O'Shea Summer Tour: Part One

7,800 miles - that is the final count from June 2nd to July 3rd for the O'Sheas. Phew! It was fun, a lot of fun really, and the girls continue to be such awesome travelers, which adds to the fun part.
I thought it would be fun to do a little round up and suggest some places we went and some tips that have been tried and true for us when traveling with little ones. I feel like we are seasoned pros when it comes to travel with kids, but each trip seems to teach us something new (do not, even, lug a pack and play across the country and expect your kid to sleep in it!).

As I got to our second stop I realized I should break this up into digestible posts, so you don't feel like this is your uncle's Grand Canyon slide show :) So, here we go....!

First Stop: Geneva, New York
We drove from Boston, which was a long haul, unfortunately made longer by us going out of our way to visit Ommegang Brewery, only to be turned away when we got there due to a special event that they did not have posted on their website or social media. Sigh.
We made up for it by immediately getting some local beers when we got in, and then proceeded to have a lovely time eating, drinking, hiking and attending a beautiful wedding.
Because it was a family affair, we got to see lots of cousins (Maddie's favorite) as well as all the Aunts.
This was the first time we have used a babysitter while traveling, too, which we did via Care.com. It was a little scary but the woman was lovely and took good care of the little people while we got our grown up on. The woman we had actually did a ton of hotel babysitting for people in the area for weddings, graduations and reunions, so if we ever need to do it again I will look for someone with that niche who is used to keeping kids happy in a hotel room.

Here are some recommendations if you are ever in the area:

Eat/Drink
Beef and Brew - great selection of local beers and wines (including an awesome sparkly wine) and some darn fine roast beef sandwiches - I suggest the beef and cheddar all the way. It has an old, pub like feel and the menu had a lot of good looking items on it, including a few things my picky little humans enjoyed.

Americana Vineyards Winery - after we went hiking we were starving and I really wanted to see at least one vineyard, so this is where we ended up. They were having a huge outdoor music festival with kids and dogs all over the place, so definitely a family friendly spot. We just popped into the little cafe to eat and did not join the party, but the food and wine were both great and they had a lot of kid friendly food. It was super casual too, so no need to get fancy for this spot.

Glenora Wine Cellars - this is where the wedding was and it was GORGEOUS. The views of the green hills were amazing and the bride and groom were perfection :) The food was delicious and their wine was so, so good. This would be such a sweet romantic getaway spot (someday!).

Do
Taughannock Falls State Park - we did not have a ton of time to explore the area but we got in a hike here and it was super pretty. We picked an easy trail (well, minus a lot of stairs up) that went to an overlook point for the waterfall. We also hiked down into the river bed and checked out the waterfall up close. There is a small fee to park at any of the lots around the park, but it was totally worth it. They even have picnic and swimming areas that you can access.

Stay
Ramada Geneva Lakefront - this was a great, central place that was a walk away from shops and restaurants and was right on the lake, which has a path that both Matt and I ran that also had a ton of playgrounds and a splash pad on it. Right next to the hotel was a great new playground and a wine slushie stand (that was not open when we were around). There is an indoor pool but it is TINY, as well as a restaurant that has decent food and kid friendly options.

Kiddo Suggestions
We always travel with an art bag and a pool bag, which was something we decided we needed when we were in Puerto Rico in February, and it was really helpful for both the car ride and the stay; here is what we include:

Art bag - crayons and markers (washable!), construction paper, sketch pad, coloring books, toddler scissors, twine/ribbon, glue sticks and stickers - all zipped into a large ziploc bag

Pool bag: puddle jumper/floaties, swim goggles, waterproof bag to transport things, floating pool toys and a bucket

And now, some favorite pictures from our trip!
Hanging on the playground by our hotel.

My little hiking buddy!

Pretty waterfalls.

The dried river bed.

Mmmm, wine. 

The wedding venue.

Me & my plus one for life.

Walking the path around the lake/our hotel. 





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