Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer trip to Maine

We are back from our trip to visit Eric's parents.  Eric and I couldn't decide on the best time to go- around July 4th when there are many events happening, or in August after the kids are out of camp.  We picked July, since I wouldn't miss much work (I took one day off), and we knew the kids would be happy to go to the 4th of July events in Maine.

Our trip was one of the best yet!  We drove up after I got home from work on Wednesday, leaving our house at 6:30. We had the smoothest drive we've ever had and pulled into the driveway at Eric's parents' house at 1 am. The kids were exhausted from camp and slept almost the whole way, so Eric and I had hours of adult conversation, adult podcasts, and Eric napped. When we got there, the kids went to bed with no problems, and Eric and I jumped in bed ourselves.  We managed to sleep until 9 the next day, and when I got up, Eric's mom asked me where Charlotte was. I thought Charlotte was with her... turned out, Charlotte had slept until 9, too!  She woke up with a smile after all that rest.

 We spent our first day there taking it easy- I went for a run, we swam in the pool, Asher napped, and then friends and family joined us for swimming and dinner. Eric's mom's best friend has a daughter, Lisa, who is our age, who has a daughter of her own, Kaya, who is 6 weeks younger than Charlotte. They hadn't seen each other since they were 1, but became instant friends and had a great time together.
Taylor with Kaya and Charlotte in the pool 
Kaya and Charlotte after swimming
 On Friday, Eric's mom had bought us tickets to Funtown/Splashtown, an amusement park and water park in Saco, Maine. It was Eric, me, our 3 kids, Pat, and Eric's brother's 3 oldest kids. My niece Taylor couldn't wait for me to go on all the scary rollercoaster rides with her, so I made good on that. We had a great time!  Asher and Kiptyn decided they were brave and went on every ride they could.  It was a joy to get to share the excitement with my big boy!  Charlotte tried the log flume with Taylor and me, and her biggest complaint was that her dress got wet!
On the log flume. I can't look at Charlotte's face without laughing!
After a long morning of riding all the rides at the amusement park, we had some lunch and went over to the water park.  Again, Asher was eager to try everything, and we went on things over and over. Even Charlotte got brave and tried some water slides, with glee.  One slide we had to go on 5 times in a row!  Benjamin was more cautious and tried some smaller, slower rides, but we didn't push him to try anything he wasn't ready to do.
The cousins at the end of the day
Eric and Benjamin on the riding lawn mower
 On Saturday, we had plans for a day trip to White Lake in New Hampshire- all of our family, Eric's parents, and Eric's brother's family (and they have 6 kids!).  We packed our cars and hit the road. When we got there, it was extremely windy, and very cool. Compared to the air, the lake was warm, but I couldn't bring myself to get in.  It was absolutely beautiful there, with green mountains around us and the clear lake at our feet. The sand was soft.  It would have been the absolutely perfect spot if only it had been 10 degrees warmer and a little more sunny.
a panoramic that Eric took
Keeping warm with my cuddle bug
Charlotte playing with Chandler
With Taylor. She is a good 2 inches taller than I am, and she is 12!
Kerisa napping with Baby Serena
We left earlier than we thought we would since we were so cold, and went home in time for me to get in a run before dinner.

On Sunday, Eric and I took our kids to his grandparents' house on the pond, where we had stayed last July. The kids just love it there, fishing off the dock, going out in the canoe, splashing in the water. Next summer we will have to stay there again.  We got to see Eric's grandparents and Aunt Donna, and his cousin Mike and wife Missy.  
Canoe trip
Eric's mom made a big lunch for us that day, and the cousins all came over.  We had a big water balloon fight- the kids loved it!  
Water balloon fight begins
Sunday, July 3 was also our anniversary- 10 years! (I want to make another post about the anniversary).  For the most part, we didn't do anything special to celebrate, but I did pick up a bottle of Prosecco at Walmart, and Eric and I toasted to our anniversary at dinner time, using his parents' toasting glasses from their wedding in 1974.  As we poured the Prosecco and posed for our picture, we heard from the back bathroom,
"Come wipe my tushie!" Charlotte was on the toilet.  We had a good laugh at the way things are 10 years into marriage.  I don't think either one of us would have it any other way.
Asher holding his cousin Serena
We also made an attempt to capture all 9 grandchildren in one photo:
Dawson (4), Chandler (2), Kiptyn (6) holding Serena (7 months), Myah (10) holding Charlotte (3),
Benjamin (6) and Asher (6) on Taylor's (12) lap.  WOW!
 Then, we went to the fireworks in town.  Perfect weather, and we got a spot a fair distance from where thy were set off, but with a good view.  Eric's brother Ryan's ice cream shop had a tent and was dishing up ice cream, so everyone got ice cream while we waited.  The kids enjoyed the show, and the fact that we weren't right next to the explosions helped them tolerate the sound.

How old is she? 
 The following day was the 4th, another day of perfect weather.  We packed up the car and went to the 4th of July parade in town.  The kids got a thrill out of getting candy thrown at them, and they collected huge bags of treats.

Asher with his Pepere and Memere
Asher, Kiptyn, and Pepere
My 3 watching the parade and an antique fire truck
Memere holding Serena 
Waiting for more candy
From the parade, we hit the road. The ride home wasn't nearly as pleasurable as the ride up.  We were rushing home to try to make it to our local fireworks with friends, but what had been a cloudless and warm day in Maine was overcast and rainy at home. We had dinner with my mom, and then put the kids in bed without fireworks. The kids were exhausted from a jam-packed trip of excitement and new experiences.  We've been home almost a week, and they are still telling me that they wish they were back in Maine. I do wish we weren't so far, but it certainly was a treat to go.

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