Our summer vacation is winding down (we head for the airport in an hour) and I thought I should take advantage of a little down time to post some pictures.
We've spent the past week vacationing on the East Coast. It's really important to me to take family vacations each summer. Growing up, I always remember when we went for summer vacation and I hold tight to those memories made with my family. We were 8 kids so we rarely rarely flew anywhere- instead we spent a week in Colorado or California or Lake Tahoe. I loved those times and want to make sure that I develop that same tradition with my own little family. It takes a lot of planning and saving throughout the year, and no vacation has ever gone perfectly. (Traveling can bring out the worst in people sometimes) but to me it is worth it.
I stressed over where to go for our family vacation this year. We could never quite seem to settle on the right place or the right timing. A big vacation out of the country or to Hawaii was out of the picture this year because of our budget. We thought about doing a national park, but couldn't quite find the right fit. My friend, Vanessa, who lives in Connecticut has been telling me forever to come out and visit so finally I texted her, "your offer still good for us to come hang out back East?" She said "YES!" and the tickets were booked!
A lot of people thought it was weird when I told them we were going to Connecticut. "CONNECTICUT! What's awesome in Connecticut?!" And I admit that I myself had some doubts... I set my expectations real low and figured we would just see how the trip turned out.
And it turned out awesome! It surpassed even my highest hopes of a vacation. We got a little bit of everything in- history, lakes, beaches, mansion touring, and clam chowder to boot. We packed in about as much as you could in a week and now we are very worn out and very happy. Everything you should be after a vacation.
We had pretty loose plans when we got to Connecticut, but the week unfolded itself and this is what our agenda ended up looking like:
Thursday, July 7 Mystic, Connecticut
Friday- Sunday Lake George, New York
Monday Niantic, Connecticut
Tuesday Newport, Rhode Island
Wednesday Supposed to be home, but instead spent the night in Detroit.
Thursday, July 14 Home again, home again jiggity jig
I'll give you the Mystic + Lake George rundown today and the Niantic + Newport rundown in the next post. And the airport drama-- well, that's a whole nother post!
Vanessa lives in Canton, Connecticut which basically means that everything we wanted to do was close but far. Everything was within a three hour drive, nothing was closer than an hour. So we did a lot of driving. Which I actually really loved because the views, the trees, the tiny little homes and cemeteries were unbeatable.
Our first day we headed to Mystic, where Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts was filmed. We ate sea food by the sea (me: clam chowder Greg: fish and chips) did a tour of a little pilgrim village, checked out the whaling boats (the whaling history was absolutely fascinating to me- what a profession!), got pizza from the famous Mystic pizza (the actual pizza was a huge let down!) and Greg even got his fortune told by a Mystic Psychic. She told him he has an amazing wife. I said you don't need no psychic to tell you that.
Waiting for our food. These our Vanessa's kids, Sadie and Allie. June adores them and the three played (mostly!) so well together. I swear, June looks like she could be their sister.
Exploring pilgrim life.
Vanessa and her two girls. My friends are pretty and kind.
Lake George, New York
Lake George was the part of the trip that I was most excited for. Vanessa always talks about their weekend trips to the lake, and her parents were kind enough to let us use their boat. It was a 2.5 hour drive from Vanessa's house to the lake and it was the prettiest, most serene drive. June even played in the back with stickers and makeup without fussing at all! (June is OBSESSED with my makeup. When I really need her to play quietly, I let her have a hey day with it. It usually means a ruined lipstick and a lot of makeup to clean off her face and arms, but it is WORTH IT.)
Lake George is absolutely stunning. The pictures do not do it justice. The only bummer is that it literally rained the entire time we were there- Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. We did manage to get out on the boat and try our best to boat around the storm, but it was rainy and windy and I know it made it more stressful for Nick and Vanessa, who were responsible for the boat. BUT, we still had a great time. The men fished, the kids swam, and Greg and I even got to try wake surfing. It was awesome! We all kind of wished the weather were warmer, but Utah has been so scorching hot this summer, that the cooler temps and rain were actually kind of a welcome change for me.
We stayed both Friday and Saturday night in hotels in the town of Lake George. Our original plan was to sleep on the boat, but with the pouring rain and a rascally toddler, that plan got nixxed quickly. We found a hotel after midnight on Friday night and collapsed into bed.
We've been friends for 11 years now. HOW WAS IT 11 YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE IN COLLEGE?
Definitely my favorite part of the trip.
June pretty much fell asleep anywhere she could on this trip. No structured naps was tough on her, but I'm really proud of how well she handled it.
This is Nick, Vanessa's husband and the most outdoors-y man there is. I also knew him eleven years ago, when Vanessa had the hots for him. I guess she still does! Nick is always kind and cheerful and ready for an adventure is probably one of my favorite people in the world.
Lake George beach.
BEFORE YOU GO:
+ I have felt disheartened at the lack of engagement on this campaign that I'm involved in. Why do you think it is? Maybe social media is just not the best place to raise awareness on stuff like this?
+ After our vacation, I'm officially done with these for June! Now, if only she would be done too!
+ Any down time, I spent reading this book for Blog book club this month. It is such a page turner. It helped for many of the hours of airport delays!
+ I read this article about making friends after 30 and thought it was really interesting. Having strong friendships has always been a high priority for me.