Traveling with small children is insanity in the making, yet I love it. Well, I love travel and I have kids that I love, so that equals loving traveling with small children in my head. The first time we took Brady across the country on an airplane I had a panic attack in the bathroom and sent frantic messages during the trip to my mom and sister that he would not listen to anything I said. He was 18 months old. Ha, it’s par for the course.
Since then, we’ve sat out on a few vacations and I’ve gotten a little more savvy with my research and planning (built in down time and space for kids to run is hugely important for our family).
Here are my notes and tips from our family vacation we took June 2016 where we road-tripped to the Hudson Valley, NY and rented a cozy cottage in the country. Every family flows differently, this is a snapshot of our “flow.” Enjoy!!!
The house we rented was perfect for our family of four. I loved it so much when we arrived that I cried. I could not believe we got to stay there for a week!!! It was complete with cozy nooks, window seats, books galore, games, kids toys, gorgeous views of the meadow behind the house and comfy beds.
I loved drinking coffee in the morning in this house and the coziest table was in the kitchen that looked out the window. It was perfect for dreaming. Nikki, the house owner, was so hospitable and we even got to meet her one day when she had to repair the swing in the yard. Her design touches were so inviting and enjoyable.
♡Fun things that I researched in the area. Time noted is drive time from Red Hook, the town our house was in.♡
What we did:
↠Greig Farm (5 minutes away). They had pick your own fruit, we picked strawberries. BBQ truck was cool (pictured below) and there are goats to feed with a cute shop where we got great local syrup and jam to bring home. They also have a Saturday market that we didn’t get to.
↠Poets Walk Park (in Red Hook). 2 miles of trails, we allowed 2 hours at least. Breathtaking Hudson River Views, bring water! A dreamy place with benches to read and think.
↠Montgomery Place (in Red Hook). Recommended by our Airbnb host, Nikie, “Historic Hudson Valley site. Beautiful park and spectacular waterfalls. Very nice hike.” These grounds were breathtaking. Gross bugs by the water but we had fun exploring, sitting on the porch and taking in the falls.
↠Village of Rhinebeck Has many kid-friendly restaurants, shopping, Sunday am farmers market (10-2). I went to the farmers market and it was worth the special trip but parking was crazy hard. Town is adorable but all the shops close early. Makes for peaceful strolls down the street, but would have liked to browsed after dinner.
↠Lake Taghkanic State Park (15 minutes away). Has lake, beach, playground, paddle boats. Loved this place. It felt HUGE! Cleanest bathrooms ever. My kind of beach, park your car, walk 10 feet and sit under a tree in the shade on a beach! Loved it.
↠Town of Woodstock -Would have loved to had more time here. We didn’t have a plan and were hungry so that’s always a lethal combo but we went to the local pizza shop and had beer and pizza and the world was ok again. We had new “toys” and markers for the kids in our bags. Yay, us! We saw a community drum circle on the main street and felt very “Woodstock” to me. I wanted to tell everyone to hold on while I snuck in a yoga class, but that obviously never happened. Made our way to Opus 40 it was really cool and different, great for adults and kids.
My travel “journal” is below and is basically an assortment of phrases and words that I write down each day on vacation. I’ve surrendered to the fact that I don’t really write much on vacation but want to so badly. So I bottle up a few words, to me, the only words that matter. These may not make much sense but you get the idea!
Saturday, June 11, 2016 Roadtrip begins! “Is there blood in blood inside blood?” Asked Brady in the car. Arrive at Spring Lake Road house…BEAUTIFUL!!! Kids love it. Cool kids room. Awesome toys! Amazing discovery. Would you rather? game. Books galore.
Sunday, June 12, 2016 Cocoa puffs, turtle battles. Connect four. Rhinebeck Farmers Market. Opus 40…”Whichever path you choose will be the right one,” says the older man. Woodstock. Catskill pizza. Community Drum circle.
Monday, June 13, 2016 Poets walk park. Kids fighting over cranberries. Meadow in the meadow. Dead mouse on trail. Long meadow nap. Brady and I found play doh in the house. Trampoline and swing fun in the yard. Snake! Dinner at Terrapin in Rhinebeck. So good and fun! Kids were awesome at super fancy restaurant. Ice cream. “Hey! How’d the moon get here?” Turtle batters on the street.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Catskills…Kaaterskill falls. Crackers. Crackers. Crackers. Hold my sweatshirt. Crackers. Ninja battles on viewing deck. “Take a video of me. Let me see it.” Beautiful waterfalls! Dangerous cliff. Skipping stones. Throwing rocks. Snake! Chipmunks everywhere. Pink hair. Snacks in car. No service. Dunkin Donuts. Beer. Wine. Fussy Meadow. Poor kid needs to sleep! Turtle paints. Beach toys. Beer on deck with Jack Johnson. The Sandlot.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 Relaxing morning, coffee on deck, breakfast in sun room. Turtle battle. I was Mikey. Lake Taghkanic State Park. Playground. Brady bug bite. Beautiful lake and beach. Saw cabins and tents. Sandlot part 2. Smores.
Thursday, June 16, 2016 Greig farm strawberries. Tastebuds lunch. Bug collection. Flat Iron. Sticker book. Tick. Super fun hangout night with wine and Battleships and Connect Four and Bubble Guppies.
Friday, June 16, 2016 Early rise, super tired Brady. Montgomery Place – amazing views of Catskills & Hudson. Cool porch. Gross flies. Waterfalls. Gigi Market with cool local buys. Crazy screaming kids. Goats. “Is hay dirty?” Airstream lunch with wiffel ball. MUCH needed naps for both kids. Blue skies, amazing weather. Last afternoon in our house. What a treat this house is. Meadow said at Montgomery Place about a squirrel, “Chipmunk! Chipmunk! Chipmunk! I’m just kidding.”
Good Links that helped me research and plan:
The one that started this whole idea: http://cupofjo.com/2010/07/hudson-valley-trip/
The family road trip packing list from The Art of Simple: http://theartofsimple.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/packing-list.pdf