Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Family on the road

Sunny parked at Cloggeroo Folk Festival in Georgetown, PEI
August is well upon us, and we have set out to make my last month of maternity leave a memorable one. We packed up Sunny on August 4, and hit the road for the remainder of the month. We have based ourselves in Fredericton to spend some more quality time with our family, and are taking extra extended long weekends on the road, traveling to different music festivals and campgrounds all over the Maritimes. By the end of Odin's first summer he will have camped out at 5 different festivals. Pretty good start to life, I'd say!
The 4 of us have now spent 14 nights on the road together in Sunny and we are starting to view ourselves as campground connoisseurs! We know what we like and what to look for in a quality family friendly campground. Here are a few things we have discovered that truly make for a wonderful camping experience:

  •  For Caleb the number one thing to look for is a playground. He loves to be able to head off on his own to play and hopefully meet a few new friends. I love the (usually) old school playground equipment that reminds me of my youth. We rarely find new plastic equipment, but instead the older wooden climbing structures, teeter-totters, balance beams, ziplines and other fun things that probably wouldn't be deemed safe enough by today's overly cautious standards. 

Tire zipline (pic taken by Caleb during a solo campground photo shoot)
  • We love water! Waterfront sites are an amazing treat, but any sort of beach or pool will do just fine. We've been swimming more this summer than probably the past 4 summers combined, often squeezing in multiple swims per day.
  • The more grass, trees and green space to play, the better. We've had to camp out at sites with gravel which really didn't work for us. Odin needs to be free to crawl around and we all want to be barefoot when we can, so grass is a much, much better option for us. 
  • Old school recreation rooms filled with fun, free things to do pretty amazing. Ping pong, shuffleboard, bikes, arcade games. Bring it on!
  • I really appreciate a clean campground that makes garbage collection and sorting easy. Garbage cans, recycling and bottle refund areas, even propane canister drop-offs are really important when you are on the road. Litter on site leaves a lasting, negative impression for me. 
  • Campfire pits and picnic tables make for extra outdoor time. I love eating all of our meals outside, especially because it means way less crumbs to worry about with Odin, and an evening fire is a great way to wind down after an action packed day. We even discovered a new twist on s'mores - the Peanut Butter Cup S'more! For a moment, I thought that this may be our million dollar invention idea, but of course it turns out to be quite a popular camping snack! So good. 

  • Quirky touches, like funny road signs, decor, and friendly animals on site are all great.  Little things that make a site seem fun and vacation-y score points in my books. 
Cale really got a kick out of this sign in Coles Island, NB
  • Music! We love camping out at festivals where everything is self-contained  and we are surrounded by friends and great tunes for a few days. I love that my boys can fall asleep while listening to music from the stage or jams outside of our RV. 
Another photo by Caleb of his dad playing at Cloggeroo!

Odin practicing his baby sign language in the back of our home on wheels. Here he is signing for 'more' animal crackers!

Playing in the red sands on PEI

 Once in awhile you come across a great play structure, like this bouncy pillow, that really made for a special night for Caleb

And of course, what big brother does, little brother now wants to do too!
Camping selfie! Aly and Ava joined us on a trip to Woolastook Park