From Texas to Maine

Gateway Arch As I mentioned last week in Oswald Vineyard May/June, a lot has happened in the past few months, one of which is a family vacation. As you might guess, we take very few getaway trips and when we do, we normally visit family in Georgia. Which, by the way Mom, we are planning to do later this summer!

Not that we need an excuse for a vacation, but if we did, the wedding of a niece in Maine was the perfect one. Years ago, when John had a “real” job, he had a 6 week business trip to the Boston area. Having only 5 children at the time, ages 8 mths – 7 yrs, we all went. The children and I did a lot of site seeing. We visited places like the Boston Children’s Museum of Arts and Science, Plymouth Plantation, and probably the highlight of the trip, the Armor Museum in Worcester, MA. Needless to say, we had a blast and made a lot of great memories which I wanted to relive now with the children still at home.

So, as we planned this trip of over 5000 miles in our 15 passenger van with the 9 of us, my main stipulation was that we take it leisurely and stop each night at a hotel – which we did on the trip east!

Our first stop was the Gateway Arch in Missouri. Being terrified of heights, I was prepared to stay at the bottom of the arch and just wave to the brave souls that made the journey to the top. But, peer pressure prevailed and I made the trip. This phenomenal arch is 630 ft. tall and you ride to the top in LITTLE 5 passenger compartments – that was the worst part of the whole adventure for me, but, as you can see, I made it!!!!

Gateway Arch

Once at the top, you could walk inside the arch from one end to the other looking out both sides. After I realized that it was like being in an airplane – it was cake! The view of St. Louis was amazing.

view from Gateway Arch Our next overnight stop was outside of Cincinnati, OH to visit friends we grew to love from Germany. They are Americans but lived in Germany while we were in Switzerland. The Moody’s also have 10 children (although at that time we only had 7!) and everyone hit it off from the beginning. We have kept in contact with them throughout the years and look forward to seeing them again.

We arrived in Rochester, NY the following day to spend 2 nights with one of John’s older brothers. From his place, we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. It was chilly and especially once you were wet from the mist, but beautiful.

Niagara Falls We stayed on the American side since we did not have our passports.

Niagara Falls Next stop, Worcester, MA for the wedding. I said earlier that the wedding was in Maine but it was actually in Worcester where our niece now lives – her parents are in Maine and we went there next. While we did not get to see a lot in the area, we did visit the Armor Museum. The armor exhibit has been donated to the Worcester Art Museum and is no longer a private exhibit. While still impressive, all pieces are now behind glass and untouchable.

After a “Star Trek” themed wedding, we drove to John’s brother’s home in Maine to spend the night before visiting their vacation home on Mohegan Island, off the coast of Maine.

We rode on a ferry to the island which for the most part has no cars on it. Everything you have there, you carry with you – it is amazing how little luggage the 9 of us took! On the ferry ride, we even saw seals at one point but I was not quick enough with the camera. The lighthouse though, stood and posed for me!

lighthouse The vacation home sits on the beach overlooking a cove in which lobster and fishing boats anchor. Here is a view out the window:

Mohegan Island The island is a popular spot for artists who can be seen randomly around the area complete with easels set up and canvas paintings in the making.

Mohegan Island As you can see, there are plenty of picturesque views!

Mohegan Island sunset The island has multiple hiking paths from which we saw gorgeous scenery.

Mohegan Island Everyone had fun! But, all good things must come to an end, so….

Having taken our time on the drive to Massachusetts, we booked it home making the 36 hour drive with only one overnight stay in a hotel . It was one long trip and home sure looked good!

As one reader commented last week, “a 5000 mile trip in a 15 passenger van – sounds like a country music song” – if I were only musical, we might make a fortune!!!!

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  1. Haidi Telles says

    Your trip sounded like the perfect getaway! We love Maine. We were there 4 years ago, and stayed in New Harbor, which is one of the departure points for Monhegan Island. The kids still talk about it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Teresa says

    Sounds like a awesome trip!! We were in Boston the last part of April (business trip) we had planned to do some site seeing…but it was cold, rainy and too confusing! Not use to all the miles of tunnels and tolls every where. Lets say we were going broke paying a toll every time we got on the wrong street. So to make a long story short… we ended up going to Niagara Falls (Awesome, Amazing….we loved it!!!)
    Now if you are ever out that way again or going through Indiana….you are so welcome to stay with us (I’m very serious) we would love to meet you all!

    • says

      Teresa, thank you so much for the invitation and you never know!!!! I know what you mean about all the tolls – I still write all our expenses down in a budget book and was amazing to see the tolls add up!

  3. TrAcY HohNkE says

    Hi Dina-Marie, I came across your blog through looking up Kombucha and started reading some more of your posts and your ‘about ‘ page.. Firstly good on you all for stepping out to do your own thing, I wish you all well in your ventures. But I have the feeling you won’t need any sent luck as it’s happing for you already.. I too home educated our children but we only have four children, now aged 25,21,19 and 15.. We live in Tasmania, Australia. we relocated from Queensland in Australia to the island state of Tasmania in 2001. We have a small (7acres) hobby farm where we grow and sell wholesale flowers. Our property also has established apples, fig, greengage plums, chestnuts, peaches, hazelnuts etc. It takes a lot of work and like your family we renovated and do all our own work.. I have always wanted a cfe on our place and the cogs are turning in that direction. I am reading the GAPS book at the moment and have self healed some health issues over the last few years. I had severe gallbladder attacks (which are worse than childbirth in my opinion) which I healed myself but am still working on things to correct.. It’s such a journey and has similarities to renovating when you work on yourself.. One thing leads to another and I still have a little way to go..I did a three day fast nearly two weeks ago and slowly have to introduce foods again ( I found that really hard to do, even though I have done a 28 day juice while fixing my gallbladder). I’m in need of making probotic foods to get the gut right. I had a shocking night last night as I had a homemade soup which had grains, split peas etc and it created so much pain in my gut that it kept me awake from 1am right through to the morning, after have to make myself sick to empty my stomach..
    You do the bulk kombucha don’t you? I’d forgotten about the health benefits of fermented foods over the years and now need to get back to it..
    Anyway, I look forward to following your life journey and all the best to you and yours.. Finding your passion and taking the steps towards your dreams is a wonderful thing.. Enjoy your journey! :)

    • says

      Hi Tracy – your place sounds wonderful! Let me know how your health journey goes – it is always encouraging to hear the success of other. It is great that you are beginning the probiotic foods – their value cannot be underestimated! The renovation of a house is a great analogy for our regaining our health – they both take work!


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