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Thursday, April 18, 2013

sand...yes, please some sand. vacation week. 
When I picked the girls up Friday, I said, "Happy vacation!" and they were very excited. Then Ella said, "Mom, do you get a vacation?"  And I was like, "Wellllllllllll...."
Yeah, maybe in November when Sandi graduates.  (And can it please involve a Carribean beach and a cocktail?)
Now that our kids are older and in school and we live 35 minutes away from each other, Ange and I don't get to see each other as much as we once did (and as much as I, speaking for myself, would like to).  Summer and school vacation weeks are a chance for us to spend a whole day together.  And a beautiful, spring day with the promise of sunshine meant only one thing: the beach.
Mount Desert Island: home of Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, homes that cost more than some people earn in a lifetime, the most breathtaking coastline you can imagine and, this time of year, a chance for the locals to partake before the tourists come. 
One of the things I love about MDI is that it is forever a treasure hunt of nooks and crannies to explore and discover.  There are many gems off the beaten path, some unmarked and some that are closely guarded secrets. 
I love to find these places.  Once Emilie and I followed a local's directions to a secluded fresh water sandy beach in the interior of the island only to find out later that it was an unofficial nudist beach.  You get what you get. 
For years I have heard of a beach called "Wonderland" but knew it was hard to find.  It just so happens that Ange knew where it was. 
Before we met up the girls and I went into Reny's for some new sand toys.  The cashier said, "Planning ahead for the summer?"  I said, "No we are going to use these right now. We are on our way to the beach!"  The cashier and another employee looked at me with such admiration and joy that I would be taking my kids to the beach in April I almost wanted to invite them to come or at least bring them back one of our buckets full of shells.
Turns out Wonderland isn't hard to find.  There is even a sign marking the parking lot.  You just have to be willing to drive and keep driving.  And then you have to be willing (happy) to walk the 3/4 mile or so down a pretty woods path to the beach. 
We were. We so were.

This is my kind of wonderland.

I swear I don't favor Maya in taking so many pics of her.  She is just so animated how can you not photograph her?  (Plus the other kids are not that into it.)

Anna and Maya dug for hidden treasure.  And found some.
 Ella and Brady ran a store.  They sold dried kelp, rocks and a pair of abandoned mittens. You had to pay in pine cones.  Or you could use a flat rock as a credit card.  Pretty sweet.

Here they are at the warehouse building up their stock.

 Guess who else decided to run a store?

Oh bare, pale feet on sand and rock.  It was like coming home. 
Ange and I got to talk, semi-uninterrupted for a long time.  I sat back with my face to the sky and kept breathing deep breaths. I was present.  I was happy. 
I was also getting a sunburn. First day out of the box.  And just after I vowed (that very morning) to be more careful with my skin and sun as I finish out my 36th year.
The 3/4 mile walk down became a snail-paced, seemingly 2 miles back.  At one point Ella asked Beckett if he wanted her to piggyback him and he complied.  Then, as soon as he was on her back he informed her of the number two in his diaper.  Nice of him to honor the agreement of full disclosure. 

 The to the still-quiet town of Bar Harbor for some homemade ice cream at Ben and Bill's. 

And some cartwheels...
 and the rare opportunity to run in an empty fountain.
On the way home Ange told Beckett that they were dropping us off at our car and then going home.  From his car seat in the back he yelled, "I want go home with the Carver's!" and I felt my heart melt like ice cream on a summer day.
This trip made me excited for summer.  The few moments of over-stimulation in a noisy, kid-packed car while Maya kept kissing, and then kicking,  her sister reminded me of why I need to keep meditating and carrying my insulated bottle of iced coffee for the inevitable dip in energy and the loss of my head-in-the-game mentality.  And keep my kids from sitting next to each other.

But all in all, I am left with a smile on my sun-kissed face and a joyful, lightened feeling in my heart. 

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