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camping 2014: the trip up

Zion and Harvey settled in to the back of the van

on the road

Camping this year was not an unmitigated success. I started off the trip by backing out of the driveway into our neighbor's car, denting the door and breaking a window. But our car was fine, so we were on our way! As pictured above the new van was delightfully cozy, though we were a little bit sad that we had decided not to bring Rascal with us to Maine: there would have been lots more room for him than there had been in the Suburu the last couple years. But needs must, and the boys settled in to their comfy setup as we made stops to drop Rascal off at his vacation spot (thanks Cindy!), pick up bagels, and get some new books from the library. Then it was time to hit the highway!

a view of the Fore River from Rt 295 in Portland

ocean crossing!

With Leah driving (I wasn't to be trusted after crashing in the first 15 seconds) I was free to enjoy the sights and take pictures out the window—for example the Fore River in Portland, as seen above. I could also text with our friends who were also on the way up, and crawl around the back of the van as needed getting the boys the food and entertainment they demanded. All three of them were great for the first two or three hours, and when Lijah started getting bored we were happy to stop in Yarmouth, where we found a pleasant little coffee shop to hang out in for half an hour.

Leah cuddling Lijah and the boys at a distance playing with toys

relaxation for everyone

One reason Harvey and Zion were such easy travelers was that they were watching The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe on the iPad, which was rubber-banded to the back of Lijah's seat. As we left the highway to head up Rt 1 I tried to draw their attention to the increasingly lovely scenery, but without much luck. I enjoyed it, though! They were happy enough to hop out of the car at our next stop, Payson Park in Warren.

Zion and Harvey playing on a yellow metal climbing structure

getting some energy out

Besides the playground, there's also a river (Oyster River, maybe?), and the boys and I enjoyed playing along its banks and throwing sticks and rocks. Unlike in past years we didn't mean to do any swimming there, but Zion did fall in enough to necessitate a complete change of clothes.

the boys playing in the creek by the playground

natural beauty

Next stop was the beach in Lincolnville, pictured previously. Though it had been hot back home when we left, and still pretty warm all the way up to Camden, north of Camden was noticeably cooler. Leah and the boys got their swimsuits on, but there wasn't a whole lot of actual swimming done. Still, they had fun playing in the little waves while I hung out with Lijah.

Elijah standing up supported on my knees, with Leah and the boys playing in the water way in the background

beach baby

And even beyond the water there was lots of fun to be had. Harvey collected snail shells and Zion really enjoyed playing in the sand.

zion lying on his stomach in the sand

I don't know why

All three boys were wearing Maine-themed shirts (we love being tourists!) and Harvey, in his Burt Dow tee, was delighted to pose by the Burt Dow-esque dory at the back of the beach.

Harvey, in his Burt Dow shirt, posing by a dory planted with flowers

no indian peas, though

We could have stayed lots longer, but I wanted to be sure we could get to the campground in time to set up the tent and make dinner for our friends, so we headed out. We didn't quite make it all the way there without another stop, but a dirt parking lot for baby-nursing and firewood-buying isn't really picture-worthy (though I did take one, just in case). When we did reach our site, the boys were a great help unloading the car and finding twigs to start the fire. Then they could relax and enjoy things.

Harvey and Zion sitting in their chairs at the campfire

warming up

Our supper of chilli, rice and cornbread was tasty, and toasting marshmallows was just the thing to make us all feel like we were really doing this camping thing right!

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