We are going to host a monthly Round Up. What is a Round Up you ask, they are are just what it sounds like…a round up of posts. Each month will focus on a Family Travel/Adventure topic. If you have a blog post you would like included in the round-up please send us the link HERE.
Here are a few of the topics we will use for the round-ups:
Road Trip tips with Kids
Camping tips with kids
Outdoor Gear – MUST HAVES for Families
Biking with a Toddler/Preschooler
Air travel with a young kids
Places to travel outside the US with children
Kid Friendly Camping food
Send us an email with a link to the blog post you would like featured. Include the topic you would like to be featured in (see list above) and the direct link to the blog post, NOT your home page. You will not be selected if you send us a link to your home page.
Once we are ready to post the round up we will send you an email with the date it will be published. At that time you can SHARE, blog and notify your social media sites about your content being featured on the round-up!
EXAMPLE of a Round Up:
Top 25 Kid Friendly Campgrounds
#1 (www.Example1.com) BLOG name
#2 (www.Example2.com) BLOG name
#3 (www.Example3.com) BLOG name
Round Ups are great exposure and a good way to generate new followers!
I was recently perusing an article on my Google Alerts titled Disconnect to Reconnect, featured in the Chicago Tribune. The gist of the article: put down your technology and reconnect with those around you. PERFECT! This is something our family struggles with from time to time, especially during the work week. Its hard to disconnect with your online world.
We have all fallen victim to this ratrace of constantly checking our smartphones, blackberrys, and tablets to see who has posted on Facebook, who is tweeting, and if you have any new emails, that are probably junk anyways. But we can’t seem to put these devices down!
Following the same pattern as the Disconnect to Reconnect article, here are a few ideas of how to reconnect with the living, breathing, people in front of us and not the electronic world we always have our noses buried in.
Take a Hike or a Walk:
Just because there may not be a State Park in your backyard doesn’t mean you can’t take the family out for some fresh air after dinner and just walk. Be a trouist in your own neighborhood. Enjoy the landscape, the fresh cut grass, the local playground.
Visit the Pool:
Most cities have a local pool. Since its summer and HOT outside, stop by the pool and take a dip! The kids will love it and you will win brownie points just by making suggesting!
Does riding a bike make you feel like a kid again? Then go be a juvenile! You don’t need a high end, big dollar, two wheel contraption to enjoy a bike ride. Check your local newspaper or craiglist for a used bike. Better yet, get a tandem so you can ride together!
If you are just starting out in the cycling world, craiglist is the best place to start! You won’t spend a ton but will get a better bike then the local pawn shop will have. Plus it gives you a chance to try it out! You can always resell the bike if its not for you. That way you are not spending an arm and leg to get a bike then decide its not for you. Remember you can always upgrade if you fall in love with the sport!
Take a Drive:
No one ever takes “Sunday Drives” anymore. When I was growing up we used to drive out to the country and just look at houses. It was relaxing, the windows were down, you could smell the fresh air, there were no handheld devices to distract us. Take a drive out of town. Somewhere you can drive slow, and day dream about the houses you pass. You can even stay in your own town and drive up and down streets you are normally too busy to drive down.
When our little one was brand new she would fall asleep in the car all the time. But I was too nervous she would wake-up if I stopped driving, so I drove ALL OVER TOWN. You wouldn’t believe the houses and roads I saw just by driving a sleeping baby around for an hour!
We hope these simple suggestions help fuel your non-technology evening. Do you find this an issue in your house? How did you change it? What guidelines have you set for your family and the use of technology? Share with us your ideas in the comments below!
With only another small mile ride ahead of us to Kitty Hawk we decided to jump on our bikes for the 12 mile ride. Before we left Nags Head we backtracked a mile to Sam & Omies for breakfast! Our first real breakfast fuel on the trip!
We figured out a great way to get the little one in her Yepp Seat as easy as possible. She loves the seat but she loves to play more! So when its time to load her up we tell her we are going to look for School Buses. She eagerly runs to her seat and says “Hurry Daddy Hurry!” … works every time!
Once she is in her seat she asks each of us if we are “ready”.
“Are you READY daddy?” — “Are you READY mama?” — “READY! Lets go!
