05 September 2014


Lincoln started kindergarten on Tuesday September 2. It was a really hard day for me. It is weird to have him away from me for so long every day (he gets on the bus at 8:30 and off at 4:00 ish) and I miss him during the day. I cried and cried that first day, but I’ve been doing better since.

Luckily, it was a much happier day for Lincoln…


He has been looking forward to kindergarten for quite some time. I expected him to be tired and grumpy after such a long day, but, for the most part, he has been his normal happy, energetic self.


He rides the bus with our neighbor, Paul, so it’s nice to have someone familiar to sit next to.



On his first day we put Lincoln on the bus and immediately drove to the school for a parent meeting with the principle. We snuck a peak at Lincoln in his classroom. He was sitting at the green rhombus table and just as happy as can be.


So far, Lincoln loves school. He has asked to go back everyday and is a little disappointed that he won’t get to go this weekend. Who can blame him? Kindergarten is fun! If only we could bottle this enthusiasm for school and use it again in about 10 years.

16 August 2014


After leaving Assateague Island we drove about six hours to Hartford, Connecticut. We spent the evening drying out our soaked camping gear and eating pizza. On our way out of town the next morning we stopped by my grandmother’s childhood home in West Hartford for a quick photo.


A short while later we arrived in Portland, Maine. After checking into our hotel we immediately headed over to the Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It was amazing. The lighthouse was lovely and we absolutely loved the rocky Maine beaches. All the boys loved climbing on all the huge rocks. Jonathan and Conan did a lot of exploring while Lincoln searched for pieces of the Millennium Falcon among the rocks. At one point Jonathan climbed out on a rock and got splashed by a (very cold) wave. Lincoln yelled, “Daddy, don’t let a lobster get you!”



Conan (and Jonathan) spent a lot of time throwing rocks into the ocean throughout our trip.




A rare picture of Jonathan and I together, taken by Lincoln.



I asked a stranger to take a picture of all four of us at a particularly picturesque spot. I guess he didn’t understand that I also wanted the lighthouse to be in the photo. I took a photo of Jonathan in the same spot as a consolation prize.


In the park we ran across a food trailer that I had read about on Trip Advisor called Bite Out of Maine. We stopped and got our first lobster roll, Maine style. It was delightful and I am not a big seafood fan. We wanted to return to Bite Out of Maine before we went home, but, unfortunately, never had the chance.


The following day we breakfasted at The Holy Donut. They make all their donuts out of Maine potatoes and they were yummy. Some of our favorite flavors were dark chocolate and sea salt and ginger sweet potato.


We then headed to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum because the boys could not wait any longer. We spent some time in the museum looking at the train cars and playing with the toys before we headed out for our train ride. The ride lasted for about 40 minutes total, but about halfway through we stopped and all the children were able to go up to the engine and toot the horn. Needless to say, this was the boys’ favorite Maine attraction and they would love to go back.



Jonathan joked that this trip was at least 60% about food and I’d say that’s about right. We made it a point to try multiple restaurants, trying just to get what they are known for. We had a lot of delicious food. When we arrived in Portland’s Old Port area our first stop was the Blue Rooster. They had amazing tater tots and homemade ketchup. Then we headed to Gilbert’s Chowder house for some wonderful clam chowder. You get 10% off if you want to buy it by the gallon, in case anyone is interested.


We checked out a pretty fun toy store where Conan made a huge mess of a ton of cars. He was playing with a fire truck when a retired fireman walked in and asked Conan if he was going to drive one one day. In typical toddler fashion, Conan just stared at him and I had to answer. Lincoln played and played in the dress up corner. He decided he wants a knight costume for Christmas, mostly because of the sword, I think.


We had dinner at a place on the water called Flatbread. We were seated at a large table with another party of four which I’ve never experienced before. For dessert we got some lovely gelato at Gorgeous Gelato before heading back to our hotel.


The next day we stopped at Standard Baking Co. for some delightful morning buns and pain au chocolat before hopping on a ferry to Peaks Island. It was only about a twenty minute ride but the boys loved the boat and thought it was pretty amazing that it could even carry cars and trucks.


