The Upside of an Empty Nest


I started vacation a bit tentatively. This was the first time I would have vacation and an empty house since becoming an empty nester. Most of the past vacations were holidays when the kids came home for break and then in February we traveled for the week. Though I was nervous heading in, I was looking forward to the down time and…the verdict is in…


I spent the week enjoying lazy mornings, long hikes, gardening, reading, writing, eating out, and generally luxuriating in a fluid, flexible schedule. It was utterly delightful. We capped it off with two days at Acadia National Park, surely one of the most beautiful spots on earth, and dinner with two of our three children at University of Maine. By Sunday I was refreshed and relatively ready to return to school on Monday morning.

These two conversations from early Monday morning brought back many memories, reinforced the upsides to vacationing and traveling without young children, and engaged my sympathies for the parents involved.

“How was your trip to Pennsylvania?” I asked a student.
“Mrs. Hogan! We drove for like 12 hours!”
“Wow! That’s a long drive.”
“Yeah, and I had to stop like 8 times to go to the bathroom,” he said.

Another student bounced up to me first thing, announcing “I got stitches over vacation.”
“You did?” I exclaimed. “What happened?”
“I cut my foot.”
“Where were you?” I asked, knowing her family had planned to travel for part of the break.
“At the hotel,” she said.
“Well, where was the hotel?”
“Oh, it was in Washington, D.C. It happened on the first day of vacation and I had to go to the emergency room.”
“Oh, no,” I said, “What an awful way to start your vacation!”
“Yeah,” she agreed, but then added, “But it’s a great small moment story!”

And then, apropos to nothing really, I just needed to share this–the view outside my classroom today:



9 thoughts on “The Upside of an Empty Nest

  1. cindaroo42 says:

    Great post Molly! Love the pics and the anecdotes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    You are preparing me for that “empty nest” vacation so I’m glad you loved it! And, I am blown away from the view outside your window. Say it isn’t so!!!! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos too. ~Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. vanessaw2007 says:

    That’s one of my favorite parks! Glad you made it back before the storm. Love the snippets of conversation further cementing your carefree vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tara Smith says:

    Oh my, that view…yikes! Snow! I’ve just learned how to enjoy empty nest vacations – they have their upsides, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Your early pictures are marvelous, wow, such beauty. We may have snow sprinkles overnight too. It’s colder here, but I’m still waiting for rain! I’m glad it was a good week. When we became empty nesters for sure, it was like going back to our early marriage, doing lots we wanted to do, and a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. danrothermel says:

    Did we nearly cross paths at Acadia National Park? Friday past with my Canadian friend, I hiked the Beehive Trail and come back by the Gorham Mountain Trail. Saturday we biked past Jordan Pond on the “Around the Mountain” Carriage Road. Ever walk out to Bar Island in Bar Harbor when the tide was low?

    Let it snow and let it melt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I salute your Beehive Trail Bravery! We read the warning sign and opted not to take that route. We did hike the Gorham Mtn. Trail though and a few others to make a loop and also hiked around Jordan Pound. We must have just missed each other! We hadn’t been to Acadia for years and years and have never spent much time there. We’ll have to go back and add the Bar Island hike–we noticed it and were intrigued. Happy hiking!


  7. I so want to visit Acadia someday. And Maine in general. What funny, heartwarming stories–and that beautiful snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mbhmaine says:

    Laura, it’s well worth a visit! I’m determined to get back to Acadia again before the end of the year. It’s enchanting!


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