Newport Family Day Trip

Yes, we are Rhode Island residents. And yes, we don’t explore locally enough. However, once or twice a year, when our Cairn terrier needs to get groomed, we take the opportunity to spend some family time in the Newport, RI area.

Our Dog Groomer

Since our dog has a wire coat and my husband is very particular about how he gets groomed. And not a lot of places in the area offer hand-stripping dogs with a wire coat. We found one place and it’s located in Portsmouth, RI, called Perry’s Plush Pooch. They specialize in grooming show dogs. And while it is a hefty price to pay for our dog, it’s supposedly the proper way to groom a Cairn terrier.

Here’s some pictures of our shaggy Cairn…

and his post-groom look…

Castle Hill Lighthouse

Since our groomer requires he be brought to him by 8am in the morning and he be picked up around 3pm, we have typically gone for a day trip to Newport.

The first year we did this Kai was just getting comfortable with walking on uneven surfaces. So we just ended up taking him to a local playground and to Castle Hill Lighthouse.¬† When we went it was a cool and beautiful day in early April, so we got some nice pictures by the lighthouse and walking on the empty beach. And, it wasn’t super crowded/full of tourists that time of year.

Thames Street

After the lighthouse excursion, we decided to do some shopping on Thames. Kai had his snacks in his stroller along with his milk, while walked around.Snacking toddler with Ray Bans

Oh have I mentioned how much I LOVED using these WeeSprout Double Zipper Reusable Food Pouch – 6 Pack – 5 fl oz I found on Amazon while he was into eating pureed fruit? I would steam all sorts of fruits and vegetables and puree them all. Kai loved his snacks so much!

While he napped…

During his nap, we decided to go to a nice sit-down seafood restaurant, Mooring Restaurant. It worked out perfectly, and just as we were getting ready for dessert, our little one sat right up from his stroller looking SO ADORABLE with his cute/messy hair.

Just woken up toddler in stroller

What a wonderful way to end our Newport, RI day trip before we picked up our dog.

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Dickson Falls Trail

2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Day 11 Morning: Saturday, July 21st

Dickson Falls Trail, Fundy National Park, Canada

In the morning we ate a hearty breakfast and drove our truck to the parking area of the¬†Dickson Fall Trail, a moderate one. The parking lot was already full! I guess it’s a pretty popular trail.

It was a whole family affair: hubby, me, our two-year old son, Kai and our 3-year old Cairn terrier, Stanley, got there around 10:30am. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, which we appreciated.

The Dickson Falls trail is definitely worth checking out! So beautiful.

We didn’t have to put in a lot of effort to see such natural beauty!

We all had a wonderful time, and I was happy to have brought my Tamron zoom lens! The image stabilization is amazing.

I enjoyed snapping away while hiking. Kai had a blast picking up sticks and rocks and giving them all to us:) Stanley loves hiking in general and always does so well too!

Would we recommend the Dickson Falls Trail? Yes, most definitely!

Dinner in Alma and Communal Campfire

Interested in reading more?  Here are our posts about our road trip across all fifty U.S. States; our thoughts on camping at Headquarters Campground at Fundy National Park; our day trip to Hopewell Rocks and story time at Fundy National Park.

Herring Cove Beach at Fundy

2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Day 9: Thursday, 7/19

Herring Cove Beach Exploration at Fundy National Park

The first full day we were at Fundy National Park, we joined in on another ranger-led program at Herring Cove Beach.  The program began at 10:30am. We got there just after 11am and spotted the group down at the beach.

They were all looking for creatures and wildlife under rocks and shells. Thank goodness we brought Kai’s bathing suit bottoms and water shoes.

After the hike down wooden stairs, we came to a very muddy and rocky area. It was low tide, so we were standing on the ocean floor.

Herring Cove Beach was pretty magnificent!

Exploring the ocean floor was very fun. You do have to be aware and watch your step because the rocks are pretty sharp.

The rangers did a wonderful job. They asked everyone to find creatures. Afterwards, they collected all the specimens and explained what it was everyone found:)

It was a fun morning of exploration at Herring Cove Beach with the Fundy National Park rangers.

Our second day at Fundy National Park was very eventful! It was nice to participate in another ranger-led program. The story time our first evening there was aimed at kids, and this particular program was appropriate and appealed to people of all ages!

