The Call Of The Sea

Once upon a time, I lived within two blocks of the ocean, its blue depths winking at me from my bathroom window. I would stroll down to the water’s edge nearly every night after work or on a weekend morning after breakfast, if only for a few moments, watching its ebb and flow and its always-changing personality, calm one evening, furious the next.  I am drawn to the ocean and its dynamics like a magnet, and sometimes, when I look around and find myself landlocked and shivering in the mountains of Vermont, I wonder how it is I got here.

My children, as do I, love living in Vermont, but they most certainly think the ocean is an exotic and thrilling place to visit.  I will lull them into feeling comfortable near it with years of adventures and vacations nearby, and hope that one day, like Miss Rumphius, I can encourage them to travel the world, live by the sea, and make the world more beautiful somehow.  I think I’m off to a good start.

The joy of the first time in the ocean for nearly a year.

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And even though my littlest mermaid preferred to have her feet planted firmly on land, I know she won’t be able to resist the call of the sea forever. IMG_8296 IMG_8298

It’s in her blood, after all, and they have all the time in the world to get better acquainted.

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Back From Paradise

Since we have been home less than 24 hours, my brain is still a bit on vacation, and thus all I can muster this morning is a smorgasbord of cell phone images of our wonderful week in Maine.  With my thankful heart, I say, Enjoy!

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Every day was as amazing and memorable as the one before, from beginning to end.

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So sad it’s over–already dreaming of going back!

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Farewell, Maine!

And the last post about our glorious adventures in Maine this summer is finally here, with a sweatshirt-by-the-sea day photo montage.  Wrapping up a beautiful vacation, the kids dipped their toes in the water and cuddled up in sweatshirts, saying goodbye to Drakes Island until next year.

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I cherish every memory from this week away from it all with my four favorite people in the world.

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Maine really is the way life should be!

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Sandy Silhouettes

Here are my attempts at capturing silhouettes on a bright and beautiful beach day, although the sun was not low enough in the horizon for them to be exactly what I was trying to achieve.  I like how they turned out, regardless, with the reflective sand and cloudy sky.

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We live in such a wooded and hilly area that any time I try to practice true silhouettes behind my kids (in the traditional sense, not just playing with light), I fail because the light is still too far above them rather than behind them, or the sun doesn’t set until after their bedtime in the summer (when we’re out later).  Anyone have any suggestions as to how get my shot?

I didn’t mind that they weren’t perfect, anyway.  It was a lot of fun practicing!

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Next year the kids will be a little older and I plan to keep them up until sunset one night just to try some more (and who doesn’t love a sunset romp at the beach?).

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Fun in the sun!

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Hermit Crab Hunger Games

The day we bought the kites for the kids was also the windiest day of our vacation, so although the kids didn’t spend any time actually swimming in the water, they still had many aquatic adventures, the most significant of which was when they discovered hermit crabs and how exciting it is to hunt for them.

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Without question, my kids are braver than me in this arena, and I appreciated my excuse of taking photographs so that I wouldn’t have to actual touch any of the crabs, which I found creepy in the extreme.  The kids, however, thought they were amazing and quickly filled up a bucket to keep their new friends close by until we were ready to leave for the day.

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It was all fun and games until one of the biggest hermit crabs started brutally attacking the smaller ones and basically started eating them.  I was horrified and was practically shrieking; the kids were confused and not sure why the “Big Meanie” kept jumping on the other crabs’ backs.  After I realized that we had orchestrated our very own Hermit Crab Hunger Games and the blue bucket was our Cornucopia, we found a tide pool and let them be free.  A little lesson on survival of the fittest and Darwinism at a young age.  The kids were unfazed, but I was pretty traumatized.

After all that excitement, we enjoyed a quieter evening together, keeping an eye on our little friends as the tide rolled in and somehow managing to stay fairly dry.

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Little H decided that soggy diapers and damp dresses are for the birds, so she let it all hang loose for the last few trips down to the water.

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See that little circle of rocks?  That was our Hermit Crab Rehabilitation Center for those traumatized during the “Big Meanie” attack.  

One last trip up the lifeguard chair and we called it a night.

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Such a special place, our beach, even with a dose of crustacean cannibalism!

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Run-Of-The-Mill Awesome

Another blog post, another series of photographs documenting our wonderful time in Maine.  Just another magnificent day at the beach.

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But this time…

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…there were kites!

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And tide pools!

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So, really, it was far from ordinary.  Just run-of-the-mill awesome.

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If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now.  Best family vacation ever.

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Old Orchard Beach Day

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One of my favorite days on our vacation was our day trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, with its beachside carnival and rides, the pier with so much to see (and the joy of the kids running around underneath it), and the miles of clean, smooth beach bordered by picturesque sand dunes.  Add some delicious friend food into the mix and a great parking spot, and there was really nothing more we could have asked from this awesome day.

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At this point, Little H was still unconvinced that she liked the waves.  I made her a little hole to splash in and she was completely content, kicking her feet and throwing sand.  She even wore her hat!

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We probably should have quit while we were ahead after such a memorable day, but as always, after dinner we headed back to the beach.  Jax was psyched, but the girls were really overtired and probably could have done with an early bedtime.  Ah, well, you live and learn on vacation!

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We finally had to call it a night when the girls got in a real fight over the one mermaid doll we brought with us on the trip (note to self: TWO Ariels next year!).  These girls had just about had it, so we packed it in early.

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Of course Jax was unimpressed with their drama and had to go in for one more romp before the girls ruined all his fun.  Sorry, buddy; it probably won’t be the last time!

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I wish we could have let him stay, but instead we headed home and prepared for a sunny beach day the next morning.  We were never far away from those waves!  But even a troublesome evening couldn’t take away from what was a really great day together.  We are definitely going back next year!

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