Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Trip to Maine

  This post has been a long time coming but summer is so wonderful I find it hard to sit at the computer (well harder then in the dreary months of winter).  Also I almost hesitate to post any pictures because it really doesn't give you an idea of how amazing and awesomely beautiful everything was but I'll post and you imagine it being three times more pretty. This was the first big trip we have taken since we started having kids and the biggest trip since our honey moon.  I think it was the first time we've even gone somewhere over night without the kids so it was a welcome respite.  I was nervous when we first started planning the trip because it was going to be a very long car ride (that and I'm always nervous about doing something new even if it's something I want to do) but Brian and I talked about it and decided that if we were going to do it then we needed to have the mind-set that the road trip part of it was part of the fun, we were going to take our time and see part of the country that we'd never seen before, and it was so great.

Well it was so great starting after we met my parents and handed the kids over that is; can you hear it? The sound of silence?  Some good friends of ours leant us their GPS and man was that thing amazing! As soon as the kids were handed over we did the "avoid toll roads" function partly because we forgot to get cash but it worked out wonderful because we got to see the part of the country we wanted to; little towns, divy restaurants, and country side.  It did make the trip a little longer (though not much) and since the "road" part of the trip was going to be the longest part we decided it was well worth it.

I've never been to New York state before so it was pretty exciting when we stayed there the first night.  We stayed in Geneva Falls (ironically there are no water falls there so that was disappointing) Brian went on line and found a motel (you read that right-- motel) with really good user reviews so we thought "hey why not we're on an adventure after all, and it only cost $50"!  Surprisingly it was very nice I mean it was a little outdated but it was a family place, very clean and the beds were almost the most comfortable we slept in the entire trip.  The people who ran it were so friendly and helpful.  We then headed over to the Pier House for dinner.  Geneva Falls may not have any falls but they do have this really huge beautiful lake and the Pier House is right on the water, we ate out on the patio which was perfect after being in the car all day and then we took the walking path and went for a light stroll. The Pier House food wasn't amazing but it wasn't bad either and the prices seemed fair for a tourist type town but the view was wonderful totally worth it.

The View from the Pier House and the Walking Paths (I just love gnarly old trees) and seriously marry a hunky guy like mine if you can.

Day two of our trip found us some where in beautiful New York very hungry and having to pee very badly.  GPS can tell you where restaurants are in the area which is cool but in this area there wasn't much.  Finally we stopped at a winery but they only had wine and I really had to pee (but I feel like it's poor manner to use some ones facilities if your not going to be spending a little money there) plus I'm not sure how tipsy I would be if I wine tasted on an empty stomach so I used their bathroom and bought a jar of blueberry jelly from them.  It turned out fantastic though because we asked the lady behind the desk where they would suggest we go to eat and she sent us to a place just up the road that only locals would ever be able to find and it was soooo yummy.  Meps BBQ in Cannan NY serves up totally delicious greasy food and you have to eat it out side on picnic tables.  The fries were hand cut Brian's bbq was very yummy and I had a sausage and peppers thing like at the fair.  But if you thought the view at the last place was great the view here was just as amazing and again it was so great to eat outside after being in the car (why does eating outside always make food seem so much yummier?)

this is the food and view from Meps.

We made it to Main that evening and stayed in another motel.  This was an Americas Best Value, and it was really cheep very clean and roomy but the beds were super hard.  Not a bad place to stay when your just passing through and the owners were very nice and gave us the AAA discount even though I'm not really sure what AAA does and we certainly don't belong to it.  We stayed in Scarborough  just outside of Portland and had dinner at Ruby's Genuine Brick Oven in York.  It was very good was sort of what you would expect from a New England pub and the home made pizzas were delightful.  We had breakfast at the Scarborough Grounds.  The coffee was a little strong for me but the cinnamon roll was freshly baked and very good I wish that the annoying teen aged employees hadn't been chatting it up with their equally annoying boy friends but the place was very nice.  One of the reasons we stopped in Scarborough was so we could visit one of the only Christian church/Chruch of Christ in the state.  East Point Christian Church  ( is not very old and already quite large and growing fast.  Brian loves to visit churches but it makes me nervous I'm a little too shy and don't like not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be a great and strange experience.  Even though they're growing they meet in a ware house/ barn type thing.  The service was done very well but not "showy" honestly the people there seemed so down to earth and like they all knew how to work hard.  I guess it's true what they say about Mainers they're extremely practical.  One of the reasons I may have felt right at home however was because of the minister and his wife and the associate here comes one strange tale:

