Before Emily's arrival Shawn and I were known to pick up and head off to destinations hundreds of miles away without so much as a half an hour's worth of planning and preparation. We flew by the seat of our pants. If we wanted to go somewhere and do something then we did. I have no intentions of changing that now that Emily is here. When she was three weeks old we stuck with tradition and drove to the peak of Mount Washington for our third wedding anniversary. She's traveled to Maryland and back with me in the car for her first Thanksgiving. We've made countless trips to our old home to visit our family in Island Pond, which is over a hundred miles away. So, when Shawn suggested that we head to Maine for a day I excitedly agreed.
Maine is actually closer than you'd think to where I live so its not a huge stretch to do in a day. Actually, its about as far for us to get to Portland Maine as it was for us to go from our old home in Island Pond to Burlington, Vermont. That was another trip we frequently went on before Emily's arrival. However, this time Shawn wanted to visit the giant Cabela's store near Portland. Our sole reason for the drive was so Shawn could prepare for ice fishing, which begins this coming weekends. I, lover of long car rides, didn't care what the purpose of our drive was. Just heading out on the road and seeing the countryside was enough for me.
Despite all our little troubles with Emily's health and her inability to sleep through the night (she still wakes up at least twice a night) we have been blessed with a baby who loves to travel. Emily will happily sit in her car seat, occasional chatter, play with toys, and nap the entire time. We, of course, take pit stops to take her out, give her a bottle, and play. I know several parents who's children can't tolerate even an hour car ride so I am thankful that Emily continues to love our road trips.
So, off to Maine we went. The drive was uneventful and pretty. Barren brown landscape was punctuated by lakes dotted with ice fisherman (the season is open in New Hampshire and Maine already). We listened to the radio, chatted about life, and pointed out nice camps while wondering what it would be like to own a piece of wilderness there. Just for fun we even took the long way, without highways or interstates, to get there. I'm a fan of back roads like that.
After shopping at Cabela's and a few other nearby stores Shawn was set for ice fishing season to open. Meanwhile I looked at a map and realized just how close we were to the ocean, mere minutes. There was no way I was going to be that close to the ocean and not see it, especially when Emily had not been to the ocean before! Nothing beats making "firsts" everywhere you go, like never before seeing the Atlantic.
We found a side street in Old Orchard, a summer resort town that was literally abandoned this time of year, and parked our car. The wind off the ocean was chilly, but considering it was forty five degrees the weather was balmy for January. Shawn and I, with Emily in my arms, strolled out onto the sand and headed to where the waves crashed upon the shore. The tide was out and the sun was starting to get low. The light was actually pretty amazing. We took a couple of photos and took in the sights before the chilly air began to get to all three of us.
It was peaceful just standing there watching the waves and looking down the beach, which was devoid of almost anyone except for a few people walking. Seeing the sand so empty was definitely a treat. Emily seemed indifferent to greeting the ocean, a moment she will have no memory of beyond a photo to assure her that she did make the trip, but she was happy just the same. She's happy where ever we take her and with whatever we show her. It seems that our mission of instilling a sense of adventure is fairly successful so far.