A Trip to Acadia

So, it turns out that I’m not very good at updating my blog.  I imagine that this is the way of many blogs, but I’m determined to post as much as I can.  Stick with me if you can!

Last week, we ventured to Acadia National Park for a camping experience.  Three nights camping is a first for this crew.  We have camped in the yard, and at Nana and Papa’s but this was a grand “adventure”.  We stayed in Blackwoods, and were able to set up camp the first day without the rain.  We began by exploring the park loop, and walking the ocean trail to thunder hole.  Five hours in the car, left Gracie with some extra energy and she proceeded to run, at a fairly decent pace, the majority of the two mile trail.  She stopped periodically to set up with a “ready, on your mark, get set, go!”, and she was off.  Passing many a surprised hiker trying to enjoy the sea and get a picture.   Later, back to the campsite for our first camp meal!  Great fun, thanks to some wonderful recipes (thank you Deerfield Stimmell’s)   We ate some curly dogs and yummy veggie quesadillas.  Libby can camp like no other, and she made some divine meals over the fire.

We were feeling like hot shot campers until we endured the evening..  Our first night in the tent was for the record books.  Even with two rain flies and a tarp under the tent, we were unable to escape the ridiculous amount of rain that fell.  Pools of water gathered in the corners of the tent and condensation dripped from the “roof”.  Nevertheless, the next morning we were up making bacon and eggs and getting ready for some hiking.  Jon and I found that if we didn’t talk about the rain, then perhaps we could all ignore it- maybe!  We began at the museum and nature center and took a short but dangerous hike from the springs.  We traversed rocks that were slippery and wet, and made a certain mom very nervous.  Although beautiful, we turned and took our little trekkers down the mountain.  After the museum and learning about the Native Americans, we headed around the park for lunch and our next hiking trip at the Bubbles.  Lots of fun.  The kids were fabulous little hikers, with everyone walking independently.  By late in the afternoon, we had shook the rain but we were wet and in the back of my head I could picture the campsite with damp sleeping bags waiting for us.  So, we decided to hold off on going back to the campsite, and went into Bar Harbor to walk the huge sand bar between the island and Bar Island.  Lots of fun, and many crabs later, we took to a restaurant before settling into the single dampest sleeping bag I have ever touched.  Again, just don’t talk about it and nobody else will either.

No rain the next morning, in fact some sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Off to Jordan Pond, and some pretty amazing biking.  Future family bikers should know that the hills on the map are more on the scale of a mountain, but still lots of fun. After some bike coaching and learning of the passing terms such as, “on your left”, when you ride past a biker in front of you, we were ready to go!  On the way up one of the mountains, we were able to stop and view through an enormous telescope a peregrine falcon in the cliffs.  A nest but no hatchlings for this falcon, but still incredible to view such a predator in it’s natural habitat.

Lib’s and Liam worked hard with their little legs on these trails. Liam persevered and pushed long and hard up the trails.  He was an amazingly strong biker.   Jon had Gracie on the back of his bike, and carried her all over the trails.   A wrong turn down a trail called, “Aunt Betty’s Pond” left us walking our bikes up a wonderfully large hill with switchbacks and bridges.  The grumbling from the six and nine year old was not overly pleasant, but again we worked through it.  The bridges, however, are a sight to see, along with the spectacular views.

On the way back down the trail, Libby experienced a spike in her bike confidence, and decided to take the trail by storm.  Nervous mom returned, and told her that she needed to ride behind me down the mountain.  So many people and loose gravel made me slightly edgy when put together with her need for speed.  At first all was well, although she did ride close to my own back wheel, and I was picturing us both splayed out in the middle of the trail.  Pushing this image from my mind, all was again beautiful.  The sun was out, lots of people smiling and riding by, the views were pretty, and I was so glad that we had made it to Acadia.  Then from behind me I hear, “On your left!”.  Yep, that’s right, it was Libby trying to pull a fast one on her mom.  I apparently was a little slow for her, and she was unable to contain it anymore.  I was able to rein her in for a little while longer before turning she and Liam loose.  They did a great job and waited patiently for the rest of us.  We ended this day with a drive up Cadillac Mountain and some beach time at Sand Beach.  The water was chilly, yet refreshing, and it was nice just to soak in some sun.

I’m proud of my kiddos.  They were great campers.  From sleeping in, to reading to each other before bed, to great UNO games by the campfire.  Sadly, the trip went too quickly.  However, my happy campers would like to do this again next year.  We agree.

Here are the pictures from the trip!  Happy camping!

photo (54)  At the campsite

photo (73)  Gracie taking in the views on our beach walk.

photo (74)  Libby and Gracie enjoying the rocks.

photo (75)  The crew!

photo (55)  Bring on the rain!  This is the view from the car window.  (Courtesy of Liam)

photo (71)  A little hiking!

photo (70)  Aren’t they strong?

photo (69)  At Bubble Rock.

photo (56)  Some pretty fabulous hikers!

photo (68)  The actual “bubble” on the hike

photo (66)  The campfire-couldn’t get warm enough

photo (67)  Who doesn’t enjoy a great campfire?

photo (64)  The sun is out!  Let’s bike!!!

photo (57)  Libby-  aka “speed demon”

photo (62)  Gracie found biking relaxing.  She is showcasing her new mermaid.

photo (63)  On the bike trails.  Note the beautiful bridge.

photo (58)  Biking can make you tired!

photo (60)  Yes!  We made it to the beach!!!!!

photo (61)  Digging time.  Who needs shovels?

photo (59)  We had a wonderful time!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Birthday Hike

Last Saturday, the rain moved through, and we were able to take a short hike up Blue Job.  The hike celebrated Libby’s recent birthday and included 10 children, 9 adults, and one dog. 

