Thursday, July 11, 2013

Camping Adventures in Maine #1 - Fireworks, Food, and Fun!

I have way too many pics to get this in one post...lol! I'll be breaking it up into two posts, I think.

We've been wanting to take the kids camping for years now. Last summer we weren't able to since David had his second surgery. We really wanted to make sure we did it this summer. It's been years since we've gone...two kids and one state ago ;) We finally made the plans, or rather, my father-in-law did! Thanks Dad! Since the guys had a long weekend for the Fourth, we figured that was the perfect time. David wanted to go up to Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park in Maine, but we couldn't find any openings because of the holiday and short notice. Dad found a campsite right near Camden, Me that was available though, and booked it right away. Turns out it was more of an RV park with just a few tent sites. It worked out well though, we were the only tenters there. It had a pool and clubhouse which was cool. We drove up the morning of the 4th...it's almost a 5 hour drive.                                                                                                                      

I needed to figure out what to do with the dog...thankfully my friend Kim took her for a day, since they weren't open on the 4th,and then dropped her at the kennel the next day. She even picked her up for me on Sunday...which was a lifesaver because we didn't get back in time due to traffic! Thanks Kim!!!

Anyways, we headed over to the in-laws on Thursday morning, late of course...and then had to turn around to get David's wallet that he'd left...argh! lol...luckily the whole trip wasn't like that. The kids were totally surrounded by everything we brough...poor Red Three kept getting bopped in the head by the giant fan David had brought...hahaha! The drive up wasn't too bad...a bit of traffic going through New Hampshire to Maine, but cleared up pretty quickly afterward. We got in around 4 or so...put up the tents and unloaded. Camden was having a fireworks show and live band that night. We decided to go find somewhere to eat before the show. Camden had a beautiful harbor...we all enjoyed looking at all the boats, or as Buddy called them "chips!" It actually kinda sounded like a mix between chips and ships ;)





The restaurant we picked was super hot...of course Maine was having a heat wave the one time we finally go camping! But we got a table under the fan and that was better. Not the greatest waiter, but the food was pretty good. Of course, we had to get lobster! Well, except for David...he's just not the biggest lobster fan. He went with the seafood platter instead. It was Rachel's first time having lobster! The funniest thing happened there. Earlier Red One had been talking about how one of her friends goes to Maine in the summer and how crazy would it be to run into her. Then while we're at the restaurant, we hear her name being called, but basically ignored it at first, because who would be calling it. Finally turn around and who is it but her best friend and her family eating at the same restaurant 5 hours from home! (Not the one she was talking about, but another friend.) Red One couldn't believe it! 



After we stuffed our faces, we headed out to wait for the show. The band was mostly just loud, lol...but we got great spots for the fireworks right behind the bandstand.

BTW, I love this picture of Buddy and me...so cute!













It was a decent show all the way until the end...instead of a finale it just fizzled out...lol. I really think something happened...they even had the midpoint fake finale. People were talking about it the next day too. Everyone was waiting around for a bit wondering if it was over...haha, oh well. After that, beddy bye.

The next day we relaxed in the morning, I made pancakes! yum...swam in the pool, just chilled out. It was super hot, even then. I felt terrible for David. I tried to get him to go swimming, help cool off...but he's pretty sun sensitive due to all his meds plus the radiation he had last year. :/ He was a bit (and by that I mean a lot!) miserable. We planned on hiking the mountain overlooking Camden, then going to see some of the local lighthouses. It turns out it's called Mount Battie...for some reason this made me laugh. Luckily for David, who was not going to hike, and Red Three who really didn't want to either, we could drive to the top. It had a great view and a really cool lookout tower.



This was overlooking the bay we watched the fireworks show.











After that, we just had to stop and get some ice cream! Luckily there was a little road side shack...Buddy had blueberry ice cream (when in Maine!) and it was delicious! I had some sort of Deer Tracks thing that was awesome! David went with the fried haddock (no, not ice cream...unlike him, I know, but he was hungry!) He was a little obsessed with the haddock this trip. The girls got cotton candy ice cream...ugh...lol.



Afterward our break, we decided to head to Owl's Head Lighthouse. It's a working lighthouse under the authority of the Coast Guard. By the time we left, the light had actually turned on, even though there were still a few hours of daylight. I got some good pics of the kids!



                                                             This might be our Christmas pic this year ;)
I wish we knew the story behind this!


 David was done by this point...plumb wore out, so he decided to sit in the (AC) van while we went on our next expedition...which was the Rockland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse. What makes this lighthouse so cool is that it sits on a 7/8 mile jetty out into the harbor. It was super windy walking out there...it didn't look that far, but I knew it would be an ordeal. It was easy enough, as long as you watched your step. It's made out of giant blocks of rock, and there are plenty of gaps...definitely had to hold on to Buddy! Red Three was a little scared at first, but she got over it pretty quickly. There were people fishing off of it...someone said they'd even seen some porpoises earlier! That would have been awesome...but nope! It was starting to get really cloudy and windy...and then thought we heard thunder...a storm was rolling in and we were still out in the middle of the harbor. I picked up Buddy and started booking it! We made pretty good time going back and it had just started raining right when we got off the jetty...and then pouring when we made it back to the car! Whew...but then we had to get back to the campsite because David's backpack with laptop was out, not in the tent. Thank goodness it was protected by the backpack and totally fine!

 Yup, that's the lighthouse WAY out there.
 Started off super sunny!










 Clouds rolling in!





Thankfully the thunderstorm was a quick one. Once it had passed, I made some chicken tacos for dinner and banana boats for dessert...a nice end to a fun but jam-packed day!

 Part two of our adventures coming soon! ;)