Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos
13th-century castle, El Puerto de Santa Maria. That WAS our house to the left and behind the tree!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Lobsters, blueberries, raspberries, and more lobsters!

Vale That! plays again..reunion tour.  With our first official fan and t-shirt!

When we first moved to Spain, I vowed to remain in Europe and not visit the States until we came home, whenever that would be.  My mom’s illness intervened, and so I doubled down when I returned, determined to make the most of the rest of our time here in Europe. 

Gorgeous Spanish sunset on the aircraft carrier, Spanish Navy Ball 2015.  Who would want to leave?

But three years turned into four, then five, and my family and friends back home started to think that we would never come back!  So I compromised, and we planned an all-relatives, memory-lane trip to the East Coast.  

Delighted to be back in the States

Suzi and Ethan have a summer home in Northport, Maine, my sister Simone would be in Maine for a week before her conference in NYC, Todd’s brother Mark and family are in Boston, my friends Steve and Laura in New Hampshire, and to top things off, Dan and Liz Hebert became Suzi and Ethan’s neighbors in Northport!

Brushing up on U.S. history

Besides, I love lobster.  And there was a new boat!  And it was summer in Maine…which is glorious.  And we could swing through Vermont, where Todd’s family used to own a cabin on a beaver pond.  And the Azores, our ancestral island home, would be easy to visit on the way back.

Now THAT'S delicious!

So off to the States we went for a month.  Steve and Laura, along with their boys Isaiah and Abe, welcomed us in and took us to ice cream and swimming in the Merrimac river.  No wonder Laura never leaves New Hampshire in the summer!

With my favorite radio voice Laura

Next stop, Maine, where I celebrated my 52nd birthday by chowing down not one but two lobsters plus an extra tail!  

52 and holding up fairly well...
A birthday present for Aunt Steph!

We went tubing and waterskiing, launched off a rope swing, picked blueberries, jumped off the dock, went crabbing, and in general enjoyed a good old-fashioned summer.  

Lots of cousins to motor around with
Todd tears it up on the Penobscot

Clamming for Griffin's birthday dinner

I woke most mornings before the sunrise and slipped out into the mirror-like Pensobscot Bay in a kayak for an hour, watching the sun rise and marveling at the beauty before snuggling back in bed for another hour’s sleep.

It's gorgeous out here!

Summer is fleeting

We next went to Boston via an overnight trip to Vermont, where we found Todd’s cabin. Lucky for us, the renter there was lovely and invited us into the cabin, where we found the fish pictures drawn by Todd’s family still visible on the walls of the cabin!

Cabin built cerca 1880

No more screened-in porch

But the beaver pond looks just the same!
Inside is simple and homey

Evidence of past big fish stories here!

Mark's masterpiece from 1986...a "large-mouthed perch with springloaded intelligence."  Hmmmm.

Next stop:  Cousin Central.  Mark and Bridget have five kids, all blonde and blue-eyed, and with Tia and Sasha added into the mix, there were a BUNCH of Swedish-looking offspring!!  Everyone had a great time swimming, playing, watching hockey, and dressing up.  Todd was able to spend some quality time with his mom, Linda, and everyone enjoyed being together. 

Oh my god, we DO look like twins!

Germanic genes rule

Reverse dress-up

So after this extensive family vacation, we were ready to search for our roots and launch into our next adventure:  To the Azores!

A passel of kids

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