The place where our family comes together

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It’s that time of year. We’re packing up way too many belongings, cramming them in our suddenly too small SUV and heading out on vacation. My daughter has been asking for weeks when we were leaving, painstakingly counting the days.

China Lake  

We make it a priority to take a family vacation each summer, and we are blessed to be able to do the same thing year after year, traveling the long journey up I-95 from Virginia to the state of Maine, where we have the most beautiful lake house on what I consider to be the most beautiful lake anywhere. I am, of course, biased.  

Lake Islands View  

My childhood summer memories are centered around going to Maine with my immediate family, along with friends, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Our extended family descends in the short-lived warm weather weeks in July and August, sharing one bathroom, cramming on to the lakeside dock on the sunny days and {mostly} cheerfully dividing the routine tasks like cooking and washing dishes for the masses.  


Watching my children enjoy the same memories I experienced as a child is priceless, be it catching a “this big” fish, learning to water ski, climbing around the rocks in the cove or hiking around the small uninhabited islands that dot the lake. In this day and age where so much has changed, one thing in our life remains consistent and that is our time together in Maine.    

kids in lake copy{photo 2009}

My grandfather built our log cabin in the early 1900s as a hunting camp, building it as they did back then just with the help of his friends. Over the years our lake cottage has seen a few changes, only the necessary updates, and while luxurious it is not, it is timeless, a true Maine ’camp.’ Much of the lake is a reservoir. While we do have neighbors, you have to look hard for signs of the other residents.  

maine-camp-1970{photo circa 1971}

maine cabin{photo circa 2013}

  It’s a different world than we live in at home. I can sit for hours watching my kids have a jumping contest off the dock, remembering doing the same thing with my brother. The fishing contests get more competitive each year as my kids get older, time passes slower at camp but somehow the vacation always flies by.


Each year is its own but always very much the same, the Maine traditions stand. Coffee on the porch in the morning. In the evening cocktail hour often extends on the lawn while we catch up with family, cousins or Maine friends who often arrive by boat, no invitation necessary, and somehow the long winter since we’ve last visited just slips away. It’s just the way it is done there.


{photo circa 1970s, our cottage has been nicknamed “The Birches”}

It’s the kind of place where you are pretty much either swimming, fishing, sailing, eating, or sleeping. There are stacks of puzzles for rainy days {the ancient TV only gets just a few fuzzy channels, my kids give up after the first day} and random books to read left behind by other guests. Wireless exists up there by necessity {a hard call, as much as we would all prefer to leave it all behind, can we in this day and age?}. The cabin has finally been brought online, but it’s a place where checking your email is a chore not a habit.

  maine vintage 2

{photo circa early 1970s, that baby is me, my great-grandfather who built the cabin on the photo-right}

Our cabin is the essence of family. Even though only my earliest foggy memories include my great-grandfather who built the camp, I can still see him sitting in his lawn chair. My late grandparents treasured the camp dearly. They met at the lake and married on the front lawn. My grandfather’s own family have a cottage just a mile or so down the shore. In a good way, their spirit remains there; their coffee mugs embossed with their names still reside in the cabinets and their hats still hang on the hooks. My parents and their generation now tediously maintain our cottage, being necessarily diligent about preserving it for those of us to come. In addition to it being our vacation destination, it is a time capsule of a lost era.  


{photo taken last summer, the vintage Blue Willow china has a place in my heart}

It is a place where our family still sits together at the table for hours after dinner watching the sun slip behind the far shore, moving outside to light a campfire and make s’mores, talking about nothing and everything. Where my kids don’t slip away to play Xbox or text, but head outside for flashlight tag or one more night swim. It’s a world lost in time, we like it that way, a place where even for just a few weeks a summer, our family comes together. lake-sunset-post    

There’s no better vehicle to bring the family together than the Chevy Traverse. With seating for up to 81., everyone in the family can join in on the fun. A 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety2. helps keep everyone safe on your journey to find new roads, no matter where, or how far, it takes you. And best-in-class maximum cargo space makes packing for family road trips, or hauling around children’s sporting equipment, a breeze. With all these great features and more, there’s no question the Chevy Traverse is the ultimate family vehicle. Learn more at


  1. Standard on LS and 1LT.  Available on 2LT. LTZ seats 7.
  2. Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (


Amy New Headshot 2014 Small


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