Monday, December 7, 2015

Road Trip: Beach Camping

okay… so this campground is only 25 minutes from our home so not much of a road trip, but it is a beautiful place to hangout.  in october, keith and i planned a final camping trip with hopes that the weather would hold out. lucky for us we had a wonderful week. it was a little chilly and windy the first few day due to hurricane season, but created the best view of waves. the following days the weather warmed up and the waves turned to a gentle roll. kingston played non-stop in the sand, we walked the beach, swam in the ocean, rode bikes and even had a visit from friends. it was very relaxing and we all had so much fun. here are our photos from the week. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gift Guide: Family

keith and i are trying to stick to the want, need, wear, read gift giving concept with a little twist on that for the little one. i especially like to keep it simple for our cub, because his birthday is super close to christmas and i like to purchasing a few extra things for him in the middle of the year whether it is due to season changes or i see something that i know he will enjoy. for our cub we have ride, play, wear, read. ride, i wanted to wait on a skateboard, but he keeps asking for one, howls with joy if he spots one on the street and pretends to be on one regularly so when i spotted the cutest penny boards on etsy i cracked. read, of course, i can't resist a good theme book gift. this land is your land is one of his favorite songs we sing before bed. play, the vintage dutch memory game was a find. it includes all the pieces and price was great. i think he will love looking at the illustrations and playing. wear, i wait for jcrew to mark down their kids lambs wool sweater and have a sale on top of that to purchase this winter staple. we splurge and get it embroidered with his initials… can you say cuteness.      

need, new kicks since my foot has grown a little in the past few years. size sevens are just a little too short for this girl lately. read, honestly i don't think i have made it through a book since kingston was born. i could use a good one to get me motivated. wear, i have really been working to simplify my jewelry. i own a ton and haven't worn most of it in forever, but i do wear studs daily. you can't go wrong with a pair of real gold studs that go with everything and the best part is you don't have to take them off to shower. want, anything from farm house pottery out of vermont. their online store has me drooling. everything is so beautiful… and a little pricey, but these pots, scissors and pine candle are a few of my picks. my favorite candle is a good pine scent as long as its clean burning.

wear, keith has been wanting this llbean signature sweater for quite a while. read, the man love to cook. i'm not complaining. need, leather key ring fob. his keys chew holes in his pockets. want, a small pocket knife to carry daily. my husband is not easy to shop for which i think i have mentioned in the past. he either wants some obscure thing i can never find or tells me about something he would like days before christmas so i keep a running wish list for him on my amazon account and collect ideas through out the year. i actually do this for kingston, my nephews, myself and a few others we buy for around the holidays. most years the lists works out great and helps me remember quality over quantity and helps reduce my holiday stress level.

i enjoy puling these together so i may share a few other here soon. leave a comment and let me know if you like these or find them helpful or even dislike them. happy holiday shopping.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Road Trip: Montreal


while figuring out where to head after our week in the adirondack mountains i stumbled upon a link for new york amtrak specials. amtrak runs north to montreal and west the niagara falls across the state. keith and i kicked around the idea. after finding a deal on a great hotel in montreal and the fact that you don't need a car in the city we agreed on montreal. i quietly became excited about the idea of spending time in the mountains and then heading to the city. kind of the best of both worlds in one vacation. and kingston was so excited about the idea of camping, hiking, boats and trains. saratoga springs station is about an hour south of lake george, it offers free over night parking and plenty of room in the lot.

our arrival in montreal was a little bumpy. the train was running over an hour behind so we arrived in montreal past eight o'clock at night foregoing our late dinner plans. i also had walking directions to our hotel starting at a different exit in the station which placed us on a completely different street. we were closer to our hotel then we realized. we made it to our room and enjoyed a tasty dinner delivered from the restaurant on the first floor of the hotel. in the morning we received directions from the concierge  and headed to the market to load up the kitchen with lunch and picnic essentials. a small kitchen is perfect for traveling with kiddos and saving a money on meals and snacks. the hotel stay included a cold breakfast in the morning. we would each grab an extra piece of fruit from the breakfast bar each morning to have later that day.  

most of our trip we spent walking all over montreal during the day allowing kingston to nap in his carriage. we would relax in the pool and on the roof top deck at night after dinner. we found this to be the best way to enjoy the city with a toddler. getting back to the hotel for naps and back out again was just taking up too much of the day. at night we would bring goodies and wine or beer up to the deck and spend the rest of the night hanging out. there was also free wi-fi so kingston could have a little screen time after a swim in the pool. the hotel we stayed at is located in phillips square which was great for a little running toddler before heading in for the night and there were several good restaurant right there to end the day.

initially we were going to purchase transit passes for the week (kids ride free), but the public transportation can get very crowded and super hot. we only used it a few times and paid as we went. the weather was unseasonably warm… actually it was freakin' hot. keith and i were more than okay with walking and the bumble ride is great for packing lunch, snacks, little toys and kingston. we brought along a bike lock if we needed to leave it anywhere. walking also allowed us to see the sights, neighborhoods, check out restaurants, street performers and all the cool street art around the city.



in our usual manner we planned out as many free activity as we could find for the week. mount royal was on the top of the list. perfect for urban hiking. we walked to the base and locked up the carriage. from there we took a direct route to chalet du mont-royal where we were greeted with a pubic piano being put to good use. there you can sit and take in the view, grab a map of the park and use the facilities. keith wanted to check out the croix du mont-royal and the actual summit so we took different paths all around the top and wandered our way back down using different trails. it's such a wonderful park.
keith and i also mapped out playgrounds, a hunt for the first bagel of montreal, museums and farmers markets. we always prioritize what we want to see and do since we have become a party of three we realized we have adjusted our expectations while traveling. we keep a list of things we would like to do and keep a loose schedule on accomplishing these things. it helps keep the days more relaxed and curbs disappointment.
montreal's playgrounds are pretty awesome. very american ninja warrior meets preschoolers. even keith and i couldn't resist climbing and playing. we also visited the biosphere environmental museum. kingston wasn't quite old enough to appreciate this one, but it is small and makes great use of their outdoor exhibit space so he still had fun. tip: if you ever do visit pack your lunch there is no food on the whole island. we visited on our last full day so we were down to snacks and thought we could grab lunch at the museum, not so. we had to make due with fruit we brought and snacks from the vending machine. 




jean talon farmers market open daily in the heart of little italy is a must. i wish we would have hiked it there on the first day to do all our grocery shopping. the produce is beautiful, food was delicious and the atmosphere was a lot of fun. we walked around, ate from different venders, purchased some fruit and the best apple cider i have every tasted in my life. i have been craving it ever since we left. so tart, so crisp, so good.


keith, i and kingston really liked traveling with amtrak. families with small children board first, we had plenty of room for our bags and carriage. kingston could play freely in his seat instead of being strapped down for hours. he also loved that the train "made music" as he happily announced on a way up to montreal. i think the rhythm of the train moving was soothing. and of course, bonus for mom, the bar. bloody mary? heck yeah.

travel links: hotel | amtrak | play grounds | mount royal | jean-talon market | biosphere