Saturday, September 4, 2010

Road Trip Diary - DAYS 8, 9 & 10

Okay, moving right along. On day 8 we chilled, sitting in the sun, singing, dancing and reading books. The dancing is usually with Sam...he hears music and decides it's time to bust a move. Sam is partial to country music, some of my best moments are listening to Sam sing, "It's five o'clock somewhere", "Beer for my horses" or a longtime favorite, "Mr. Mom". You have never really appreciated that song until you hear Sam sing: Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer, Crayons go up one drawer higher, Rewind Barney for the sixteenth time, Breakfast six naps at nine, There's bubble gum in the baby's hair, Sweet potatoes in my lazy chair, Been crazy all day long and it's only Monday Mr.Mom. (Mom tends to get really loud and held for a long time). The rest of the words just sorta slur together with an identifiable word coming out usually at the end. Cracks me up every time. He did start to rock out to Black Eyed Peas "Boom, boom, Pow" and "I got a feeling". So we are expanding his music appreciation.

Brooke and Danielle decide to walk down to the lake and got more than 8 people to honk at them. So much for my "just blend in and don't talk to strangers" speech. My favorite story when they returned was the conversation they had with a family that was biking to Canada. Danielle and Brooke are not sure if they heard that right and would that be possible? Ah, my geographically challenged road trip companions didn't think we were very close to Canada, for some reason they thought Canada was only over by Wisconsin, way up above us. And then you wonder why I rely on a GPS system???

While they were at the lake Sam decided to once again move the rocks in the creek, one of his favorite activities. I kept an eye on him to make sure he didn't decide to slide down the know he was thinking about it. I heard a big splash and Sam started yelling so I looked up from my book to see him sitting in the stream hitting and yelling at a very large rock. My guess...he either lost his footing and hit his touche on the rock or dropped the rock on the back swing. Either way he was now covered in mud and had a little cut on his belly. Time to remove him from the stream and clean him up. Luckily he didn't require a band-aid. Sam is considered medically defensive and honestly applying a band aid to Sam is like "running with the bulls" or "roping a wild calf." Just seeing a band aid will set off every sensory issue he has. Our home program often has us work on Sam's sensory issues through different types of pressure and stimulation. Sometimes it reminds me of those movies or tv shows where they have the person face their worst fear in order to move on and not let it control their lives. I'm guessing I would have to sneak up to Sam's room at night while he sleeps and apply a band aid each night. Once he found it he would promptly remove it, drop it on the floor and try to beat the living daylights out of it. But enough times???....maybe it would work....or maybe I could sneak up and cover him from head to toe with band aids and get it all done in one evening. Okay that might be cruel. I don't want him to have too much shock to his system.

I don't quite remember if it was this day or not that Brooke and I discovered the toy store in Brandon. It had everything you could imagine, really old time toys, new toys and I'm thinking the brand Melissa & Doug comes from the east coast because that was the prominent line. The store also carried Vera Bradley and Carhart. Now I don't know about you but that would be two lines I wouldn't picture together??? Only in Vermont.

This is where we found Brooke's friendship bracelet looms. She became a bracelet making addict and had to have some intervention while we were travelling. By day 8 she had already made 10 bracelets. We picked up some great toys for the next phase of our adventure on the island. We'll discuss those later. Not a real clear picture but this is just a sample of some of Brooke's bracelets.

Had our last campfire, ate pizza for dinner and laughed again at our answers to more questions from "The Ungame".

Day 9 was clean up and preparing to move on to Maine. I got the wonderful job of going to the laundry to get everything washed before we headed to the island. Laundry with the locals!!! I was so happy I did not bring Sam since two of the young boys had quite a vocabulary and consistently cruised the laundromat trying to steal quarters. The town drunk arrived, looking every bit like Ernest from Jeff's favorite show, Andy Griffith. He threw everything into one washer, there was no sorting and dumped in something that looked like dish soap instead of laundry detergent. He told the laundromat woman he would be back later and headed to the nearest bar. While I was there he didn't come back and the laundromat woman transferred his stuff into the dryer and added the cost to obviously an IOU he had there. She told me she hoped he remembered to pick it up this time. I had to put my city and state on the board because they like to track where their patrons come from. It was an experience!

When I got back and handed out laundry, I asked the girls who had a pair of black socks...they both looked at them and said "Eewww, hobo socks". It's funny we found another pair after we got home. I didn't see anything in the washer or dryer, so do they just drop out of a secret compartment??? It will remain a mystery.

On this day we took everyone into Brandon to check out the toy store and a really cool book store...and of course to get ice cream. You don't even want to know how many times we went out for ice cream on this trip...but isn't that what vacation is all about??? The book store had one of those old wooden floors that creaked with every step you took. Of course, Sam being a boy, and Sam being Sam found the loudest creaking area and would just sway back and forth to see how loud he could make it creak. It's a boy thing. We loved this book store with its coffee shop on the second floor. Really cute!! In the toy store Sam picked up a jacked up school bus, all those toys and he chooses a school bus...I hope that's a sign for this coming week when he add his afternoons in the public school to his homeschooling in the morning schedule. Fingers are crossed, prayers are being said!!

We decided to have dinner at Cafe Provence to commemorate Jeff and my 17th wedding anniversary. We called him from the Cafe and promised him we were thinking of him as we ate a delicious steak sandwich. Sam loved it too just without the bun and an extra serving of vegetables.

We went back to the cabin and finished cleaning and repacking the van. I had to encourage Brooke and Danielle by consistently throwing things at them as they tried to lay down and ignore the packing. Danielle used the excuse that she had to finish reading her book because it belonged to the cabin. In my world, you don't really fight with a child that wants to read because I do enough of that with two that are not as thrilled about reading. She finished her book, we finished packing everything except our clothes for the next day and the food and went to bed.

