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Shenandoah National Park

We were delayed by a day making it to Shenandoah due to our unruly little travelers.   We stopped driving for the day in Pennsylvania and found a playground for them to play at, and then we found some delicious Mexican food & some much needed margaritas.   After a nice evening sleep in a hotel we hit the road to Shenandoah!

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It was a gorgeous day in the mountains- we hiked to the highest peak in the National Park on the Lower Hawksbill Trail.  Both the kids were awake the entire hike just taking in all the beauty and nature surrounding us.  We had one more hike we planned on doing but decided to go relax at our campsite.  We camped in Lewis Mountain Campground which is around mile marker 55 on Skyline Road.

Got the hammock and tent set up while enjoying a local apple beer.  We were hopeful that no one would set up camp right next to us, especially with two babes I would imagine the average person would want to stay as far away from our family as possible!  And then there was a huge CruiseAmerica RV that ended up pulling in right next to us; I saw this family earlier running around the park so I was stoked that they had kids so everyone could play!  They kindly came over to ask if we mind if they ran their generator- and that’s where it all began.

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They are Danish nomads that live in Spain but travel the world for work; they just were in Iceland and they’ve been in the US for over a month.  It’s not everyday we meet a family that has a similar lifestyle to us.  We sat around the fire storytelling about our lives, adventures and children.  Oh and lots of wine, wine wine! We look forward to our paths crossing again at some point in life, they were simply a badass family.

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Needless to say we slept amazing last night and now we’re currently in route to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Eric has to work tomorrow and I’ve got to start unpacking from this trip and packing up again, the kids and I are going to on a roadtrip to Western North Carolina this weekend!

A Tip From The Travelin’ Tribe Archive:

Looking for the best backpack carrier for kids?  After a lot of research and trying several brands on we easily made the decision to purchase the Osprey Poco AG Plus.  It’s SO comfortable, plenty of room for storage and overall lightweight and compact.  We’re about to purchase another one for Reefie!

Until Next Time,
Stay Wanderous & Wild
-The Mitchell Tribe 

Catskill Forest Preserve

We overnighted in Salem, New Hampshire and then started our drive down to New York.  I’ve been to all the NorthEast states except Vermont so we made a detour to check out Green Mountain National Forest.  Wow, Vermont’s fall foliage is already gorgeous; I love Autumn (even though it’s not technically here, but boy do I see it)!

We finished up our drive and finally made it to Catskill Forest Preserve.  The leaves are just beginning to change colors, the peak will be in a few weeks.  We set up our campsite at the North-South Lake Campground and then hurried to the lake to chill for the evening and sunset.

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The kids actually slept good last night and the temperatures cooled off quite a bit during the early morning; it was delightful.  We had some breakfast and then went for a hike to the Kaaterskill Falls!  We had it all to ourselves, Eric even took a “shower.”

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Now we’re on the road currently in route to Shenandoah National Park for some camping tonight and hiking tomorrow.  Fingers crossed it will be an easy traveling day with the little ones.

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A Tip From The Travelin’ Tribe Archive: 

If you plan on doing a good amount of traveling I would highly recommend purchasing a GPS.  We love Garmin; you can even buy a baby cam and set it up in the back and watch the kiddos from the GPS.  A GPS eliminates any issues of not knowing where to go in the event you lose cellphone service (which no one ever has service in National Forests/Parks) and it’s also been very beneficial on our International travels.  Renting a GPS can be costly, so if you want to buy one make sure it’s a GPS that can be used worldwide.  Whenever we go out of the country we simply buy the country’s map through Garmin and bam just saved $14 a day on renting one!

Until Next Time,
Stay Wanderous & Wild
-The Mitchell Tribe 

 

 

Acadia National Park

We drove all the way from Narragansett, Rhode Island to Seawall, Maine which made for a long day in the truck with the babies.  Majority of the time they seem to do well with the traveling but everyone was a mess today.  Waves has figured out if she tells us she has poop in her diaper that we will pull over, smart girl.  It’s never easy traveling with little ones but the reminder of the “jackpot” at the end of the rainbow keeps us going.

We made it to Acadia National Park and grabbed one of the last tent sites available at the Seawall Campground.  Eric cooked up some of the fluke for dinner he spearfished the day before while the kids and I went for a walk in the forest to look for bugs under rocks and logs.  It was a beautiful, foggy, mysterious kind of evening.  I was stoked to go to sleep knowing this was the first time camping with our babies were no concerns of brown bear, black bear or mountain lions in the area.   Unfortunately around midnight we awoke to Waves screaming.  She was burning up so I immediately took her clothes off and attempted to take her temp orally for the first time and although it wasn’t completely accurate, the reading of 104 put me in panic mode.  I took her outside of the tent to let her cool off and gave her a round of Ibuprofen and then Tylenol.  After about an hour she started to feel a little cooler and by 3 hours she was sweating so that was a good sign the fever broke.  She finally went back to sleep around 0300; our alarm was set for 0400.

I didn’t fall asleep for that last hour because my mind was all over the place.  Alarm went off, we loaded the kids in the car and drove the 40 minute drive up to Cadillac Mountain. The entire drive up the mountain was totally foggy, you could barely see ahead.  We saw several deer frolicking around and even had a deer get caught in our headlights.  Once we made it to the parking area for Cadillac Mountain the fog suddenly cleared, whoohoo!  There were only 5 other cars up there- early bird catches the worm, or in the case the sunrise!  We had 75 minutes to kill before the sun rose so we grabbed our JetBoil and Eric made some coffee and warmed up some milk for Waves.

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We scrambled around the rocks trying to get as close to the spot where Eric proposed to me on 6/15/15.  We sat and watched as the colors of the sky were changing as it was getting closer to the sunrise.  It was so foggy below the mountain that we couldn’t see the ocean, it seemed as though we were floating in the clouds.  As the sun began to rise my mind was flooded with memories from our last visit.  It’s amazing how far we’ve come as a family in just a few short years.  My heart couldn’t be happier sharing this amazing view with our family.

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A quick background about our family- after Eric proposed at Acadia NP we eloped 2 weeks later to Niagara Falls State Park and got married (and soaking wet) on the Maid of the Mist Boat!  We had The Reverend wear our GoPro which went for a viral video online and a debut on syndicated TV show, Inside Edition and Right This Minute did 2 segments on us!  Click here to watch Inside Edition segment.

 

After the sunrise we headed back to camp and cooked up some eggs and packed up and decided to go for a short hike on Ship Harbor Trail.  Immediately at the trailhead I spotted a crabapple tree where Waves picked her first apple.  She munched on it for half of the hike!  There were a lot of firsts for Waverly today besides the apple.  She almost completed the 1.3 mile hike of the rugged trail by herself and picking up any trash she found along with way.  She also had her first tick bite, it was a nymph; I don’t even know how Eric found it on her- it looked like a spec of dirt.  Acadia National Park is one of the few NP’s that carries lyme & deer tick disease.  I just learned that the nymph tick is the one that transfers the disease; one more thing to worry about, I really hope she will be OK.

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We hopped in the truck and had a 6 hour drive to Salem, New Hampshire where we stayed the night in a hotel and it was oh so nice!  We’re currently in route to Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont and then we will slowly start making our way south to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

 

A Tip From the Travelin’ Tribe Archive:

I ALWAYS carry baby Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, a thermometer and vaseline with me.    When I say always, I mean it (even for a quick beach run).  So make sure when you are traveling with littles one that you are always ready for anything, especially when hiking or camping.  I also have images on my phone for all the dosages for each mediation for each child in the event the bottle paper gets destructed and I can no longer read the appropriate dosing.  I can’t emphasize this enough on how important it is when traveling with children to be prepared for ANYTHING.

Until Next Time,
Stay Wanderous & Wild
-The Mitchell Tribe

 

Camp, Surf, Spearfish

Eric had his business meeting in Ocean City, MD (we will be in OC on and off for the next couple months for work) and then we hit the road to head north.  We made it to this awesome campground right outside of NYC in Harriman State Park at Beaver Pond Campground.  *DISCLOSURE- apparently this campground can be dirty and loud.  It has 130 sites that’s usually totally booked throughout the summer and then weekends until the cooler weather comes.  There were terrible reviews online but we decided to try it out anyway.  Luckily,  there were only 12 sites taken during our stay which made it for a quiet, peaceful evening.  So if you plan on camping here, don’t do it during the summer and if it’s after Labor Day shoot for a weekday to avoid the crowds.

Waves had the best time at this campground, she ran naked all evening and again the next morning- even chasing some deer while saying “deer deer bye bye.”  Her fascination and love for animals is something else.