Here we are pre-hike.  This is an excited crew.

Image

Heading up the trail.

Annalise and Gracie take their time walking and talking.

Image

 

 

Getting Closer…

Image

The girls reach the destination.  Can you see Gracie skipping up to the top.  She was determined keep up with the bigger kiddos.  They were all amazing hikers.  Not one complaint to be heard.  

Image

All the children posed just before we reached the top.  Quite the crew!

Image

Here are the children running on the rocks at the top.  

We sang happy birthday to Libby and dined on chocolate chip cookies and juice boxes.  A good treat for hard working hikers.

Image

 

Before we headed down the mountain, we took some family photos!  Enjoy!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After a great afternoon, we settled in with one last picture at the end of the trail!

Happy Birthday Libby!  Thank you all for joining us!

Image

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Post hike ice-cream

After the hike, we headed into Peterborough for an ice-cream.  Turns out they don’t do ice-cream, but they do have some tasty gelatto.  Here is the crew relaxing on the patio.  

Image

Here is Gracie tending to her baby as she sets up for a bowl of cookies and cream.  Aunt Sadie whipped up this sweet baby, and Gracie is quite taken with it!

Image

Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mt. Monadnock

Jon took a day off from work to join us a school vacation “adventure”.  Such a beautiful day called for a hike, and after much searching on trail conditions and kid appropriate hikes, we decided on Mt. Monadnock.  We took the Dublin trail, which is located in Dublin NH, and to get to the trail head, you have to travel through Antrim and Hancock which are beautiful towns with many old houses with attached barns and multiple huge chimneys.  The actual trail head is located down a tiny dirt road that is seemingly empty from human occupancy.  We forged forward, and there in the middle of nowhere, was a tiny parking lot and a sign for the trail.  With only one other car in the parking lot, I began to worry this was too early in the season.  However, we decided to move forward.  A 3,166′ mountain and 4.5 mile hike was ahead of us.  We needed to get going!

Image

Here is the crew gearing up for the hike….

Image

Libby sitting pretty.  Initially, the trail followed a beautiful little stream that required some rock jumping and of course relaxing!

Image

Image

Going up!  The first part of the trail was wet, and as we climbed higher, we hit ice and snow!  The kids were incredible, and climbed safely forward.  Believe it or not, no one complained.  It truly was an adventure!

Image

Almost to the top!

Image

Made it!  Libby and Liam did a wonderful job….still smiling!

Image

Jon and Gracie join the little hikers.  Jon carried Gracie the entire way,and Gracie talked the whole way up and down.  She especially would like to do this adventure with her cousins!

Image

Here we are.  What a great trip.

Image

This is the view from almost to the top.  At the top, we could see straight to Boston, 4 ski areas with snow on the trails, and the White Mountains.  Supposedly, you can see six states from the top.  Mt. Monadnock is the second most climbed mountain in the world, next to Mt. Fuji!  Pick a clear day and give it a try.  You will be glad you did.

What mountain is next?  Not sure, but will keep you updated!  Just glad that the response from the kiddos at the bottom of the mountain was ,”That was awesome!”

Enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Happy Birthday Gracie Pie!

On Sunday morning, I heard the padding of feet cross the hall and enter the bedroom.  I opened my eyes to see little hands push blond hair from her face before pronouncing, “It’s morning time, Mama”.  Suddenly it struck me, this walking-talking little girl was just a tiny little baby three years ago.  

Gracie was 8lbs 10 ozs. the biggest of all three.  She had big cheeks that when I peeked at her in her bassinet, they drooped in weight.  She has always been sweet in disposition and has developed an absolute obsession with Liam and Libby.  With Liam, Liam is in charge and they play and laugh and argue sometimes too.  With Libby, Gracie is in charge.  My Libby talks sweetly to her, and often can be heard encouraging her to “talk nicely”.  It is funny to see the shift, if not a little ironic.

My happy three year old spent the weekend in birthday/princess bliss.  She had her family come to visit on Saturday.  All of her cousins, 13 kiddos in total, joined for the fun.  Between the cake and the games and the playing, a good time was had by all.

Happy Birthday Sweet Gracie!

Image

Image

Image

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April showers/snow really do bring May flowers

The kids and I headed out for a walk into the woods late yesterday afternoon.  We were surprised how much snow still existed as well as these little signs of Spring.  

Image

This cluster of Mayflowers was tucked into the snow.  Once we saw these, we realized that there were many more to be found.  The leaves were easily greener than the rest of the new growth.  Maybe it is a good year for wildflowers.  

Image

Image

Image

Image

Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Uncle Jonny

Race Day:  Saturday, April 6, 2013, 32 degrees, windy, really windy, cold, unbelievably chilly.  

On Uncle Jonny’s request, we gathered to run for his birthday.  Below, you will see the crew gathered for a pre-race picture.  Nana and Auntie Kate gathered “The Littles” and some of “The Bigs” and waited for the runners to finish the race.  Among the runners, Uncle Jonny and Uncle Sean took for the front of the pack, leaving Aunt Sadie not too far behind.  As they motored along, the rest of us pushed along at our own pace.  Papa battled me out at the end of the race and took the lead for the finish.  Libby ran a fantastic race, and was the first girl to finish for her age group.  Papa won first for his age group, and got to go up for a prize….pretty darn exciting!  

Image

Here we all are.  Waiting to run in the streets of Rochester.  

Image

 

Libby is still smiling, despite the bitter cold. 

Image

Jon and Liam, post race, waiting for the cupcakes!

Image

Gracie and Josette try to find warmth.

All in all, a great morning.  How many people get to run a race with their family and then sing Happy Birthday to their big brother? Happy Birthday Uncle Jonny, thanks for sharing your birthday with us!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment