Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Road Trip 2014

We are a family who loves to travel and see new places.  We are also a family who has a daughter with Rett Syndrome which makes certain types of transportation easier than others.   As a family, the car is our preferred method of traveling right now for various reasons.

Last summer we loaded up the Yukon XL and left the sticky summer heat in Richmond to head to hot and humid Houston.  We were going from bad to worse in the heat category.  However, believe it or not we had incredible weather when we were there and even felt a breeze…every day!  I think they were having cooler weather than normal for them….we didn't complain….at all!

This year we headed in the opposite direction….NORTH!  We did what many "wiser" (and by wiser I mean older) folks do in the summa'….head North where it is coola.  Yes, I am trying to talk like I am a Yankee…well, I am by birth, but luckily my mom moved to the South as soon as she could…thanks mom!

First, I have to say, my husband would never go North on a vacation unless he had to.  He prefers to head South on 95 whenever possible.  Since we had a family wedding to attend….he had to drive North.  And I was happy he didn't have a choice, because it is hard to describe to someone who has his blinders on how nice the New England Coast really is.  He will agree now, it was beautiful….but I don't think he is going back anytime soon.

The week before we left for our trip it was a very hot and humid week.  I didn't complain…well, maybe once….because I will take hot and humid any day after all the snow we had this winter!!!!   I don't like snow…at all!  11 snow days is ridiculous!!!!!

This trip was also the first time that I packed our whole family the day before we left.  Yes, the day before!  I don't know how that happened…well, I do (another post for another day), and I will be honest and say it was a breath of fresh air.  I just threw clothes in the kids bags and zipped them up.  Of course I made sure we had everything we needed as I checked off my list as I packed, but didn't stress about it like I normally do.  And surprisingly I didn't forget ONE thing!!!

As I was packing I was thinking how nice it is going to be to have cooler temperatures.  How nice it will be to have the perfect 75 degree day…every day for almost a week.  And it was….just perfect!

Usually we get up at the crack of dawn to start our journey as we can get in a good number of hours before its time to feed the kids breakfast.  This time we decided to leave in the afternoon and stop part of the way to sight see before heading further North.  Bad. Idea!   I am truly convinced there is only one word why my husband really doesn't like driving North and that is…….


It was supposed to take us 4 hours to get to our stopping point for the night, instead it took us 6 1/2!!!!  And the majority of our drive was spent sitting on 95.  It just reminded us why we do things the way we do.

We stopped over in Philadelphia.  We asked Betsie to look at a map and see where she wanted to stop along the way.  She picked Philly as she wanted to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.  Remember…she picked this stop…she wanted to see these things.

The next morning everyone woke up rather early so we were out sight seeing by 8:30!  This was huge as it meant we could be on our way to Maine by ten hopefully.  We parked the car two blocks from the main sights and we were very lucky there were not many people out and about yet.   It had to of been only 10 minutes of walking around when Betsie started turning into Judy Moody (this is what we call her when she gets moody!).  We asked her what was wrong and she said "this is boring".  We quickly reminded her the only reason we were walking around Philly and waiting for our tour of Independence Hall was because she wanted to.  Then the light bulb went off and her mood turned around rather quickly.  Thank goodness for her sake!

It was the perfect timing for the kids to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell as the 4th of July was just around the corner.   We even saw Betsy Ross's house!  You all remember who she was….right?!?!?  Side note here….another reason we had to visit Betsy Ross's house was because when Betsie was in first grade a classmate of her's went home and told his parents he met the nicest girl and her name was Betsy Ross.  She is still friend's with the young man and we often chuckle over this story!  So of course we had to take this picture of her and send it to them!!

Everything went as smoothly as we had liked and we were back in the car headed to Maine by 10:00.  We were extremely fortunate that Google Maps took us on some back roads as we didn't hit much traffic at all.   Broke the bank in tolls, but no traffic!  Seriously….every road up there is pretty much a toll road….and let's not even talk about their driving!

When we started our drive it was 90 degrees and by the time we arrived in Maine at 6:30 pm it was 71!!!  Much coola!!!

Maine is beautiful….it truly is.   At least the areas we visited were…Ogunquit, Perkins Cove and Kennebunkport.  Very picturesque!

Our first day we walked the Marginal Way along the water from Ogunquit to Perkins Cove which is just about a mile and a half.  It was beautiful looking out at the water from the mini cliffs.  I say mini as Will and I were saying how it reminded us of Cinque Terre; however, those cliffs were much bigger!   You could walk down the rocks to little areas of private beach.  It was cute, but definitely not my cup of tea when it comes to the beach.  I prefer an easy walk, lots of sand and warm water!  There was a main beach in Ogunquit; however, it was packed….and I mean packed!  I think we are spoiled where we go in South Carolina and I am happy about that!  When I go to the beach I like to spread out and be in my own little world with my family.  I don't want to hear other families conversations or smell them….and here that is exactly what happens!

Main Ogunquit Beach….and this was at 11:00am 
and parking was $25 for the day!!!

Main Ogunquit Beach

Little hidden beach after walking down mini cliff

And the next three pictures are what we are used to when 
we go to the beach….
Nice …..


beach in South Carolina!!!!!

Sorry, I got talking about the beaches and off track…..the Marginal Way.  The walk to Perkins Cove was perfect!  The weather was incredible, the breeze was amazing and we were all together!  Perkins Cove is a quaint little town.  I loved it!!!!  You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words….don't you think so?!?!


The Bush Compound!

The whole reason we were visiting Maine was because my aunt was getting married!!!  We are beyond thrilled for her!!!!  We love Fred and welcome him and his daughters into our family.  Fred and Betsie had a special bond from day one as they share the same birthday.

Me and Will

My grandmother (Nanny), great family friend-like an aunt (Shel) 
and Anna Cate

Me and the bride to be…my aunt Pam

Me and Betsie

Betsie and her GREAT-aunt Pam

Will and Eli

My aunt Pam (on the left) and my mom…aka Mimi (on the right)

Me and my dad (aka Poppy)

The 5 of us

Me and the Bride

Bride and Groom

Me and my mom


Anna Cate and Mimi


My dad and Will

The rest of the weekend was spent with family and visiting cousins we don't see often.  Even though my kids may see them once a year, they pick up right where they leave off every time!  Now, we have to get them to drive South to us!!!

Eli in the middle of his twin cousins (they are all 7!)

Me and Jen, my cousin Dale's wife…first time we really 
got to hang out.  Can you tell which one of us lives in the North?!?!  
I am always cold!!!

Will, Dale and Anna Cate

Dale and the kids walking along the rocks

All the cousins

The whole weekend was very special in so many ways.  I love how we checked off many more states we have visited as a family, how we helped my aunt and Fred celebrate their special day,  how we spent time with family we don't see very often,  how we had safe travels,  how we were blessed with being able to go on a family vacation, and how it truly was a wonderful vacation full of lasting memories and perfect weather.   There was one very special memory made at the actual wedding, but I would like to share this in its own post, so you will have to wait.

Next road trip….the beach….in the South…..where everything is fine and dandy!

Talk to y'all soon!

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