Years ago, I attended a Christian Women’s Conference where I heard a phrase that really stuck with me—“You’ve got to keep the main thing the main thing.” The main thing the speaker was referring to is faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important and it should be the main thing in our lives.
I’ve been thinking about that phrase a lot lately, but for a different reason.
A Bucket List Trip
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I checked another item off our bucket list by taking a trip to Maine. It was a first for both of us, something we had looked forward to for years.
Our son and daughter-in-law are currently on a bit of an adventure. They both love to travel, so they are taking some time before they start a family to experience living in different places around the country. Next month, they will venture “across the pond” to spend six weeks in the United Kingdom. Working remotely helps make this possible.
They spent August in Seattle, September in Juneau, then traveled across the country to spend October in Portland, Maine. They invited both sets of parents to come for a visit. The historic home they rented near downtown Portland was roomy enough to accommodate visiting friends and family.
My husband and I jumped at the chance to visit Maine, especially in the fall. It was the perfect opportunity to travel somewhere we had never been before. Knowing we would get to see our son and daughter-in-law was the icing on the cake.
My mother used to take my grandmother and her sisters on sightseeing trips around the country. One time, they drove along the eastern seaboard, all the way into Canada. She talked about how, once they got to Maine, they would stop at roadside stands to eat lobster from paper plates. I’ve carried that image in my mind for many years and always yearned to experience the same.
They also visited Acadia National Park and spoke of how beautiful it was. The funniest thing about their trip was that my mom and her youngest aunt would go see the sight and record it on a huge VHS tape. The next morning, she would show my grandmother and an older aunt what they had missed while they waited in the van.
All The Fun Things
So, we had our list of things we wanted to experience: eating lobster on a paper plate at a roadside stand, seeing some of the famous Maine lighthouses, visiting Acadia National Park and driving to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, driving through quaint New England towns, and visiting Kennebunkport, where former President Bush had a vacation retreat. In the five days we were in Maine, we were able to experience all of those things. As an added bonus, it was all against the backdrop of the jewel tones of the changing autumn leaves.
We explored the city of Portland and the nearby Portland Head Light. We drove along the rocky coast of Maine to Acadia National Park and were awestruck by the view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain. We drove through a dozen quaint New England towns, including one where we stopped at a lobster pound and enjoyed a twenty dollar, fresh lobster dinner. We took a side trip to Augusta, the picturesque capital of Maine. We made the obligatory visit to the L.L.Bean store in Freeport, where I needed to buy tee-shirts as the temperatures were much warmer than I had packed for.
Other than the hour and a half my husband and I spent on top of Cadillac Mountain, my favorite thing was the time we spent with our kids: attending an outdoor concert of their favorite band, walking to coffee shops, an amazing dinner at a tapas restaurant, buying fresh fish from the seafood market and later enjoying a dinner they prepared, spending a day visiting Kennebunkport and a lighthouse a little farther south. You could say that the main thing about our Maine trip was spending time with two people we love very much.
A Reminder Of God’s Goodness
God also reminded me of His goodness on this trip in an interesting way. We had an early morning flight to Portland so we decided to spend the night before at a hotel near the airport. Just as we arrived at our hotel, about twelve hours before our scheduled flight, I got a text message saying our flight the next day was canceled. Now, I only get to see my children five or six times a year, so, when something messes with that, I’m not a happy camper. I admit, I had a little bit of a meltdown. Well, maybe a big meltdown.
We got checked into our hotel and spent the next hour and a half trying to salvage our trip. It wasn’t a simple matter of finding a later flight. The airline we were supposed to travel on had canceled over a thousand flights around the country and couldn’t get us to Portland until four days later. Fortunately, we found another flight on a different airline leaving Charlotte and arriving in Portland close to our original flight plan. Here’s where God really showed off—our flight home was nonstop and got in three hours earlier than our originally planned flight. With the two and a half hour drive from the airport to our condo, that meant we were home by nine instead of midnight. I felt a little sheepish about my earlier meltdown when I realized God was looking out for me. I’m going to try to remember that in the future.
The Best Thing About Travel
There are so many interesting places to visit in this world, so many interesting things to see. When it comes down to it, the main thing, or in this case, the Maine thing, is the people you are with. I’m sure I would have enjoyed Maine if it was just my husband and myself, but, getting to experience a different part of the country with two really special people made it all the better. It was a trip I will not soon forget.
How about you? Do you think the people you travel with help make a trip special? Is there a memorable trip you have gone on with family or friends? I’d love to hear.