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Christian

This Summer, We're Going to ... Maine!

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I get an extra week of vacation this year, since I'm now in the "fifth calendar year" with my employer. So we wanted to take a 2-week family vacation.

Sarah and I traveled through New England when we were dating, eight years ago, and we always wanted to return to Maine.

We considered camping near Rangely, Maine, but for two weeks, we decided camping was out. We looked in the Bar Harbor area, but many places are already booked for one of the two weeks we'll be in Maine (the final two weeks of August, ending the Saturday of Labor Day weekend). We checked only places that were less than $1,000 a week; we didn't want to spend more. But that really limited us!

We found ourselves focusing on the Downeast / Acadia, which, despite the name, looks to us as being quite a bit *north* in the state and only *east* secondarily. But I digress.

We liked the looks of a place called Lubec, but geez, that's the border of freakin' *Canada*! Anyway, the more we eliminated our options, the more we found ourselves looking toward that area. It'll be a brutal car trip -- two days, with the second day no doubt feeling endless, as we keep ... on ... driving ... to our ... destination.

And where might that be? Some place called East Machias! Looks lovely. We just booked it. The price is right.

The woman who took our reservation wanted to make sure we knew that there's NOTHING to do up there (the Web site points out several basic "things to do," but I think she wanted to disabuse us of any idea that we'd be in a shopping area, or right on a sandy beach, that sort of thing.

It looks kind of ... boring. And that's just the way I like my vacations. I shifted toward that way of thinking sometime after college, when I joined my parents at the beach and just spent time on the screened porch, reading and watching "East of Eden" on AMC for the first time in my life.

There won't be much "to do" at this place, but we'll take some day trips, we'll relax and read. It'll be ... great!

That's what I think. I'm not looking for someone to tell us we made a mistake. But maybe we did. It's a learning process, something we'll build on the next time we go to Maine. We're hoping to make this an annual or biannual event, if we like the state as much this time as last.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This sounds really exciting for you, but I wanna give you one warning:

End of August is a roll of the dice that far north when it comes to the weather. It can get a tad chilly from time to time that late in the season. One of the great things about summer in Maine is the endless sunshine (sun rises at 5 AM, sets at 10 PM). But in late August the length of the sunlight hours isn't as dramatic as it was back in June and July. And even a very rare frost can strike in late-August, especially if you're inland. So, the crummy part about late-August is you stand the possibility of losing all that groovy cool stuff (lengthy sunlight, mild weather, etc) you thought you were making that ridiculous journey for in the first place.

It's still peaceful. It's still almost perfectly bug-free. The air is still cleaner than an angel's ear. But if you suffer a Canadian cold snap all that week, you might as well have gone to the Poconos.

Unless you LIKE a nice good chill from time to time. If THAT's the case, have a blast!!

Edited by Plot Device

INT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

FATHER LORENZO

So now that you've told me all of this: why do you hold such a deep aversion to discussing angels?

PASTOR DAVID

Because I don't wanna get it WRONG! To stand up in front of my congregation--AND in front of God-- and screw it up! Do you hold much stock in that passage from James that says "We who teach will be judged more strictly"??

FATHER LORENZO

Yes... in fact .... I consider that one scripture to be an occupational hazard.

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Full disclosure: Never been to New England, let alone Maine. However, some experience with last minute reservations to hot spots comes to mind here.

Keep looking through websites and Maine travel sites. Then plan a few of those day trips for investigation purposes, particularly if you want this to be annual/biannual.

Then, get the jump on things with reservations for what you subsequently want early in the year. My inlaws have to do this for family reunions in hotspots in Iowa. Some places fill up within the first week of January. In fact, that would be an important question to ask at any place you might like. Other than that, what you have planned sounds like paradise, particulalry August chill. I envy that.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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We leave in one week. Tomorrow will be spent doing some prep -- mapping out a more specific route, and deciding if we want to line up a place to stay next Friday night, or just wing it and find a motel off the highway.

I'm surprised to discover that I don't have a stack of books ready to take with me. I'll grab "Prince Caspian," which I thought I'd already read, but haven't. And I've just put "Charlie Wilson's War" -- a book I took to the beach four years ago but never cracked -- on hold at the library. I'll probably also bring my collection of Joyce Carol Oates short stories -- good, creepy New England settings, right?

Should I bother to bring Delillo's "Underworld," which I bought a decade ago and have never tried to read? Yeah, maybe so. Can't hurt to have it. We'll bring "Don Quioxte" to read to each other (part of our ongoing experiment in reading aloud).

For audiobooks, we're four discs into Stephen Carter's New England White, which is OK so far. I've got McEwan's "Saturday" on hold again, although I really wanted to listen to "Atonement" a second time. Turns out that item's been recalled from the library system. Drat!

Nevertheless, I'm almost officially excited about the upcoming vacation. :)


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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So I put Delillo back on the shelf, added a Terry Teachout collection of criticism, and got hold of "Atonement" and "Saturday" on audio. We had to return "New England White" after listening to only 4 discs.

We're not bringing a computer, and I don't anticipate visiting any Internet cafes where we're going, so I probably won't post for another two-and-a-half weeks. Take care, everyone. I look forward to reading about everything I missed while I was away.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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