After our exciting debut in Gorham we traveled a bit farther inland to the Lakes Region and the kids' other set of grandparents. A point of order here (if you've known me at all in the last decade or so, I'm sure you've heard this bit. Apologies.): Being on the east coast confuses my compass, I might as well be in Australia. I never realized how much I rely on my internal area map and relation to major bodies of water (i.e. oceans) and mountains. Almost all my life, the ocean has meant West and inland means East, and every time I find myself on the opposite coast I make a fool of myself.
With a baby and a broken arm, we spent our time much closer to home base than is our usual wont, but that's not to say that things lacked excitement. There were frogs and fish to catch almost every day, a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game, family and friends galore, lakes to splash around in, and food and food and food. Anatole ate his first two lobsters, swiftly becoming an expert, it's in his blood. And he helped his grandmother make genuine whoopie pies, the official state treat of Maine (not dessert, which is the blueberry pie, they know the important differences between these things over there).
Even cooler than all that, though, was our visit to grandfather's place of work as a railway engineer. We got a rare and privileged view (though regrettably few pictures, I was so busy just pushing buttons and holding onto babies), and Anatole even got to drive a train down a short section of track, steam blowing and bells ringing and horns a-blowing. It was a sight to remember, a one-armed boy lost behind a giant orange safety vest and face-splitting grin.
The coup de grace is this much-abused and gnomic sign: