NauNo Recap: Trip to Moosehead Lake, ME

“Not every lake dreams to be an ocean. Blessed are the ones who are happy with whom they are.” //Mehmet Murat Ildan

If you head on over to the "Favorites" tab on the blog you will see that Moosehead Lake, Maine is on my list. It is a really special place for my whole family, and we love when we get to visit. My grandparents live there full time on beautiful lakefront property. There is a main log cabin house and then three smaller 'cabins' on the property, along with a barn, dock and boathouse. My Aunt was married up there, my brother and I were christened there, and we have had many a family vacation up there over the years, so it really has a lot of special meaning to my Mom's side of the fam. Last August we did something we have never done before, and went on a cousins trip to visit my Grandparents WITHOUT the parents, aunts or uncles. My cousins flew to CT from Colorado and then we headed up for the 7 and a half hour drive. Nothing against the 'rents, but it was really nice to be there just us kids with my Grandfather and Step-Grandmother, as it was something we had never done before. I only get to see my Papa a few times a year so it was really great to have some quality one on one time with him. We are planning to go up again this year in late July, this time with my parents, so it should be really fun. We absolutely cannot wait to take my mom to this "restaurant" called Soup's On. I use the term restaurant lightly as it is really just this couple's basement-turned-pseudo restaurant complete with wooden dolls staring at you while you eat and their kids watching Nickelodeon on full volume upstairs. All that said, the food was GREAT (actually "award-winning" as my Brother would tell you) and it was just a really fun(ny) experience with the family. We laughed, drank wine, and ate really good home cooked meals. That was just one of many fun things we did over our short 5 days there, but here are a few photos to recap the adventure!

You know it's a relaxing vacation when you see my brother picking up a book!

We spent a lot of the time just hanging around on the dock. Whether it be breaking using the Zip-line, boating on the Whaler, waterskiing, lounging on the water trampoline or sipping beers by the fire, it is definitely the best place to be for a great view of the lake. The boathouse is so cool and has a rope swing and canoe and I just have so many childhood memories of hanging out there.

My Papa has a beautiful sailboat, the Osprey, that he has had forever and keeps in immaculate condition. It's so fun to swim out to it from the dock... this year it was colder than usual but the boys still managed to make the swim.

There is a "rope-challenge" that my Papa has where if you climb to the top of the rope with no-feet, it's $20! Nick was able to do it with ease. I wouldn't say that "strength" is one of my or my brothers talents... so we just supervised Nick while he aced it.

Nick overlooking the dock- check out all those water toys! What can I say, Papa likes to spoil his Grandchildren, and we don't mind one bit!

 I absolutely love this photo of my cousin jumping off the dock. One of my favorites.

 View from the deck of the main house down to the boathouse and the lake. Not bad!

Not much makes me happier than seeing my Papa smile and let loose with his 'boys'. They were all in their glory when he broke out the infamous Potato Cannon. Moosehead is pretty much a boys' paradise between the cannons and guns and arrows and knives.

This is the famous Mt. Kineo, which is a peninsula on the lake with this mountain on it. Used to be the home of a ritzy resort back in the day until a fire wiped it out. Now there is just a nice golf course and it's a great 3-5 hour trip to take the boat over and hike up and down the mountain. I'd recommend it to anyone who visits, the views at the top are breath taking.

MURICA! Our neighbors on the cove and my grandfathers best friend have this awesome lobster-boat-turned-luxury-cruiser that they always let us borrow. It's great to take around the lake, especially to see the backside of Kineo.

What did I tell you- the views from the top of Mt. Kineo speak for themselves! You can see clear to Canada.

More views from the top!

The cousins! We miss these guys- they live in Colorado so every time we get to see them it's a real treat! My cousin Justin Hank on the right is actually in college at Yale now, so we get to have him here in CT for 4 years!

The WORST part about Maine! BARN SPIDERS! This one is small compared to some...

Showing them how it's done on the skis! Papa took me aside and told me I look just like my Momma out there on the water from when she was a girl, made my day.

Dwight's cover photo for Oakley. Ladies- line up!

MOOSEHEAD represent!! Gotta love a classic gas station hoodless. I am a full supporter of hoodless sweatshirts.

Nick managed to SPILL drink a whole bottle of wine in one night! Sorry Grandma, we cleaned it up!

I bought some chinese lanterns offline before we went up. I have used them at weddings before and they are really cool. We were able to successfully send a bunch up into the sky with our wishes without starting a forest fire.

This will just give you a small idea of how incredible the sky is at night up there. It is so remote without any city lights, or any lights for that matter, I think we saw over 35 shooting stars between the few nights. This was my camera facing toward the sky with a shutter speed of about 3 seconds. Imagine how many there are if this is how many you can see in just one small section....

We saw a MOOSE in MOOSEHEAD, imagine that! You have to be careful though, especially at night, these guys can do some serious damage to your vehicle. This was actually the only one we saw this trip, and we only saw it because we took a wrong turn... everything happens for a reason!

Sailing on the sunfish is always fun.

Nick brought his longboard, so we were able to speedwobble bomb some hills in town while we were there.

I strapped my blades on as well.... X-Blades anyone?

View of the boat house from the Whaler while taking everyone water skiing. The water is like glass up there at certain times of the day making for great water skiing conditions. 

Linds trying to get up- you'll get it next year!! We aren't stopping until you do!

My Papas German Shepard, Lexi, hates loves to watch the kids playing on the water!

Hanging by the boathouse on the dock- feeding a family of ducks.

So my Papa is a pretty accomplished and talented wood carver. He specializes in birds but has carved tons of other animals and figures as well. This is a Totem Pole he carved and installed by the barn, and each grandkid was asked to picked a spirit-animal once they were old enough, and then he carved each animal into the pole in descending order as more and more Grandkids were born. I am the oldest Grandchild, so you can see the Lynx residing at the top! This is such a cool piece that will hopefully be in our family forever.

View of the main house from down towards the barn.

Another beautiful view of the lake... talk about relaxation, this place takes the cake!

Boys and their cannons....

Classic Nick eyes-closed photo!

Papa and his Grandkids- I LOVE this photo (and my hoodless).

VOLCANO shots.... don't try this at home kids!! Pour a shot of sambuca and tilt your head back but don't swallow it. A second person then lights and holds a match in your mouth, and then a third sprinkles cinnamon over it. (Grandparent approved!)

Here is the result!! SO cool

Nothing better than having your family and friends all in one place around the dinner table. Telling stories, talking, and laughing into the wee hours of the night. It's moments like these I will cherish forever!

This is the full view of Papa's house... NEED I SAY MORE!? If you are looking for a great place to visit, let me know... I've got connections ;-)

See you in July 2014 Moosehead!!

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