Page 2 of Wildetrips Travel Blog Posts

The Atlantis is kept at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When I went there we learned about the history of the space shuttle. We went inside the Mercury pod. We also went inside the Apollo pod. We walked around some Rockets. And we walked across a pathway to the Whiteroom. Outside of a big building where the Atlantis is held, there was a statue of some solid rocket boosters attached to the gas tank. Then we went into the big building and saw a movie about how hard the engineers worked to design the shuttle. They made it to take off like a rocket and land like a airplane. Then it took off and it was all around me. Then the screen opened and there stood the space shuttle Atlantis. The Atlantis is a space shuttle. ... read more
Rocket Bosters and Gas Tank
Rocket Garden
Walkway to the White Room

Asia » China » Beijing » Mutianyu March 15th 2013

Of all the planned sights and destinations on our trip, the one that I was most nervous about was finding the Great Wall. Most people who have been to the Wall would probably be laughing right now. It is like 3,000 miles long, after all. Reading travel blogs and reviews, it seemed like there was no way to avoid seeing the wall... "Just ask your concierge to book you on a tour tomorrow!""Find the 'Great Wall' tourist bus that leaves every morning at 9am.""Just pay a taxi to take you there.""It's hard to wander south of Tiananmen Square without encountering the many buses going to (the Great Wall at) Badaling." - Fodor's Beijing O yes, I've read them all. But if you read this blog much, you will know that I don't like to do things ... read more
Riding the bus to Huairou
Inside a watchtower
3 Experiences, 1 Photo

Asia » China » Beijing » Lama Temple March 14th 2013

If you asked Brecklyn what she was most excited for about this trip, the answer was always the same - Pandas! After seeing them at the San Diego zoo, she was in love. So, we couldn't disappoint and miss out on a trip to the Beijing Zoo, where they have a rather large panda exhibit. Doing some research on Tripadvisor, we found that most people were not too keen on the Beijing Zoo's treatment of animals, and that the panda exhibit is one of the very few highlights. It was also a very cheap zoo compared to American standards, so we only planned on visiting for an hour or so with this exhibit being the focus. In other words, we needed to figure out what else to do this day. The Confucius and Lama Temples were ... read more
In love with chocolate bubble tea
Not your typical Pizza Hut
Da Bears! (Pandas, that is)

Asia » China » Beijing March 13th 2013

In most large cities, we typically forego the often expensive car rental in lieu of public transportation. While this usually requires a bit more planning in hotels and events, it is also a great way to see the city and people. It was at a Beijing subway station during rush hour that I figured out if you are heading against the crowd, you are probably going the wrong way. There are no shortcuts. During rush hour, the well labeled subway stations are at their finest, shuttling hundreds of people on and off each train within 10 seconds. Passengers are very civilized, efficient, and know exactly where to go - so we just follow the crowd. If a large percentage of the exiting passengers heads to one of the exits, then there is probably either an escalator ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Forbidden City March 13th 2013

As usual, we decided to dive head first and begin our first full day in Beijing with Tiananman Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananman Square is basically just a large public square (the largest in the world, in fact!) with a memorial, monument, museum, and a few other landmarks that are easy to miss unless you know what to look for. O, and a lot of security. The square is easily accessible from the ring subway line (line 2), but we ran into some long security lines when trying to get into the square. I would recommend bringing your passport or ID with you everywhere in China, but especially here since they were checking IDs. I guess we looked foreign enough that they waived us through. Being with kids, there isn't a whole lot to do ... read more
A rare authentic family photo!
Family photo
Jingshan Park

Asia » China » Beijing » Dongcheng March 12th 2013

Flying into Beijing Capitol International sounds like a daunting experience for a first timer in an Asian country. Suprisingly, it was really no different from any other airport, other than the larger number of security guards and checkpoints. We arrived on a Tuesday morning, probably a really good time to experience smaller crowds, and basically followed the crowd through the long chain of moving sidewalks to the international security and customs lines. All signs were in Mandarin and English, so there was really little confusion until we got to the Airport Express train. Before we get there, I stopped at an ATM to withdraw my bank card's daily allowance of Chinese Yuan, which I had precalculated based on the current conversion rates. It was kind of weird typing in 2,000 at an ATM, but this is ... read more
Walking, searching...
Happy to see this sign!

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin March 11th 2013

I was recently asked if the kids absorbed the culture and sights on our trips or if they just enjoyed playing at the parks and playgrounds, which we could be doing at home. The truth is, despite all the amazing historical sites and places we take them to, I feel like they learn the most while doing something they enjoy. The playground is where the kids get to interact with other kids by playing trains or learning how to play new games. They realize that even though these kids speak and look different then them, they are still kids. And they learn that everyone understands the language of smiles and laughter. At this age, there is no greater lesson that I can teach them! And if my words aren't enough, here is the first entry from ... read more
Flying high
Currywurst in KaDeWe
Dessert time at Galeria Kaufhof

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin March 11th 2013

Our first Berlin experience, as with most visitors, was in the main Berlin train station, or Haufbahnhof (Berlin HBF). This is a place where you could spend hours shopping, eating, and people watching. It is basically a 5 story mall with high speed ICE trains, S-Bahn (commuter trains), and U-Bahn (subways) coming in at every level all from over the country. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend a lot of time there, but we did stay long enough to get lost, which isn’t a bad thing. My advice is to pay close attention to directional signs to make sure you end up on the right level for your connection. It may be obvious that the subway is at the lower level, but sometimes the S-Bahn commuter trains come in at different levels above ground along with ... read more
Breakfast at Brandenberg
Counting the Slates
Separated by the Wall

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Frankfurt March 8th 2013

When I think of our time in Frankfurt, my mouth starts to water. From a friend who lives in Frankfurt I learned that the local favorite dishes are Possman Apfelwein and schnitzel with green sauce. Sampling these and finding a Black Forest cuckoo clock were our travel goals in Frankfurt. On our first morning in Frankfurt, we took a trolley to the tourist center of the city called Romer. Stepping off the trolley, it felt like we were transported to a postcard scene of Germany. This section was restored to how it looked before WW2 (the entire city was destroyed). Along with the facade, there were lots of quaint shops and restaurants that are worth a visit. Online research suggested that Handwerkskunst was the place in Frankfurt to buy my cuckoo clock. The store was close ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Austin January 10th 2013

I've been asked more than once in the past year how we manage to travel with kids, jobs, and a real life. My quick answer is usually something about how we have decided to prioritize traveling as our "hobby", and therefore we make sacrifices elsewhere in our lives. The truth is that I can attribute about 70% of our current lifestyle, plans, and experiences to a fundamental shift in my mind that occurred at about the time that I finished a particular book, almost exactly 2 years ago. The book is The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. The funny thing about this book is that I started it as a very light-hearted read in order to pass the time that winter. The book really grabbed me and I began to think about my own life, ... read more

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