Posts Tagged With: rv travel with kids

We’re Going to be on a Radio Show

This is just a quick post for anyone who is interested in updates about our RV disaster. We still have no resolution from Heartland, but we are being heard by the RV community. The RV Show USA invited us to be on their show to tell our story. RV consumers are getting pretty tired of the poor quality of RVs that are being manufactured these days and the lack of customer service. This show is calling the manufacturers out on that.

If you feel like tuning in to listen to the show, here are the details. The show airs live Wednesday night, October 10th at 8pm EST. It’s a 2 hour show and we will be on during the 2nd hour which starts around 9pm EST. It will also be recorded so you can listen at another time if you would like. To watch the show visit the RV Show USA Facebook page or the RV Show USA website  or the RV Show USA YouTube Channel.

This is a quick video promo for the show.

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing, Our Rig | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Prince Edward Island

We love books and I like to try to have family story time in the evenings as often as possible. Several months ago we began reading Anne of Green Gables which is based on the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. The real name of the town is Cavendish and if you visit that town you will have the pleasure of seeing many attractions all based on the book.

Naturally we went to visit the Green Gables house.

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If you are familiar with the story you might recognize the names of these walking trails around the house: Haunted Wood and Lover’s Lane.

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Haunted Wood

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They even had characters from the book dressed up in costume walking around playing their parts.

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Anne, Gilbert Blythe and Diana

We also went to visit the cute little Avonlea Village.

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Cow’s Creamery has been voted the best ice cream in Canada. Of course we had to try it out to make sure, and we all agreed it’s quite good, maybe it really is the best in Canada.

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While in PEI we stayed at a beautiful VRBO vacation rental. It was right on the water and had an amazing deck!

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We all loved hanging out on this deck and enjoying the view. Jake enjoyed some Raspberry Cordial (another treat based on Anne of Green Gables).

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That wraps up my posts about our visit to Canada.

Soon I hope to post an update on the RV situation. We’re still dealing with that 3 months later. Sigh!

Categories: canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

A long time friend of my parents has a home on Cape Breton Island that he only uses part time. When he heard about our RV situation and having to cancel all of our campground reservations, he graciously offered us the use of his home for a few days while we visited Cape Breton with my parents. We are so grateful for his kindness and generosity!

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The highlight of our time on Cape Breton was driving along the Cabot Trail and stopping at several of the beautiful view points.

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What a gorgeous drive! If you go there be aware that it is a very long drive around the entire Cabot Trail. It took us several hours to make the complete loop. It was stunningly beautiful and definitely worth the trip, but kids tend to get a little bored on long drives like that. Don’t ask me how I know this. 😉

The next day we went to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site where we traveled back in time to the 1700s to tour the fort and reconstructed French town.

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The house where we stayed had no cellular signal at all which in a way was kind of nice. It gave us a chance to unplug in the evenings and play games. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the distractions of smartphones and computers.

This wraps up my posts about our time in Nova Scotia. Next up I’ll write about our visit to Prince Edward Island.

 

Categories: canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Learning Family History in Nova Scotia

My Dad is from Nova Scotia so we had a great opportunity to learn some family history on his side of the family while we were there.

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Dad has a very interesting history that makes me think about how if certain events hadn’t happened in his past, my sister and I wouldn’t exist and therefore neither would Jake and Jesse. It’s kind of mind boggling when you think about how past events determine what today looks like.

My grandfather was a coal miner in Springhill, Nova Scotia. He was one of the survivors of the 1958 Bump. My sister wrote a really good book about it if you are interested in the story: Song of Springhill. This is actually a 2-book set, one is the non-fiction historical account and the other is a fictionalized story.

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After surviving the bump, my grandfather (known as Dado to us grandkids) decided he was done with coal mining so he moved with my grandmother and father to Boston, MA. If he hadn’t moved to Boston my dad would not have met my mom and I wouldn’t exist. Isn’t it weird to think of stuff like that? We had a great time showing the kids the Springhill Miners Museum and the plaque honoring their great-grandfather.

