Living in Maine means never being bored. It also means never saying “Damn, I haven’t witnessed the beautiful majesty of mother nature at ALL lately.” Still being a relative newcomer to the state, I have enjoyed discovering the many state parks and beaches that litter this wonderful section of Earth; each trip has somehow topped the previous as The Most Beautiful Place I’ve Ever Been. My trip to Camden, Maine this weekend was no different.
The trip was eye-opening in other ways, as I did notice some room for improvement within my own ability to plan. I am very much a product of the “fly by the seat of your pants” school: No plan at all means not being disappointed if something doesn’t go right, and it leaves room for adventure! And discovery! And frustration. For those who might not want to deal with a healthy dose of hair pulling and gritted teeth on their day of fun, we can all learn from my mistakes with this helpful list below!
DO set an alarm.
Your internal alarm clock rarely allows you to sleep in past 9 AM. But what if you happen to, say, stay up until 4 AM the previous night playing dragon-centric video games? Your internal alarm clock will reset itself to 11:00, and there will be much frantic scrambling upon waking. Alarm clocks are your friend.
DO leave hiking shoes in your car at all times.
We live in MAINE, people! The likelihood of a random unplanned hike is statistically probable! You don’t want to get caught in a beautiful place with a clearly marked cliff-side hiking trail and not be able to go on it because you are wearing flats and/or Tom’s, which shall henceforth be known as the worlds worst hiking shoes. Better to be prepared and not risk plummeting to an untimely demise.
DO follow the seemingly random whims of your smartphone’s GPS.
You have had a great time at your current destination, but you now you want to go someplace else. You know that place is around here somewhere, so you type the name of that place into your smartphone’s GPS, and follow the directions. This will ultimately lead you into a very private residential area, to what is essentially a stranger’s front yard. But with some quick thinking and map-reading skills, you will maneuver your way to a beautiful nearby light house that you might not otherwise have found. Thanks for keeping it interesting, smartphone!
DON’T order one scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone.
As it turns out, one scoop in a waffle cone does not, at this time, exist in the known world. If you order this, the expectation is that you will be handed a reasonable amount of ice cream in a waffle cone. This is not what will happen. Instead, you will be saddled with a head-sized mound of ice cream, a two hour car ride back to Portland, and no other option but to eat the whole thing. You will do this with alternating feelings of great joy and deep regret.
DON’T wear your prettiest white lace shirt.
Maybe the occasion for your day trip is something like an anniversary or a date. You want to look good, but more importantly, you want to NOT get mint chocolate chip ice cream on your favorite white lace shirt. Go for something that won’t crush your spirit if it gets destroyed, like a nice slouchy tee. This trip is really more about nature anyway, isn’t it?