Normandy Farms – Part 1

We finally did it!  Saturday we went camping for the first time with our trailer and it was everything we had dreamed about.  We really weren’t sure what we were getting into but it didn’t take long to find out.  The campground we went to is Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort.  Here is how our adventure went…

Saturday morning we started packing the trailer which turned out to be a lot more than grabbing a few things.  Our goal is to have it completely stocked with everything we need – cookware, towels, bedding and toiletries – we want to be able to grab some clothes and go.  It’s going to take a while to get to that point.

After we were all packed and the trailer was hooked up, we headed off down the road.  It didn’t take long for our wonderful little travellers to drift off to sleep for the hour long trip.

This was the second time for Daddy pulling the trailer but it felt like he’d being doing it forever.  He’s always so good at everything he does – I really admire that about him!

When we arrived at the campgrounds I went in to register at the front desk.  They were so friendly and organized and they were very accomodating.  We had reserved a campsite right next to the playground so that the Professor and the Princess could enjoy a little freedom.  Alright, I admit that it was also so Mummy and Daddy could relax by the campfire and still be able to keep an eye on them.

A little confession,  I am not one of those mothers who love to hang out at the playground while the kids are playing.  To be honest, it’s one of the most boring things in the world!  I’m not exaggerating either…it’s like watching paint dry or listening to golf on the radio.  Of course, the kids absolutely love parks, as all kids do, so I endure but the idea of being able to relax while they play until they get bored – well, that’s just perfection!

We were escorted to our site by a “Ranger”, who turned out to be a very polite, enthusiastic young man.  He was very nice and his disposition didn’t change the slightest when I requested to be relocated the moment I saw the site.  I realized that because of the side the hookups were on, our trailer would block the view of the playground.  I immediately envisioned myself spending countless hours sitting at the playground, which would result in a very sore behind – as every parent knows, if some sort of seating has been provided at all, it’s usually the most uncomfortable kind possible.  It didn’t take long and our sites were quickly swapped out for something that would work.

It didn’t take us very long to set the trailer up, we’ve played with it so much the last couple weeks that we’re pretty good at getting it open fast.  While Daddy took care of the last few things, I took the kids to check out the bathrooms.  I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and clean they were.  They were bright and new and they even had granite counter tops…pretty fancy for a campground!

Everything at Normandy Farms was so clean and well kept, we were really impressed.  The sites were very well kept and all the facilities were spotless.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and exploring and eventually we turned in once the campfire burned out. I absolutely loved not having to drag everything to the washrooms at night for teeth brushing and cleaning up.  It was so nice to be able to do it in our own bathroom at the trailer.  It made getting ready for bed so easy.  Once in pajamas our little sweethearts kept professing their love to us as we tucked them into bed and kissed them goodnight.  I was so happy we were able to give them this experience and even more thrilled knowing it was just the beginning to many, many more.

To be continued……

This is the view I woke up to in the morning….

and this is the view from our campsite…

 

Practice Camping

One of my goals  in life (my husband’s too) was to get a trailer and travel around North America full time with our children.   This past Friday we managed to get one step closer to our dream.   After years of researching, saving and waiting for the right time, we finally brought home our trailer!

We decided to get this particular trailer because it had the features and space we were looking for our three children and any relatives or friends who wanted to hop on.   The problem was Daddy and I had never had a trailer before, nor had either of us pulled a trailer.  We realized that maybe pulling a 35 foot trailer for our first time might not have been the best idea!  It was a stressful ride for the first 45mins or so, but we soon realized that Daddy was a natural…a real pro!

It was smooth towing the rest of the way home!

We had some very excited children greeting us when we pulled up.  We were all really excited to camp out but knew it was still too cold to add water to the pipes.   We did hook up the electric, and get the propane furnace going…it was nice and cozy!   Later in the evening we closed it up and went to bed in hopes that Saturday would bring us warmer weather.  Instead we woke up to snow!

However, Sunday turned out to be a lot warmer so we decided to practice camping in the backyard!

We made a campfire and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows…

Daddy roasted a hotdog for Mummy….it was so romantic!

The Milk Monkey loved sitting by the fire…he even napped at one point, all cozy and content in his stroller while his siblings ran around collecting twigs and sticks to keep the blaze going.

