Kids To Maine -Part 2 – 8/2/2018

Colleen invited us to stay in Maine two days so she could show us around where she and the kids live. We were excited to see some of the highlights of Maine. Mom and I stayed in a motel while Sonora spent two nights with Michaela. The next morning driving over to Colleen’s house, we stopped to check out a few roadside attractions that we drove past the night before.



We spent the morning at their house hanging out. I managed to turn several horses in the display around and get a photo for Hannah. (Its a running joke with my sister to send her pictures of horse butts)

We decided to go out to lunch before our day’s activity. We went to Sea Dog brewing company. Mom and I ate there the night before but didn’t mind going back as it was quite good!

Here’s a selfie of the group. From left to right, Sean, Colleen, Travis (Colleen’s Husband), Mom (Grandma Pat), Sonora, Hogan (me).

Eventually, we went out to “Land’s End”. Its a shop and the end of a long row with a beach. We hung out on the beach for a long time and walked all through the shop.

One interesting note is a product called Moxie. Its a regional soft drink that has a cult following. Cult because of its bitter taste. I purchased one. Sonora and I could each only manage a single sip before handing it away to Michaela to finish. I wished I had a steel brush to clean my tongue of the aftertaste!

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We had a great time. Eventually, we finished up and headed back to Topsham. For dinner, we were invited to Pete and Mary Beth’s house (Colleen’s parents). They showed us around their amazing house. It is set right on the edge of public land that won’t ever be developed. This gives them a giant space to explore and hike in year round. On the edge of their property, Pete built a magnificent tree house for Michaela and Sean to play in! I’m impressed!

For the dinner that they hosted, Pete did to me what I do to others, over served my drink. He offered whiskey and I accepted, but he poured the glass nearly full. I didn’t finish it, but it was a laughing point for the meal. It was a great night enjoying their hospitality and seeing their genuine love of their grand kids being home safe!

The second day was a day at the beach. Pete and Mary Beth gave us two different tents and some chairs to use since we planned to be there all day. We packed a cooler with lunch and drinks and headed out together in my van. Once we got set up, we took turns hanging out at the tents to watch our stuff.

Sonora with our two tents.

Looking down the beach.

Looking out at the water

Sean relaxing

I missed Danelle, so I left her a note (that I took a photo of and texted to her) in the sand.

Mom may have borrowed my message for dad 🙂

Its an old BAK (Biking Across Kansas) joke that Holly would write “Giggles was here” at the SAG stops. We added it to the sand and sent her a photo.

The last set of photos from our day at the beach came from an outing with mom. Before we left, dad told me to push mom a bit out of her comfort zone, that she would do nearly anything. So I took him up on it and took mom for a hike over to see a large rock outcropping at the beach. 

This is the view from the top of the rock. The specks on the beach is where our stuff is set up.

Mom at the top of the rock.

It was a hard climb up and worse down because we were both barefoot! Beyond this, we all took turns playing in the sand. Sonora, Michaela, and Colleen loved the 68 degree water and I tolerated it as long as I had to. I was surprised how busy this beach was for a Monday!

We went back to Colleen’s house for dinner that night. She took us for a walk around the property including an abandoned railroad track.

We were sad to say goodbye, but it was time. We packed up Sonora back into the van and headed back to the motel. We finished the second phase of this trip and now our party was down to three people.

Hogan Haake


Sioux Passage Park – 1/21/2018

We decided to hang out as a family. So we loaded up the van with too much gear and headed north to Souix Passage park. We started out playing tennis for about 2 hours. We knew it was time to quit when most of the kids hits sent a ball over the tall fences. We also brought equipment for disc golf, but I got them to check out the Missouri river first.

This day was amazing because it was about 60F outside, so we were plenty warm. We drove through the park to the boat ramp and parked. A walk down the boat ramp showed an interesting contrast. Warm day with ice floating down the river.

Winter time means that the river is low. The map below shows the park (which is 211 acres). The red area is where the sand beach is that we played on. The river was low enough to walk all the way across to Pelican Island and explore, but we didn’t make it much farther than the sand.

Map cropped from Google.

It didn’t take long before all of us were all in playing in the sand!

A view of our beach for the day.

The hole got much deeper, but I had too much sand to take any more photos safely.

It got too hot for shoes, so off the came! The sand was as good as any beach on the ocean.

Making a sand sculpture.

Corvin fit in the hole I dug by hand.

Danelle made a butterfly

This cat is harder to see.

Check out the difference in water level, needs to come up about 8 feet before the beach is underwater.

Time to hike over to the ice waterfalls and check them out.

Sonora wasn’t going to let us have all the fun.

Hogan standing on the ice with muddy feet.

Trail of muddy steps.

Only my kids would follow me on freezing mud and ice to make a memory.

Corvin is proud of his tracks.

Sonora is proud of her tracks.

This is how you clean off your feet.

And if you’re still not sure, see the video!

This is one of those days I’ll never forget. The magic of feeling like winter is over and making a mess like a kid!

Hogan Haake




Florida Vacation Day 8 – 7/10/2015

Our last full day in Florida was a day at the beach. It didn’t seem like we could spend in a better way. So we went out to the beach and set up our borrowed tent with our 100 square feet of shade to prevent sunburn. Of course, being the horrible person that I am, I started digging a large hole in the middle of our shaded space!


I ended up getting about shoulder deep in the sand, meeting the water at the bottom of the whole, It took a long time, but was worth the work. The kids enjoyed getting into the deep hole with me. IMG_20150710_130209

A time lapse of our day on the beach.

After our time on the beach, we made a visit to the famous Ron John Surf Shop. Danelle picked up some new sunglasses. IMG_20150710_160706

After dinner, we had family time on the shuffle board court. A prefect day to end a great vacation!

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We finished off the night with a late walk on the beach and some large glow sticks. IMG_20150710_214040

On the way back to the hotel room, we handed off our glow sticks to strangers so they could enjoy them and we could sleep with less light!

Hogan Haake


Florida Vacation Day 5 – 7/7/2015

Today’s plan was to go deep sea fishing. We got spots on a large boat that was slated to go about 10 miles offshore for good fishing. The kids were quite excited. We arrived early to check things out and ensure that we didn’t miss the boat.

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When I checked in, I purchased some rags to keep our hands clean and a two packs of motion sickness pills. I was hoping since the boat was a large catamaran that they would not be necessary.


It was a long slow journey out to the fishing grounds. The novelty wore off not long after we got out into the open.IMG_20150707_111533 IMG_20150707_111527

In fact, it didn’t take long for the kids and I to start feeling motion sick! We each took one of the 4 pills I had. Magically, Sonora felt better instantly. I think the food actually helped. I decided to have a beer figuring it couldn’t make it worse!


Once the boat was settled in the fishing ground, we all went to work fishing. I’ll say that 80 some people fishing off the same boat isn’t that great of an experience. Sonora, Danelle, and the guy next to them got majorly tangled several times!

None of us caught any fish, only a few people in the group caught any fish, but nothing special. We then had the hour long ride back. Overall it was a great outing and we’re glad we didn’t pay for the full day fishing. Here are all the fish that our 80 person boat caught.


Corvin and I used the shuffleboard court and a soccer ball to create our own game. We would punt the ball and see where it landed for points. Sonora ended up playing too. The Motel 6 we were staying at was perfect!


And of course we finished off the day with some time at the beach! IMG_20150707_200837 IMG_20150707_202219

Hogan Haake