A Gorges Camping Weekend

Playground and Waterfalls – that pretty much sums up our camping weekend in Ithica, NY.  We set out on Friday morning to visit Sarah in Ithica, NY – she just moved there 2 months ago to attend grad school.  Well, Ithica is a 6 1/2 hour drive from where we live… roadtripmap And you know I’m queen of long road trips with a toddler, so I thought… we got this!  We left around 8:45am.  Logistics…we took my parents truck that seats 6, and it was full capacity: Grampy, MiMi, and Frasier up front (oh yeah, we took my parents dogs too!) IMG_1960 Backseat… Pokey, Me, & Mister Excited: IMG_1967 IMG_1958

Behind us was a truck bed full of Sarah’s furniture (she’s moving into an apartment so she needed it) and the camper.  The ride went pretty well.  I had my “bag of tricks” that kept Avery entertained… matchbox cars, a bag of amphibian animals, coloring and sticker books, snacks, and the iPad.  Avery was pretty entertained… we even passed a bunch of windturbines which made for a fun game of I-Spy. IMG_2061 Around 11, we took a pit stop for a diaper change and a treat at the store… IMG_1969 At noon we stopped for lunch.  We had the dogs so we brought the food outside with us on a blanket.  That was the only and only meltdown Avery had.  Eating outside, cars going by, helicopters in the sky, dogs trying to eat you food… and it was past his usual nap time.. so a little meltdown that passed and we ate, got back in the truck and he was quickly sound asleep for his usual mid-day nap. IMG_1970 We pulled into the campground around 4:30pm.  Avery had been up and was getting very antsy.  A 7 hour car ride is tough for a toddler, but we had fun and he was very excited when we pulled into our campsite and setup the camper.IMG_1974

We sat down for a little snack…
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Then…Aunt Sarah joined us, and these two were very excited to see each other! IMG_1971

Our first order of business?  Check out the playground, duh!IMG_1972

We stayed at the Robert H. Treman State Park.  It was only 10-15min from Ithica College, Sarah’s school.  It had playgrounds (2), a waterfall (Ithica has many of these!), and it was a State Campground, which we have preferred to stay at over the years of camping as a family – they are clean, updated, reasonably priced, and always have lots of outdoor stuff to do.
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We stayed at site #22 (or Two Two, as we taught Avery), it was near the playground and bathrooms and really big.  There was little traffic so it was nice for Avery to play and walk around without being worried.

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We had hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad for dinner… then it was time for a fire and s’mores for desert! IMG_1982
Avery doesn’t care for s’mores… he just eats the marshmellows. IMG_1984 IMG_1986

And thanks to the idea from Joey, we used peanut butter cups instead of chocolate in the s’mores… yum! IMG_1985

Like any trip, I think about Avery’s routine and how to keep it as close to normal as possible, even though we are away from home.  The car trip was great because he had his lunch and nap like usual.  But I knew bedtime would be a challenge.  At home, Avery is in bed at 8, and we all know the sun is still up then in the summer, so window shades help mask that every night.  When camping in a pop up, that’s not possible, especially when quiet hours aren’t until 10pm,and the rowdy group near us could be heard for a mile.  So, I tried to keep his routine, but knew going in that his bed time would be shifted a bit.  Avery took a shower in the bath house like a big boy – he did a great job but thought it was funny wearing his sandals in the shower!  We plopped down in bed around 9, when it was getting dark enough for him to realize it was bed time.  Oh, and we shared a bed, so I went to sleep with him, which was also different for him and me.  Avery finally fell asleep around 930-45.  But man is he a wiggle worm.  I work up 20 times that night because he moves ALOT in his sleep.  By morning, I was on the edge of the bed, Avery comfy in the middle, Pokey sleeping at my feet… oh good times!

Saturday was our one full day in Ithica.  First on our agenda… touring Sarah’s college!  Sarah is in a 2-year program at Ithica College for her Masters in Occupational Therapy.  She stayed on campus for the summer session and just found a great apartment that she moves into soon and will stay for the next year.  Oh yeah, before we toured her school, we spent a couple hours moving the furniture we brought into her new apartment.  That was quite interesting.. two dogs tied up outside (one of which got caught in the bushes) and Avery was all over Grampy to use his power tools… good times!  We setup her bed, dresser, table and chairs… she should be good for a while!

Back at her school, Sarah took us up to a football field/track that overlooked the lake.
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Avery had fun running on the big football field…

So are we thinking running back… or track star?

We walked around campus and found this setup for orientation… had to take a picture!

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Future student????

The campus was very pretty and Avery especially loved the water fountains.

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Until we found this hidden gem… a cute little garden, flowing water, and a turtle!!

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Next we were off to the local Farmer’s Market.  We couldn’t go in with the dogs, so we took turns.  Grampy, Avery and I walked around and scored some maple popcorn and strawberries.  Then we went outside to keep the dogs company while Mimi and Grampy went inside.  We sat by the water feeding ducks.  Avery was thrilled.

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Grampy and Mimi came out with flatbread pizza (which Avery ate 3 of the 4 slices!) and Sarah and I went back in for a yummy cookie!

We headed back to the campsite because it was nap time…
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While the boys were sleeping, us girls played a few hands of cards and ate way too many chips and salsa.  Avery woke up and did a puzzle with Mimi…

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And played a little hide and seek with Grampy…

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Our afternoon was very WET! We visited THREE waterfalls.  “Ithica is Gorges” is the city motto and they sure live up to it… first waterfall was Enfield Falls, just a walk away at the state park we were camping at.  Well, no walk to a waterfall is complete without this little dude tagging along…
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After a short walk thru the woods we were here!
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And as you can see, so were lots of other people.  These falls were natural but the pool/dam beneath it was all man made… steps and ladders into the water, even a diving board!  We chilled out in the kiddie zone and we went swimming…
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Next, we were off to a more local spot, all natural, and hidden off the road… we had to hike for a few minutes, even go thru a tunnel, to get there!
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Ithica Falls were much bigger, and all natural… not many tourists, but not really safe for swimming, so we just looked and hopped around on the rocks.
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Our third, and final waterfall was Buttermilk Falls… my favorite, by far!  Avery stopped on the way for a drink…
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These falls weren’t as steep as the others but they just kept going and going…
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Down below we walked on the water…
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Then we hiked above the falls.. so many stairs!  Pokey practically had to run up them because he is so long and has short legs and Fraiser was scared from the loud water crashing that Sarah had to pick him up and carry him because he refused to go any further!  But when we got to the top, it was worth it…
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The water was slow moving so we got to walk around on the flat rocks.  After the falls, we stopped and played at this biiiiig playground they had.  Avery had so much fun!!!  They had ropes and rock walls, slides, and it just makes we wish I designed playgrounds for a living!

On our way back to camp, we saw this little fellow… a baby fox!

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Sarah, Avery, and I played at the big playground back at the state park (the third playground of the weekend!)IMG_1981

Dinner, fire…

IMG_2046…..then out for ice cream!!! (Check out Purity Ice Cream… yum!!)  We did a lap around town so Avery would fall asleep and then we all turned in for the night.  We packed up and headed back on Sunday…

Although we spent 2 days driving and only 1 day enjoying Ithica (& Aunt Sarah), it was well worth the drive!  We all had a great time, especially Avery!  Now, if I don’t have to drive anywhere with Avery for a while, I would be very happy!  Man, this Momma and her bag of tricks need a rest!!!

This week is a normal week for us – school and work.  Plenty of time to rest up for another busy weekend… a 5K and a Birthday Party!  Next week is 4th of July and we’ll be… you guessed it… camping!

❤ Meghan

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