Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hopes & Dreams

Our first 4th grade field trip was earlier this month, and although I didn't get to attend, it sure looked pretty amazing.  The entire grade was transported down to the Mall on National Park Service buses and were invited to share their hopes and dreams for the school year on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, right where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Another parent sent me a video of Joseph, but I couldn't hear a thing, and Joseph "couldn't" remember what he said at all :(  At least I got photos of it all, from him at the podium, to the cohort of something like 120 kids, plus his homeroom with Mr. Gold.

JT and Nolan have been in class together now 3 years running, and they have become such good friends.  Bonus that we love Nolan's family too!

When Back to School Night finally rolled around about 2 weeks later, Mr. Gold had posted all the kids' hopes and dreams for us to see.  Joseph's is a riot!  He has not once in the past month filled out a whole sheet of paper with division facts, and I love how his statement about trying to not get distracted kind of tapers off into nothingness.

This is a good one too.  This year George Washington is his hero (it was me last year!). Why?  Because he got a job and didn't die in battle.  There's definitely something to hope and dream for ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cadillac Sunrise

I know I've been dragging this out long enough, but this is (finally!) the final post of our road trip to Acadia National Park.  I felt like I had to experience the much talked about sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, which at 1,530 feet is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view sunrise in the United States.  So I set the alarm on our last day in Maine at some ungodly hour to make sure I was at the summit well before the 5:42am sunrise. 

And it was lovely.

But since neither Brent nor Joseph thought it sane or worthwhile, I took it all in on my own - except for the hundreds of other people that wanted to check it out too, like this adorable little couple sitting in front of me.  Truth is, it was a little overrated, and I have realized I am more of a sunset person.

All that's left to say is, farewell Maine, I heart you, and you "rock!"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jordan Pond and Beyond

Another one of the well known spots within Acadia National Park is Jordan Pond - a glacier formed, freshwater mountain lake.  Along its perimeter are The Bubble Mountains and The Jordan Pond House, a restaurant famous for its popovers where we had dinner one night.

We explored more of the Jordan Pond area and beyond another day by renting bikes for a half day and touring some of the 40+ miles of crushed-rock carriage roads within the heart of the park that are closed to motor vehicles. 

The Island Explorer is a free shuttle service within Acadia, and their Bicycle Express dropped us and our bikes off right near a carriage road entrance.  We made a giant loop that the bike shop highlighted on a map, first passing around Eagle Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the park.

We made our way back to Jordan Pond, quite the perfect spot to stop for a picnic lunch.

We biked somewhere around 15-16 miles all together, and Joseph was a great sport for the most part but eventually refused to pedal uphill anymore. At times we even had to walk his bike for him, not entirely unexpected since he really had wanted to go kayaking again instead.  Still, it was a wonderful experience!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sea Kayaking

Our next Maine adventure brought us back out onto the water, this time in kayaks!  I have no idea why Joseph wanted to do this so much, but it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip.

The family tours were sold out, so we opted for a simple 2.5 hour harbor tour in Frenchman Bay.  On the family tour they stop for an hour on one of the islands so the kids can explore and have a break, but they are much longer.  We had a nice group that included another family with kids, and since there were odd numbers in the group I was paired with a lovely woman who wound up being from DC too!

After a quick paddling lesson we were out on the open waters!

It was a little overcast and threatened to rain, but the lighting was actually quite beautiful it wound up being the best conditions since it was much cooler.  We paddled around to the other side of Bar Island, then on in between some of the Porcupine Islands - I think Sheep Porcupine and Burnt Porcupine - and then back to where we started.  It was quite a good workout.

This is my attempt to take a few selfies with an old school camera.  Never know what you're going to get LOL!  But it was much safer to use my trusty waterproof camera that drop my phone in the bay.

Joseph immediately wanted to book another tour for the next day, but we had other plans instead.  I think he would consider kayaking the highlight of the whole trip.  He did a great job paddling, and now we know we can rent some kayaks on the Potomac River back home.

Then at night, sunset s'mores!
A perfect end to a perfect day.