Happy Labor Day to you all! To those fortunate enough to have the day off, and are looking for something to do, I present you with some holiday reading material!
Well...it's been a long time coming, but once you see this thing, you'll understand why.
It's kinda epic.
Two weeks ago, for only the second time in my well-traveled life, Mom and Dad took me to the cabin up in Maine. And when I say up in Maine, I mean up in Maine... the exit is literally one of the last ones on I-95 in Maine before you hit the Canadian border.
See the little red "A" in the picture above? That's Houlton...see the line on the right where the "95" highway icon mysterious changes to a more Canadian-looking green highway sign? Yep...that's Canada. Pretty cool, right?
All except for the long drive....while I had fun looking at all the trucks and buses....and reading tons of books...and playing with tons of toys...and singing tons of songs...it was a LONG drive. Mom and Dad talked about doing it in between 8-10 hours from Connecticut where we had stopped depending on traffic...we actually had a pretty sweet drive up there...made it in decent time considering the number of times I kindly requested a stop...but it was still a long time, man. It WAS a beautiful drive being so far out in the country, though...
Once we got there, it was amazing...two little cabins in the woods on the lake just the way I remember them...Gramma Mindy had gone up earlier, so I was excited when I got to see her there waiting for me.
She was nice enough to get me a few toys, including that pink bucket and a shovel that I really loved playing with in the lake down by the dock.
Mom and Dad also hung out with us at the dock, and we had such a nice time out by the lake. The scenery was beautiful, and the weather was perfect, except for a few drizzles...but even that wasn't so bad.
One of the other fun things we did was ride in the paddle boat...THAT was an adventure....first they put me in a life vest (Safety first) which was designed for little kids, but was still kind of puffy on me. (I'm runty...what do you want from me!?)
As you can see from my expression, I was a bit skeptical about this whole proposition...
But Mom and Dad eased me into the paddle boat. Dad held me on his lap, and both Mom and Dad paddled to get us out onto the lake...
We got pretty far out on the lake! It was such a great view, and we got to get a really good look at the cabin from far out, while Gramma Mindy stayed behind on the dock to watch us have fun, while taking some pictures of us!
I was laughing a lot, and having a great time (though in some of these pics I look a little concerned, since it was all a bit new to me, and that life vest was pretty hardcore)
We arrived back at the dock, and Mom helped me get that vest off of me. I was happy to be back on dry land, but certainly enjoyed the ride while we were out there.
The paddle boat is one of Mom and Dad's favorite things to do in Maine, and I can totally see why...
With Gramma Mindy keeping watch, I even hopped in the boat later while it was docked on land to practice driving it. I'll be a pro by the next time we go up there.
Gramma Mindy and I spent lots of time down by the dock playing in the water. Sometimes Mom and Dad joined in, and other times it was just me having some Gramma Mindy time.
I did a lot of splashing and playing. While I had a simply adorable bathing suit, I sometimes just dropped into the water wearing whatever I happened to have on at the time...
For some inexplicable reason, I felt the need to splash my face, and drink some of the lake water. Dad calmly remarked that he couldn't wait until we had to take me to the hospital to battle whatever lake parasites would infect me, but I made it through unscathed.
Which obviously means that next year I'll tempt fate and drink some more lake water. It was delicious. Crisp, cool...refreshing! What could possibly be wrong with that!?
Sometimes, when I got bored with running around the camp, I would hop in the car with Mom or Dad, and practice driving. I wanted to get a 16 year head start, and I gotta say...it is a different view from up here! So many buttons, and levers! LOTS of fun!
I have sat up here a few times with Mom or Dad to play for a bit, but this was probably the most driving I have gotten to do. Mom was a good sport about hanging out with me, and although everyone mentioned the irony of me wanting to hang out in the car when I had another 15 or so hours of driving ahead of me, I still had a blast!
In addition to the times at camp, we also spent a fair amount of time in town. Houlton is a great little town, with lots of unique little stores, and friendly people all around. Mom, Dad, Gramma Mindy and I went to a place called "Zippy's" for lunch one day, and I sat by myself in a big kid chair while I ate a delicious lunch of chicken tenders and french fries. Mom was semi-annoyed with Dad since he prematurely introduced me to ketchup, but I think that I can keep my need for the red stuff at bay. Mom knows of many kids that can't eat anything without an abundance of ketchup, but I think I will be the exception to the rule. I like it as an add-on, but don't need it to drown out the other subtle flavors of my meal.
After Zippy's, we stopped at the Houlton Dairy ice cream stand. I am told that Mom and Dad go there daily whenever they're in Maine, and I can see why. Homemade ice cream that tastes good, and is inexpensive. SUCH a great place....I can't wait until next year! Dad split a butterscotch dip cone with me...and for that, he is awesome.
In addition to trips into town, and playing on the lake, we also did a lot of relaxing. Mom and Dad called it "recharging their batteries" which I don't quite understand yet, as my batteries are fully charged after every nap. They read a lot, and Mom and Gramma Mindy both worked on a puzzle. Dad loved hanging out in the hammock near the lake, and I stopped by to hang out with him for a bit. The sunglasses were obviously a necessity to maintain my aura of "cool"
We spent a lot of time in the cabins themselves, often listening to music that I got to pick out, which was pretty awesome! Once I learned how to work the radio/cd player, I became the unoffical DJ for the week.
I even had my own little spot for when I ate lunch, and wasn't sitting in my high chair. It was a comfy ottoman to sit on, and I got to put my food on the table in front of me. I always feel so big when I get to eat when I'm not in my high chair.
We also spent a lot of time out on the porch, looking out onto the lake. It was so tranquil on the porch (except for when the jet skis came by...Dad said they they were called a "Sea Doo" I immediately picked it up, and started saying "Sea Do" when I heard the motors, to everyone's delight. I even sometimes mistake a motorcyle engine for a Sea Doo. I guess the fact that they're on land should tip me off, but I just get excited is all.
Dad was kind enough to prop up his legs while he was enjoying his morning coffee and reading to let me play for a bit.
On the picnic table, I met a real-life caterpillar for the first time! After reading about these furry little guys in books all these months, it was exciting to finally get to see a real one up close. After petting him gently for some time, I got a bit overenthusiastic, and started poking him a bit. He curled up into a little ball, and Dad kindly helped him get back into the woods. I had fun hanging out with him during the time we had, though...He was so soft! Wouldn't YOU poke him!?
This cabin has everything!
Sadly, as with all good things, our trip to Maine came to an end. Vacations are never quite long enough, it seems, but we packed a lot of fun into the time we had there. I got to have my own little rock to sit on near the lake while I was hanging out with Gramma Mindy and Mom...
...and know that I can always go back there at some point to enjoy it...everyone can feel free to use my rock, but know that it is, in fact, my spot.
I enjoyed the cabin so much, and can't wait to go back there next year....I will miss sitting in Poppy's big chair...he's my Great-Grandfather, and the reason we all have this cabin to enjoy together. He bought it years ago, used to spend summers up here, and he left it to his grandchildren when he passed away several years ago...Even though I never had the chance to meet you, you were still kind enough to leave me a little present to share with my family...thanks Poppy!
The drive home was long again, but I fell asleep towards the end. Mom and Dad quickly dropped me off, happy and asleep at Gramma Debbie's, and they went off to see a movie (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World...they highly recommend it)
The next day saw another drive back home, and thus ended our vacation...we'll be off the road for awhile to recuperate from the driving, but it was totally worth the trip. See you again soon, Maine!