Alma Town Exploration

After our Herring Cove Beach exploration, we decided to eat lunch back at our campsite. Then, it was almost nap time for our two-year old son, Kai.

We decided to head into town (Alma) and walk around a little. We bought some groceries at the little market at the gas station, called the Fundy General Store. They carried produce and bottled water = essentials.

When Kai napped, we did some light souvenir shopping. I was in search for a mug for the camper. There were plenty of mugs but none I liked. Unfortunately, no luck!

London, England

Interested in reading more?  Here are our posts about our road trip across all fifty U.S. States; our thoughts on camping at Headquarters Campground at Fundy National Parkour thoughts on camping at Headquarters Campground at Fundy National Park; and story time at Fundy National Park.

Woodstock, eh?

2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA
Days 4 – 8: Sunday, 7/15 – Wednesday, 7/18

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground, Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada

We crossed the Canadian border for the first time with Kai and Stanley! It was a breeze. No line at all. The officer didn’t even ask to see Stanley’s papers.¬† Woodstock was literally right over the border.

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There was an hour time difference. They are one hour ahead of EST. It worked out perfectly because we were able to check in when we got there, just before 1pm.

After we set up shop, we were famished! I asked a park ranger for a recommendation for food, and she said Murray’s which was inside of Irving Gas Station. It was literally a 2-minute drive to get there.

It was a homestyle diner kinda place. Not bad. Food food was nothing to rave about. LOVED the strawberry shortcake. Biscuit and fresh strawberries made the dessert.

That first afternoon there we took Kai to the water park. We all had a blast!

Jellystone Park New Brunswick

We stayed a total of four nights.

I had been wanting to visit a Jellystone Park. We loved the campsite we were given. Even though it was a bit farther from the main attractions, we enjoyed not hearing the cars passing along the highway. We were right next to the washrooms and laundry facilities = perfect, since there was no sewer hookup in the campground.

None of the sites here have sewer hookups. Only water and electric. They have three sewer stations. During our stay, we ended up showering and washing our dishes in the washroom.

I also did a load of laundry.

Included amenities/attractions: mini golf, bounce houses/obstacle courses, large water slides, basketball court, various playgrounds, hayrides every evening with Yogi bear himself, and a huge water play area with two additional (smaller) slides.

The only thing it did not have was a dog park for Stanley, our Cairn Terrier.

 

Our Routine

Our routine was wonderful while we were there.  In the morning we either went to the inflatable bouncy things, or played mini golf or just did something dry. Then in the afternoon (after his nap) we would go to the water park.

It was nice to have mini golf included because I had been wanting to take Kai and pay, but I wasn’t sure how he would do. He loved picking up all of our golf balls (after our initial swings) and putting them into the hole =p

Overall, Kai and our entire family thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Woodstock, NB at the Jellystone Campground. It had activities to keep all of us entertained.

¬†Interested in reading more about our first RV experience? Here are our posts for our first ever family RVing experience with our very first travel trailer, our first day of travel, and our first time participating in campground’s family-themed weekend!

Halloween in July

2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA

Days 2 – 4
Thursday, 7/12 – Sunday, 7/15

After our action-packed first day and our first time boondocking at the Cabela’s in Maine, we drove up north to Medway, where we had booked three nights at Katahdin Shadows Campground.

The last ten minutes of the ride, Kai was not having it:( hence the crying toddler pictured above.

What made it worse was that Michael had to check into the campground and get all of our paperwork. So Kai wanted to see Daddy. Poor kid.

I did turn on an episode of Dino Dana on our Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet and that helped a lot! Kai loves watching Dino Dana. That and Curious George are two shows that definitely keep him entertained.

Initially, we had planned this route because Michael and his guy friends were planning on hiking Mt. Katahdin on Saturday. His friends were supposed to drive up on Friday, camp that night and get an early start on the hike on Saturday, camp that night and leave Sunday.

I had found a family-friendly campground. They were having a Halloween-themed weekend, so I could bond with Kai and Stanley while Michael was away.

The week before our trip, his friends all backed out from hiking.

Guess that meant more family time! As you can imagine, Michael was overjoyed to spend HALLOWEEN weekend with us in JULY!

Katahdin Shadows Campground

Staff was very friendly!

