Two weeks until our Grand European Adventure! The girls and I are getting more and more excited as we count down the days.
When it comes to prepping for our trip, I've pretty much failed, unless stocking the Kindle counts as prep. I haven't even begun thinking about what to pack - the procrastinator in me tends to toss random stuff into suitcases at the very last second. Also, I should probably reorder contact lenses soon.... and buy some of those outlet converters, because the Brits have crazy prongs on all their appliances and my bangs certainly don't straighten themselves.
But I guess I can't say I've done nothing to prepare - Nope, I certainly can't, because the girls and I have been prepping for our trip Marisa-style.... through literature!
My mom read aloud to my older brother and me all the way through middle school, and sitting together on the couch, listening as she read the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, and The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, is definitely among my strongest childhood memories - and a tradition I knew I'd keep up with my own kiddos.
So we started with James and the Giant Peach, which yeah, takes place in a peach, and the sky, but also takes place by the English seaside, before they cross the English Channel.
YOU BETCHA. Especially when Centipede screamed, "IDIOTS! MORONS!" to the cloud men. (why does this not surprise me about my girls?)
When we were done reading - a chapter or two a night, so it took a couple weeks - we all hopped on the couch and watched the movie. And afterward, Gracie said, "That was good. But the book is way better."
And Annelie wholeheartedly agreed, saying, "Yeah, 'cause in the book, the centipede yells, IDIOTS! And MORONS!"
The girls couldn't wait to begin our next book, set in Scandinavia and London:
In the meantime, we're prepping for the Swedish portion of our Grand European Adventure by reading none other than...
And Gracie's favorite part - chapter six, when Pippi, Annika, and Tommy had a picnic by the water. She gave a huge sigh and said, "Oh they're so lucky. That sounds like the best picnic in the world."
I think it's time I bust out the pictures from our last trip to Sweden, so Gracie can see the place where we picnicked, and where we might picnic again.
We're three chapters from the end of Pippi, and with two weeks to go, I know we have time for another book. So I asked Will what his favorite book from when he was a kid was, and he said, "The Just William stories. Everyone used to tell me I was just like William."
Wouldn't you know it, Just William is from 1922, which means public domain, which means FREE for the Kindle! Woo hoo!
- Just William - not a hit. We could barely make it through page one. Oh well! Next on our list:
Which is FREE for the Kindle, here - yay! Only sadly the free version is not illustrated by Arthur Rackham (one of my FAVE illustrators ever)
Will also suggested I prepare the girls for our trip to Bruges, Belgium, by watching In Bruges.... which is an AWESOME movie...
But I politely said, "Um, no."
I should probably do a little more to prep - maybe put together a scavenger hunt for our trip to the Louvre, and sketchbook journals so the girls can keep up with their reading and writing, while recording their trip to share with their dad, as Will SADLY won't be able to join us this summer.
Or maybe I should think about packing...
How about you guys? What are your favorite childhood books, or books you've read aloud to your kids? And have you done anything fun to prep your kids before a family vacation? I'd love to hear all about it!