But lo and behold, the weather in Maine smiled upon our family that week and we had almost non-stop sunshine.
Todd's parent's were kind enough to lend us their boat for our vacation, and then they joined us part way through the week for swimming, fishing, playing board games, and general relaxation.
The cottage included just enough beds for everyone, a lovely screened-in porch, and a small dock which was the launch place for all the great floaties, kayaks, and of course, the boat.
We took the boat out each day for fishing, and the lake was small enough that one or two of us could kayak to whatever fishing spot seemed to be the favorite on a given day.
The fishing was - in a word - great. As my father-in-law so eloquently put it, "Some days you fish and other days you catch." This entire week was a catching week. They caught multiple large mouth bass that were well over 4 pounds.
And as you can see here, my daughters fished, too. Understand that I grew up fishing in Colorado. Trout fishing in the mountain streams. When I was very small, I used to name every fish I caught - even if it was going to be eaten. Somehow, I was ok with it. When I was 14, I caught a 5.5 pound, 21 inch rainbow trout which my dad saved and took to a taxidermist. I still have that fish.
But I've turned into a bit of a lightweight where fishing is concerned, especially since Todd doesn't fish for food; just for sport. He is very careful with the fish and always throws them back (or rather, gently puts them back) but to me, what he does is simply snagging their lips for sport, which I don't get.
Still, in spite of my squeamishness, I do get caught up in the thrill of the catch, and I was snapping photos right and left.
The lake water hovered around 76 degrees each day, which, combined with air temps of around 80, was PERFECT. I think in my next life I want to be a water bird. A loon maybe.
Here are Grandma and Grandpa Estes. And no, Grandpa isn't anti-social (well, not TOO much). He is the old man and the sea. He takes his fishing VERY seriously. If you don't believe me, just ask him - but I know you're too scared.
Grandma, on the other hand, could be seen catching fish, kayaking, and that's her above, floating on the lake on the airbed next to the dock.
The wildlife at the lake was abundant, especially the birds. We enjoyed watching a family of bald eagles whose young had left the nest but were still following mom and dad around, crying about everything. You know, like college students. :)
We also saw the ospreys (which inhabited the nest shown below) take on a great blue heron. The heron mistakenly (and unknowingly) flew too close to the nest and an in-flight battle reminiscent of the red barons ensued. I'm happy to report that no birds were hurt in the display, but I'm sure the heron will steer clear of that area for a while.
To me, the best part of the vacation was something my son brought along. He brought his satellite radio and we found that there is an all-1940s station. We set up the radio on the screened porch, and turned it up loud enough so we could hear it down on the dock.
Let me tell you, being at a lake like this in Maine is a step back in time as it is, what with the nearby small towns, the quiet, the simple lifestyles, not to mention the rustic cottages, most of which have neither phone nor internet, and many of which use only lake water. But adding that lovely music to the mix just completed the magic. As we swam, we heard Bing Crosby crooning. As we sunned on the dock, we could hear Louis Armstrong singing and saxophones playing. As we played board games at night in the soft lamplight, we listened to Doris Day.
Just imagine the following song (as an example - but not with the home-made and misspelled video) with those amazing views across the lake...
I highly recommend this as a summer vacation. There is no way you can NOT relax.
Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes