Travel Month: March 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy day after Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday if you celebrate it or just a nice day if you don't. Today is a Lithuanian public holiday, so we are in Druskininkai (in southern Lithuania) enjoying a spa trip and some computer-free time.

Personal + Travel


March was the month of weekend getaways for us, which was both fun and exhausting! We traveled to Luxembourg as J had a conference to attend and then to Druskininkai. We had a fun time in Luxembourg enjoying beautiful architecture, delicious sweets, great noodle soup, and stunning views. The city was small and easy to manage on my own, yet it was not so stroller friendly. I'll be sharing more about Luxembourg and Druskininkai soon!


A photo posted by Elizabeth (@insearchofs) on


Blog + Freelance


March slowed down a bit in regards to both blogging and freelancing, which actually felt nice after several busy months . This month I decided to cut back my blog posting from three times a week to just two, helping me to balance my time a bit better than I had been. Since having a baby and being the primary care-giver to Baby ISO I've found it really hard to balance everything; luckily, cutting back on just one blog post a week has really helped. I hope that you don't mind fewer posts in a week!


Looking Forward To


I honestly haven't even started to think about April yet! So ... hmm ... what am I looking forward to? Well, the last week of April we will take a week-long vacation somewhere, but I've been so busy I haven't planned the trip yet. We will most likely go to Poland, but we aren't sure yet about the city we'll visit. 

Other than the trip, I'm just hoping for warmer weather (we've been having a lot of snowy dreary days) and some time to work on projects that I've been neglecting.


A photo posted by Elizabeth (@insearchofs) on



A photo posted by Elizabeth (@insearchofs) on


How was your March? What are your plans for April?

Awesome Vintage and Artisan Shops in Madrid

Friday, March 25, 2016



We didn't have much of a plan for our trip to Madrid, other than to just walk around and enjoy. As usual, we wrote down the names and addresses of a few places we wanted to visit and popped them onto a paper map after we arrived at our AirBnB. J absolutely won the travel planning award since he noted down many of these cool shops (several others we just stumbled on). It would have taken us months and months to check out all of the fun things that Madrid had to offer, so we'll just have to go back sometime!


Talleres peseta: Peseta is a craft and hobby market selling cool camera straps, bags, shirts, and more. It looked like they also had classes to learn to make things.  website


La Mona Checa: Cool vintage with a large men's section. J loved the plaid shirts, and their prices were great. This whole street actually had numerous vintage stores, so if you are in search of vintage head here. Calle Velarde 2. website


J and J Books and Coffee: I want this to be my local cafe / used book shop. They had a huge (I'm talking two floors worth) selection of used books all in English and the guys working were very nice. This seemed like a very typical expat hang out spot and reminded me a lot of Salvador's in Kunming, China. Calle del Espiritu Santo 47 website




La Intrusa: This store was my favorite local shop of the several that we popped into! They sold clothes, jewelry, accessories, and house decorations from local artists. Everything was very unique. FYI the online shop doesn't have as much as the store. Calle Leon 17 website



Miin: At this Korean cosmetics shop expect to find kawaii skin care products and makeup. I picked up a couple of cool face masks for a reasonable price. The staff was also very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. Calle Fuencarral 91 website

The Corner: Expensive, but cool clothes in a really cute neighborhood. Our AirBnB was actually just a couple of minutes down the road from here. It was a great neighborhood (near the Anton Martin metro stop) with numerous cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, and shops. Calle Orellana 12 and Calle Huertas 17 website




Where else did you like visiting in Madrid?

I'm linking up with #citytripping

Traveling Parents' Forum: How To Deal With Baby Jet Lag

Monday, March 21, 2016



Welcome to the seventh session of the Traveling Parents' Forum! I'm so happy to welcome a few awesome mothers to share their experiences dealing with child jet lag. Here you'll find tips and tricks for all ages of children dealing with jet lag, and both long and short time changes.

Throughout the series, we'll be sharing our tips, favorite products, and looking to each other for advice to make traveling easier. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience please write it in the comments below! Also, if you have written a post(s) on a similar topic feel free to add the link in the comments. You can also join our group Pinterest board to post your own articles or ones you've found helpful. Just follow our Pinterest accounts and message me to add you to the board. The more information we have the better we can travel - at least that's what I think!


We'll be chatting about a new topic on the third Monday of every month. Today's topic is 'child jet lag'.


March 21: Child jet lag



Keri





Having lived on the opposite side of the world from my family for a good 10 years now, at least once a year we need to make the journey "home" with our children - which not only involves spending an extra-ordinate amount of time trapped on a plane with them, it means crossing multiple time zones and dealing with jet lag. There is no cure! But there is prevention that can make the affects last for a much shorter time period.   