Prior to our stay, we were fortunate enough to get a call back from the campground a few days before we arrived. We were on a waitlist for a 50 amp, pull-thru site with a sewer hookup. We ended up getting it. That was such wonderful news.

I did read a review about the check in area being fairly steep for a big rig to pull into. We had no problems. But it was nice to have a idea beforehand.

The sites were all fairly close together at this campground. The playground is such a wonderful area and since it was Halloween weekend, the campground was fully booked. That meant a lot of kids!

I would definitely recommend this campground to families with young kids with an RV. It gets loud, but it adds to the community and excitement of it all.

It surely isn’t for the older couple look for a nice relaxing and quite environment or the young couple looking for nature hiking and biking; unless you are simply going to Baxter State Park for the day.

One thing to note about Baxter State Park is that it is not dog-friendly.

The staff and people here were super friendly! There are a lot of seasonal campers here and what’s great is there are also cabin rentals and just regular tent sites. Those are more private and tucked away. So, if you are someone who doesn’t have an RV and enjoy tent camping, this campground offers a very different environment, away from the noise.

Getting settled

That first evening, we decided to get some essentials: food. We asked the staff and they informed us of a local market at the gas station right down the road from the campground. It was called the Big Apple Store. They had the essentials. So, we were very happy.

We decided to take the bikes with us! Before we had Kai, we had Stanley, our cairn terrier. When we got bicycles for us, we also invested in one of these InStep bicycle trailers so that our little pup, Stanley could ride with us:)

Now that we have Kai, he can ride in it while my husband pulls him. It’s so perfect when we have sort of a long distance to go but would rather take our bikes to get there a bit faster.

In this case, we needed to purchase a gallon of milk, drinkable water and some other groceries! And we just didn’t feel like driving because that’s all we had been doing for two whole days.

The bike trailer is able to seat two kids, so it was just enough space to fit Kai and all the groceries we purchased:)

Local summer festival

On Friday, we found out there was a little festival in town, not far from the campground. It was the East Millinocket Summerfest 2018.

It was definitely a small town festival, but it was nice to participate in a local community event.  There was live music, and Kai had fun at the bounce houses!

Stanley gets to rest in the Airstream while we go out:)

That weekend was fun. On Friday evening, we did a hayride with Kai around the campground. He loved being pulled by a large tractor. He loved playing with the kids at the playground!

Then on Saturday morning we brought Kai to an exercise trail about a half an hour south of the campground. It was in Lincoln, ME. We chose that particular trail due to its close proximity to Walmart. We had pre-ordered these truck mirror attachments, because Michael informed me that each state has different laws about having towing mirrors while we towed our trailer. Kai had fun on the trail.

We then went to a park with a playground and a beach at Mattanawcook Lake. Kai wanted to play with the older girls who were swinging, so we brought our lunch there and had a picnic.

That afternoon, we took Kai trick-or-treating on the campground after his nap. Michael and I took turns taking Kai and giving out candy.

On Sunday morning, we just ate pop-tarts, packed up, and were off to our next stop.

Interested in reading more about our first RV experience? Here are our posts for our first ever family RVing experience with our very first travel trailer and our first day of travel.

A Rookie’s Ride

2018 ROAD TRIP TO MAINE & CANADA

Day 1: Wednesday, July 11th

This was our very first real road trip with our brand-spanking new 2018 30′ Classic Airstream.

That morning we picked up a few last minute items from Walmart, ate lunch, and packed up the truck + RV for our 2.5 hour drive to Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine. We had planned to boondock our first night out.

Camping Resource

RV Parky is just a great website resource to use to search for places to park your RV. We love using the app on our smartphones too. That’s how we discovered free overnight parking at Cabela’s! I did call the store beforehand, just to confirm before we got there. The store associate told me that the store doesn’t manage the parking but there are a lot of trailers and trucks that park there overnight and don’t get bothered. So, basically, they don’t want to be liable for anything = totally understandable!

After we got Kai and Stanley loaded into the truck, Kai was already NOT feeling it. He must have either been over-tired. The days leading up to the trip were fairly routine. Michael had lots of work to wrap up the week before and during the trip. So, I spent a great deal of time with Kai and Stanley. We got to bond a lot!

