One of my favorite memories of growing up are family vacations. We never did any very extravagant trips – no trips to Disney, anyway – but my parents tried to take us places, sometimes not all that far from home, and made those little family adventures fun.
Now that I’m grown up and E. is getting older (I can hardly believe she’ll be four in less than a month) and we’re contemplating the next addition to our family, I’m itching to make a go of our first real family vacation this summer. Because I’m in education I’m lucky enough to have the entire summer off (I guess it balances out the fact that I get paid beans), so I’ve got a solid two month stretch to figure out when we’ll go (and luckily, the hubs has hardly used any of his vacation time since he started his “new” job last June, so he’ll have a few days saved up as well).
While we’re not sure just when we’ll be going, a destination has been picked:
We live in Maine, the vacation state, the way life should be, we’re open for business (our latest slogan from our wonderful governor – you can decide for yourself if I’m being sarcastic or not). Even when I didn’t live here as a little kid, we still vacationed here, because my grandparents’ had a home in the town where we eventually moved. I love Maine, and I totally encourage people who haven’t come to visit, because this is an amazing state, from the beautiful western Mountains with it’s ski resorts and great hiking, to the coast with it’s sandy beaches and yummy lobsters, to the north, with it’s ridiculous amount of untouched land and state parks to explore.
I’ve been coming to and living this state my entire life. I get to be on “vacation” every day. We didn’t go anywhere except Old Orchard Beach last year and didn’t do one night of actual camping all summer long and we didn’t feel like we missed it, because there is so much to do as a tourist in your home town.
This year we want to start a tradition of checking out different states, start camping again, and spend time learning about what else is out there for fun, food, and people. We chose Vermont as our first destination because it’s close, neither one of us has ever really been (I went once to check out the University of Vermont and didn’t get to see much of the state or even Burlington, for that matter), and I lived in Massachusetts, we live in Maine currently, and New Hampshire is crazy close, so we go there frequently and will probably return for our anniversary at the end of August, SO Vermont was the next logical stop.
I am so incredibly excited. My last out of state vacation was back in ’98 or ’99, when I was still in elementary school (we visited Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. – a vacation I so want to recreate for E. when she’s older). The few glimpses I got of Vermont when we visited UVM’s campus about seven years ago have stuck with me all this time later and I’m looking forward to seeing those mountains, picturesque fields, and quaint towns and cities all over again.
I’m pushing hard for a camping trip not too far from Burlington and on Lake Champlain. Husband wants the Green Mountains (if someone can give me a general idea of the proximity of the Green Mountains to Burlington, that would be amazingly helpful). In the end, I don’t think I’ll mind too much where we end up – I’m just excited to be going somewhere different, even if, in actuality, it’s not all that different from Maine.
Other places we plan on going this summer:
The White Mountain National Forest for a more unplugged camping trip (basically, there are sites you just walk up to and pitch a tent – no room for our pop-up there)
Old Orchard Beach, which is a perennial vacation spot for our predominantly French Canadian family (OOB is THE vacation spot in Maine for French Canadians – I hear more French there than English, for the most part).
Scituate, Massachusetts is on the south shore of Massachusetts (my mom’s old stomping grounds) and is where my aunt currently lives. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll invite us all down for a stay again this summer at her beautiful home just a short walk from the ocean.
My parents’ house is across the street from a lake that provides miles and miles of great boating, swimming and fishing. We love visiting, and it helps that their house is lovely and only 20 minutes away.
Our local beach! It doesn’t get better than a cute little sandy beach on a lake, a picnic lunch, and a few hours of playing in the water, laying in the sun, and then going for an ice cream afterward!