Acadia National Park is almost too much beauty to process. Our 3 days there were filled with one breathtaking view after another, and then yet another. And we barely scratched the surface of the treasurers the park holds! Rock climbing was the biggest hit with the entire family (even Pepper!) so next time we visit we will have to take that on in a (mildly) more serious way. A close second for me was the foggy morning boat ride we took through Somes Sound with a visit to Little Cranberry Island. The fog made for a perfectly Maine experience, and we were able to see seals, porpoises, and more lobster buoys than we could count. And while the campsite was rustic (read: no showers!) we made up for it by eating very well – lobster rolls, lobster bisque, white fish in lobster sauce, and the amazing Jordan Pond popovers. If the best trips leave you wanting a bit more, then Acadia can definitely be put down on the list of the best. I have no doubt we will be back soon!
I’ve always wanted to be the kind of parent to send the kids out the door and say “Be home by dark!” But for better or worse we just don’t live in the kind of neighborhood that allows for that. Freedom at home comes in tiny doses, but summer should be about bigger freedoms, new freedoms, and our week in Searsport Shores Ocean Campground was just the thing to afford those freedoms. I can’t say enough good things about this place. It was like summer camp for the whole family. And it brought a very welcome break in our summer travels.
We have seen and done incredible things this summer, but one thing the kids have been missing is friends. They play together pretty well, but the opportunity to interact with other kids, to run and bike and explore and make friends . . . well, we just weren’t sure that was going to present itself. And then we arrived in Searsport. The campground is small enough that we were never worried about the kids getting lost, and it was teeming with children so there was always someone out to play. The kids spent their days biking, feeding the goats, and exploring the fantastic playground. (They were thrilled to find a see saw! Those are becoming incredibly rare!) Raymond and I spent the week as artists in residence in the beautiful studio, and when we weren’t working we all found time for kayaking, visiting a nearby state park, hunting for sea urchins and lots of general relaxing. I have a feeling we will be finding our way back to Searsport Shores again before too long.
One of the best things about a road trip is finding the unexpected along the way. For example, who knew that the PEZ factory is right off I-95 in Connecticut?? Of course we had to stop!
I have wanted to visit Assateague Island ever since I was a little girl and read Misty of Chincoteague. The island may have been incredibly hot and buggy during our trip, but it was totally worth the wait. The island is teeming with wild horses. We encountered horses on the road, horses on the beach and horses in the camp site. One morning we woke to find a horse looking in the trailer window at us! Pepper went crazy every time we saw a horse, but they didn’t seem to even notice he was there! Pepper also had his first beach experience at Assateague – he wasn’t sure what to make of the waves at first, but in the end I think he loved it. He definitely loved chewing on shells and digging in the sand!
Other than the horses and the incredible, natural beauty of the island, my favorite part of the visit was our nightly campfire on the beach. Absolute bliss.
After our week in Pennsylvania, we back tracked a bit to spend the weekend in Williamsburg. It just so happens that we timed our visit perfectly to coincide with a crazy, miserable heat wave and some pretty intense nighttime storms. Keeps life interesting I guess!
We did not let the weather deter us from spending a day in Jamestown followed by a day in Colonial Williamsburg. The kids adored Williamsburg. They have a game called REVquest, similar to Junior Ranger programs but way more fun, that involved the kids pretending to be double agents during the American Revolution. They followed clues and we texted in our answers whenever we solved a riddle, then received another clue via text in response. Along the way there were costumed interpreters who gave out bits of information, all while staying in character and acting like this was a very serious mission. Fletcher Gaddy was in heaven. It was an all-day affair, and at the end of the quest each child received a gold coin. The game was seriously brilliant, and we can’t wait to go back when they unveil the next mission.
Our day in Amish country was about as laid back as possible. We started with a buggy ride through rolling hills and farm after beautiful farm. Fletcher and Lola sat up front and took turns driving the buggy. Even Pepper enjoyed the ride!
Later in the day we enjoyed fresh soft pretzels, whoopie pie, shoofly pie and snitz pie at an Amish bakery along with a cold sasparilla. The day was cool and breezy and perfect for relaxing. I think we need more days like this one.