There is a pathway that follows the shore all the way around the island, so we rented some bikes to explore. I started out with Conan on a (very old) road bike with an infant seat and Jonathan had Lincoln on a tag-along trailer. Lincoln was sure he was going to fall over and had to be talked into even getting on the bike. We stopped at a lovely beach to do some exploring on the rocks and Lincoln was happy for the break.



When we got back on our bicycles, Jonathan and I decided to trade and then everyone was happier. Lincoln and I are happy to ride the brakes down a hill and take our time and Jonathan and Conan love to go fast. It still took Lincoln a little bit to warm up, but by the time we were done he was pedaling like a champ and telling jokes while we rode. Here are some of Lincoln’s jokes: “Is there soap on my nose?!” “Don’t get too close to the grass!” “Hey guys, are we about to crash into the sun?” (From the Lego Movie).

We really had a lovely time, stopping at lots of rocky beaches and enjoying the mild Maine weather.



We got some snacks and ice cream when we finished with the bikes before hopping on the ferry to head back to Portland.


We had a very late lunch at Duckfat and the fries were really amazing.


We drove out to a place called Two Lights State Park to see some more lighthouses, but we only ever found one. Conan fell asleep on the way there and stayed asleep when we got him out of the car, so the two of us just sat on the beach while he snoozed and Jonathan and Lincoln explored. He slept for quite a while which was quite the feat considering there was a blow horn blasting about once a minute.




We planned to eat dinner at Two Lights, but it started to rain and all the seating was outdoor. Jonathan got one last lobster roll while the boys and I waited in the car.

Maine was really lovely and I think we’d all love to go back. We stayed in the Portland area, but I would have loved to be able to explore more up the coast and over to Acadia National Park. There is just a ton to see and I can’t wait for our next trip.

08 August 2014

Assateague Island

We took a two part family vacation last week. The first part, camping at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, had been planned for months. Campsite reservations sell out months in advance, but we were able to snag a reservation for a Thursday and Friday (weekends are completely hopeless less than six months out) about three months ago. This was our first time camping as a family, although Jonathan and Lincoln went on the Fathers and Sons campout at the beginning of the summer.

Assateague Island is special because it is home to a herd of wild ponies. Before we arrived I was worried that we wouldn’t see any. That was a needless worry because they were everywhere. 


As we were setting up our campsite some ponies came to scavenge in our neighbors campsite. We were careful to keep all of our food in our car.



Our campsite wasn’t on the beach, but it was very close. The boys enjoyed playing in the water, as they always do.





We kept reminding the boys to avoid the large piles of horse poo laying around everywhere. They thought that was hilarious and would yell, “Look out for the horse poop!” Even when we left the island, Conan would point out piles of rocks and call them horse poop.

During the middle of our first night I was suddenly awakened by the horse neighing right next to our tent. It can be pretty scary to have such large animals just wondering around.


On our second day we paid a visit to the visitor’s center and went on a couple of short hikes. On one hike, called the life of the marsh, we were walking on a boardwalk over some shallow water and we were able to see a bunch of crabs scurrying around. One seemed intent on fighting while another ran from him.


That night we had a big campfire to use up the rest of our wood and marshmallows. It was delightful.



Our last night was not very good, however. We knew it was going to rain before we went to bed and took precautions like putting everything in the tent or the car. Jonathan and I did not get much sleep that night because of the wind and the rain. The tent was getting blown like crazy and I was worried we would need to get out of there quick. Eventually the rain died down and we were able to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up, however, I discovered that we had quite a bit of water in our tent. All our clothes were soaked and my camera was sitting in a puddle of rainwater. We were able to get the pictures in this post off of the memory card, but otherwise I’m pretty sure my camera is completely dead. It was very tragic.

When Conan woke up he got out of the tent and immediately fell in a puddle of water, completely soaking himself. Luckily I had packed the clothes for the second part of our trip in a separate bag that was in the car so he didn’t have to go naked for the rest of the day. We packed up camp as best we could considering a lot of stuff was wet and headed north to our next destination.