Did you know that, if you stretched the coast of Maine out into a straight line, it would reach all the way from Maine down to California? That’s how many curves and coves the coast contains. As my husband and I were enjoying a Maine vacation last month, I realized that many of our experiences would make excellent opportunities for families seeking to learn and have fun together. At the risk of competing with Tripadvisor or Yelp, I’d like to offer three ideas here!
First, how about spending several nights on a schooner off the Maine coast? It would make a fantastic family adventure – no escape – forced cooperation – shared adventure – cramped quarters – great food. The boat we picked, The Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch, was friendly and comfortable, and like many others, left from Rockland Maine which is right on the way to Acadia National Park. Hurricane Irene was on the radar screen when we left port, but Captain Owen and crew took great care of us, and we were able to enjoy the calm before the storm. In fact, the trip was somewhat of a family affair with the Captain’s younger brother Paul as master cook and story teller and his older brother Greg teaching us the proper way to eat a boiled lobster as well as entertaining us with his fiddle!
Second, did you know that Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park in Maine, is the highest point on the eastern seaboard, all the way down to the Yucatan? If you get up to watch the sun rise, you will be witnessing the first light to hit our continent, not to mention enjoying spectacular reds and golds. I’m sure the family will never forget getting up at 4 AM, stumbling out to the car in the pitch dark and cold, then driving up the mountain to be faced with this stunning sight.
Third, did you know that the lobster fishermen of Maine represent a unique form of multi-generational family enterprise? Even though they are far from the inner city, they are known as Lobster Gangs.
The lobster fishermen in Maine have found a way to work together to enjoy a profitable fishing business today, while preserving it for future generations. Lessons have been learned and taken to heart after both the herring and cod industries of Maine were completely wiped out from overfishing. We learned about this on an Island Cruise that left out of Bass Harbor (in Southwest Mount Desert Island not too far from Bar Harbor). There were many families on the cruise and everyone was transfixed when Captain Kim Strauss pulled up his lobster traps and we all crowded around to see what he had caught.
Bass Harbor Cruises
Now that we are back home in the Midwest, just thinking about the blue sky and waters of Maine brings a smile and a bit of relaxation. I hope this little snippet of our adventures re-inspire you to pursue new vistas with those you love, in places removed from the distractions and demands of everyday life. By the way, there is terrible cell phone coverage in Acadia Maine – just one more reason to head up there!