When the senior minister (Scott) found out we were from Ohio he called over to his wife who was also from Ohio we chatted for a while when she asked where we lived now we told her Battle Creek she then called over to the associate (his name may have been Larry) who told us he grew up in Battle Creek and his parents still lived there!! That was a shock then Scott came back over and told us he was from Buchanan Michigan.  Well Buchanan Michigan is where Brian did his first internship while in college under a man by the name of Lowell Kosak who's first youth ministry job was at Central Christian Church here in Battle Creek (where Brian is currently the youth minister) but on top of that our Senior minister, Gordon Pippin, used to be the youth minister at Buchanan MI years ago and Scott was one of his students!! I don't know if you followed all of that but it totally blew my mind.  They were so friendly and I'm sorry to say I can't remember Scott's wife's name but she gave us directions to this place called Kittery point which is a really cool state park where we I saw that part of the Atlantic ocean for the first time and some really cool ruins.  She also gave us her and her husbands cell numbers so we could call them if any thing happened while we were in Maine and offered to let us stay with them on our way home (we ended up going home a different way) and I just thought that was so nice and way above and beyond what they needed to do.  Any way they were all a real blessing to both of us!  Funny how the family of God connects us even when we're far from home.

My handsome husband looking so introspective on Sunday morning.

I was so excited to see the atlantic ocean I kept pointing and saying all puffed up "Across this water... England!" Later while looking at a globe I noticed France is actually more straight across which is weird to me because isn't part of France really warm?

After a couple of hours looking at the ruins and watching dogs play fetch in the water we started the last leg of our journey to Deer Isle Maine where we were going to be staying at the Pilgrims Inn.  On our way we passed some amazing country side.  I don't even know where we were but we were in the middle of no where in the mountains when all of a sudden we were driving around this HUGE lake surrounded by forrest it was so breath taking I could practically feel God's fingerprints all over the place. The Inn was beautiful but I had spent hours on line looking at rooms all over Maine to find the right one and when we got there they had "upgraded" us.  The room was bigger but it was not the ascetic I was going for.  I should have said something and I will next time but I'm just weird that way I totally chicken out.  However, the staff there was super nice and helpful, every day they gave us ideas of places to go, where to eat, what paths to hike on they were wonderful.  The Inn was situated between the coast and a lake... so pretty.  And the breakfasts were very good and home made.  There is a restaurant in the Inn called The Whales Rib which we had a gift certificate for.  It was upscale pub type food and good.  I had haddock for the first time because Scott's wife had told me to try it and I don't like fish but I was feeling brave and you know it wasn't bad it had a very firm texture and a very mild taste, about half way through, though, I knew it was fish and had to stop.  I had bread pudding there that was very yummy.
the grounds at pilgrims inn

We hiked through the woods to the ocean one morning and the innkeeper had told us that if you wait for the tide to go down you can walk across to a little island there.  When we got to the water it was low but not gone so we sat on some rocks and talked and waited and there was still water.  So I suggested we take off our shoes and socks roll up our pant legs and wade across.  Brian declined but said he would video tape me (he was hoping I would fall).  Well I did it, even though I was nervous and not sure I did it because if I knew if I didn't I would regret it.  Oh it was cold!  The ocean in Maine in May is not warm.  But I kept it to myself and convinced my hubby to come along that was funny because he was very vocal about the water temperature and didn't roll up his pant legs far enough so they got wet.  We walked around the island climbed on rocks and when we were done the water was completely gone.  In the woods they had the funniest signs "Please leave rocks where they belong do not build gnome homes." is that a problem, gnome homes?  On our way home we stopped at Lily's Cafe and Wine Bar.  It was so cute totally my style.  Sandwiches and salads type place and amazing deserts.  The prices were a little high but you could eat on the roof at cute vintage tables and well that just made my day and was totally worth it.  FYI we each got a baked good to take home and they were amazing I have never had a better lemon bar in my entire life.

pictures from our hike.

The one thing I was convinced I had to do was eat some type of lobster something.  I didn't want to but I knew I had to in Maine where they go from ocean to plate same day.  So I kept seeing lobster rolls advertised and decided that would be what I would try.  We stopped at a place called Madelyn's Drive In.  An outdoor summer establishment that serves burgers and ice cream and of course lobster rolls.  Turns out a lobster roll is like chicken salad but with lobster on a toasted butter bun.  The buns out there are the shape of hot dog buns but are more like texas toast yummy!!  It was good tasting but the texture still got to me after a while.  This place was cool, wooden picnic tables a play area and trees.  It was so fun we came back later for ice cream.