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It’s a tradition whenever we’re in Springhill… someone has to sit on the Liars’ Bench

Going back a little further in history we visited the town of Pictou, the birthplace of New Scotland. We toured the museum of the Hector which is the ship that sailed from Scotland to what is now called Nova Scotia. One of my great great (not sure how many greats) grandfathers sailed over on that ship.

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Jake is pointing out one of the passengers whose last name was MacKay. At some point the family name was changed to McKay.

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While visiting this area we stayed with my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Gerald at their beach cottage.

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We had our own private bunk house!

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Fat Cat liked chasing the birds.

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The beach and sunsets were beautiful!

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My parents kissing in front of the sunset

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Skipping rocks at high tide

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We had a great time hanging out with Joyce & Gerald and relaxing at the beach. Chris misses his early morning coffee talks with Joyce and I’m missing our evening happy hours.

This last picture was not taken in Nova Scotia, but I just don’t know where else to include it. This is my cousin Janet and her husband Steve. While we were stranded in Calais, ME we drove up to visit them one evening in New Brunswick. They showed us such wonderful hospitality and gave us a much needed break from the stress we were dealing with in Maine with the RV. I was hoping to see them again while we were in Nova Scotia but it didn’t work out. I’m glad we were able to at least have this time with them.

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Categories: canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nova Scotia: Peggy’s Cove

We visited so many places in Nova Scotia that I will have to split up my posts so they are not too long. We started in the town of Tantallon near Peggy’s Cove. While we were stranded in Maine with RV troubles I knew we needed to get to Canada before my parent’s planned arrival so I began searching for hotels to stay near Peggy’s Cove. I reserved a pet-friendly hotel online only to have the owner call me 30 minutes later to let me know we could not stay there with a cat. However, she was the most helpful and friendly hotel owner ever! She told me she thought we would be happier in a house than a hotel room and she told me she would find me a vacation rental home for us to stay in with a cat. The next morning, true to her word, she got me in touch with a property manager who had a VRBO home we could stay in. I was so amazed by this woman’s generous and helpful spirit! And the property manager was just like her, he was so nice and accommodating and was so excited for us to stay in this rental home that they had just finished renovating.

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Our VRBO home in Tantallon, Nova Scotia

This rental home was so cute and we loved our stay there! Considering we live in an RV this was way too much space for us. There was a 3rd bedroom that we did not even use. The property manager was so nice to us and called me a few times while we were on our way there, asking how our trip was going. He also wanted to let me know the house is ready and he left us a bowl of fresh fruit. The next day he came by and gave us lots of advice about local places to visit and he brought us a bag full of mussels twice during our stay! In addition, the property owner (not the same guy as the property manager) who makes his own wine brought me several bottles of wine during our stay. He was a true Italian and just loved Chris since he’s Italian as well. I could not believe the excellent hospitality we experienced while we were there.

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Our back yard!

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Next door was a church and cemetery. Chris thought that was creepy but I thought it was so interesting. I enjoyed walking around reading the gravestones and imagining the life stories of each person buried there.

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The reason I mention so much about how kind and generous people were to us is because it seemed we were experiencing the most unusual “above and beyond” customer service. Since we were going through a very difficult time with the loss of our RV home and the uncertainty of our future travels, I was in a very emotional state. I mean the littlest thing could set me off to crying. I felt like God was placing just the right people into our lives at just the right time to bless us and show us that He is still there and He is taking care of us. The kindness and generosity of strangers during this time just meant so much to me.

Peggy’s Cove was a place I really wanted to visit and it sure was beautiful! First we drove a little past Peggy’s Cove and parked by a trailhead on the side of the road. We followed this trail to a rocky coastline and enjoyed the views and climbing on the rocks.

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This hiking trail was so gorgeous and uncrowded. After that we drove to the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse where most of the crowds go. We were there in the evening so it wasn’t too bad.

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We met a super nice couple there who offered to take a family picture for us. They were so sweet and I wish we could have spent more time with them.

