Toddler Friendly Road Trip from Philadelphia to Niagara Falls

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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Review: Magformers 62 Piece Set

Colin and I first came across Magformers when we visited a friend’s house a year back. Less than a few months, we succumbed to the temptation and purchased the Magformers Designer Set as opposed to getting the conventional Mega Bloks building blocks although the recommended age for Magformers was 6+.

In the initial months, we were basically the ones building different structures with the magnetic pieces and teaching Ashley what they were. Slowly, Ashley would just tell us what she wants and we will build for her. A few months back after she turned 26 months, she started hands-on with the magnetic pieces and could build simple structures such as wheels and railway tracks independently. Since then, this has become a routine and a compulsory before bedtime activity.

Ashley In Action

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ESSO Synergy Fuel with Improved Formula & New Names

Starting from July 2015, ESSO has completed the face lift of its stations to enhance its customer experience and introduced the improved formula of its gasoline. The names and color codes of its petrol were also changed, and caused some confusion to the drivers. The red color petrol, which previously represented Synergy 5000 or Octane-95 equivalent, is now used to represent its Octane-98 petrol or also known as Synergy Supreme+. Below are the new names of the different grades of gasoline offered by ESSO.

ESSO Synergy NEW

The entry grade,  Octane-92 also known as (a.k.a) Synergy Regular, contains more additives that can help improve your fuel efficiency.

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Amazon Prime Day (15 July) – 20th Birthday!

Amazon is turning 20th this year on 15 July (midnight PST). To commemorate this day, Amazon will be bringing “Prime Day” to us. New deals will be introduced throughout the day at every 10 minutes, and are said to be better than the annual Black Friday. Deals are not limited to IT gadgets, and you can enjoy exclusive deals from clothing, toys, cosmetics and more. However, “Prime Day” is limited to new and existing Prime members only! Hit on the link below to sign up for your FREE 30-days Amazon Prime trial.

More details can be found here to better understand what Amazon Prime has to offer.

Fuel Saving Facts & Fictions (Compiled by Shell)

Shell FuelsaveI have been repeatedly hearing the advertisement by Shell on fuel saving lately on the radio, so I am pretty curious to find out what it is all about and whether I am doing the right things.

As the pump prices have been constantly rebounding by the all-time low in 2014 since the economic crisis in 2008, drivers do need to monitor their driving patterns and habits and try to maximise every dollar spent on petrol.

These were the top 5 habits commonly practised by the 1000 drivers polled by Shell between Dec 2014 to Jan 2015. Quite surprised with some of the habits that are practised by fellow drivers. Time to kick off those so-called tips that do not help you and save some $$. There are definitely more funny habits that somehow we still practise even though it does not help at all to save fuel. Trends of petrol prices moving north is nearing again.

  •  Driving slowly all the time (92%)

Colin: Cruising at higher speed definitely consumes lesser petrol than driving slowly. Plus, you get to your destination faster! However, do abide by the speed limit and drive safely.

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