Later in the afternoon it started to cool off so we took to the trailer with the heater keeping us toasty warm.  The kids played and tried out the new beds and all the seating, they eventually watched a movie while Daddy and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle.

The day was so relaxing and magical.  We all spent it with huge grins on our faces as we were transported to some far off campground, our backyard gradually disappearing.   We were blessed to have a small glimpse at what our future holds for our family.

Oasis

Lately I’ve been getting the Disney itch!  Maybe it’s because we’re getting ready to book our next trip in a couple weeks, or maybe it’s because we just bought the trailer, but whatever the reason – I really want to go!

When we go to Disney we like to stay at the Fort Wilderness Campground.  It’s the perfect mixture of Disney Magic and the calmness of nature.  It’s like a 5 star resort collided with home and we get to hang out in it’s backyard.  After a long day of sensory overload at one of the busy parks, we thoroughly enjoy taking comfort in our own surroundings as we unwind in the cool shade of the mature trees.  Everything is so clean and  peaceful.   There’s a kind of camaraderie among the Fort Wilderness visitors, we grin and wave to each other, all of us with that knowing look – we have a secret, we have found an oasis in the midst of the business called Disney.

There were days during our vacation when we decided to lazily hang out and rejuvenate, instead of heading off  to yet another day at a park.   We would throw on our bathing suits, grab our towels and take off in our little golf cart and make our way to the pool – and what a pool it is!  It has a little something for everyone.

There are actually two pools, a small wading pool for the kids and then the large crisp clear pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The large pool has a super cool water slide that people of all ages enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It also has a fun splash park for the children which provided many fun and exciting ways for water to be splashed into their faces !  The Professor and the Princess spent hours playing in the splash pad until their little fingers and toes wrinkled like raisins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long day of swimming we would head back to our home away from home and get into snuggly clothes.   We’d order some pizza or roasted chicken and eat it underneath the star speckled sky while watching a Disney movie at the outdoor theater.  One night we even had company as an armadillo wandered over to where we were sitting.

There are many reasons why we enjoy staying at Fort Wilderness but nothing tops the constant smiles plastered to our children’s faces throughout the whole vacation!

 

 

Walt Disney World – The Place Where Dreams Come True

We really, really like this place:

 

We took the kids there in 2010.   The trip was the beginning of many firsts for us as a family.

The first time the kids flew on a plane.

The first time sleeping in Grandpa’s trailer at The Fort Wilderness Campground.

It was the first time the Little Professor washed dishes (but not the last)!

The first time the Princess and the Professor met their favourite characters in person.

Belle from Beauty and The Beast

Alice in Wonderland

Mickey Mouse

Buzz Lightyear

Lotso – and yes, he does smell like strawberries!

Tinkerbell

We had lots of fun firsts on that trip…

but the best first of all was finding out that the Milk Monkey

was going to join our family 8 months later!

Our little dream came true!

Plymouth Escapes of Reality

When life starts getting too stressful I like to pack up some water and some sweaters and pile everyone into the car and take off to Plymouth.  There’s something about that place that de-stresses me.  The closer we get, the lighter my shoulders feel and the easier I breathe.  I don’t know if it’s the ocean air or maybe it’s being around tourists that makes me feel like I’m on a mini vacation but I find it restful and renewing.

So one Saturday, last September, after some wonderful and much needed Mummy time, I announced to the family that we were off to explore new parks down in Plymouth.  With lots of cheers we were on our way.  Finding new parks for the kids to try out is something we like to do.  We’ve been to Plymouth many times but we never found this little gem until that special weekend. The children enjoyed it immensely and so did Mummy and Daddy as we watched the boats sway in the ocean while the warm salty air kissed our skin.

We had some new found friends following us around!  The sign at the entrance read “Do Not Feed the Ducks!” but I think people must feed them anyway by the boldness of our feathered friends.

 

The kids played and played…they didn’t want to leave and who could blame them…the evening was magical in that calm, relaxing park.

 

 

That day I was thankful that we had grabbed a bite to eat right before we found the park. In fact it was “the really nice lady” (the Little Professor) from Ali’s Galley who steered us to it.  If you are ever in Plymouth and you want a really good roast beef sandwhich you HAVE to try Ali’s Galley!  The Sweet and Sassy is amazing!