Posted by: Kate | November 12, 2008

Travel Agent Needed

I’m feeling a vague, nagging need for escape.  Not long-term or drastic, just a few days of new scenery.  I have a four-day weekend following Thanksgiving, so I’m thinking of taking the kids for a few days.

Choosing a destination, however, has presented a challenge.

Willem has tickets to an afternoon hockey game on the Saturday of that weekend, so he won’t be going with us.  This means that many of the potential destinations – his aunt and uncle’s home in New Jersey, his grandparents’ place in North Carolina – aren’t quite appropriate.  The kids and I could go without him, but… well, I don’t really want to see his aunt and uncle without him, and the expense of flying to see his grandparents is prohibitive.  It also means that certain destinations (New York City, Philadelphia) are out because he would want to go, too, so we’ll save those trips for a time when everyone is available.

I don’t want to fly, because flying anywhere means renting a car on the other end and then paying for a place to stay.  I’m not looking for an extravagant vacation here; just a short-term jaunt, really.  This means, ideally, someplace within about 4-5 hours of drive time from home.  Anywhere in New England and much of New York fits into this range.

I could go visit my mother, but we’re spending 9 days there at Christmastime.  There is such a thing as too much togetherness, plus she’ll have to work… I dunno, it’s an option but not my favorite one.  She lives near Binghamton, New York: not exactly a mecca of entertainment and culture.

The other front-runner is to head up to Nova Scotia to spend a weekend with my friend Annie and her family.  She runs a gorgeous B&B and is good company, so I’m very, very tempted… but it’s a 10-hour drive each way.  That’s a lot of driving for a weekend trip, particularly alone with two kids.

We could also just rent a hotel room in Boston and stay there for a few days, see a few museums and the aquarium or something.  And of course we could just weigh the various options and end up staying home.

So, I’m waffling.  And wide open to suggestions or ideas…


  1. I’m jealous. I’d love a get away right now, but it’s just not feasible. My five days in the hospital will have to serve as my vacation – room service, no kids, just that nasty c-section and hours in NICU.

    I’d vote for Boston, just because it’s a city I’d love to see more of. I only made quick weekend trips to visit friends when I lived in Albany, and we did more drinking that sight seeing.

  2. Am I allowed a vote??

  3. Well, I’m not familiar enough with your area to make any suggestions, for sure, but I’m sending good vibes your way that the perfect getaway pops right into your head! (Or your comments section.)

  4. How about Freeport, Maine? The Hampton Inn there has a great indoor pool, there’s LLBean and shops…

    Or the indoor water park in Danvers (Coco Keys waterpark);

    Or definitely Boston for the Aquarium and Children’s Museum.

  5. I’d volunteer here..but it is a fligh, but I have the room in my car for your crew & mine!

  6. Vermont, Lake Champlain/Burlington, area. Or Montreal area, though I don’t know what specific activities there are for children. Got to be some!

    Weather might be the issue, finding something to do inside if the waterside activities are just too cold.

  7. What about Newport? The mansions are fun to see, and will be decorated for Christmas. It’s an easily walkable city. Providence is about 40 mins north (fun Children’s museum with new exhibits, a nice zoo etc., RISD museum with a new, beautiful Chihuly glass ceiling installation) and Mystic Seaport and Aquarium is about 40 mins south. Plenty to do indoors and out.
    Also, in Mass. – Plymouth Plantation (and closeby Edaville Railroad) and Old Sturbridge Village.

  8. Sesame Place! I’ve always wanted to go but no one would go with me! Or maybe Hershey Park? You actually might be able to get a good deal for Disneyworld- you’d have to fly but if you stay at one of the hotels “in the world” they provide all the transportation.

  9. JMLC’s suggestion of Hershey would be great since you do have a special place for CHOCOLATE 😉

  10. Saratoga is a fun town!

  11. If it the weather were nice, I’d definitely agree with Sesame Place or Hershey Park – those places are amazing for kids. (I have fond memories there. 🙂 ) But since it’s winter…

    How about going to Niagara Falls? There are museums on both the American and Canadian sides, and it’s a pretty good trip even at the end of November. It is more of a drive than you are hoping for, but since you’ve got a four day weekend you could add in a stop to your mother’s on the way. Maybe drive there, have dinner and spend the night, and then continue to the Falls?

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