Towards the middle of November, my family took a road trip with our Airstream in tow down south to Miami, FL from Providence, RI. Along the way we camped at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for about three days. We had such an amazing time, despite the rainy weather.
We really enjoyed the pirate show. To top it off both of the attractions we went to were Christmas-themed!
Campground: $96.32 for two nights with oceanfront premium full hookup campsite
Pirate Show: We splurged and purchased the premium seats and also decided to get a ticket for Kai, even though they start charging kids aged 4 and up. Kids under 4 would be sitting on our laps. And, we definitely didn’t want that. Although we definitely did not need the extra food that came with his ticket.
Aquarium: We decided to purchase these tickets through Pirates Voyage to save us some money. And we purchased two adult tickets at $19.89 each which is a total of $39.78 vs. the regular price of $29.99/adult, which would have been $59.98. When we got to the aquarium we ended up buying Kai’s ticket, which was just under $10. The Pirates Voyage also sells children’s tickets, but they’re just over $11 when you purchase them because they are for kids aged 6-11. Kai is 2, so he falls in the 2-5 category.
Amenities at the Campground
Overall, we had a wonderful time at Ocean Lakes Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC. During this time we figured out our refrigerator stopped working, so we ended up taking full advantage of the campground’s on-site food shack.
Here are some pictures of their menu! We really appreciated the convenience of having food available.
We also took full advantage of the campground’s laundry facilities! They are coin operated at $2.50/wash and $0.25 per 7 or 8 minutes for the dryer.
The ocean was literally right in our backyard! It was such a nice perk being right on the water, so we walked Stanley on the beach. It was beautiful!
Overall, we had a lovely vacation and stay at Myrtle Beach, SC. Thanks for reading about our trip! Happy Camping!
Yes there are so many ways to entertain your kids! Nowadays with technology right at your fingertips…not to mention the accessibility of cellular devices, tablets, and portable gaming consoles.
Sometimes we lose touch with human interaction when we are so involved with the latest social media notification or when bombarded with emails and text notifications.
Our family recently took a road trip from Rhode Island to Miami, Florida with stops in D.C. and Myrtle Beach. Along the way we tried out a few different car games with our 2.5 year old son.
Play Guessing Games in the Car
Michael and I both realized that our son, Kai, enjoys playing guessing games! Below are some guessing game suggestions and ideas for you and your family to try while at home, on road trips, or waiting in line at an amusement park or simply when you have time and are bored with your toddler.
I Spy Guessing Game
This is a classic childhood car game that brings back memories! The object of the game is to guess the thing(s) that are a certain color.
Example: mommy says, “I spy with my eye something that is the color green.” Toddler replies, “trees?!”
We found that focusing on objects that are seen for longer periods of time proved to be better for us, since our toddler’s reaction time isn’t the quickest, especially when driving 60 MPH.
This game doesn’t usually last us a long time, unless we also focus on items INSIDE the car. Then we can play for a little while longer. Also try and change it up and ask your child to ask the adult or other siblings what he or she spies!!! We have fun guessing too:)
Guess the Animal
Not sure if this has another name, but that’s what we call it in our family! Objective is to guess the animal.
Example: daddy says, “baaaa”, and asks children to guess what animal. Child replies, “sheep!”
This game is fun and the child also had a blast getting involved in mimicking animal noises.
Guess the Color
As the name of the game provides a wonderful explanation of objective, which is to guess to the color of what is being described.
Example: grandma asks, “what color am I thinking of? Apples, stop sign, cherries, raspberries, roses…” child replies, “red!”
We have tried playing this game when our toddler was a bit overtired and let me tell you it was an epic failure! He would not concentrate AT ALL and would constantly laugh 😂 which would make me laugh even harder! It was hilarious!
Guess the Item
This game can be played several different ways depending on the children’s ages. The way we have played is fairly simple. Example: grandpa says, “I am thinking about something, this something is the color red. You can eat it. It is sweet. It is a fruit. It’s crunchy. You can pick it off a tree in the fall. You can make pie with it.” Child says, “apple!?”
The adult can go on and on and provide detailed descriptions of the item he or she is thinking about until the child guesses correctly. We have found that, depending on your child’s comprehension and vocabulary level, it might be best to start with very simple things.
When your children grow older you can start doing the role reversal so they can ask you to guess the item they’re thinking of.
Imagination and Reading to the Rescue!
In addition to occupying your children’s time with guessing games, another form of entertainment we have found to be fun and stimulating is your imagination.