My best advice is to look at your balance of light, physical activity, food and sleep. You have no doubt spent the first few months of your baby’s life trying to get them into a pattern where they feed more during the day than the night, then you want to shift this upside down for them?!  With my babies, I would start adjusting their body clocks as soon as the journey begins. Adjust your watch to the landing time zone immediately and time your feeds and naps to this. Easier said than done with an exhausted, hungry baby, I know! I find night flights the best for this as the cabin is likely to be dimmed for a large portion of the flight.  If it’s time to wake in your new time zone, wake the baby and feed them, try and keep the light on a while and have them play for a bit.  They will no doubt still be sleepy, so let them nap again, but do another feed when they are next due mid morning or lunchtime, play and back to sleep again - so the cycle continues.   


After landing, if it’s now day time, get them out into the fresh air and get light on their skin until it’s bed time; give crawlers and walkers a chance to move outside if you can.  If it’s nighttime on arrival and they're refusing sleep, keep everything as dark as possible in the room and hushed, maybe just quiet games at home or in your hotel; don't think "well they're awake let’s go check out the nightlife" as all the noise and activity will send the wrong signals and they then won’t want to wake the following morning. The day after arrival is the most critical, but if you want to break the back of it, you need to be disciplined.  Even if everyone is still asleep, wake for breakfast at a reasonable time and immediately follow with an activity then lunch.  This method won’t suit everyone - especially if you haven't had any sleep either but is the quickest way to recover.    


Oh and specifically for breastfeeding mummies - remember to drink a lot more than normal when you're flying and bring extra breast pads! Your milk will naturally be ready when their next feed is due but while you're going through the adjustment phase they may sleep through a regular feed in your old time zone - no one informed your boobs of the time zone change either. Can you bring a pump to relieve this pressure and save it for when the next feed is due, continuing this for a day or so until both your bodies are back in sync?  We would always stock up some ready pumped bottles for the night flight to allow this cluster feeding when you're body might not be ready for it. You can see more of our jet lag conquering techniques here:   




http://www.babyglobetrotters.net/2014/12/18/15-practical-ways-to-concur-jet-lag/

Keri Lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE with her husband and three children (aged 6, 3 and 1).  You can find more of their travel and expat adventures at BabyGlobetrotters.Net as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Roshan





Child jetlag is way worse than normal jet lag. When I came back from Europe with my one year old, she was jet lagged for a week, and then I was jet lagged for a week. It made the recovery time twice as long. Now I think we will go no further than America until she is a little older and can cope a bit better with the time difference.

Roshan has a three year old and blogs about her travels on Roshan's Ramblings. Roshan is writing from Australia. You can find more from Roshan on her blogTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


Elizabeth





My experience with baby jet lag is pretty limited as Baby ISO was really struggling with sleep prior to, during, and after flying to the US from Lithuania. I actually don’t think the sleep problems we faced had anything to do with jet lag. That being said, we tried our best to put Baby ISO to bed at the time we normally do each day for naps and for bedtime. We also made sure to do the same bedtime routine and if Baby ISO woke in the night wanting to play, we would have some quiet play before re-doing his bedtime routine and putting him back down. J and I don’t have our own place in the US, so we stay with family. This is also a huge help, because family can watch Baby ISO if we need a rest during the day. We just booked tickets to fly back to the US over the summer, and our plan is to keep with this strategy.


For a less drastic time change, we keep to Baby ISO’s regular sleep schedule. For example, on a recent trip to Madrid (coming from Lithuania, Madrid is 1 hour behind) that meant putting Baby ISO to sleep around 6:30 pm and waking up with him around 5 am local Madrid time. I don’t think this would work for everyone, but we were happy to eat take-out for dinner and have a few hours to do work / let Baby ISO crawl around before heading out for a day of sightseeing.


My takeaway would be that you just need to find what works for you and your baby.

I have a 7 month old and am writing from Vilnius, Lithuania. Connect with me on social media via the links on the side of this blog.

Follow Elizabeth @ In Search Of's board Traveling with Children on Pinterest.

What are your tips for dealing with baby jet lag? Feel free to share below or check out our group Pinterest board for even more tips.

How To Streamline Trip Planning

Friday, March 18, 2016



With juggling childcare responsibilities and picking up more freelance proofreading work I've had little time to plan trips. Rather than spending hours and hours pouring over post after post, I've had to stremline resources to just a few. I love looking up new destinations and coming up with ideas of what to do, see, and eat, so I haven't wanted to forgo research completely; I've just needed to streamline things. If you also happen to have your attention torn between too many responsibilities (which I think tends to be the case among Millennials) and perhaps you also need to free up some time (so you can spend it side-hustling to fund your next adventure), this post is for you.

These are the resources that I've frequented when planning the past several trips that I've taken ...

1) Talking to people. This one is pretty straightforward. I seek advice from friends and family who've visited a destination.

