A Family of Four; 20 Days; 4,200 Miles…

And countless memories! This is our summer 2011 road trip. Yes – we are road warriors. It all started with my parents. As a child every summer vacation we took was a road trip (usually to the Western U.S.). I treasure the memories of each and every one of those trips, the good and the “challenging.” (I was a teenager for lots of those trips. Enough said.)

A rare teenage smile caught on film. RMNP 1994.

Fast forward to adulthood. I met Mike and together he and I kept the tradition going beginning early in our relationship.

“Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see.”

Then came Mr. N and he proved to be a stellar traveling companion. In fact, I think he was born to be a road tripper.

Mr. N visits RMNP for the first time in 2005.

As for Miss A, she rocked our world initially as she was not a fan of the car or car sleeping. My early travels with her for work were quite noisy and well, downright stressful. Fortunately she’s come around and realized how much fun can be had on our travels and with two big trips under her belt, she’s well on her way to road warrior status.

Burr! Mountain water is cold! RMNP 2010

While we do take the occasional plane trip to more exotic or faraway destinations, road trips are where our hearts lie. So this year we took our second venture (first for Miss A) to Maine by way of Canada. Here are a few of the highlights and of course a few hints of the recipes to come.

The Marsh Walk

Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada.

We didn’t brave the Maid of the Mist this year.

Niagara Falls.


Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the Toronto Islands.

King of the Mountain in Burlington.

Our favorite restaurant in downtown Burlington, VT.

Top of the World

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Checking out the waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park.

Finger Lakes Region, New York.

And here are a few of the food highlights and sneak peaks at some up-coming regional recipes.

Ice cream! Ice Cream! 

We love ice cream! 

Mom and dad’s favorite treat – Fried Clams from Tracey’s. Let me just say, WOW!!! 

And oh there was “lobstah” – lots and lots of lobster. (At $4.99 a pound why not!) 

And it wouldn’t be a trip to Maine without some wild, fresh-picked blueberries!

And last, but certainly not least, there were these fresh little beauties. 

Fresh mussels anyone? Even Miss A loved eating these.

So that’s our road trip and culinary adventure in a visual nutshell. Now comes the hard part – where to start with our recipes. Stay tuned!

41 comments on “A Family of Four; 20 Days; 4,200 Miles…

  1. […] kept coming back to us. It’s a beautiful slice of the world we stumbled on randomly on a road trip back in […]

  2. Kim Bee says:

    Oh my you took a great trip. I grew up doing the same. The last couple of years we haven’t been able to as hubs lost him job and went back to school for his engineering degree. So no travelling since. Such a bummer. I cannot believe you were just here. We live about 30-40 minutes from the point. We love going there to bike, hike, take family photos, have picnics. If you ever come this way again you have to let me know. I would love to have a friend to cook with and for. No local foodie friends.

    My daughter hated the car. She would scream bloody murder in it. We went to Niagara Falls once and thought we were going to lose it. I got pulled over once on the way home from the gym and the cop heard her and asked does she always do this, I replied yes, and he told me sorry and drive slower no matter how much she blew my eardrums out. Lol! Once we had to pull over as she hyperventilated and stopped breathing. That was scary. Thank goodness they grow out of these things.

    • Kristy says:

      Oh wow! Back to school for an engineering degree – best of luck to him! I can’t imagine having to go back and do math in school again. I’ve lost so much of my former math skills. It’s scary! That’s wild – we were right near you then. It’s a beautiful park. We went down to the sand dune beach area and also did the marsh walk. We didn’t make it out to the point itself since we were short on time. We’ll definitely let you know if we are ever back up that way again. Thank you for the offer.

      Your daughter sounds just like Miss A at times! The hyperventilating one in particular. She did that once to us too after we left a grocery store due to a little incident with the shopping cart. Definitely scary – and a testament to their absolute determination and independent minds. ;) Fortunately she took a nice long nap after that fit and woke up happy and fresh. LOL.

  3. I loved the photos. What a great trip! Road trips are the best.

  4. That is a wonderful tradition..I am sure your kids will remember those trips for ever
    When I was 7 my parents took us on a road trip to Turkey through Syria…it is one of my fondest childhood memories..

    • Kristy says:

      Turkey is on my list of places to see. I think I mentioned to you before that my best friend was in Jordan and Turkey this past spring. Her pictures were just amazing. So many places to see in this lifetime!

  5. Mary says:

    Lovely post – so enjoyed it! so lovely that you will have these wonderful memories with your kids :))

    • Kristy says:

      I hope the kids will remember this as fondly as I will! It’s funny…while we were out hiking and driving I had so many memories of trips with my family. It’s such a great feeling. :)

  6. Kelly says:

    Road warriors indeed. You guys are awesome! I love how you intersperse the old with the new in your pictures, given a sense of the passage of time. Isn’t Maine extraordinary? Full of natural wonder and delight – from wild blueberries to giant Lobstah (and yes, those fried clams – irresistible!!). Niagara looking particularly misty – always a thrill. Loved this post.

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kelly! Oh! Maine is definitely one of my favorite places to go. We took Mr. N there when he was three and we had such a good time, we had to take Miss A back now too. This time we spent most of our time in Acadia and it was just incredible.