If you’re a creative and imaginative person this is right up your alley! The object is to use descriptive words and tell a fun story.
Unfortunately my attempts at telling our son a story has failed on numerous occasions. It just doesn’t “flow” for me. Therefore, I rely heavily on resources that are available to us.
My default: the library! If you have a library card you most likely have access to borrow e-books and audiobooks.
Prior to our road trip or even during the long drive, I log into my online library account and search for some children audiobooks. I am able to download them right then and there through an app called Overdrive or listen to the book right through our browser. My son loves Curious George and Pinkalicious and enjoys listening to the audiobooks. I have also realized they seem to calm him down and put him to sleep (on a good day).
Similar to story-telling, but we are the ones in the “story”. My husband does such an amazing job with this game! Typically we do this at night when we are winding down from a busy day, and if we decide not to read a bedtime storybook.
Example: daddy says, “are you ready to go on a safari adventure? What animals do you want to see today?” Then he describes going into a Jeep and buckling up and seeing all of the sights with animal sounds and all! Being in a moving vehicle we could pretend we are in space and seeing all of the spaceships and other life forms go by us, as we are riding.
Other Activities and Ideas!
Here are some other suggestions and things we have tried with our toddler on our long road trips.
Sometimes bringing his favorite toy(s) are extremely helpful! If your child has a stuffed animal he or she can play pretend and feed it snacks and have fun. Kai enjoys playing with his “shark blaster,” which has lights and sounds.
Snacks & Food
Kai loves snacks! Eating and snacking on stuff keeps him occupied and entertained for a long time. I usually try and find some healthy snacks for him to munch on. His favorites include the following:
When all else fails, we do resort to playing movies or TV shows on his tablet. This is the one we have, along with the case we got for him:
Our sons enjoying watching certain shows and tends to fall asleep to the movie Moana, which was his favorite for a long time.
Some of the toddler games are very educational, but we have found that we need to sit down with him and show him how to play the games before we sit in the car. The games are a little complex for him to figure out all on his own after downloading them.
I recommend letting your child play games that he or she is already familiar with so they can explore on their own. Otherwise, you will have a toddler constantly asking you how to do this and that in each level or in each game.
Play Packs / Coloring Activity
Our son doesn’t typically have the attention span to sit for long periods of time, but when we are in the car he actually enjoys coloring and playing with some stickers. He has been rather intricate with his coloring nowadays…compared to just a few months ago he would just color a few lines and said he was all done.
We hope these road trip ideas are helpful for you and your family during long drives or when you’re traveling:) Enjoy!
2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Days 14 – 16: Tuesday, 7/24 – Thursday, 7/26
We got an early start on the morning of July 24th and headed back towards the U.S. border.
On the way back, we made a pit stop at the Walmart in Sussex, NB to use the bathroom. And, we picked up a few toys for Kai for the ride back.
This border crossing was in a different location than when we had entered Canada. It was a more direct route back to our home.Unfortunately, this particular border crossing to come back into the States took forever! It seemed like we were waiting about half an hour. And, there were only five cars ahead of us. They were a lot more thorough with their search.
When it was our turn, one agent asked us to open the trailer to see if we snuck anyone inside (across the border). Then when Michael went to go and open the door, the guy asked me several questions (typical questions).
When the other agent opened our wardrobe closet, our Dyson vacuum fell on her :/ but everything was fine after that haha.
Initially, we planned to stay overnight at the Walmart that was right over the border. We did end up stopping there, but just for a bathroom break. We also played a little badminton in a field with Kai so he could run around a little…before we headed back on the road to another Walmart that was about 1.5 hours away.
Boondocking Tales: What a horrible night’s sleep
The first time we boondocked, it was perfect! We were at the Cabela’s in Scarborough, ME. It was a quiet and large parking lot. And we had gotten there around 9:30pm, so the store had closed and it was just a nice area for us to spend the night in our camper.
This time, we chose to stay at a Walmart, with an Applebee’s nearby. This particular one was located in Brewer, ME. It was near Bangor. Boy, was it busy there!
There were so many cars coming in and out of that Walmart. It was crazy!
We thought it would slow down at night, but since this particular Walmart stays open until 12am every day, it was super busy! And, they open at 6am too.
One thing that made me so nervous, was that in the middle of the night, Stanley kept barking. I knew there was something going on, so I peaked outside the trailer, and there were two police cars outside one of the Class A’s. I was obviously being very nosy, but I was concerned they were going to kick us out of there in the middle of the night. It was around 2:30am.
