Objects in Motion Will Stay in Motion-- The Moxie Crew Does Maine

 The entrance road to magical Lake Moxie, the place that inspired it all.  Here's Hud on a  super special flyfishing trip ...

 The entrance road to magical Lake Moxie, the place that inspired it all. 
Here's Hud on a  super special flyfishing trip at Nahmakanta Camps near Baxter State Park, a treat provided by his best fishing partner, his Grampie Julia.

Didn't you know? The fish bite better when your tongue's out!

Day's Store in Belgrade Lakes Village is tiny grocery and variety store that sells everything you could possibly ever ask for, including the BEST Whoopie Pies in Maine (and we know this for a fact because we've tasted them all).

Travis' dad Jim lives on what we consider to be the most beautiful lake in Maine, Great Pond in Belgrade.  We've been staying with him, and have treasured every minute in this incredible place.  

Sunrise on Great Pond

Trav had been talking about buying a Sunfish for like, EVER.  So when he found this one on Craig's List for a screaming deal, he couldn't pass it up.  The kids named her Sparklemuffin (after a character in a play I wrote) and they have been having such a blast zooming around the lake with her, heeling like champs and taking turns at the helm.  Another reason I love sailing-- the AUTONOMY and INDEPENDENCE it provides our children.  When Hud returns from a solo sail on his little boat, he feels absolutely empowered and triumphant. 

Red's Eats in Wiscasset  claims to serve the best lobster rolls in the state and always has a HUGE line.  We took the plunge and waited in it...

...for two hours and twenty minutes! As for the lobster rolls...let's just say, we were not blown away. 

Cute little farm stands abound in Maine and we can't help stopping.  Here's Trav's dad Jim scooping up some yummy cherries.


Welcome to our obsession: HELLO, GOOD PIE!  This little bakery and gourmet kitchen in Belgrade has the best, well, EVERYTHNG.  If we don't go every single day we feel cheated.

One of the reasons we love being in Maine is that we have such amazing friends here.  Among them are the Labrecque siblings that we grew up with and love dearly- John, Jimmy and Sue.  They (along with their families) always invite us to spend a day with them at their wonderful camp on North Pond.  They have a HUGE extended family (seriously, the biggest family you've ever seen) and it's SO much fun to join in their fun (and eat their yummy food and hang out and laugh with them all day!!!) This year, Hud and Viv got to take part in their Pirate Party.  (Clearly, Viv was not into it one bit)

The hearty gang of swashbucklers successfully plundered and pillaged!

Veggie Italians!  Did you know that Italian sandwiches were actually invented in Maine (not Italy as the name suggests).  You can order them in every little corner store and grocery in the state.  Most people opt for the meaty versions, but this veggie crew likes 'em with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pickles, American cheese (you have to get American or its not a real Italian- go figure), salt, pepper, and oil.
While Hud spent some quality grandparent time, we took Viv on a camping adventure!  We loaded up the kayaks and took the ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro...

...then kayaked (with all of our camping gear) across the choppy bay to the tiny and idyllic Warren Island State Park.

For three days we paddled, explored, and relaxed.  It was totally dreamy.

We love to read out loud as a family! Here I am, reading the classic "The Great Brain" aloud by the campfire

Crab races! Viv  got in on the action with some other camping kids she met who were fishing (with hot dog bait) off the dock.  They dumped out their catch and the race was on-- whichever crab made it back into the water first was the winner.

This year in Boatschooling, Viv studied Art History and was fascinated by the life and art of Frida Kahlo.  When she told us she wanted her birthday party theme to be Frida, were extremely excited for several reasons. For one, we were impressed by her creative, sophisticated, feminist choice.  Secondly, because it gave us the excuse to throw a big theme party in a Mexican restaurant!  Here's Viv, receiving the classic Frida unibrow.

Frida and her some of her amigos (Hud and their sweet cousin, Ryan)

Viv and Trav's adorable Mom, Ginger

When you have just turned EIGHT YEARS OLD, it's time to show off a little by standing up on your knee board.

When our family picks fruit, we don't mess around.  We came home with FIFTEEN POUNDS of  berries.  I blame Trav for this.  When we pick anything, he becomes obsessive and crazed.  If you don't believe me, just wait for peach season.  

Strawberry picking with Grampie!

GIANT LOBSTER ATTACK! (Taste of Maine restaurant in Bath)

Growing up, I always loved to visit this larger-than -life, masterful wood sculpture by Bernard Langlais in Skowhegan, Maine.  (He actually kind of scared me but I loved that feeling)
When my brother and sister and I were children, my parents bought a caboose from the Maine Central Railroad and installed it in our backyard as a playhouse. (Ummmm, can you say, "LUCKIEST KIDS IN THE WORLD?")  

Jen's parents, Allan and Maryann Nyman, lovebirds on their back porch.  Seriously, how cute are these two?!?

