After our 4th of July weekend in Vermont we packed up the tent again and set off for the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Amanda, Josh, Kim, and I had a blast on our mini road trip which included multiple stops at gorgeous look-outs throughout the White Mountain region. We set up camp at Jigger Johnson campground at the end of the Kangamangas Highway and were joined shortly after by Dad, Pam, Drew, Autumn, Brian, and Kirsten. The next couple days were spent sitting around the campfire or exploring various watering holes/ waterfalls. Family meals were shared, trails were walked, and great times were had all around.
We returned from our almost two weeks of camping on Tuesday to the reality of our lengthy to-do list. The first major task was to buy our plane tickets. We had put this off for quite a long time due to the questionable pet situation, but we could not wait any longer. We sat down that evening and purchased one way tickets from Portland, Maine to Bangkok, Thailand. Eeeeeeekk!! No time was wasted on Wednesday jumping back into packing. So much was still left to get done.
Taking a break from everything we headed to Water Country on Thursday to celebrate Autumn's Birthday. Although her real birthday is not until September we knew we were not going to be here and wanted to be sure to do something fun! And boy was it! Drew joined the three of us for a day of water slides, wave-pool jumping, and tube floating. Afterwards we grabbed a pizza and went to a drive-in movie. It was a wonderful day and I'm so glad we took time to have it.
First thing Friday we were back at it starting by going over to Augusta to get our PO Box. We will be forwarding all of our mail there for Andrea to get, she will be taking care of those kind of things while we are away. Stopping into both of our banks we got some financial things taken care of. Then we went over to sign the paperwork for our storage unit. We went with a 10' x 15' space. We wont be keeping much of our furniture but we wanted to have plenty of room.
Before we knew it another week was over, time is just flying by! Crazy to think we will be in Myanmar in less than two weeks!
I kicked off the weekend by photographing another beautiful wedding! Abbey is a Ultimate Frisbee teammate from college and I was thrilled to photograph her and Jason's special day! Congrats you two!!
This week (and next) was all about family! We knew we would want to set aside a good chunck of time to do fun summer things with both of our families before we left so Sunday Kim & I headed up to Avon to join her family for a couple days. We were sure to make a stop at Smalls Falls, one of the best watering holes in the area, a favorite of ours. Robin (Kim's mom) and I took a day to go shopping in North Conway. It was a blast spending time with her and getting all sorts of goodies for Myanmar. The rest of the time was spent laughing and lounging : )
After a quick stop home we packed the car back up and headed to Vermont. My Aunt and Uncle have a camp in Grafton, VT where they hold a weekend long gathering every July 4th. It is a fantastic time to see my extended family (the only time in the year we get to see them usually) as well as have a blast!! There were town parades, bingo, lawn games, fires, lots of rain, and (of course) fireworks!! Happy Independence Day all!
The weekend started out with celebrating my little brother, Drew's 14th birthday. Every year I let him pick an activity to do on his birthday and this year he decided to go to an amusement park. So off we headed to Six Flags New England for a day of thrills. After the four hour drive we were beyond excited to get on some rides. We got our jitters out on some small rides before we headed for one of the roller-coasters. Little did we know that Drew is afraid of roller-coasters. Yep. But that didn't stop us from having a blast jumping on and off different rides and hitting the water park. It was a great day and we were exhausted after. That didn't stop us from waking up early and heading to the beach to meet up with the family. The day was filled with grilling, ice cream cake, ocean exploring, and laughing. Although we decided to leave our phones and camera in the car at Six Flags we have plenty of photos from the beach.
On Sunday Kim and I headed to one of our favorite festivals in Maine, the annual Old Port Fest. One Sunday a year they close down all of the streets in the Old Port (downtown Portland) and fill it up to the brim with vendors, stages with live music, Maine craftspeople, and lots of food! We spent the sunny, sunny afternoon seeing the sights and tasting the treats.
I joined an old frisbee teammate to photograph her and her fiancé for their upcoming wedding. We met up on the Eastern Prom then headed to Portland Headlight to splash in the Andrew Wyeth-like waves.
On Monday Kim had to go to the dentist to get some work done on her teeth. It was not fun but we are very glad to get it taken care of before we go. She was also able to get her very last round of shots done which means we are all vaccinated!!!
Kim and I were able to join my family in watching Drew graduate from 8th grade. I simply cannot believe that he is going to be in High School next year eeeeeeeeeekk. I don't know what those HS teachers and administrators are going to do with him.
June 10th came on Tuesday and with it our 4 year anniversary of when we met as well as our 1 month anniversary of our wedding. This past month has flown by but we could not be happier. We decided on an easy night of dinner out and visiting one of our most favorite lookout spots where we have had many dates. It was a lovely night to take a break and just enjoy being with each other.
And a photo from just a couple months after we met : )
Before we knew it, it was Wednesday and we were back at it. It was Field Day at school which meant children running around having a blast all day. It is always fun to see kids be kids. Here is our annual Rainbow picture before the start of the day. I'm sitting on the playground.
Thursday and Friday flew by and before I knew it I was watching my West Paris students walk out of the building for the last time and, arms loaded, I shortly followed. My last week of teaching elementary Art in Maine (at least for the next couple years). Still as I am writing this it doesn't seem real. I'm not sure when it will hit me, the fact that I will most likely never see any of the students that I have worked so closely with again. The students that I have laughed with, been inspired by, shared my passion with, the first children that I have truly called students of my own. I have been getting ready for this for a while now and there were times when it didn't feel like it was ever going to come but alas, it has ended. This is a letter I received from one of my dearest students:
In each of my last classes I shared with the students where we will be headed. I put together this presentation to give them a bit of a feel for Myanmar and then I gave them time to ask whatever questions they had for me. These questions ranged from "When are you leaving?" to "Do they eat bugs?" - from "How are you getting there?" to "Are you afraid?" - from "Who is going with you?" to "How long will you be there?" It was a great time to be personal with the students who have challenged me and inspired me daily for the past two years. This is the presentation I shared with them:
To end what was a very surreal and emotional week, my co-workers took Kim and me out to dinner on Friday night. In an echo of our many after-work drink dates, it was simply the perfect way to cap my time at Rowe. I'm going to miss my Rowe family, the students and fellow teachers who made my time at Rowe so meaningful.
Alisa & Kim
Two expats living, teaching, and eating their way across this beautiful world