Family Vacation Template: New England Road Trip

The worst part of a family vacation, other than unexpected kid tantrums, is planning and research. So we want to try something new on The Dad… Family Vacation Templates. When someone on our staff or someone in our community goes on a cool vacation, we’ll have ’em lay out the itinerary (transportation, hotels, restaurants, activities, etc.) along with some very light commentary. Maybe you were wanting to visit the same spot? You can pick and choose from the template, do what you like and sub out what you don’t, and save a ton of time (and maybe money)!

They don’t have to be road trips, or busy vacations, or expensive. They can be super simple! In fact, it’s encouraged.

First up…. a New England road trip: Boston->Cape Cod->Portland Maine->Bar Harbor->White Mountain National Forest->Boston.

Have you been to these places? Anything I should’ve done but didn’t? Would you like to do a similar writeup for a trip you went on recently? Email us at [email protected]

Background

Not all vacations are the same, and not all families are the same. Helpful to know the folks on this trip. My wife and I have two kids: a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. They’re relatively flexible travels, as far as kids go. They aren’t always into overly active stuff like hiking, but they love swimming and experiencing new places. Your mileage may vary.

Day 1: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Flew into Boston Logan International Airport
  • Rented a car from Hertz Gold. Not an ad but I love Hertz Gold. Walk out, see your name on the board, pick any car. We let the kids pick. They picked a minivan. ????
  • Drove to Harvard
  • Alexander W. Kemp Playground. Pretty basic. But kids got some travel energy out.
  • Walked around Harvard. Visited Civil War Monument, Harvard Yard, John Harvard Statue, Harvard Square, Harvard Book Store. Bought some candy at Cabot’s Candy.
  • Drove to Fenway. Ate pizza at Woody’s Grill and Tap. Good pizza. (Just outside the restaurant, a dude stopped me on the street to tell me he loves The Dad! Love when that happens. If you see me, say hi!)
  • Walked over to Fenway Park and checked it out
  • Ate at The Barking Crab. Cool outdoor seating next to the water, traditional Boston seafood.
  • Walked over to Fan Pier Park. Not a lot for kids to do but we walked around and took in the cool views.
  • Walked back down to Children’s Wharf Park (currently under construction). Got photos with Hood Milk building (large milk jug for some reason?).
  • Got ice cream at Taiyaki NYC. Cool fish-lookin’ cones. Unique flavors.
  • Stayed at Seaport Hotel. Good city hotel with an indoor pool and fitness center. Location was awesome. We paid $345/night.
Fan Pier Park

Day 2: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Ate lunch at Buco Trattoria. More of a lunch spot for office workers, but pretty good. Had a small attached art gallery.
  • Boston Children’s Museum. Three floors. Lots to do for all ages. We stayed for several hours.
  • Took an Uber to The Paul Revere House. At this point, I had ENOUGH of Boston traffic. Depends on day/time of course, but we would’ve been better off walking. The Paul Revere House was slightly interesting from a historical perspective, just in sheer age of the structure and some stuff in it. But the kids definitely didn’t fully appreciate it and we weren’t there for long.
  • Walked down to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, did some window shopping. Lots of trinkets and touristy stuff. But also lots of food offerings if you want to try lots of stuff in one spot.
  • Ate at MIJA Cantina and Tequila Bar. This is a Mexican place in the market. Was actually super good. I picked the three most unique taco options on the menu and loved ’em all. My picky kids even liked the “crispy duck” taco.
  • Walked back to Seaport Hotel. Decently long walk for the kids but soooo much better than sitting in traffic. Saw the Boston Tea Party museum in distance.

