What I Did on my Summer Vacation By Karen Wojcik Berner


When I was young, we started the school year on the Tuesday after Labor Day, so I thought it fitting to return to blogging today. Sans pigtails, of course.

My break was dominated by my youngest son’s sports schedule, lots of shuffling him to and from practices (football and lacrosse), like many of you. We traveled to Pennsylvania and New Jersey for lacrosse tournaments. Pennsylvania was fantastic. We stayed less than a mile from Valley Forge. Held on the grounds of a prep school founded in 1799, this tournament had the most gorgeous lacrosse fields I’ve ever seen, truly East Coast lacrosse at its finest, and we Midwesterners were just happy to play with the big boys. We flew out of Philadelphia, so we got to tour Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell as well, which were pretty amazing. Oh, yeah, and Philly cheesesteaks are fantastic.

New Jersey? Suffice to say, the first day of the tournament, while our team finished up its last game, someone stole our tent. Way to go, Jersey. Not even being near Princeton could redeem it.

The two lacrosse trips weren’t our only travel, though. The four of us headed to Harpswell, Maine, for a glorious week in a beach house right on the ocean. It even had a lobster house restaurant right next door!

The delicious Estes Lobster House, Harpswell, ME. Photo courtesy of Roadtrippers.com.

Harpswell is about an hour north of Portland and only thirty minutes from Brunswick, a wonderful little town and home to the beautiful Bowdoin College.

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME. Photo by Karen Berner.

Our days were filled with fun in the sun, the marvelous Atlantic Ocean, and great food, as any good vacation should be. We had a lot of laughs, and it was so wonderful to share a full week together before my eldest went back to college. Although England will always be my happy place, I believe Maine comes in a close second.

The iconic Portland Head Light, Portland, ME. Photo by Karen Berner.

The Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Karen Berner.
As with all seasons, the good is usually tempered with the bad. My seventy-five-year-old father gave us quite a scare that resulted in several weeks in the hospital. Life as he knew it has changed permanently, which is not easy for any of us to deal with, as he struggles to live independently for as long as possible.

The nights are getting longer. In a couple of weeks, autumnal equinox will herald cooler days and crisp nights. I’ll be in the football stands for Friday Night Lights every week, watching my youngest take the field as a starting Right Guard.

This fall, I’m returning to my journalistic roots and working on a few personal essays and articles, which I’m very excited about. I’ve also felt a few flashes of fiction. A line of dialog here, a description there. There could very well be a short story coming on.

How about you? How was your summer? What are you looking forward to this fall?

Next week:
Thoughts on My Summer Reads


Kelly Hashway said…
Great pics. We got away for a few days to Mystic, CT. It was a fun trip. We've already booked our trip to Aruba next summer. :)
Aruba sounds wonderful! That's sure something to look forward to.
Claudine G. said…
Portland looks gorgeous. I'd love to have a vacation at a beach house with a lobster restaurant nearby!
It was something I've always wanted to do. :)
Amazing how fast the summer seems to have gone when it's over! Loved seeing your photos - Maine is somewhere I'd love to visit. One day... All the best with the "back to the desk", Karen. Enjoy your writing (as we will enjoy reading it)!
You are so right, Deborah. Thanks for the well wishes.

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