Saturday, June 2, 2012

Clara's Travelling Tales (Storytelling Sunday)

We have been blessed with the opportunity to travel throughout Europe as a family.  The law school at which I teach offers a number of "summer abroad" programs, and my husband and I decided early on that we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to take the kids and explore the world togetherThis summer, we'll be travelling to Dublin, Ireland for three weeks (where I will teach) and then to Barcelona Spain for a week's vacation.  Today, as part of Storyteling Sunday, organized by Sian of From High in the Sky, I thought I would share some travelling tales to celebrate our upcoming trip. Since Clara celebrated a birthday this past week, I thought it appropriate to focus on some of her stories from our summers abroad:
In 2002,  Clara was four; Henry was seven. We spent three weeks in Dublin, Ireland where I taught at Trinity College; one week in Northwest Wales touring castles; and one week in Edinburgh Scotland.  We walked the children everywhere and, for the most part, they were troopers about it.  Although occasionally, while we were consulting a map and trying to figure out how to get to our next destination, Clara would pipe up in her small four year old voice "We could always take a 'capsy.'"  (The last word being one of her own devising, a combination of cab and taxi).  And, once, when we stood at street level considering a restaurant (such establishments are often located on the second floor in Wales and Scotland), she looked up, sighed, and said very softly, "I hate stairs."  At the end of the trip, Paul and I were relieved that we had been able to book a nonstop flight home from Ireland to California.  After we had settled in, we explained the length of the flight to Clara.  Thirteen hours?  She looked at us, as if we were crazy, pulled her green blanket over her head and slept for the entire flight!
In 2004, Clara was six; Henry was nine. We returned to Dublin and added a week in London afterwards.  Clara attended a performing arts camp in Dublin and loved singing and dancing. When we went to London, we attended a showing of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and she was equally thrilled by the flying car and the ice cream trolley which came by our seats at intermission.  At the end of the show, confetti rained from the sky. She gathered some up. Later, in our apartment, she threw it up in the air, over and over again, reveling in the ability to create a celebration out of thin air.  Henry was overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of London.  Not so Clara.  She asked me in all seriousness, "Mom, if I move here, will you come visit me?"
In 2005, Clara was seven; Henry was ten. We headed East and spent three weeks in a farm house turned travel hostel in Prague Czech Republic (where I taught at Charles University). We spent long weekends in Rome, Italy and Vienna, Austria.  In Rome, I was a little hesitant about going up the dome inside St. Peter's Cathedral, but Clara sprinted ahead and so I had to follow! Clara loved drinking from and playing in the fountains found around the streets of Rome.  She also loved  all the cute Italian men who thought she was "bellisima" and showed her how to use the fountains to spray water at people in the crowd.
In 2008, Clara was ten; Henry was thirteen. We started with a week's vacation in Paris, France and then spent two weeks in Budapest, Hungary where I taught. We ended with a week in Venice, Italy. Clara was the only one from our family brave enough to go all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  On our last night in Venice, there was a huge thunderstorm and tons of wind and rain.  Clara asked if she could go dance in the rain in Plaza San Marco.  She was shocked when we said, "yes."  Out she went! She danced and laughed, finally returning, soaked and beaming with joy.
Happy 14th Birthday Clara! I hope you enjoy this summer's trip and return with more tales tell!
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33 comments:

Amy said...

Oh Clara, what joie de vivre you have! I loved the 'capsy' part, though I am sure you are not surprised by that at all.
You are all very fortunate to have had so many wonderful life experiences - Happy Birthday Clara!

Karen said...

What a wonderful 'bank' of memories you are building up for your family. I love that Clara danced in the rain - something we all would like to do I suspect.

Chipper said...

So much excitement. She sounds like a wonderful young lady. I love her fun spirit.

Irene said...

What great memorable vacations. You are blessed to be able to have your family on these trips.

helena said...

wonderful that you have all these details recorded - love that she danced in the rain and re-created the confetti shower

Missus Wookie said...

Wonderful experiences and so glad that you and your dh agreed it was worth doing. The confetti shower and dancing in the rain both made me smile - it's raining here but cold you'd need to dance fast :)

Sian said...

