ELECTRA: intelligent, organised, practical, creative & strong; mum, wife and person.

WANTS TO VISIT: Germany, Portugal, Spain, & France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Andorra, Bulgaria, Thailand, Phillipines and Venezuela for starters.

16 July 2015

We've been posting updates to our Give a Little fundraiser page about the Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) that we've paid forward so far.  We've asked for that page to close early, so here they are for posterities sake:

 

 

The idea was that people could claim one of our random acts of kindness (RAOK) for their donation.  So far we've done 374, with a few more yet to complete (some are taking a bit more time as they involve hand-sewing).

 

Unfortunately Give a Little were obdurate and wouldn't fully moderate our page* so we won't get any of the donations but hopefully they will be refunded to the donors.

 

We are going to complete the remaining RAOKs we had planned regardless - it's the right thing to do.

 

UPDATE: Books and baby hats - more RAOKs

 

There is still the opportunity for folks to donate directly into our travel account or send us a cheque through the mail I guess, but at least our sister project is still open:

* Yes, there is a bit of a story behind it - just ask!

14 July 2015

Tuebingen in winter

 

I figure with about 11-12 weeks we can comfortably see / do / experience around 20-25 family-friendly ventures within budget and without too much stress.

The interests of our family include hands-on technical & science activities (Castor, Pollux & Gemma); classical art, fashion, history (Vega);  playgrounds, animals (Gemma & Kita); vehicles - diggers / planes / trains etc (all the boys); art & architecture in general (Atlas) and anything German (me)! 

Not everyone is going to be interested in everything which means we may end up going 2 different ways some days, where it can be arranged and is safe to do so.

 

So here are some of my loose thoughts for our time based in Tuebingen:

  • Punt on the Gondola (if we get there before the season closes in October) or travel part of the Neckar, Rhein or other river
  • Walk & explore the city streets, castle, churches, gardens, museums etc
  • Get a town library card and borrow the German early readers that will help us learn the language
  • Watch the Duck race (Tuebingen) 10 October
  • Explore Tuebingen's Botannical Gardens (the oldest in the world!)
  • Experience a Christmas Market (Tuebingen 11-13 Dec, Esslingen (Medieval too), or Reutlingen)
  • Discover the vehicles at the Technik Museum (Sinsheim) or Mercedes Museum (Stuttgart)
  • Find the animals that we've never seen at the Wilhelma Zoo (Stuttgart)
  • Spy the classics at the State Art Gallery (Stuttgart &/or Karlsruhe)
  • Go up the viewing platform at the Stuttgart Rail Terminal, or climb the Killesbergturm to see over the city 
  • Go to a (Samuel Harfst / Johannes Falk / heavy metal) concert
  • Taste samples at the Chocolate festival (Tuebingen) 1 - 6 December
  • Take the train on a castle trip – Neuschwanstein, Linderhof or Hohenschwangau; or Hohenzollern and Sigmaringen; or Lichtenstein
  • Visiting the neighbouring town of Bebenhausen and tour the monastry before walking through the forest
  • Stand among the Roman ruins (Trier)
  • Have fun at Sensapolis (Sindelfingen)
  • See cuckoo clocks (Furtwangen?), try Black Forest Gateau and see some of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) perhaps by walking up the Bad Wimpfelpfad spiral
  •   
  •  
  •  

Our list is by no means finalised or finished.  There's still more to research but I am happy with how it is coming together.  The last thing that I want is to arrive and potentially waste time finding out what there is to do, when we can jump right in and JUST DO IT!  

I know the boys would love to see around a factory that make electronics and one that makes construction vehicles.  

I would like try the local dishes and learn how to make the ones our family enjoys; and somehow want to measurably increase my german language ability. (If I was able to improve to a B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) I'd be thrilled.) 

 

Finding things for all the different ages and preferences in our family to enjoy together is harder than I thought, especially when I don't know what that locals know that there is to do beyond the touristy things; and our family don't fully understand what it even means to see inside a castle or be surrounded by history older than 150 years.

 

LINKS FOR LIVING IN TUEBINGEN

German National Tourist Bureau 

Baden Wuerttemberg Tourist Bureau 

Tuebingen Visitor Information Centre 

Tuebingen Local Government 

Tuebingen Business Association 

Tuebingen train stations *

Regional bus & train network *

Language courses: vivat lingua & Sprachinstitut Tuebingen

 

* As a general rule the train/transport companies and many establishments look after families in Germany offering a flexible family pass for 1-2 adults and several or all children (and sometimes even grandchildren!).  Such a breath of fresh air compared to the standard "2 adults and 2 children ONLY" mentality we have here in New Zealand.

09 July 2015

 

We started off with great hopes of using Give a Little as a fund-raising platform.

Ours is such a cool idea - people can claim a random act of kindness (RAOK), or advertising, for their donation.

So far we have paid forward $14,220 worth of RAOKs!

Though to date we have been unable to get our page fully moderated and hence it doesn't appear in any searches people might do to find us; and after lurking a while looking at other causes we definitely got the feeling that you had to have a sad story, be a sportsperson, or in the media to have a chance of success.  We even saw people we knew.

 

That's when we came up with the alternative idea of a foreign change fund-raiser, where people could post in any loose overseas change that might be littering their home or office.  It doesn't take the NZ dollar away from the genuine needs of others; it provides folks with a chance to do a RAOK with the only cost being a stamped envelope; they get to spring clean something in their environment; and we get foreign cash without losing on fees and rates.

We'd be delighted with anything we get, and doubly so that someone believed in our dreams.

You'll find a social media info-card we mocked up to share the idea on our Twitter and Facebook pages; and a jar wrapper (download) for businesses to use in their staff-rooms or on their front counters.

 

 

We still need to get the idea out via social media onto jars and into envelopes.  

So if you can tweet, post, or share in any way we'd be grateful for your random act of kindness towards us.  

Thank you!

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