After much internal debate earlier this spring I decided I could, between Google Hangout and more email correspondence than my students would like, take a long weekend in June for our annual trip to Maine. And that is how June turned into the Month of Travel.
Early June was a weeklong workshop in San Antonio. You'll remember that as the time I lost all perspective and freaked out about leaving the kids in the perfectly capable hands of Ryan and our babysitter. And then had a great time anyway.
Then I was home for twelve hours before a return trip to San Antonio for Ryan's cousin's wedding--another great time.
And then I was home for three days before leaving for The Old Town with my students for a two-night site-visit/tour/work day.
I was home from that trip for almost eighteen hours before I had to take Ryan and the kids to the airport for their trip up to Maine. That part was not great. But I did get three days at home alone to work like a crazy person and also eat a lot of great food with friends I don't get to see enough of.
After all that, and after making sure my students had a lengthy list of activities and instructions and writing assignments and making them promise to email me with even the smallest question, I hopped (HA, as if) on a plane and headed up to Maine to join the family.
Let's not get into the ridiculousness of sitting on planes for four hours while this pregnant. There are no words to do that experience justice. Except possibly this one: cankles. Holy geez. Instead, let's look at magical vacation pictures that one day will make me forget just how freaking early my kids get up in in the Eastern Time Zone.
First thing the kids wanted to attempt was a brisk after-dinner swim in spite of the 65F air and 58F water temperatures. They got in to about the hem of their swimsuits. James wanted to swim too, even though he was already dressed for bed.
The next morning I sat on the porch with my coffee and practiced with my new camera and telephoto lens. Just call me the seagull paparazzi.
Later I would use that same lens to capture this stunning display, a scene Charlie calls "LOOK AT THOSE BIRDS WHAT ARE THEY DOING OMG ARE THEY MATING?!!" Indeed they were. Quite loudly. That dock turned out to be the Motel 6 of the laughing gull community. Nature!
Charlie knows a surprising amount of information about mating, interestingly. "Maybe the male is using that call to attract the female?" he suggested. Then "After they mate they will have babies!" I am glad he has such good information, but I am wondering if he's going to make the mental leap from the animal to the human world--and when is that going to happen? HEB is my best guess. Followed by church. Oh how I look forward to that conversation.
Hey look, Ryan took the kids sailing!
Then I took the boat out for a spin with Ryan and Wes. I'm like a walking infomercial for the Baby Girdle (TM) except for the fact that I have lost some of the agility required to maneuver around a small sailboat quickly now that I have the giant belly and the two asses. I spent a lot of time in a modified squat position with my butt hanging over the centerboard well, tiller in one hand, the main sheet in my teeth, and the other hand hanging onto a cleat for dear life. Ryan said I looked awesome. I told him we needed to turn around because this was not working. I'll go sailing next year. On the other hand, that *had* to be good for my quads.
Last night we made S'mores on the beach.
There are not many pictures of that magical childhood moment because have you ever tried to juggle a huge, delicate camera, a two year old, and fire? One of those things had to go.
After a couple of false starts, Charlie jumped into the water this afternoon with a cry of "NO REGRETS!!" Which meant Ryan then had to get in with him (MANY REGRETS, haha) and then they swam the two-hundred yard open water challenge before packing it in and climbing out on a friend's dock. They were seriously OUT there.
It was a good opportunity for me to practice looking away when my kids are doing age appropriate but terrifying things lest I pass my apprehension onto them and scar them for life. Which is good because they were so proud!
We had lobster tonight. This is perhaps the most obnoxious thing I have ever posted on Facebook because the lobster was delivered to our dock directly from the lobster boat. My dad knows a guy.
The guys inspected the goods before we boiled them alive.
It's been a great, low key trip with lots of sitting around relaxing and walking to the store for fresh donuts (Baby Girdle (TM) whutwhut!). I can't wait to come back! I can wait for tomorrow's plane rides. That's going to be kind of bad.