We've been on vacation these last few weeks; first in Maine with Steve's family in a huge beach rental, and then in New York with my family at my parent's lake house. It's been a crazy few weeks filled with family and fun, inconsistent weather and mosquitoes, babies and pre-schoolers, tweens and teens, kayaks and arts and crafts projects, singing and dancing, campfires and homemade candy, cousins and snuggles, aunts and uncles, giggles and love.
The beach house was fabulous. Our family had the third floor all to ourselves with a queen sized bed, two bunk beds, our own bathroom with a large shower, and a separate bedroom with a television where the girls hung out during the evening. The house also had a large, brand new everything kitchen and dining room/living room area, a bathroom and two bedrooms on the ground floor, and four bedrooms, a living area and a bathroom with a washer and dryer on the second floor. It was lovely and we never could have afforded it if my sister-in-law had not paid for it a year in advance.
While in Maine we did all of the usual things: beach, Perkins Cove, beach, Brown's Ice Cream, beach, Nubble Light, beach, played lacrosse and frizbe on the beach, hunted for critters, played miniature golf, spent time in the batting cage, ate lobster, beach, beach, beach....
Steve's mother was there and his sisters JoAnn, Cindy and Donna, his brother and sister-in-law Bill and Tami, and his neice Brook and her family Jen and Melanie. Everyone was able to have their own space and yet we spent lots of time together doing common activities.
When we left Maine the girls and I rode to New York with my brother-in-law and his family and my father picked us up at their house and drove us to my parent's lake house, Camp Monsoon Rainforest, where we spent the next two weeks. Once there we were able to take deep breaths and completely relax, not having to move every second.
Camp Monsoon Rainforest was filled with cousins old and new.
Cousins my age from all over the country I haven't seen in years and was thrilled to get the chance to visit with, and brand new babies meeting their cousins for the first time. My girls loved hanging out with my sister's kids Drew and Ainsley, and snuggling my brother's new baby Colton Timothy.
It was a hectic couple of weeks with my brother and his little family there at the same time as me and my girls, but I think that is exactly the way my mother imagined it when they bought the place. Hectic is good. I hope.