In the beginning of August, we took a week-long vacation to Maine, which is a tradition that I’ve enjoyed since I was an early teen. It was such a great trip. My parents and my brother and his fiancé were with us, which was so special. It is such a treat having a relaxing, multiple day “visit” with them, as usually we’re all racing to meet for an afternoon or dinner before we race on to the next thing.
Part of the beauty of Maine is the quiet. Our home away from home is on a beautiful lake in the Northern, most Eastern point of Maine. We’re just 40 minutes from both the ocean and from Canada. Truly, it is in the middle of nowhere. It wasn’t until a few years ago that we could even get consistent (somewhat) cell service. There is such respite in the nothingness that surrounds the house. There are trees, trees and more trees (and a Moose or two!). The only sounds to be heard are the water lapping the sandy beach, the (very) occasional pontoon or motorboat rumbling past, loons calling (such a cool sound) and hummingbirds buzzing. There is such peace in the air. It really heals the soul.
In keeping with the quiet and simple that the house and setting offer, we like to decompress and simplify while we’re there too. Our days are spent on the lake, swimming, jumping, canoeing, paddle boating and floating. When we aren’t on the water, we spend time laughing over board games and pondering 1000 piece puzzles (my parents gift my brother and I one every year at Christmas, specifically for Maine).
This year we added in a new “simpler times” activity by making our own ice cream. It was SO fun. And SO delicious (seriously, SO delicious). The process has a lot of (easy) steps, so everyone was able to participate. As my mom stirred the ice cream ingredients over the hot burner, the smell that filled the kitchen was ah-mazing. We cranked up the oldies on the radio, and we were all dancing, singing and laughing while stirring and prepping the ice cream “machine” for the steaming ice cream mixture. We have an old, turquoise, hand crank ice cream maker that just exudes charm all on its own.
Once the ice cream liquid is poured into the maker, the real work begins. We all had a ball (and got quite the workout!) cranking the handle as fast as we could. Truthfully, we had to crank a lot longer than is probably the norm, because we underestimated how much ice we’d need to fill the basin. So, we cranked and cranked and cranked.
When I say that the ice cream is perhaps the tastiest plain vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had, I mean it. YUM. We loved it so much that we decided we’d buy the ingredients and make it again the next night (we did, and we doubled the batch so we’d have more to enjoy for the rest of the week).
Taking the step back into simpler, less techy and hustle and bustle-y days for the week was so refreshing and fulfilling. The quiet of the lake and the “quiet” of the activities are things that I always feel sad to leave each year. I’m already looking forward to our trip next year, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait that long for another bowl of that cold, vanilla masterpiece…