A week ago today, we drove to Maine! The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day. And on Free Comic Book Day, one of the co-creators of the Ninja Turtles has a signing at a little comic shop in Maine. This was our fourth year attending the signing.
The drive up was okay. Between traffic (avoid Hartford at rush hour next year!) and a long stop for dinner, it took us exactly 9 hours. Jace did great – played with toys, watched a little bit of a Winnie the Pooh movie, talked, ate some ice cream, snacked. Luke, however, hates. the. car. I thought maybe he’d calm down once we hit the highway, but nope! He doesn’t like it. At all. I sat in the back with him, which helped a lot, but he didn’t love the drive. Both boys finally fell asleep when we were 30 minutes from the hotel.
The hotel was great and we got to sleep in Saturday morning. We dressed the boys in Turtles apparel, dropped Adam at the signing to stand in line, then headed to the park. It was a bit cold, but we had fun.
We headed back to the signing before it was Adam’s turn so we could go through the line with him. Then we played in the car, got a snack, and relaxed while we waited for Adam’s turn again. On our second loop through the line, Jace played pinball, Luke got a sketch in his new sketchbook, and the boys (all three of them) got a picture taken with Peter Laird.
Adam stayed to talk turtles and we headed for the car. There was a guy in a Turtle suit at the bottom of the stairs. After a long staring contest with “The Turtle”, Jace agreed to a picture. He wouldn’t walk towards the turtle, but he didn’t run when the turtle walked towards him. And he even smiled for a picture!
That evening, Adam went to a “How to Draw a Ninja Turtle on a Bar Napkin” class while the boys and I hung out at the hotel room. Adam got a fancy drink (with a glow stick!) and drew some turtles. Then we went out to grab some dinner. Luke was super happy.
After spending Friday in the car and Saturday in the signing line, Jace had a bit of extra energy. We went to Rumble Tumble in Portsmouth. Leslie met us there (and crawled around in the jungle gym with Jace a month after knee surgery!). Jace really liked the “roller coaster” (picture of him on the yellow car) and he really liked climbing the mat towers and jumping. In fact, he really liked most everything and ran around for over 2 hours. It was great! Luke was entertained for a while, but took a 20 minute nap in my arms towards the end.
A Big Jump – video
After the gym, we headed to a pizza lunch at Aunt Leslie and Uncle Larry’s house. Jace got super shy. He loves pizza (and was hungry!) but wouldn’t enter the same room as scary Uncle Larry…. Luke, meanwhile, decided a 20 minute nap wasn’t enough and got into a screaming match with Aunt Leslie. I was pretty sure they were thrilled to have us at their house at that point. Eventually Luke fell asleep on my shoulder and Uncle Larry suggested heading outside for a walk. And just like that, Larry and Jace were best friends. Leslie and I could hear Jace’s voice as they finished their walk and neared the house. “Are we back at the house? We are! Oh no! I want to keep walking. Let’s do it again!” And so they did. When Luke woke up, we all headed back out to do the walk again. And after some more cookies, we did the walk AGAIN! Jace loved Leslie and Larry’s dog, Snofie, and had a great time throwing sticks into the creek. He had a zillion questions about everything – which Larry patiently answered. The weather was beautiful and the walk is so much fun. Both boys are happiest when they’re outside, which is awesome. It was a wonderful way to spend Mother’s Day. We even got a family picture!
We had a great time and didn’t want to leave. So we stalled. And stayed longer and longer. It was just so much fun being there! When we finally left, Jace got to take a fire truck toy AND a helicopter toy. He was quite excited. He played with them the whole drive back to the hotel. He played with them while we had dinner in the car (Adam got clam chowder, a crab cake, and a lobster roll – Jace and I got turkey sandwiches). Then the five of us – Adam, Jace, Luke, me, and helicopter – got some ice cream for dessert.
The next morning we had a belated Mother’s Day breakfast at The Egg and I. Jace wished me “Happy Mommy’s Day” several times. Very cute. And he was very excited to give me cards and presents!
After our delicious breakfast, we headed to the beach. Luke napped in Adam’s arms for half an hour while Jace and I played on a pretty awesome playground. Then it was time for sandcastles and splashing. Puddle boots were a very good idea!
Rocks in the Atlantic Ocean – video
Jace had a great time throwing rocks into the ocean (and then running away when the wave would come in). We asked what he was doing and he explained that he was throwing “gold and treasure” for “other people to find later”. He’s gonna love metal detecting with Grandpa!
It took some convincing, but eventually we got Jace off the beach. With the help of the Noggin’ Stik, the firetruck, the helicopter, and some ice cream, we made it back to Pennsylvania with two happy kids. It was an awesome first family-of-four vacation!