As a kid, my parents took my brother and me on a vacation every summer in the tradition of the great American family road trip. We traveled all around the midwest and south, making a national or state park one of our major destinations for the season. Dad had long since instilled an admiration and respect for nature in the both of us and we were usually just as excited to visit an attraction of natural beauty as we were an amusement park. Okay, so we might have on occasion been more excited about Six Flags or King’s Island. However I today vividly remember the natural sights we enjoyed together, and though the many roller-coasters are fond memories, they have not become a part of me like the mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and valleys we explored together.
We rarely repeated destinations, but we did spend several summers on the Great Lakes. This was as close to being on the sea as a small kid from the midwest could hope. And with the waters being so massive that the far shore could not be seen and the many islands to visit, they really did have a feeling of being on the ocean, minus the salty sea air. I was enchanted by life on the water and when we visited the Outer Banks in North Carolina with its rolling sand dunes and colorful lighthouses I fell in love with the landscape.
Therefore when my cousin Anna recently announced that she was getting married in Portland, Maine, my thoughts immediately went back to those first experiences on the north Atlantic coast. While I was excited to see my cousin, whom I hadn’t in so many years, I of course have to admit that I was exicited to experience costal Maine and some historic lighthouses with my family.
Anna and Ellen: congratulations to the both of you. It was a fantastic party and I was delighted to be there to celebrate with you. But thank you as well for a reason to see part of the US I haven’t and to spend some time on the water with my family.