A-to-Z Family Travel Contest: We Have a Winner!
Picking the winner of our A-to-Z Family Travel Contest has been excruciatingly tough. There were a whopping 4,678 entries, at least two dozen of them complete A-to-Z lists, and several hundred offering paragraph upon paragraph of extraordinarily useful advice. In the end, I felt I had to choose the entry that stood out as the most original and creative. It was submitted by one Megan Worthy of Los Angeles.
Turns out Megan is an Aussie filmmaker who travels the world for her job. Her six-year-old daughter, Bronte, and Bronte's teddy bear, Frank, took their first long-haul flight to Sydney when Bronte was ten weeks old. Bronte celebrated her first birthday in Budapest, turned two in Moscow, three in Milan, four in Los Angeles, and five and six in Paris.
Megan's husband is in the film business too and, says Megan, "it's become pretty clear that having two parents working brutal hours all over the planet is not ideal for Bronte" (pictured here on the set of Eragon in Hungary when she was almost one). "So I've recently launched the first of our series of travel books, Bronte & Frank. After a very challenging experience in Moscow when Bronte was a toddler, I wanted to create something to leave behind to help expat families find their feet in new cities. These 'Traveltivity Guides' are based on the true adventures of Bronte and Frank. Bronte is an only child and, because we have no family in the same city (or even on the same side of the country), Frank continues to be her everything."
Yesterday was a tearful day for Megan: Just hours before I informed her she'd won the contest, she learned that Bronte's great-grandfather Frank, for whom the teddy bear is named, had passed away in Australia. The news that she had won a $16,000 Caribbean vacation brightened her day, and the trip will certainly be a much-needed break. "My husband and I can't remember the last time we had a holiday," says Megan. "I think it was actually our three-night honeymoon in 2002."
Megan says she learned about our A-to-Z Contest only two days before it ended. Her entry was the fifth from last, in fact, and squeaked in only eight minutes before the deadline. Here it is:
BRONTE & FRANK'S A-to-Z TRAVEL TIPS
A is for ANGRY BIRDS
OK, so I said I would NEVER download it.
But Bronte was throwing a frightful fit.
Moments later she's smiling,
Through levels she's flying...
Oh, bummer, the battery just quit.
B is for BED
Things familiar from home help kids sleep.
B's travel bed's brilliant for sending her deep.
From naptime at school
To friends by the pool,
A hotel room is not such a leap.
C is for CURRENCY
In every new city, B likes to find
A locally made wallet, perhaps even lined.
She'll learn how to count
A foreign amount
And donate coins if feeling inclined.
D is for DUPLICATE FRANKS
Bronte cannot live her life without Frank
Once she thought she'd lost him, her heart cracked and sank.
To prevent such a fate,
Frank says 'DUPLICATE'
So you never end up in a state.