Whether home together or separated by social distancing, some things are for certain: All Moms need celebrating and there are all kinds of ways to do that together, whether in the same household or virtually.
Susie, Classic Journeys CFO and mom of Jack 23 and Matthew 21, thought it might be fun to try a virtual wine-tasting.
“During our stay-at-home time, we’ve been watching ‘Somm’, the Netflix documentary about the process of becoming a master sommelier. I want us to sign up for one of the virtual wine tastings and compare tasting notes with the vineyard’s wine maker. It's always fun to see what we come up with—was that a hint of quince? Hmmmm... I taste saddle.”
Several of the Napa Valley wineries are offering virtual wine tours and tastings. Buy the relevant bottles then sign up for a live tasting (or watch a previous tasting—the Schweiger vineyard has been doing ones with musicians which you can find on their YouTube channel).
Another bottle? There’s no need to cut your time together short. Put this video from the Shafer Vineyards on in the background and chat to the sound of grazing sheep and birdsong.
Kelli, Senior Tour Operations Coordinator and stepmom of Lucas 16 and Zoe 12, proposes a Provence painting session.
“I used to guide in France and with its lavender fields and colorful towns, Provence has so much to inspire. Why not put together a painting party and make Provence the theme? You don’t have to be the next Claude Monet, it’s just a great opportunity to do something different as a family.”
Each person will need:
Coloring pencils/paint & paint brushes
Each household will need:
Lavender scented candle
Champagne, French wine or a lavender-based herbal tea, Love Tea by Pukka would be my pick!
Set up your in-home studios, which could be in the kitchen, garden or anywhere with a flat surface. Prop up your phone/tablet/laptop for a video call if you’re including family elsewhere. Light a lavender candle to recreate the scented fields of Provence. Choose one of these images and each paint your own impression of it.
We've made these the perfect size to save and screen share on Zoom, or you can use them as a virtual background (read on to find out how!).
There’s plenty of time to catch up while you paint, and it’s interesting to compare everyone’s style at the end!
Diane, our UK guide mother to one daughter and four stepsons, suggests an English afternoon tea.
“Is mum a Great British Baking Show mega fan? Are your fondest memories growing up to her cooking up sweet treats? For me, a traditional English afternoon tea sets the perfect scene for comforting food and a good catch up. You can’t have high tea without freshly made scones, a classic English treat. They’re ridiculously easy to make, taking less than 30 minutes and only needing a few staple ingredients. If you’re a family of keen chefs, you can get creative Baking Show-style and have each household compete for the best scones. Of course, mum plays judge!”
Here’s Diane’s recipe of traditional English scones—
8oz all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon of baking powder
1oz super fine sugar
1 large egg
4 fluid ounces of milk
Set the oven at 400F
Mix flour and baking powder, rub in butter until you have a mixture like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar.
Whisk together the egg and milk with a fork.
Pour almost all (leave a tablespoon amount) into the flour mixture.
Mix into a soft dough.
Knead on a floured surface.
Roll out to half inch thickness.
Cut into rounds with a 3-inch cutter. This should make 10 circles of dough.
Place them on a baking sheet with space between them.
Brush the tops with the remaining milk and egg mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown in color.
Leave to cool, then serve with jam, butter, cream and your favorite tea.
Saida, local Morocco guide and mother of two daughters aged 26 and 18, suggests some Mother’s Day pampering.
“Mothers do a lot for us, they deserve a spa session! The ancient ritual of a Moroccan hammam is the perfect way for mothers to de-stress. Usually I would go to a local spa, but you can just as easily set up a home-hammam.”
Find our hammam how-to in our Morocco blog here. You can provide mom with the components and instructions, or if you’re in the same house, you can set everything up as a surprise (and even make her a traditional tagine, using our favorite recipe.
Brianna, Senior Tour Operations Coordinator and Mom of Noah, 9, thinks making a photo album together is a great way of sharing family memories.
“I’m reminiscing past vacations more than ever at the moment, so how about creating an online photo album or scrap book together? Set up a Zoom call where everyone can share old photos from family travels, bringing back happy memories. There are lots of book-making websites out there (like Shutterfly) and once finished you can order mom a copy!”
Elizabeth, Tour Operations Manager and mom of Matteo, 20 months, reminds us that although we can’t enjoy National Parks in person, we can still enjoy them virtually.
“My perfect Mother’s Day weekend would be spent with my family in Yosemite National Park. Though we can’t do that this year, I love that you can visit it virtually and that it’s not limited to one household. I have been using Zoom screen sharing a lot lately, which means multiple households can explore Yosemite through the Virtual Yosemite site together. If your family loves National Parks as much as mine, this is next best thing to being there in person!”
You can even transport yourself into Yosemite with this Classic Journeys virtual travel background:
1. Right click on the picture above and save to save to your desktop.
2. Start your Zoom call and select the small arrow to the right of the “Stop Video” button on the bottom control bar.
3. Click “Choose Virtual Background,” select the “+” button, and upload your saved image from your desktop. Un-check the “Mirror Video” button.
Vibeke, our local guide in Norway and mother of Kristian and Marcus, suggests transforming mom's couch into a theater seat.
“In other times, I like to think that maybe my sons and their girlfriends would take me to a show. We are a music-loving family and it is so nice getting dressed up and spending the evening soaking up some culture, whether a play, ballet or opera! There is a solution in lockdown with a lot of theaters posting performances on YouTube.”
Theaters all over the world are posting performances for you to enjoy from the comfort of your couch.
Tell Mom to dress smart, plan a surprise delivery of her favorite ice cream and take your pick of performances.
Here are four of our favorites:
Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre, London
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake by the Vienna State Ballet
Strauss’ Cappricio at The Met Opera, New York
KURIOS by Cirque du Soleil
Rachel, Senior Tour Operations Coordinator and mom of Sebastian, 5, finds a way to incorporate bedtime story time and virtual travel.
“A story before bedtime is one of my favorite things to do as a mom. The Northern-Irish artist and author Oliver Jeffers has been posting ‘Stay At Home Story Time,’ where he reads—and sometimes live illustrates—one of his children’s books. Some versions are available in American Sign Language. We have watched The Moose Belongs to Me and Lost and Found over and over! You can gather together parents and children of any age (in person or with a Zoom screen share), make hot chocolates and s’mores and enjoy!”