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Once my parents flew into Halifax, they stayed with my cousin Peter and his wife Cindy. They came out to see us the next day and we all visited the cute little town of Lunenburg.

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Afterward they all came back to our place and Chris made everyone a delicious dinner. We loved our time in that cute little rental cottage and so appreciated the excellent customer service we received there.

Next we moved onto my aunt and uncle’s place on the beach in Port Howe. I’ll write about that next.

Categories: canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acadia National Park

If you missed my last post about how our travels came to an end after Acadia, you can view that here: The Day our Heartland RV Left us Homeless. That happened 2 months ago and we’re still going back and forth between Heartland and insurance, trying to get some resolution. Anyway, I thought it was about time I get my blog caught up on the travels we did in Maine prior to our disaster.

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Acadia National Park was incredible! It was so nice to get back to hiking in a national park. Our east coast travels have been fun, but we sure are missing the abundance of national parks out west. Acadia was a little like being back out west, but with a New England vibe if that makes any sense.

The Mount Desert Island/Bar Harbor side of Acadia is the busiest so we tried to plan our sightseeing on weekdays and early mornings. One day we drove the main park loop road and stopped off at several viewpoints.

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This would have been impossible on a weekend since there is very limited parking. On the weekend you can ride a free shuttle around the park, but those are also very crowded.

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Thunder Hole

Thunder Hole is supposed to be really cool during high tide. Unfortunately it was low tide when we were there, but still pretty.

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We loved walking and climbing on all the rocks and checking out the little tide pools.

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On the weekend we drove to one of the quieter sides of Acadia to see the Bass Harbor Lighthouse and do a couple of hikes.

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Bass Harbor Lighthouse

After visiting the lighthouse we parked at the Ship Harbor Trail Head and began a short hike to the ocean where we walked on the rocky coast for most of the day. We hiked back on the Wonderland Trail that ends back at the road just about a quarter mile from where we parked making it a loop.

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Jake put together a pile of seaweed on a rock and then made a home for some snails. He carried that around for a good part of the afternoon and named it “Fly, Poop and Eat”. He came up with that because he flew the “snail home” around with his hands, watched them eat seaweed, and later noticed their poop on the seaweed. 🙂

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I loved these colorful rocks!

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The next day we rode the shuttle from the campground to Bar Harbor. From there we took the shuttle to Sand Beach and hiked one of our favorite hikes ever, the Beehive Trail. This trail is a challenging uphill hike, with lots of climbing up ladders and steps. It is not recommended for small children or anyone afraid of heights as it can be very steep and some narrow pathways with steep drop-offs. If you like that sort of thing though, you will love this hike!

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Climbing the side of a cliff

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I was a little nervous about crossing this thing!

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How about a family picture on the side of a cliff?

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More climbing

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The climb was worth this view!

After that hike we took the shuttle over to Jordan Pond for a hike around the pond.

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A long stretch of this hike had a wooden walkway that the kids thought was fun to walk on.

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Lots of people told us that we must have popovers at Jordan Pond House while we were there. I know it must be popular because you have to have a reservation to have tea and popovers. We didn’t have a reservation so we didn’t get to try the famous popovers — maybe next time!

In Maine there are lobster pounds everywhere and if you buy them live they are pretty cheap. Chris got a couple of lobsters for Jake and me (Chris and Jesse don’t like them). He brought home these 2 live lobsters and set them on the floor to see what Fat Cat would do. She walked in the room and walked right by them, not even noticing them at first. Suddenly she looked down and then jumped in the air as she realized they were alive. It was so funny to see her reaction, I wish I had a video.

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So, the hard part about buying live lobster is you have to cook them. I know, that seems pretty obvious, right? Well I’m not a fan of killing animals. I’m not a vegetarian or anything, but if I’m going to eat meat, I guess I prefer not having to see the animal alive first. I felt so bad having to put these things in the boiling pot of water. I did what my aunt said she does, I pet each one on the nose and thanked them for sacrificing their lives so Jake and I could eat. I know, I’m weird, but I think from now on I’ll let someone else do the cooking. That was a little traumatic for me, not to mention what it was like for the poor lobsters. At least they tasted good!

