Monday, March 29, 2010

Destination 2010: Maine

So 2010 has a few travels in store for the Globetrekkers...all written in pencil at this point.  And thanks to Ye Olde Recession, we are changing the way we think about travel, trying to make sure we know exactly where funds are coming from and not just saying "eh, we'll just put it on the credit card."  I think for many people, those days are over for a while.  Until our adoption trips, we never let balances get so high, but when you're buying airfare to Asia, it just kind of happens, you realize the sky isn't going to fall, and you get used to seeing large balances on those statements.  Last year we added onto our house, and it happened again, but thanks to Uncle Sam and some other miscellany, we'll be back to zero soon enough.  Austerity measures!

This doesn't mean we're having zero fun this summer though.  Plans are to take a week, ten days, two weeks at the most (depending upon, you guessed it, budgets) and head to Maine and possibly a bit of Ontario.  I've written about Peaks Island before, and it remains a favorite destination.  Peaks, and its sister resort islands Great Diamond, Little Diamond, and Great Chebeague (among others) jut out of the bright blue waters of Casco Bay, with ferry service from Portland.  Peaks is somewhere we've always meant to take the girls.  We've invited my folks to join us and revel in the beautiful crisp days, the great sleeping weather at night, the oodles of lobster at cheesburger prices, the peace of the island and the very cool boutique/pub atmosphere of Portland, Maine.

Just the other day I was talking with a neighbor who also looked into a Maine cottage rental for this summer.  They are SO much more affordable than going to the Outer Banks, Rehoboth, Ocean City, the Jersey Shore, any of the crowded mid-Atlantic destinations.  A week on Peaks can run as little as $600!  There's a little general store on the island in case you forgot to pack anything important, a couple of cute restaurants, a couple of quiet's a total book-and-hammock destination.  Now that the girls can ride bikes, there's that much more we can do together since quiet roads crisscross the relatively small island.  You can ride from the sheltered harbor side all the way to the crashing rocky ocean side in maybe 10-15 minutes (at kid speed)...lovely. On the way to Peaks, you can see the famous Portland Head Light lighthouse (below).

In September, we're headed back to Maine (probably flying for that trip) for a destination wedding in the York/Ogunquit area.  There's a travel connection here too...the groom of the couple was one of our students when we led a group of a dozen JMU'ers to Florence, Italy in the summer of 1996!  He had just finished his freshman year and did the Florence program.  We spent our first anniversary in a spacious faculty flat just steps from the Oltr'Arno side of the Ponte Vecchio.  Side trips to Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Rome, Venice, Fiesole, and I'm probably leaving some out...what a beautiful trip that was!  And our student (the one who's getting married) loved the experience so much, he ended up going on two more study abroad trips before finishing his undergraduate career.  He and John have kept in touch...he's now a history teacher and more of a colleague than a student.  Yet another gift of travel...friendships forged during great adventures.

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