Our week went like this:
Jul 10-12 We had CC full, 3-day camp
Jul 13 Sat began drive toward Maine. Stayed someplace in NY.
Jul 14 Sun more driving toward Maine. Finally arrived at our campsite at Acadia Natl Park, but had to put up the tent in the dark.
Jul 15 Mon Drove around the park. Went to Cadillac Mountain and climbed for a bit. I had a massive headache in the intense heat, and with all of the physical activity. There was no parking at the beach, so we took the trolley down. Going into the cool Atlantic ocean was therapeutic, and wiped my headache away! The ocean did what Ibuprofen and Aspirin could not do. Ahhh, relief! Needless to say, I loved the ocean - it was an amazing place. The sand at Sand Beach in Acadia is made up of tiny ground up shells and muscles. It's a soft, but thicker sand, and reminds me of the brown plastic lumpy pieces that some places use under their playscapes, like they sell in bags at Home Depot. That evening, we took our bikes around Witch Hole Pond. If you enjoy biking, there are a ton of gorgeous trails in Acadia!
Stayed the night at a hotel (we tried booking all of our camping in advance, but July is a busy month, and hard to find camping sites - must reserve a good solid month or more ahead)
Jul 16 Tues Parking in Acadia Natl Park and the Bar Harbor area is truly crazy and difficult. I highly recommend just planning all of your trips around the trolley system! We bought Whalewatching tickets, and then went up to Cadillac Mountain again until it was time to return for our boat trip. It was 100+ degree heat, and we were running the air conditioner up the high mountain. Our truck overheated at the top! Luckily, dh was able to get that under control while I let the kids run out some steam on the rocks. Our truck managed to turn back on, and we were very mindful of the temp ever since.
Whalewatching was a neat experience. We spotted 4-5 different whales at several moments. We also saw seals and porpoises. Even Georgie was able to see them in the ocean. I think it was her first time on a boat.
That evening, we swam in the ocean again, but this time the temp was much, much colder! Brrr! We couldn't stay in long without our legs going numb. We visited a few spots around the beach area, including Thunderhole. (Side note: the funniest sign ever was the "Thunderhole Restrooms" sign. I laughed as any immature adult might do).
We had one more night at the hotel, and I stayed up late doing laundry.
Jul 17 Wed Made the drive toward Assateague State Park, Maryland. I've discovered that Google time estimates on long drives are off by a few hours. We did not make it to our camping site that night, and had to stay 3 hours north, in Newburgh, NY.
Jul 18 Thur Arrived at Assateague State Park, Maryland and set up our tent. Putting up the tent on the sand, with wild winds picking up everything was far more difficult in full daylight, then setting up the tent blindly in the dark back in Maine. We saw wild horses - very neat. The horses go clopping through the camping area, looking for food or anything interesting. We have a photo of a horse standing right next to our truck. The ocean was wonderful - far more waves, and warmer temps than Maine. The beach was sand, real sandy sand. Sea shells were everywhere! We also saw crabs, and a dead dried up ray on the beach. We really thought that camping was going to be restful, but it wasn't. The wind flapped through our tent, seagulls landed near our ears and squawked loudly, and we could hear horses clomping by our heads, lol.
Jul 19 Fri Picked up our tent, spent a few hours at the ocean, and then headed toward Washington DC. We parked at the Smithsonian Zoo, and spent the day there. The heat and humidity was sweltering: temps were in the 90s, but the real-feel was listed as 109. Phew! We drank lots of water and went slow. Because the weather was so hot, there were far less people there, and that made the trip more enjoyable. Georgie, at age 4, was the perfect age for the zoo! She really enjoyed seeing the animals.
That night, we stayed at Homewood Suites, just outside of Washington DC. I love Homewood Suites - you get a separate bedroom, and a kitchenette. It's just a wonderful, beautiful place to stay, if you can find a room for a good price. Breakfast is awesome (you know it's a nice place to stay when they use real dishes, and not disposable).
Jul 20 Sat We parked at a metro station and went into Washington DC for the day. A and I went to an art museum, and later met the others at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. We had been a bit disappointed in the first art museum, so then we all went to the much bigger art gallery further down the street. Oh how I wish I would've taken A there earlier and spent half the day alone there! She and I absolutely soaked in the artwork, and talked about so many neat things (like what went into the art creation, some of the reoccurring themes in the art, etc.). I love seeing her interest grow for art! I think a year ago, she might've dismissed it all as boring and educational, but this year, she really drew so much from seeing the art and couldn't spend enough time there.
I found some art pieces by famous artists that we'll be studying in CC this year. This is another regret: Z was too tired to care, but I think she would've enjoyed getting a sneak preview of what we'd be learning in class. Saw Rembrandt and Degas artwork - so wishing I could've snapped some photos to use in class! Oh well.
We were all pretty exhausted after that, and headed back to the metro station. We found dinner and then we headed home.
Jul 21 Sun Arrived home at 3:00am and the rest of the day was spent recovering.