Camping in Maine

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.

Maine vacation 2013
In the car.

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.

Camden, Maine

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
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.

Waterfall 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.

Girls at the park in Camden.

Maine vacation 2013
Anthony and Bella 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 on the beach.

Bella displays her seashell collection.

Pushing Miss Lucy in the swing.

Happy swinging baby.

Cappy’s Chowder House

Cappy's Chowder House, Camden
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.

Cappy's Chowder House, Camden
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.

Maine vacation 2013
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

Maine vacation 2013
Setting up camp while Anthony supervises.

Maine vacation 2013
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.


Maine vacation 2013
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.

Maine vacation 2013
Lucy and Daddy

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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  • Hi Melanie, Love your blog and really enjoyed this post. Have been mulling on the mystery of the light within… Today’s reading from 2 Peter resonated “You will do well to be attentive to it,
    as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
    until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. ” as did St Gianna’s words “Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God.”
    Plus today is the Feast of the Transfiguration- such a contrast between the intense and unexpected wonder of the glimpse of God’s glory then the utter silence after. Maybe it’s a bit like the inverse of having your eyes get accustomed to the dark- if we protect and nurture the light within, our eyes get accustomed to the light.
    God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins
    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
    Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
    And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
    And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

  • Thanks, Jenn. I wasn’t sure I’d really captured all the thoughts spinning in my head, it was kind of jumbled. Glad it made sense.


    Oh, I love God’s Grandeur! You had me confused for a minute then I remembered the time difference. Funny to think you are already in tomorrow, celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration when we’re still in Monday. I love the reading from 2 Peter too.

  • I like TMBG and “Birdhouse in Your Soul” pops into my mind quite often. I can’t believe I’ve never thought about it in terms of the Holy Spirit. I will remember that every time I think of the song now smile Thank you!

  • Oh dear! The Gates Foundation doing good? I am sure they do but he is horribly misinformed if he gives them kudos and ignores that they are spending millions and millions of dollars to send artificial contraception to Third World women! Egad.