R & R Time in Maine

As a family we almost always trek up to Maine. It is our family’s place to rest and play and enjoy time together.

This year, Anna and I left before the rest of our gang, and we drove up. A few stops along the way, Mississippi to see my Aunt! North Carolina to see the Lewis family. And finally we arrived to the same house we have visited since 1997. The rest of my family will arrive in about 2 weeks, and my brother in law and family will be here in about 9 days!

This year is different in many ways. First, there are only three of us here right now. Leslie, my father in law, Anna and me. It is quiet and calm, well in my mind it is. In reality it is a bit crazy with the two dogs as well. The second difference. I have never been here with a dog.

The major difference though is the absence of Betsy. Her fingerprints are in every space of this house and not hearing her voice, knowing she’s in the house, is so very hard. Seeing her touches of love and thoughtfulness everywhere is hard. She was the glue. She did more than just hold us all together though, she drew us together. She planned food and fellowship and fun, and we all came.

I am so glad that we are all coming again this year. We will fill the house with laughter, and probably some tears too, but lots of voices in the coming days and probably lots of scrapping dogs as well. I am glad though because she would not have wanted it any other way. She would want us together, on top of one another. Laughing with a beer here, a cocktail there and some ice tea as well. Hors d’oeuvres of cheese and pepper jelly, made by her in the past, and maybe even some clam dip. Marshmallow roasting, fires, and kayaking. All these things she would smile and savor, and I hope that we all do a lot of that these next few weeks.

Family is everything. Making memories, and doing life together is my favorite and while Betsy is not here making more memories, I am so very thankful for a head and heart full of memories from the past 23 years!

Yellowstone Day 1

IMG_2247 2IMG_2251So I might have skipped a segment of our trip – but I thought I would post some pics.

I woke up to a text telling me to avoid Bear Tooth Gap – due to snow.  Well, we went through Bear Tooth Gap and loved the snow and the view!IMG_2257IMG_2259

Yes, we were cold – about 35 degrees – down as low as 28!IMG_2356IMG_2408

We even saw some Bison – we love seeing them!


Then we visited Mammoth Hot Spring – so cool!IMG_2457

Here is where there was a hot spring that dried up – the pillar was formed from minerals that come to the surface


IMG_2466IMG_2473We saw some glorious streams – finally caught a pic at one!

A fantastic day!!

More to come….

Maine : Reunion

Every year, rain or shine, the Redmond family gathers at Worthly Pond the same weekend.  Many years we have been in Maine for said reunion, but many years we miss it too.  Last year we missed, 2016 the kids and I went, 2015 Jacob and Robert went.  So this year we were excited to get to go as a family!!  Unfortunately it rained, but that does not stop the Redmonds from having fun!!
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Worthly Pond is a typical Maine lake : dreamy!!  The kids could not wait any longer and despite sprinkles, they went swimming!!  I was enjoying some catching up with Betsy’s cousins and their latest adventures, but I did grab a few pics of the adventurous swimmers!!

Before too much longer I did manage to get my suit on and go swimming too!  The water was chilly but really lovely.  I got to play a bit with Betsy and Anna before Bob got out the boat for even more fun!  About this time the sun came out and we were all thrilled!!

Robert got a tour of the lake by Bob, and then it was tubing time!  My kids got to go first, because we were the “company” and did not live there to do this all the time!  They had a blast, can you tell?

All in all, it was a perfect reunion day seeing family, eating good food and having lots of fun!!  We hope to make it back again, soon!!

Ocean Sights

I have loved not leaving the property for almost three days now.  Staying here and relaxing has been a joy.

Today I did get out, sort of.  Robert and I walked Stones Point, a road that loops around on the other side of the peninsula.  It is a 3 mile walk to do the loop and it is really a gorgeous walk.  We didn’t see much sea life, but still gorgeous views and a nice walk.  Bonus was that it was just the two of us!

My next adventure today was going on my first boat ride with Jacob.  We went out in the canoe around crotch island (lovely name) –  not-surprising but the island is shaped like a crotch.  We started out and the water was like glass.  It did not stay that way.  But it was still a nice boat ride and he left me film a safety video for boat safety!

We saw an immature osprey fly over head for a while, and many osprey!  They are lovely to watch!!

We even watched two lobster-ladies checking traps!  I have never seen that before!  Very fast!

Boat rides, walks and relaxing is one of my favorite things about Maine (well, maybe three of my favorites).1kg+2J8nSrOhA9a8R6GAqQIMG_2434IMG_2512IMG_2527IMG_2537IMG_2583IMG_2616

Maine : Rafting Fun

We splurged this year with a day trip to go rafting.  We did spend a night camping before heading out to raft.  This was the first adventure activity that we did as a family – one of the perks of the kids getting older!!

We kept it a secret until about 2 days before – this was a huge feat!!  The boys were somewhat interested in our upcoming adventure, but having never been rafting before they did not know what to expect.

Anna on the other hand was a bit nervous from the get-go, but she is a trooper so she went along with things.

Camping was simple and no big deal – the site was pretty quiet aside from the Owl that must have lived right above our tent!  We heard him communicate all night with another neighboring owl.  Let’s just say sleeping was not abundant!

We woke up early and headed to the meet-up about 7am once our campsite was packed up.  We were ready to go and excited!!  Other families began arriving, many couples and a few seniors too.  Everyone was excited for a fun day on the Kennebec River!

This company is not dumb, they put you to work from the start.  We go through a line to get our personal gear : PFD (Protective flotation device) helmet, and paddle.  Then we board a bus for the hour or so ride up the river.  Once there we unload and we then get assigned a guide and head to our raft.  We lift and carry our raft from the top of the hill down to the water.  Not too bad as there were slide like things for the raft next to the steps for us.

Once at the bottom we put the raft in and wait for the water to come to the right level.  On the Kennebec river there is a damn that lets the water out every day t 10am for rafting (its their contract).  So we waited while that happened and then we were off!

The first 20 minutes or so Anna screamed with all her might, but once we made it through the only class IV rapid she settled down and actually enjoyed the trip!  There were several times the kids could get in the water and float down river.

We rafted about 12 miles down the Kennebec river – going through class II – IV rapids – enough to get us all wet – and a lot of fun!!

There were a number of spots that we were able to roll into the water and float down for a bit – we also had access to inflatable kayaks after lunch.

Lunch was on the river in an edie, where Northern Outdoors cooked our choice of salmon, steak, chicken, or veggie burger.  5 of us had salmon which was perfect and filling!  Anna opted for Chicken.  Once lunch was over we headed back out for the lower half of our trip which was a bit calmer and more laid back.  The kids loved playing more in the water and paddling less!

The same company (Northern Outdoors) has a rafting trip down another river that has class V rapids, you know these boys are hoping to do that one in the near future.  We will see.  Either way, we all felt like it was a great day and a lot of fun!!