We're tired of waiting for good weather, it seems the best hiking day is predictably Wednesday, when of course we're working and homeschooling. Having decided to pursue a life of adventure as a family we came to the conclusion to go outside, in spite of the elements. No easy feat when you live in beautiful but chilly and often wet Maine.
But we do have three young children and we're not so hardcore that we're going to head to the mountains for a 5 hour hike during a torrential rainstorm. The kids may be up for it but I'm way too much of a wimp for that! Enter the urban adventure.
Most of us live in cities or suburbs, within walking distance of some kind of destination, whether it's a downtown bookstore/coffee shop, a nearby mall or pet store (our kiddos love pet stores). We've decided that miserable weather days are perfect for an urban jaunt. A great time to explore the local terrain. You can dress for the weather, reward the kids with a visit somewhere interesting and know that you're never too far from home if the weather get's really bad.
Our family recently had our first "the weekend weather is bad, let's have an urban adventure". Our destination? The family friendly pub, Grittys, (the only thing open downtown on a Sunday) for an afternoon tea and hot cocoa.
The weekend had been wet and we didn't want to hike a mountain in November rain. The sky was overcast when we set out after our leisurely Sunday morning breakfast so we dressed warm and dry, expecting the worst. Although the hike was cloudy it didn't rain so we stayed dry the whole way (but we were prepared just in case). Ironically, the one event we weren't prepared for was our son's scraped elbow after tripping on the brick sidewalk. We always pack our first aid kit on our hikes through the leaf littered and mossy woods. It never occurred to us that we'd need it for a walk downtown!
The trek took us about 3 hours with an hour or so spent sipping cocoa and playing tic-tac-toe at the pub. All in all it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. And now instead of dreading a weekend of bad weather (inevitable here in Maine) we look forward to our next trek around town.