After only two nights in the tent, it was time to head home. Following a rough night of strong gusty winds and lashing rain, we felt both super hard-core and ready for anything—and also ready to be home sleeping in our beds. Leah and I did, at least; Harvey was not at all happy to be leaving.
He did enjoy his bagel breakfast with me in the tent porch, while the wind howled and the lantern swung wildly back and forth, but once we started packing up he turned unpleasantly uncooperative. Zion followed his example, and things were pretty rough while we packed up the car—but at least the rain mostly stopped and we managed not to get everything soaked.
With the mood in the car bitter and mutinous we stopped early in Ellesworth for some second-breakfast treats. The town didn't excite, but we found a cafe inside a toy store that was perfect for brightening up the boys' moods (never mind that I hated everything about it!). Then it was back on the road to Searsport to meet up with the Stevenses, who were camping there. The plan was necessarily vague—camping with kids doesn't lend itself to precision scheduling!—but once we got going we decided, via a series of text messages, to meet at the playground where Harvey found the swimmin guller.
We beat them there, but nobody minded: not only is the playground plenty of fun on its own, but the skies cleared and it was suddenly a beautiful summer afternoon! With the sunshine it was hard to stay away from the water.
And things only got better when the Stevenses arrived. The kids played and played, first on the playground—where our collection of introverts even managed to involve some local kids in their game—and then on the beach, for a long time. The grown-ups talked.
Of course, you know what happened with a collection of clothed kids on a narrow beach.
Zion also got pretty damp, but Lily won the prize of allowing herself to be completely soaked—and she didn't have a complete change of clothes handy in the car, like our boys.
The only problem with all the fun was that when it was time to go Harvey picked up right where he left off in grumpy resistance. Even though our next stop was ice cream with our friends! He was fine once he had a cone in his hand.
But things turned sour again when the ice cream was gone and it was time to say goodbye to friends and to Maine. At least the length of our stops meant that our drive took all day, and nobody can be completely unhappy when they're as cozy as the boys got at our last stop, alongside the highway somewhere in New Hampshire.
Besides me taking a wrong turn on the way out of that rest stop—nobody was happy with me for that!—the rest of the trip was uneventful, and we finally made it home with three sleeping kids. And when they woke up there was more summer fun to look forward to, so all unpleasantness was forgotten.