  7. Kristy, we have this in common, too! My parents used to take us on road trips all the time…then when I started college I would take all my friends and go to wherever the road would take us; Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Canada, etc… :)

    • Kristy says:

      It’s too bad your not still in Chicago! It would be so great to get together. We do have so much in common. :) Louisiana is definitely on our list of places to road trip to one of these days. Waiting until the kids are older for that one though – unless hubby and I can sneak away alone one of these days. LOL! And if you haven’t been…the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY is a great trip for your little one. She would LOVE it! My kids were in heaven there. :)

      • I’m not that far from Chicago… I’m in Northwest Indiana, near the Indiana/Illinois border. :)

        Go to Louisiana with hubs during Mardi Gras…that was a week of oooohs and aaaaahs for me and my friends.
        P.S. We kept our tops on. I swear! :)

  8. Yvette says:

    Nothing like Summer Vacations…and time spent with the family! Looking forward to some Summer time cuisine with all that produce!

  9. Oh the pictures are all just great! You have such a beautiful family and what fun ya’ll have together! I can’t wait for my kids to be the age where we can do stuff like this

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks! We had such a great time. I love traveling with the kids. It does have it’s challenging moments, but even when I look back on those I remember them fondly. ;) It’s all part of the experience.

  10. JamieAnne says:

    What wonderful family memories you are creating. Awesome!

  11. Charles says:

    Looks like quite the memories you have there! Road-trips are fun I think… almost as fun as being at the actual destination. The people you meet, the sights and the places you pass, the food, the stories… all good fun. That fried clam looks amazing too!

    • Kristy says:

      I think that’s one of my favorite things about vacationing – all of the people you meet along the way. Once Mike and I even ended up standing up in a spur of the moment wedding. It was so much fun. I love vacations. They are precisely the reason I work…to take more vacations. LOL!

  12. Firefly says:

    It looks like so much fun :) beautiful pictures! This reminds me of my visit to Niagra Falls, I loved every minute of my trip :)

  13. Caroline says:

    Thanks for sharing all of these photos, it looks like you had such a great trip! I’ve always wanted to visit Niagra Falls, that photos is breathtaking. I wish we took more road trips when I was young. Also, I notice that your husband’s shirt is Ohio State colors (intentional?), I’ll just say it is. :)

    • Kristy says:

      LOL. Likely not intentional although he did go to school in Ohio so he does have a soft spot for the state (not before his own though). ;) Niagara Falls is amazing. I never really had a desire to go – I thought it would be too tourist-y for my liking, but the Falls itself is just incredible. The amount of water rushing down is just amazing. And you can get really close to the top of the falls and it’s just a mesmerizing thing to see. :)

  14. I really enjoyed all your pictures!! Looks like you guys had so much fun! My honey and I went on a road trip last year with my folks…about 7,000 miles in 2 weeks. We had a wonderful time…just wish we would have been able to take a third week off so we could have had more time. :)

    By the way, I can’t believe how cheap the lobster was…$7.99 a pound??? That’s unheard of! :)

    • A_Boleyn says:

      No … no … it was $4.99 a pound. I almost had a heart attack cause I want my own lobster on my plate RIGHT NOW!!

      Instead I made home ground chicken burgers, french fries and onion rings for supper which is actually pretty good too. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Wow! 7,000 miles in two weeks?! Now that’s a road warrior! Three weeks was good for the amount of traveling we did, but we think a little too long for little Miss A. The last few days were a bit tough, but overall she did great. We’re just fortunate Mike’s got summers off! :)

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    You know I love those road trips too!! You both are creating wonderful memories for your children. Love the photo by the waterfall with Ms. A on your back! and those baby pics are too cute. Looking forward to checking out your upcoming recipes!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Linda! That’s why I just loved your post about road tripping with your kids. It’s so close to my heart. I have such great memories from when I was a kid and now with my own kids. :)

  16. Katherine says:

    Oh my gosh, we’ll be in Watkins Glen later this month. I love the 1994 picture, all the pictures really. Makes me long for the open road. Actually, I’m so glad we’ve picked places to stop or Greg would just drive forever.

    • Kristy says:

      Oh how fun! I’m sure you guys already know this…but there are a ton of fantastic wineries in the Finger Lakes. We brought home lots of bottles from the area. :) And if you get to Watkins Glen State Park the waterfall hike is pretty cool. It doesn’t take very long either if you ride the shuttle up and hike back down to the parking lot. Oh you’ll have so much fun!

  17. You are a beautiful family! Thank you for visually sharing your adventure in a nutshell – I loved tagging along and can’t wait to read more about your recipes. :-) Mandy

  18. That’s great you guys take the kids on road trips! My parents never took us anywhere, just Italy once to see my grandma and that was it. Now that I have kids, my husband and I try to take mini vacations or road trips. Though It’s been 2 years since we’ve been on one mainly because our 3r child is a terror and he started the terrible two’s at 18 months old!
    I agree with Kay, you look gorgeous in the photo’s! You have an amazing family, thanks for sharing your photos and your road trip. Can’t wait to see the recipes you present in the next few days!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks so much for the sweet words Lisa! I can completely relate to the 3 year old terror! Miss A is like jekyll and hyde. One moment she is sweet as pie and the next I barely recognize her. Fortunately she didn’t turn into Mr. Hyde until the last few days of the trip. LOL.

  19. I love Toronto.. that’s only an 8 hour drive for me. And let me just say.. you look gorg without any makeup. Seriously.. not many people can pull it off. You guys are such a wonderful family and I;m sure the kids will keep the tradition alive :)

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Thanks Kay! I love Toronto too. There was so much to do and it was such a clean, big, friendly city. Our days were packed full of excursions there and we still didn’t see as much as we could have. I have a feeling we’ll be back though. Have a good one!

  20. A_Boleyn says:

    Your family has really been around. I always wished my parents had taken my older brother and myself travelling when we were young but unfortunately it wasn’t possible.

    “Point Pelee National Park” … my part of the world. I went there with my grade school class and remember the marsh walk fondly. I haven’t been there in years.

    I’m looking forward to the recipes you share from Ontario. :)

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