I am taking a welcome break from reading nonsense like "numeric (single or vector). If fitting a peak over threshold (POT) model (i.e., type = “PP”, “GP”, “Exponential”) this is the threshold over which (non-inclusive)data (or excesses) are used to estimate the parameters of the distribution function" to thrill and entice you with EVEN MORE VACATION PICTURES.
No one wanted to sit in my Grandma's seat at the table but we needed the chair because there were so many of us, so we put Mary there. It seemed fitting with the middle name and all.
James wearing Charley's swimsuit and goggles.
There is this island that Ryan rows Charley and Wes to every year that is called Perch Island but the kids call it King Island. It's about a thirty-minute row that this year was straight into the wind, but Ryan loves performing feats of strength so it was kind of perfect. First task was to pull the boat far enough up the beach that the tide would not take it away and leave them stranded. Element of danger and uncertainty? Check!
It's a two person job. Interestingly, we don't have as many issues with bedtime when the kids spend their days hauling boats out of the water instead of, say, coloring.
Then they did some exploring. As an aside, while Ryan was rowing three-hundred pounds of people upwind to an island my mom and Mary and I were doing a little shopping at a craft fair in town.
Every year when we are in Maine some pirates come and leave a treasure map somewhere in the house. This year it was behind a lamp my mom asked Charley to fix one afternoon. Verrrrrry mysterious. The brave pirates set off on a noble quest for treasure across the yard and over to the seawall.
And then down to the beach where they found another clue and after a brief search, A TREASURE BOX HIDDEN IN A CAVE.
One day my dad took us on a boat ride into the harbor to have lunch, and more importantly, a pitcher of Shipyard's summer ale. If you need permission to drink beer at 11:30 on a Tuesday and you are on vacation with four small children, this is me giving you that permission. As an aside, I felt juuuust a bit obnoxious walking into a restaurant with all of the children wearing lifejackets. Like perhaps we could have left those in the boat and chanced just ONE walk up the dock without them. I mean really. On the other hand, WHEN IN MAINE!
James tried steamed clams for the first time and LOVED them. Watching him pull the clam out of its shell then expertly dip it in first the salt water then the buttah was a very proud moment. Between this and his inexplicable New England accent, he fit right in (though he did remove his lifejacket (unlike Wes)).
The thing we did that the kids are STILL talking about nonstop was TUBING, obviously because what could be more exciting than clinging to a rubber tube in the middle of the ocean fifty feet behind a moving boat that you can't even really see? They couldn't even believe this was A Thing. The BEST THING EVER. Wes got in first.
And had a lovely time, hair flapping in the breeze. When we pulled him back in he said it was AWESOMEBESTDAYEVER.
And then it was Charley's turn. I could her his happy screaming the entire time, over the noise of the boat's engine. He wanted to go FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER until he got pulled over the wake of a lobster boat and got bumped around and then he was ready to slow down.
Next up were James and Ryan, who got dumped out during their first turn but were READY TO GO AGAIN (in James's words) as soon as there was a chance. So they went again. James gave the "slow down" signal so many times the boat was idling, but he still declared it the funnest thing he'd ever done. JUST WAIT UNTIL GRANDPA HITS THE GAS NEXT TIME.
Everyone got three rides, each more fun and bumpy and faster than the last. Then I got crazy and this happened. The kids went crazy like, I thought all moms did was stand nearby with a tube of sunscreen (which is pretty much true for them because I was pregnant for most of their formative years). I had a BLAST. It was so quiet and peaceful back there behind the boat. I could have fallen asleep if not for the freezing water!
Here's a nice picture of Ryan and Mary from when we hiked up to the Bear Caves (a rock formation HIGH on a hill) with some friends, after eating ice cream at their place.
And then, sadly, it was time for us to go back to Texas. We got up at three o'clock in the morning (no small feat for me since my friend Susanna appeared on our porch at 8:00 the night before with a bottle of wine and invited me over, which YES, and we sat on a porch swing talking until one of us realized it was nearly eleven and we sneaked back down the hill to my house in the darkness) and my dad drove us all the way to Boston for our flight. Twenty-five Munchkins, some coffee, and lots and lots of Kindled Netflix later we finally got on the plane where I promptly fell asleep with my mouth wide open. I was rudely awakened fifteen minutes later when a FIREFIGHTER IN FULL GEAR boarded our plane and told us we had to EVACUATE because the plane was LEAKING FUEL. Sure enough, if you looked out the window, you could see jet fuel spewing out of the wing of our plane and onto the runway. So we gathered all six of our carryons, all the children, and the carseat and got back OFF the plane to await further instructions while we watched the drama unfold from the gate area. Pay special attention to the FIRETRUCK with its hose raised and ready for action in the background as well as the cat litter berm they built to contain the fuel, directly under the wing, with all of the people standing around as fuel continued to spew out of the wing.
When they announced that they would reschedule anyone who wanted to go on the next morning's flight I practically flung Ryan in the direction of the gate agent to see if they would give us five more days and a flight out of the airport that's closer to the Maine house. Unfortunately while he was waiting in line they found another plane and got us out of there with a minimal delay. We got home and put everyone in the car and went home where all of us went into a coma for several hours. The kids are still asking how soon we go back and when I asked Charley what he wanted to do today he said "Go tubing, boogieboard, have lunch, go tubing, boogie board, eat lobster, go to bed" which sounds amazing, of course, and I wish we could stay there forever!