Oh how I wish you could go to Maine!! It is the most beautiful place I have ever been (and I've been to Hawaii).  I'm very partial to forests and trees and the Great Lakes but Maine is like the Upper Peninsula on steroids!! The ocean was just so pretty and the forests there look just like they do here in Michigan but add to that all the old homes and amazing architecture!  Even the fishermen and regular people seemed to take such good care of there homes and lawns it was incredible.  Every restaurant and store we went to the people were friendly and talked to us.  Plus Deer Isle is considered one of the top artist places in the world so there was some really cool things to see and even though we were there a bit before tourist season began there were still cute little shops.  We stopped at an artist co-op where I saw the coolest hand made tea pot but since it was $90 I bought a matching hand made mug instead and use it to put fresh cut flowers from my garden in my bedroom.  Really this trip was so nice, just to get to eat a meal with out being interrupted would have made a great vacation but this was so much more.  To have all that time with my husband and no one else to be able to talk and chat but also be quiet with each other just to be in each other's presence was a blessing to my heart.  While we were on the trip I was reading a book and the main character says; it's one thing to be comfortable around some one but something else to be comfortable with their silence.  I feel like I have that with my husband laughter and tears but quiet too, I have a peace with him that I don't have with any one else and the beauty of Maine experiencing it together for the first time was so wonderful I can't put it into words.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So apparently once warm weather hits it is impossible for me to actually get any blogging done.  I am too busy at the beach, on vacations, weeding the flower beds.  Things I am not too busy doing; laundry (well I just hate doing laundry), mopping the floors (what's the point they'll just get dirty again), cooking (it's too hot to turn on the stove or oven), scrubbing the toilet (am I the only person in this house that knows how to scrub a toilet?) and dusting (I only dust twice a year whether it needs it or not!).  I do have big plans to take you all on a picture journey to and through Maine but I'm not sure I have the time to do that before the kids wake up so today I thought I would just catch you up on the bazillion crafts I have finished this spring/summer.  Don't be too amazed the following pictures are covering several months although I do feel semi-productive in this area.

I made this tea pot shaped birthday cake covered in fondant flowers for my friend and neighbor's daughters first birthday.  I don't think Isla ate the entire thing but it felt good to finally make this cake I've had the recipe card for it since I first got married it came as a freebie in the mail.

This is a mini diaper bag that I made for my dear friend Beki.  It was made out of a decor weight children's fabric with vintage space ships and astronauts.  It has an attached changing pad that unfolds from the side.  The bag is designed for a quick trip to the store or coffee shop.  I filled it with post baby essentials such as gift cards for take out and lanolin.

Did I talk about this dress already?  Well it turned out fine took too much time and looks awful on me.  Before you begin your "Oh your probably just being picky" stop because it does but it looks really cute on one of my coffee club girls so I have a few minor alterations to make and it will be all hers.  I'm just relieved some one will be able to get use out of it makes it feel like it's not a waste .
This adorable little fly away jacket is made out of a super light super soft children's fabric covered in a three little pigs motif.  I made the trim myself and you can't really see the closure is a pewter pig I found at my local yarn shop.  I will make this jacket again it turned out so well and was so simple.  I am currently making a blue checked romper to go underneath and am almost finished with that.

This shirt I made for myself from the Book "Weekend Sewing" which has a huge variety of really nice projects.  I got the fabric for super cheap from Fields of Fabrics in Kalamazoo.  The cool thing about this fabric is that it's a linen blend and I love linen but it's really expensive; I got this for $3 a yard!!

Also I had just bought this camisole without any thing to wear it with and it matches perfectly.  I was very pleased with how the shirt turned out and while it's not perfect I was pretty happy with the sleeves especially.  The unfortunate thing with the shirt is that it has been way too warm to wear so it's waiting for autumn I suppose.  Also I think this pattern would make a great light weight summer shirt if made in a nice cotton fabric.

Remember the Eighty Granny Squares I made earlier this year?  Well this is what they turned into and I'm quite happy with the finished product and with the fact that I actually followed through and finished this baby blanket I've always had a knack for getting super excited about a project taking on way too much and not finishing (I'm sure this says something bad about me but in this case I finished and I'm so glad)  I even "blocked" the thing although I don't think it made much of a difference so I probably won't do that again.  The blanket was for my new nephew Eli and has tons of colors but the predominate ones are blues and greens because his nursery is oceany.  Also notice the crochet hook case, I made that to keep all my sewing things organized while traveling, I love the bird fabric and have used it in several different things.