Things that don't matter in Maine:
- What time it is
- Putting on makeup
- How many times you ate ice cream in three days
- Doing anything with your hair
My parents, along with my aunt and uncle, rented a house on Vinalhaven Island in Maine for the week straddling June and July. It meant four hours of driving and an hour-long ferry ride each way, but I managed to carve three days out of this busy summer to go be with them.
This was our first family vacation since selling the Cape Cod house last fall. I thought it might be bittersweet, but everybody slipped back into vacation so happily. I had the distinct realization while almost everyone was gathered in the kitchen (doesn't everyone always gather in the kitchen?) that, of course, it didn't really matter where we were. What mattered the most was that we were together. The vibe doesn't change.
The house even smelled like the Cape. That wet oceanside saltiness that's probably bad for homes, but good for your soul. Woven into overlaundered bedsheets that are always a little damp. The signal, when tripped, that all of a sudden means you don't care what the humidity is doing to your hair, and you wear less makeup because 15 sweaty minutes outside is all it takes to make you look and feel better than an hour spent in Sephora.
We colored. We sang. We took turns cooking dinner. We read for hours and hours, in the sun, on the dock, on tucked-away couches, in bed until midnight or later. We played Bananagrams and Egyptian ratscrew. We swung on the indoor swing installed in the barn. We made s'mores in the fireplace and listened to pounding rain. We cried a little, and we laughed a lot.
We kayaked out into Seal Cove and sat as still and quietly as we could, until shiny wet heads poked out of the water to warily assess us. The seals were so sweet! Like wet dogs. I don't think they were very impressed with us, though.
We explored downtown Vinalhaven a bit, venturing out for a hat, or ice cream, or new (to us) books from the secondhand bookstore. Everyone liked the patriotic Robert Indiana installation. I was rendered speechless at the counter of R Café; the number of bakery choices (all gluten-free) was overwhelming. And ended up being delicious. I had lasagna for the first time in four years, two bacon-cheddar scones (unspeakably good), and a breakfast sandwich made with GF biscuits that I ate so quickly I almost can't remember it. If nothing else, if for no other reason (and there are many), I would come back to Vinalhaven for this café.