maine & one other little thing.

The past few weeks have been brimming with new experiences.

Exhibit 1:

The rocky Maine coast on an unbelievably cool August day. Really–I did not know August days could require a jacket. It was dreamy.

Exhibit 2:

Old seaside towns with harbors full of sailboats. The differences between towns along the Atlantic ocean in the northern part of the country and the ones in the south are striking. It feels like you could not possibly be gazing out at the same body of water that you frolic in off the Florida coast.

Exhibit 3:

Summiting Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Exhausting and beautiful.

Exhibit 4:

Oh, that? Well, yes, that is a tiny human growing in my uterus. Surprise!









travel prep.

This is what it looks like when I pack for two people to go on a 10-day vacation.

Organized chaos. I should admit: I actually enjoy packing for trips. What I do not enjoy is the requisite pre-trip visit to CVS that always, always leads me to spending a ridiculous amount of money on things I “need” for the trip. What is it about traveling that does that?

We are flying to Portland, Maine tomorrow with my parents, picking up an RV, and touring the coast. I am equally thrilled about the lobster and the perfect weather. It has been a brutally hot summer here in the south, so I am excited for comfortable days, chilly nights, and the ocean breeze.

Here is my reading list for the flights and lazy days:

{1}Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller. Really excited to read this because of both the topic and the author.
{2}  Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy by Jonni McCoy. I am seriously trying to be frugal. I need help.
{3} Humility: True Greatness by CJ Mahaney. I’m about halfway through this and loving it. He has a gift for discussing Scripture in a deeply moving, highly applicable way.

No fiction, surprisingly, but I’ve been a non-fiction kick lately.

Many pictures of the gorgeous Northeast coast to come!

key west.

Yesterday, we needed more activity in our lives, so we headed down to Key West. My primary concern was going to the Hemingway Home & Museum, and I truthfully was not sure how much I would enjoy the rest of the island. Key West, of course, has a raunchy, party reputation, and that is not my idea of a vacation. After a few hours, however, I was successfully converted by the Conch Republic. I found Key West could be quaint and leisurely (as long as you avoid lower Duval). B&Bs are tucked cozily into side streets, small cafes offer open air dining, and nearly wild plants dominate the town landscape. I wanted to snag a room in the quiet section of town and spend a day or two just ambling around.

The trolley system we used to get around the island, Old Town Trolley, was nice but crowded. We paid a hefty price, but there were 12 stops throughout Key West where we could get off and on. It worked really well for my grandparents, who couldn’t walk more than a few blocks at a time, but I would recommend walking the city for everyone who can.

A brick wall surrounds the oasis of the Hemingway Home & Museum.

Excuse my tourist picture, but there were people in nearly every shot.

Seeing a piece of Hemingway’s personal book collection was one of the best parts of the museum. If you noticed my reflection, I apologize. Professional photographer I am not.

To Ernie. This made my literary heart smile.

This is pretty much overdressed for the Keys, but I was desperate to wear the maxi dress. I minimized accessories to compensate.
{Dress: Target}
{Head scarf: American Eagle, about 10 years ago}
{Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters}

One of the famous Hemingway cats snoozing away amongst a roomful of tourists.

Another snoozing cat.

Hemingway’s study, including the typewriter he used to write.

The grounds were beautiful, tropical, lush, and made you want to linger.

For lunch, we didn’t do the usual Key West thing. Instead, Martin’s caught our eye with its sleek decor and interesting menu. My Caprese wrap was wonderful lunch fare, and my grandmother’s lobster bisque was pleasantly light and lobster-y. The $5 lunch mimosa wasn’t too shabby, either. If I were staying in Key West, I would return here for dinner without question.

Butter pecan. Yes, sir.

The famous (infamous?) Mallory Square on the waterfront.

I love this picture.

Sadly, I failed to capture the most captivating thing about the island–the historical architecture of the homes and the crazy plants and trees growing all around them. It really is a beautiful place with an unexpected ambience. I’m dreaming of bringing my husband back down here sometime.

I hope to get another full post up before heading home Friday, but it may not happen. I’ll at least update with a few pictures through an email post.