To Maine

Quote of the Day:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.     —Henry David Throreau

TB and the gang are jetting off to Maine tomorrow, via Baltimore and Manchester. This trip is a TB special, first one in a few years and I’m really looking forward to everything I’ve got planned. Which is to say, nothing is planned. Well, that’s not entirely true. We have hotel reservations for each night, but nothing is scheduled other than where we will sleep. So far as I have found, no one travels like this, not even me any more. And with a rapidly growing scamp calling the shots its unlikely there will be any more trips where the destination is set but the plans are completely fluid.

Maybe you, like many who have heard of my preferred style of travel, are skeptical about the wisdom of it. Truth is, it ain’t for everyone, but TB is damn good at it. Back in the pre-scamp years, it was the talent of traveling well without a plan that allowed me to marry up after all. (Believe me, I’ve racked my brain–there’s no other explanation.) What’s the secret to the system? First, pick a great place, not too far off the beaten path but far enough from the cliched travel destinations for your hometown; second, there need to be bakeries and local brews; and last, there ought to be a stretch of road where the sights are unique and memorable and the traffic is light. And you must be not only willing, but eagled eyed and prepared to stop at any curiosity along the side of that road. When my gang reminisces about the trips of yore, more often than not it is the random stop we recall–the shave ice shack in Maui, the coconut candy in Hana sold on the honor system from a little homemade stand like the one from which Lucy dispenses psychological counseling, the airboat ride and the gators in the ‘glades, the apple orchard and the brown apples in Vermont, drinking mid-afternoon wine with tide stranded starfish in Oregon.

I’m told, and it may well be true, that you can’t go that way with a child, much less a two year old. But we’ll see. The kid is trained to journey already–she cries out “Road Trip!” when a cartoon family loads up in their car. Plus the fever is in her genes. But her conversation skills expand each day and with her new skills will surely come demands, objections and opinions on our future trips. And I know what’s coming. I’ve already ordered the planning DVD and I’ve got some family experts’ assistance too. Because I hear when you go see the Mouse, everything requires an appointment.

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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9 Responses to To Maine

  1. Good for you, TB. The NE is the last section of the country I’ve not been to, but the one I’m most anxious to go see. Hope y’all have a blast.

  2. Jessie Lou says:

    The Scamp will be whatever you train and mold her up to be. With the exception of the preplanned Mouse trip I would keep her off the beaten path, without a plan for travel. The rest of life requires a plan, the travel not so much. They are going to love your accent up there! Enjoy and give us some pics upon return.

  3. quail09 says:

    TB….spent a week in Maine on my honeymoon…twenty six years ago last month….bed and breakfasts in portland, kennebunk/kennebunkport…..took a late night run to LL Bean….which use to be open 24 hours a day….great place this time of year…took a very brief wade into the atlantic and quickly skampered out of there…..some of coldest water i had ever felt ….much less in august….enjoy, my brotha

  4. Adam says:

    Ben we did a 10 day Colorado trip last year with 2 kids. We had 2 hotel reservations. 1 in Mesa Verde and 1 in Denver on the 4th of July. What happened going from 1 corner of Colorado to the other was totally unscripted.

    Best vacation ever. The entire family agrees. That is saying a lot since they love Disney.

  5. Jessie Lou says:

    I would say my 10 day trip to the UK was largely unscripted except for the one day of sightseeing in London. I had a list of things I wanted to see there and we saw them all in one day. We took a day trip out to Stonehenge and two other spots – that was amazing. Liverpool was left up to IR’s discretion and it all turned out well. I think he would agree it was a once in a lifetime trip. And he turned 21 to boot. I have a great photo from that!

  6. irvineredd says:

    JL’s trip was the only time I went anywhere while in Europe and had anything planned at all. When we got to London, she plotted what she wanted to make sure we saw, and off we went. It was actually a bit of a shock to my system considering I had already trapsed around a bit without anything resembling a plan except a place to lay my head. In Rome, where by law you have to be out of the hostel between 11 and 4 so they can clean, we (the 7 of us on the trip) would walk out of the hostel look around, and go, “Alright, who wants to go where?” We’d usually eat and then figure it out. We were also usually horribly hungover so plans would have been worthless regardless. Of course drunkenly finding your way around a wonderful city is a fantastic idea.

    And the photo of which JL speaks, is probably the lovely one of us in the Cavern Club the night of my birthday, which was in the Mississippi Press, and I have no memory what-so-ever of taking it.

    Also, one of the worst hangovers ever was having to meet JL in the Liverpool Train station on the morning of March 18. I had just gotten back from St. Paddy’s in Dublin, and was in very rough shape.

    TB, saw the pics you posted on Facebook, Maine looks pretty awesome! Cute scamp by the way.

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    You have to admit that the London part was the only planned out part.

  8. irvineredd says:

    Oh, no, I willingly admit that, and I understand it fully, it’s just everywhere else I went I had no idea where I was going until a while after I got up in the morning, and I think you had our day mapped out the night before. So it was just funny to me. Definitely a necessity for a trip like that where you have to cram a lot into a short period of time in a place you may not get back to again.

  9. Madd Dawg says:

    We normally have pre-planned trips in the US, but my family has been to Europe three times for about two weeks on each trip, and each time we had a hotel reservsation in a big city for our first and last night of the trip near the airport and that was it. My mom had a guidebook and a general direction of travel, and we would see castles, churches, etc. all day and then just find a bed and breakfast in a small village for the night. It worked well in Great Britain and pretty well in Germany/Austria but our trip to Eastern Europe last year was a little rough as there were not many B&B’s and when you get out of the big cities, no one speaks English. None of us, of course, spoke a lick of Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and/or Czech, but a few of the older people in those areas spoke some German from past conquests of their territory by the German folk, so we somehow communicated enough to find a spartan room and order food at local restaurants. Although my wife would disagree as she grew tired of the cramped travel conditions and unluxurious accomodations at night, it was the best trip of my life.

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