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

Dad Opens Car Wash To Change the Life of His Son and Others With Autism

Being a parent means wanting your kids to have every opportunity they choose to pursue in life. But for parents of kids with disabilities, the world isn’t always so welcoming. Opportunities are limited, and for some, things we take for granted feel completely out of reach. Rather than let society dictate his son’s future, John D’Eri took things into his own hands.

John D’Eri’s son Andrew has autism, but D’Eri refused to accept the limitations autism supposedly gave him. The unemployment rate for those with autism is exceedingly high, often around 90%. But Andrew wouldn’t become part of that 90% – not on D’Eri’s watch.

“I want him to have a life,” D’Eri told NationSwell. “I want him to have a job. I want him to have friends that are like him.”

D’Eri knew his son was capable beyond what society expected, and he knew the same was true for others on the autism spectrum. To help give Andrew a sense of purpose and normalcy, D’Eri and his other son, Thomas, co-founded the Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland Florida – a car wash with a purpose.

“There are a lot of incredibly capable people with autism who rarely get a chance to excel in life because they have been labeled with a disability that society pities instead of a diversity that can be harnessed as a competitive advantage for business,” the Rising Tide website explains. “Now we utilize the strengths many individuals with autism have and leverage those into the highest quality experience on the market.”

The Rising Tide car wash employs around 35 individuals with autism, and each employee is held to the company’s high expectations. D’Eri stresses that individuals with autism are more than capable of doing good work. The success of the Rising Tide car wash proves his point – the high unemployment rate in those with autism is due to opportunity far more than ability.

D’Eri hopes that his family business sets a new standard across the board, opening up even more opportunities to those with autism.

“You might be thinking that we’ve succeeded in spite of our unusual workforce. The truth is that Rising Tide’s success is because of our unique team,” their website states. “Every time a customer leaves happy, every successful year of business we complete, and every new store we open is a testament of the value individuals with autism bring to the workforce.”

Brooklyn 99’s “One Last Ride” Gets a Trailer

Brooklyn 99 has had a strange road. It started as an Andy Samberg vehicle before quickly establishing itself as a classic ensemble workplace comedy. It started on one network before getting canceled and then picked up by a different network, and then saw its final season delayed – like everything else – by the pandemic.

Perhaps most challenging, it’s a comedy about lovable, bumbling cops during a time when being a cop in America carries a lot of baggage and controversy.

But thanks to a great cast and a dedicated fan base, it weathered all those changes and controversies and managed to survive for eight years. It’s finally coming to an end with “One Last Ride,” the final season that NBC ordered in late 2019, and that finally hits the airwaves on August 12.

Despite the delay and the network change, it looks like more of the same from the amiable crew, and the whole cast is back, with Samberg joined by his winning, diverse cast: incredible foil, Andre Braugher, rival turned love interest Melissa Fumero, dopey partner Joe Lo Truglio, big-hearted tough guy Terry Crews, tough girl Stephanie Beatriz, and more, including fan-favorite guest stars back to help send the show off.

Check out the trailer for the final season:

July 2021: Lewis Creed Sr.

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for July 2021: Lewis Creed Sr. Being a dad is so much more than sharing genetics with your kids; it’s about giving your all and setting an example for your family, and Lewis’s step-daughter, Shauna, says he absolutely meets those criteria and then some:

“This is my dad, Lewis Creed Sr. He is the dad of 4 – my stepsister (Jennifer), my stepbrother (Lewis Jr.), my sister (Darla), and myself. My biological father walked out of the lives of my mom, my sister, and me when I was a few years old, so while Lou is my ‘step-dad,’ the saying ‘I’m not the stepdad, I’m the dad who stepped up’ is much more fitting.

Photos courtesy of Shauna Schuman

“In the 23+ years that Lou has been my dad, he has always truly done his best to be a caretaker and a provider for our family, as well as a positive example of what a man should be. From walking me down the aisle to marry my daughter’s dad, to staying by my mom’s side and helping take care of her as she went through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer, to coaching his brother, his son, and his grandson in wrestling, to moving his children and grandchildren across states or across the country, and even working multiple jobs to help financially support his grown children when they’ve faced struggles…I couldn’t have ever dreamed of a better dad than the one I have.

Photos courtesy of Shauna Schuman

“Beyond what he does for us, Lou is one of the first to drop things he has going on to help others whether they are family, friends, or complete strangers. Assisting with farm chores, building additions on houses and doing household repairs, auto troubleshooting and repairs, and building adjustable ramps for aging and disabled pets are just the beginning of what he does for others with any spare time he has, and he is extremely humble about all of it – never looking for any kind of recognition. This guy has a truly amazing heart, and I’m proud and extremely blessed to call him my dad!”

