Cole and I have gone on lots of adventures this summer.
We have also gone on two dates: to the theater. (I love how he says “to the theater” with glee).
I was nervous the first time around, unsure how he would be, would he sit still? be too loud? not like it?
The first show we saw was The Frog Prince
and then this week we saw The Three Little Pigs.
I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged Cole was at both shows. He was a little gentleman. And he loved going. He understood so much of what was happening.
I was a bit disappointed with the theater productions themselves. The frog prince used a puppet as the frog, it was hard to see. The scripts themselves were not engaging. The three little pigs went for an “update” where the pigs were trying out for America’s Baryard Idol. I would have rather had him see the classic tales brought to life.
But he is three and he did not notice at all.
And we got to go on dates together and start a tradition of enjoying the theater.
I love taking time with my little man.
Andrew and I have learned to make the most of the time in between. One of the first times I remember taking the time inbetween and turning it into a memory was here in 2006. We were on our way to my dad’s house and had to stop to let the cows cross the road. While we were sitting in waiting, a glider flew overhead.
I had driven by the little Morrisville, Vermont airport for years growing up, and there had been a sign, “Glider Rides Today” out on most summer days. While sitting watching the cows and the glider, we decided since we had extra time, we would give it a go – if there was a flight available and it would take under an hour, we were in.
What a wonderful way to adventure! Andrew and I call it “Making Memories.”
We made some memories this past week when we were in Vermont, once again we had a little extra time before we were due at our friends’ house for lunch, so we took a little detour to Common Grounds, a mini golf place in my home town that has go-karts.
I hurt my back when some of my favorite guys got together and went go-karting this past October . . . so I got to race my beloved.
It was just the two of us and it was just fun.
Tips for Finding the time in-between:
- Give yourself extra time, always add extra travel time when going places, leave early
- Notice – signs and places that look like fun
- Be open – making a memory is worth stepping out of your comfort zone
For other Adventure Ideas this fall you can check out Our 31 Days of Intentional Adventures series from last October.
So the story goes . . . we were in the midst of our second argument (the first happened in Venezuela in a field). And I could feel that we were too focused on the emotion, and that it was escalating where it did not need to . . . so I invited Andrew to a game of Stratego. He completely did not understand. I had never tried this technique before. We agreed to put aside the argument, play a game and then we would talk about it after.
And I mean long term results. We do not argue a lot. We have continued to play games.
I worked with teens for over two decades. I am good at playing games. Apparently when we were in Venezuela, playing Egyptian Rat (which is what they are doing above), I made a comment that I would not date someone who could not beat me in a game. Andrew took that very seriously.
Backgammon became our game of choice early on. It is portable and we still carry it with us in the car for a time when we are out just the two of us.
For two years Andrew and I worked full time and were in school. We would have dinner and then do school work. When we had earned our degrees we found ourselves with extra time and we went back to playing a game. It became a time to unwind after dinner.
With the arrival of Cole we took a hiatus from game playing. Attention has been focused on our little guy. But in recent months we have brought back the games. We will put Cole to bed, make some tea, and sit down to play a game.
And to me it is the perfect little date.
It is time with Andrew. We are not focused on Colton, though he is close by sleeping and content. We are not concerned about being productive. We are connected to each other. The room is peaceful and cozy and comfortable. It never matters who wins. The goal is to laugh, enjoy one another and have fun.
For much of our dating life and marriage Andrew and I were able to finagle lunch together. We would have picnics in a park, go out to a restaurant, or eat at home. One week a couple of summers ago we went to a different light house for lunch each day.
Andrew now commutes to work, but we still work to meet up for lunch when we can. One day we headed out together to a relatively new restaurant in Salem, MA, while Cole was in daycare . . . a perfect treat.
I have had my eye on this building for years. It was once Salem’s Jail opened in 1813 and operating until 1991. It was then condemned. For years it sat, untouched. I was told it was full of asbestos.
I worked in Salem for years and it was legendary as a the jail where Houdini once escaped from . . . leading to its title now, The Great Escape.
We loved the decor. It was restored thoughtfully and decorated producing an atmosphere of intrigue.
I love exploring with my husband. I love a new adventure. I love history. This is my kind of summer date!
For seven years it was me and Andrew. We didn’t ever schedule a date night, because everything was a shared adventure, and that was always way better than a date. Our first official date was 14 hours long. We went to two different beaches, a short hike to sit on some rocky cliffs, we had lunch, we had dinner, he brought me home, I showed him home movies . . . Our times together since that first date have been rich and deep. I love spending time with Andrew. For seven years our life was one big dating adventure.
Cole came into our lives in 2009. And the adventures since then have been amazing and different. Three people on an adventure is different than two. And one little guy with his little needs makes adventuring . . . different.