Michael was home on Friday morning, and Kai just wanted to spend all of his time bonding with daddy. It was hard for Michael to ‘get stuff done’. It just felt like it took forever to “get going”.

It had already been a long day.

To top it off, I get pre-departure jitters/anxiety. So the night before, I couldn’t get to bed. I think I stayed up until 2:30am.

Connection Problems

Yes, we were experienced at RVing, but this was a whole new beast!

Something was bound to GO WRONG. We just didn’t expect it to be so soon. The problem started before we even left.

After Michael hooked up the Airstream, we were trying to get our lights to connect so we could drive safely. The connection to our rearview camera was not working. And, we had preordered trailer cameras to be picked up while we were in Maine. So, we didn’t have those either.

We made a call to Pete’s RV in Plainville, MA. I explained to them that our lights weren’t hooking up properly and that we had just purchased the Airstream from Pete’s RV in Vermont. They said we could bring it on by. THANK GOD! They did inform us that their service department technicians leave at 4pm. At this point it was just after 2pm. So we got there around 2:45pm.

The wire was damaged. Most likely from the way it was sitting up against the sway bars/hitch. So, the connection wires were cut.

Thankfully, on our drive there, Kai fell asleep. Much needed nap indeed! We didn’t anticipate them taking a long time to fix because they just needed to replace the wire and hookup. They said they would only charge us for the wire and no labor, which was super nice!

It was 4pm, and Kai woke up. We still had about fifteen minutes before they packed up.

Unfortunately, the fixed wire didn’t resolve our connection issue. One of the other technicians came out and discovered our Ford F-150 had a blown fuse! We called the closest Ford dealership in Foxboro, MA. They didn’t carry it. The only place in the state of MA that had one in stock was located in Quincy, MA.

Michael ended up just taking another fuse from a different part of the truck and replacing that, temporarily. So we didn’t have power in our center console. It was definitely more important we fix the trailer rearview lights. They also control the running lights for the trailer. So we wouldn’t be able to drive safely at night without them on.

Phew, it was already 5pm. Now we were hungry again!  And, we had only made it to Foxboro, MA, from our home in Rhode Island!

Michael wanted to stop along the highway, but I just suggested we head to Olive Garden at Patriots Place, which was literally down the road. When I get over hungry, I get hANGRY.

Dinner hit the spot.

We left Foxboro, MA around 6:30pm, which was perfect because there was less traffic vs. during rush hour. Michael just kept on driving. We can cruise at 60mph comfortably while towing. We made a stop along the way so Kai could use the restroom. And, we have to find a parking lot large enough to accommodate the truck and travel trailer duo.

Arrival time: 9pm. Yay, we made it. And, it was time for bed. No shower for us that night. We had planned on it. Just had enough freshwater to brush our teeth, wash some hands, faces, and use the bathroom.

To be continued…

Interested in reading more about our first RV experience? Here are our posts for our first ever family RVing experience with our very first travel trailer, a 2018 Springdale Mini 1750RD by Keystone.

First Days

Ixtapa, Mexico

We are here in Ixtapa for two whole weeks. When we booked this vacation back in May, we were supposed to be back on Michael’s birthday, but now we are coming back one day prior because AeroMexico ended up canceling one of our returning flights.

Let’s Celebrate

So, we are celebrating two things: Michael’s birthday and my one-year anniversary of being a stay-at-home mom.

Missing our dog

One thing I did not anticipate feeling was my longing for our pup Stanley! Ever since we added our Cairn to our family, we have pretty much been inseparable. It has been tough not being with him these few days, and it’s the first time we are boarding him. Luckily we have been getting daily texts with updates and pictures from the owners so that has been helpful. I guess that is one of the trade-offs when you have a passion for travel. We were seriously considering bringing him along, but we have done research about flying with a dog and then read about the possible challenges with coming back into the country with him…and we just figured we would see how he likes getting boarded.

All-inclusive

Other than missing Stanley, our trip has been such a delight! This is only my second time staying at an all-inclusive resort, and boy is it fabulous not to think about cooking for each meal.We arrived here on a Tuesday evening, and it was rather secluded. It felt like we were the only ones at the resort; a few families in the pools a few babies and toddlers here and there.

