Saturday, September 11, 2010

Road Trip Diary - DAYS 11 & 12

On day 11 we decided to take it easy, explore the local area and hang out on the island. We drove to Augusta which was a very hilly drive that Sam really enjoyed. We went to Hannaford's (the prominent grocery store chain on the east coast) and Target to get some bubbles and swim shoes for Brooke and I. We couldn't seem to find any bubbles which I found unusual so I asked one of the Target guys for help. Brooke and Danielle burst out laughing when he inquired about bubbles over his walkie talkie and had to clarify "I'm looking for bubbles. the clown". We needed to take a little bit of a drive so the girls could charge their cell phones and we could charge Sam's Ipad. The van was our only means of charging things at this point.

Yep those are the beautiful $3.00 hot pink shoes we picked out to use as our swim shoes. The other ones are the extra wide swim shoes from One Step for Sam.

Remember when I said we bought some cool toys at the toy store in Brandon. Well, while the girls and I took in some sunshine on the lake we gave Sam his bubble gun. This is a gun that lights up and shoots out tons of bubbles. I think Sam thought it was his personal mission to clean the island with the bubbles. He spent quite some time aiming it at every tree, deck, window and rock. I fully expected when it rained that night that we would be surrounded in suds.

Brooke and Danielle meanwhile were playing with two plastic fish that they named Ishy and Bubs. Yep, 15 and 13 and they are fully entertained by little plastic fish that squirt water out of their mouth. They made up stories about the life of Ishy and Bubs and they swam with us whenever we sat out in the sun because honestly they were a great way to cool off when it got a little too warm out. Yeah, we could of just jumped into the lake but laying on the tubes and just using the fish was so much easier.
It was on this day we figured out that there was an anchor in the shed and we could now anchor ourselves while we floated attempting to catch a little sunshine. This was so much easier than having to paddle back all the time. I know it's exercise and it's good for you but...really...we're on vacation here. The anchor was attached to my tube and then the two girls held on to a rope. This way we were able to continue talking and laughing. My inner tube had a small cooler that we used for suntan lotion, snacks and candy. It was relaxing to just float and absorb some sunshine.
Danielle went in at one point to check on Sam and get some additional snacks. I suddenly noticed that Brooke was somehow upstream from me. How could that be? I then figured out we had lost our anchor. We screamed for Danielle and she swam out to rescue us and helped us re-find the anchor. We told her she should have been wearing her lifeguard suit and because of her bravery we gave her the honor of taking the first shower at the hotel when we began our trip home. Before we leave the lake we bathe and shampoo our hair. I was really missing normal shampoo at this point, we had biodegradable camper's shampoo...not quite what I'm used to. We decide to have a leg shaving party on the dock. Yep, we are living the good life???

The girls and I had some Chicken Alfredo with fettuccine noodles for dinner and Sam had his hot dogs and cucumbers.

This was Brooke's day for adventures. It rained all that night which meant when the girls had to go to the bathroom it was a run through the rain. Brooke tripped and almost met her greatest fear...landing in the compost toilet. Then later that night, after the girls were ready to commit me because I kept trying to communicate with the common loons that seemed to surround the island... I really do think they were answering me...we finally settled down and went to sleep. Around 2:00 a.m. I hear a huge clunk come from Brooke's sleeping area. I thought she had fallen out of bed. Now remember, it's not like you just run and turn the light electricity. So after scrambling for my lantern, I make my way to Brooke's room to find out her entire mattress and Brooke somehow fell off the bed. After I stopped laughing, I helped her rebuild her bed and went back to sleep only to be awakened a short time later by Danielle screaming in her sleep. I think possibly she was trying to communicate with the osprey on the island which sort of made a screaming noise or all the scary movies finally caught up with her. Brooke and I just told her to "Be Quiet" and go to sleep.

On day 12 we headed over to Acadia National Park, If you ever get to Maine this is a must see!!! Sam sponsored our entry into the park using his lifelong national park pass. People with special needs get a free life time park pass that gives them and their family free access to any national park. If you have a child or person in your family with a disability please check out this program: and learn more about the "America the Beautiful" park pass. It is so fun to watch Sam bring out his park pass and present it to the attendant. We thank him each time for taking us to another wonderful park.

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to drive to the park and as usual Pamela our GPS did not let us down and guided us on a beautiful scenic highway and through many little Maine townships. I think I will let the pictures do the talking here...

When we arrived at Acadia National Park, you couldn't help but be mesmerized by the beauty of the area.

As we were driving through the park you saw the beautiful Maine coast with it's rocky shores.

You knew that was a perfect photo the girls hopped out on the rocks to take it all in.

As we were taking this picture the girls noticed a cliff off in the distance that people were climbing up. Before you even think about it...we did not want to join in, we thought they were crazy.

