Starting off right away we celebrated Drew’s 16th birthday by camping in true Maine style – cooking lobster over the fire. It wasn’t long before it was Amanda’s 21st as we took her out for her first legal drink continuing with a trip to a casino, margaritas, tacos, and beer pong. The days quickly got filled with lunch dates with awesome people, excursions to the local swimming holes, and frosty deliciousness at our favorite ice cream stands. There were late night bonfires, family BBQs, road trips across states, hikes on the best of forest trails, catching up with friends, and quality time with family.
Our yearly trip up to Lubec (the most eastern point in the US) had a rocky start when the truck broke down on the way up. But we continued on and had a few days of bliss with ocean breezes, starry night skies, not a person in sight for miles, and lobster. There is always lobster on an Ellicott vacation to Lubec. Shortly after we said goodbye to our dearest Ellie May. Words cannot express the loss we feel at the emptiness in our lives left by the happiest creature imaginable. Ellie got along with every person and animal (besides skunks and squirrels). We were constantly complemented on her happy personality and calm demeanor. She was so much more than our puppy dog, she was the third member of our small family.
As we worked through our emotions, we continued to stuff ourselves with our favorite (and much missed) American food. Milk, steak, honey nut cheerios, swis rolls, bread that is not sweet, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, orange juice, chocolate, granola bars, fruit roll ups, meatballs, steak and cheese grinders, and so SO much more. I’m seriously going to have to work off all the extra weight when I get back.
I photographed a wedding with Andrea and some super sweet couples sessions. Kim went fishing with Josh and sunk the paddleboat. We got our one year anniversary photos taken by Aime from Aime E Photography. There was so much amazingness in these few weeks! To wrap it up we spent an unforgettable week with most of my family in a cabin in northern Maine where we explored waterfalls, went white water rafting, cruised the lake at sunset via pontoon, had never ending card games, and laughed more often than not.
The seven weeks we were back seemed more like seven days. I knew it would go by quickly, I was prepared for it to go by quickly. What I wasn’t expecting was the lack of anticipation on returning. I figured it would feel like any other vacation where towards the end of it you get the itchy desire to be back where you came from. Instead I felt very comfortable, very settled surrounded by all of my favorite people and familiar environments. It was easy and not complicated. I guess that is what it feels like to come home.
Yet, in no way am I hesitant to continue our adventures abroad. As I see fewer signs in English and more noodle dishes around me, I feel myself pulling back on my armor. Not in an aggressive way, but the necessary readiness needed for navigating a foreign country. The oh-so-familiar complications of language barriers, unknown customs, foreign cities, unrecognizable food, and general confusion that accompanies traveling is flooding back. With it though, comes endless potential for more life-changing experiences, meeting more awesome people, continuing to broaden our mindsets, and learning more about ourselves and this amazing planet everyday.
So THANK YOU Maine and everyone for the conversations and catching up, for the couches to sleep on and the overly delicious food, for the time spent with us and the un-wavering open arms that welcomed us back. But mostly thank you for all the love that filled our hearts enough to last us (what is sure to be) another remarkable year away from home.