Every summer since my brother and his wife moved up to Maine (~5 years ago), my parents have made the 13-hour drive from NE Ohio to visit them for a week or two around the 4th of July. This year, my husband finally has a permanent job (rather than a contract) and we have paid vacation again for the first time in 8 years! So we were able to come along too, and we had a fantastic time!
As you can tell by the picture above, we brought our dog, Thatcher. :) I think he had a good time. (It's hard to tell with him, though, since he's half Shiba Inu and acts like a cat; we call him Honey Badger because a lot of times, he just don't care. LOL!)
Before all the COVID craze, when my hubby, Oscar, got permanently hired back in December 2019, we started planning to join my parents on their 2020 Maine trip. We were so excited to *finally* have benefits and be able to take some very-very-long-overdue and much-needed time off! And, of course, to visit my bro and sis-in-law and their 3 fur babies. This was going to be our year! (It's the year I got published too . . . "pub day," January 1st, seems SO long ago now!)
Then COVID-19 hit, the whole world turned upside down, and people were guessing how long it was going to be before everything could reopen and life could get back to normal. Of course, Oscar and I were nervous and wondered if the trip could still happen. We'd been DYING for a real vacation, and then *this* craziness had to be dropped on us?!?
Well, of course, we all know that the COVID craziness is still going on; it has ended up lasting a lot longer than people thought at first! But we decided to take the trip anyway, for our mental health and because we don't want to let fear rule our lives. The first COVID peak was past; I work at home and had been quarantined since mid-March; our county has a very low infection rate (and death rate of those infected); Maine's not a hub of the disease either; and we were going to be "out in the boonies" in a cabin, and staying at my bro's house, not a hotel. Not to mention we'd be driving there, not flying. And of course we'd wear masks and practice social distancing and use gallons of sanitizer.* So we boldly ventured forth!
I'll stop blathering on with backstory and list the highlights/itinerary of the trip:
June 27: arrived, settled in, dinner at the very atmospheric Taste of Maine restaurant (yes, lobster!)
June 28: downtown Brunswick, souvenir shopping, general chillaxing
June 29: LL Bean flagship store and downtown Freeport, more shopping and dining out safely
June 30 to July 2: Moosehead Lake...LOADS of fun! We saw/heard loons and saw a mom and baby moose!
July 2: Portland Head lighthouse, Len Libby chocolatier (where we saw Lenny the chocolate moose!)
July 3: Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor (very dog-friendly town, pup got to come in the stores)
July 4: Boothbay Harbor, evening cookout and bonfire at my bro's house...sparklers and s'mores
July 5: Bailey Island, Giant's Stairs: gorgeous coastal scenery!
July 6: started driving home after lunch; slept at hotel somewhere in the middle of New York
July 7: arrived back home...dying to go back again!
I've posted some of my favorite pictures here, but to avoid making this post hugely long, I'll just provide a link to my Maine trip photo album on my author Facebook page. So you can click over to that and enjoy the other pictures if you want!
I hope you're having a great summer and staying safe! Here's one more picture:
*Also, I happened to have a routine bronchoscopy (I get them twice a year because I have an autoimmune lung disease) scheduled for the day before we left. Because of that, I had to get tested for COVID-19 in order to stay in the hospital for those few hours, so I was tested a couple of days prior to the procedure. The result was negative--not surprisingly at all, since I've been feeling just fine--so I had proof to show if anyone in Maine noticed we were from out of state and gave us any trouble. That never happened, but it was nice to have proof just in case. If I'm clean, there's no way my hubby has it; I'd surely catch it from him since I take immunosuppressant meds. And we hang out with my parents a lot, so they're practically part of our "quarantine team." None of us has had any symptoms. . . . So thankful for that and hope it stays that way!!
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.