Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Maine with the Smogans

After three weeks in Virginia and Maryland, we knew it was time to head north and start transitioning to our new life in Groton, CT.  Our VW Golf arrived in Baltimore while we were in DC, so we picked it up before making the trek up to CT.

Finn is a wonderful baby and is pretty easy going for the most part.  One thing he does NOT like, though, is riding in the car, especially when no one is in the back seat to distract him.  The thought of driving six hours with him in the car was enough to make me want to cry, but I knew it had to be done. I figured he would cry/scream for a while before he realized it was pointless and just suck it up, but that never happened.  We started out with me and Finn in the CRV and Mike in the Golf, with the intention of switching halfway, but I quickly learned how to adapt and just drown out the crying.  Is that bad?  Whatever.  I figured I had already gotten used to this type of travel, that I shouldn't put it on Mike and just deal with it.  Plus, driving the new car is so much better than the old Golf ;) 

Anyways, we made it to Connecticut and our friends Matt and Katy (and their daughter Addie) had a bottle of wine waiting for me.  We couldn't get into our house until the day after Labor Day, so Matt and Katy were so generous and offered to let us stay with them for the week.   This gave us a chance to run some errands and get things in order before Mike started school.  

It also allowed us to spend Labor Day in Maine!  Mike can't really take time off over the next six months, except for holidays, so we knew we wanted to use Labor Day to explore some of New England. Matt and Katy had been planning to travel somewhere as well since Matt had a four day weekend, so we all packed up our cars and headed north to Portland for the long weekend. 

We had an awesome AirBnb that made traveling with two babies (Addie is 15 months and Finn is 4.5 months) and a dog so much easier.  It was a two story, two bathroom house, which a large kitchen and living room and a yard.  I think we'll be staying in more places like this for our future travels!  

Mike, Finn and I arrived in Portland mid-afternoon on Friday and stopped at a local brewery before grabbing dinner in town and heading to our AirBnb.  Addie, Beau, Matt and Katy arrived around ten, so we hung out for a bit before calling it a night.

The next morning, we had a reservation for a lobster catch boat ride that left from downtown. On the dock in front of our boat, there was a little piece of the Berlin wall!! How funny!  It's like they knew we had just come from there!


We were early, so it gave us some time to take in the scenery on the dock and let Addie run around before boarding the boat. And who am I kidding, take tons of pictures while we wait!



My guys


 We got on the boat and they had a photographer there to take everyone's picture with a live lobster.  I kind of wish we had bought the picture because Finn legit reached out and grabbed his claw. I'm pretty sure he would have tried to put it in his mouth if we hadn't stopped him.  What a guy...

We took our own pictures instead of overpaying for the professional one.  I'm sure that would have turned out better, but oh well. These will have to do





Our favorite California family!  If only the sun wasn't in Matt's eyes...

It wasn't long before we were catching lobsters.  Well, by we I mean the captain, but we were there to watch, so it kind of counts.  He was great at explaining which lobsters to keep and which ones to throw back. I think we kept about half of the lobsters that we caught, while the others had to go back because they were too small or a female breeder.  Anyone who was on board for the boat ride had the opportunity to buy one of the lobsters and take it to a restaurant to be cooked.  We didn't do that, but I think it's such a cool opportunity!








Someone likes the boat ride!


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The "We're submariners.  Leave the boating to us." face.

Mike helping put bands on the claws!






 Eventually both Addie and Finn fell asleep.  I don't blame them.  The rocking of the boat and the cool breeze could put almost anyone to sleep!!

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After the boat ride was over, we walked around Portland for a bit before heading back for nap time.  Portland is a cute little town with lots of fun little shops, but there isn't a TON to see,  so it was the perfect size for an afternoon.

Sunday's forecast showed rain in the afternoon, so we knew we had to get up and out of the house early if we wanted any chance of doing something and staying dry. There is a lighthouse near our AirBnB that had a park and food trucks selling lobster rolls, so it was the perfect place for us!  We could even bring Beau!
















We hung out at the park for a while afterwards so Addie and Beau could run around and so that we could all get some fresh air before the rain came.  Finn enjoyed a little photo shoot as well.

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There was a famous food truck nearby selling lobster rolls and we obviously couldn't pass up the opportunity!! While we all agreed that we would have preferred our lobster rolls to be warm since it was chilly outside, they were absolutely delicious!  Fresh lobster is hard to resist!



We headed back to our AirBnb and spent a rainy afternoon hanging around the house.  Katy and I went to Trader Joe's and bought maple syrup cookies.  We then went home and the four of us ate all of the maple syrup cookies. :D #sorrynotsorry.  We ended our weekend with clam chowder for dinner and a happy end to summer!!

Girlfriend opted for the spaghetti over the chowder and clearly enjoyed herself :D

We headed back on Monday morning and reluctantly got ready to enter the real world. Mike had his first day of school and I was going to get things in order so we could move into our house.  We have definitely had a memorable summer (and two years!), but I think, in a way, we are all ready for this new chapter of the Hogan history.