As a child my family vacations centered around trips to the beach. My parents would rent a house on the water and we would spend our week swimming, fishing, laying in the sun and all those other fun touristy things you do by the ocean. When I graduated from high school the beach trend continued with Beach Week ’86 (a right of passage trip with 100 of your closest friends).

I grew up convinced I was a beach baby that was ripped away from the sea and forced to live my life inland. When I turned 21, I moved 20 minutes away from Virginia Beach with friends. The problem was that I did not plan ahead or have a career path identified. I failed BIG living on my own. I made less money then I was spending and was forced to move back home within a year. 

Now that I am an adult I still live inland. My husband and I decided to buy a time share and we love it. It brings us back to the beach every year for a reasonable fee. Every few years we try to invite friends along to share in our shenanigans. Several years ago we were in search of the perfect place to stay by the beach but everything was booked. Our close friends were involved in the selection process. We all searched the entire eastern shore. Nothing.

My husband suggested that we head north. North? No way. Nope. Not gonna waste a week in the mountains. I wanted nothing to do with that idea however there was absolutely nothing available where I wanted to go. After some lengthy conversations  I caved and we booked a week in Bethel, Maine with the promise of moose sightings and lobster.

The week before school started we hit the road. It took 12 hours by car from Virginia to Maine. It was a long trip but the views were incredible. On our way we stopped at Mt Washington, NH. It was an absolutely breath taking view. 

At this point I need to take a moment to brag about my rock star husband. He just happened to ride his bike up Mt. Washington (elevation 6,289′) a few years earlier. Let me clarify. His bicycle. Not motorcycle. We were fortunate enough to have my nephew film this journey in a mini documentary. You can see this piece and the beauty of the mountains in NH at Mt Washington- Real Fear by A. Marinari

We finally arrived in Maine. There are no words to describe the beauty. It was a blanket of green. The oxygen was pure. The people were friendly. It was truly peaceful. This was the opposite of the crowded beaches I had previously fought so hard for. It was love at first sight. Our adventure had begun and I couldn’t wait to see my first moose! 

Our week was like no other vacation. We went hiking and found an awesome swimming hole for the kids. We also discovered a lovely covered bridge. A view worthy of a Hallmark special or Nicolas Sparks movie. That day we explored, swam, had a picnic and took one of my all time favorite photos on the bridge. In the evening we played games, listened to music, laughed and sipped on our favorite cocktails. The children got along extremely well which made everything so much better. The pressing issue at this point was still no moose sighting.

The next day we set out on our canoe adventure. We had four adults and 7 children with us. One still in a car seat! Logistically we made it work. My friend and I were in the same canoe and we started paddling. We just went around in circles. We couldn’t stop circling. Around and around. We laughed so hard and yelled at one another, too. Meanwhile, the rest of our crew headed down the river. We eventually figured things out and off we went. We canoed 10 miles down the river (car seat and all). We stopped and played in the water and ate lunch. We didn’t see any moose that day but it was one of my favorite days. EVER. That evening we continued our festivities from the previous night. 

During our trip we also celebrated our friends birthday. The celebration plan was lobster, drinks and relaxing on the beach. We drove to Cape Elizabeth Beach at Crescent Beach State Park. We spent the day lounging , watching sail boats and just living in the moment. Later we had lobster at a quaint little shack overlooking the ocean. The kids even appreciated the view. It was another perfect day! I can’t believe I almost missed it.

Our week flew by while we enjoyed hiking, canoeing, zip lining, hanging out and so much more! Although we spent the week ‘on the move’ we felt mentally rested. I realized that I did not need the beach to appreciate Gods’ beautiful work.

That week we left pieces of our hearts in Maine. We also decided that Moose are not real and their sightings are similar to Sasquatch or Elvis. 

Thank you Maine! Our trip was amazing and we WILL be back! I’m sorry I doubted you. 

To see photos of this trip head over to Your Girl Blogs on Facebook. 

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Kathy Rau

Kathy is raising four beautiful children with her husband, Mark. She loves living in the historic area of Fredericksburg, VA. For over 20 years, Kathy has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician and currently works part time in emergency and radioiodine medicine. Kathy runs a small business called Your Girl Friday, FXBG. Kathy has been blogging for less then a year but loves to share her stories. She has been published on Her View From Home, The Mighty, America Adopts and has had a variety of other guest posts. Her niche is Motherhood, Friendship and Adoption. You can find Kathy at: IG: krau67 Twitter: @kathyrau Facebook: Your Girl Blogs.