They knocked on the door of the Class A, said a few things, and then they were on their way.
From then on, I could not sleep until about 6am. There were cars constantly going in and out of the parking lot. And, I even spotted a few people using the parking lot as a “Park and Ride”.
Phew! While Stanley and I were up most of the night, Michael and Kai, well Kai especially, slept so peacefully. No worry in the world. Just happy and content to be with us all:)
The next morning, I woke up around 7am. Yes, so I only got a few hours of sleep in that evening. I decided to walk across the street to grab a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.
Yes, I was THAT desperate. Many of you know that I rarely, and I mean rarely, voluntarily go to Dunkin. I got a toasted croissant with my iced hazelnut coffee. It was edible, but not fresh. I was just so tired that I needed something other than a pop tart and the coffee that I had been drinking.
I got the boys donuts and then we were on our way to Cedar Haven Family Campground in Freeport, ME. It just so happened that rain was in the forecast the last few days of our vacation. It definitely helped that we had a nice home away from home!
Our Campground in Freeport, ME
We set up shop. Then, we decided to take a little walk to explore the campground. We decided to start at the office and work our way around.
Our stay was during the weekday, so when we asked about the pizza they serve, the younger girl said they make it in house! I was looking forward to trying it. There are signs everywhere advertising their pizza.
Unfortunately, the lady at the front desk did not seem too accommodating because she said they usually only served it on Thursdays and Fridays when they have more help. Honestly, I can understand that, but there were two staff members who were standing in the office doing nothing. They were all gathered and chatting away. It was just sad they didn’t really go out of the way for us.
Home-Cooked Dinner & Dessert
Therefore, Michael cooked that night, because I get hangry. After I was fully functional with sustenance, Kai helped me make brownies! So, we got to test out our oven. It worked great! It took me a little while to figure out how to get it to light and stay lit, but it worked like a charm.
We attempted to check out Maine’s Wildlife Park, but we got there at 4:36pm. They close their doors at 4:30pm but stay open until 6pm.Instead, we went to a cool playground at an elementary school along the way. Yes, since it was summer and school vacation, we figured this was a sure bet. Kai loved playing with everything here.
This was where it happened – Michael’s first ever BEE STING! Thank God we discovered he was not allergic to them.
I might have actually captured the moment in the second picture too!
Chinese Food in Freeport, ME
That evening we ended up getting my fix of Chinese food at Li’s Place in Freeport, ME. The whole trip, we did not have any Chinese. I did make some Chinese food myself, but that just wasn’t the same:) It definitely hit the spot. That little restaurant was good for Chinese food in Maine.
Take Two: they were open this time!
Throughout our time in Maine over the past few years, we had never ever spotted a moose. Moose is featured in souvenir shops and all the signs on the roads in Maine. I was telling Michael I really wanted to see a moose.
Thankfully, the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, ME was about 35 minutes away from where were staying. We got there in the morning after I made pancakes for breakfast. They are cash only. And, I got some quarters as change from the booth so we could buy some food to feed some animals.
That day was super humid and when the sun was out, it was pretty hot too! We saw so many animals. And, we even had a chance to see a baby moose! It was abandoned in the woods, so they took her in.
We all had a fun time exploring and seeing all the wildlife that day.
Our son napping in our 30′ Airstream Classic
Cairn terrier in our 30′ Airstream Classic
Campground Play Time
In the afternoon, we decided to check out the campground a little and explore! Kai wanted to go to the playground so we did. The campground has a large play area with a basketball court and a sit-on tractor for kids to play pretend. They also have a myriad of scooters, trikes, and ride-on equipment for everyone to play with. Kai enjoyed running around and playing with two other kids that afternoon.
LL Bean in Freeport, Maine
No visit to Freeport was complete without a trip to the LL Bean flagship store. This was our (Michael and me) second visit to this location. Our first visit was back in 2014 – to purchase a large tent for our road trip across all fifty states.
LL Bean Headquarters, Freeport, Maine
Posing with the big boot, LL Bean Headquarters, Freeport, Maine
That morning we told Kai we were taking him to LL Bean, and he got super excited. Why? He says, “I want to get jellybeans!” This little character.
I picked up a pair of lightweight hiking pants in petite:) We were famished after going through the store, so we ate at the restaurant across the street called Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern (owned by Linda Bean – LL Bean’s granddaughter).
