Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Day in Maine

Our flight home didn't leave until 5:55 PM so we had a full day to enjoy Portland.  Since we had a noon checkout we had a relaxing morning, enjoying the hotel's buffet breakfast and leisurely packing up.

 It was another gorgeous summer New England day so we decided to go explore the East End beach, only about a mile from our hotel, where you could rent kayaks and paddle boards.   The boys immediately voted for paddle boards and gave it a try while Ben and I kayaked along with them.

Tommy started out on his knees but quickly made it up to a standing position and triumphantly paddled upright.

It took Paul a lot longer to get upright and the process of learning how to stand up on the board was both a fun and frustrating one for him.  He'd struggle to get his balance and push himself partly up, then  collapse back down to his knees and cheerfully laugh or yell "Oh, shoot!" as he hit the board.   He'd try again, come back down, and try again.   For a stretch he just paddled while sitting back on his his feet, but that got too uncomfortable so he tried standing up again.

When Tommy started to get tired and the wind picked up, he began falling off his board but would quickly climb back on and pop up again into the standing position.  This nimble action would bring cries of "How do you DO that?" from Paul.   Ben and I occasionally would tell both boys how awesome they were doing, but otherwise just paddled along near them like mother and father ducks minding their little ones.

And then, suddenly, Paul was up!  We all whooped and applauded! Yeah, Paul!  And having gotten up once he was able to get up pretty much when he wanted.  I was so impressed with his tenacity and happy that we had yet another lesson on how "practice makes perfect."

Later we spent some time on the beach itself where the boys explored the rock jetties.  Paul soon realized that there were hermit crabs among the shells in the water and he and Tommy spent about an hour companionably occupied with this novelty.  Paul was the "finder"; he'd search in the water, crowing with delight whenever he found another crab.  Then he'd hand it to Tommy, the "keeper," who would set it in a mussel shell and make sure it was regularly doused with salt water so it could breathe.  They had quite a little collection.


Ah, well, all good things must come to an end.  The hermit crabs were put back in the water, we had lunch at Whole Foods, and soon enough we were at the Portland airport boarding our plane for home.  

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