Sytsema Family Christmas 2009

Sytsema Family Christmas 2009
Don, Brady, Kyle, Lisa and Ryan

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amazing Vacation in Maine

I don't even know where to start, we had such a great vacation in Maine. It started with at 17 hour drive with three little boys which I must admit I was dreading. We took two and a half days to get out there and the trip was so easy. The boys all did great. Even Brady, our sweet boy who now screams to get our attention :).

We arrived in Northeast Harbor Maine (right by the Acadia National Park) Saturday afternoon and were joined very quickly by my parents, who had arrived on their sail boat the day before. Very soon after, Don's sister Sharon, her husband Jon, and kids Kate and Jon Boy arrived. We had rented a house about 1 block from the town of Northeast Harbor which was so cute.

Right away Ryan and Kate were paired up as roommates, and Ryan was quick to begin to tell Kate how she does not need to be afraid of the dark. Kate was so good with Ryan and even let him cuddle with her in the morning when he would wake up before everyone else.

Ryan and Kate
The first thing we decided to do was go sailing to see the island that surround Mount Desert Island. We took a trip up the only Fjord in North America. On the trip we saw a seal and many lobster pots. I am not kidding, many!! I normally find helming (driving) kind of boring, but have to say with the challenge of dodging lobster pots it is kind of entertaining.

Kyle, Jon Boy, and Kate decided to take a swim off the boat. Oh yes, it was COLD! Lets say they might have needed a little help to get into the water and for sure they were not in long. The water temp where we were was about 60 degrees.

Uncle Jon helping Kyle into the COLD water.

And Kate too!
We all decided a whale watching adventure was something we had to do. It was truly an amazing day. Maine can be very cold, windy, and foggy all of which make whale watching questionable. Well, we picked a day that was sunny, warm, and the water completely calm. We got to see whales so close up and one even breached (jumped out of the water). None of us had been whale watching so it was amazing and wow they really are huge!!

My mom (Dee Dee) organized a treasure hunt. Everyone had a pirate name: Kyle (Toothless Nick), Jon Boy (Peg Leg Pete), Ryan (Little hook)...I can't remember the rest of our names but Dee Dee gave us all clues, we had to drink swill, and we had promise of a treasure if we could complete the map. The kids loved it as much as Dee Dee loved it. It was pretty funny on the walk around town to complete the treasure hunt. Ryan decided he did not want to be Little Hook, but Big Hook, so we all had to vote with an "Arhhh Matie" and then he changed his mind, and wanted to be Little Hook again, "Arhh Matie" and then again back to Big Hook...I can't remember who he ended up being.

One day we spent biking and stopped for a picnic at a really pretty "creek". The boys loved the idea of jumping in. but we made sure they stayed on the dry rocks. After biking through parts of Acadia, we headed to Sand Beach. We quickly realized keeping them out of the water would not be possible, we also realized we adults wanted nothing to do with the COLD water. Later we found out the water temp at Sand Beach rarely gets above 55 degrees. Despite the COLD water the boys had a great time.

One of the highlights of the trip for the boys, Jon Boy especially, was the tide pool hunting. We spent hours looking and hunting for sea creatures. They actually caught a number of crabs but not King Crabs like Jon was hoping for. It was more about the hunt then the catch.

Aunt Sharon giving a science lesson by dissecting a crab...Stinky!!

Maine is beautiful and we were able to enjoy many of the sights by boat, bike, and foot. We even sailed to an island and took the dingy ashore exploring. We learned that a family had lived on the deserted island and had raised 12 kids there with no electricity or running water. Oh my that might have killed me :). I won't even camp without running water and electricity.

We found a lobster Pot on the beach

You can't go to Maine and not cook lobster. We did exactly that. I have to say it might have been one of the funniest parts of the trip. Sharon and I were committed to cooking the Lobster. One had to hold them and the other had to cut the rubber bands off. I was quick to grab the scissors out of Sharon's hand :). Lets just say it was good that we had not taken the lobster boating museum tour before we cooked our lobsters. If I would have known that if the one claws latches on, you have to have a screwdriver to get it off...I am pretty sure I would have not gotten close to those things.

On our way back we decided to stop in Niagra Falls to show the kids this amazing sight as well. They thought it was pretty cool that you could get wet by the falls even when you were so far away.

Over all we had a wonderful trip. The big boys had so much fun!! Brady was such a trooper and went on every adventure with us without much protest. We were so blessed to have such a wonderful time.