It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry about that! When I last wrote, we were still in Massachusetts, with Christmas approaching. Now we’re back in sunny Florida. We had to make a decision as the end of December approached – should we continue with the off-season vacation rentals for a few more months, or get a cheap apartment back in the Orlando area until we’re ready to travel full-time? In the end, our laziness made the decision. Packing up all our belongings into a UHaul, only have to set everything up in its entirety once a month held no appeal for us. So, for the first time since our college days, we’re in an apartment.
Niall is a huge fan of trains. All our boys have been, really. The fact that we picked up Doug from the commuter rail every day while we were living in Massachusetts made that an inevitability, really. But out of all three of the boys, Niall has loved trains the most over a longer period of time.
I almost thought we were out of the train phase before we came up to Massachusetts – he hadn’t played with his wooden trains in months, and the Duplo only got played with once or twice a week. But the reappearance of the “Boston train” in his life brought his love of trains back with a vengeance.
We’ve taken the kids on the commuter rail at various times, and they’ve been on the subway, as well. My favorite trips involve riding a half hour to the end of the line where there’s a Dunkin Donuts, grabbing lunch, and riding the train back while we eat. Other times we’re in a hurry, and I would drop Doug and the kids off at one stop and drive to the next. This time, I dropped Doug and the littles off in Newburyport and they rode down to Beverly, where my parents picked them up and brought them home (which is why Fiona is carrying her booster seat, Doug had Niall’s). They had a great time!
Check out our video for more fun on the train!
Rye Airfield, a skate park in Rye, New Hampshire, has a homeschool session at discounted rates one day a week during the school year. When we lived in Maine, it was something I really wanted to do, but Niall was so young and oblivious, taking him to a skate park just seemed like a really bad idea. While he’s still pretty oblivious (I mean, come on, all kids are), we decided we had to try it out while we’re up here.
We met up with two of our best friends and had an absolute blast! They relax a lot of the rules during the homeschool session, so kids are allowed to bring balls and toys, they can slide down the ramps, and parents can be out there with the kids, too. Rye Airfield rents all the equipment you could possibly need, including skateboards and scooters. The kids were a little annoyed to have to wear pads since we only insist on helmets at home, but it’s definitely a good idea to be fully equipped in safety gear at a skate park.
I didn’t get any stills at all, since the kids were moving so fast all the time, but I did get a lot of video! Check it out!
Like most dogs, Luna loves being off leash. She gets what the kids call ‘the zoomies’ where she sprints back and forth around us. In Massachusetts, there aren’t many beaches where you can let your dog off lease – in the summer, that is. During the winter, lots of beaches allow dogs to be off leash (or at least, just don’t enforce the leash law). Our favorite is Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, mainly because there’s always lots of dogs.
The beauty of staying on Plum Island, though, is that we (meaning mostly Doug) got to take Luna to the beach almost every day. At some point in the afternoon, he’d take a break and they’d walk across the street to the beach and Luna would get to run off leash. I think that was both of their favorite things about our trip to Massachusetts.
Here’s a video of us all at the beach, in both nice weather and not-so-nice weather!
We made it through four whole days in Massachusetts before we had to hit up our favorite candy shop!
Prides Crossing Confections began in a small shop in the Prides Crossing area of Beverly, Massachusetts. The owner, Chris Flynn, made all of the candy in the shop, and it was a real treat, as a kid, to watch him work. As the shop’s fame grew, he needed to find a bigger home for Prides Crossing Confections, and he did so at the historic train station just down the street.
Here is our home for the next month! Isn’t it adorable? This is Sea La Vie, a beach cottage on Newburyport’s Plum Island. We booked with VRBO.com, and it was super easy. The owner of the cottage has always responded quickly to our inquiries, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice of lodging this month!
About a week before our trip, I started looking for hotels. Our criteria were: pet friendly, clean, and sleeps six. Pretty quickly we settled on La Quinta in Doswell, Virginia. This specific La Quinta is right across the street from King’s Dominion, so if you’re looking for a place to stay near the park, La Quinta is a good one!
I liked La Quinta because it was cheap (I originally found it on travel websites like Travelocity, but the lowest rate was directly through La Quinta’s website) and because there was no additional pet fee. They also have an indoor swimming pool, but we ended up arriving way too late to take advantage of it.