Happy New Year readers! I hope you are having a great 2020 so far! I am back in the sunny South of France, but I wanted to write about my time spent in Maine with my family during Christmastime.
After taking a flight from Barcelona, I arrived in Boston greeted my my mom and grandpa. This time I flew with Iberia on a discount flight (operated by Level). It was very affordable, but not the best because I didn’t even get any food or drinks during the flight. When I got to the airport I scarfed down a Dunkin Donuts Impossible sausage egg and cheese sandwich. In Massachusetts I spent a couple of days at my grandparents house catching up on sleep and spending time watching birds, eating cider donuts and catching my family up about my adventures.
A few days before Christmas, my dad and step-mom flew over from California and they joined me and my brother in Mass to drive up to Maine. We were staying in Bethel, specifically where my aunt and uncle have a log cabin and where I lived the first few years of my life! One of the first days in Maine we had a family photoshoot with a local photographer. At the end, my step-mom brought out elf onesies for us to wear and take funny photos in. It seems kind of dorky, but we had so much fun!
On Christmas eve, we went skiing at Sunday River, a ski resort where my dad used to work as a ski patroller and where my uncle currently ski patrols! It had been a couple of years since I last skied, the last time being in Chamonix, so I was a little nervous, but I ended up doing okay! My brother and my dad led the way and I was able to ski on the intermediate trails without any problems. One tip my dad told me was to keep my upper body pointed downhill while making turns.
On Christmas day we had a very special experience… sled dogging! The man who runs the operation is an old friend of my parents from their Maine days. We actually ended up going to New Hampshire on some snow mobile trails (that were not open for snow mobiles yet becuase there was not enough snow). We met them in the morning and also got to meet all the dogs before we headed out on the trail. The dogs were well cared for and they were super friendly, but also super excited! They were barking and doing their business and even jumping at some points. The dogs were Alaskan huskies and could not be more excited to run. One of them was even so excited that it ended up scratching my face, but I was okay! It was just a light scratch and not malicious at all.
We bundled up in the sleds and the guides drove the sleds standing up. On each team, there were 10 dogs. In one hour we travelled 14 miles! The scenery was so beautiful and it was cool to watch the dogs do what they do best. I’m glad it wasn’t longer though because I got cold just sitting down. After the ride, the sled dog master invited us back to his place to see his farm where he had more than 50 dogs! There were puppies, the dogs we rode with, as well as super sweet old retired sled dogs. They even had some beautiful horses which his partner took care of.
After Christmas day we did some other chill activities like hanging out in town, sitting my the fire and even skating on the frozen pond outside. One day we even took a trip down to Portland to do some Christmas shopping.
Later in the week, my uncle, aunt, and my mom also joined us up at the cabin along with their Bay (my mom’s dog) and Elsie the vizsla (my aunt and uncle’s dog).
On this trip I also tried cross country skiing for the first time! We used the skate type of skis and the trails were a little patchy, but still skiable. I did not realize how much of a work out this activity was. It works your upper and lower body simultaneously and gets your heart pumping. It was hard, but I needed it considering I was eating holiday food and resting most of the vacation.
The day before I headed back to France I went downhill skiing one more time with my mom. I’m so happy that I got to spend so much time with my family over the holidays becuase I don’t see them very much while I’m living abroad in France. After a half-day of skiing we joined the rest of the family at the Matterhorn ski bar where I had some of the best pizza of my life. We ordered more pizzas as take out for dinner and had a big feast at the cabin when my uncle got back. We also lit off a few fireworks in the backyard to prematurely celebrate the New Year.
Thank you so much for reading! Check out my youtube video with skiing, skating, and dog footage!
Bay’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baythedog/
The Professional Photographer’s Website: https://www.yeahbudphotography.com/