Wednesday, October 8, 2008

campfires, crisp nights and chickens, oh my!

Hello All,
We had a wonderful weekend adventure to tell you about last weekend. We bought a pop up camper last year, thinking we would do so much camping, and what a wonderful time to spend as a family and the boys will get to experience nature, etc...this summer, with gas prices being what they are, and the price of everything else going up in general, we just didn't have the money to do as much camping as we'd like to do for sure. Music Man and I are campers from way back, so it's definitely a strong desire to get the boys out there in the woods.

But, this past weekend, we broke open the camper and took a well deserved retreat up to Freeport, Maine for a long weekend. Music Man found this wonderful campground online called Recompence. It is smack dab in the middle of a working farm, they raise Wolfe's Neck Farm beef. It is free range and organic and wonderful. I completely fell in love with the farm and the campground in general. You will not find freer ranged meat then this, the cows had endless acres to roam around on, happy, happy cows. We got to walk dirt roads while the kids rode their bikes to their heart's content, saw the most beautiful scenery, visited the animals at the farm, enjoyed endless Casco Bay views, and slept in the chill of Maine autumn nights. The boys got to eat as many s'mores as they wanted and we just had a lovely, restful time. Music Man has been working long hours to accomplish some new duties he's been given at work and it's been stressful, and we just thoroughly enjoyed so much time together as a family with no tv, no phone, no stress. We shopped at L.L. Bean's "flagship" store, though this was not in fact the boys favorite time the whole weekend and we didn't buy anything. They DO NOT like to shop if they can help it. And, since everyone but me was recovering from a cold, there was a little more whining then we'd have liked, but it was all in all a great trip.

There were so many highlights of the trip, but for me the two best involved fowl. When we took a walk to the farm the first day, we were greeted by 4 guinnea hens. They were amusing and followed us around the whole time. But, then, they continued to follow us as we went down to the washed out bridge to throw some rocks in the bay (a very favorite pasttime for my guys) and these silly birds followed us very intently, we ended up dubbing them "psycho guinnea hens" because they followed us until they were too scared to make the trip over the foot bridge at the bay. Then, they perched on the top railing of the side and watched us the whole time until we came back and then followed us back to the farm. They then left us to our own devices. You have to realize that the whole time they were making a crazy noise at us, very urgently. This was kind of funny to start with but then became annoying somewhat. Enough so that I asked Music Man, "do you think they are trying to tell us something? Like Lassie did? Maybe Timmy fell down the well or something?". It was amusing and caused me more then once to laugh fairly heartily.

The other favorite thing was some chickens that visited our campsite. Remembering this is a working farm, and these animals are free range, the chickens came to our site to check out the bug situation and peck and scratch about a bit. Well, Maestro just thought this was great fun to watch and followed these chickens around for a LONG time as they checked out our site and the ones adjoining ours (which were empty, we were the only ones in our area most of the trip) and the woods across the street. He really loved those chickens and I loved that he was getting a good education about them and such enjoyment and entertainment out of another living creature. We don't have any pets, and it makes me sad that they've not had that growing up. We've just not lived in the right situation for a dog yet, but when we do, we'll get one for them. At one point in my childhood, I helped a woman with her farm animals and in return got to keep my horse on their property for free. This was a wonderful education for me and I really wish the boys could have something similar.

We loved Freeport before we stayed there from our numerous trips into LL Bean before this. But, we became completely smitten when we realized that they have bike lanes, and sidewalks everywhere and quaintness that's lacking in Southern NH these days. There were lots of people walking, jogging (we saw Joan Benoit running on the side of the road!), and there are endless opportunities for kayaking and fishing just minutes from where ever you are in Freeport. We are totally smitten and want to find a way to move our lives there. Music Man and I have made it a newfound goal to get our lives there, we've been wanting Maine for a long time, but just couldn't figure out how to make it work and hadn't found the right community. We've done that now, so the adventure is on!

Now, we just have to wait for the housing market to agree with our decision so we don't lose too much on this joint!

Quaint villages and chickens at your campsite to you, ~Peacemom

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