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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the safariRoosters

We’re reading Roald Dahl’s, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now and I haven’t been able to stop myself from using little Charlie as an example for Safari when she’s whining about a seed in her toast or refusing to eat an entire meal just prepared for her.  Granted this will only work up until Charlie is given a freaking chocolate factory, making him, I don’t know, the luckiest kid on the PLANET.  But for now, it goes something like this:

Safari: I don’t want that little green thing on the eggs (in whine language).

Me:  Don’t you think that Charlie would be SO happy just to have eggs?

Safari:  Yes (said in an air of defeat).

It seems to actually click in her brain; she seems to understand that she’s fortunate to have what she has.  To a certain extent.  A minimal extent.  Just barely.  But a little.

I just can’t get over how fortunate our children are.  Staying in 4/5 star hotels has become their norm (though they are just as at home in a 2 star hotel), amazing buffets present the hardest choice of their day:  choosing between brie and gouda cheese, and they get to go on awesome adventures in new places regularly.

My husband and I both grew up in families that had to watch every penny spent.  Staying at hotels was an absolute LUXURY, and we’re talking Motel 6.  Eating out at restaurants only happened on the most special occasions.

These are our roots and I believe that being brought up this way has given me very well-balanced values.  Values that I hope to give to my children.  Humble, modest values.  Values that make you appreciate the dinner you just ate when you pass someone pan-handling in the street.  Values that make you think about how the cost of that pair of sparkly pink Crocs you want could feed a family (including yours) for half a month.  Values that make you want to help others who don’t have as much as you do.  Thoughtful values.  Thinking values.

In terms of 5 star hotels, the problem is that the baby’s Daddy is a business traveler and so we accrue lots of Hyatt points, so we end up staying at lots of Hyatts.   It certainly isn’t because we can afford them (or would choose to spend our money in that way), it’s because they’re free.  And every time we do, I feel so grateful for the luxury we are able to indulge in; but for the kids, it’s just normal for them.  My fear is that they won’t grow up understanding and appreciating that luxury.   But they’re generally pretty AWESOME, so we keep on coming back.

In the end, I think that I trust that my values will be more influential than the type of hotel they’re used to frequenting in forming their values.  Oddly enough, reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory really has sparked this mindfulness in me and made me realize how important it is to me that my children develop humility, compassion, and gratitude to take with them through life.  Although, I can’t give Charlie all the credit, the timing happens to be such that the older one is just getting to an age where she can comprehend such things and really is starting to form her values.

Here’s to staying at the Motel 6’s and guesthouses of the world; that is the world I want my children to know (with a few Hyatt’s sprinkled in here and there – so mommy can relax in a sauna every once in a while).

Journey on!

Oh, I forgot to address the ridiculouness of the above photo.  Those are the safariRoosters themselves, soaking in a bathtub large enough to fit four adults, watching a Chinese cartoon, while the futuristic lights of Pudong, Shanghai glitter in the background.  Ridiculous, isn’t it?  Absurd, no?  Are they NOT the most fortunate little buggers you ever did see?  Pretty sure they had just eaten chocolate dipped sugar cookies that were waiting in our room for us upon arrival, oh boy.



That tub!!! I’m so jealous of your munchkins!

I love that you’re reading Charlie. We are too right now. And I hadn’t even thought to use Charlie has a learning tool for Landon. I’m stealing your approach when he complains about his kale chips tomorrow.

I constantly think about how I’m going to teach my children humility, gratefulness, having a giving heart, the value of hard work, etc. Living in Southern California gives them such a warped perspective on needs vs wants. I truly believe one of the best ways to pass on those values is to travel with your children. To show them how most of the world lives. Which will hopefully instill in them gratefulness for what they have as well as the reality that less really is more and money/stuff doesn’t buy happiness. So, I believe, that while your lucky little buggers do get to stay in the Hyatt they’re soaking in important values via your travel experiences. I’ve notice that you in no way give them only 5-star travel adventures – you guys get into the thick of it and really explore the places you visit. Which exposes them to all the good stuff!


Me too, I never even went in it! Denali took to calling it a pool ;). It’s so true that the environment you’re in has such a bearing on their perspectives on needs vs. wants. Time to do more rural traveling, which is where I want to be anyway, so they can really get a balanced perspective. As always, thanks for taking the time to comment, Anna!

sharon kilwein

Always nice to hear we as parents did a little something right whether it was have to or not!

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