|Madrid, November 2010|
That might sound like a strange item to include on a packing list, but believe me, in our family it is a necessary one. Here's what happens. Almost as soon as we arrive at our destination, the search begins for a soccer ball. It's true. A soccer ball has also become a mandatory travel item and a fairly important one for several reasons. Not only is it good for keeping active feet happy, it also happens to be an excellent way to make friends of all ages throughout Europe. Soccer balls seem to have magnetic powers that overcome any and all language, age, and cultural barriers and they are fairly easy to find in any European town.
|Paris, November 2011|
Now as wonderful as these balls are, I have to admit that they have also been the source for some grumbling on my part. On our first few trips in Europe, we happily purchased soccer balls...hard to beat a souvenir that is so versatile, so fun, and so social. But when it came time to pack up that new souvenir and board a plane with fully packed carry-on luggage, there weren't quite so many smiles. It turns out that finding a needle to deflate a soccer ball in an airport is an impossible task. Which explains why we now keep several ready to go at all times in the kids' suitcase.
|The Cotswolds, July 2010|