In Defense of Family Vacation (be sure to watch the slide show!)
A family vacation is an adventure. Sometimes a good adventure and sometimes a bad adventure. My own experience is that a family vacation is usually a combination of both. Our family is recently returned from our annual family vacation. Allow me to share daily highlights from our trip.
We packed up and headed for Molasses Pond, Maine. When I say we packed, you should not envision well organized, carefully placed containers. What I mean is stuffed. We stuffed our van. We took everything we could: suitcases of various shapes and sizes, plastic bags a plenty, fans, a kayak, a rooftop carrier, a large cooler and sports equipment. We easily exceeded the weight limit for our van, but who cares? We were going on vacation!
This lazy day we spent at Molasses Pond. The kids swung (swang? swingged?) on the tire swing. We caught frogs. All in all an enjoyable day.
It was supposed to rain today, so we decided to head to Bangor to shop a little. We arrived in Bangor to 90 degree heat and humidity. It was probably the hottest, sunniest day of our vacation. We did picnic in the shadow of the large Paul Bunyan statue that graces the park, and we did enjoy a meal at Olive Garden. However, by the need of the day, complaints of stomach aches caused us to hasten our journey back to our cabin. However, we did not rush quickly enough because one of our kids vomited all over the van – I mean all over. We used ferns and moss from the side of the road to clean up the mess, since we were not equipped for such an incident. Needless to say, this day was probably not our best.
Today we decided to travel to bar harbour to take in the sights of Acadia National Park. After driving for about an hour, we reached the visitor center to…you guessed it, the sounds and sights of rain. We got a map and decided to climb to the heights of Cadillac Mountain. We ascended the heights, to discover the breathtaking vista was, unavailable due to fog. We did get lots of funny looks though, since our van has developed a distinct loudness due to a hole in the muffler. We did swim at the beach – or at least some of us did, while the rest sat on chairs wrapped in towels, shivering from the cold, damp fog. An enjoyable supper with the Frost family in Mariaville, ME, however, lifted our spirits and warmed our hearts. We left all of the boys there for a sleepover.
Another relaxing day at the pond. Why did we decide to go anywhere else??
This day was spent packing up – and washing out the van (again). The mixture of vomit and Febreeze makes for an unusual scent, but at this point we were desperate. We drove to my sister’s house in Portland, ME for a visit.
We spent the morning in church, the afternoon (which was warm and sunny) at the Barrow’s camp in Grey, ME. Then we were in church with pastor Endean in Scarborough, ME, thoroughly enjoyed this day – perhaps the best of the trip!
Today we were off to Funtown/Splashtown USA for rides and waterslides. Normally this kind of place isn’t my thing but we had free passes and beautiful weather so we settled in for the day. We weren’t disappointed. We were at the theme park from opening at 10:00am until closing at 9:00pm. Noah remarked about being “freaked out” on a couple of rides, but it was a great family day.
We re-stuffed (no sense even using the word “packed”) the van and headed home. We managed to arrive in Saint John around 10:00 on Tuesday night.
Today we cleaned up a bit, and I found out that the remainder of our vacation would be foiled by low water levels on the Musquash river. We were planning a trip to my father’s camp, but his camp was not easily accessible, so we sat down with the kids to see what they would like to do with the rest of our holiday. That’s how the rest of vacation ended up the way it did. We went to the McAdam train museum on Wednesday afternoon, had supper and an enjoyable nursing home service with pastor Tim Whidden and his family, and then headed to Fredericton.
We stayed in the Adamson’s home in Fredericton, since they too were away on holidays. We got up, headed to King’s Landing for a lovely day of seeing the sights and sounds there. Then we cooled off with a dip at Mactaquac Provincial Park and headed back to Saint John.
Today I dropped off Janet, Megan and Noah at Just Play, and Caleb, Jared and I went to the Rockwood Park driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. I’m not sure if we had more fun hitting the balls or laughing at each other, but it was an adventure, that’s for sure! We stopped to find a geocache on the way back home, and were amazed to find a cave we didn’t know about previously. We brought the whole family back in the afternoon. From there we spent the afternoon geocaching and took in the public swim at the aquatic center.
By Saturday we were pretty tired, but decided to go to St, Martins’ for a look at the Sea Caves. After that we traveled the “back roads” to Sussex. What an adventure! We had supper with the Doull’s after an exciting couple of hours at the Sussex Shooting Range. We shot clay pigeons – couldn’t find any live ones – and targets. I got the obligatory “vacation flat tire” while there but with Rob’s help we got the donut on and made it back to their house for supper.
We ended our vacation by visiting a couple of different churches and enjoying the fellowship of some friends from Lepreau. We dropped into bed on Sunday night, sleepy, weary, but thankful!
Now, I titled this post, In Defense of the Family Vacation. Despite all our misadventures, I love family vacations and encourage you to take one if you can. The memories you will make as a family will endure. Even with all the blessings of being away, we are glad to be back, and look forward to serving the Lord here in the church where God has placed us!
Pastor Herb – for the family!