(*Weird links are appearing on my page…. I’m not putting them there, but can’t figure out how to stop them from showing up….. if you know how… comment and teach me*)
The morning of our 5th day started off with one of my favorite stories of the trip. With Dagmara travelling with us, our sleeping arrangements were such that Dagmara, Selah and I held court in the ‘girls’ room, and Kevin (bless is patient amazing heart) presided over the chaos of the ‘boys’ room. Most hotels we stayed in allowed us to be next door to each other, but at this particular location girls were on the 3rd floor, and the boys were on the 5th. After meeting for breakfast in the common area, Kevin, Caleb, and Logan headed back to their room before AJ was done eating, so he remained back with the girls. He was not in favor of returning to OUR room, but I couldn’t recall their specific room, of which he assured me he could…. “It starts with a 5, mom”. Bemused by his understanding of room numbers, I decided to see how this would work out and allowed AJ to take me to the 5th floor so I could deliver him to his room. We got off the elevator, and he took a quick left…. glancing up at the room numbers. He slowed his pace, looking at room numbers on either side of the hall. Slowly he turned to look at me, slightly befuddled, but still undeterred, and walked back to the other side of the elevator, again looking to both sides of the hall. He stopped, turned to look at me as if I had played some elaborate joke on him, and accusingly asked why ALL the rooms started with 5?!? I explained the logic which was lost on him, and coaxed him back to my room where we could gather our things and meet the boys again for check-out. That look on his face though…. priceless.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather on the trip, each day was gorgeous, and as we headed north continued to enjoy the delightful break from the heat wave overtaking the south. After so many days of hustle, the kids were really quite tired by the time we made it to Boston. Thankfully our spot for the night was in the heart of the fun, and one of the features we’ve enjoyed most being a part of the Marriott’s Vacation Club is the fun activities/amenities that the locations themselves provide the guests. The Common House had of plenty of charm in and of itself, providing a nice respite after our sojourn along the Freedom Trail in the morning. They had a kids room, locally themed for the “Boston tea party”, so we all had fun dressing up and playing our part of history, a beautiful 24th floor scenic overlook, and theater room with snacks and treats in the evening was just what everyone wanted to rest some tired feet!
And just like that the big city portion of our adventures came to an end, and if I’m being honest…. not a moment too soon. So many people, so much traffic, in just a handful of days…. it was a lot, which only served to stoke the excitement for our next leg into the wilderness of Maine for some rest and relaxation. Boston to Bar Harbor would be a 4-5 hour drive, so pushed off in the morning, and by lunch time pulled off into one of the many picturesque seaside towns along the shore. Camden, Maine. Thanks to yelp, we found an incredible little cafe for lunch and then spent a couple hours letting the kids run some energy off in the park and wandering in/out of the quaint little shops.
At 74 degree’s, Logan stepped out of the car in Maine, shivering, and stated to no one in particular “Why is Maine so cold?!?” A local who happened to be walking by, politely responded…. “We like it like that”….. ahhhh, my sweet southern born/bread/babies…. 74…. cold?!?
An hour later we were at our camp site setting up shop. Our 3 days in Maine were the highlight of the trip for me. I’ve heard of it’s beauty, but the obscurity of its location always presented somewhat of a challenge in getting there. Tying it into a road-trip to break up the ride made it feel much more accessible, but only served to wet my appetite to get back there again some day soon. As you’ll see from the pics, the beauty is not understated at all, and the obscurity of the location only serves to add to its appeal. A location like this, that was easily accessible would soon become over-run with tourists, and while the quaint city of Bar Harbor had its share of tourists, it retained a tranquil/relaxed vibe. Acadia National Park provided a beautiful winding road, with plenty of locations to pull off and hike, or just take in the view. After walking so much through the major metropolitan, I was particularly thankful for the road that would take you all the way to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak in the national park, provide parking, and then allow you to wander down trails starting from the top. It’s the small things for parents with small children. Most hiking ventures, start you at the bottom, and you almost have to commit to gut it out until you make it to the top to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Here we got to explore as far down as we were willing to go, knowing how far back UP we’d have to climb with 4 kids, but still not miss out on the epic views! Then there was sunset. I could not get enough, as you’ll see with some pics taken out of our sun roof as Kevin dragged me away because the kids were freezing.
I mean….. Can you blame me for hanging out of my sun roof???? It was the perfect end to an incredible week. The next morning we packed up camp, and head back south. After so much activity in the first week, I felt a little guilty sending Kevin off on a plane right back to work, knowing the kids and I still had a 2nd week of rest and relaxation with friends, giving us more time to recoup from all our adventuring. The path home was much less harried. After dropping Kevin off in Boston, we headed toward Amish country, PA. My friend Jenn and her 4 boys graciously offered to host us for 3 nights, which we filled swimming in their pool, visiting Mr. Mark on his Army base and experiencing a Blackhawk Helicopter simulator, watching movies, and catching up, before making one last stop near the Chesapeake bay, in Maryland to visit my tennis partner from High School, another Jen, and her 4 kiddos. More great food, kids playing, and catching up with old friends was the perfect way to wind down our epic adventure, and allowed us to tip toe toward home, leaving us one final 4hr stretch to our own beds.
All in all, epic seems to adequately define the adventure.
3wks from now, we’re back in the car heading to Michigan for two weeks, so the fun continues. It is a problem when I lament that my kids have too much fun, and they need to get used to dull, boredom, creating their own adventures, and then their mom is too extroverted/adventure prone to her own good to let any grass grow under my feet for too long. Grabbing the gusto, and teaching them young that you only get one shot at this big beautiful life, so don’t let the woulda/shoulda/coulda’s hold ya’ back….. Live it up!