To honor Lewis, his selfless attitude towards life, and his incredible humility, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Lewis is an amazing example of a father who continually “steps up” to care for those he loves. Cheers!

Ryan Reynolds Explains the Genesis of “Feud” With Hugh Jackman

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have been feuding for a long time. The former costars, each most famous for playing their respective comic book superheroes (Jackman’s Wolverine and Reynolds’ Deadpool), even turned their feud into charity. The two never miss a chance to take a shot at the other. And now, Reynolds has explained the genesis of their feud.

OK, well, first, I should explain that it’s not a feud, it’s a “feud.” If it was a real Hollywood feud, you wouldn’t see them in public together capitalizing on it, it would be confined to passive-aggressive comments in the press and cryptic social media posts. It’s clear to anyone who has a brain that the two do like each other. And just in case it’s not clear, Reynolds has made the effort to explain it.

Reynolds was a guest on Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman, and Will Arnett’s podcast “Smartless” and called Jackman “one of the best guys I know.”

“I mean he really is just the nicest guy you’d ever meet, and it drives me nuts sometimes…he really is the real deal,” Reynolds said. He said the two have fun taking jabs at each other, but that Jackman is like his life Sherpa.

Reynolds mentioned it was Jackman’s relentless optimism that forced him to lash out initially.

“He reciprocates, of course, because he’s nothing if not a sportsman,” Reynolds said. “And that’s kind of it.”

The two are both great actors, but also really good people, who have done a tremendous amount of charity work. That’s the best kind of celebrity you can be, someone who uses your platform for good, but isn’t afraid to have some ball-busting fun along the way.

Now that he’s gone on record, even people who didn’t fully understand the “feud” can enjoy the snipes taking place between the two, knowing they come from a good place of mutual respect.

Do You Want a Pizza This? Brazilian Restaurant Sells World’s Strangest Pizzas

Pizza is a food so beautifully diverse that it can be transformed into things that barely resemble the three-ingredient classic. There’s a fine line between creative pizzas and things that no longer qualify as pizza at all, and restaurants like Pizzaria Batepapo in Brazil are constantly testing the limits. Maybe all it takes to qualify is a single person who believes it’s a pizza, but even so, this Pizzaria’s Frankenstein-like creations are a hard sell, maybe even criminal.

Most foods take on different forms in different countries, and Brazilian pizza is no exception. Some popular pizza toppings in the South American country include tuna and onions, broccoli with bacon and cream cheese, and green peas. If regular Brazilian pizzerias offer such an odd array of toppings, it’s going to take some serious dedication to stand out. Fortunately (or something), Pizzaria Batepapo is up to the challenge.

Founder Dos Santos started creating giant pizzas almost a decade ago, but once he began sharing pictures of some of his more creative pies on social media, he never looked back. Pizzaria Batepapo is an immersive culinary experience, one you won’t soon forget.

Maybe you’re looking for something savory,

Or are dessert pizzas your jam?

 

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Don’t worry if you can’t decide,

 

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You can have both.

 

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Or maybe just some extra cheese?

 

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I honestly couldn’t even tell you if the baby comes with it at this point.

 

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Every day we stray further from God’s light

 

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Pineapple on pizza doesn’t seem so bad now, huh?

 

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I need a shower.

 

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Watch Snoop Dogg Light Up Peacock’s Olympics Coverage

It’s a little bit hard to believe for those of us who first knew him as a gangster rapper on the notorious Death Row label, but Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg, is one of America’s most beloved celebrities. It seems the culture has finally caught up with the notorious pothead, as marijuana use has grown increasingly mainstream and increasingly legal. Now Snoop can befriend Martha Stewart, appear in national ad campaigns, call boxing matches, and even provide commentary during the Olympics.

Of course, he’s still Snoop, so if you’re gonna hire him to call some Olympic highlights, alongside comedian Kevin Hart, you’d better be prepared for some antics.

Over the weekend, Peacock put Hart and Snoop behind a desk and let them riff on some Olympic footage, and they did not disappoint. Snoop was on one, noting the similarities between the equestrian event and cripwalking, much to his co-host’s delight.

Snoop also took advantage of the similarity of an Olympic event name to some urban dictionary slang that I would not suggest you explain to your children.

