Monday, July 22, 2013

Maine 2013

Well, I'd better do another blog post before all of the hoopla coming up for Zane's fourth birthday!

I probably always say this, but I feel like Zane's body and brain have been doing a big push on growing lately.  He's been loving ballet, making big improvements in soccer, and starting to cruise on his real pedal bike all on his own (no training wheels)!  He and Michael put together a small rocking chair, and Zane did a really good job helping.  He's also been continuing his Zane's Big Questions Series with questions such as:
     "After the Dinosaurs, where did people come from?" 
     "Where do bees poop?"
     "Where did the first chicken come from?"
     "Why is water cold?"  [at room temperature]
     "How does hair grow?"
     "Why is there metal in our blood?  Why do different animals have different metals in their blood?"
     After a story about a bad splinter I got on a replica of the Mutiny on the Bounty we talked about the original Bounty, and then the replica sinking in Hurricane Sandy.
     Which of course led to lots of discussion about how hurricanes and tornadoes form.
     One night he asked me about bombs and was quite worried about them.  I have no idea where this came from.  We talked about them for a long time, and I convinced him he was very lucky to live in a place where he didn't have to worry about that.

In May we went to the Northwest Folklife Festival on a Monday afternoon.  I had to work that weekend, so we only had Monday to go.  It was drizzly, so we didn't stay outside much, but we had a great time watching musicians and dancing together for a bit.  Zane wanted me to carry him for all of the dancing, so it was pretty tiring!

In June we took a trip to Maine to see Grandma, Pa Jim and Becky, and for me to go to a cousin's wedding.  Flying with Zane gets easier and easier, but I've also learned to expect no napping, ever.  On the leg of our flight from Newark to Portland, we got on a very small plane called a Q400.  The air conditioning was not working on the plane, so the pilots had their door cockpit open.  As we boarded I glanced inside and saw the all digital display panels, and pointed out to Zane how cool it was to see inside.  And then the pilot invited him in!  He even let me step up!  It was such an amazing experience since cockpits are generally secured in these post-9/11 days.

Pa Jim picked us up at the airport and we got to Harpswell late at night and conked right out.  Last year Zane had a great time helping Pa Jim with his garden, so he headed out there first thing in the morning.  A neighbor had hired some workers to take out some brush, and we encountered a tractor/chipper at the end of the driveway.  The man driving the tractor invited Zane up and even let him steer the tractor backwards and forwards a bit!  Heavenly.  We spent some time investigating the woods near the ocean and got good and muddy. 

The next day was a bit drizzly, and we headed out to the Boothbay Harbor Aquarium.  It was a small building with a really impressive array of live enormous and mutant lobsters.  There was a display of lobstering equipment on the back porch, and Zane learned to band a lobster claw.

I'd been trying to find time to visit with my friend Zach, and we managed it on the next day.  Zane had fun with Zach's three kids and their enormous outdoor CedarWorks play ground.  When we left Zach asked if Zane would like some red rain pants his kids had outgrown.  Zane's face lit up!  Some friends at school had rain pants, and Zane had been asking and asking for them!  Next we headed to a farm with Pa Jim to pick up some fresh yogurt.  On the way home Zane said, "Maine is as fun as Hawaii!"  That's a pretty ringing endorsement!  I have to agree that Maine in the summer is the best.

Next stop was Grandma's house.  She has bunk beds just for grandsons, and we created an awesome fort in the lower level out of blankets.  Zane made an airplane with a lot of steering wheels drawn onto and old box.   Then he and Grandma made yummy granola one morning, and then went out to do some gardening.  Grandma and I were getting ready to go to a cousin's wedding, and Zane helped us pick out toenail polish and cards.  Back home the toenail polish was irresistible, so he and I both got gold toes with a cover of sparkles.  He had a hard time keeping his toes still while the polish dried, so I help them still while reading him a book in the warm sunshine on the porch.  It was delightful!

Sunday turned out to be our busiest day ever!  We dragged kayaks out from under the house and Zane and Grandma washed them.  Some of the kayaks were in this very cool 4' high basement which only Zane could stand up in!  Being a kid comes in handy sometimes.

Next we went down into Camden to see the Megunticook River waterfall and investigate low tide.  My Mom (aka Grandma) has been taking courses in being a local naturalist, and she wanted to practice her low-tide knowledge on us.  We had a picnic in the Camden Amphitheater and found silk flower petals left over from my cousin's wedding the day before.  The Amphitheater is a really fun place to explore and hide in.  It's also a photo-op at every turn.  A lovely fountain at the top of the amphitheater by the library was especially fun to dabble in.

We managed to fit in some gift shopping for Fathers Day and some ice cream by a river before heading home for a much needed nap.  And then we met my friends Ann and Jon for an adventure of kayaking on Lake Megunticook!  Zane got to be in Grandma's boat.  We paddled around for about two hours and had a fantastic time.  But is that enough?  No!  Ann and Jon came with Zane and I for some junk food and candlepin bowling in Rockland.  The bowling alley had an arcade and a tattoo vending machine.  You could not make a better paradise for Zane.

On our last full day in Maine we had a lovely visit with my other newly married cousin and her husband and my Aunt.  My visits with everyone for this trip had been relaxing and almost entirely outdoors!

We needed to head back to the airport, but we managed a little bit more sightseeing before we left.  The Rockport Marine Park had an old bell buoy to explore, lime kilns, and an old train like the ones used at the kilns.  I had just read Zane a book about Andre the Seal, so we also stopped to pay our respects to his statue.

We had a bit of a long flight home, but overall it was a great trip!  Traveling with Zane gets more enjoyable all the time.

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