Day 3: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

  • Drove to Cape Cod
  • Went to Seagull Beach. Nice, clean, pretty empty. Hardly any waves.
  • Ate lunch at Keltic Kitchen. They are known for breakfast food. Three words: CORNED BEEF HASH. Top notch.
  • Went to Veteran’s Park Beach. Had a good playground near the beach. My kids went in the water even though it was very cold.
  • Putt putt at Wild Animal Lagoon. Pretty standard family vacation putt putt. When in Rome, go putt putting. They did have this cooler of Dip N Dots style coffee ice cream though? Amazing.
  • Ate at TUGBOATS. $30 is a little pricey for a seafood sampler that literally has “Ritz crackers” on it, but cool outdoor seating overlooking the sun setting on the water.
  • Stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Cod. I’m sure there are better places to stay in Cape Cod but we honestly had trouble finding a good one. This place had free breakfast and indoor pool and hot tub. Did the trick. We paid $235/night.

Day 4: Drive up the coast to Bar Harbor, Maine

  • Drove up the coast
  • Stopped in Portland Maine at East End Beach on the Eastern Promenade trail. Loved this little town. Would’ve liked to spend more time there. Scenic and quaint. Saw a couple breweries and coffee shops. We just passed through. But this park had great views. We hiked around a bit.
  • Stayed at Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor – Acadia Natl Park. This hotel (or *ahem* resort, rather) was in a good location. The outside of the hotel was gorgeous. The outdoor pool overlooked the water in an almost infinity pool-esque way. Amazing. The staff was great. The rooms, however, were kind of stuffy and outdated. I’m not picky, but they didn’t give off a very clean feeling if you know what I mean. We paid $219/night.

Day 5: Bar Harbor, Maine

  • This was Father’s Day! I woke up and my entire family surprised me by wearing The Dad shirt. Hilarious and adorable.
  • Miss Samantha Lobster Fishing & Seal Watch Cruises. This was fantastic. We debated doing a 4 hour whale watching trip or this. We’re glad we picked this. The guides were great and it was very kid friendly and engaging. We saw a “pregnant lobster,” which even fascinated the naturalist (she hadn’t seen one before!).
  • Ate at Stewman’s Lobster Pound for lunch. This is a classic Maine thing. They had a “full lobster experience.” I did that. If you like lobster, pretty good! But for me, lobster is just so-so, and after seeing the “pregnant lobster”, it kinda grossed me out a bit tbh. But that’s just me. And I got a couple Thunder Hole Ales from Mid Atlantic Brewing and it was 100 emoji.
  • Drove up Cadillac Mountain and hiked a bit. As the highest point in Maine, this is the spot where the sun rises first on the United States each day. Pretty cool, and very accessible for families.
  • Went down to Sand Beach. Was overcast but still cool. Can’t say enough great things about Acadia National Park. So many great sights, especially if you like hiking, but even if you don’t.
  • Ate at Atlantic Brewing Midtown. Chill atmosphere and great food and beer flights. Plus rooftop dining!

Day 6: Bar Harbor, Maine

  • Next day hiked Jordan Pond from Trailhead to Bubble Rock Overlook and back. There’s a trail that goes up the east side of the pond. Maybe all the way around? Either way, hours of lovely hiking.
  • Ate at Jordan Pond House. Apparently, this is a must-do Acadia thing that we just stumbled upon. Glad we did. Good food. They’re known for “popovers“, which are spherical hollow pastry-like things that you put butter and jam on/in. Not bad.
  • Went to Wild Acadia. Kids were sick of hiking so we let them pick what we did in the afternoon. They chose this place they saw on the drive in that had a waterslide. They also had some ziplines and go-karts. It was… exactly what you would expect.
  • Walked across the Bar Island Land Bridge to Bar Island. During low tide, there is a sand bar bridge that becomes exposed. You can then walk across where the water used to be like Moses parting the Red Sea. It’s worth checking out! Make sure to time it right. My wife went for a jog and was out at Bar Island when the tide came back in and she had to wade through the water back to shore haha.
  • Ate dinner at Paddy’s Irish Pub. Actually a hotel restaurant. I got lobster bisque and it was ON POINT. But when is it ever not?
  • Walked to Mount Desert Island Ice Cream. Worth the .3 mile walk. Great flavors. I got “The Dude”, a white Russian flavored milkshake, with alcohol in it! We ate at the Village Green just outside the ice cream joint. A guy was playing violin and the weather was perfect. Quite nice.

