Last weekend, the Nolan’s went road tripping. It was very much a last minute vacation; the weather had been so absolutely beautiful (notice I said ‘had been’) that I couldn’t help myself. Chelsea had never been to PEI and Brent & I haven’t been for almost 10 years!
As our makeshift plans fell into place, I was also able to get us a test drive in a Ford Escape Titanium from Steele Ford Lincoln. We are only a family of three, but with a road trip, extra storage and comfort are always welcome. All of our luggage and beach gear easily fit in the back with room to spare and that left the whole vehicle open for electronics and snacks… aka, Chelsea’s road trip essentials.
We decided to take the Ferry from NS to PEI and take the Confederation Bridge home. As you only pay to get off Prince Edward Island, so this way gives you the most bang for your buck. It also meant only about an hour and a half drive before the ferry took over for a bit.
As soon as we were able to snap a few photos and wait in line for an order of PEI ‘Ferry Fries’, it was time to drive off the ferry – those 75 minutes fly by. I took advantage of the Escape’s navigation system and took a very unorthodox route to the north shore… it was fun to get off the main roads without worry of getting too lost. We surprised Chelsea with a stop at Sandspit in Cavendish, and we spent the whole afternoon there.
After our fun at Sandspit, we continued west to Rodd Mill River Resort, our destination for the first two nights. I ended up selecting the Rodd because the rates were great and there is a great pool and waterslide, which is really all that Chelsea cares about. I booked a family fun package that I saw on their website and we were able to get two nights, a family pass to Mill River Fun Park and a packed picnic lunch for under $300 taxes in.
Chelsea had fun at the Mill River Fun Park, but the water was too cold for her liking to take part in any of the sides. We did do a few rounds on the bumper boats, and Chelsea enjoyed the playground and bouncy castles a lot. The place is really dated and the water is cold, but it’s super cheap to get in (even without our pass, I think it was only $9 per person) and kids under 10 could easily spend a fun day there – but Disney World it is not. Our picnic ‘lunch’ from the Rodd kept us going all day and was well packed in a carry-on sized insulated bag. It included 4 big sandwiches our choosing, 4 beverages and servings of coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato salad for 4 as well. The Rodd Mill River also a bit dated; the good bones and amenities are there, but it’s a bit like stepping back into 1995… if you can get past that, you will have a wonderful time and the staff is lovely.
On Sunday, we drove back into Charlottetown via the North Shore and once again stopped in Cavendish. It was a cool and drizzly day, so we took Chelsea in to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. She wasn’t every excited when we pulled into the parking lot, but she’s still talking about all the cool things she saw. I had actually never been there either, and agree it was worth the admission and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
We spent our final night on the island in Charlottetown at the Holiday Inn Express. I actually selected this hotel because I’ve interacted with them so much on Twitter it only seemed natural. Situated just up the street from the Cows Creamery factory it’s in an easy-to-find location outside of the downtown area. Once again for Chelsea the biggest attraction was the pool… not as big as Mill River, nor did it have a waterslide, but it was good enough for us. I enjoyed the fact that it had plentiful, comfortable seating in the pool area and a nice hot tub that wasn’t ‘too hot’. I also loved that it had free breakfast (including one of those fancy schmancy pancake machines… but sadly every time I wanted to use it, it was empty. The breakfast area was BUSY and it couldn’t keep up. Breakfast only runs until 9:30 and I think most of us were vacationers who weren’t getting up too early). Even though I had no pancakes, I still enjoyed eggs, sausage, toast, coffee and juice and still had lots of time to head back down to the pool before the noon checkout.
Road trips are the things family memories are made of. Whether it’s making a wrong turn and then finding something really cool, finding another delicious seafood chowder (I’m looking at you, Rodd Mill River), or getting rained upon because Mom left the sunroof open (oops), holidays don’t always have to mean weeks away or travelling long distances… just get out there and go!
**See more photos of our journey on Instagram with the #PEIescape hashtag.
Thanks again Ford Canada for the wheels. They were much appreciated and difficult to return. To quote Chelsea as we got back into our own vehicle “Ugh, gross.”. I think an Escape will be on our short list when it’s time to purchase our next vehicle… I never would’ve expected it!