Sunday, September 26, 2010

Westward Wanderings

My brother worked on a cattle ranch in Montana for the summer. When my summer job took an unexpected downhill turn (they closed our branch), I seized the opportunity to do a Westward bound road trip. We had two weeks and a lot of destinations to hit, and we did a pretty good job at seeing most everything we set out to see.

Beartooth Cattle

This is a slideshow of many of the places we explored:

Rocky Coast

Every other summer, my mother’s side of the family heads to Maine for a two-week getaway. My grandmother grew up in Maine, and her brother and 106-and-counting year old mother both still live there. My mom is one of five children, so the house is always packed and the tables overflowing.
The best part of these biannual trips is the food. We are a “cooking” family, blessed with more than a few talented chefs. Each year is a mini Iron Chef competition, each branch working to wow the crowd. I am a happily designated food-eater and dish-washer.

Beach by our house

After dinner comes a round of card games, Clue, or—the group favorite—charades. We are a competitive family. Our mother taught us young to “breast our cards” as she handily guessed all of our cards in Go Fish. Charades always brings out this playful competition…each team trying generating increasingly difficult or embarrasing clues.  The game that will always go down in infamy is when fourteen-year-old me tried unsuccessfully to act out “Debbie Does Dallas” to my confused team of my father, grandmother, nine year old brother, and uncle….the FULL two minutes. Needless to say, Maine is always full of good family fun, but it’s not necessarily always wholesome.

This year in Maine was slightly shorter due to increasing grown-up responisbilities and limted time schedule; however, our retreat to the rocky coast had all the restorative powers I remember from my childhood. Each year the cousins get taller, but the food always stays fantastic.

Fruit Pizza: Always the kids' favorite dessert to make

Thursday, September 23, 2010


My sister graduated from college this May, soon after I arrive back home. Her graduation provided a perfect excuse for a big family reunion right after my arrival: perfect timing! Family was one of my biggest motivations to come back to my home state, and I had a great time seeing and re-connecting with everyone. We had a crowd of 16 cheering her across the stage.

The family

Sister and pony Castine

Ginormous new addition to the family: an F-250 Super Duty with an 
extended new wheels for the pony.

New Beginnings

I arrived back to the states in May. Since my arrival, my life has been a whirlwind of travelling, family, friends, and general summertime gallivanting. My blog fell to the wayside as I began transitioning back to living in the states and getting busy seeing all of the wonderful people that I’ve been missing for so long. Now, I’m giving my blog a slight face-lift: a new look for a new stage of life.  And here I will also chronicle my summer exploring new areas around the states.