Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Travels: Maine

We took our first family trip to coastal Maine in July.  I really, really loved it - I do hope to return someday soon.  We stayed in a small cottage about 100 feet from the ocean.  We were on the eastern side of the Schoodic Peninsula, adjacent to the mainland portion of Acadia National Park. "Our" part of Acadia was mostly just us, the locals, and little fishing villages in every bay.  I will say that my one big disappointment was missing out on the wild blueberries - we saw lots of bushes, but no ripe berries.  Oh, well, just another reason to return!

I was able to make all of our food ahead of time, frozen, and then we were happy to return back to our cottage every evening to a yummy meal!  We did find a great organic farm and splurged on bacon, eggs, bread, jelly, and in season strawberries.  On every trip we try to find a farm and load up on seasonal produce (and in Rob's case - local honey, always).

We enjoyed lobster rolls, lobster grilled cheese sandwiches, maple candy, and local baked goods.

We brought kayaks and bikes and enjoyed an active week.  We biked along the entire Schoodic Peninsula and kayaked during high tide and low tide in one of the Acadia bays.  We did venture over to the main part of Acadia National Park, but realized we loved our little quiet side so much more!

We explored, ate, relaxed, played games, and enjoyed being together as a family.  Settle in for a ton of pictures. 

our favorite meal - flat iron steaks with corn

perfectly stocked cottage kitchen

the kids loved playing clue

local strawberries

we lost power for a couple of hours, so we collected rainwater

a coffee break on an early morning bike ride - pure bliss

breakfast with local eggs and bacon

mmmmm, chicken enchiladas!

pretty eggs

having lots of fun while biking


packing up the food for our trip

lots of little snails

cutest cottage ever!
Mt. Desert Island

Sand Beach on Mt. Desert Island

the top of Cadillac Mountain



gathering rainwater to boil for coffee - what a guy!
Mandala Farm

kayaking in Acadia

he's totally flexing here :)

gorgeous views at every turn
Emma loved finding lobster buoys

we loved kayaking!

backside of the cottage
our early morning date - riding bikes around the peninsula

view of Frenchman's Bay
best way to see the park

my kids and I

they love exploring
love this guy

our date to see the sunset on Grindstone Neck

I can't recommend this trip enough.  This may be my favorite place in the U.S. I loved the small town feel, the ocean views at every turn, the quiet rugged beauty and the smells in the air (equal parts pine forest with briny saltwater).  I loved the food, the people, and everything about coastal Maine. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Travels: Florida

Ahhhhh, Florida - we adore you!  The girls love this little piece of paradise that we get to visit at least once a year.  We have been blessed by having the use of a family condo and countless memories.  This past trip was certainly no exception.  Josh decided to join us at the last minute - I think he heard "staining the deck" and "sealing the driveway" as activities at my parents house and decided a family trip sounded better than before.

We decided to fly, as we only had a week to soak in the Florida sun.  It was very fast, but I now understand why our tickets were so cheap.  Cramped quarters, and paying for everything (luggage, seats, drinks, etc.).  Oh, well, as I said, it was fast!  We were in Florida in 2 hours.  Awesomeness!

not a whole lot of room, friends. 

We took in our usual haunts - our first night we scarfed down 44 pieces of pizza at our favorite pizza buffet. We had just spent a long day at the beach and decided to go right to dinner to beat the rush.  We were grimy, sticky, and starving.  We gulped down glasses of water, huge plates of salad, countless pieces of pizza, and ice cream sundaes.  It was perfection!

We typically don't have many Florida pictures because we prefer not to take our camera or phones to the beach, but we usually try to capture a few family shots for posterity.  Here they are:

this is a blurry one, but I'm standing sideways and look somehow thinner :)

this actually wasn't staged - just a candid shot

Rob's parents joined Rob and I and the girls (Josh flew home for a volleyball camp) for the last two days of our week.  It was nice to spend time together!  While we rented a car for the week, the car that stays in Florida was in need of some mechanical attention (read: Rob barely made it to the car repair shop), so we all squeezed in our rental car for dinner the last night.  The girls each had a seat belt, my in-laws braved a restraint-free car ride.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.  Seriously.  I still don't know where my father-in-law's left leg disappeared to.

please no one tell them you saw this!

We ate lots of seafood, gorged ourselves on sunsets, desserts, and sunshine and came home happy.