Day 7: Drive through White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

  • Next day drove to New Hampshire. The drive itself was scenic. I took it all in while the kids watched a movie on the iPad. Ha.
  • Drove up Mt. Washington. This drive is no joke. It’s very tight, with no guardrails and very scary/steep ledges. I imagine if you are afraid of heights and/or not a great driver, you may panic a bit on the way up. On the way down, you CAN’T ride the brakes or they will overheat and fail. So take breaks. The peak was incredible though. Highest winds ever recorded were recorded at the top! They also have a cog railway that goes up it, but takes awhile.
  • Ate dinner at little pizza place called Pub 32. Great beer selection. Don’t know for sure but I feel we picked the best pizza place in town.
  • Stayed at RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain. This place was very nice. Huuuuge outdoor pool. Arcade. Winery. We hit up the winery for a tasting. I got the feeling the hotel was part of some sort of timeshare-style real estate investing salesy kinda thing. And I was scared we’d be solicited for some type of sales pitch while we were there, but thankfully it never came. We paid $250/night.

Day 8: White Mountain National Forest and drive back to Boston, Massachusetts

  • Hiked Flume Gorge. This was about 2 miles. But there was enough interesting stuff to see that the kids enjoyed it too.
  • Drove back to Boston airport

TikTok Filter Allows Users to Create Photos With Lost Loved Ones

TikTok Filter Allows Users to Create Photos with People They've Lost
(TikTok/lexscameraroll)

TikTok is typically the home of viral dances and hilarious videos, but a recent filter has given users of the video-based social media site an unexpectedly meaningful tool. It’s no secret that TikTok users are astoundingly creative with the tools at their disposal, but even the brains behind the “Green Screen Scan” effect were shocked by how users utilized it in a way that was both powerful and cathartic.

The effect allows users to upload a photo and then “flatten” themselves, making it look as if they’re superimposed in the existing photo. As expected, many videos featured the tool as a way to play pranks on family members, convincing them they were places they most definitely weren’t supposed to be. Other users, however, realized that the tool gave them a way to do something that was previously impossible – create brand new photos with loved ones who were no longer alive.

One TikTok user, Alexis Puckett, tragically lost her dad to esophageal cancer in 2018. In a video that’s been viewed over 7.6 million times, Alexis demonstrates the power of the green screen scan tool.

The video begins with Alexis looking slightly baffled. The on-screen text says, “You’re telling me I can still take pics with my dad??”

Using the scan effect, Alexis changes the background of the video to an old photo of her dad. She smiles at the camera as the filter does its job – scanning from top to bottom, it freezes Alexis seamlessly into the photo. Years after his death, incredibly, Alexis now has a brand new photo to cherish.

@lexscamerarolloh yea this one hurt ##fyp ##lgbt♬ original sound – Sad audios

“That just broke me,” commented one user. Others filled the comments section with both sadness and excitement, thinking about all the ways they themselves wanted to use the filter.

Word quickly spread, and TikTok was flooded with videos of users creating photos with their late parents, grandparents, friends, and everything in between.

“STOP this hurted,” another user named Sara Rogers captioned her heartbreaking video, one that she created after tragically losing her mom in a car accident last year.

@saramargsSTOP this hurted.♬ original sound – Sad audios

“I made another [TikTok] before I made this one that I ended up posting and I immediately bawled my eyes out as you can probably tell by my red face,” Rogers told Buzzfeed News. “It looked way too realistic and was very sentimental to me.”

Hero Dog Named Captain America Wakes Family When House Catches Fire

Dog named Captain America wakes family during fire
(YouTube/KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source)

It almost feels like dogs are just waiting around for a chance to become the heroes of any potentially disastrous situation. From daring rescues to risking it all to protect the people they love, dogs are far more than just the adorable goofballs who occasionally eat an entire loaf of bread that was left within their reach.

