Hello Mother, Hello Father, Welcome to…

Camp Awesome!!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was going to tell you all about our amazing family camping trip to Northern Maine. And I’m going to do that, I promise, but it will be sans pictures because I cannot find my camera and I just really need to write this stinking post before I lose details that I want to get down! Maybe once my camera is discovered I will throw the pictures in as well.

On the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, we all piled into my teeny car, along with all our camping gear (we’re not light packers, that is for sure), and drove the millions and millions of hours (or four) that it takes to get to…Well, technically, I think the town is Rockwood, or we were near there anyway. But once you get to Rockwood, you turn on to this endless dirt road and just drive. Forever. And ever. And eveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer.

It seriously was an hour of dirt road. Or more. And there was more beyond what we traveled. Like, miles and miles, until you hit Canada (which we nearly did the next day). Eventually you do come up to a ranger station and they let you in. There is an official title for where we were, but I honestly can’t remember. Where we ended up camping, however, was on Canada Falls Lake, and it was amazing.

If you’re going to go camping literally in the middle of no where, with no electricity, no plumbing, no phone reception, no internet, with none of the regular trappings of civilization, and aren’t used to it (and I’m one of those people), this was the place to go. You are fully emersed in God’s unbelievable creation (being out in the middle of Maine’s woods makes you a believer in some kind of higher being), BUT there are other people around. Nice people. People who are quiet. People who you believe would likely report to the authorities if you went out for a hike and didn’t return. People who are nice, don’t bother you, and have adorable, kid-friendly dogs that fetch rocks. The good folks. While part of me was a little bummed that where we camped was full of other people camping, most of me was relieved. We could still get away into the woods and enjoy the peace and quiet, but there would be people looking out for us, too.

And even if there weren’t a ton of people near our campsite, we didn’t go alone. My father-in-law, his wonderful wife, and her grandson (so, technically, E.’s cousin, though their not biologically related) joined us. They had been camping up that way many times and knew a lot about the area, which was super helpful. They were also awesome about taking E. and letting the hubs and I get away for a bit on the kyaks they brought up (more about that later). They all really made the camping trip. We enjoy spending time with my father-in-law and his wife, and E. had a blast with little J. (they’re the same age).

So, here are some highlights:

Saturday – The hubs and his dad took E. and J. out on the kyaks. The kids loved it out there, looked for fish, and got to paddle around a little island. When they got back they weren’t for a swim! While the men and kids were out, my father-in-law’s wife and I went for a walk down a path that took us winding through the woods, into fields, and past a lot of different animal tracks. Eventually we got out pretty far and felt a bit nervous so we turned around (we were afraid we’d go around a bend and run into a bear or moose!).

Later that day we went for a long drive down the dirt roads, looking, supposedly, for the Penobscot River. We never found it, but we did get up close and personal with a young deer who decided it would be fun to follow the car. We also saw two moose, a beaver, and a couple rabbits! So cool! It was all sort of like a safari, between the bumpy roads and the rarely seen animals.

Sunday – I snuck out early, early in the morning and snagged one of the kyaks and went out to the lake by  myself (but don’t worry, hubs knew where I was). The mist was still on the lake, it was dead quiet, the earth just starting to wake up around me. If I had any doubt about how amazing the world I live in actually is, it was erased out there. I couldn’t help but feel a presence of something so far beyond me and it was so uplifting that it brought me to tears. It was a truly amazing opportunity and I’m glad I got it. My soul feels refreshed just thinking about it.

The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxing. The kids played in the lake, and we did a lot of walking and fishing. That night after supper, when it was starting to get dark, we all took a walk out of camp to a field where the hubs and his dad set off fireworks. So cool!

Monday – We picked the perfect day to go home, because it was a pretty dreary, rainy day. We stopped at Pittston Farms, a little farm about 20 minutes from where we camped, sort of a last stop before you head deeper into the woods. They had a store and a little restaurant where we had a really yummy breakfast (you can’t beat home baked bread and homemade preserves). We had stopped in Saturday as well to check out the farm, where they  had horses, cows, and goats, which the kids thought were amazing. After breakfast we hit the road and arrived home very happy, but very, very exhausted.

I’m a huge lover of camping trips. As I’ve written previously, we’re planning a trip to Grand Isle State Park in Vermont in August and I’m so pumped for that trip. I’m sure we’ll go on several more as the summer goes on, especially since it’s a cheap way to check different places out! Next year I’m pushing for a camping trip into Canada or Niagra Falls. We’ll see!

I’ll admit it…Our Charlie Browniest of Charlie Brown Christmas trees is still up. The lights are still up on the house, too. I don’t even have the hear to take our Christmas cards off the door.

I don’t know it was about this last holiday season–I just can’t seem to let go of it. You see, usually I’m that person who has the tree down as soon as possibly acceptable (like, January 1st), sometimes sooner. It’s like after a bad break up. You can’t stand to see the belongings of the one you loved who’s up and left, so you take all their stuff and throw it out on the lawn (or, in this case, be a creepy stalker and store it all in your attic).

But this time around, despite all the stress that was induced by the all important first Christmas in your new house, I really, really enjoyed Christmas this year. Like, a lot. It was perfectly perfect in my eyes.

And now it’s gone. It’s actually been over for quite a while, but I guess my brain is just now catching up to it all. And I’m left asking, What’s next?

Well, I’ll tell you what’s next: Valentine’s Day!

I’m a sucker for a holiday, but I’ve never been one to get too excited about Valentine’s Day before. Like, I like the day, obviously, ’cause who doesn’t like an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, force your husband to take you out on a romantic date (okay, it’s slightly less romantic if you force him, which is why I really don’t), and get all goggly eyed and sill about things like hearts and lace and…stuff. But I don’t decorate. I don’t make big plans. I don’t bake things or plan a fun meal, which are all the things I do for the arch-Holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years). But with those holidays long gone and me needing something to get ready for, Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect thing to put all my crafty and planning energy into (plus, it gives me one more excuse to troll around on Pinterest).

Here’s my first little project:

It’s a small heart garland (think paper chains at Christmas) that, once finished, I’m going to string some pretty white Christmas lights through and hang somewhere in the house. I’m sort of excited. I’m also hoping that I’ll get a chance to plan a fun dinner and dessert for the hubs and I (we still haven’t worked out what we’re doing, but obviously there is quite a bit of time to plan). I think between the end of the Christmas season, my love of all things on Pinterest, and my need to have something to look foreword to.

Are there any holidays you go all out for besides the “big” ones (Thanksgiving and Christmas)?