Beaches! Acadia National Park, Part 3

Maine has a very rocky coastline. On our last day in Maine, I walked behind the rest of the family and soaked in the ocean view.

We had explored the tide pools and rocky beaches for our entire stay, and yet it didn’t seem as though we explored enough.

Lily and Emmy exploring tide pools

We even took a chance and went swimming in the frigid waters of the Atlantic ocean. The ocean temperature rarely exceeds 55 degrees in the summer!

Sand Beach






Rocks! Acadia National Park, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

The ranger in the visitor center video said that he used think about the national parks out west when he thought of rocks, such as Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, and so on. But he soon discovered that Acadia, this national park of the East, is very rocky as well. As did we! The trails were all made up of rocks; rocks that pounded the bottom of our feet and made them ache after miles of hiking; rocks that threatened to twist our ankles as we bounded among them; rocks that were tricky to climb up and even trickier on the way down.

These rock cairns were one way the trails were marked.

The rocks tore a little hole in the side of my running shoes, and now the hole has gotten so big that my sock sticks through when I wear them. I gave in and finally ordered a new pair of shoes online!

These blue dashes were another way the trails were marked.


Just remember, when going up…

You will need to come back down!

And sometimes coming back down is harder and scarier than going up! The hiking trails in Acadia were some of the best we’ve ever hiked, and we’ve been on quite a few. 🙂





Acadia National Park, Part 1

Go to the visitor’s center first! That’s our mantra whenever we go to a national park. We actually stop by the visitor’s center throughout our visits. The rangers are wonderful resources, and we always ask them questions about what trails to hike.

When we were in Acadia National Park this past June, we watched a video introduction to the park. In the video, ladder trails were mentioned, so of course, Lily and Emmy were determined to find one! However, it was already late afternoon, so we decided to take a short hike on a carriage road. We were able to see some nice views of the island and the ocean, which only made us more eager to explore in the week to come. (Did you know Acadia is on an island in Maine? I didn’t realize it until I actually started planning this trip!)

The first full day that we spent in Acadia, however, was hiking the famous Cadillac Mountain, which is where the sun first touches the Northern Hemisphere at certain times of the year. Many people hike up to see the sun rise on Cadillac Mountain. We were not those people. It is an easy hike, since you drive most of the way up, park, and then hike up a short trail to the top. The views are spectacular!

The view from Cadillac Mountain, Maine.

Just looking at my pictures again makes me want to go back! Acadia National Park is an amazing place to visit.









She’s 13!

Happy Birthday, Lily!

We surprised Lily by taking her out for a seafood Sunday brunch this morning, at one of her favorite restaurants on the Fox River in Algonquin. She had guessed what we were doing, but it was fun anyway! And we were joined by my sister and brother, along with Ed’s family, so that made it an extra special celebration. My little Lily finally got the gift she has been begging for; the gift that “everyone else has”–although in our world, she’s not exaggerating. All of her friends really do have a cell phone, and now, finally, so does Lily! That really was a surprise for her because we’ve been holding out for soooooo long. Ed and I really need a way to keep in touch with her during all of her activities, though. I had bought the phone a couple of weeks ago and was hiding it from her. Last week, in a mix-up with carpool schedules, she was left behind at her school after basketball practice. She borrowed another dad’s phone to call us, even as I was thinking about heading out the door to get her because she should have been home already. I was wishing I had already given her her phone! But all’s well that ends well, as they say. We live only 5 minutes away from her school, so she wasn’t waiting that long.

Tomorrow is another big day for Lily…she has her first basketball game!






I was up this morning before 6:00 to get Emmy up and going to an elementary choral festival up in Waucona, Illinois. Ed drove her and three other fifth graders. It was still dark, cold, and raining. I stayed home to clean the house (the bottom half) for Lily’s birthday party. My method of cleaning means throwing all the clutter into the upper half of the house, so the upstairs is a disaster, but the downstairs looks really nice right now. Want to come over?

Ed came home and helped out, and then Lily, Ed and I drove up to Wauconda to hear Emmy sing with the other choral students who had participated in the festival. They sounded beautiful!

Ed had spotted a taco joint on the Main St. this morning, but it was closed or he would’ve had steak tacos for breakfast. When I saw that it was open for lunch, I pulled over and we had tacos! Ed always gets his way, especially when it involves tacos.

After we got home, Lily’s friends soon arrived and we celebrated her birthday. She will be 13 tomorrow–a teenager! Can you believe it? Tomorrow, we are taking her some place special, and it’s a “surprise.” She has pretty much figured it out, but I have resisted telling her where we are going.

I’m so tired, I can’t write a blog post for today. But here it is, and I accidentally clicked “publish” before I was done writing. If you are reading this on my blog and not in your email, you get some extra sentences and a bonus photo!

How about that?

She’s turning 13 tomorrow!







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