Work hard, play harder used to be one of my favorite expressions. Lately, tho, it seems to be work hard, then work harder. Balancing the business and being a mom is more challenging than I ever could have imagined. When I'm not working, I'm watching Will so J can work. And when Will's asleep, it's right back to work, work, work. It's all clearly very fulfilling, and exhausting. J and I talked of taking some time away as a family once wedding season came to a close, and tho we considered venturing a long distance in a car to a cabin in the woods, we decided on a quick hop over to Cape Elizabeth to enjoy a place we love photographing weddings at but never get to experience as a guest. We live in Maine for a reason, after all, so why not embrace being a tourist in our own backyard, right? We finally did it, we loved it and we vowed to do it again and again.
The Inn by the Sea, if you are not familiar, is a beautiful classic shingled inn overlooking the water just outside Portland. Completely renovated just a few years ago, the rooms are all thoughtfully decorated and feature many earth-friendly touches such as little bags to take home your half-used soap (so smart). Cookies were delivered each night, as well as a handwritten note about the forecast and tides for the next day. We opted for a cottage with a kitchen so brought in some of our food, but enjoyed the yummy restaurant for a breakfast (eggs and homemade biscuits!) and multi-course dinner (pumpkin gnocchi!). It was Dakota's birthday while we were there, part of the reason we chose Inn by the Sea and their uber dog-friendly operation. She was treated to an LL Bean Dog bed, special food and water dishes, nightly turn down Maine-made cookies, and meat "roaf" for her birthday meal.
The weather was outstanding and tho we had to bundle up a little (note Will's "east coast" hat, as J likes to say), we took full advantage of Crescent Beach for daily morning and afternoon hikes, having a picnic on the rocks in the sunshine. Mama even scooted to their ah-mazing underground spa for a will-definitely-be-going-back custom massage. Lounging in a robe and slippers, I zoned out while sipping tea and snacking on almonds and apricots in the waiting room and in the steam shower after. It was a little bit of heaven, if I do say so myself, and reminded me a tad of my all-time favorite spa at Ceasars Palace in Vegas.
Just a few days away, we promised to disconnect (no phones! no iPads!) and we returned feeling fresh and reconnected. Bliss.