The Rain in Maine Stays Mainly in Maine!

8:19 am

It couldn’t possibly be a more miserable day. The rain is unrelenting. We can hear it hammering down on the rooftops and slamming against the windows. I do love a good rain storm. I do love to be wrapped up on the couch with a good book, blanket and pile of pillows stacked neatly beneath my head. I’ve read a lot of books this trip. I’m about to finish my third and, so far, favorite book Julie & Julia about a youngish New Yorker who documents her year of trying to follow all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’ fun and real and hilarious and it is definitely my favorite book of the summer. For anyone interested in food and/or cooking, this is one you’ll have a hard time putting down, especially if you are on vacation in Maine and it’s done nothing but rain!

We did have a couple of beach days. We had one lovely day where even I dared enter the cold, dark Atlantic waters! And then the weather turned considerably icky. We did have fun that day we went fishing in the rain, and on Wednesday, despite being cool and overcast we spent all morning out on the boat attempting to fish. Yesterday we hit a water park called Aquaboggan. It was a balmy (at best) 64 degrees out. The kids were freezing but they had a blast. (Think just 30 degrees colder and it’d be cold enough for snow!)

Because the weather was so dismal the water park was virtually empty, save for our large clan and the kids had no wait for any of the rides. Why hit a water park in near arctic temperatures you ask? Because you cannot sit in a small condo all day when you have three kids, two of which are very energetic little boys! Because they all want to hang out with their cousins and the onshore breezes at the beach would have felt even frostier than we all felt at the water park… And because you can only kill so much time at a movie theater… and because outlet shopping is not in the cards this year.

Vacations sure do take on a different meaning when kids factor in to the picture. Vacations with babies are definitely not vacations. They are trips. They are neither enjoyable nor relaxing. I do not miss those days of chasing-hovering-wiping-stressing and coming home even more uptight than before I had even left. I do not miss the days of schlepping bottles and cups and diapers and wipes and Pack and Plays and booster seats and high chairs and dealing with screaming fits in long (relentless) car rides up the New England coast line.

And even now that I have no bottles, cups, diapers, wipes, booster seats, Pack and Plays and relatively few screaming fits up the New England Coastline I still have children. Children that get sick and children that need to be fed and cleaned. With children comes dirt. So despite my vacation I still have to make (for the most part) breakfasts, lunches and an occasional dinner. I still have to do the dishes and clean up. There is sand to sweep and crumbs to vacuum and counters to wipe down and I still have laundry to tackle (easily a load a day) and I still have to entertain my troops when we are not off gallivanting around (in the rain!)

As I sit at my laptop composing something in Word that hopefully will get posted today when I get to a place with internet access, the Disney channel is on in the background, the rain is still plummeting to the ground and we must once again come up with something to do. Rain on any vacation is a bummer, but right now I remember fondly those days where vacations were truly vacations… whether we were in Italy, France or England… Bermuda or the Bahamas… rain or shine… vacations were as they were meant to be. We had only ourselves to worry about. We ate and we drank and we relaxed and of course it was disappointing not to be in the sunshine but a little rain meant an extra nap, an extra drink or an extra snack… and did not require a Degree in Mastering The Fine Art of Entertaining Your Children on Vacation which can suck the life out of you. I’m ready to head home, as we will be tomorrow. I’m longing for my bed and my shower and my things… I’m not entirely looking forward to unpacking all of our crap and putting all of our crap away. We’ll be heading to Newport for a few days this week and I’ll need to repack again. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of my Sunday will be spent catching up on everyone’s blog and letting my kids enjoy being at home for a short while!

Update 12:10 pm

The faucet in the sky doesn’t seem to be turning off any time soon. The kids have read, watched TV, run around in the rain, eaten their weight in Charms lollipops, Blowpops, Whistle Pops, Bottle Caps, and Smarties, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as we are out of food and I am certainly not hitting the grocery store before heading back home. We’re growing moldy. We’ve worn nothing but swimsuits, heavy fleece pullovers, running shoes worn for the sole purpose of running away from rain or jumping over puddles a la OJ Simpson in the days of Hertz commercials and not in the days of his running from the law. I’ve washed the same sweatshirts and towels and bathing suits over and over and over again.

We’ve only worn real clothes once on our trip. A combined 5oth Anniversary-Slash-70th Birthday Party was thrown for both sets of grandparents at a lovely house on remote Peak’s Island, a charming and rustic island set 20 minutes (by ferry) off of the Portland coast. The boys looked adorable in navy blazers, polo shirts, madras shorts and flip flops. Rebecca wore her pink and green Lilly dress and went barefoot, a result of a driving moccasin rubbing again bare skin casualty. It was a lovely and (unheard of for this season) sunny day.

Other than that day only casual clothes have been worn. Burberry and Brooks Brother’s jackets, Gucci loafers and jewelry have remained in the condo. Tory Burch sandals were worn only to my meeting Anita Shreve. I did have a cashmere sweater on that night, around my waist. Jeans and sweats and flip flops are the norm here. Only when worn over bathing suits. It’s an easy breezy fashion lifestyle. And I admit to loving it while I am here. I couldn’t feel more relaxed in my white Gap T-shirt and old, navy fleece pants. I’ll not change to go to the movies. I’ll just toss on my running shoes. My hair is loosely tossed back into a pony tail. At home I would not dare leave the house this way. Even in inclement weather. I’d have on perhaps some little black leggings, a cute tunic and slosh around under my beige, black, red and white plaid umbrella. My hair, despite the downpour, would be tidy too. There is much to be said about just being comfortable though. And there is much to be said regarding my ever growing waistline. This foul weather is not helping any at all. I can’t wait to be home and get back into shape. It’ll take a week or so again to undo all the damage I’ve done and to comfortably be able to zip up my jeans. I’m mad at myself for letting myself go… but who can resist a damn good whoopee pie and a nice ice cold beer at the end of even a rainy day? Who can resist native soft shell lobster dripping in butter, or fried clams or fried popcorn shrimp so fresh you can taste it? Perhaps I should have had less ice cream and eaten more blueberries. But here in Maine, the blueberries are not quite ripe enough to eat. I might be a tad bloated in the belly and slovenly looking… but it does feel good!

We’re off to the movies now. G-Force opens today. We’ve done about all that we can do to stay dry and since there is a giant Cineplex not too far it’s as good as any place to stay out of the rain… and eat some good, artery clogging movie theater popcorn in our dingy old sweats!