LOL! I thought you said they weren't alike? :) Learning how to hail a taxi in London when she was 3 remains a favourite Small One memory! This is such a fantatsic collection of beautifully observed memories, perfectly accompanied by some very cute photos! I love it - and I hope this summer finds Clara adding some new adventures to her collection.

debs14 said...

What wonderful opportunities you have given Clara and Henry and what lovely memories of your travels you have shared with us today. I bet dancing in the rain was amazing fun!

WendyB said...

A wonderful collection of tales and what fabulous opportunities you are able (and have chosen) to give your children.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

What a wonderful collections of memories. You tell them so well.
Your format reminds me of The Time Traveller's Wife, although the difference in ages between your Clara (Clare) and Henry remains the same of course, whatever the year.

Alison said...

A fantastic collection of memories Rinda...dancing in the rain when I went on my first 'girl's holiday'(I was 17) is one of my favourite memories!
Alison xx

Palma said...

I am envious of your travels! These are such wonderful memories and photographs.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I do so envy all your travels! What wonderful memories your children must have of all these trips!

Louise said...

wow such lovely places to travel to. I had to smile at your daughters comment on living in London. That's where i grew up and it is a very magical place. Great story, enjoy your travels this year.

laurie said...

what a happy journey down memory lane - your tales of clara portray such a clear picture of who she is at various points in her life and on the globe! she seems like such a fun person to travel with.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to Clara... i know you two are working at things (Angelina and i do too some days), but what a wonderful way to show how much you love her and what a great woman she is growing into ... beautifully done, Rinda!

Happy birthday, Clara!

Mariana

Jo Murray said...

Happy Birthday Clara!!! Such a joyous child.... don't ever change.

Mary B said...

You are a well travelled family and Clara seems to take it all in her steam from the very beginning.
Happy Birthday Clara have a super trip this year.

scrappyjacky said...

What wonderful memories,Rinda ....sounds like she has really made the most of all your traveling....hope she enjoys this year's adventures.

Jennifer Grace said...

So many lovely tales, I love the word 'capsy', and the dancing in the rain in venice. I spent four days in venice with a friend years ago and I remember so many moments from the trip as wonderful things to treasure forever. I'm sure this is how Clara must feel about aspects of your journeys together! x

The Mann Fam said...

What great memories there are. I love that she had decided to live and London and asked if you would come visit her.

Happy birthday, Clara.

Ginger said...

I love that first photo with her cute sunglasses! Those are some wonderful memories and I'm sure she is looking forward to making more! Happy Birthday Clara :)

S said...

Oh how lucky your family is to travel so much - I liked hearing about the journeys through her eyes.

Gail said...

What a wonderful set of memories you've shared with us. Boy I wish I could sleep some flights away like that. Happy Birthday Clara.

humel said...

Fabulous! Loved hearing about your travel memories :) I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to travel we've had over the last few years - we've ticked off nearly all the places you mention, though of course they're rather closer to us than they are to you!!

And belated Happy Birthday to Clara from the Melsh contingent xx

furrypig said...

great travel tales thank you and a happy birthday to Clara xxx

Karen said...

What lucky, lucky children you have! And Clara seems to revel in the adventures. Happy Birthday to her!

Becky said...

What fantastic memories for Clara - I love that you let her go and dance in the rain - we did that in Australia when there was a storm - fantastic memories :) Hope she comes back with some new ones this year and happy birthday x

Cheri said...

How wonderful for your children that they have so much international travel experience! And I really admire Clara's spunk - it will take her places in life!

heart.hearth.home. said...

your family will never forget these amazing travel stories for you have recorded them so well with lovely photographs too. They say travel broadens the mind and it's true. We all learn so much from visiting other countries that remain with us for life. Thank you for sharing.

Melissa said...

What a great way to tell your travel stories with snippets about Clara - a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Mel said...

Clara sounds like a real character and I bet you will all treasure these memories forever.

Jimjams said...

I'm way behind with my blog reading/commenting but I stopped by to say how wonderful your stories have been today Rinda - and Happy Birthday to Clara - what a cute kid and how wonderful that you've been able to travel so much as a family.