how i spent my summer vacation...

 It's the standard title to the classic back-to-school assignment, the ever popular "how I spent my summer vacation". For me, it always includes a trip to the beach.

A relaxing vacation used to mean laying on the beach underneath a large umbrella reading a book (with a Pina Colada in one hand) and enjoying the sound of the waves coming in from the ocean. Well, I still need to be by the ocean darling, but now it involves moving around more. And given my love of B&B's coupled with my extreme love of the sea, it was only rational to opt for a vacation combining these two components.

Our vacation started with 3 days in New York City [that's right NYC, and yes, I know there is no ocean there] and a day exploring The Hamptons [awesome ocean, shopping, lobster rolls and Ina!]. Now I'm not saying that I'm not thoroughly and madly in love with NYC (I adore it) and it was definitely enjoyable, but it was the next several days driving the scenic route through New England, staying at B&B's along the way that  left us in awe. The drive took us through Olde Lyme Ct. where we stayed at the fabulous Bee & Thistle Inn [best breakfast, ever] to Cape Cod (oh baby, come to Mama) where we stayed at the lovely Inn at One Main in Falmouth (she was so elegant & frou frou). Love the ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard where we enjoyed a yummy lunch at the Black Dog Tavern of Quahog Chowder and 1 1/4 pound steamed lobsters which nearly brought us to our knees.  And is it me, or it this just one of the best places ever to stroll around the town and wish you never had to leave (she's just so purdy).

Every trip to Provincetown, blows my hair back, I can't help it, I just love it there, it is so me...a rich cultural and artistic town with plenty of contemporary pleasures, known for it's plentiful inns and restaurants, great shopping, beautiful sunsets and vibrant lifestyle. You've been there, right? AWESOME!  So...our final destination was  Bar Harbor Maine, located on Mount Desert Island, about 3 hours North of Portland and just this side of Heaven! I lay at it's feet, Bar Harbor denotes feelings of calm, serenity, peace, almost a soft is perfect...we ate lobsters and blueberries, I was enchanted with the beauty of the misty blue green pine trees and the crystal clear cold blue water. Something deep within me, acute and visceral, responds to this landscape. Feelings that lay dormant awaken when I am near the sea. I hear the distant cry of some primal horn, calling me to attention, telling me that I am home. I actually cry, drinking in this landscape that is both known and unknown at the same time to me. It's not the I-just-woke-up-on-a-misty-morning-feeling, it is total clarity that leaves me feeling weak. You get that, right?

We spent a few days in Acadia National Park, where the mountains meet the sea, and a desire to "do everything" co-exists happily with a sense of calm contemplation. And let me just say, if you love the mountains, and you love the ocean, you need to get to this place. Do it as soon as possible, and never look back. We got up early, rode bikes, hiked or sat quietly watching the deer. Relaxed by the water for hours in brightly painted Adirondack chairs soaking in the sun...reading, laughing, daydreaming~wishing.

We made it to the summit of Champlain Mountain, it was a steep, strenuous climb that left us breathless both from the climb and the beauty of it all! We dined at the Bayview Hotel, sipped  Viognier at the romantic waterfront bar, savored  a salty ocean breeze and watched an incredible sunset over Frenchman's Bay. The fog rolled in and wrapped itself around us like a blanket of tranquility.

 We explored the beauty of Mount Desert Island, took in the the summer colonies and fishing villages, ate more lobster...I'm still reeling with the beauty of it all......deep breathes! Oh my, I know (wistful smile).

I spent this summer cooking, baking, working in my garden, traveling, walking, spending time with my family, playing with my dogs, taking in everything around me and learning to be in the moment.
What did you do on your summer vacation?

So in honor of all things back to school, I thought I would throw out this recipe for peanut butter sandwich cookies, you know, for the kid's lunch boxes (tee hee).

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies 


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