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After a couple of weeks in the Bar Harbor area, we moved to another quieter side of Acadia, Schoodic Peninsula and stayed at the Schoodic Woods Campground (the campground that will be forever etched in my memory as the last place we stayed in our beautiful home on wheels before it fell apart on us).

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Schoodic Peninsula is so beautiful and it definitely is quieter. I rode my bike along the bike trails and the park loop road. I don’t usually like riding on main roads, but this road was not busy at all. I think only about 5 cars passed me the whole time.

Hanging out at Schoodic Point in the evenings was lots of fun.

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I loved watching the waves crash against the rocks!

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We loved our time in Acadia, and had planned to return after Canada. There were a few other things we wanted to do there including watching the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain (the first to see the sunrise in the U.S.), and hiking the Bar Island Trail at Bar Harbor at low tide. Unfortunately the rest of our northeast plans had to be canceled so we will just have to put all of those things on the itinerary for another time.

Next I will write about all the things we did in Canada after we left the RV in storage.

Categories: Maine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Family Time in Massachusetts

After leaving Cape Cod we went to Billerica, the town I grew up in when I lived in MA. Some long-time family friends graciously invited us to park at their house where they conveniently have an RV spot. We were only parked in Billerica for 5 days, but it was a very busy 5 days of time spent with close friends and family.

Our first night we were able to have dinner with the Picariellos. My parents met them when I was just a little girl so I feel like I have known them forever.

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Dinner with the Picariellos

The next day we left the RV parked in Billerica while we went and stayed in Waltham for a couple of days at the Richard Hilton (also known as Fred & Rita’s house). 😉 We had such a wonderful time staying with them and enjoying our evening “happy hours”. Fred even played chauffeur to us for the weekend, knowing we were not comfortable driving the big truck around all these towns so close to Boston.

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Happy Hour with the Richards

Fred took us for a ride in the “stang” which was so much fun!

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Jackie and the boys met us in Boston for a day of sightseeing.

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Boston Public Garden

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Boston Public Garden

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Beacon Hill

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New England Holocaust Memorial

This is a very sobering memorial dedicated to the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Smoke continuously rises up as a reminder of the gas chambers.

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The numbers represent the numbers tattooed on concentration camp prisoners

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The next day we had a lovely brunch with Jim and Deborah at their home in Cambridge. Jim made a delicious quiche!

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My Uncle Jim with the boys

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Jackie, me and Jim

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The boys with my cousin Devin

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Chris and I with my cousin Sam

After that it was time to head back to Billerica and check on Fat Cat who was feeling pretty lonely by now. We also enjoyed a cookout with the Dunton family, our gracious hosts who allowed us to park at their house for a few days.

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The Dunton Family

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Roasting marshmallows at the Dunton’s house

On our last evening in Billerica we had a delicious Italian feast with the entire Picariello family. Our kids had so much fun with all of their kids and seriously did not want to leave!

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I think I gained 5 pounds while in Billerica, with all the socializing and delicious meals we shared with everyone. This was such a fun visit! We even drove by the old house where I used to live and the elementary and middle schools I attended. My kids thought it was pretty neat to see all of these places where I grew up.

As usual, our time with family and friends went by way too quickly, and now we are looking forward to the next time we can all get together again.

 

Categories: Massachusetts | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

I was born in Massachusetts and lived there until I was almost 14. Coming back to my birth state was really fun. Our first stop was Cape Cod where my family used to go for vacations in the summertime.

While visiting Cape Cod we got to visit with some friends and family. My aunt Jackie came to see us a few times. The first time she brought her 2 boys (who are not so little anymore!), and Jake & I joined them for a deep sea fishing trip.

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I would say I enjoyed it, and I did until the seasickness kicked in. Oh boy, I was so glad when we finally made it back to land! Anyway, it was fun for awhile and we caught lots of fish!

