Friday, June 12, 2015

Salt water

We went to Peak's Island to kick off summer for Memorial Day weekend like we have every year for the past twenty years.  One of the first times we went Rod and I collected cans from the Neoscape hallway to cash in in Maine and pay for our ferry ride over.  My mom and Mark were mortified.  They would have met us on the other side to pay for our tickets.  We were too proud.  It's good to struggle.  It's good to figure out a way.  It's good to not have it all.  It helps you realize that if you want something bad enough you will find a way.  We wanted to go to Peaks, we had no money, we found a way.

We love this little island and everything it has to offer.  The trips have changed over the years as we've added more children and dogs to the mix.  But the island still feels the same.  The crowds are a little bigger getting on and off the ferry and the houses change from year to year as they get fixed up and moved around.  However the overall sense of peace the island brings is the same.  The opportunity to get away from it all, to breath in the salt air, to listen to the waves and fog horns at night, to look at the the beauty of a simple tide pool, to appreciate all the island has to offer.

I sometimes have trouble sleeping at night.  I once read that in order to get your mind to stop racing you should think of a place you know really well and walk around it in your mind.  It helps the worries and to do lists melt away, allows your mind to calm and your body to fall asleep.  When I have trouble sleeping I always walk around Peaks.  I start walking down the steps of my mom and Mark's house and circle the island in my mind.  I know the houses so well.  I am always using landmarks to give people directions and enjoy walking in neighborhoods so that I can look at all the seasonal changes people make to their houses and decor.  Peaks is a glorified neighborhood walk for me with the wide open Atlantic Ocean and it's cool breeze to one side and interesting eclectic houses on the other.

Take a walk with me...

Their cottage, Isle B Home- We got this cottage sign for them at the Bolton Fair years ago.
Their two story house with views of the ocean from the top deck.
 I love how the bottom is painted a bright teal.
Their neighbors beautiful garden starting to bloom. 
Fun star and drift wood decor.  This house is right next door to Dick & Jane's Sea Spot.  
Love this house.  Great unobstructed view of cliffs and ocean straight down road.
Perfect spot for a hot tub on that side porch.  Gorgeous gardens and window boxes every year.   
Another gorgeous spot.  There are usually heart rocks leading up the steps to the porch. 
View of the ocean from walk.  Low tide. 
There are several rocky beaches on the back shore where walkers and bikers stop to build rock cairns with the Atlantic Ocean as their back drop.  They are barely started this year but by the end of the summer this beach will be covered with rock art and creativity.  
The island was first defense of Portland during World War II and still has forts bunkers and structures dating from this time around the island.  
Some people have even chosen to build their houses on top of these bunkers.  
Many properties have high fences to keep the deer from eating their flowers.  
This is one of my mom and I's favorite houses.  The foundation is a glorious painting of flowers.  
Modern houses have cropped up amongst the traditional cottages on the island.  
This house is right on the sea glass front beach facing portland.  
We walked the dogs along this sandy beach several times over the weekend and met the girls
there on their bikes one day for some seaglass and shell collecting.   
A favorite mode of transportation on the island. 
Classic front doors like ours at home painted a bright orange.  
Many people bring their bikes to explore the island for the day or stop here to rent one.

Stopping in front of the only market on the island, Hannigan's Island Market" that's tagline is "If we don't have it,  you don't need it."
Nola, Sadie and Zoey.  People always comment that we have one of every flavor. 
There are cute gift shops for window shopping or buying souvenirs.  
Down Front boasts the best ice cream, t shirts and penny candy and toys for kids.  
Plus a few trinkets and inspiration for future DIY projects.  

A little Maine humor. 
We grab our favorite ice-cream flavors and take a seat in the colorful adirondack chairs out front to enjoy the view and to people watch.  
The Inn across the street has a great little restaurant and hosts weddings on weekends in summers.   
It is straight up the hill from the ferry and it's fun to sit and eat and ice-cream and watch
all the wedding guests in their fancy clothes walking up the hill.  
Greeting the bride and groom at the reception.  
The island is filled with people who love to garden and there are always beautiful window boxes to admire. 
And spectacular views to take in.   
Back to their corner of the island there are more quaint houses.  
with their own little guest houses. 
Mark's sister's house is just down the dirt road from his.  It has four bedrooms and beautiful porch views.
She rents it most of the summer and plans to retire here eventually.    
His brother is diagonal from her across the street.  
His house is tiny and has the most spectacular porch, yard and sandy beach views. 
There is usually a game of croquet in the back yard during our BBQ's.  
You can climb down some steps he made with a rope to hold on to to reach this spot.   
Not a bad spot for some cocktails and a bbq.  
Mark's other sister has a house in South Portland.  
A crescent moon hidden on his tree.  
Along with a great tree swing.   
A fun spot to climb. 
But a little hard to get down on our own...
The neighborhood boasts some adorable cottages. 
And everyone seems to be constantly tinkering and sprucing up their properties. 
There is a graveyard at the end of the neighborhood where we pass through to get to the rocks for sunsets, crab catching, playing with the dogs and just enjoying the sun baked rocks.  
A memorial for their mom labelled simply "Mom's bench"  with a
sweet little view and surrounded by forget me nots.  
L & K doing their own photo shoot.  
While H does some crab catching.  
Just staring at a tide pool is fascinating and makes you stop
and appreciate how spectacular this world really is.  
A mother daughter hug while enjoying the view. 
Every year the girls host a lemonade stand.  Three Sister's Lemonade.  They plan for it all year.
They make cookies and lemonade from frozen concentrate.  They cut up fresh lemon slices for added appeal.  They ride their bikes to the store and back to Grandma and Grandpa's house for more supplies.  We love the freedom the island gives them to go get an ice-cream on their own, bike around the entire island and meet us on our walk on the beach, go crab catching and exploring on their own.    
Back at the house we chill on the top deck.
Relax and watch the sky from the hammock.
Make quote rocks to give away at the lemonade stand. 
Play lots and lots of games.  Our favorites on Peaks are othello and boggle.   
We all head to the ferry together at the end of the weekend.  
And wave goodbye to Peaks, Grandma, Grandpa & Zoey until the next time we come back to this magical place.  People were surprised to see us there this Memorial Day.  They thought now that we had a place on a lake we wouldn't come back.  Peaks will always be a special part of our hearts, our history, our story and we hope to continue to make memories there for years to come!  
We often see seals from the ferry and enjoy all the sites on our way back to Portland.  
Mark's brother's house has this sign over the doors looking out over the porch, and his view...
He found this very special spot and then his siblings and family have all fallen in love with it too.
Reminds me of Crescent Lake...and another cottage that will soon be occupied by a sibling and their family...we always joked they had their own Kennedy compound on Peaks and now we are starting one on Crescent Lake!