We took one test drive to shake the van down before departing in earnest. Leaving the comfort of our family’s home, we shot north, back to our home of of South Portland to dog sit for a friend, right down the street from where our journey originated. Needing a handful of days to button up loose ends, we were stoked to have the time back in our stomping grounds, sharing teary eyed goodbyes with best friends - Alfonso’s especially, our last walks on Willard Beach and the inevitable continuous downsizing needed to complete this transition. While familiar, South Portland strangely already felt foreign.
From there, we drove to Burke, VT as Sofi had a wedding to shoot and this was a recommendation from one of the guests at our going away party. Like a horse to water, I led Alfonso and Camilo out through the ritzy hotel and a couple hundred meters up the icy slope to what seemed to be a place where our kind of folks might hang out. Upon getting closer, the sweet sounds of violins and lead guitar echoed off the crisp air and we entered The Bear Den - little did we know that this bar’s reputation spanned North America. After a dark chocolate stout for me and hot chocolate for the lads, we strolled around the bar and had a moment of awe as Alfonso’s first teacher recognized us from across the room. We all had a minor freakout and soon were instantly plugged into the Burke scene where we met the locals, were invited to dinner and offered places to stay, etc…. It was as if the universe was affirming– this is your path – please push on. We enjoyed an epic night catching up with old and new friends, laughing about the coincidence and the fact that she told us to come to Burke and the random chance at running into one another.
We drove back through the Northern Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains and back to Biddeford where we spent one last night with dear friends who spent January – March of last year traveling from Maine to Mexico with their 3-month old child. Now they are re-energizing a beautiful farm in Western Biddeford and though our stay was short, it felt like the perfect send off.
But of course, it’s never so easy to leave when there are so many loose ends, so after seeing our carpenter and mechanic one last time for some final tune ups we were given the full thumbs up and off we went – pointing south into warmer waters.