The First Day of 31

EK4A9566a I woke up to Geoff kissing me, and telling me breakfast was ready. Kids were already downstairs. I smelled bacon, and he was making us blueberry waffles in the new waffle iron, which was my gift! (I really wanted a waffle iron and left a note to myself to shop for one, but he found my note before I could google anything.) He's great with surprises.

He wouldn't tell me my big surprise until the day of. Finally, he revealed it. "Your surprise is...we're going to drive. Just drive. And we are going to stop wherever you want to." I was thrilled! Luckily, he chose a general direction that had a good end point, but no time frame for getting there or back. No pressure. Just a day to spend with my family, frolicking through the countryside, stopping to explore, and ending at the ocean.

It was rainy and overcast. We still haven't had a full day I'd describe as warm, though some parts of some days have been kind of warm in between rain showers. Green is beginning, though, and quickly! Two weeks ago, no grass. This day, grass about 6 inches long in central Maine and almost a foot near the coast. Boom! Spring-splosion!

Our first stop was at a beautiful stream Geoff spotted tucked away but easy to access.

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Our next stop was Belfast! We ate lunch. There was a popcorn machine right next to our table, and G ate lunch in a real restaurant chair instead of a high chair for the first time.

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It was an exciting meal.

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She also tried her very first lime.

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And lemon.

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The restaurant had pool tables right by the bathrooms, including a bucket o' balls right at toddler height. What luck!

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We did a little shopping.

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Maine videographer

We visited an art gallery!

Maine videographer

waterville maine photographer

And we had to bottle some seawater for Geoff's new experiments.

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I love watching them get lost in their own little world.

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And when they include me, too, washing me inevitably in like the waves.

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And back out again...

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After all this, they were exhausted and fell asleep for the whole ride home, which was really too bad, because the sun finally peeped through the thick fog, making for amazing photography conditions. And 70 degree weather!

It was wonderful and surprising, though slightly frustrating all at once. The thing about exploring a place for the first time is that you don't know what's worth pulling over for. Will there be something better, or is this really it? I lean toward This is It.

If you're happy and you know it, stop right there.

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That's the thing about beauty - you have to recognize it in its element, in its moment, and appreciate it then and there as it is, without comparison. It reaches up and grabs you, and sometimes before you will say, Yes, you *are* beautiful, it is gone. This tragedy happens when we are always wondering what's better around the bend.

The answer is: nothing.

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So go places, pull over, get out and be in it. It really is worth it, there really won't be another time just like this one, or another person like you. This is your day!