We are back from a week’s vacation on Prince Edward Island. Canadian internet has improved in the three years since we last visited but it was still mostly a respite from screens and emails. For both parents and kids. As much as I enjoy the internet and much of my livelihood depends on it, I have to admit I’m relieved there was no social media when I was a kid. I am likely the last generation of parents to grow up with this divide where we didn’t have the internet all the time as a kid.
The dysfunctional side of the internet is difficult for adults to handle. It must be strange and crazy for kids. Maybe the next generation of parents will find it easier to parent amid this weird often unhealthy online world. It will just be normal. Sort of. You will have an innate understanding that Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok is not real life and you need to be disciplined when you use these tools or they become traps.
My kids will never know what it was like to live in a world without the internet. But I will also never know what it’s like to grow up in a time where it is ubiquitous. Getting away even for a week and reminding each other that there is a life to collect and curate outside the strictures of the internet was time well spent.
The kitchen reno is well underway and we are escaping the dust and chaos for a week’s vacation. There was just too much temptation for Michelle. Power tools everywhere.
With the end of August approaching, the girls wrapped up their last set of summer music lessons. I didn’t have to tell them to practice every day, but more often than not their was some Dad nagging. This parental prodding often led to huffs, puffs, eye rolls, or worse.
This self-flagellation for discipline, even to do good things, is tough. Sometimes it’s necessary, of course, but it’s difficult to maintain for any length of time. What does work? For me, it’s curiosity. It’s remembering the things you’re trying to force yourself to do are often things you find fun or satisfying. At least you did at one time. Once I managed to change my outlook on my daily tasks, whether they are writing, exercise, design, or baking, as things I’m curious about then they often become a lot less onerous.
Oddly, once i started doing this, my days often looked much the same as they did before but they now feel a lot different.
Yes, sometimes things still need to just get done. I don’t find paying bills or vacuuming all that curious, but instead of bullying yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about things that bring you joy. You’ll feel a lot better.
I only learned this recently but hope the girls can learn it a lot sooner.
One of the great things about revisiting a place on vacation is that you have the time, knowledge, and flexibility to explore new things and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. This happened to us on our most recent return trip to Prince Edward Island.
We were googling around looking for nearby restaurants and stumbled on Copper Bottom Brewery in Montague which offered, in addition to a nice tap room, live fiddle music on Sunday and pizza and vinyl on Thursday. Yes, please! Continue Reading
If you are going to visit Prince Edward Island, you really should take some time to see the island by water. The views of the red cliffs, bays, inlets and green fields spinning out toward the horizon is a view not to be missed.
Our summer of two islands and two countries has come to an end. A bit of a luxury? Sure. Better than spending that money on day camps, water parks, or new toys? Absolutely.
Our girls definitely learn best by doing. Reading books and looking at pictures is great but nothing beats hands-on experience. One of my many favorite little memories from the past week was passing the Amish family buggy on the road near our rental house and the conversation it sparked with Cecilia. You could almost see how the first hand brush with a vastly differently culture was re-mapping her worldview through curiosity and not skepticism.
Whether we were on a working lobster boat or visiting the community bakery, the girls were able to see firsthand how different cultures live, taste the food, and maybe step into their shoes for a short time. These sensory experiences allow the girls to gain knowledge in a more meaningful way. I think that’s worth stretching the budget for. Continue Reading
If you are reading this it means we’ve survived our 12 hour car trip across the border into Canada without an international incident and are back in PEI for a week of mussels….and not much else beyond a relaxing end to the summer.
Family road trips can be many things but mostly they are a test for parents on how long they can keep kids occupied before the children reach their breaking point. I try to see this as a way to help them develop patience and slowly prepare them for a life of sitting in a cube working on TPS reports.
The girls actually did great. We’ve built up their stamina with road trips to Jersey, Philly, and DC and they handled the extra hours pretty well. We did Harry Potter on audio, they did a few movies, there were silly road games, some French pop on the radio, and a breakfast truck stop.
We have three cardinal rules for our road trips: First, keep everyone fed. Second, embrace the chaos with as much humor and patience as you can muster. Third, always bring baby wipes no matter how old your kids (or their father) get. Continue Reading
We enjoyed our vacation on Prince Edward Island so much, we’ve been scheming on how quickly we can return. One of the best parts of the trip was the relaxed vibe. You didn’t have to work hard to unplug and just breathe.
There were no big amusement parks. No big resorts. No big expectations. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to do. Quite the opposite. Here are seven things we really enjoyed doing on PEI with kids during our vacation. Continue Reading