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Planning for a road trip with a toddler is never easy and requires many thoughts and considerations. This year, we planned yet another 2 weeks long road trip around Sydney to escape the 365-day long summer in Singapore.
Upon arriving in Sydney Airport on the first day, we drove on to our first pit stop of the trip, Martys at Little Beach located at Nelson Bay which took around 2 hours 45 minutes. This was not a very wise choice as we realized that (1) there is nothing much at Nelson Bay for a toddler to do and (2) accommodations around Port Stephens and Newcastle have strict regulations that children between 2-12 of age are required to have a bed of their own (most other hotels/motels typically allow children of the same age to stay for free if they are sharing the existing bedding). Fortunately, we only had to spend one night before we proceed on to Port Macquarie the next morning.
Port Macquarie is a beautiful place to visit for families with young children with its local attractions such as Koala Hospital and Roto House. There is a big grass area around Roto House that the little one can run around freely. Another place in Port Macquarie that shouldn’t be missed by young children is the Pancake Place. There is a nice corner set up for children with stuffed toys and story books during their time there.
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It has been slightly past two months since we came back from our 3-week vacation in the U.S.A. I finally found time to write this post and share on our experience for this road trip with our little princess, Ashley, who is now 2 and a half years old. Although this was not the first road trip that we have had with Ashley, this was by far the longest road trip as we made a round trip from Philadelphia to Niagara Falls in just one week. Many considerations were put in place when we planned this road trip such as deciding the stop-overs for Ashley’s meal and leg stretches wherein she would be able to run free and not be stuck in the car for 3 to 4 long hours continuously.
Our road trip started with the arrival at Philadelphia International Airport in the morning at approximately 9 a.m. Some may ask, “Why not JFK or NEW airport if you are going to the Niagara Falls?”. Well, my answer is simple. “Sesame Place” is in Philadelphia and since the distance from the New York airports to Niagara Falls does not differ much from Philadelphia, it seems like the most logical choice for us especially given the thought that Ashley would be ecstatic to see Elmo and friends.
For the first stop-over of the 1 week road trip, we stopped by Lehigh Valley Mall in Allentown for lunch and quick shopping as we were stumped by the cold temperatures in Philadelphia as opposed to the sunny Orlando which we were at earlier. Next, we drove on to the town of Corning, sadly to coincide with the closing time of Corning Museum as we had stayed longer in Lehigh than originally planned. We settled for a quick dinner at a Chinese restaurant before heading to our first pit stop of the trip, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Bath. It is a pleasant and simple inn for an overnight stay (generally clean room except for the mouldy showerhead in the toilet) with nearby eateries around such as Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and Pizza Hut. There is also a Walgreens within walking distance should you need to do some simple grocery shopping. Furthermore, Microtel Inn provides complimentary breakfast of coffee, tea, cereals and bread rolls that you can enjoy before you hit the roads.
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