The Joys of Vacation

We just arrived home tonight from vacation, and that sleepy, slightly sunburnt, and reminiscent mood has already settled in. Vacation was wonderful. Maine is an incredibly beautiful, peaceful place. There is just a slower pace of life there, and an awareness at all times of all the natural wonder around you. Here are a few of the simple joys of our vacation with family:

Our lovely cabin. It was much further in the woods than we expected, but it ended up being our favorite part of the stay. It was so peaceful. One morning I was awake before the others, and as I sat drinking a cup of coffee, I realized that I could hear absolutely nothing except the drip of the coffee machine. It was totally quiet - in a way that is rare in my everyday life. This cabin and location-right on the water, with a dock and a wide lake around us-made me appreciate how blissful quiet and doing nothing can feel. Our days were spent sleeping in, eating breakfast together, kayaking in the lake, walking through the woods, painting, eating, and just sitting outside as the sun set.

Delicious food! My brother is becoming an incredibly talented baker/cook. Below, his blueberry croustade, as well as lobster home-boiled and steamed with seaweed. Not my favorite, but such an experience!

Natural beauty. I just love Maine wildflowers and the coastal views. It is simply stunning. There were many points that we would stop and say, "Is this real? It looks just like a picture."

Family. Time spent with family, away from the normal, and with no limits on our schedule, was precious. We ate together, played games together, and laughed often. There were many moments when I felt incredibly blessed to be surrounded by this family. Below, my brother and sister, husband, and I, and then my husband and I at his alma mater, Gordon College in MA.

I don't know what exactly it is about vacation that makes it stand out so much from our everyday lives, but I'd guess it's not just one things, but rather many factors that we ascribe to the whole idea of vacation: freedom to enjoy time rather than watch it, the ability to sleep as long or as late as you'd like, the abnormalcy of your surroundings and routines, and the whole intention behind taking a vacation.

Coming home today was a sad but simultaneously wonderful feeling-the sense of a gentle loss, but also the welcome of a steady friend. Being home reminds us of how special vacation remains, how important the memories are, and the goals we have for how we spend our time.

The joys of vacation...countless.

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