We’ve had our first dusting of snow, and the leaves are mostly off the trees – here’s some shots from around New England from the last two months to say farewell to a too quick season. The Christmas music is on and we’re starting to nest up here in Vermont – not much else to do when it’s dark by 4:15pm!
I’ve basically been having a complete meltdown over the state of our house – living in renovation / decorating flux for 3 years is starting to really wear on me, especially as I cruise toward turning 39 and feel soundly middle aged. Ok, I don’t really feel middle aged, but there are some milestones I’d like to reach. One is feeling like my home is comfortable, cohesive, and deliberate. The living room is next on the list to tackle, and it’s been a real challenge to get comfort, style, cat proof, nothing-disposable, and non-toxic all in one.
Here’s the vision I’m working on now – and will hopefully unveil before the holidays!
Fast forward a month from the last post to last weekend! We headed back to Portsmouth and Kennebunkport for our 4th anniversary – it’s just over a 2 hour drive, so it’s basically the quickest seaside place we can get to.
Even though we’ve driven past Snug Harbor Farm dozens of times, we hadn’t stopped. This time, the front of the shop was stocked with pumpkins, so we stopped to get some for the house. SO CUTE. SO GOOD. It was like Tasha Tudor opened a version of Paxton Gate. I’m tempted to head back around the holidays to see what gorgeousness they’ve created. I’m also tempted to drop out of my reality, get some mini horses, and recreate this entire farm, house, and shop in my backyard. Dreams.
October is a super good time to catch up on blogging for the whole summer, right? In early August, my brother headed to Italy to wander the lake district and Venice and Milan, and we took the kids to Kennebunkport for the weekend. It was the first time we’d been solely responsible for them for a few overnights, and it was definitely an eye opener. That “new mom” thing where you check if the baby’s breathing while it sleeps? Apparently crazy over-protective aunts also do that to 9 and 6 year olds, because crazy pants. Good times!
It was really sweet to be able to take the boys to places my brother and I went as kids, and Sean and I have been saying for years “we can’t wait to have kids and bring them here” whenever we head out to the coast, so this was nice to do with the boys.
Here are the best, most kid-friendly spots in Kennebunkport and beyond –
Our first stop was in Portsmouth, NH – it was the Tall Ships weekend, so the boys got to wander the ships and sword fight pirates. My work was pretty much done at that point, but we also ate lunch and had strawberry lemonades at Strawbery Banke, and stopped at Pickwick’s at the Banke for old timey toys.
Then we took Ira’s next emo album cover photo in a historical graveyard.
Lodge on the Cove is hands-down the most family friendly hotel in Kennebunkport. The rooms are huge, there’s a pool (not that any adult would want to get into a pool filled with kids, but the cocktails at the pool bar are fantastic), and the restaurant is basically a giant kid menu. It’s also an easy walk down Ocean Ave to Old Fort Point.
Mother’s Beach isn’t the best for swimming, but the Playground at the beach is huge, and if it weren’t for the sociopathically chanting little girl commandeering it, we would have stayed longer. No, it wasn’t me.
Rococo Artisan Ice Cream – kids like ice cream. Eli actually asked “Is this gelato, or ice cream?” the answer to which they have posted on their wall. It’s Argentine ice cream. Ok then.
One Dock at the Kennebunkport Inn turned out to be great for kids for dinner – an easy menu (they both got the sliders and were super excited about tiny burgers), crayons and coloring sheets, and mocktails for kids.
Goose Rocks beach – my favorite beach. Bizarrely (ok, maybe not to moms, but I’m still completely bewildered by children’s lack of logical thinking), the kids were super into just playing on the sand and I had to fake them out to get them to follow me to the water, at which point they realized it’s clear and clean and PERFECT for paddling and wave jumping and tried to jump in with their clothes on. We wrangled swimsuits on them and they would have happily stayed here for more than the 5+ hours we were there. Sean read a lot. I have yet to figure out applying hippie sunscreen to kids without them looking like they’re covered in paste.
Tides Beach Club – across the street from the beach, another spot that’s very accommodating to kids. Ira ate all of his buttered parmesan noodles, a total coup!
On the way home:
The Goldenrod – We went here every summer as kids, you can watch taffy being made and then stuff yourself sick with all the salt water taffy in the world.
I don’t have a before of this, except in the old living room post. It was a dark brown, mission style desk we picked up at a yard sale in Berkeley. Not the best thing, but works for now and we had this Benjamin Moore Irish Moss paint left over from the door. The brass knob is from House of Antique Hardware. Painting it bright green has really helped make the room feel a lot more deliberate and bright, which is nice.
The living room, by the way, has changed a lot and we’re working on putting in a built in bench in place of a sofa – to thwart cat scratching, and to serve as a bed for the boys if they stay over. We haven’t prioritized fixing the house up, but we MUST get more done before winter or I might lose my mind. Some rooms feel like we just moved in, and it’s been 2 and a half years since we bought the house!