When my wife and I brought our 17-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son to travel through Portugal for 80 days during the summer of 2000 the single most important piece of equipment I packed was my “pocket energy-management tool,” a.k.a. a deflated beach ball, neatly folded to slip easily inside backpack or back pocket.
Armed with my PEMT, whenever our son began to fidget, I was ready for him. We’d pull over or disembark, find the nearest open space—because the PEMT doesn’t travel far even very small open spaces will suffice—and inflate. Fifteen minutes of PEMT therapy—including running, kicking, scoring and jubilant fan noises*—was almost always enough for him to blow off enough steam so he could sit still through another museum or tour.
Our favorite PEMT open space was the fountain park at Martim Moniz in the center of Lisbon where the water jets fly up out of the pavement, creating a world-class beachball obstacle course. Ironically, the PEMT is no good at the beach, where it just blows away, but that’s OK, the beach is an energy-management tool.
Combined with frequent visits to Portugal’s ubiquitous ice-cream vendors, the PEMT is a winner if you’ve got little ones on the go!
(Every Visiting Portugal property is equipped with a PEMT for you to use in and around Lisbon.)
* These afforded me valuable opportunities to practice my pronunciation of handy Portuguese words like, “Incrível!” “Espectacular!” and “Inacreditável!”