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Plymouth is not far from Cape Cod so we went to see the famous Plymouth Rock. I remember going there on a field trip when I was a kid and I seem to remember the rock being bigger than it is now. I also seem to remember being able to stand on it. I think that it was eroding too much so they had to enclose it so people can’t stand on it anymore, and now it looks so small!

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Plymouth Rock – you can just barely make out the year 1620 engraved on it.

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The rock is enclosed under those columns.

Jackie met us there for dinner. I had some wicked good lobstah and started working on trying to get my Boston accent back. 😉

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While at the cape we also got to visit with Robert & Trudy a couple of times. They used to come to see us in Fernandina Beach, but since we moved away we haven’t seen them in a long time. It was wonderful to catch up with them when they visited us at our campsite.

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We met up with them again another evening in the town of Dennis where Trudy lives. She and Robert treated us to a fabulous dinner where I had some more wicked good lobstah.

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And then Trudy gave us a tour of the town of Dennis which was so beautiful!

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Scargo Tower in Dennis

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View from Scargo Tower

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View from Scargo Tower

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We also had the chance to visit a childhood friend who lived across the street from us in MA. Jessica suggested we meet at Gillette Stadium to see Patriot Place. If you know Chris, you know that this would be the LAST place he would want to go. 😉 He is a die-hard NY Jets fan and according to Chris Jets fans absolutely do not like the Patriots. In fact, when we got married he made it a house rule that I cannot be a Patriots fan, lol! Anyway, he shocked us and went along with the idea to meet Jessica and her daughter Olivia at Patriot Place.

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Notice the photo bomber in the background with the thumbs-down gesture.

We stayed at Scusset Beach State Park right near the town of Sandwich. This park was lots of fun since it had the beach on one side and the canal on the other.

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I especially loved the 7 miles of paved bike trail along the canal! I rode one day down to the end and back, and another day I broke out my rollerblades that I haven’t used in quite awhile. I didn’t go quite as far with the rollerblades. There are some beautiful bridges to see along the bike trail.

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The canal was also pretty at night during a full moon and seeing the lights across the water.

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Fat Cat loved this site since she found lots of chipmunks.

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Fat Cat thinks she’s the queen of the RV!

We had a great time visiting friends and family while we were in Cape Cod. Next we moved to my childhood hometown of Billerica where we had lots more fun times with friends and family. Stay tuned for that next.

Categories: Massachusetts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick Visits to 4 States

My purpose for keeping this blog is so that we have a journal of all of the places that we have visited in our travels. Visiting the northeast means we’re passing through several states quickly, unlike when we travel out west and it takes so long just to get from one state to the next. I feel like I just don’t have enough to say about some of these places to justify an entire post, but I don’t want to forget about this part of our trip either. So this post is just a place to record what we did in 4 states where we did not spend much time.

Delaware

After a very busy week in Washington D.C. we spent a weekend relaxing at Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. We didn’t do anything else in DE except just rest and enjoy the state park. Our site backed up to Lums Pond which looked more like a lake to me. We had a fishing dock behind us and Jake & I took the kayak out on the lake pond.

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This was the perfect spot to rest after such a busy few days in DC.

New Jersey

We actually spent a week in New Jersey, but did not get out much during the week. Besides the fact that the weather wasn’t that great, we needed some downtime for work and school. I know it may look like we’re always on vacation, but in reality we have real-life stuff to do during the week. This was the week after we took time off work to visit D.C. so it was nice to just get back into a “normal” routine, whatever that means. 😉

Once the weekend rolled around we had a nice sunny day and decided to go check out one of the boardwalks along the Jersey Shore. We walked along the boardwalk in Ocean City, the kids got to ride one ride (because the rides are not cheap), they played for a bit in an arcade and then had some ice cream.

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This store reminds me of a certain Fat Cat, also known as Bad Kitty.

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After NJ, we spent some time in Pennsylvania and New York which I already blogged about previously.

Connecticut

After NY, we had a quick stop in Mystic, CT. Are you old enough to remember the Julia Roberts movie Mystic Pizza? I thought it was fun to eat at that pizza place even though the movie was not really filmed there.