Our ride to Kitty Hawk was slow. We had a western wind so it slowed us up a little. We were on sleepy old Hwy 12 with limited traffic but a lot of vacation rentals. We were planning on stopping at a brewery in Kitty Hawk near mile marker 8 (everyone uses mile markers there). But somehow we over shot it and missed it all together.
We stopped into a bike shop and then spent a little more time at the beach. We saw the National Park for the Wright Brothers and road in! We have a National Parks pass and were able to get in for free. We only stopped for the restrooms and didn’t do much sight seeing. The monument sits on top of a tall grassy noel with a hike to the top. Working on a few pair of tired legs we chose not to make the hike.
After the exploration of the museum, we headed back down Hwy 12 in search of a cute place to stay for our last night. We found one that said vacant and rode in. But no one was there. I called the number left on the door and no one answered. So we rode on. We got to the end of the road where hwy 12 meets hwy 158. We found a very nice and very expensive Hilton Garden Hotel. They had a room for us with 1 king size bed. up until this point we had been able to put the little angel in her own room or bed or crib of some sort. So a 1 room arrangement wasn’t really up our alley. At the same time the motel we stopped at earlier returned my call! They had a few rooms we could choose from. So we made the 2 mile ride back into the wind.
The Beach Haven Motel is a very cute and quiet place! Completely remodeled, they accommodations were excellent! It was close to nap time for the toddler so we tried to put her down in the second room for a short nap. FAIL. She was too excited to play on the beach!
So we walked on the beach! We took her sand tools and walked about a mile up and turned around. We ran across a star fish, lots of shells, and she spend a lot of time watching a group of kids boogey boarding.
We opted for dinner at a sports bar and grille across hwy 158. A simple dinner of seafood and steak rounded the day out nicely!
Our last day of our Outer Banks by Bike tour was here. A 53 mile ride from Kitty Hawk to Elizabeth city on the following day and we had finished the trip. We started around 8am and were ready to hit the road. We stopped at Duck Donuts which was across from the Hilton Garden Hotel we stopped at the day before. This was the neatest donut place we had ever seen. They literally make the donuts in front of you and then you pick how you wanted it frosted! We got half a dozen, a coffee and a small milk for the little lady. We downed ALL OF THEM with no help from the 2 year old.
Once back on our bikes about 5 miles into the ride we encountered some road construction which resulted in 1 of the 2 bridges being closed. We were expecting to have a large shoulder on a 2 lane, one direction bridge. We road as far down the closed bridge as we could until we met up with some construction workers who told us that they were paving large sections of the bridge and we couldn’t cross.
Then we road the .5 mile back to the entrance and proceeded to jump into traffic on the slim shoulder, 2 lane bridge. I had Donald ride in front and I took up the rear. That way the little angel was between us incase something happened. We waited for a nice break in traffic to start the 2 mile ride across the bridge, although the break didn’t last long. Most of the drivers were courteous and waited to pass us until the oncoming traffic was minimal. But we had a few who were in a hurry and didn’t care about our 3′ biker bubble. Needless to say we took a break on the other side and let our white knuckles return to their normal color before we proceeded.
Farmland again. We stopped at a farmers market and purchased a cantaloupe, a banana and some Gatorade. We let the little one run in the freshly mowed grass and she played with her dinosaur in the rock beds.
For lunch we stopped at Weeping Radish Butcher and Brewery. A very German feel to the place complete with goats in the front of the building! We got a flight of beers and some schnitzel for lunch.
Back on the road to Elizabeth City, we passed the site of the Grave Diggers “birth place” (for lack of better words). For approximately a 1/2 mile we passed museums, an off road track, a mini golf course, and a campsite.
With 15 miles left of our trip we stopped a park for the little one. It was brand new and she loved every bit of it!
Once we were back on the road we spotted a crop duster. It swooped back and forth across the road ahead of us. The little one LOVED it and would call for the “airplane” every time is crossed the road!
The last stretch of the ride was tiring. We were sore and ready to be done. We had some headwind. A few hills and a little rain. We were ready for it to end.
Looking back we had an amazing time. Every bit was great and our little girl had a wonderful time!