Exploring Maine: In a Canoe

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Exploring Maine: A Treasure Hunt

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Holiday Road

Something to be considered for people wanting to take their life on the road, especially those of us with young children, is how will the holidays be celebrated.  We are not a very religious family, but we do celebrate many traditional American holidays.  In our decision to take our life on the road we still wanted to provide our children with the fun and excitement of celebrating holidays along with their birthdays.  Although where we celebrate them and the ways in which we celebrate them will vary, it is great that we are still able to participate in them no matter where we happen to be.  We planned on being with grandparents for Christmas, but hadn’t really considered where we would be or how we would celebrate other holidays.  Birthdays on the road were also not something we had taken into consideration when planning this adventure.  It is hard to plan for everything, however; birthdays are not too difficult.  We just let the kids pick something unique, fun, and kid friendly in the area we plan to be for their birthday.  I still make them a cake or special treat and we get them a small gift, something useful or something they need, but mainly it’s about the experience.   Other holidays have taken a little more planning, but we always figure it out and so far it has always been fun and a new experience.  So with a little planning and a big sense of adventure holidays on the road have been fun and exciting!

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Ships and Shores

After a wonderful time in Connecticut and Rhode Island, we were really looking forward to Massachusetts. Our first stop in the state was Cape Cod. Like all the National Seashores, Cape Cod was beautiful and we loved spending time at the beach. Traffic was kinda crazy because of a large rotary plus the primary road switches from two lanes in each direction down to a single lane in each direction.  So every time we drove anywhere there was lots of traffic and it took longer than we expected. After visiting the cape, I quickly realized why so many people brave the traffic to find a parking spot near the beach.  We loved building sandcastles, watching the seals swim by, and seeing the sailboats. The kids were also able to earn another Junior Ranger Badge and we all learned about the local wildlife at a ranger program about the areas birds.

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The Most Dangerous Trail in the White Mountains

Yes we took the Ridge Hike, which is the most dangerous hike in the White Mountains. No one was injured and we got to see some amazing waterfalls on our hike. We are going to be posting more videos, so please let us know what you think of this one.

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It’s a Dirty Job, so we Have the Kids do it!

Time does not stand still for us. Things keep happening and life continues to move forward. As we travel through this amazing country we find so many new and interesting things to experience, but we still have to manage to fit in everyday things. Our refrigerator does not fill itself, the dishes don’t wash themselves, and no one comes to take out our trash while we explore a new city. There is still an endless amount of chores that need to be done on a daily basis and honestly it can be challenging to find time to fit things in when we are so busy discovering new places. It is also important to us that the kids pitch in to help with some of these tasks, but they are still learning and it takes time to teach them how to do these things right. Life is a balancing act whether stationary or on the road.

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Double Feature

Giving our children an education that they could never receive sitting in a classroom at a desk has been what our adventure is all about.  There are so many amazing places to see and things to experience in this country that it makes homeschooling so easy.  The best part about it is that we are learning all this great stuff together.  We have now taken them to half of the state capitols in the country and to countless museums both large and small.  The learning never stops and what I love is that my children are so excited about learning and tell me how much they like to learn new things; something I think every parent wants to hear.  Our travels have recently brought us into the first of our New England states and we experienced another first which was visiting back to back state capitols.  Most of these northern states are pretty small which made it easy for us to visit both Hartford and Providence from the same camp.  We made our home in Connecticut for a week and explored the area.

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Mountains to Mansions

We have gotten to see some wonderful things on our adventure like National Parks and magnificent capitol buildings. Each place has its own history and natural features, so none of these places are the best and each is just different from the rest. The first place we visited in the state was New York City and it was impressive to say the least. The rest of our New York experience was great though and we enjoyed seeing some of the rural areas. After leaving New Jersey we decided to head into the forest and visit Catskill Mountain, where we thought we could camp for free. Well we towed up into the mountains and down a dead end, where we had to do some tricky maneuvering to get out! So the camp wasn’t free and apparently only backpackers can camp for free. The North/South Lake Campground was lovely though and we enjoyed hiking around and visiting the lakes. This was the first time ever that we didn’t even unhook the car from the trailer. It was almost perfectly level and after raising the front of the trailer a bit it was at the perfect height to just leave it ready to tow. Good thing too because the campsite was long and narrow making it difficult to back into and I was worried about getting out later. We didn’t have anywhere we were planning on driving; all we wanted was to spend sometime in nature. Some fellow campers told us of a neat feature at this camp which was only a short hike past the swimming area, alligator rock and dinosaur rock, this was where people had placed small pointed rocks into some larger cracked stones. Apparently this was done quite a long time ago and we all enjoyed the effect.

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

I was so excited to see New Jersey the garden state and had high expectations for our visit. It probably didn’t help to have the governor shut down all the state parks right when we arrived at our camp in Jersey city, but like always we just tried to make the best of it. So some of our Jersey experiences were not so good and others were great. It is just like we always tell the kids, ‘life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react’. So we took the bad in stride and tried to make the best of our Jersey experiences.

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An American Tradition

A couple of years ago if anyone would have asked me if I thought I might go to New York City my answer would have been it is unlikely.  If they wanted to know if I thought I would ever be in New York City for Independence Day my answer would have been yeah right.  But things change and with our lifestyle being what it is these days I am happy to say that I have visited New York City and during Fourth of July no less!  It is amazing how quickly things can change.  It is also amazing how our perceptions can change as we add experiences to our lives.  Watching the fireworks go off over the Empire State Building was definitely not something I thought I would ever experience, but it is an experience I have now shared with my children and something they will never think of as being out of their reach.  There are so many things to see and do in New York City that deciding what to miss was tough.  We are a budget minded family and we try to see as much as we can when visit each place, but there is always so much to do that we have to miss some stuff.  It makes it easy for us that we try to stick with the free and inexpensive options.  Aside from the fact that it was our most expensive site rent so far we did manage to see a lot, but not spend a lot while visiting New York City.

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