The Palumbos had a great vacation week! We had a lot of quality time as a family and finished the week off with a trip to the coast. Andrew and I used to make last minute travel plans all the time before we were parents. Day trips and overnights were part of our regular routine. Without a plan, we would throw on our shoes and leave for the day. Now a trip to the Target an hour away requires careful planning and packing meals and snacks for our girl. We felt really spontaneous when we booked a hotel room in York, Maine a week in advance. How life has changed…
Our first stop was Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH. It’s right on the coast, so it has ocean beaches, trails, and even a marine Science Center. We thought it would be the perfect place to spend the hours before we could check into our hotel. Unfortunately, we arrived in the middle of a heat wave and right at nap time. We did not have a cooperative toddler. She was hot, she didn’t want to eat, and she suddenly started repeating the phrase “Cece scared,” which lead to Dada carrying her for most of our trip.
“Cece scared.” We have no idea where she learned this, but she knows what it means, and she means it when she says it. Her fear didn’t stop her from touching a starfish, sea urchin, and crab at the Science Center or from collecting some rocks on the shore line. The mini trip was a success, even if Mama couldn’t take the heat and walk all the way to the historical ruins she wanted to see. We think a trip this fall is a good idea!
Next stop: York, Maine! Andrew grew up vacationing in York and we went once while we were dating. We were super excited to introduce Cece to the ocean, wide sandy beaches, and everything else a coastal environment has to offer. The smells, the sounds, the sights… all new! Seeing Cece experience things for the first time is my absolute favorite thing about being a mother. Her wonder and awe is so magical. Seeing the world through her fresh eyes is incredible.
Our hotel was right on the beach. We had a view of the ocean and just had to open the door and walk a few steps to be on the sand. It was the perfect place to vacation with a toddler! Good find, Dada!
Cece was excited about everything. The hotel room didn’t have a couch, but it had a bed that she quickly discovered was perfect for jumping. There was green grass and a sandy beach right outside her window. This, I’m convinced, is her version of heaven. After wrestling her into her swimsuit and getting her sunscreen on, we spent the afternoon on the beach.
Cece loved the water and is a “fish” just like her Daddy. She wasn’t fearful of the waves and ran right into them without hesitation. My girl! Can you tell I’m proud of almost everything she does?
The next morning we were all up before sunrise (like every morning) and we took a long walk on the beach. It was the perfect time to find sea shells.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room and were back on the beach and in the water and sand in no time. This would be our last trip to the beach before we had to go home. Our mini vaca was over too quickly, but we definitely made it count! Cece and Dada built a big “swimming pool” in the wet sand to get Cece out of the waves for a little while and spent a lot of time playing with her new sand toys. It was my favorite day in long time and we all felt like we earned Cece’s nap for the ride home.
Cece took a long bubble bath when we got home. With bubbles up to her chin, she said “Thank you so much!”
I asked: “What are you thankful for?”
Cece: “So much.”
Me too, babygirl.
I’m not sure if she totally knew what she was saying, but it was the perfect conversation to end the day on. She has to power to turn me into a puddle of mush like no one else.
This morning we went to Squam Lakes Science Center for a program they were offering for children 3 and under called Discover Your World. Today’s theme was the forest and we learned (or were supposed to learn, but Cece had other ideas) all about forest animals and a bit about forest vegetation. We went exploring for specific trees, apples, acorns, and even CREATURES.
I was feeling like a bit of failure when every parent had found a frog, salamander, bug, or slug and we hadn’t even found a worm. Every rock and wet log we turned over had nothing underneath. Finally I found a daddy long leg spider, but his legs were too long to safely put him in our creature box. We were ready to move onto the next activity, an owl viewing, when Cece and I found our treasure : a Red Eft Salamander. The class had been looking for one, and we found a juvenile among some pine needles. Score! Cece was proud of our find and happily (surprisingly) shared it with her friends.
Cece has been regularly saying “thank you” this week and announcing “we’re home!” every time our car stops anywhere (or just out of the blue at dinnertime…). I guess it’s true what they say “home is where the heart is,” and this week our little family had a lot of fun everywhere we went!