Even after referencing gangs and… bangs (sorry), Snoop emerged unscathed, with most taking delight in his commentary and appreciating the wildcard spirit he brought to the gig. Peacock took it all on stride:

And viewers loved it:

No word yet on whether there was any backlash to Snoop’s hosting, but something tells me he’ll be just fine.

“Scariest Silence of My Life,” Video Shows Emotional Moment Baby Regains Pulse

The birth of your baby is a moment you never forget. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, each birthing experience is unique and magical. Every parent hopes for a straightforward labor and delivery, a predictably difficult but otherwise uneventful day. Unfortunately, for many parents, the day your baby enters the world can be filled with fear and uncertainty.

When TikTok user Sheri sherinicole455 went into labor, she never realized her daughter’s life could be in danger. In a video that’s been viewed over 4.7 million times, Sheri shares the terrifying moment she and her husband feared they would never get to watch their daughter grow up.

“We lost her heartbeat while I was pushing,” Sheri explains in the on-screen text. “She was blue and completely lifeless.”

@sherinicole455Giving me a run for my money since the day she was born 😅 ##childbirth ##birth ##babiesoftiktok ##fyp ##McDonaldsCCSing ##VideoSnapChallenge ##labor ##cute

♬ Sad Emotional Piano – DS Productions

Though Sheri’s reaction isn’t visible through the rails of the hospital bed, her husband’s panic is tangible. He stares down helplessly at his wife and newborn baby as the nurses work quickly and skillfully, waiting for a sign that his daughter is ok.

For a few heartbreaking seconds, the room is filled with a heavy silence. When a few short moments mean the difference between life and death for your child, however, those seconds feel like an eternity. A sharp cry suddenly tears through the silence, freeing the panicked dad from his petrified trance.

“The most relieving sound in the world,” confirms the on-screen text.

As the heroic nurses congratulate the new parents, Dad drops his head into his hands and cries tears of relief. Sheri reaches out towards her husband, wordlessly sharing a moment of joy and gratitude.

“I saw him crying, and I knew he was worried,” Sheri recalled in the comments. “He told me later that he thought we had already lost her, and hearing her cry was overwhelming.”

New ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Trailer Gives Us the Woody We Deserve

Fans have been waiting for this ever since the post-credits scene!

Remember Venom, Sony’s unlikely Spider-man adjacent blockbuster from a few years back that featured Tom Hardy going gonzo as investigative journalist Eddie Brock AND ravenous alien symbiote Venom? The sequel is coming and based on the new trailer, it’s going to have exactly what we want: more Woody Harrelson!

Harrelson’s role as Carnage in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was teased at the end of the first movie, and fans have been dying to see Harrelson’s red-headed serial killer, Cletus Kasady, get infected by a symbiote of his own and match Hardy’s scene-chewing antics. The people behind these movies know what we want, and they’re giving it to us. In spades!

Eddie Brock and Venom have settled into an odd-couple relationship, complete with rule (“No eating people”), but once the depraved Cletus gets a taste (literally) of his own symbiote, he has nothing but chaos – and carnage – on his mind.

Check out the crazy new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, coming this fall:

David Ayer Defends His ‘Suicide Squad:’ “Who Would I Be to My Kids if I Quit?”

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max this weekend, and early reviews suggest it will be fun, goofy, chaotic, and hilarious; four things the original Suicide Squad movie was not. The first movie is… not good. But DCEU devotees think it could have been, if director David Ayer had been allowed to release his intended version of the movie. And after the success of Zach Snyder’s Justice League do-over, there has been a growing call to #releasetheAyerCut of the original Suicide Squad.

But, because it’s the internet, there has also been a surge of people seeing the new movie as an excuse to dunk on Ayer.

One particular tweet seemed to be a final straw for the writer/director. In a three-page letter he posted on Twitter, Ayer defends work, shed light on the sometimes painful creative process, and offered an inspiring, if somewhat gritty meditation on perseverance.

“I put my life into Suicide Squad. I made something amazing – My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some ‘bad people’ who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul),” Ayer wrote. The letter touches on his troubled youth, and how these stories is a part of his sense of redemption and self-worth.

Along with standing by his own integrity, Ayer also made sure to heap praise on his team, as well as James Gunn. It’s a fascinating read, and worth considering what could have been, had the studio not done what studios tend to do.  He concludes the letter by saying this is the last time he’ll be speaking publicly about his cut and the controversy surrounding it. Read his response, and try to keep your adrenaline down because the man is fired up!