Captain America was adopted from the San Antonio Humane Society three years ago, and the lab-mix recently lived up to his name in a way nobody could have anticipated. One evening in mid-January while Captain America’s family slept, the watchful hero realized something wasn’t right. The same nose that wakes him from the deepest sleep as soon as he smells food alerted him to something more sinister – smoke.

“We were sleeping and first thing I heard was our dog Captain America started to bark,” Eric Greene told KHOU.

Captain America’s human rose groggily from bed, likely assuming the dog had to make a 2AM bathroom run. Upon arriving downstairs, Greene made a startling discovery.

“I came down stairs and saw smoke and fire coming from the back deck of our house,” he recalled.

Greene rushed to alert his wife and three sons of the fire, all of whom made it out of the house safely thanks to Captain America. The Helotes Fire Department arrived on the scene and extinguished the flames, while neighbors offered the family support.

The Greene family home sustained significant damage, but thankfully, the family of five is unharmed. As for Captain America, well, the Very Good Boy will receive rewards for his life-saving efforts in the form of plenty of extra pets and treats. Meanwhile, the rest of us eagerly await an all-dog reboot of The Avengers.

Take a Moment To Appreciate a Rare Volcanic Rock That Looks Like Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster Rock
(Twitter/ImoveCar)

Some things in life are fun and that’s it. It doesn’t change the world, or totally shift the national conversation, or have any effect on your life at all. It’s just cool. Case in point: a rare volcanic rock found by a gemologist that looks just like Cookie Monster.

The rock was found in the Rio Grande do Sul region (no, YOU don’t know where that is) of Brazil last fall. The current owner said he’s received multiple offers for the rock, including some in the tens of thousands. Some speculate the rock could be worth north of $100,000.

But we know better, that rock is truly priceless. Even Cookie Monster himself took some time from his busy day on Sesame Street to acknowledge the uncanny resemblance.

It’s his most viral tweet ever, and it came a few days after the first tweet went pretty viral. That’s how much we need news like this now, a straight-up palate cleanser. Something where you can look at it, say “hey, that’s kinda neat” and feel a little bit better about the world for five minutes.

As far as Muppets in nature go, this takes the cookie. Not even Beaker on Mars comes close.

Someone needs to feed that rock ASAP, or they will soon have a situation on their hands.

Wanna Join ‘The Family’? Watch These 15 Mafia Movies First

Best Mafia Movies: 'Goodfellas'
(Warner Bros.)

Here we are, entering month 763 of life during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve binge-watched everything in our Netflix queue, eaten all of the quarantine snacks, reached #ExpertLevel at forming our beard hair into funny clusters. And now we’re bored again. So very bored. Not only do we need something to help pass the time, but we also need something that’ll get our adrenaline going and make us feel like we haven’t entirely lost our edge. Enter, the best mafia movies.

While we often think of the mafia as something from movies, it’s based on a dark reality. The American Mafia originated in the late 19th century as an offshoot of the actual Italian — more specifically Sicilian — Mafia. As poor, struggling Italian immigrants grappled with the harsh reality of life in the United States, they looked for ways to survive. They banded together and took up the same past they’d left behind in Italy. Together as a unit (or “family,” though that doesn’t mean they’re blood relatives), the newly formed Italian-American Mafia took steps toward thriving in their new environment. Granted, those steps were often illegal and deadly. Even so, their movement quickly spread throughout other large cities across America. The hitch? The Mafia’s criminal behavior quickly led to finding itself in an “us vs. them” situation, with nearly everyone on the wrong side of the fight… at least according to the Mafia.

If this all sounds pretty fascinating to you, well, say hello to our little list of the best mafia movies of all time. Over the years, the genre has generally come to include movies based on the Mafia, the more broad-reaching “mob” life, and the grittier gangster culture. We’ve included a little bit of everything, so consider reading it and binge-watching these cult classics an offer you can’t refuse.

Best Mafia Movies

1. Road to Perdition (2002)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman

Set during the Great Depression, the film follows two men as they set out to seek revenge for the mob murder of their family.

