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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

to celebrate...

I am not at all ashamed to admit that I love my birthday.  Having a summer birthday always means a chance to do something really fun and celebrate.  This past weekend, our last one at camp, we had our somethingth- annual (maybe 4th annual?) Suzapalooza birthday party which was such fun! (I have a ton of pictures to pour through so a post on that will come later.) 
But on my real birthday, Ange and I took the kiddos to Sand Beach near Bar Harbor.  We go here every year (usually with Emilie too but she was unavailable) and we hadn't yet made our annual pilgrimage so this was a perfect opportunity. 
We like to park in the secret back lot to Sand Beach that saves you entrance through the Acadia National Park gate and a $20 fee.  Turns out the lot is not as secret as I thought.  Chocked full of out-of-state plates (what locals are giving out this secret I ask?) there were no "designated" spots by 10:30 in the morning.  There are an abundance of "NO PARKING ALONG THE ROADWAY" adjacent to the lot.  However, there was no sign for the crushed rock shoulder of the parking lot....After much debate and some creative mini-van maneuvering, we decided to park in an unauthorized way. 
The kids are old enough to carry some of their own stuff in backpacks for the 1/2 mile hike down to the beach!
Sand beaches are a rarity in Maine (although you wouldn't know it from this blog where most pictures of beaches are sand- we are just very picky) and Sand Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.  We got lucky and it was sunny, hazy and hot.

Ange and I have kids that have no idea how lucky they are and actually say things (much to our dismay) like, "I can't believe we haven't even been to Sand Beach this year!" even though they have been swimming in pools and at beaches all summer. 
But, in their defense, Sand Beach is just plain awesome.

The kids were super cooperative with being photographed with their moms.

 There was a sail boat regatta off in the distance.  At one point I counted 17 boats, several with their colorful spinnaker sails out.  As I was explaining to the kids what a spinnaker sail is and what kind of wind you use it for, Ange informed me that there is a southern Maine brewery that makes a really good beer named Spinnaker.  We come from different places, Ange and I, but we love each other just the same.

I even got a spa pedicure on my birthday.

When we got back to the car and were rearranging our bags, a park ranger pulled up alongside and asked if we were coming or going.  We told him we were going.  He told us we aren't allowed to park where we did and that we can harm the natural resources by not parking in the designated spots.  I mumbled an apology and Ange said, "Oh, you're right" to him and we felt badly for wanting to save 20 bucks.  He did not ticket us even though it looked like he was ticketing other illegally parked cars (who were actively harming the vegetation, I might add, rather than the crushed rock).
On the way into Ellsworth we stopped to use the bathroom at a Citgo station before I dropped Ange and the kids at their car.  I put the car in park and spun around to try to cajole Maya into coming in to pee.  At least I thought I put the car in park.  We began to roll toward the convenience store building a mere 5 feet in front of us.  Ange began making spastic movements and halted vocalizations to get my attention and then spat out, "The car is moving!!" I quickly put it in park and she exhaled noisily saying, "We were almost the people who drive into the Citgo station..."
After dropping them off, I had to drive a round about route home to get our farm share.  As I pulled out of the crowded downtown of Ellsworth, I sort of gunned it up the hill on the outskirts of town. 
And saw a cop. 
I slammed on my breaks but it was too late.  I saw the blue lights and pulled right over.  Yes, I was going to get a speeding ticket on my birthday.
When he came to my window I handed him all my stuff and apologized. He told me I was going 50 in a 25.  I told him that I had no idea the speed limit was so low out of town, which was the honest truth.   He went back to his car and I willed myself not to cry.  After all, a ticket is just a ticket.  I did not tell him it was my birthday.
He came back very soon, looked at me sternly like he was the principal and I had just spray painted expletives on the gym wall, and said, "I'm going to give you the best birthday present you're going to get.  I'm going to give you a warning.  But that doesn't mean you should be driving so fast."  I thanked him, all but told him how deeply ashamed I was (I had my kids in the back seat after all) and went very slowly on my way. 
I guess you could say I didn't have a great driving day.  Not one, but two traffic violation warnings AND a near miss as headline news with a crashed mini-van full of kids through a gas station window.  But all in all, talk about lucky...

I couldn't wait to see Sandi when we got home.  It is very weird to not be with her on my birthday.  The four of us had a lovely dinner on the Sea Dog deck.  

When we pulled in our driveway our friend Kim was coming to drop some stuff off for me.  It was a wonderful close to a wonderful day to get hugs and laughs with Kim.  She has the most contagious laugh and smile of anyone I have ever met.  She had a bag full of little things I love, including Little Lads Herbal Popcorn.  As I took the stuff out and placed it on the table, Ella came up and read the package and asked, very confused, "What is hair ball corn?"
I laughed myself almost to pieces.  I'm still laughing as I write this. But not as hard as I laughed when just a few moments later, Sandi took me over her knee very unexpectedly (and while I was still holding a bunch of carrots from unpacking the farm share) and let the girls give me 37 birthday spankings.  With those mighty hands swatting my bum and the greens of the carrots tickling my face, my whole body shook with uncontrollable laughter. 
In other words, a really, really good day.

1 comment:

gretchen said...

Happy Birthday!
On the Acadia passes, when you buy them, you get 2 stickers and I've split the cost that way before. This year I am waiting til December, because if you go down in person you can get the annual passes for half price. Cheaper than bail! :)

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