Living in New England it’s hard to go a few months without visiting another state, so different than the life I had growing up in the long state of California! We visit Maine, probably at least three times a year, if not more. Every season it has something different to offer and it’s gorgeous in all of them, so it never feels like something we can cross off of our “to visit” list. This June we went up all the way to St. Agatha, Maine, my husband’s hometown. It was just gorgeous with all of the lupines in bloom, and if I were to only ever go back to northern Maine once a year, it would have to always be June. You wouldn’t believe how magical it was to happen upon fields of lupines and just walk amongst them in the wild. It was actually my first time ever seeing a lupine in person, or that I know of, and they’re extraordinarily different than any other flower I’ve ever seen.
We drove up in one very long day, and honestly, 8 hours turned to 13 and it was just so uncomfortable for all of the kids. We always say we need to break the drive in two different days, and I think from now on that’s how we will do it.
We don’t do electronic devices for our kids unless they’re on an airplane, so we have three options for road trips. Music, audiobooks or talking and telling stories. We have so much fun listening to stories aloud.
Once there we had a lovely visit with Sam’s mom and some of his Aunts and Uncles. This is family that we never see unless we make it all the way up there, so it was special having the kids around them. And it was the first time the boys could really grasp that the tiny town is where their daddy grew up. He took them to the lake he grew up on and the restaurant where he had his first job, and they visited their grandfather’s gravesite two different times.
We had to break up the drive home because none of us were ready for a horribly long day of travel that soon after, so we stopped in our favorite little place, Bar Harbor and stayed for a couple nights. It wasn’t planned and that last minute decision was such a good one for us. It gave us a chance to slow down after several days of busy visiting and just let us soak each other in. That’s our favorite part of traveling together, but sometimes with a busy itinerary, you can miss the opportunity. So, I think that scheduling a day of downtime for every 5 days of busy activities is the way to do it! Even if you lounge for hours in a hotel room, it is so much different than lounging for hours at home. Maybe because you know that housekeeping will pick up the mess? 😉
We actually made Portland a designated first stop on our original road trip day and then we had to go back on our way home for more doughnuts. The Holy Donut is by far our favorite doughnut shop, it’s such a shame we don’t live closer to it! But also, upon our first stop into Portland, we happened to park right outside a little children’s boutique, and it just lit something inside all of us. I have talked about wanting to own a little brick and mortar toy shop for years! And this place was as dreamy as can be, reminiscent of some of the adorable children shops that we wander through during travels abroad. The kids were elated to find a place filled with all of the types of toys that we have at our own home. So, as the children wandered about picking out a tiny souvenir (temporary tattoos, their first!) little dreams were running about in their own heads. It’s pretty special when you see your kids start thinking about dreams of their own; Liam, our oldest, has talked about owning a toy shop for about three years and he’s even taken woodworking classes because he dreams of being able to make toys of his own one day. Anyway, we all pile back into the car and we start talking about what a dream it would be to have our own cute toy store and I instantly start thinking about how to decorate and ways to add wallpaper into the space 😉 and for the first time ever, Sam was like I can see this happening for us.
All that to say, we can’t afford to rent a brick and mortar here in Boston, so we are not opening up our own boutique anytime soon. BUT, we are starting it online for now and will hopefully see this dream realized and one day create an actual space with walls, a home for all of the curated brands that we have stumbled upon during our travels and my many hours of online window shopping. It’s 100% a family project, the boys themselves have handpicked every toy in the shop and we love that we are getting the chance to teach them so many things through this venture. Finding a dream and working hard to make it happen, all the lessons that we will learn together through this little shop will hopefully help build them up in a way to be business minded and creative, all at the same time. You can find the little shop here lindenbee.com.
Our main hope for our little life here is to become full-time travelers and we hope that by having linden bee, we will be able to make that happen quicker for us.
So, parking outside the little boutique that lit a fire in our minds and stirred open a dream in our hearts, was that by chance? I don’t think so.
One little trip that changed the course of our lives forever. But don’t they all?
Traveling is magic, it breathes new life into every bone of your body. And you never know what kind of dreams you’ll pick up along the way.
The holy donut You must stop in here if you’re traveling through Portland, Maine.
Boutique little The little shop that helped start it all.