I know that many parents institute date night. It has not worked for us. It does not fill my soul. I don’t like the time getting dressed up, orienting the babysitter, saying good night and then heading out, tired, to dinner . . .
We have done it.
I find that I would rather find the kind of times that we enjoyed together before Cole. So this week, I will be sharing a little about how Andrew and I find those times together that do fill my soul.
Happy Summer days.
We loved our road trip vacation! After our not so great trip to New Hampshire this summer, we felt as if we had reflected on it, and were able to make adjustments to ensure a fun, relaxing time for all three of us.
Things We Did Not Blog About
- This is the last picture of our beloved Nalgene bottle. We loved this bottle. We purchased two after research into the best bottle, posting about it here. Before we left I went to purchase two more as they have lasted us so long. And they no longer had them. And then Cole left it in a field, when we went to eat in a field, and that is probably where it remains 😦 We have moved on to camelbacks from LL Bean. I miss the Nalgene grip n’ gulp every day.
- Before this trip we purchased a LeapPad for Cole. It was a little impulsive, but I thought it could be the perfect bridge toy . . . What I mean is that there are times when we are figuring out things, and we need Cole to just sit and entertain himself for a bit. This is what we used it for and it was highly received. When we moved our stuff in or out of a new place, instead of climbing in and out of cabinets and finding old insulation and circuit breakers (as he did in New Hampshire), our little guy now finds a sweet spot while we unpack or pack. It will be good for doctors office visits as well.
- When you see a giant Native American, shouldn’t you get a picture? Cole thought so.
- And speaking of pictures, Cole took this one, and a couple of others this week. So wild and so fun.
- We also did not blog about our stop on the way home . . . Fort Knox, Maine. It was a great stop, with this amazing bridge/observatory and a whole fort to explore. Perfect. Always make the journey an adventure.
Things We Wish We Had Thought of . . .
After most things Andrew and I debrief, reflect on what we would change and what we did well. Thought I would share that here, and that way it is writing for us to refer back to . . . .
- Restaurants – we did bring healthy snacks with us. But we did not research Bar Harbor restaurants before we got into town . . . which made for a first night of searching and looking and where we wound up? At the same restaurant we had eaten at when we visited in 2009. We knew we would be eating out, it would have been good to find a couple of options ahead of time.
- For this vacation we chose to stay out of town, and we enjoyed it immensely, but for future trips, we are really finding that we like staying in town, in walking distance of restaurants and stores, just a preference at this stage in life.
Things We are Glad We Did . . .
- We did research the area a bit and had one reservation (the airplane ride) and then a number of outings we knew we would like to enjoy. We did not have a set agenda, but always had options for things to do. And maybe next time we will get to go to Diver Ed’s Dive In Theater.
- We had a well-stocked restaurant bag. Before the trip I went to the Dollar Store, a place I now admire, and spent very little money on a number of new treats. Each time we went to a restaurant Cole would begin with coloring (something places normally supply) and then when he got a little restless, I brought out something new. He loved a Lightening McQueen puzzle, it became the go to item, but he enjoyed a number of other new surprises as well. I love the restaurant bag (it remains in our car at all times). It contains crayons and coloring books, books, and surprises as well as wipes.
- We are so glad we focused on the things that Andrew and I were most interested in doing . . . exploring Acadia, climbing up to Bubble Rock, exploring the island, walking the Shore path. Doing what we love brought joy to the vacation and Cole was not grumpy at all, he mirrored our joy.
- We treated each day as if it had plenty of hours, and if we wanted to stop somewhere, we stopped, and it so added to our vacation. We loved the zoo, the lighthouse, LL Bean, the fort and finding the observation tower on a bridge. They were highlights for us, and none of them were at our destination. Make the journey an adventure.
During Road Trip Week We . . .
What a wonderful Summer Adventure!
As we posted previously, we decided we would eat well as we vacationed in Maine. We continued on in that vain with the next 2 places we stopped to refuel.
When we vacation, we like to find places off the beaten path and avoid large crowds. So with that in mind, we headed off to the far side of the island to a little place Liza found on a local tourist map, the Claremont Hotel.
They have 2 restaurants, one of which was open for lunch so we sat down right on the ocean at the Boathouse and had one of our favorite meals of our vacation.
Cole was kept busy with an orange helicopter and a new static writing tablet.
After we ate our delicious food, we walked out to the dock and checked out the grounds of the hotel.
After this little adventure, we explored more of the island while Colton took a nap. As we meandered around the island, we slowly headed back to toward Jordan Pond. We had made a reservation at one of the most famous places in Bar Harbor for dinner, The Jordan Pond House Restaurant.
The location is unbelievable and we did arrive a little early so we could explore Jordan Pond before sitting down to dinner.
They are best known for their pop overs, which we ended up buying a second round of because they were so delicious!