Tag: <span>family vacations</span>

It is surely a Monday kind of a Tuesday. The day is dreary and I woke up at my usual too early to be awake time convinced that it is still the middle of the night. For good reason, too—I haven’t had to get up before 6 AM for almost two weeks and found that no amount of coffee helps remedy a case of the Mondays Tuesdays.

It is finally 2017. Many, and I among them, say that 2016 was a difficult year. It remains to be seen what 2017 will be like, but I’ll be optimistic and wish everyone a Happy New Year! On to bigger and better things — how we spent the holidays. This year Hannukah and Christmas overlapped giving grown ups much to think about and kids much to celebrate. The girls celebrated Hannukah on New Year’s eve with a New Year’s tree—a tradition from my childhood—opening presents. Please note that *all* the presents you see in this picture are from my sister. To say that she is a firm believer in eight nights of Hanukkah is an understatement but more than that, she is an amazing aunt. My kids are incredibly fortunate. 

After opening all of these presents on 12/31 because it was, after all, the last night of Hannukah, we feasted on homemade chicken noodle soup and herring under a fur coat. Evan and I barely lasted until the ball dropped that evening having flown home from warmer climates where we spent time with Evan’s family.

Warm weather always brings a smile to my face. The girls finally embraced the water… mostly… kind of … sort of …

Digging for treasure keeps kids occupied for quite a bit of time. We found shells, built castles, dipped our feet in the azure blue atlantic ocean and embraced the  “its vacation so you can eat whatever you want” mentality. That meant that Sophia now consists of 70% pasta and 30% ice cream and Eliza 60% pizza and 40% something else. And if you ever find out what she means by something else do let me know because I’d really love to know. Terrible twos appear to be roaring and here to stay. 

Two-on-two vacations continue to be quite a bit of work mostly where meals are concerned. We had a lot of fun, warmed our cold limbs thoroughly and listened to the calming sounds of the sea. Lovely. Beautiful. Relaxing for the mind not the body. Happy to get home and still have two days off, we embraced the remainder of the weekend in what has becoming more or less the typical; the girls spent most of Saturday catching up with Alex, Baba, and Deda and, for the first time in years Evan and I piled up on the couch binge-watching tv and resting from vacation.

Life Moments

I grew up in a family that traveled extensively and am incredibly fortunate to have lived and visited many exciting and captivating places in the world. Evan and I share this passion together and spent months over our 15 years together traveling.

We feel that the time has come for us to introduce our wanderlust to the girls. With that, we have kicked things off with an easy first jaunt up to New England.

It is our hope that through these trips we can introduce our kids to the big wide world, its diversity, and impact how Eliza and Sophia view themselves as citizens of planet Earth.

The details of the trip are pretty simple — 2 days in Maine, 3 days in Boston. While we are content on the beach, especially with a book in hand, we wanted to mix things up to make sure Sophia and Eliza felt occupied. Our flight out was on Thursday afternoon ensuring that we beat the mad weekend rush to all the beaches in Maine and got a head start on lobster rolls fresh air. Kennebunkport served as our home base in Maine. We visited the Portland Headlight Lighthouse and Portland on one day and made the next day a beach day.

I found an astoundingly small number of recommendations for restaurants and things to do when planning the details of  the trip. What I did find and what we discovered ourselves, I am sharing so that others can hopefully benefit.


  • You can’t go wrong staying in Kennebunkport. The Bushes, after all, have a huge compound there. It’s scenic, close to both Portsmouth, Portland, and it boasts beautiful beaches and a very family-focused vibe. We stayed in Dock Square which was central to everything and close to the beaches.


  • Kennebunport: Alisson’s is great if you’re traveling with kids. The food is simple, but well prepared and locally-sourced. The kids menu lists the very same fried chicken bites and fish and chips but the dishes were obviously made in house. They provide crayons and coloring pages, too.
  • Kennebunport: The Clam Shack lives up to its reputation as the best lobster roll in the world. Uncomplicated, fresh, and done just right, the lobster rolls and fried clams are the very definition of a laid back summer. I would consider a trip to Kennebunport just for these.
  • Kennebunport: Salt and Honey provides good fresh seafood-heavy options in a laid back setting.
  • Kennebunkport: It wouldn’t be a summer trip without a visit to a local  ice cream parlor. Rocococo Artisan Ice Cream did not disappoint despite the fact that we live within 5 minutes of world-class parlors and make our own, too. The kids opted for the delicious chocolate and mint chip while Evan and I tried spicy ginger and fragrant guava. Yum.
  • Portland: Portland is a must-see if you can tear yourself away from the beach and relaxation. There, you will find Central Provisions which offers inventive dishes that are both delicious and new. I wouldn’t say this is child-friendly in terms of the menu but worth a try with kids who are 5+.
  • Portland: The Holy Donut serves up unique flavors of potato donuts. Donuts. Enough said.
  • Portsmouth: We were in for huge surprise in terms of atmosphere and food at the Flatbread Company. It doesn’t look all that special and is fairly big which makes one think big, mass-produced, and run of the mill food. Instead, there are flatbreads and pizzas made with organic ingredients and fired in a wood burning oven. There is a big log for people to sit on in front of the oven. The girls loved watching Charlie fire the pizzas and Eliza was ready to stay and apprentice.

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