On day 10 we finish packing up the van, program Pamela (our GPS) for Maine and say goodbye to our "Falling Waters" cabin at 9:00 a.m. I will never forget this place and suggest that you check it out for your next vacation.

Unbelievably we find our island fairly quickly. We are on a dead end road and there is a little turn around parking area that we can park the van. We find our canoe locked on a cable to the tree and in the lock box is the key for the cable and the keys to the cabin. After finding our paperwork we try the combination and it opens right away....we must be at the right place. The island is only a short paddle away....but it doesn't's the adventure of it all. How many people get to have an island to themselves? Of course there is also the adventure of no electricity or running water...this is going to be fun!! To check out this property on line go to, Property 229387.

Brooke and Danielle paddle Sam and I out to the island. We hook up to our pier and go explore. The girls will have to paddle back and forth two more times to bring all our supplies.

It's a cute little cabin, it looks like it was a one room and then they added the front room and deck and the bedroom in the back.

This is the front room where Danielle slept on the couch. I loved this little room with it's table to eat at surrounded by sliding doors which seemed to invite the natural surroundings in. Very peaceful.

Sam of course checks out every one's bed so here he and Danielle share a snuggle.

This next picture is of the kitchen and Brooke's sleeping accommodations. Brooke referred to her bedroom as the dungeon. It wasn't as brightly lit as the other two rooms, this was I think, the original one room cabin. Very old windows, the construction and the painted floor and walls look original. I am standing by the propane cook top. This was great, very simple to use and we could cook pretty much anything that you would normally cook on a cook top. There was no oven so the grill would have to suffice. We never even got the grill out, we became creative with the cook top and cooked simple meals. Next to the cook top is our main water supply. Yep that blue container with the spout is as close as we came to running water. On the floor below the window is the propane refrigerator. This was also a great addition otherwise you had to get ice for the other cooler every day. The propane refrigerator was big enough to hold (8) 1 liter bottles. This trip required us to think while we shopped so we could fit everything in...all part of the adventure. All the plates, pots and pans were provided but you were supposed to wash them in the lake. Due to Sam's immune system issues we bought our water bottles and used the drinking water supplied to wash the dishes. Okay, sooo washing dishes without running water. I'm just going to tell you it's really gross and very time consuming. We used paper plates when possible but some things like our chicken Alfredo just did better on real plates. When we came to the cabin I thought the lack of electricity would bother me the most....oohh's the lack of running water.

The next picture is the main bedroom where Sam and I slept. It was a great little room with lots of windows and a sliding glass screen door. You had to bring your own linens and towels for this part of the adventure so that was all part of the packing. Okay you know I'm sleeping in a cabin because I'm not really much of a camper but my only issue with this bedroom was at night it seemed like spiders appeared out of nowhere. I am freaked out by spiders. I guess I was facing my greatest fear!!!

I know you are all wondering, where is the bathroom??? Well in the next photo you see the shed that was located off the back door of the cabin. In the front part of the shed was a typical shed set up. You then opened another door and in the back of the shed was the compost toilet.

Yep, that's the throne and it was really like a throne because you had to step up to get on it. Now honestly it was a cute little bathroom complete with pictures, a mirror, hand sanitizer, compostable toilet paper and some lanterns because power and of course instructions on how to utilize the compost toilet. Okay, sssooo we are introducing Sam to a new type of toilet and you have to step up to get on it. Oh, this was going to be fun...not. This was a little bit of a challenge. With his balance issues he was unsteady on the tiny step, we won't even go into the aim issues but let me assure you that your aim is way off when your balance is questionable. That was just the first part, then I had to get him to sit on it to, well you know, #2. Again the balance issues come into play and also the fact that it doesn't look quite right to him. I mean it looked like a regular toilet if you could get past the lack of a toilet bowl, water and a very dark hole. If I'm being perfectly honest with you. I myself had to take a flashlight and look in the hole each time I went for fear that something alive was in there and would bite me. Needless to say, Sam a usually very regular kid but he chose to hold off #2 for the first couple days we were there. He finally had no choice and had to climb and straddle. Another fear sheer necessity of course.

Now you are probably wondering about the girls and their reaction to the compost toilet. After reading the instructions they automatically assigned me the job of maintaining the toilet. Which meant that every couple of days I had to pull out the handle on the front of the toilet and turn the barrel six times to get all that composting action going. They just could not fathom stirring poo. I mean it's not like you touched's all very sanitary or as sanitary as a compost toilet can get. The girls decided the bathroom was a tag team type of event, especially if either required the #2. They had wonderful cousinly bonding time as they went to the toilet together, one staying in the lounge area while the other, well you know. All I heard was constant laughter, so it really couldn't have been that bad. In Brooke's notes she says "We never had more fun pooing in our lives!" I guess that made the whole adventure worthwhile in a strange kinda way???

Again, Sam finds his favorite place to chill. He loved to sit on the deck and listen to the water hit the shore of the island.
The deck was a great little place to read a book, listen to the loons and osprey ( I will tell you all kinds of stories about that later) or just chill out. Of course with no electricity, there was no Ipod dock but thankfully there was a crank and battery operated radio. Funny story, we thought it only worked by cranking it and I spent most of a day getting some exercise until we found out that moving the switch one point further put it on battery. Oooohhh, that was convenient.

At night the girls would sit outside and work on their bracelets and talk and laugh...especially laugh. They had adapted beautifully to their new surroundings.

I, like Sam, would sit out and listen to the water gently hit the shore and watch the sunset over the lake. It was peaceful and relaxing.

Stay tuned for Days 11 & 12....swimming, driving through the Maine countryside, creative shopping and a visit to one of the most beautiful National Parks I have ever seen, thanks to Sammy.

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