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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

practice for summer vacation

Summer vacation at Camp Carver involves a lot of beach time, day trips, outside play time, overnights to camp and so, consequently, a ton of packing, lunch making and unpacking. Seriously, I pack more in the summer than I do during the school year.

This is school vacation week and it has felt like a primer for the near daily outings of summer- throwing in extra clothes, cold water for when everyone is tired and desperately thirsty, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, crustless sandwiches and cut up fruit.  It has been sunny and warm (today it was 83 degrees!) and we have celebrated vacation week in style so far, including two trips in as many days to the beach and playground with people we love.

Day one: Camden to visit my mom and Michaela and Braeden who my mom had picked up for the day.  We were going to have them overnight but some scheduling/custody logistics made it impossible and it was so nice of my mom to get them so we could spend the day with them after all.

Grandma headed to the beach with her brood.

I swear all it takes to keep kids happy at the beach is a gallon size Ziploc for all their sea combing treasures.

Maya is an official sea glass hunter:

She gave Braeden (who is 9 months to day younger than her) explicit instructions:  "Don't look up there Braeden." (waving at the sky) "You've got to look down here." (pointing to the sand) "Keep you lookers right down here and you can find some sea glass too."

It is a tough distinction between sea glass and broken glass. Maya developed a risky test: if it doesn't cut your finger, you can keep it.
There is a large pile of limestone along the beach that the big girls discovered could be used like chalk.  Thus began a coloring of the rocks that looked akin to an ancient tribal ritual.

There are all sorts of things to see when you are on the coast in an area such as Camden.  For instance, right across the harbor you might see a dream house:

or a seagull in flight.

Then there is the realization that soon your niece will be as tall as you and you wish she would just stop growing damnit.
We had an incredibly fun day and it is fun for my mom to have all her grandkids in one place.  After the park we made our usual stop at Cedar Works to try out there amazing playsets just to see if we still liked them as much as last time.  We did.

Then day two was a trip to the coast with Ashley and her twins, Kayley and Kendall (Ella's new BFFs).  They recently moved here from Georgia and it was fun to show them some of our favorite places to go.  I have to say my favorite part of the day was realizing that they had brought their bathing suits to go to the beach in April in Maine.  I love them for that, I really do.
First thing they did when we gave them permission to take off their shoes was to stake out some real estate for their project.

They worked very hard, for close to an hour, carving out rivers and interconnected waterways.

Until they ended up with a big hole.
These girls are so cute I could eat them up.  It doesn't help that they call me "Miss Suzanne."  I am such a sucker for politeness plus I think it makes me feel a tad bit royal.  I'll admit it.

These girls have provided the perfect friendship scenario for our girls.  Since there are two of them, there is a twin for both Ella and Maya. There is no conflict, no territory disputes and no sisterly sparring.  It is heaven on Earth. 
Did I mention that they are cute as buttons?
While I remain concerned about global warming, I am thrilled to get a jump start on summer. I have never been to a park so early in the year that the bathrooms are still closed.  It felt like an inconvenient honor.  I'm sleeping with the windows open, ready to smell freshly cut grass and dreaming of vases of fragrant lilacs in the house.   Hello spring, I've been looking forward to seeing you.


Gretchen said...

Okay, what is the name of the park in the first picture? My big girl wants desperately to know the reality of an old school merry go round, does that one still work?

Mac said...

Enjoy the ocean view and breezes while you sample frozen ice cream treats and Maine lobster rolls at the picnic tables on the grounds.

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