Our red-eye flight from Sacramento got into Boston around 10:00am and once again we hopped the bus up to Maine. The next day we headed out to Great Spruce Head Island with most of the Hewey/Chebuske clan. Dave’s family has been traveling to this island for more than 50 years now and I’ve been lucky enough to tag along the past five years. It’s about a 45 minute boat ride from the main(e) land out in Penobscot Bay. The week’s activities consist mainly of hiking around the island, hanging out at one of the many beaches, game playing and eating delicious dinners that Melissa makes on a wood-burning stove every night. Another great thing is that it’s pretty much impossible to charge electronics and there is no internet access at the big house- it’s probably the only time of the year we’re completely “off the grid” and I love it! I also love visiting the island because it’s such a special place for Dave and his family and it’s so interesting to think about the history of island.
We had a fantastic week at Great Spruce Head, but left a couple days early so that we could make it to the second wonderful wedding of the summer- the McGrath/Fitta affair. The wedding was held on Friday night and while the weather had been holding all day, the rain started to fall just minutes before their outdoor ceremony. We weren’t sure what the bride would decide to do, but Melissa was awesome, threw up an umbrella and marched down the aisle in the downpour. They even headed to beach after to take photos! One of the groomsmen (Dan) captured this moment, which I love!
Rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the party and we had a ton of fun at their reception. Highlights included the best man’s speech, the amazing cake bar and their awesome DJ who spun oldies and classic favorites into the night. Thanks Seamus and Melissa for inviting us to be a part of your day!!
The following days consisted of our first real down time of the vacation and we enjoyed relaxing, catching up on a few movies and pigging out on our American favorite (buffalo wings, fried pickles, Amato’s Italians etc…). On Wednesday we welcomed the first part of the Chebuske clan who drove up to Maine for Cara and Will’s wedding (our third wonderful summer wedding, which took place on August 18). I had met Dave’s uncle Greg and aunt Evette when they graciously let us stay with them on our way to DC five years prior, but it was wonderful catching up with them and Jamie and getting to meet Dave’s aunt Marguerite, uncle Chris and cousin James at a big family BBQ at the Chebuske house. Thursday I headed up to the wedding site with Mary and Anina for Cara’s bachelorette festivities (which included a cooking class that allowed us to indulge in all the delicious food we created and enjoy some wine along the way). Dave joined us Friday and we got to explore a little bit of Southwest Harbor and Acadia before the rehearsal and subsequent dinner. At the dinner I finally got to meet Dave’s grandmother, Grandy- who was wonderful to finally talk to in person. I also met the rest of Dave’s cousins, who were so much fun and I’m looking forward to seeing again at our wedding next year!
Saturday brought the big day and it was absolutely beautiful! The wedding was held on the family blueberry farm of Cara’s husband (so exciting) Will. The location provided stunning views of Blue Hill. The backdrop was beautiful as was the bride. Dave served as part of the “wedding team” and I was honored to be asked to do a reading of Cara’s favorite poem, Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. The ceremony was short and sweet, but incredibly touching.
The cocktail hour was held in the beautifully decorated barn on the property and the reception in a gorgeous tent with great views of the sunset. The food was delicious, Dave had the steak and I went with the lobster- yum! Music and merriment went long into the night and we had a absolutely wonderful time!
A brunch for all the wedding guests was held Sunday morning. After taking part in the delicious food and saying our good byes to family and friends we headed a bit more north to check out Darthia farm, where Jack has been working for the past few months. Darthia is a family-run farm on the downeast coast of Maine. The day we stopped by they were having a big party for friends and neighbors. We got to enjoy some local music and meet a number of Jack’s co-workers and he was able to show us around the property. The farm houses a number of animals plus a variety of gardens. We sampled some of the tomatoes, which were delicious!
Following our tour of the farm we drove down to Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park for a brief climb across the rocks and some swimming. The scenery was gorgeous and the park not too crowded.
After our short side trip to Acadia it was time to head back to Portland. We dropped Jack off and headed south. The next few days consisted mainly of packing and picking up a few “only in America” items (i.e. buffalo sauce, graham crackers, solid deodorant etc…). We had a fun last couple of days just soaking up the sun, spending additional time with family and getting ready to go before we took off for Deutschland.
We’re back now and trying desperately to get on Berlin time. Luckily I have a week until my job starts, so progress is slowly being made! We’re hoping this year in Germany brings more comfort with the language, more opportunities to travel and hopefully some visits from friends and family (wink, wink:)). It felt really good to get back into our apartment and start to think about the upcoming year. Last year when we arrived we had no idea what was in store. I think by now we feel much more settled and comfortable and Berlin feels a bit more like home. We’ll keep you updated!