It’s Saturday. Yesterday, it felt more lively and today it’s a completed different feeling. Our assumption is there is an overlap of guests on the weekend. Our tennis instructor and a few other G.O.’s here informed us that it is low-season, with 50-80 guests, whereas the resort capacity is 800!

We have been taking it easy this week. Michael is thinking about chartering a fishing boat with a captain and a fishing guide for a few hours. I’m thinking about getting a massage or two ūüėČ

RushMyPassport.com

The Cape Cod Cabin Experience

It was a last-minute trip and totally worth the experience. We knew we wanted to bring Stanley, so that limited our travels a bit.

We booked the trip the end of May, and we left Friday, June 2. We had every intention of making it a week-long trip. We didn’t make it. We were oh so close though.

The location: Peter’s Pond RV Resort in Sandwich, MA. We arrived around 2pm and were able to check in early, even though check-in was at 4pm. When making the reservation we were told we were going to get a tub in the cabin. We got there only to find there was no tub in sight. The only bathing option was a small stand-up shower stall that was smaller than Michael. Other than that, everything looked great! The kitchen and living areas were all updated.

The heated outdoor swimming pool that first afternoon was so much fun! The sun was out, and there were only a few other people in the pool so it wasn’t overly crowded. Kai had a blast. After the pool, we took Stanley for a walk. The dog park was perfect for him! Kai even had some fun in there:)

We were fully aware to bring our own linens and did anticipate sleeping on a queen-sized bed even though we have a king. We wouldn’t typically complain, however, Kai has been sleeping with us since turned about 6.5 months old. He’s an above-averagely sized kid, and I still have my pregnancy weight to lose haha, so it was a bit uncomfortable.

Michael told me the next day that he must have killed 30 or more spiders in the cabin. I had no idea.

The next day, we decided to reach out to management and stress the importance of having a bath tub since Kai is just over one year old, and we were afraid of him slipping in the shower. The management and staff at the resort were very much willing to help us.

The hiccup: the cabin they transferred us to didn’t have a tub either :/ they even gave us the key and everything. Thank God we decided to check the place out before we moved ALL of our stuff into the new one! We had already bought groceries too. They apologized after we informed them of the situation and gave us two other options. Thankfully, both of those did have tubs. We opted to go for the cabin that was closer to the playground area and pool, with the more comfortable (but still queen-sized) bed.

Kai had so much fun in the tub!

On weekends, the resort has a ton of activities for kids. Kai and I got matching dinosaurs painted on our hands one day, and I made him a gimp bracelet that matched his ninja turtle shirt.

We bought groceries, and I cooked most of our meals, but we did venture out to a few restaurants during our vacation.

Restaurants: The first one was Marshland Too and Too’s Tavern. It was packed the night we went, so we thought we were in for a treat! Unfortunately, it just wasn’t as good as we thought. The stuffed quahog was way too buttery, and the seafood was definitely frozen, not fresh.¬† We were however, pleasantly surprised at our meals at Industry Ale House. It was 5:15pm on a Saturday night when we went in there, and we were the first people seated in the dining area. Everything that we ordered was fresh and delicious…definitely the best meal I had the whole trip.

We spent a lot of time outside of the cabin, which was exactly why we wanted to be near everything. It just made for an easier commute for us traveling with Kai. Some highlights included visiting the Ocean Science Exhibit Center, where we had a chance to see many exhibits; the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. We also enjoyed our library story time at the Mashpee Public Library. They had a wonderful program called Toddle Time with Miss Rosemary that involved singing, reading stories, and making a craft. Although Kai was mostly interested in watching the bubbles and fish swimming in the tank they had at the library. Our last stop before we decided to cut our trip short was the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. That place was huge! They had an antique car area, many outdoor garden areas and trails, and several indoor art exhibits.

Overall, we had a great family trip. We did not expect a refund for the night we missed at Peter’s Pond, but they ended up refunding us anyways. That was super nice of them! We just couldn’t wait to go back to our comfy bed.

We are so grateful for taking this trip before we jumped into becoming RV owners. Just imagine us in a tiny RV on vacation…maybe when Kai gets older we will revisit and consider this again. Until then, we will try out different vacationing styles until we figure out what will be our family’s best fit, either with or without our beloved Cairn. He does love daycare, so we will see how boarding goes when we go to Mexico!