2) Strategic blog reading. As I mentioned above, gone are the days when I could read every post showing up in my Bloglovin' feed (oh how I wish I could have an hour to read blogs each day!) and scour the web for any relevant post about where I was visiting. As much as I'd love to read every post, I just don't have the time or energy right now. So, I look at blogs whose author's happen to be living wherever I'm visiting.

My upcoming travel plans are listed on my About page ... Druskininkai, LT is next :)

3) Travel-focused websites. My go-to websites are Trip101 and Spotted By Locals. I see if Spotted By Locals has covered whatever city I'm planning on visiting, and note down any places that I think might be cool. Since I do a lot of work for Trip101, I often read and edit awesome articles on destinations that I'm visiting in the near future. It is also easy to search for articles written about a particular destination.

4) Save time booking. To get to know an area better I love to look for walking tours, food tours, or meals with BookALokal. To do this, I head directly to Google to look up walking and food tours. I also head straight to the BookALokal website to see if there is anything of interest in the city I'm visiting.

5) Social media. On Twitter I ask around for great blog posts and resources. I look for and save articles on Pinterest, and I look to Instagrammers for cool recommendations (I've found Instagram especially great for food recommendations).

Let's connect via social media if we aren't already :)


I'm curious, what resources do you use when planning a trip? On average, how long do you spend looking up information for each trip?

Memories From Madrid

Monday, March 14, 2016

I'm especially easy to please when traveling. Give me some delicious food, pretty scenery, and a cup of coffee and I'm good to go. Madrid easily went above and beyond on the food, scenery (those blue skies, that great architecture!), and coffee and decided to throw into the mix some awesome vintage shopping, great street art, and animated people. Madrid was a really fun city to visit and is certainly somewhere I hope to re-visit in the future.

To keep my memories from this relaxed trip fresh in my mind, I'm sharing a few vignettes that made this trip a stand-out. Also, when Baby ISO is a teen and complains that we never take him anywhere cool I can show him this post (and the photos of him sleeping in his stroller)!



After arriving and settling into to our AirBnB via the metro we went out into Madrid's evening to hit the local grocery story and bakery. We found a small grocery store where we picked up frozen prepared meals, cheese, ham, and ice cream (because dinners out with a baby are not so glamorous). Next up was a bakery where we got some croissants and crusty bread, and a small fruit stand where we purchased a paper cone full of huge strawberries. Simply strolling about our temporary neighborhood and picking up some groceries was a great first experience in Madrid. After putting Baby ISO to sleep, J and I had a picnic of our frozen dinners and the delicious ice cream balls that we picked up from the store.



Our meal with Marta from BookALokal was another highlight of our trip. The meal she cooked was delicious (especially the dessert) and she was so interesting to chat with. I really enjoyed learning about what life is like in Madrid from a Madrid native.

The vintage shopping in Madrid was unexpectedly exciting. There were numerous stores jammed with great finds (see this coming Friday's post for details) and fun artsy districts that I enjoyed walking around. J and I alternated between going into stores and walking with Baby ISO (the stores were not so stroller-friendly).

After our BookALokal meal with Marta we walked back to our AirBnB through Retiro Park. As we haven't seen the sun all winter here in Lithuania, the sunny weather was appreciated. We even posed for our typical family selfie in the park.



What are your favorite memories from your most recent trip?

Creative Lithuania: Theater for Children

Friday, March 11, 2016




Sometimes living in Lithuania can be a challenge (oh those dark winter days!), so I wanted to focus on forgetting about the challenges and enjoying the positives. To do so, I've started a monthly post (the second Friday of each month) that features the more creative side of Lithuania. In previous posts I've written about Uzupis, which is truly a creative mecca. For this series I wanted to focus on creative events, unique aspects of the culture or language, and cool places that I find around Lithuania. Previously I've written about Open Kitchen, the Beer Marathon, a Cat Cafe, the Lithuanian Design BlockPottery ClassCoffee Enthusiasm, A book fair, and a felting class.  If you have any suggestions of things to check out I'd love to hear them!

If you would like to participate in sharing creative things about where you live, tag your photos on Instagram or tweets on Twitter with #CreativeLithuania or #CreativeLocale. I'd love to see the creative side of every country! I'll share my favorite tweets and photos each month on social media and here on the blog.


I never really new that theater for children was a thing before having a kid. But, it is and it is actually pretty fun. A couple of weekends ago, we took Baby ISO to a play for babies called 'Color Games'. Baby ISO was completely enthralled, and I enjoyed watching the other babies and toddlers crawl, toddle, and stare at the bright colors ribbons and balls. I would absolutely sign us up for another theater for kids sometime (I really am interested in the DNA puppet show ...).