We made it to Narragansett, Rhode Island and set up shop on the beach.  The beaches are beautiful, clean and whoowee this town has some $$$; HUGE mansions on the ocean.  I got in a little surf, Waves got in a little session too (and her first wipeout) and then Eric left me with the kiddos for the afternoon to spearfish with a friend.  This is where my living hell began- I love my kids but damn they drive me absolutely crazy… Reef wanted to be held the whole time and Waves was as always running around everywhere.  After a couple hours of chasing her and having Reef in the baby carrier everyone collectively decided to have meltdowns.  I’m trying to get all the shit packed up (mind you when I take the kids by myself I generally bring a water and the baby carrier and thats IT), all the toys, the tent and Reef’s Baby Bjorn Bouncer.  I finally got it all packed up even though the screaming from Waves never stopped.  She refused to walk to the car so here I am trying to juggle both kids, 2 bags and a tent.  My lips started trembling and I knew the tears were coming… and then out of nowhere this gentleman Waves said hi to earlier came and grabbed everything and helped me to the vehicle.  I literally cried as I thanked him for his kindness.

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We had zero intentions of staying in Ganset for the evening but with no idea when Eric would be back from spearfishing I decided to find a hotel quickly and get the kids down for a nap.  20 minutes later we’re at the hotel (Atlantic House) and I’m showering all of us to get the sand off- and yes, everyone is still screaming.  The kids had their milk and I laid them in bed in hopes of some downtime; HA, wishful thinking.  No one napped, Reef wouldn’t stop whining and Waves needed every ounce of my attention.  I’ve been battling Post Partum Depression (when I get a little more courage I will blog about that) and some days are better than others.  I’ve finally set up an appointment with a professional when I get visit WNC to discuss what I’ve been going through the last few months.

I gave up on Eric ever coming back so I got a pizza delivered for dinner.  Eric showed up shortly after and showed off his successful day of spearfishing! He speared 2 Tautog and in the last few minutes of his dive he saw a fluke (what us southerners call flounder) and speared the bottom dweller!  He was stoked as our family sat around and watched him fillet his bounty.  My sea boss never disappoints, each of those fish were about 5lbs!  As for Waves, she loved the dead fish so much that she shared her bunny blanket with one of the Tautogs; by sharing I mean she rubbed her blankie on the TauTog’s face.

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We rested up last night and now we’re on the road heading up to Maine to Acadia National Park.  Who knows where we will end up tonight?!

 

A Tip from the Travelin’ Tribe Archive:

When camping or with our travels and never knowing when I will be around a charge for my phone, I now can’t travel without bringing our Compact Portable Charger.  Awesome price, small and a beast when it comes to charging!  I generally can fully recharge my phone 3 times off the portable charger before it needs to be charged again.

Until Next Time,
Stay Wanderous & Wild
-The Mitchell Tribe

On The Road Again

It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve been back from Alaska and describing our time as busy is simply an understatement.  Eric has been working continuously with a few breaks in-between to surf and enjoy some quality family time.  The kids and I have been busy little bees too!  It’s different getting back on the grind of a semi-normal life for 2 weeks just to pack everything up and hit the road again.

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We’ve had fun at the aquarium, a nice visit from Scott and Evan from Jax Beach, a halibut cookout with friends and a visit to Virginia to see grandparents and great-grandparents.  Beach days are a constant in our life along with a lot of time spent on our beautiful front porch that overlooks the Roanoke Sound.  We are so fortunate to be able to witness the sunrise and the sunset over the water from our front and back porch.  You can feel the summer warmth and long days slowly slipping away.  I’m elated for Autumn apporaching!

I’ve tried to work more on the blog as much as I can.  I have so much knowledge, tips, strategies, and information on about 15 past family trips I would like to post in detail about at some point (from Hawai’i all the way to Ireland and in-between).  We’re currently in the car in route to Maryland for my husband’s business meeting tomorrow.  This is the first family of 4 road trip we’ve taken that hasn’t included a flight.  It’s a nice change up and a little less stressful being that there is no limit on things I can pack.  I was even able to stock up at the grocery store before hand, ahhh the little things that can make life easier!

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We have camping, spearfishing, hiking, surfing and fishing planned for this upcoming trip from the OBX all the way up to Acadia National Park in Maine.  I look forward to sharing our journey, stay tuned.

OVERPACKED

OVERPACKED?

A Tip From the Travelin’ Tribe Archive:

One of my favorite pieces of luggage is the LL Bean Rolling Adventure Duffle, XL.  This bag is awesome and is perfect for all of our flying and driving adventures- and it has a lifetime warranty!

Until Next Time,
Stay Wanderous & Wild
-The Mitchell Tribe