Monday, July 29, 2013

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid Point lighthouse is my mom's favorite place in the state of Maine. Our original plan for Mother's Day was to kidnap my mom away to the lighthouse for the afternoon. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. A couple Sunday's ago, the weather was absolutely perfect, so we decided to pick up mom and do some sight seeing.

Our first surprise of the day was that our state park pass was not accepted by the gatehouse. Apparently, Pemaquid Point lighthouse is owned by the town of Bristol. Admission is only a couple of dollars per person, but it is definitely something to take into consideration if you are planning a visit. Our second surprise of the day was that the lighthouse tower was open. I have been visiting the lighthouse since I was a little girl, and I have never had the chance to climb the tower of a lighthouse. Mom and I got out of the car and went directly to the line. Thom is not a fan of heights and opted to explore the rocky ledge instead.

The original stairway

The Fresnel lens and the view out of the tower

After we climbed down from the tower, we joined Thom on the rocky ledge. My mom likes to just sit and watch the ocean, it is so endless it is just hypnotizing. Thom and I like to climb on the rocks, something I have been doing since I was a kid.
Thom on a rock!

Thom on another rock! Do not try this kids, Thom is crazy

Climbing through a rock cave

Mom, enjoying the sunshine

It was a perfect afternoon. To cap everything off, we met up with my step-father at the drive-in for dinner. There is just nothing like summertime in Maine.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saying Goodbye

My mother-in-law and grandma
Thom and I were sitting our living room, enjoying a lazy Sunday when we received a phone call from Thom's uncle. He asked us if we wanted to see grandma one last time, she had just passed away. We got ready as quickly as we could and got down to the hospital. Grandma collapsed at lunch, and her heart stopped beating. Grandma lived a full life and had been sick for the last several years. She lost her husband, Thom's grandfather, almost a decade ago and was moved out to Maine so that Thom's uncle could take care of her. Grandma was with grandpa again, but she left her family grieving.

The funeral was held the following week in Indiana, grandma's home. Thom and his uncle flew out for four days. I was unable to get grievance leave and stayed behind. There should be rules against a spouse not being permitted to accompany their spouse to a funeral. It did not help the situation that this was also our first time apart since we were married.

The last several days have been spent listening to Thom process through everything and grieve. Grandma and grandpa were a significant part of Thom's childhood. He used to spend every summer in Indiana with his grandparents. He talked about the Polish food his grandma used to make, and the walks he used to take with his grandpa. We visited a local Polish deli, and Thom relived a moment of his childhood.

Like all wounds, the loss of grandma will take time to heal. We have plans to keep her memory alive through her traditions, food, and culture.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" ~Dr. Suess

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy (Much Belated) Fourth of July

Fireworks had been banned in Maine since before I was born. When I moved out to Kansas City, I was looking forward to setting off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, the city restrictions for fireworks were rather strict, and Thom and I both had to work on the Fourth. We then moved to Maine at the end of the month, and I was certain that my opportunity to set off fireworks had slipped by. To my surprise, Maine legalized fireworks a couple of years ago. Thom and I opted to buy our own to have our first family fireworks show. I was beyond excited. The excitement only grew stronger when we discovered the fireworks store was having a two for one sale. I had no idea what to get, but Thom helped me pick out a variety pack and some extra mortars. Basically, a little bit of everything so that we could figure out what we liked for next time.

Once Fourth of July came around, I felt like a kid on Christmas. Usually, Fourth of July is a sort of "meh" holiday for me, this year was definitely going to be different. We packed up the dog, fireworks, and homemade cole slaw and headed to my mom's house for a cook out, music, and a fireworks display. We set of fire crackers throughout the afternoon, and once the sunset, the fireworks came out. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures. I was the one that lit everything, and I opted to focus on not setting myself on fire over pictures. I decided that I really like mortars, they shoot off fireworks like you would see in a town fireworks display. I also like firecrackers, and this cone thing that sort of crackles and shoots stuff off. My sister is going to be in town in August, on what happens to be Thom's birthday, so we are planning to have a second show then to mark the occasion. 

Do you set off fireworks for Fourth of July? What are your favorites?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello everyone, I wanted to apologize for not posting in a while. My husband just recently lost his grandmother, and is taking the loss rather hard. I have spent the last week supporting him emotionally and trying to keep his mind off of things. I feel rather backlogged at this point, I have many stories to share. More to come, promise!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Seawall, Perry's Nut House, and Going Home

I slept in a little on Monday morning, all of our adventures during vacation really wore me out, plus I do not think my brain wanted to leave. I finally woke up when Thom took the tarp off of our tent. When I climbed out of bed, all bleary eyed, I discovered that Thom already had the screen house down. I was a little upset at first, until Thom informed me that it was almost ten and check out was noon. Back in the tent I went to roll sleeping bags and pack up our suitcase. We had a quick breakfast of cereal, then finished up tearing down camp. The last thing we did was hop in the shower, it was nice to feel human again. 

On our way off the island, we decided to explore Seawall. The Seawall is right next to the campground we stayed at, but we did not have a chance to look at it. Apparently, during low tide, there are all kinds of tide pools to explore. We arrived at the height of high tide, so all we saw was a cobble stone beach. There we could not find anywhere to sit, it was hot and humid, and our knees and ankles were a little sore from Gorham Mountain, so we snapped a few pictures and called it good. 

We also stopped at the Jordan Pond House. I would have loved to stay for popovers and lemonade, but it was lunch hour and the place was absolutely packed. I ran in to purchase a couple of souvenirs while Thom circled the parking lot. At that point, we said good bye to Acadia National Park and headed on our way.

A trip to Acadia National Park is not complete without a stop to Perry's Nut House in Belfast, Maine. It started out as an oddities museum that sold knickknacks and penny candy. Then the store was sold and all of the oddities were sold as well. The current owners are in the process of bringing the oddities back to the store, along with knickknacks, penny candy, and fudge! My intent was just to show Thom what Perry's Nut House was all about, but the homemade fudge got us, and we left with 1/4 pound of whoopie pie fudge. It did not last long. We also stopped for lunch, and then headed home. 

Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. I got to show Thom a part of Maine that was a significant part of my childhood, and he absolutely loved it. We are already making plans to go back, this time to climb a bigger mountain, go cycling on the carriage roads, or rent a kayak. 
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