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The town of Mystic is super cute!

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Rhode Island

I saved the best for last. After CT, we had another quick stop in Narragansett, RI where we stayed at a beautiful state park called Fishermen’s Memorial State Park. I loved Rhode Island, especially the Cliff Walk! We went to Newport to hike along the Cliff Walk that I had heard about from some other Fulltime Families. This was gorgeous and made me excited to eventually get to Maine where I think we’ll see lots more beautiful ocean views over rocky cliffs.

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This is called Forty Steps and is where we started our hike.

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Newport, RI is known for some really extravagant mansions. You can see some of them along this Cliff Walk. I was thankful to have such a beautiful day to see this.

That wraps up my recap of our quick visits to these 4 states. On to Massachusetts next.

Categories: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NYC – Times Square and Central Park

We started our second day in New York City at Times Square. Let’s just say this was over-the-top on crowds and noise. It was quite overwhelming with all the noise, lights and signs, crowds and countless people trying to sell us tickets to whatever (bus tours, shows, bike rentals, you name it!)

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I loved seeing the Times Square Ball with 2018 on top. We will definitely be remembering this sight when we watch the ball drop again this New Year’s Eve.

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We stopped in the M&Ms store which was enormous!

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Once we had our fill of the over-stimulation of lights and noise, we started to head toward Central Park for a taste of nature in the midst of the city chaos. On the way we stopped to pick up some lunch at the Original Soup Man. We are huge Seinfeld fans and this was the restaurant that inspired the famed “Soup Nazi” episode.

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“No Soup for You!”

We brought our soup lunches over to Central Park (the soup was delicious by the way), and enjoyed several hours meandering around the park. Who knew that it could literally take days to explore Central Park? That place is huge! And such an oasis in the middle of a noisy, crowded city.

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There are 21 playgrounds within Central Park. We managed to hit several of them, but definitely not all 21.

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The Strawberry Fields section was a memorial to John Lennon. I love oldies music like The Beatles so I enjoyed visiting this area.

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There were lots of areas to just sit and relax.

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When the boys were little we read a book about a sled dog hero in Alaska named Balto. At the end of the story it mentioned that there is a statue to honor Balto in Central Park. I forgot all about that until we came upon the statue as we walked around.

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Balto, the sled dog hero

After we roamed around Central Park for several hours we headed back into Times Square to find some dinner, but first we wanted to see a couple more iconic buildings.

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Empire State Building

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Macy’s on 34th Street

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One more glimpse of the New Year’s Times Square Ball

While visiting New York we stayed at a county park called Croton Point in Croton-on-Hudson. This park was really nice and didn’t feel like we were so close to a city.

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Spacious campsite with lots of room to sit outside when Chris’s family visited

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Beautiful sunsets over the Hudson River

The best part about the campground was that the train into NYC was just outside the entrance to the park making it very easy to travel into the city. The train took us right into Grand Central Station which was an experience in itself.

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Grand Central Station

From Grand Central you can catch a subway to pretty much anywhere you need to go in NYC. Like I mentioned in my first post about NYC, New Yorkers were surprisingly helpful to us in figuring out where we needed to go and which subways to take. One person even got on a subway with us, then let us know when we got to the right stop and kept reminding us which one to catch next. I suppose not all New Yorkers are nearly as nice and patient, but in our experience everyone was super nice to us.

I love to leave an area on such a high note, having made such incredible memories. That’s how it was when we left New York. It beat all of my expectations and now I look forward to visiting again someday.

One last surprise from our time in NY actually happened after we left. Chris’s cousin Bob who lives close to where we stayed in New York never had a chance to get together with us while we were there. He was Facebook messaging with me on the morning we left NY and asking me where we were headed. I didn’t really think it mattered since we were leaving NY and not going to be so close to him anymore, but I answered his questions anyway. Once we got set up at our next campground in Connecticut he showed up to surprise us and we had a wonderful rest of the day catching up with him. We haven’t seen him since our wedding day almost 18 years ago!

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Chris with his cousin Bob

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