There are three theaters in Vilnius, that I know of, that have special showtimes and performances for children. The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater has earlier start times for kid-friendly performances, such as Snow White and Cinderella, and children under 5 who sit on your lap are free of charge. The Arts Printing House (Menu Spaustuve) has shows that are created specifically for children 0-3 years old. Color Games was at the Arts Printing House. Their facilities are nice, and there is a really nice library (with English books) as well. The Lele Theater (Vilniaus Teatras Lele) shows puppet shows of famous fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Thumbelina. They also have puppet performances of Lithuanian-specific fairy tales and a DNA puppet show.

Have you been to children's theater? Do you know of any others theaters here?

Preparing For A Trip To Luxembourg City

Monday, March 7, 2016



This week we are heading to Luxembourg, a country I've wanted to visit since Mme. Casey (my French teacher in high school and French student teacher in middle school) first introduced my middle school French class to her home country. Over the past few weeks, I've taken all of my spare moments to look up things to do on this trip. Here are the resources (all blogs this time!) that have helped me to get an idea of things to do and places to eat in Luxembourg.

This foodie post from the Wayfarer has me dreaming of delicious cakes and unique restaurants.

This delicious food guide from Heather and Her Travels highlights food markets as well as some special things to see in Luxembourg City. I'm definitely going to visit the Saturday vegetable market.

This complete city guide from the Travel Tester has a ton of information about the city. I'm interested in visiting the casemates, but I think we'll have to curb our stroller for that one!

Hand Luggage Only blog also has several posts about Luxembourg with tons of glorious photos.


Do you have any tips for our trip in Luxembourg? I've you've visited feel free to share your posts below! Also, I'll be changing my schedule to Monday and Friday posting because writing three days per week is getting difficult to keep up with!

3 Markets To Visit In Madrid

Friday, March 4, 2016



From very touristy to local, these are three markets that you may want to visit in Madrid.

1) Mercado de San Miguel

Located right next to the Plaza Major, the Mercado de San Miguel is perpetually packed with tourists.   At this market you'll bump, bump, bump into tourists, but also see a large array of delicious looking tapa such as pintxos (or pincho). There were also amazing looking sweets. Though this market was packed with tourists, it was a nice space and the building was gorgeous.

Find more information about the Mercado de San Miguel here.




2) Mercado de San Anton

Marta, who hosted our BookALokal meal, suggested we visit Mercado de San Anton. This market was much less crowded and had really nice looking food coming from all over Spain. Mercado de San Anton consisted of three floors (above a supermarket). The first floor had fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. The second floor had little tapas restaurants, a wine bar, and a bar table with stools surrounding the overlook. The third floor was a large indoor/outdoor restaurant with nice views of the neighborhood. If you are looking for somewhere a little less busy and much less touristy, I'd suggest visiting the Mercado de San Anton.

For more about markets in Madrid check out this post.





3) Mercado de la Cebada

Mercado de la Cebada is a farmers' market with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, and more. This market is huge, but if you are looking for tapas you won't find much. This market is for those looking for fresh ingredients to cook at home. Behind the market is a great skate park and tons of street art.

Find out more about the Mercado de la Cebada here.






Which markets do you like in Madrid? Would you visit the most touristy, the least, or right in the middle?

A BookALokal Experience In Madrid

Wednesday, March 2, 2016



J and I loved our meal and evening with BookALokal in Athens, so of course we wanted to try it again in another city. Madrid seemed like the perfect city to try another delicious eating experience with BookALokal. After having a quick look over their website, I found the three course lunch menu with Marta and promptly booked it.

Marta quickly responded to our booking request and we were scheduled our lunch for noon on Friday. We left our AirBnB reasonably early that day and strolled by Retiro Park and to Marta's neighborhood.

Upon arrival, we texted Marta and she promptly let us up to her flat. We were warmly welcomed into the flat and Marta was friendly and kind from the beginning. Her youngest son even played with Baby ISO while we ate.



Marta started us off with some delicious cheese, cured ham, and other traditional snacks (such as fried pork rinds). We were then offered wine or beer, and were invited to learn about the cocido madrilleno (a hearty dish of chickpeas with meat, vegetables, and broth) and see the ingredients before the dish was assembled. The cocido madrilleno was really delicious, and I especially loved the rich, meaty-flavored broth. I also enjoyed that you could pick and choose whatever pieces of the meal you wanted to eat and mix it all together to create your own unique dish according to your taste. Of course, I tried it all, and it was all delicious! For dessert, we tried Spanish torrijas, which somewhat similar to French toast (but even more decadent!). Spanish torrijas is a special dessert that is eaten all over Spain during Easter. I loved this dessert! If you like French toast, you should try Spainish torrijas!




Marta's lunch was the highlight of our Madrid trip for me. We really had an enjoyable several hours eating with Marta and learning a bit about Madrid from a Madrid local. If you happen to visit Madrid, I'd highly recommend booking a meal (or tour of her olive farm) with Marta via BookALokal.


Have you tried BookALokal? Have you eaten Spainsh torrijas before?