Tag Archives: Travel

Yesterday I shared about our decision to have a family vacation on Anderson Island, located in Puget Sound Washington. We had done a lot of planning ahead of time and we were well prepared to enjoy our time on the island. Anderson Island ended up being the perfect place to gather and although the island is small there was lots to see and do in exploring Anderson Island.

 

The house we found on HomeAway was actually a working farm complete with cattle grazing next to the house. There was plenty of room for everyone, a large farm table where we could enjoy our meals and wonderful hiking trails within walking distance of the house. To top it off our weather was perfect, cool evenings and sunny days.Exploring Anderson Island

 

The public hiking trails near the house were beautifully maintained and after walking through the woods the path came out on the water.Exploring Anderson Island Every so often you would come upon a picnic table in case you wanted to have a picnic. We saw all sorts of wildlife from newts to slugs to various birds.

 

Anderson Island is so small you can easily drive from one end to the other in a very short time.Exploring Anderson Island They do have a well-equipped store and two restaurants, which we did not try out. We preferred to cook our meals at home and gather around the big table for a family meal. Our evenings were spent playing games.Exploring Anderson Island

 

The island has a wonderful history museum, which we will have to visit another day. Our time was spent exploring the numerous hiking trails and playing hide and seek around the house.

 

All too soon our time on the island came to an end and we were heading back to the ferry. Although the ferryride is only 20 minutes you feel like you have been far away. It was the most enjoyable, relaxing time. I look forward to the day we can go back.Exploring Anderson Island

 

 

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There are many types of islands on which to have an island vacation. There are beautiful tropical islands, islands off the coast of Maine as well as islands in Puget Sound. Since all four of our grown children have chosen  to call the Pacific Northwest home we decided to have a mini reunion on Anderson Island. Anderson Island is located in Puget Sound and is accessible only by ferry. It is a rather small island with only one little store and one restaurant. Since we were going to be there for four days we wanted to be prepare for our island vacation. It would be too costly to have to leave the island for supplies and we didn’t want to have to purchase everything on the island.

 

The first thing to do was figure out the meals we would need. There were going to be 9 adults and three small children and we would have meals for all four days. After figuring out how many meals to plan for I asked if others would be willing to take on a dinner. Both of our daughters immediately chimed in and said they would cook a dinner and bring all the supplies needed for that meal.Anderson Island

 

Since we would be arriving late the night before we were to take the ferry to the island I decided to place an online order for any dry goods we would need. I had the order shipped to my daughter’s house. I then created a shopping list for the morning after we arrived, which would include all the fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. That way we could make one quick trip to the local grocery store before catching the ferry in the morning.Shopping, budget, prudent living

 

We also wanted to limit the number of cars on the island so we figured out who we could take in our car. Since our daughter’s both have children their cars would be full, and they needed the car seats so our two sons and one daughter-in-law drove with us.

 

By planning ahead and thinking about what we would want and need while on Anderson Island it made it possible for us to relax and enjoy our time together. The meals had been thought out ahead of time, the food purchased and we could just have a relaxing time.

 

We also planned ahead for activities on the island. If it rained we would have plenty of games to play and if the weather was nice we had already looked at the various hiking trails available on the island.Anderson Island

 

It didn’t take much time to plan ahead and as a result we had a wonderful island vacation on Anderson Island!

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Vermont has two major trail systems, the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. We are lucky enough to have both trails intersecting not far from our house. Recently we had friends up for a few days; the weather was perfect so we decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. There is a wonderful short hike in Barnard that takes you to Luce’s Lookout. Luce’s Lookout is on the Appalachian Trail (AT) between Woodstock and Killington. You can start you hike on the AT from Route 12 or you can take the back roads up to a local trailhead for a much shorter hike, about 3 miles round trip. The trail is very easy to follow, you hike up an eroded road and take a sharp right at the Y, at that point you merge with the AT. Continue hiking until you see the sign for Luce’s Lookout.

 

The trail we took is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Woodstock. When you get to the Lookout there is a small cabin with a lookout platform built on the roof, accessible by a steep ladder. Once you are on the lookout you just about have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.Appalachian Trail

 

The cabin is open as a hiking shelter and you can spend the night there if you are a through hiker on the AT. There are no facilities but at least you have a roof over your head. It is also a very nice place to just sit and enjoy the scenery.Appalachian Trail

 

Although the trail is popular and used for hiking, nature trips, and birding we only meet a few people on the trail. It was a perfect morning hike with our friends, there was time for conversation, enjoying the scenery and getting a little exercise at the same time!Appalachian Trail

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Recently we found ourselves in Guilford, CT for the weekend visiting my mother-in-law. We realized it was also the Guilford Fair weekend. The previous two years we had attended the fair because both my husband and I graduated from Guilford High School and had class reunions which were held on the Guilford Fair weekend.Guilford Fair

 

This year there were no reunions but we had fun anyway. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Guilford Parade. Saturday morning the parade marches around the town green and as my mother in law lives on the green we have a prime viewing spot. Who doesn’t love a town parade that features tractors?Guilford Fair The high school band marches and there were even lamas in the parade. A New England tradition is the marching fife and drum. Every small town in the area sends their units. Even the town musicians have a float.Guilford Fair

 

