Acadia Camping Trip 2018

Our camping trip to Acadia in 2016 was so successful and so much fun that the kids begged to go back again this year. We’ve fallen into a pattern of alternating between a house on a lake in Acton, Maine, and camping in Acadia National Park, although I don’t know if it we’ll keep doing that, just to try something new next year.

We headed out Monday morning, but not too early. I wanted to keep a somewhat relaxed pace so as not to be too stressed, yet get there in plenty of time to set up the camp site while it was still light. So starting at 9am gave us plenty of time for a couple of stops, including a lunch picnic at the Newcastle rest area between Wiscasset and Damariscotta, Maine. It was a beautiful place overlooking a saltwater estuary that also had a bunch of milkweed and thus Monarch butterflies and caterpillars.

Along the way, we listened to the audiobook of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, a children’s book set in 1930s England about two brothers and two sisters who spend a summer vacation, camping on an island in a lake with their sailboat, the Swallow. My kids have been raving about it and were so excited to share it with me. I have to admit I very much enjoyed it and it made the trip really fly by.

We got to the site at Smuggler’s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor in plenty of time and started setting but ran into some snags. First, my new camping cot would not fit in the tent, not if I wanted anyone else to fit in the tent with me.1 Then the air mattress that Melanie and I usually sleep on deflated with some kind of pinprick hole. So I set up my cot again outside the tent and I was going to sleep there for the night. Meanwhile, everything was blanketed in fog and mist and it dripped on me all night from the trees.
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Our Acadian Adventure

This summer for our vacation we decided to try camping again. The last time was three years ago, when Lucia was still a relatively newborn baby. That time we went with my mom and while we slept in a tent, we had her camper to move us about and act as a backup in case of inclement weather. We also stayed in Camden, Maine for a couple of nights.

This time we have our new van and we went further north to Acadia National Park. I’ve been to Acadia several times, but not in the last 15 years or so. Melanie had never been, although she and I stayed in Bar Harbor for one night on our honeymoon before catching the ferry to Nova Scotia.

Still Acadia has always stood out for me as the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited and I wanted to share that with Melanie and the kids.

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Our Camping Adventure Vacation

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Following up on my last post on our desire to create great memories connected to camping vacations for our kids, we went camping in Maine last week during our vacation. It was a bit of a roundabout journey, going up through the White Mountains of New Hampshire then across to Windham, Maine, in one day.

The kids wanted to see mountains for the first time and my mom lives in Windham. Staying in Windham one night, my mom came with us as we then traveled up to midcoast Maine, specifically to Camden and Rockport, two places that are indelibly part of who I am.

We stayed there for two nights, which were a bit tough for Ben and Anthony in particular. Anthony had the hardest time sleeping, in part I think because he was treated mercilessly by the mosquitos. Nevertheless everyone had a blast, even though we had to break camp in the rain as we woke up on our last morning and it was pouring. But by the time we got back to my mom’s house later that day, the sun was out again. We stayed there one more night and because it was Melanie’s birthday we went out to dinner. We came home the next day, on Saturday.

All in all, it was pretty successful. Here’s a video I made of our trip:

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Cappy's Chowder House, Camden

Foggy morning

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We stopped at the iconic Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, Maine, on our rainy morning

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Melanie’s birthday dinner at Macaroni Grill in Portland

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