This weekend my family and I chose to set aside our tool belts and head out for a family day trip. It was a bit unstructured and we (by we, I mean Tom and I) just wanted to drive around and explore. Why? To enjoy the majesty! That’s what we tell our children all the time.
Yes. About that. We were 12 minutes from home when E started in on the whining. So after some major rounds of I Spy, some majesty sightings, and our first round of snacks, E spied a “spinner.” (Spinner sightings are extra majestic, apparently. So we had to go chase them down…)
After viewing all this majesty (about one hour into our trip), E had enough and we had to stop for our first pee-by-the-car stop. R, recently potty-trained, insisted on trying this out for the first time (quite successfully, no pee on her shoes!). This momentous occasion occurred on Egypt Road, somewhere near Poland, NY. Quite fitting.
We soon followed a little, barely two lane road and made our way through several small tunnels, all charming in their way. I was secretly hoping for a covered bridge, but we didn’t come across one. Tom thought these pictures looked a bit washed out, but I didn’t subtract any color…spring is just a bit late up in this part of the country.
A little after this we had to stop yet again, for water and Doritos, and then took a detour through Utica, New York (due to flooding on the little road we were following). And while we were tempted by the brewery tour of Saranac brewery, we settled for a local lunch and hit the road again, convinced R would soon fall asleep. (Tom was. I was not. I know this is the same child who doesn’t fall asleep during an eight hour drive.)
I was wrong. She did fall asleep at 2:41 pm. Our GPS had a destination arrival time of 2:43. Due to stoplights, she got five minutes of sleep. Lucky girl! We finally arrived in Saratoga Springs, New York and Tom surprised the girls with a trip to The Children’s Museum of Saratoga, yes, we have an issue with children’s museums.
The museum was small and sweet. It had a distinctive theme, focusing on the historical aspects of the community (a trolley, an attic area full of classic toys and other items, a fifties diner, a general store, a mail room, etc.). The girls enjoyed it! It was very hands-on, but in a toy/role playing way.
Our journey home included a required stop at one of our favorite northeastern US treats, a seasonal ice cream shop. In our area of New York, we have the added plus of enjoying ice cream made by local dairys or ice cream made from local milk. Most of these ice cream stands open only during the warm months of the year (I discovered this when trying to purchase a Mint Oreo Blizzard at a Pittsburgh Dairy Queen years ago). This one was simply delicious and open for its 26th year (which is nothing compared to many ice cream stands).
After this stop, we only had one more…the perfect ending to our Griswoldesque day.
Yes. A nail. Probably a horseshoe nail since Saratoga Springs is such a horse town (but a gorgeous, resort-like horse town).
The rest of the way home was on a little, tiny wheel and E was quite annoyed. R soothed her by pointing out the majesty, “See! Majesty! It’s not scary!” (From what I can discern, “majesty” must include a wide sweeping view, water, or a spinner. Pretty flowers, unusual animals, and quaint cottages do not count.)
Getting out was exactly what we needed. These day trips were once very common for us, but the weather and DIY bug kept us housebound during recent months. I encourage you to do the same! If not, break out a tent, set it up in your backyard (that’s our plan, if it ever dries out enough) and use the time to discuss some family trips your family would love to share!