We also enjoy attending the Guilford Fair. The fair started as an agricultural fair and the tents of animals and produce is still one of the best features. When I was growing up we used to get the Friday of the fair weekend off from school. It was always such a wonderful tradition. They no longer continue that tradition but the fair is still a great attraction. The flower arrangements were quite clever.Guilford Fair

 

Several of the farms in the area put on beautiful displays of their highlights. Hard to believe the Dudley Farm has been farming for 375 years!Guilford Fair

 

It’s also fun to see all the various canned goods being judged.Guilford Fair

 

Every vegetable from peppers to pumpkins was on display.Guilford Fair

 

No agricultural fair would be complete without a display of apples from Bishops Orchards. They grow so many different kinds of delicious apples.Guilford Fair

 

It was a fun weekend, we reconnected with long time friends and my husband and I even took time to ride the Ferris wheel!Guilford Fair

Taking a road trip can be a wonderful vacation idea for you and your family. Loading up the car and driving somewhere is usually a cheaper way to travel than buying various airplane tickets. The journey of a road trip can provide wonderful sights and thrills along the way, rather than being clumped in a crowded flight, make a road trip its own reward.road trip

 

However, a road trip can just as easily turn into a major headache if you don’t plan for it. Traveling with the whole family in one car is surely going to turn up some challenges, but it’s still worth it. Here are some tips to make the family road trip go smoothly…road trip

 

Prepare some distractions for your kids

 

When you pack your kids into a car and expect them to sit there quietly all day, then you are invariably going to have problems. This is most families’ hesitation with taking a road trip, as it can be a horrendous experience if you are going to hear crying and bickering the whole time. For this reason, make sure that you plan out things for your kids to do on the road trip.

 

Think of some road trip games that the whole family can play, or give them a creative task to do while the drive is going. If all else fails, there’s also no shame in letting technology do some of the heavy lifting for you and getting some entertaining apps to hold their attention for a while during the longest stretches of road.

 

Budget what the drive will cost

 

While taking a road trip is definitely going to be cheaper than taking a flight, there are still going to be some deep costs for a long journey. You should expect this, but you can ease some of the travel pains on your wallet by thoroughly planning out the road trip and budgeting what it will cost you.

 

Once you get everything down and on paper, you can see ways that you can cut hotel costs, or ways that you can spend less on gas. Just make sure that you also budget yourself a cushion, because there are almost always things that come up that you just don’t expect.

 

Get your vehicle a checkup before you go

 

Nothing can wreck a road trip faster than having your transmission go out, or your engine stalling, in an area that you are unfamiliar with. Breakdowns are sure to add a great deal of stress to the trip, and can make your costs skyrocket. For this reason, it’s always worth the insurance and peace of mind to take your vehicle in for a checkup by a professional before a long drive, so that you can rest easy knowing that you can get where you’re going, safely.

 

Plan for regular bathroom breaks

 

When traveling with a large group of people, it’s important to understand that everyone’s bathroom habits aren’t going to suddenly synchronize, as beneficial as that would be. Don’t limit your family to only one, two, or even three bathroom breaks throughout the day. Plan for some regular stops so that they can relieve themselves and travel comfortably. This will make the trip much more pleasurable, believe me.road trip

 

Pack a wide variety of snacks

 

Getting hungry on a road trip is an easy shortcut to getting angry, and nobody wants that. Always make sure to pack enough snacks and drinks to keep everyone appeased for the duration of the trip. Sure, you’re probably still going to stop for a quick meal at an interesting place that you spot along the way, but you still want to make sure that everyone is staying hydrated and well-fed during the long stretches of road where you can’t stop. Don’t only stock up on sugary snacks, either, as that will lead to sugar highs and crashes, which won’t be fun in the full car. Make sure to get some healthy things in there, as well.

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Once a summer my husband and I drive to Groton, Vermont to visit a dear friend of the family. He has a wonderful farmhouse there that sits up on a hillside. Sitting on his porch enjoying the view has got to one of the highlights of our summer. Even on a misty morning the view is impressive.Groton, Vermont

 

This year the weather was a little chilly for swimming but there is a perfect swimming pond to enjoy on a hot summer day.Northeast Kingdom

 

Groton is a small Vermont town with a population just over 1000, located in the southwest corner of Caledonia County. It’s about an hour and a half drive from where we live, or just into the Northeast Kingdom.Northeast Kingdom

 

There are five state parks located in the Groton State Forest: big Deer State Park, Boulder Beach State Park, Ricker Pond State Park, Seyon Lodge State Park and Stillwater State Park. The various parks offer hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, picnicking and in the winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.Groton, Vermont

 

While our visit was short we were able to explore the beach although it was too chilly to go swimming. We also took a nice hike in the Ricker Pond State Park.Groton, Vermont

 

It’s always nice to be able to visit an area close to home and enjoy a change of scenery. Groton is a beautiful part of Vermont. It’s the perfect place to relax for the weekend.Groton, Vermont

 

On the drive home we always make a detour and stop at King Arthur in Norwich, Vermont. It you are ever in the area King Arthur is a wonderful place to stop. Not only do they have a fantastic store but they have a wonderful restaurant where you can find all sorts of goodies, from delicious salads and sandwiches to tasty desserts. Well worth the stop!King Arthur

 

Visiting Groton, Vermont each summer has become a tradition and we will miss visiting when we no longer live in Vermont.Groton, Vermont

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