Friday, January 24, 2014

just go.

Around the beginning of the year Declan and I started talking about some little goals and things we want to do this year as a family. Forget the personal goals (we have those), but what do we want to do as a family? That was the question.

I thought back. What actually filled me with joy down deep the year prior? 

Quickly I came to the realization that I treasure, like, deep down feel joy in my bones when we travel and see places together as a family. No, it doesn't have to be extravagant. But the things I look back on? That make me smile and feel happiness most? It's those special trips we take together.

{{San Diego, last February--you stole my heart}}

For some reason, my brain forgets all the chaos of the traveling, the inconvenience of staying in hotels, the screaming in the car, or the scariness of a plane ride with two children--and it goes straight to these moments.


I crave more.

So I told Declan, even if it's for a day. A short weekend. Mini-trips. I neeeeeed them.

Last year we managed to get in our trip to San Diego, Virginia Beach and Great Wolf Lodge (Poconos). There were probably a few little trips spread throughout, but obviously nothing I'm remembering at the moment. I want to do more this year.

We already have the beach on the radar for July, and a trip to upstate New York for a long weekend---and I have this deep desire to just drive up the east coast stopping at the best little dives and little attractions along the way. Like, I picture stopping on rocky cliffs, eating lobster sandwiches, stopping in Boston for a day, etc. But I have NO CLUE WHERE TO START.

What mini trips are you taking this year? What long trips? What things do you do with your family? I want to do more, more, more. Have you done a trip traveling north up the east coast? Where do you stop? HELP MEEEEE.

I want to just go. But when you have a family you need a *pinch* more planning than that. Go figure ;)

Here's to more memory making this year. 


  1. To prove that I read all of your posts and I'm just a general non-commenter :)....... I feel the exact same way this year! I've always been a planner that was nervous and stressed about travel. When we had kids I was like, "Ain't no way I'm gonna try to travel! It will be awful!" Well...our first trip as a family last November revealed that it actually isn't that bad. There's something magical about just saying Eff it, we're going and we will deal with whatever comes our way. I hope to travel much more this year. Do you have any info on cheap travel?

  2. I have just gotten back from a 3 night trip down south (2.5 hours away) our church books out the Baptist camp site for a week every year in January (its summer over here in Australia) and its right on the beach. There are dorms (with 2-3 bunk beds in each), a main kitchen/hall, tennis/basketball courts and a games room so you can stay for the whole week or just a few days. Its located around a few wineries, a chocolate factory, beautiful beaches and a few other local food factories. We managed to pack a lot in around the swimming and relaxing, we did a food tour well it wasn't a tour we just drove around to various factories sampling goods and buying a few things and drove to a local ice creamery. It was really relaxing we left my Dad at home to take care of the animals and he had to work so it was just Mum and my 2 sisters :)

  3. I live in Rhode Island and an east coast road trip would be so fun! Boston is great - there are TONS, literally TONS of things for you to do with kids. The New England Aquarium, Boston Museum of Science, Boston Childrens Museum, Duck Tour and just generally walking around Boston and seeing the architecture and locals is super fun. There's street performers and great food everywhere. In Rhode Island there's TONS of beaches to visit that are really cheap and you could rent either a hotel or a small beachhouse right on the water (most of which have access to a private beach). New Hampshire is about an hour north of Boston has Story Land (small kids theme park with rides) and Santa's Village (same as story land with a Christmas theme) located right in the mountains which is just beautiful. New Hampshire also has an inexpensive amusement park called Canobie Lake which is so much fun. Maine has Old Orchard Beach which has a huge pier with rides, amazing food and a 7 mile stretch of beautiful beach.

    My whole life I grew up taking local trips (cheaper and easier to get to) so we'd go to all the places I listed above. I have so many great memories of our vacations. We have a 3 year old and we've taken her to all the places I mentioned and she loved it. They're affordable and local and it's easier to travel with a child that way. This summer I'm expecting a baby in July so I'm not sure what we'll do as far as big overnight trips, that'd be scary with a newborn but I would love to do daytrips locally.

    1. I'm a local Rhody too! I have a 3.5 yr old & I actually prefer the Providence Childrens museum over Boston, just as much to see & do and only half as crowded ; ) If you do stop in RI I highly recommend Iggy's for clam cakes & "chowda", a stop on federal hill for pizza & your girls would love the Roger Williams park zoo ; ) Boston is also a must do! Quincy market is lots of fun, shopping & good eats and I agree the Duck tour is really cool...

  4. Roadtrips are the BEST! Seriously, I crave them like you. Skip and I have driven with the girls {well first time with just Emmy} to Floriday twice. Third time is coming up this summer. We just hop on 95 and head south! It's amazing. Did you know you can see cotton growing right along side of the road?!?! We make sure to only eat in restaurants they don't have by us as well...they could be chain restaurants, but ones we don't see. I haven't been any north of Massachusetts so I'm not help there, but there are TONS of cute places in Connecticut. The Merritt {or route 15 I think} may take you longer, but is way prettier than 95! And don't forget to pop in and see me in Jersey;-)

  5. If you come to Boston I better get a call, JUST SAYIN

  6. So fun! We don't do enough traveling, and really, I blame the dogs. Dogs are worse than kids. We used to have a friend who would stay at our house to watch them, but now, we live further away from her, and...? She's getting married, so, she's not this single, do what I want teenager any more, and kennels aren't cheap! :( I would love to travel more, for sure. We are planning our annual OBX trip for early September, and that's all so far. Sad face.

