Before saying good-bye to the east coast, we wanted to get in one last trip to the Atlantic Ocean! So we headed to a state park beach in Mass (Salisbury Beach State Recreation Area), that was also near Salem, MS (The Witch Trials).
The place was pretty packed! Which meant LOTS OF KIDS for the girls to make friends with, and they did! It was a great place to ride bikes, and play on the beach! We did lots of both! One day on the beach we found tons of clams, tiny crabs, shells, and a sand worm!
While the girls played outside with friends, Joe and I took a mini date one night and walked the baby around the campground in the stroller and checked out all the vintage RV’s that were parked here. There were some really cool ones, and if the owners were outside, you better believe I told them how cool I thought their rig was! It really was so much fun! And it’s a nice reminder that you can eek out some couple time together even while living full time in 200sqft with your 3 kids.
This was also the week that I had to use my old, maximum storage filled phone while I waited for my new phone, so I didn’t get many pictures.
We also spent a day in Salem, MS, checking out the visitor center there, and seeing and doing the Jr Ranger program for The Friendship Sailboat, having lunch at a cafe, and exploring The Peabody Essex Museum. The museum had a great room where the kids could build robots and other inventions without using any glue, tape or staples. We stayed until they closed, before returning to our truck parked in a garage that we barely fit in. It was a full day with me and just the kids, and we had a lot of fun! I decided to save all the witch stuff until the kids were a little older, despite my intense interest! But we did see and talk about a few statues as we walked.
It was a good week and by the end of it, I could even pronounce Massachusetts correctly! Now don’t even talk to me about being able to properly spell it without the help of spell check! Baby steps….
Making it all the way up to Maine from Texas, is the equivalent of making it all the way up to Alaska…almost! None of us had ever been before and we were excited just to be in the state! Not to mention, we would have our personal tour guide, who’d been raised there, one of my besties, Niki!
We had rushed up the eastern coast to get to Maine in time to meet Nicole and her girls, Mabel and Effie. And we had made it! Don’t you just love it when a cross country plan comes together!
We spent just 2 weeks in Maine, but in 3 different locations.
Since Joe works during the week and we mostly can only travel on weekends, we got to the Portland area a few days before the girls and spent our time at a lovely rv park just 20 mins outside of the city.
We spent our short stay there, watching community softball games on the grounds, swimming and building sand castles at the lake, ridding bikes, getting the truck serviced, and seeing for ourselves what all the Duncan Donut craze was about. To add to the campground excitement, there was a polygamy family parked near us in two matching rv’s, with two matching trucks. “The Husband” spent one entire day in his suspenders washing both of the RV’s, and I spent all day watching him! At night they would all take a walk together, and one of those nights, they said hello to me! It was awesome!
One day I took the girls into Portland to check out the town and get my first lobster roll!
When we got the call that Niki had arrived, it was time to pack up and drive the hour to her sister, Poppy’s house, where we parked the RV for 4 days of uncut fun and freedom!
It was so so great to see Niki and her girls! My kids were over the moon, as Mabel and Effie are some of their besties as well! But to add to this, we got to piggyback onto Niki’s family reunion of sorts, with her mom and dad, and her 4 sisters and their kids and husbands. There were kids, barefeet, and popcicles EVERYWHERE!
If you want to have a good time as a parent, you need to have happy and occupied kids! Period. That’s all it takes. And it was 4 days of that! Kids ran, and swam, and played, and fished all day! And the grownups got to hangout, have converstations that lasted longer then 30 seconds, and play cards against humanity. We also managed to squeeze in some fishing, swimming, and bridge jumping too. And to top it all off, Joe and I (who’s birthdays are one day apart) managed to turn one year older here as well!
Really, it was such a magical weekend. The Hilarious Poppy and Super Dad, Jason were awesome hosts to this wild band of crazy, and I’d take every one of those kids with me, if I could fit them into my truck. Sweet, sweet! Thank you for the new friendships and Memories!
It was hard to leave Poppy’s, but contrary to the song, the party does end, and we headed down the road to Acadia National Park. Not such a bad place to HAVE to go to, and that helped sooth our broken hearts. Once again, we were pleased with the park we chose, which had well spaced spots, and was just 15 mins from Acadia Park and Bar Harbor.
We just LOVE National Parks! They are always stunning and unique places, with so much to learn about and see! Acadia was no exception. The park boasted rocky coast lines, beaches, forests, lakes, mountains, and adorable towns! Every single day we were there, I drove us into the park. There was a park loop road that we drove and took us up to Cadillac Mountain with some amazing views from its barren top. I wanted to hike that mountain so bad! Just another reason to travel again with the kids when they are older. Or just maybe, we’ll never stop?!
We saw Thunder Hole and combed the beaches at low tide in the freezing cold water.
We hiked. We went to ranger programs where we laid out under the stars on a beach one night while learning about constellations (granted, the kids were jerks that night; I say it that way cause it’s the most accurate description), and another where we hunted down dragon fly larvae (as well as humongous tadpoles, leaches, frogs, and other creatures) to help assess the mercury levels in the lake. The kids had so much fun tromping around in the mud and finding these treasures! I don’t think they actually caught any dragonfly larvae, but that’s what us moms were there for.
We found a great put-putt golf course and played a game. The place, with its pirate theme really blew us away. And we Shaw’s LOVE putt-putt!
One evening we walked to Bar Island, only accessible at low tide.
And OF COURSE we left with a couple new Jr Ranger badges.
We really loved the park and the experiences we had there!
I had been to the city once before when I was 20, and it was January and the towers had just fallen less than 3 months before. Needless to say a trip 15 years later, in summer, with my 3 kids, was very different! Hubs had NEVER been!
With the RV parked in a dump of a campground (but cheap!) in the tri-state area, we drove the truck over the hills and through the woods, and over one very expensive toll bridge to Joe’s sisters house! There we were, New York in June for 4 glorious days!
Usually we are not too keen on huge cities. But I’ve seen NY in so many movies that I feel like I’ve lived there! And I use those movies like my personal tour guide, that I’ve been studying since childhood. So I’m totally prepared and just excited! Of course I wanted to see and do everything I’d ever seen in “How I Met Your Mother”, “Big Business”, “Secret of My Success”, “You’ve Got Mail”,”Hackers”, and “Big”. And to my family’s credit, we just about did!
We also went to Times Square, had Korean food in Korea Town, visited the Native Indian Museum, visited the Twin Towers Memorial, Saw the Statue of Liberty from the ferry, and rode numerous subways, of which I actually liked the grittiness of, cause it was just like in the movies! Just not the elevators though. The elevators are not a part of NY that we ever want to visit again!
It was priceless having Amanda and Nick and Little Evie there to navigate us through the city! Our trip would not have been 1/16 as fun and productive as it was! They spent 3 straight days with us, showing us the city they were probably sick of already, and we love them so much for it! In between all the site-seeing, the kids just played non-stop! It was intense and awesome!
But after 4 days, it was time to go and leave Amanda’s spa-retreat bathroom with its huge tub and more products of awesomeness than I can list, and go back to my 1.5’x2.5′ tub and the tiny bath self I share with my husband. Ah, I miss you so much……Amanda! I miss you so much AMANDA!
So we picked up our little chug from the boarder’s and got our truck out of the garage (I know, we are SO New York!) and we’re on our way down the road again with menu item ideas bouncing in our heads for our joint venture idea. “T&G”
Thanks for all the sites and laughs and fun y’all!!! We Love NY!