Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sand Beach

Today we decided to hike the Ocean Path, a two-mile walk (four miles round-trip) which begins at Sand Beach - a sandy beach between mountains and rocky shores in Acadia National Park.

I didn't do much research before we went (only enough to know that it's an easy hike and a pretty one), so I wasn't prepared for the ethereal, misty beauty. I also wasn't prepared to see a bunch of people SWIMMING in the ocean when it was 59 degrees outside!

My plan was to go on the hike, eat our little picnic lunch and maybe check out the beach for a few minutes before we left. Wrong.

The hike begins at the beach, so we couldn't help but hear the waves crashing and lots of people laughing and squealing. When we came within sight of the water, my boys were mesmerized. Forget hiking - it was all about the beach!! They peeled their shoes off and took off like wild ponies. I told them not to get wet, but ... well, I could see what was going to happen. They chased waves and chased each other, threw sand, splashed and eventually fell into the surf and rolled around happily. I took lots of pictures and just let them play for a few minutes before making them head back to the car where they could strip their wet clothes off and warm up. We had to leave because I didn't have extra clothes. Next time, I'll be prepared.

This is a must-see place if you're in Bar Harbor. Sand Beach is hugely popular, and it costs $10 per car for a seven-day pass. We caught a glimpse of the hiking path and some of the amazing views as we were driving away. We will definitely be going back.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Into the Woods

Today we hiked the Jordan Pond Nature Trail and half of the Jordan Pond Shore Trail in Acadia National Park, and it was amazing. The weather was perfect for hiking (60s and sunny), and the boys were in their element. After hiking the easy, level trails, we stopped at the Jordan Pond House (a restaurant right there in the park) and had lunch on the lawn overlooking the pristine blue pond. The place is famous for its popovers, so we had to get some. (If you're wondering, a popover is a hollow muffin served with butter and jam. These were hot, fresh and very tasty.)

The Jordan Pond area is nice for families because you can choose short, easy nature paths or venture out on a longer (but still easy) route.

And, of course, the scenery is gorgeous.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Our Bearings

It's hard to believe we've been here four whole days already! I feel we should be doing more to experience as much as we can, but we're just getting our bearings and taking it slowly.

Mostly we've been exploring the beach in front of our cottage - I think the kids would be happy if that's all we did - and we ventured downtown for some lobster rolls and a trip to the library.

There's a great mile-long, family-friendly trail called the Shore Path that starts at the Bar Harbor town pier. We loved that and we'll be going back for sure. There's a giant boulder along the way, and it's something of a tradition for people to try to push it into the ocean. We gave it a try, too.

And just enjoyed the view ...

We had dinner at a friend's beautiful, waterfront home Saturday night. He made us blueberry mojitos. Soooo good and so perfect for a June evening in Maine.

We found a little cove near our cottage that's great for wading and rock-throwing. The weather is getting a little warmer, which is good because it's hard to keep the kids out of the water (even with all the seaweed).

This week we're going to check out some child-friendly hikes and do some more beach-combing.

Peaceful, peaceful.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Friday, June 3, 2011

Maine at Last!

Here are some photos from our first two days in Maine.

Jerod walking the 10-minute commute to lab ...

Beach treasures ...

Exploring the beach in front of our cottage ...

More exploring this afternoon during low tide. We were wearing winter coats -it's cold up here!

Here's the view from our living room window...

Playing Battleship while Sawyer napped ...

More to come soon ...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Friday, May 27, 2011

Superheroes on Wheels

This is for Nonnie, who is now online!

I love this picture of Parker and his friend Brayden. They were at a costume birthday party. Brayden is dressed as Spiderman; Parker is Heatblast (from Ben 10). They are so oblivious, so unself-conscious in their one-piece outfits and roller skates ... I just love this innocent age, and I know they will soon be too cool for costumes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, January 10, 2011

2011: Back to Basics

I've been doing lots of reflecting lately. Maybe it's because I'm approaching 40(!) years old, or because I'm in a sort of career limbo or because I'm finished having kids and am moving on to the next phase of life. Whatever the reason, I've been thinking a lot about where I've been, where I am and where I want to be. I've learned some things about myself, too, in this past year of changes.

I've learned that I'm a minimalist at heart, and I'm drawn to blogs and books about getting back to basics and living simply. I've been inspired to clean out our garage and attic and get rid of lots of stuff that we just don't need. (This is a work in progress, and I have a lot more to do in that department.)

I've learned that I'm happiest when I'm doing things outdoors, whether it's hiking or running or just lying in the backyard looking at the clouds with my kids. I'm not looking to get a bigger house or a better car or a bigger TV. In fact, I wouldn't mind getting rid of our TV altogether (but I'd be out-voted by all the boys in my house).

I've loved being a writer and editor for the past 14 years, but I'm not sure I'll ever do that full-time again. I've become really interested in physical therapy recently, and my hope is to go back to school in a couple years - when my kids are a little older - to become a physical therapy assistant. One of my favorite parts of writing was the interview, which is why I enjoyed being a newspaper reporter. I think I'd be great at physical therapy - working one-on-one with people in a helping kind of situation.

In the meantime, I'm reassessing some things. I'm enjoying my daycare job, which has a nice rhythm and schedule and gives me lots of quality time with my family. I'm blissfully unfettered by the computer, e-mail and an 8-to-5 grind. I truly enjoy little kids, and working with them is a nice fit for me. It's probably not something I want to do forever, but it's perfect for me right now, and it feels right. On snow days - like today! - I've been able to relax with my boys, go sledding, sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate and not worry about work that's waiting to be done. Lately, I've had incredible peace of mind and joy of heart. That's worth a ton to me.

A good friend told me about this NYT article that discusses "summoned" lives versus "planned" lives. The gist of a summoned life is that it "isn’t a project to be completed; it is an unknowable landscape to be explored." I figure I'm living a summoned life these days, and I'm letting the current guide me along.

One of the things I'm most excited about is spending a month in Maine this summer. If all works out as planned, we'll be heading to MDIBL for awhile. That will be like nature camp, with lots of hiking and swimming and lobster-eating on the agenda.

I think my blog this year will be devoted to my efforts to simplify and declutter and focus on the real things. I hope to post more than I have been ... maybe it'll be a way to hold me accountable. I'm inspired by blogs such as Rowdy Kittens and Be More With Less and, while I'm not as extreme as these folks (i.e., I won't be getting rid of my car any time soon), I like their ideas.

Thanks for reading, and here's to a focused, mindful and active 2011.


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Meaningful Christmas Gift Idea

A couple years ago, my sisters and I decided to start giving each other photo books as holiday gifts and forgo the usual gift-giving madness. We all live in different states, so we miss out on so much of the day-to-day stuff that keeps us connected. The photo books are wonderful because they help to fill in those gaps - and they're a great way to present the zillions of photographs that I take throughout the year (way too many to print and frame). The books are inexpensive and personal, and they fit right into my new minimalism philosophy - that is, I don't want any more stuff to clutter my house. I'd rather have something meaningful and small that connects me with my family.

Another great thing about these photo books is that they give you some perspective on your year. As you sort through your photographs, you realize how much fun you've had, how much you've accomplished and how things have changed. You remember lazy summer afternoons and autumn hikes, birthday parties and snow days - the small but significant moments that make up big stretches of time.

I'm hard at work on this year's photo book through shutterfly.com. Here are links to our books from the past two years. If you have lots of photos and some free time, give these a try. You (and your family) will be hooked!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Click here to view this photo book larger



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