The food was okay. I enjoyed the Kelpslaw and the lemon meringue pie was so big!!!
Afterwards, we visited The Mangy Moose to check out some souvenirs. That afternoon, we decided to pack up and head back home. It was raining that day, and it worked out perfectly that Kai napped on the way back to our campsite.
We were able to pack up our Airstream while Kai napped in the truck.
Even though we didn’t get home until after dinner, it was a nice relief to be home a day earlier because we had a lot of laundry, cleaning and organizing to do!
Sixteen full days out on the road. Fifteen nights. 1,186 miles covered. Two countries. With a toddler, a dog, a Ford F-150, and an Airstream.
It was just the right amount of time. We realized we could only do one hour of driving at a time with Kai in the car. There were definitely certain products we could not live without during our time camping. Read about our road trip lifesavers!
2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Day 12: Sunday, 7/22
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada
Downtime was in order.
Our last full day camping at Fundy National Park was spent packing up our stuff. Kai had fun playing inside our Airstream with all of his toys. We even bought him a toy box and filled it with some toys he got from his 2nd birthday party.
Relax + Pool Time
That afternoon, we went to the saltwater swimming pool at Fundy National Park one last time. Kai had fun while we got to have some family fun.
These are photos of the view from the parking lot of the saltwater swimming pool at Fundy National Park.
That evening we ordered some fried seafood from Fundy Take-out. We were pleasantly surprised that it included a steamed piece of lobster tail! Their fried clams were so delicious! I especially loved the cocktail sauce they served with the platter. Read, my post about my search for the sauce, to find out what brand of sauce they use.
The Gift Shop
I really wanted to check out the gift shop there. It was right inside the Fundy Visitors Center, near Headquarters Campground. We also noticed there was another one further down towards the Sussex direction on our way out.
It was quite small, but I ended up finding a really cute moose t-shirt for Kai! For some reason, I think the toddler sizes in Canada might be smaller than the sizes in the U.S. Kai is usually a 3T in the U.S., but the t-shirt I picked up was a 4T. It fits him perfectly.
How did we find out about this beach? Well, we noticed some cars parked on the side of the road on our way back from our day trip to Hopewell Rocks. It seems like this was one of the beaches that locals like to go to.
One of the things that attracted me to this particular beach was the soft sand.
The beaches we had been to in the area were all very rocky. This beach was very muddy, but perfect for Kai to dig in and find different creatures!
And it wasn’t crowded when we went. It also might have been due to the fact that it was cloudy when we went in the afternoon.
Waterside Beach was a wonderful place for our two-year old son to play! We had an amazing time there and were happy to have brought our chairs instead of sitting on a blanket.
2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Day 9: Thursday, July 19th
Our family went on an unforgettable journey with our Airstream from our home state of Rhode Island to New Brunswick, Canada. This post is a small portion of our family vacation, and it is about our dinner out in Alma, New Brunswick and our campfire at our campground.
Dinner in Alma + Camp Fire
After our eventful day at Herring Cove Beach, we decided to do dinner in town (Alma, NB)! We went to Tipsy Tails = best seafood stew! It was pricey, but mostly tasty. We enjoyed the corn, the stew, and the lobster mac and cheese. The lobster poutine, however, was very bland and not worth it.
This was Kai’s very first campfire! Unfortunately, I did not snap any photos that evening to capture the moment.
After dinner in alma, we joined an older couple who had started a campfire. They were on a 3-week road trip to a wedding in Price Edward Island. They had purchased an older camper, and were really enjoying themselves. The husband brought his ukulele and was playing and singing around the campfire.
I love meeting, chatting with people, and hearing stories when traveling!
We brought marshmallows to share, along with our retractable campfire sticks. The telescoping sticks have definitely come in handy, but I do have to warn that the ends are very sharp. When we first purchased our camper at CampingWorld, our salesperson included those in our “gift bag”.
It was nice to chat with some people around a campfire and listen to some good music. Very intimate and kumbaya.
After about 20 minutes, Kai saw some kids riding bikes and chased them down. So much for our time around the fire 🙂
What a wonderful end to a great day! It’s safe to say we all slept like babies that night.
2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Day 8: Wednesday, 7/18
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada
I was a bit nervous the night before heading to Fundy National Park. In the back of my mind, I was worried there just wouldn’t be enough to do to keep Kai occupied. This, of course, was also due to the fact we were just at Yogi Bear’s campground:)
The Road. The Drive. The Accident.
