We returned yesterday from a fabulous week off to visit my friends and family in Maine. What an awesome trip! The older the boys get, the easier it is to travel with them. The flight to Portland was only an hour so Caleb slept on my lap and Wyatt was entertained with toys and my Kindle. Completely easy breezy. Well, I mean, as easy breezy as one can look while pushing a stroller, dragging a suitcase and balancing a huge shoulder bag. I’m sure we are quite the sight!
We stayed with friends on our first night and the boys loved checking out Danielle and Ray’s bulldog, Braddock. If there’s anything this vacation has taught me, it’s that my boys LOVE dogs. I definitely see a dog joining our family in the future, just not sure when. Of course, if Shane has his choice, we’d get one tomorrow. It’s a big decision and I need to know that we have the adequate time in our lives to properly take care of a dog. We’ll just have to wait and see!
I was able to get together with some of my girlfriends while Shane stayed home with our sleeping boys. There’s nothing better than catching up with friends. Even though years have passed, it still feels like we’re in the living room of our college suite, drinking and laughing into late in the night. I’ll tell you what is drastically different, however… the hangovers. Ouch.
The next day we made a six hour drive to my parents home in northern Maine. The boys did pretty well for most of the trip but they were definitely ready to be out of the car! I think you can get answers out of any spy if you put them in a car with two screaming toddlers for an extended period of time. Foolproof interrogation method for sure!
The week with my parents was fantastic. We kept busy by taking the boys for stroller walks, going swimming, visiting relatives and tormenting my parent’s dog, Buddy. The boys slept great in their pack ‘n plays, had a decent appetite and behaved pretty well, with the occasional tantrum here and there. We were lucky enough to have another family lend us a ton of toys, so those kept them very well entertained. I loved watching the boys bond with my parents. Every morning (at 6am on the nose) they would wake up and spend some time with their Memere and Pepere watching cartoons or playing or reading books. It was really sweet. Just hearing them from the other room, while I got to enjoy a few extra minutes of shut-eye, was priceless.
My oldest brother, Tom, lives about 30 minutes from my parents with his wife, Jen and their son, Noah. My youngest brother Tyler, who lives in Portland, decided to take a few days off work to spend time with us at home, which was awesome. Not to be left out, my other brother, Todd (#lotsofbrothers) also flew in to visit from Arizona. It has been such a long time since I’ve seen him and he was finally able to meet his nephews! It’s been a long time since my whole family has been all together and I’m so glad that we were able to catch up and just hang out. One night, we left the boys at home with my parents so the siblings (and spouses, of course) could go out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We had an absolute blast and I got to split this 4 lb. beauty with Shane. So. Much. Yum.
I loved watching my boys play with their cousin, Noah. He’s only 9 months younger than they are and they really got along well together. Noah is totally fearless and it was really funny to see him interact with Caleb and Wyatt. I have a feeling those three will get into a lot of trouble in the years to come.
I loved being able to spend time with my extended family and it’s so fun to see the next generation of cousins playing together! Both of my grandmothers are doing very well and we even had a party to celebrate my maternal grandmother’s 85th birthday!
One of the best experiences was spending some time at a real maple sugar camp. There’s no road up to this camp so we walked about 1/2 a mile in the snow/mud to the middle of the woods. A small trailer housed a huge tub filled with clear sap from the surrounding maple trees. A second building housed an even bigger tub that was filled with boiling sap. A log-burning fire heats up the tub to boil the sap which caramelizes and turns into maple syrup. A pot full of that syrup was then heated even further to turn into a sticky taffy. The taffy is poured onto fresh white snow to cool and rolled up with a popsicle stick. This taffy, I swear, is one of my top 5 favorite foods. It’s been years since I’ve had fresh maple taffy and this experience did not disappoint. Even Shane, who doesn’t really like sweets, liked it a lot. This delicacy is only available in the spring which is why I haven’t had any during my summer or holiday visits.
The only problem with our vacation was that it passed by too quickly! Soon enough we were driving back down to Portland and were able to stay with friends once again. Ashley and Andy’s daughter, Ruby, is so adorable and we got a chuckle from Wyatt who couldn’t say Ruby, but rather called the baby Reba! Ha! Both boys loved their dog, Gus, even though he is easily twice their size. Luckily for them, he is friendly and doesn’t mind his tail being messed with. Ashley and Andy had our other friends over to their house for dinner and once the boys were in bed, we sat around drinking and catching up. Good times. We paid for our late night, however. The boys decided their last night on vacation would be the perfect time to have a crappy night’s sleep, which made for a difficult morning. Our quick flight (but not so quick Metro ride) got us home around 4:30, so the boys were able to play outside a little, have dinner and baths and an early bed time. Well, who am I kidding, it was an early bedtime for all of us after our eventful week in Maine.
I’m so happy to have been able to see and spend time with so many good friends and my family for the past week. Now after a week off, it’s back to work, daycare, therapy and doctor’s appointments for the Danielson fam. My to-do list may be quite long but my mind is clear and my heart is so, so full.