2. The Godfather (1972) & The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Starring: Marlon Brando, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino

Follow the Corleone family and their associates as they do shady and dangerous family business. Take note: GII is quite possibly one of the few sequels that holds up to its predecessor.

3. Get Shorty (1995)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, John Travolta, Danny DeVito

What’s life like when a mob henchman decides to pursue his Hollywood dreams? Well, it’s a little funny…

4. Goodfellas (1990)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

Based on the book Wiseguy, this mob movie classic follows the life and misadventures of one lifelong mafia man.

5. Scarface (1983) 

Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer

Yet another chance to see Al Pacino do what he does best. This time, he works in the drug trade in Miami and has a nasty cocaine addiction. Can he survive as the government and Colombian cartels close in on him?

6. American Gangster (2007)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Russell Crowe, RZA, Denzel Washington

A semi-autobiographical look at Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, American Gangster is a supremely well-acted story. The film wasn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely worth seeing for yourself.

7. Public Enemies (2009)

Starring: Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Johnny Depp

Listen. It’s a great film. And you can probably get your partner to watch it with you if you tell ’em Johnny Depp is in it. Bonus: He’s not even wearing guyliner.

8. Pulp Fiction (1994) 

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman, John Travolta

You’ve probably seen this at least half a dozen times, but it’s always worth seeing again. It’s the best Tarantino movie. Don’t @ us, bro — we said what we said.

9. The Irishman (2019)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin

This time, our mafia deep-dive takes us to the coal-rich state of Pennsylvania and brushes up with the infamous teamster Jimmy Hoffa.

10. Analyze This (1999)

Starring: Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow

You think De Niro ever gets sick of playing mobsters? Eh, who cares? We’ll never get sick of seeing him in that role.

11. Bugsy (1991)

Starring: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould

This biographical film follows real mobster Bugsy Siegel as he makes his way from New York to Hollywood and then helps build the Las Vegas strip. It’s old-timey and, honestly, pretty riveting.

12. The Freshman (1990)

Starring: Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick

A film student takes a job working for a New York mob boss. Crime, of course, ensues.

13. Eastern Promises (2007)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts

If you remember this movie at all, it’s probably because of the incredibly violent and completely naked fight scene. This one branches out a little bit and tells a story involving a Russian mob-run child sex trafficking ring.

14. The Departed (2006)

Starring: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga

Boston accents! (Why else would a Wahlberg be in it?) This Irish Mob-focused film plays a bit of cat-and-mouse between a mole and an undercover cop.

15. Donnie Brasco (1997)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino

Yeah, it’s Johnny Depp again, in all his pre-Tim Burton resplendence. This one follows an FBI agent who works his way into the Mafia and finds out that his personality and moral compass might be better suited to such a life.

Nintendo Is Celebrating Animal Crossing New Horizons’ One Year Anniversary

(Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues its reign as one of the best-selling Switch games, and it looks like Nintendo is extremely aware of that.  They aren’t going to let the hype train slow down any time soon.  On March 20th, New Horizons will celebrate it’s one year anniversary and there are tons of new editions just over the “horizon” to check out.  We’ve got new updates, controllers, and villagers (to either shower with gifts or bonk on the head with our nets) to look forward to, so let’s take a look.

Hello Kitty Sanrio Collaboration Pack

The crossover of the century is here.  Yes, we will be getting Hello Kitty themed items… as long as you can purchase the pack of Amiibo cards they come from.  Each pack of cards from the ‘Sanrio Collaboration Pack’ comes with new items and cute little villagers that aren’t currently available in New Horizons.  You can’t pre-order them yet, but they’re going to be available on March 26th, 2021 and will be a Target exclusive.  Personally, I’m more excited for the Mario-themed items coming in the March update, but my wife has already threatened me that if I don’t get at least one of these new Amiibo, she will sell my PS5.

Isabelle & Tom Nook Controllers

(Nintendo)

These new Isabelle and Tom Nook controllers that are officially licensed by Nintendo look awesome.  The colors pop and they’d be a great addition to anyone’s Switch set-up.  They’re available for pre-order right now on Amazon and have a release date of February 14th, 2021.  This Valentine’s Day, forget about buying flowers and make the right choice.  This will win your loved ones over forever.