There’s really nothing but farm on the way to Fundy National Park. We hit Sussex, NB and there was a Walmart we were able to pull into. We made it there just five minutes too late. Kai really needed to pee and told us. Unfortunately, we were unable to pull over with the the truck and the Airstream. There just wasn’t enough room on the side of the road, and we didn’t want to pull into someone’s driveway.
Throughout his whole trip he was been so good! No accidents. Until now. I felt so bad he had to sit in his own pee until we parked.
Upon arrival, we checked into the Headquarters campground, where we booked a total of five nights. We got to our pull through site and set up while Kai was still napping.
Observation: lots of mosquitos! There were so many, and we got bit a lot. Thank goodness we all brought bug spray with us.
We were almost finished setting up when Kai woke up.
That evening we decided to stay in and cook dinner.
Story Time at the Amphitheater
There was story time at the amphitheater at 7pm. It was awfully foggy that evening, and it took us little while to find the location. We thought we were going to be late, but the Fundy ranger started the stories about 10 minutes after 7pm.
There were many small kids with blankets and stuffed animals.
Kai was overtired.
Randomly, he asked us to take his shoes and socks off. Then, as he was playing above a sewer-type thing, he started peeing! Yes, in front of everyone. All the adults definitely got a kick out of our little character. One adult said, “I guess that’s why he asked for us to remove his shoes. He knew something was coming.”
Oh, this kid.
We didn’t yell at him. When we got back to our camper, we simply reminded him to let us know before he needs to pee.
Kai absolutely loved the playground. It was very unique! Downside: the playground and pool were pretty far. We definitely needed to drive or ride our bikes.
Canadian National Parks are so amazing with their rules about allowing dogs on their hiking trails. That was one of main reasons we were looking forward to bringing Stanley, our Cairn terrier.
Stanley had such an amazing time on our hikes and getting some fresh air!
We enjoyed riding our bikes to the playground, but the saltwater pool was too far and far too hilly for us to ride. Since Kai cannot ride a bike of his own just yet, we love our bike trailer. Michael pulls him with it, and it’s perfect!
One major shocker at the campground: they advertise there’s a dark sky preserve at the park, which I totally believe. However, at our campground, they had these large and bright street lights. It was safe because we could see clearly at night, but it was not helpful to see the stars at night.
The water here had a rusty taste to it. Of course, I didn’t use it for drinking. I just got a bad taste when I used it to brush my teeth and when I was bathing. The rust (to me) was very overwhelming. Michael said he didn’t notice it.
it was $3 a load here! Double the price of laundry compared to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Woodstock, Canada. And, the machines here were very old and not has efficient. I also noticed the washer was all rusty inside. My suspicions = rust in the water = proving my theory.
It caught my off guard, in a good way.
We thoroughly enjoyed our week-long camping trip to Fundy National Park. Prior to our trip, I was very nervous we weren’t going to have enough activities to keep our two-year old occupied. Soon after we arrived, we realized FUNdy is such a family-oriented Canadian national park.
The last full day we were camping at Jellystone New Brunswick, I found a hike for us to do! It was less than a 20-minute drive from our campground called the Maliseet Trail, located in Meductic, New Brunswick. It was an out and back moderate trail to a waterfall.
Stanley did an amazing job on the hike. He loves hiking.
Kai’s first real hike
It was supposed to take 1.5 hours in total. It took us just under 3 hours:) But we were very proud of Kai. He hiked the WHOLE way to the falls! All by himself. And, he only fell twice! No big gashes or anything. Just a few little scrapes.
We were happy to have made the decision to invest in this teal BabySteps carrier prior to our trip! When Kai was an infant we used the Baby Bjorn, but the max weight was about 25lbs. After he began taking his first steps, we just relied on the stroller and his legs/feet 🙂 This carrier was reasonably priced and holds toddlers up to 44lbs.
I carried the carrier without Kai while hiking, and Michael used it by strapping Kai on his back for hiking.
It was raining heavily so we were all covered in mud when we got back to the truck.
Lunch, Nap & Packing
We packed sandwiches for lunch and ate in the car on the way back to our campground. Kai took a long nap! We were able to transfer him from his car seat to the trailer without a problem.
It rained/thundered a lot that afternoon so we weren’t able to go to the water park where we were staying. We were able to just relax inside our Airstream and pack up some stuff so we were ready for our next stop: Fundy National Park!