NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reflections on Acadia

I was thinking about our new blog and decided a "retrospective" was in order. I started looking back through our family scrapbooks and was a little surprised to realize that our serious traveling really only began a few years ago. We talked about traveling often, but the reality was that we were raising and homeschooling two young children and didn't have a lot of money left over for trips. And truthfully, we were too busy being involved in local Girl Scouts, 4-H and figure skating lessons...and we even experimented with 3 different musical instruments, karate and fencing! We went on so many interesting field trips throughout rural Wisconsin and into Chicago and Milwaukee related to our homeschool studies on top of exploring our community. Our family vacations had us seeking out just about every nook and cranny of Wisconsin and we loved every minute of all of it. As the kids came near the end of their education we started being able to take other trips...with and without them!

Our first really big trip was in 2001 when we drove all the way to Newfoundland to visit relatives. We drove straight through on the way there (TOTAL MADNESS!) but took our time on the way back. Our big highlight was our stay in Maine at Acadia National Park. It was this experience that led Wayne and I to our current love of the U.S. National Parks System. Because we were younger (and poorer!) we camped in a tent and one of my biggest memories was of being nervous about black bears coming upon us while we were sleeping!

We loved going to the outdoor auditorium at night and listening to the Ranger talk about everything the park had to offer, and the lichens on top of Cadillac Mountain were pretty neat too!

The best part of our stay was taking part in a Ranger-led hike called "Life Between the Tides". We hiked a 1.5 mile loop that went through a couple of different tidal habitats and spent a lot of time crouched down in mud flats and tidal pools seeking out the hidden creatures.

We learned about periwinkles, limpets, barnacles, crabs, scuds, clams, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, starfish and so much more from our Ranger. Our son developed a life-long love of marine biology and we all had a fantastic time.

Wayne and I can't wait to get back there some day and see what we missed because we know we barely scratched the surface at what is one of best national parks this nation has to offer!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Okay, so we're not technically nomadic...yet!

I had to come up with a name for the blog on the spot, and so this is what I came up with on short notice. I thought it was quite a bit more charming than Nomadic Wannabe! As those of you who know us well are aware, we plan to retire early in about 5 years and hit the road in our fifth wheel RV as full-timers. I can't speak for my husband, Wayne, but this is just about all I think about anymore. If my brain is not working on a specific task, it is working on the splendors we will behold when we finally break out past the confines of our current 15 hr driving limit for our yearly vacation. We have a few short trips planned this year. We've already gone to South Dakota and we'll be going to Blue Mound State Park in Wisconsin in July. At the end of August we head out to Munising, Michigan to explore the Upper Penninsula in more depth, and in October we're going to hopefully catch the fall color at Pike's Peak in Iowa. In 2012 we have a 3 week long trip planned to North Carolina. I hear the mosquitoes and other biting insects are not a problem in the Great Smoky Mountains in the spring, and I can't wait to see all the mountain wildflowers and baby animals! I'll add posts as we travel around and as I get pertinent information about the nomadic lifestyle that these two transplanted Newfies are looking forward to!