Here is Travis, standing in front of his very favorite place on earth: his family's camp on Lake Moxie in Maine.  This camp was built by his maternal grandfather, Louis Franck, and was the happy place of Trav's childhood, setting him up for a life-long passion for the outdoors.  There is no electricity there, no indoor plumbing, just lots and lots of wonder, adventure, and a magical quality that's hard to describe.  When it was time to give our boat a name and also give our family's travel adventures a fitting moniker, there was no other choice...we are MOXIE.  
Look closely.  See the MOOSE?

On Viv's birthday, Trav asked her what her goals were as an 8 year old.  One of them was to build a tree house! So the two of them went out and bought Viv her very own set of tools (with which she is completely OBSESSED), and when we went to camp Moxie, the construction began.


Tree house crew at work!


My sweet hubs

The one thing you can be sure of in life is that it is entirely, utterly, constantly (and therefore predictably) UNPREDICTABLE.  This is true for the sailing life and all other walks of life in between, and what we've learned in these two years of traveling is that the more flexible and go-with-the-flow-ish you can be, the happier you'll stay. 

The last time I posted on our blog, the plan was for the kids and I to fly to New England and Trav was prepping to cross the Atlantic from the Caribbean to Rhode Island with a sailing crew.  Trav was all set with a committed and enthusiastic crew, and although I had serious trepidation about him making the crossing without us (our gang sticks together and we hate to be separated) we were full steam ahead.

A few days after solidifying this plan, we received some terrible news: Travis' dad's wife Sandy had lost her battle with cancer.  This loss was an awful blow, particularly for Trav's dad Jim; he and Sandy had been very happily married for 14 years.  We needed to get to Maine as fast as possible, but before we could fly out, we needed to get Moxie to Grenada, an island that is considered safely out of the hurricane zone (knock on wood). So we sailed like bats out of hell, found a mooring for our boat, and with the help of our AMAZING friends on S/V Drakkar (we would be nothing without our sailing friends), we managed to get Moxie buckled up for the off season and hopped on a plane to Maine in time to make it to Sandy's memorial services. Two weeks after Sandy's passing, Trav's beloved paternal Grandmother, Lilla Julia, also passed away.  This has been an unbelievable time of loss in the Julia family.

With so much hurt and stress in his family, we decided that this was not the time for Trav to cross the Atlantic.  Instead, we decided that we'd leave Moxie in Grenada (where we will later return) and stay right here in Maine through mid-September, spending time with our wonderful families and friends, and trying our best to support Jim in his time of terrible grief. This feels right to us, and we are glad and fortunate to be here.

Since we've been in Maine, WE HAVE NOT STOPPED.  (Thus, the title of this blog post).  Our days have been jam-packed full of lots and lots of outings with family, sightseeing in beautiful places, adventures in the water, filling our hearts and filling our stomachs.  Oh yes...WE EAT A LOT.  If you've spent any time in Maine, you know that the very best food in the world is grown, cooked, baked and chowdered here.  Eating in Maine is serious business (and the proof of this can be seen in the tightness of our clothing).

And then there's MOXIE.  Lake Moxie, I mean.  It's so hard to describe how special that place is.  It's more than a lake, more than a wilderness.  It know it sounds super new age-y of me to say this, but Moxie possesses a healing and mystical vibrancy that permeates every cell of your being.  If you could be there for any length of time, you would understand why we named our boat (and our life-adventures in general) after this place.  It's a place you want to take with you wherever you go.

One more thing about Maine....as you probably know, Travis and I grew up here.  By the time I reached high school, I couldn't wait to leave-- this was mostly due to having had a truly miserable high school experience, but also because my perpetual wanderlust had begun to set in.  I wanted to shake the dust of Maine and see the world, live in cities, never eat lobster again.  Trav and I began our lives as serial movers and travelers during those years, schooling and/or living in Vermont, Seattle, Victoria BC, Taos NM, and eventually settling in Telluride.  We would always make our annual pilgrimage to Maine and cherished time with our families, but I never felt like this was a place I would ever want to spend more than a few weeks.  I feel differently now. Twenty-six years after moving away from it, I've realized that this place has sweetly, stubbornly, permanently rooted in my heart. Little by little, the inescapable charms of Maine, it's wild beauty and abundant quirkiness have started to make more sense to me.  I get it now.  Maine is really, really great.  This is what all the fuss is about.  Why did it take me so long to see it? 

Thanks for following along with us.  We appreciate you. xo

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6 comments

  1. Lovely, sincere post, as always. You and yours, warm the cockles of my heart! Looking forward to many more family hours with you in Maine!!!! Much love!

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    1. We all love you Mom! You are a part of what makes Maine most special. xoxo Jen

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  2. Hey, did you notice the relationship between yesterday's lessons and your interesting blog title???? (Objects in motion... LOVE it!)

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    1. I KNOW! You totally inspired the title. (You and Sir Isaac Newton). :)

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  3. Jen I absolutely love your blogs and seeing all the fantastic places you see. You also make me cry with your openness and honest spirit. So glad you are enjoying Maine for more than a few weeks 👍🏻 Look forward to seeing you all soon ❤️

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