As we explored the park we were surrounded by the beautiful rocky coast....and then....all of a sudden we came across a beautiful beach. I knew this would be Sam's favorite spot.

A beautiful sandy beach nestled into the rocky coast. It doesn't get much better than this.

The stairway led to a little slice of heaven...especially if you are Sam Mayer. The beach, the ocean and Sam...3 things that go together so well...I think you will see what I mean from the pictures.

Sam had his shirt off before he even got down the stairs.

Just feeling the sand between his toes put him in his happy place.

He was a little leery when he first stepped in so Brooke and Danielle quickly came to his aid.

But it didn't take him long to forge out on his own.

And the jumping and splashing began!!

Is there anything that feels better than the sand in between your toes and the surf pulling the sand around your feet???

It was time to draw pictures and write messages that were quickly whisked away by the tide.

Sam was here!!!

Can you guess which set of prints are Sam's???

Ahhh, the ocean grabbing at your feet while the ocean breeze pulls at your hair!

This is Sam's happy place!!

He just can't get enough!!

He laughed and he ran and he laughed and he ran and he laughed and he ran!

Danielle couldn't help but get caught up in the game.

He raced the surf in and out!

And he even had to tell the ocean "Stop ocean stop" when it tried to catch him and drag him out.

But his smile was from ear to ear! This is what vacation is all about!

We found this wonderful cavern and knew it was another Kodak moment.

But I really wasn't prepared for Sam's reaction. He raised his arms as I took the picture like "Look at this, it's amazing and I'm in the middle of it."

The smiles continued and I had to jump in for a picture too. His excitement was just contagious!

Sam was in his element and it was hard to get him to leave but we had more to see. I just wasn't sure we were going to be able to top this!

Until....we came across this area! Now to you and me this might not look very exciting.

But to Sam...a boy who loves to throw rocks into the water, this is yet another piece of paradise.

Now it was time to do some hiking and the hiking and scenery don't get much better than this.

The trails were absolutely beautiful!

Little bridges crossed mountain streams.

Stones formed steps that were challenging but exciting.

My little boy...who was known as the king of the stop, drop and plop never once complained, never sat down, never asked to "go home". He just walked and walked and climbed and climbed.

Nature surrounded you and it was good!

It was peaceful, serene, majestic and simply but beautifully amazing!

The mountain streams added sound and movement to the wind and rustle of the leaves.

And when we decided to turn around that's when Sam said "NO". He would have kept going, he wanted to see everything there was to see...he didn't want to miss anything. I said a prayer in that woods thanking God for how far we have come. My child with the respiratory issues that steal his strength and stamina was not the little man I was hiking with. This little man was strong and breathed easily, never really getting winded until we climbed a huge amount of stairs. He sat down at the top, sighed loudly and said "It's good".

And as we left the woods and the beautiful trails we knew we had seen nature at it's best and it was good!!

We crossed the last bridge and headed out!

This was an amazing adventure!

One of Brooke's favorite shots, do you see the arrow?

And Danielle still had energy!

On our way home we stopped by a seafood stand where you could pick out your own lobster and have them steam it on the spot. Seafood stands in Maine are like McDonalds in Wisconsin. We ordered two orders of crab with butter and lobster bisque. Brooke ate a little of both, Danielle and I loved it. Sam wasn't really interested, he just wanted his diet coke. We then headed back to the island. I was a little worried because it was later and I didn't really want to take the same winding route in the dark. But I shouldn't have doubted Pamela the GPS, she sent us home on the highway, no small towns and no winding roads. Yep, there was some divine intervention there.

We didn't get back to our location until after 9:00, it was dark and we still had to paddle across a dark lake to a dark cabin. I knew Sam was afraid of the dark, so I had my work cut out for me...what I didn't realize was how afraid Brooke was of the dark. She got really, really quiet on the way home as she began to realize our situation. I parked the van and turned on the bright lights so the three of them could make their way to the canoe and get in. Then Brooke signaled me and I turned off the van and made my way in the dark. A flashlight would have been a good idea but all of ours were on the island. I tripped and felt my way to the canoe and climbed in reassuring both Sam and Brooke that everything will be fine and to remain calm. I had never seen Brooke row the canoe with such determination while I reassured Sam that he was fine and told him to hold my hand. We got to the dock and now I had Sam hanging on to my waist and Brooke hanging on to my arm for dear life. Needless to say I limped my way over to the door of the cabin and let us in. Danielle told me to turn on the lights as if we suddenly and miracleously had electricity. I stumbled for a lantern and then proceeded to light up the entire cabin in order to calm Brooke and Sam.

When everyone was finally calm, Brooke and Danielle went outside to put some things in the shed. Brooke freaked out again and began to run back to the cabin. She flung her arm back and hit Danielle in the face which caused her to freak out because she thought someone was trying to grab her. Good thing we had no horror films to watch this evening...I don't think they would have made it.

Another day....another adventure!!!

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