Staying Sane While Single Mom Traveling with Kids

It’s the end of week two of my six week Europe trip, and I started going a little nuts today.  I realized I hadn’t had an adult conversation in days, except for hijacking my daughter’s facetime session with her friend in Melbourne so I could talk her mom, who is a dear friend of mine.  We couldn’t really talk, because both of our daughters were squashed against us, trying to get into the video.  It’s been a little lonely. Texting, calling, sexting needs to happen when you are traveling as a solo mom for 6 weeks.  Like, seriously.  You will…

Best Costa Brava Beaches for Families 

(Cala Sa Tuna, Begur) The Costa Brava stretches for 85 miles along Spain’s north eastern coast, all the way to the French border.  Yes, its beautful, but there are a few spots that are exceptional for a family beach day. There is an algorithm for the ideal family beach.  It must have access to a clean bathroom, and gorgeous beachside restaurant or tasty snack cafe.   Quiet protected coves are great, with some shady options (just say no to roasting your kids in the baking mid day Mediterranean sun, even if the Spaniards do it). Also, it needs reasonable parking,…

Barcelona is a Disappointment for Families. But the Eating is Good!

This blog shares the good, bad, and ugly of travel with kids, so I’m going to write my unvarnished opinion of Barcelona as a family destination. I moved to Granada, Spain as a 17 year old, and have fond memories of visiting Barcelona on weekends.  I wanted to share Barcelona’s highlights with my kids: the famous paseo of La Rambla, stunning Gaudi Park, and the quirky Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The past two days disappointed. 17 years ago, La Rambla was a charming, flower filled market with interesting wares, brightly colored birds, and fascinating street performers.  Now, it is lined with…

How to Pack for a 6 Week, 5 Country Adventure with Kids

There are two forms of travel:  “First Class”, or “With Children”. Watching harried parents placate exhausted kids while they wait at the baggage carousel after an 11 hour flight will make you question ever travelling with offspring. There are ways to make traveling with kids easier though.  Whether I’m sending the kids to grandma’s house for the weekend, or packing up for a 6 week European summer vacation, each person is allotted 1 carry on roller and 1 backpack.  Nothing is checked in, ever. Checking in luggage is a hassle.  Not only do you have to wait in long bag-drop…

Coparenting through Separation: Ending Your Marriage in the Kids Best Interest

I just cleaned my ex-husband’s bathroom, stocked his fridge with the list he sent me, and wiped down his grimy kitchen counters. I have classical music playing in the livingroom and the kids are quietly doing their homework. In a few minutes, he will arrive home to a more orderly house, with dinner ingredients laid out and ready to be cooked.  I will kiss my kids goodbye and head out for dinner with a friend. Why am I going out of my way to clean his house and buy his groceries?  After all of the nastiness of separation, and 5…

Buy, Rehab, Vacation Rent: A Dallas Case Study

The last picture has been hung, lamp placed just so, and beds all neatly made with white linens.  Its time for the Airbnb guests to arrive at my newly rehabbed Dallas triplex.  I wanted to share the journey by the numbers- this is a long post with a lot of math thrown at you, but it will be interesting for investors looking to get into their first small multifamily rehab project. For the most part, I am happy with the way the remodel came out, especially given my constraints of budget and time.  However, I made a few mistakes which I…

Divorce Labor

When I walked into my neighborhood cafe, “Mamma Says” by the Shirelle’s was playing- so appropriate for what I needed to hear right then. Going through a divorce is a process, much like labor.  And, like labor, the postpartum (or, postnuptial?) period has its rough patches. Our divorce labor was hardest in the transition phase, right before my husband moved out.  Sweat, tears, and high emotions heralded the soon arrival of our new lives. As soon as his last box was on the moving truck, everyone felt a great sense of relief, much like a nauseous person feels when they…