(Nintendo)

You can pre-order the Isabelle Controller here and the Tom Nook Controller here for $25.

Free Updates

Nintendo will also continue to pump out free updates for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  They’re nothing fancy (except Halloween, I loved that one) but it is always nice to see new things to do coming out on a regular basis.  Nintendo has even mentioned that they plan on supporting the game with free updates for the next three years.  You can check out the next update in the trailer down below which arrives on January 28th.  This will bring Pave, the Festivale and some sick new dance moves to your repertoire of emotes.

Are you still in love with Animal Crossing: New Horizons?  It was one of my family’s favorite games last year and my wife and I still try to play every day.  I’m almost finished donating all the critters to my museum.  I don’t think I’ll ever finish my art exhibit though.  That seems like a lost cause since Redd never wants to show up.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Pedro Pascal Teases New Timeline, Crossovers for Mando Season Three

Pedro Teases Mandalorian S3 Details
(Disney+)

After a fantastic second season that culminated in a mind-blowing finale, fans are dying to learn what’s next for The Mandalorian. Not only did the season end with some major changes that could forever alter the show, but the post-credits stinger scene also confused fans by introducing a new story about Boba Fett.

It has since been clarified that The Book of Boba Fett is a standalone spin-off show and that The Mandalorian will be back for a third season. What we don’t yet know is what the third season will be like, now that the driving storyline of the first two installments was seemingly resolved.

With all the new Star Wars shows coming down the pike for Disney+, it might be a while before we see Mando again, and if recent comments by Pedro Pascal are accurate, some time may pass for the character as well…

Pascal gave an interview to IndieWire in which he discussed his monumental 2020, which not only featured The Mandalorian but also a role in Robert Rodriguez’s Netflix movie We Can Be Heroes, and a villainous turn in Wonder Woman 1984.

During the interview, the actor dropped a few hints about the future of his Star Wars show, which may include shifting timelines and cross-overs into other worlds.

“I am told what’s happening and what the plan is,” said Pascal, “but I can’t share it. They are in the expansion of this world, where there are so many unexpected surprises and timelines that are going to be dealt with. If the character were to cross over into these worlds, it will be utilized in a way that isn’t meant to be expected. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise of whether or not characters from the show we already know are crossing over.”

There’s both a lot of info in there and very little. It definitely makes sense that after season two, The Mandalorian will stretch its wings a bit and broaden the scope of his adventures. Exactly how “crossing over” into different worlds will work is yet to be seen, but Pascal seems hesitant to say much more.

One of the main storylines fans are hoping to see is the battle for Mandalore, which includes Mando’s ownership of the dark saber, putting him at odds with Bo-Katan. Not sure how his comments line up with that, which seems like a more expected continuation of the series. There definitely seems to be hinting at something less conventional.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon, as Disney+ moves forward with its plans. Until then, may the force be with you.

I mean, this is the way.

You’ll Relish This Hot Dog and Bun Toaster

hot dog toaster
Amazon

I think we can all agree that there are few things better than a perfectly toasted hot dog, and you can’t get that from microwaving hot dogs and using cold buns. Sorry. It just doesn’t work that way; I don’t make the rules. If you want baseball park-worthy hot dogs, you gotta go pro. And by pro, I mean a hot dog toaster. It’s just as fast and convenient as a microwave, but delivers a far superior product (it even gives you grill marks). And it’s only $20, so you might as well buy one for yourself and everyone you know, because nobody deserves to eat sad microwave dogs.

 

hot dog toaster
Amazon

Purchase for $20

This hot dog toaster will toast two hot dogs at a time, distributing even heat on all sides so that it’s perfectly cooked every single time (it accommodates for extra-large hot dogs, so don’t worry if you prefer them robust). The toaster also features adjustable heat settings, and even comes with special tongs so you don’t have to burn your hands every time you make yourself a hot dog. Cleaning is even easier since all you need to do is remove the drip tray and wipe it down separately.

