How to Vacation on an Island in Maine

There are several rules to keep in mind when you’re vacationing on an island in Maine. These rules have stood the test of time and a dramatic family history.

The first rule is that whenever you walk along the rocky Maine coastline, admiring the lovely waves and avoiding the tour boats, you must always look for sea glass. Sea glass, we learned, takes about 40 years to form from the smashed champagne bottles we left behind us off the beach. Thus, the bottles smashed by us this summer will be collected by our children. Or our grandchildren. I am not very skilled in the art of collecting sea glass. I found one piece. My in-laws had about 100 pieces each by the end of our vacation.

Rocky View

Another rule that is necessary to vacation on the island is that you must always watch the sun set. Some people like to rank the sunsets from 1-10, others prefer to award each sunset a 10 on principle. Some consider it a useful excuse to smoke pipes and cigars and e-cigarettes. Some use it to take selfies. The mosquitoes use it as a time to feast on our ankles. Nevertheless, it is vital to your island experience to watch the sunset each and every night, unless the fog is too thick, or the rain too heavy. Or the stack of dishes to wash is too high.


A third rule that must be adhered to while staying on an island in Maine is that you will spend a lot of time picking blueberries. Unless you have a [in]convenient back injury, like me. A back injury will also help you to get out of vacuuming and kayaking [on open ocean, where a whale could breach beneath your tiny boat at any moment and cause you to lose your cell phone in your rush to record the event for posterity]. Piking blueberries comes with its own reward in the shape of pancakes and cake. Even those who don’t help pick the blueberries benefit from those who obey this rule. Unfortunately I did not manage to take a picture of an intact blueberry cake.

Another rule to consider while staying on an island in Maine is that your cell-phone and internet-service will be spotty at best. If you need to send an important email and want to be sure that it will go through then you may need to hike to the opposite end of the island and hope for the best. You will likely miss out on various important social-networking information, like that selfie of your second-cousin at the water park, your best friend from third-grade’s book recommendation, or the fuzzy photo your ex-co-worker took of her car hitting the 200,000 mile marker. Prepare yourself for a media-fast.


If you follow these four important rules then you are sure to have a lovely vacation on an island in Maine. Just be sure to bring some bug spray, and a pile of books for rainy days, and a puzzle. It is also preferable to liberally apply sunscreen before any foray into the great outdoors [even if it does make your entire vacation slightly sticky].


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