Over the last weekend, I was able to take a family vacation to a region that has a lot to do with my heritage and upbringing. Disappointed that it was snow-less, I still made the tedious trek with my mom to reach our destination as an honorary celebration of my grandma’s 80th birthday. The trip was long but I still was anxious to go back to my homeland. The history of the area revolves around local food, a signature language, and 4 Gods who are praised in according seasons.

I was off to New England.

With a mom who can’t pronounce an “er” without it sounding like “ah”, I can say I’m pretty familiar with the Eastern Seaboard’s lifestyle. My whole family was born and raised in the area, and I always enjoy my time there. We ventured off to Monhegan Island, an hour’s worth of nausea on a ferry (for my mom at least), settled off the coast of Maine. My mom told me that aside from hiking, eating, and relaxing, the small island didn’t offer up too much else. Needless to say, knowing that the bulk of my time would be spent with my 7 year old twin cousins, I was a little nervous.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart navigated a plane across the Atlantic, Motorola was founded, the Boston Garden opened, and Mickey Mouse appeared in Steamboat Willie. On June 13th, Ruth, my grandma was born. She’s 4’11’’ but still wears the crown in my family. Alzheimer is beginning to set in, and taking note, my mom realized it was time to keep up a promise to good ol’ gram.

Her father taught at the one room school house on the island in 1910. Since I can remember, she has talked about getting the whole family to go see the establishment. As I went through grade school, the idea lingered but never came to be anything. After a few phone calls, it looked like ’08 would finally bring me to Monhegan.

While many of you are looking for destinations this summer that rhyme with “should” and “mister”, there are others of us who are sheepishly accepting our snow-free summers. For you, I have found a destination. At first listen, the word ‘island’ catches your ear. Yet I advise you to pay attention, as Monhegan is not an island that a Carnival Cruise ship would be pit-stopping at any time soon. Pack your hiking boots, not your flip-flips.

It seems like we as Newschoolers have a knack for the outdoors. I mean, think about it (excluding you crazy cats who have indoor resorts), we depend on the outdoors to give us the mountains we call home. Based off of the pictures I’ve seen posted, it looks like many NSers have realized that the junk below the snow can be used for fun too. Hiking and climbing is a healthy pastime that you can use to stay active over the summer. Even though it would mean you have to pull yourself off of your keyboard for a few hours, there’s a rumor that fresh air is good for you.

Monhegan looks like it would be too small to house any fun, but I assure you that it does. With two 7 year olds who probably had enough sugar in their systems to equate to the ratios of crack in Amy Winehouse’s, my family set off on a hike within an hour of our arrival. Our meandering pace was enjoyable, allowing us to catch the breeze and made it possible for me to take some pictures. This gem of an island is an artist’s dream. Its quiet location and natural beauty make it your cliché diamond-in-the-rough location. For those with drawing, painting, and photography skills, the island provides an array of potential compositions. Monhegan trades in the souvenir shops and miles of beaches for things like a lobster shack and rocky cliffs.

As we continued on our walk, we ran into a shipwrecked boat. No joke guys, the D.T. Sheridan was a boat that crashed in 1948, yet large pieces still remain today. http://www.wreckhunter.net/DataPages/dtsheridan-dat.htm Rusted and scattered, the once cute little tug boat now is an attraction for visitors, while doubling as the perfect jungle gym for my cousins. (Though I do admit that my over-40 uncle and I climbed it as well.)

After tearing the kids away from the boat, we followed the trail that would take us on what my uncle called an adventure-- I’d use the term LOST—for the next two hours. Even though I asked my uncle if we should be looking for a trail marker labeled “DUMBASS”, the trek was quite enjoyable. Grazing the edges of cliffs and brushing through thick pines, the path was easy to conquer and provided great sights and a good workout. The next day included more hiking, and although it was an exhausting weekend, I truly encourage anyone to hike Monhegan if they get the chance.

Even though Monhegan isn’t your typical family vacation, it was the perfect weekend getaway. Waking up early to sit in Adirondack chairs and watching the fog burn off is definitely worth it. Grab a water bottle and camera, plus a map, to hit the trails for the day. It’s got great seafood (it’s surrounded by water on 4 sides…), and although I’m not an ocean eater, the turkey club I had for lunch was pretty much the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time. For those of you at purchasing age, every store offered a wide variety of specialty blend brews and one-of-a-kind brands of wine. http://www.nwmicrobrews.com/Thirsty_Dog/Old_Leghumper.jpg Old Leghumper still stands out at this point, while they did offer up classics like Red Stripe. Noting the fact that I was with the 7 year olds, we settled on Sue’s famous whoopie pies and ice cream. http://www.monheganhouse.com/thenovelty/

There’s so many times I want to trade in my family and the end of this trip was no exception. Thinking about it now, we definitely had some laughs (like when my aunt said “emancipated” when she really was trying to say “emaciated”), and some fights. Whether you’re going with a buddy or filling your family visitation hours for the year, Monhegan Island is definitely worth the ferry ride, no matter how sick you get.

Pics... Cos it happened...

It was nice to know I would end up at a friend's house no matter how lost we got. I tried to convince mom to go to MTL or 617, but she wasn't having it.

So we played dress up instead.

Wait a second.....

I developed a slight case of pink eye on this trip. This was the only 'mirror' I had handy.

Heyyy look who I found at Gram's house!

She has the dopest garden decor.

Me and my only cousins, the twins. Lily was born at 11:59pm on June 4th, Abby at 12:00am on June 5th. Sick.

Always delicious... haha count it. The only way I got through this trip was by quoting RTC. Too bad my mom never knew what I was talking about.

She may be 80, but she's more active than any college kid I know.

D.T. Sheridan-- sorry you sank, but thank's for the dope shot.

This thing was massive.

Nice touch, and fitting. Because if you fall off these cliffs, you better pray to God someone's able to save you.

Sick nap spot.

When the moment comes, will you be ready? Cialis.

Some of the island's many artists.

Just because they live on an island, doesn't make them idiots...

My girl Lily and her loose tooth. Gnarly. She asked me if the tooth fairy would come to the island. I told her to ask Dad.

Sweet like morning dew-- Clipse

Lost in the woods. After our hike Abby says to me, "If my legs could talk, they would say, 'Why do you hate me?'"

...But we found water.

School house that my great grandpa, Fred Martin, taught at in 1910.

She's so easy to please. 80th b-day and she just wants to chill.

Morning fog. Mom took this picture. I was in bed. Sorry that being up at 5 am isn't my cup of tea.

hhahahahahahah, yes.

Let's just say it was a long ride home.

But when I finally got home, I rushed to work on my Pulitzer entry, that I completely forgot to do before leaving.

Yep.

ps-

http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/videos/id/199153/

I can't sing. I made my mom play "Don't Forget the Lyrics" with me on the whole way up. Aka I choose ridiculous songs, she must sing them or else I informed her that she sucked.

http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/videos/id/199151/http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/videos/id/199153/

"Woman Drivers." I fall asleep. I wake up. We are lost. Anyone else notice the GPS system in the right hand side? Not being used....

Until next time, surround yourself with flakes....


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