August 1.

We've done so much gallivanting as of late, I can't remember the last honest-to-goodness Family Day we have had where there has been an entire day with no agenda to just go and conquer or explore something like we so love to do.

So...when Friday rolled around with the promise of sunny skies and an 80 degree day, I done gone went and declared it to be a "Mama's Choice Day."  
Meaning:  No fishing poles today, boys.  Sorry to break the harsh, cold truth to you.  Today there shall indeed be water...but the fish shall stay alive.
Enter one of our most favorite spots in the world - (when they can get brooks and streams and trouties and bass out of their minds):  Bar Harbor.  Specifically, the little secret back trail that gets you in to Sand Beach for free!

On your way into the park - instead of turning right to go through and pay the rangers for the park pass to the entire parkloop road area - take a left.  When you get to a four-way intersection, turn right and follow the signs to the parking lot for the Great Trail Head.  Park your car in the parking lot, watch out for the poison ivy at the very beginning of the trail, and get ready for the tiniest bit of a hike....

Go right, and you get to the far end of Sand Beach.
Go left, and you can explore the Great Trail Head with the (non-swimming) "beach" that has tons of smooth, round rocks.

I recommend doing both.
Bubble Rock.
Super fun, fairly easy, and a decently quick mountain to conquer.
Our boys are almost at the age to be able to do this, although I still fear for their lives a bit.
A couple of my children have yet to acquire a healthy fear for some things.....
It makes a beautiful backdrop for Sand Beach....mucho happiness.

And the little streams that flow from the ocean into the little outlet here (inlet?) are super warm....and contain lots of baby eels that my boys love to catch.  Methinks that all of the ladies that were basking in the warm waters here were blissfully unaware of this little tidbit of knowledge....

Fifteen years of marriage, Eight moves, Four babies, and One year of engagement ago, right on those rocks to the far left of Sand Beach was where Kevy proposed to me.  Here's how it went down:  It was raining, he wrote me a song, the last line went "will you marry me?", I thought he was kidding.  When I realized he wasn't - I burst into tears because I thought for sure he hadn't asked my Dad, so I said: "But, did you ask my DAD??!!"  He looked taken aback, then he said: "Uh, yes, I did....and he said do YOU say?!"  And then I cried some more, and I said: "Yes," and then we had someone take our picture, and I'm pretty sure they thought we were fighting because I was crying, so then I blurted out that I was REALLY happy because I had just gotten proposed to but I had no idea and I really don't like surprises even though that was a really great one....
And here we are - along with a couple of fellow photo bombers - Fifteen years and four Hoolies later.
And that's one of the reasons why I love this spot so much..
And all my boys do, too.
I just have to remind them sometimes that there is life outside of fishing.
To which Jesse declared from the waves:  "Best day EVER!!"
Agreed, my Love....
See?  How fun is this?
Getting pounded by the surf...and eating your fill of sand...and having it fill every crevice of your body...
It's super fun!
On our way back to the car we scooted down the path towards the Great Trail Head.
We didn't go all the way to the end of it, we just short-cutted our way down a little side trail...
And all of a sudden, you are away from the crowds of Sand Beach, and you are all alone on this far more rugged coastline with waves crashing all around you, huge rocks to climb and explore, and wide open spaces of wildness.

It's breathtaking.
And it's a beautiful contrast.
There are little tidal pools everywhere, there are piles of smooth, round rocks, and there are zero people.
Good for smooching.
Indeed it was a beautiful start to our lovely month of August.

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn...” 
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting

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