The private beach at our campground. We walked down just at sunset. Perfect. Just perfect.
We’re back from our first ever family camping trip. We survived taking five children camping for two nights. Plus another three nights at Grandma’s house.
We drove up to Maine on Monday via the scenic route through New Hampshire’s White Mountains. We stayed Monday night and Tuesday night with Dom’s mother, who lives near Portland, hanging out, swimming in the pool, having a lobster dinner.
On Wednesday we set out for the Camden area. Dom grew up going to Camden with his family and is so happy to be able to share one of his favorite places with me and the kids. We camped two nights. Grandma B. slept in her camper and the rest of us roughed it in our new tent. We had some wonderful seafood, delicious pastries (blueberry croissant!). Saw the Maine coast, dreamed about going on a windjammer cruise, and played on the beach.
Foggy morning in Camden, Maine. Anthony loves the boats.
On the docks in Camden. Dom thinks we have a photo of me in this same spot on our honeymoon. Now here I am eight years and five kids later.
Ben and Anthony explore an old lighthouse bell in a park in Camden.
Stopping for pastries. Ben and Bella got chocolate cookies, Sophie got a cinnamon roll. I had a blueberry croissant. Dom had a peanut butter cookie, and Anthony had a rocky road brownie.
Foggy morning at the park in Camden.
At the Park
We drove up the coast a way and found this little neighborhood park with some swings and a nice steep hill leading down to a pretty beach.
Ben eschewed the path and went straight up and down the hill.
Bella displays her seashell collection.
Pushing Miss Lucy in the swing.
Cappy’s Chowder House
Dinner at Cappy’s Chowder House in Camden. The food was excellent (even if I did have to order the mildest thing on the menu because my mouth was inexplicably covered in huge blisters. I think I might have developed a tomato sensitivity. And possibly it’s exacerbated by fresh basil?) We had a gorgeous view of the harbor with beautiful boats.The kids’ food arrived in the coolest cardboard boats. The service was great, the kids were on their very best behavior. We should have just gone back here for every meal. It was awesome.
Sophie eats applesauce while waiting for her mac-n-cheese to cool down. See the cool cardboard boat? In the background, Bella stares out the window and Ben enjoys his french fries.
Lucy tries a lemon. She’s very excited about solid food these days and when we sit down to eat she wants to join us. Sometimes it can be hard to find something on my plate for her to try. I wasn’t too sure about the clam chowder so I let her suck on the lemon. She made faces but kept going back for more.
The Camping Experience
Setting up camp while Anthony supervises.
Our new 8 man tent is big enough that I can stand up in the middle without brushing my head on the top. Big enough for our family to grow into.
Grandma B. holds Lucia while Dom and I set up the tent.
The kids had their first s’mores, which Bella said was her favorite part. Anthony and Ben almost fell into the campfire, Sophie almost immolated her flower blankie many times. Bella discovered secret places, saw some frogs, the girls collected shells. The boys got filthy.Even Lucy seemed to enjoy herself.
Anthony patiently waits for bacon at his first campground breakfast.
Friday was my birthday. We woke at 5:30 with a cranky two-year-old who was covered in mosquito bites, and uncomfortable and hungry and would not sit quietly and read his book while everyone else slept. Broke camp in the rain and went out for breakfast to a lovely diner where the kids all had pancakes, greatly improving their tempers. Back to Grandma’s house where they were able to go for a swim, the weather having cleared. Out to Macaroni Grill for dinner. I had a great Parmesan crusted fish, but the meal was marred by us first getting a late start to dinner and second by the unexplained slowness of the service. The kids’ food came out surprisingly fast and then we waited for about an hour for the adults’ entrees. Ben picked at his food and then disappeared under the table and finally resurfaced fussing and crawled into my lap and fell asleep right as they brought our food. I was pretty annoyed at being served dinner at 8pm, having to rush through it, put the uneaten parts into a to go box, and no time for dessert. But at least I had some blueberry truffles I’d bought earlier in the day to console me.
My birthday dinner at Macaroni Grill
Farewell breakfast. Pancakes at Moody’s Diner.
We drove back home on Saturday, happily tired and very full of memories stored up of our family adventure. And very much looking forward to doing it again.
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