Is it a novelty gift? Sure. But it’s so worth it (and if your S.O. or roommate are concerned about counter space, rest assured that it’s pretty slim and compact). 5,000+ customers who’ve given the toaster five stars on Amazon would agree. “LOVE IT!!!! I bought this for home so my 7 year old could make a quick snack before bed…he loves hot dogs…. I love the smell of cooking hot dogs and buns without the mess!” one reviewer wrote.

“We LOVE that this makes AWESOME Grill marks on the hot dogs!!! I read all the reviews before purchasing and I am shocked that no one mentioned this! And this is not simply a hot dog Heater Upper LOL! There is a BIG difference in using this versus a microwave. For one, THE Grill Marks LOL Sorry- that just tickled me silly and I am in love with that feature alone 🙂 The hot dog does not get “rubbery” like they can in the microwave. We cook ours on setting number 5 and it gets a perfect sear on the outside trapping in all the juices. This little hot dog toaster will give you perfectly juicy hot dogs every single time,” another customer wrote.

We did mention the grill marks, right?

Get one for yourself for $20.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Toddler’s Tangled Hair Is No Match for The Rock

The Rock does daughter's hair
(Instagram/therock)

Being a girl dad is both amazing and challenging. You begin to see the world in new and exciting ways through your daughter’s eyes, but you’re also tasked with learning skills you never thought you’d need. Recently, Dwayne Johnson shared a surprisingly confident (and absurdly adorable) post on Instagram featuring an unlikely skill – hair styling.

Realistically, The Rock probably hasn’t had a whole lot of experience tending to a head full of hair. While he may be slightly hair-deficient himself, his dedication to the cause is admirable. Honestly though, what better motivation to master a skill than a 2-year-old who’s counting on you?

The Rock’s Instagram post features two photos of him with his 2-year-old daughter Tiana, and boy do these pictures tell a story. If you’ve ever been scared to your very core at the beginning of a dentist appointment before realizing that it isn’t actually so bad, Tiana carries the same energy into her dad’s photo series.

The caption explains, “Now despite my two year old looking completely TERRIFIED for her life that daddy is solely responsible for getting all the painful tangles out of her hair…”

Looking at the first picture, Tiana stares desperately at whoever is holding the camera. She sends a silent “help me” plea to the person photographing evidence instead of stepping in, but fortunately, The Rock knows what he’s doing.

“Scroll left and you’ll see the calming energy, exceptional hair skills and extraordinary patience that daddy aka mr golden hands puts on full display,” the caption continues. “I may be bald but I know a thing or two about hair. Mainly because I wish I had it.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by therock (@therock)

In the second photo, Tiana seems to embrace her dad’s hair-styling skills. She’s visibly relaxed, perhaps even enjoying her at-home salon. The 2-year-old is The Rock’s third daughter, so to be fair, he’s had a bit of practice.

This enormous man literally tore a metal gate from its hinges when he was running late, yet he’s as gentle as a person can be when untangling his 2-year-old’s hair. The juxtaposition is both hilarious and endearing, and it’s one of the many reasons we simply cannot get enough of The Rock. There’s nothing the man can’t do – except, you know, grow his own hair.

Father Figures: Everything Fun

“This is Scott McLane – our favorite dad, husband and coach.

Scott works full time as an engineer, and in his off-time as the volunteer soccer coach for both our children’s soccer teams. He started with them in the rec program and transitioned to the travel program.

From the very first season when they were in kindergarten (shown below) through their transition to the more competitive travel program, he has put forth the same effort and dedication to ensure each child he coaches, including our own, has fun, learns, and develops into the best player they can be.

It’s a testament to who he is because on both our daughter’s and son’s teams he has players that have stayed with him from his very first season. His dedication has extended beyond our own children and he’s actually become the president of the soccer club. He is an amazing role model.

He makes everything fun. I can’t express just how much I love him for it and how proud I am to be married to him. Oh, and his dad joke game is excellent.”

– Laura McLane

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