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Are We There Yet?: Perfect Family Vacations and Other Fantasies Paperback – February 24, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (February 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452285135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452285132
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,908,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Early in this breezy, humorous collection of travel pieces, a pediatrician declares, "Babies are wonderful traveling companions." That's all the permission Haas and his wife needed to take newborn Madeleine on a monthlong stay in Switzerland. But the house they rented was infested with bees and had a roof that leaked during a major storm. They stayed on, and Madeleine received a hardy christening as a junior traveler. A couple of years later, son Nick got the same treatment. Haas's account doesn't offer tips on traveling with kids, but does share stories from various trips over the years, as the family favors house exchanges throughout Europe and America over wandering itineraries. The children's presence on these vacations-and their continuing development-allows Haas to observe travel from a father's perspective. In Italy, locals doted on the bambini; on the Cote d'Azur, Haas struggled to reconcile his familial responsibilities with the indolence of the Riviera. The family often bickered over decisions large and small, and much of the book features fast, funny dialogue. Haas, a producer and on-air talent for Here and Now, a nationally syndicated show broadcast from an NPR affiliate, captures precisely the ways the four of them behaved when confronted with the foreign, sometimes rallying as one, sometimes teetering on the verge of chaos. The kids weren't angelic, yet they were usually willing and responsive. A post-9/11 Disney World trip allows Haas to reflect on terror, fantasy and reality, but the whole of the book is charmingly lightweight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Scott Haas is a staff producer and on-air talent for "Here and Now," a nationally syndicated show broadcast from WBUR, an NPR affiliate. He also reports monthly for "The Splendid Table," syndicated nationally on Public Radio International. Haas received a James Beard nomination for Best Short Radio piece in the United States in 2003 and won First Place Awards from the Associated Press in 2000 and 2001. He has written for Gourmet, is a contributing editor at The Robb Report, and co-wrote The Da Silvano Cookbook. In addition to being a writer, Dr. Haas is chief psychologist at a teaching hospital associated with Boston University Medical School.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. flynn on March 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The premise of Scott Haas' book is not catchy or thrilling but I bought it anyway after scanning a few excerpts. He writes about several vacations he has taken with his family over a period of 14 years.
There are three things that Haas brings out in his book that make it irresistable: 1) travel descriptions about places and adventures that sound wonderful (or so horrible we are grateful NOT to be there), 2) "watching" his family grow, and 3) his personality that comes through the pages.
Scott Haas is self-deprecating, humble, funny, confident, funny and honest. Although the book is mainly about traveling with his family, when he writes about them it is not sweeteningly obnoxious. Nor is he arrogant and smug when describing his travels and family.
His anecdotes, observations and descriptions are wonderful and sometimes hilarious - I definitely recommend this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found Scott Haas's book to be an original account of one's adventures nd mishaps with a family. Too often books about traveling with a family take us to amusement parks, fast food spots, and arcades. In Are We There Yet? we learn of the exciting possibilties of staying on a farm in Switzerland, walking the streets of Venice early in the morning, and exploring the Greek Islands. True, thre are mishaps and arguments along the way, but there are also tender moments between loved ones. The dialoque is crisp and bittersweet. I found myself laughing aloud as I read this thinking it would be fun to see this family live on stage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James P. Stodder on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
If, like me, you've daydreamed about your family swapping houses with other families in foreign countries, this funny, informative travel memoir may help you make that dream a reality. The account of one family's travel adventures over the course of a decade confirms my sense that living for a month or so like a local in another country would be much more culturally interesting than hotel travel - and definitely more affordable. Not to say that this family does things on the cheap. Their food expenditures in particular are hardly in the "affordable" category. Evidently the author is primarily a food writer and critic and his tastes reflect that. I can't say I know much about that topic. But all you "foodies" out there should enjoy his sensual description of some of his peak dining experiences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bridget M. Doherty on April 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyable. Didn't want the book to end. As a result of both his keen and sometimes quirky sense of humor, sensitivity and sensibilities, Dr. Haas was able to draw me in to the point where I felt that I was present with him and his family as they travelled around the world. I found myself out of breath as I hiked with them, visualized the sites, experienced the smells, tastes and emotions. His brutal honesty about his experience of the world, about his family and their interactions and disclosure of the inner workings of his mind are refreshing. Almost nothing is sugar coated. I'm left wondering where they're off to next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is all about the -- sometimes dark -- humor that can come out of family travel. Haas isn't perfect, and his family isn't, either, but they are a lot of fun to travel with. Pick this up for your next trip, or for some armchair travel of your own.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Traveler "Mom" on December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thank goodness I only borrowed this book from the library, or I'd be mad at myself for throwing away $14! You would think this would be a very useful book right now, given as I'm about to go on vacation with my family of 5 for a week; if not at least useful, I was hoping for funny. NOT! Talk about poor taste. Unless you like reading re-creations of entire conversations where the rest of the authors obnoxious family is whining about the very idea of going to Switzerland (again!), skip this book and spend the time looking over travel websites with your family instead! :/
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on August 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't usually review books I don't like - it seems a bit mean, after all someone does like these books and it doesn't seem right to be condemning something simply because I just didn't like it. But I have just been reading a whole lot of travel stuff by Bill Bryson, Peter Mayle etc, and this book was stuck in the pile by a friend who wondered what I would think of it.

I really didn't find it funny at all, I found the author to be almost arrogant, both in his ignorance and in his judgements. I also found that he didn't compare well to travel authors who I find genuinely funny (Bill Bryson, Peter Mayle, Tim Cahill for instance).

There were some things I found seemed like set up jokes - his belief that he and his wife had delivered a cone headed baby - a freak....I'm sorry but I just don't think there is anyone in this world who could possibly have been having a baby and not known or understood the process....it just didn't ring true.

And there were instances in it which I found just horrible, rude and unnecessary - leaving a pizza place without paying because the place was busy and their food hadn't arrived - then writing about it as though it was some kind of triumph to not pay. It just didn't seem right to me.

I think my problem is he didn't go through the landscape poking gentle fun at things and being self-deprecating. He just seemed to be brash - and that made him seem a rather ugly traveller to me.

I wouldn't recommend this book as a good read to anyone - it just didn't appeal at all. And I have to admit I gave up on it p166.
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