  7. I think we may be opposites in this department! But I do love me some San Diego! And Chase played by himself forever in the sand when we went to Monterey. This year we are going to my mil's hometown for the big 4th of July celebration. Staying in a house with my in laws and bringing the twins. I'll try to enjoy myself!!!

  8. What amazing photos! I don't have children yet, but I can understand how special it must be to travel as a family. I know that Patrick and I love traveling, even though it is just the two of us. I am like you as well. I end up forgetting the hassles and sometimes the stress of what happened DURING the traveling and remember all the amazing things we did and how we spent that time together and how we grew.

    Patrick and I have a wedding coming up so we will be taking our honeymoon after idea yet haha. We also are traveling to Seattle to visit his sister in February (dumb perhaps), visiting St. Louis in March for a wedding, we just went to Vermont to see Simon Pearce which was SO much fun. East coast treasures I love...NYC, I love going there during the holidays. It can be crowded, but seriously seeing the tree around Thanksgiving and Christmas is so special. Also, I love mystic in CT. It has a lot of history, aquarium, and a little town to walk through for the old whaling area. Pretty neat!

  9. Love this post, and agree whole heartedly. My problem is that my husband has a HUGE list of places he wants to go and it's hard to get him to choose which we should do....and he often forgets that we can't always travel alone. Sometimes we need to travel with our child too!! Lol. His mom is always very willing to stay with our daughter so it's easy for us to have time to ourselves, but I'd like to do more traveling with her this year. Last summer we took a road trip though the Blue Ridge Parkway to Savannah, Georgia, then through Florida to Key West and back through Nashville (we live near Toronto, Canada!). We went with friends and it was awesome.

    We would love to go back to Georgia. We liked it there and have read of a few more things we could explore there with our two year old. We have also thought of doing an east coast trip and exploring the Boston area...but again deciding is the hardest part!! We almost did the disney thing this year but decided we will wait until our daughter is a bit older...or maybe at this point, once we have our second. Good luck planning and please share any good finds :)

  10. We haven't travelled much because I am scared!! Also it is expensive, I find. We have gone to lake George in upstate Ny. It is gorgeous. I recommend Hauge or Bolton's landing up there. The trout house in Hague is great for families. Or you could camp at Rogers rock if you are brave. Best to find lake access on a boat because on a boat in lake George is what I think heaven must look like. Maybe Declan can capitan?!
    Also I went to college in providence and it is a nice city. I didn't have kids then obviously so I didn't even know there was a kids museum! I am trying to organize a boston visit too. Boston is great

  11. Love!

    We didn't go anywhere last year-except to visit family-and this year I already have 5 trips in the books! It does the soul good to see the open road and have new adventures. I swear I come home more appreciative for my blessings, and WAY refreshed!

  12. I read your blog consistently, but never feel like I have much to contribute... until today! I live in the 'burbs of Boston and definitely recommend visiting Boston. It's a great, walk-able city. I don't have kids, but I know even I enjoy the science museum. If you want to go outside of Boston, the children's museum in Acton, is really cool and I know kids love it there. I also highly recommend the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The Flume Gorge is amazing. Lots of walking/stairs, but you could get cool photos and climb through rocks and stuff. Can't wait to hear about all your adventures! Planning dream vacations is a past time of mine ;)

  13. We go to Destin, FL every year with my in laws. It really is one of the best vacations because there are so many of us (21 this year), we have a huge house and it's just relaxed. Plus, a LOT of help, which is probably one of the reasons I love the trip so much! We don't have anything else planned yet, but I am DYING to go to Disney. My oldest son will be 4 in March and I am afraid that the time of the "magic" still being there is going to be coming to a close for him sooner rather than later. I'm sure he would surprise me once we got there, but I just want him to love the little kid stuff, too! I love your idea of traveling the East coast.. that sounds like so much fun to me!

  14. We used to do a lot of mini-trips in the summer when we were both teaching. Now that my husband doesn't teach anymore, mini-trips don't happen near as often. We are planning a big trip to Disney in June and then we will probably do a weekend trip to Kansas City to see friends. I'm guessing there may also be a quick trip to Louisville to see my newest nephew again too. I think we decided against a lake trip this summer mainly because we've made several trips to see my SIL & her husband and they haven't been to us in a few years. It's time for them to make the trip:)

  15. That is so true and that is a great thing for your family to do throughout the year. It will bring you guys so much closer together - trying new things, making new memories, and learning new things together. To me, that is what life is about.

    PS: I have never heard anyone go by the name of "Declan" except for on the TV show Revenge. I love that name!

  16. It's funny, because I'm such a homebody. I love being home. But when I look back at memories, I love our little trips together too. Ours are usually just to the same place at the beach, since Noah's familiar with it. He won't sleep anywhere other than his own bed, so we seriously pack up his entire bed and take it with us (I don't want to know how much that'd cost on a flight, lol). But like you said, it doesn't have to be much. Just little getaways to make memories.