on our trip to the grocery store while we were getting some drinks and dinner at the cafe. Entering the store, there was a woman handing out these amazing braided palm bouquets - and wasn’t even accepting anything in return. On Sunday morning, we were dropped off by our driver for Mass at the Iglesia de San Francisco and were immersed in a sea of even more impressive bouquets - some several feet tall and including ... read more
Beautiful library at the Monastery of Santo Domingo
Saint Rose's Shrine
Monastery of Santo Domingo

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima April 12th 2014

When most people think of Lima, the next thought that comes to mind is that long layover before flying to Cusco and Machu Picchu. But Lima has preserved history in a way that is truly amazing, by adding culture and accessibility. In fact, there was such a variety of sights and experiences that it’s really hard to write them down in an orderly way. So, I’ll start of with our kid’s highlights. Part 1: Intro and Kid's Highlights Part 2: Our Mini-pilgrimage and Domingo de Ramos Squid Ink Pasta The food scene in Lima is impressive, highlighted by some big name chefs who have made an impact on the city. But more importantly for our family of 5, it is affordable! And by affordable, I don’t mean that you can go street market diving for $1 ... read more
Squid Ink Pasta  YUMMO!
Roasting the seeds
Huacca Pucllana

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris January 30th 2014

I often get asked “Why do you travel so much?”, which is usually followed up by “How do you afford it?” First off, my husband is blessed with a wonderful job and secondly he can stretch a dollar for all it’s worth. But also, it comes down to choices. While others have their kids in private school, we are homeschooling. While others have two cars, we have one. So as an educator, our travels are not vacations but rather field trips. Leading up to a trip, I research history, books, arts and sites of the area. I have found that surfing the local library online catalogue is a great way to brainstorm different ideas to teach the kids. Each kid has their own library card and we make bi-weekly trips to pick up the latest books ... read more
Dancing at Chateau de Versailles
Outside the chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Drawing their masterpieces at the Louvre

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London January 24th 2014

This is the first of a series of posts on our trip to London and Paris. More on the destinations later, but first, let's talk about how we got there. In a prior blog (part II, actually) on How we make it work, I gave an example where we were able to save quite a bit on a flight to Florida by being flexible and watching carefully for deals to nearby cities. Now, I'd like to take this tip a step farther and show how you can stack up multiple tricks, promotions, and deals to make flying internationally affordable. The Deal In short, this trip was paid for with US Airways Dividend miles. Normally, such a trip would be 60,000 miles per person round trip, and I wouldn't count this as a good deal, but this ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki November 20th 2013

When searching for flights, there are three factors in play - price, destination, and date. Usually, you can specify two of the three factors. In order to find cheap flights for example, you are able to choose the destination OR the date. In this case, we were limited to traveling during a mandatory vacation, and so the destination was ‘whatever came about’. In fact, I had no idea where Thessaloniki was on a map, but quickly found out that there is quite a bit of history and culture in the second largest city in Greece. Flying in on Aegean Airlines (quite an experience in itself), we passed by Mount Olympus, which conjured screams of excitement from our kids. Reading legends of grandeur and the Greek gods (even the Percy Jackson series) in preparation for the trip ... read more
Walking the old city wall
Crypt of St. Demetrius
Beautiful Byzantine Churches

North America » United States October 7th 2013

It all began in Fall 2012 at the Houston Air Show. We planned this trip in tandem with a lesson on aerodynamics and how planes work. Little did we know that it would determine our next year of domestic travel. The surprise exhibition at the air show this year was the Boeing 747 used to ferry NASA's shuttles across the country - also known as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) 905. After recently delivering the decommissioned Shuttle Endeavor to Los Angeles for display at the California Science Center, SCA 905 made one last flight to Ellington for the air show, to be given to Space Center Houston for display. It was a very grand sight, towering over all of the military jets and helicopters, and it fit in perfectly with a book on Boeing aircraft that I ... read more
Endeavor, Los Angeles, CA
Discovery, Chantilly, VA
Atlantis, Kennedy Space Center, FL

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage September 9th 2013

Flying to Alaska is a unique experience. Because of the distance and time zone, many flights leave or take off at times when most airports would be shutting down. We arrived in Anchorage near midnight and were surprised to see crowds of people waiting for flights departing in the early morning hours. The airport itself is good for spotting very large cargo planes as they arrive from Asia alongside small regional and bush planes arriving (sometimes by water) from remote areas of Alaska. For anyone with a kid (or grown-up kid) who enjoys planes, I would recommend budgeting a couple of hours to watching at or near the airport - it can be an experience while waiting for your flight. Now, chances are, the passenger flight to/from Anchorage won't be anything special, and in fact it ... read more
Watching the duel
Taking the ride
Exit Glacier

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