While dinner was being prepared Jeanine put on some music and the girls danced with abandon.

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Our next destination was Sand Beach where the girls were careful to keep their clothes dry while racing the waves. Although the water temperature was a chilly 57F it was our lack of towels (and an adult willing to follow them) that kept the girls from taking the plunge.

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Here is the reverse view from the top of Cadillac Mountain looking back on Sullivan Harbor. We enjoyed lunch here with Sophia and Rose while the boys and Maya elected to remain at the house enjoying croquet and tennis. Funny as I think about it, but with a high enough resolution camera you could find all 7 kids in this frame.

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This morning I was up at 5am to catch the sunrise and do a little early morning photography. From our backyard, Sullivan Harbor opens up onto Frenchman’s Bay and this view of Cadillac Mountain in the heart of Acadia National Park.

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I was rather thirsty after the long drive and decided to see if there was anything interesting in the refrigerator. A couple of live lobsters were not what I was expecting to find. Apparently these were all that remained of the seven purchased by Mark this morning directly from a lobster boat working off of the dock adjacent to ours. You need to know my brother to understand why fresh caught lobster for breakfast is a perfectly reasonable meal?

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We are renting an ocean front home on Sullivan Bay with a stunning view of the mountains of Acadia National Park. With my brother’s family we number 10 (my sister-in-law, Marie, is in Ireland visiting with her sister who is battling cancer and could not join us). The place is enormous and everyone has plenty of room to spread out.

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Within an hour of Nico’s liberation from the hospital we were on our way to Maine to join up with the rest of our clan. We made several pit stops along the way and completed the journey in six hours. I took this photo while driving which explains the bow of a kayak in the frame. The sky started out unusually beautiful but eventually turned dark and we spent the last hour driving through a torrential rain storm which ended as quickly as it started when we reached our destination.

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This morning Nico was cleared to eat solid food and promptly orders and devours a pathetic excuse for French Toast. It disappeared in record time as did we when he was subsequently released from the hospital. Although he received excellent care while at Emerson his stay felt more akin to a prison sentence and our departure had the feeling of an escape. We were in the car headed for home less than 15 minutes after they removed his IV catheter and we were looking over our shoulders the entire time.Posted by Picasa

I spent last night at the hospital with Nicolai and had little time today for new photos so I am posting a picture of my niece, Rose, taken in the backyard over the weekend. Nico is recovering nicely and there have been no complications from his surgery thus far. He was visited by all his cousins and siblings today before they departed for Maine with my brother. Jeanine has spent the bulk of the day with him and we are hoping he will be released tomorrow. He is positively starving but his doctor still wants to delay introducing solid foods until the morning. Jeanine prepared a special broth to which I added a few noodles and he was thrilled when this was smuggled into him. He pleaded for more noodles and threatened to walk home from the hospital to get them. We see this as a good sign.

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Nicolai was feeling well enough to receive visitors this evening and was joined by Maya, Kyle, and cousins Mario and Rory. My brother Mark is holding down the home front and either Jeanine or I will spend the evening at the hospital with Nico.

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Nicolai emerged from surgery a little groggy but was fairly coherent about an hour later. It has now been 24 hours since he last ate or drank and he is VERY hungry (a good sign). Regrettably he will not be allowed to eat until tomorrow sometime depending on how quickly his system recovers. With some luck he will be able to make the trip to Maine on Tuesday or Wednesday. Unfortunately he will not be able to attend his summer wrestling camp which is scheduled to start in two weeks. Full recovery will take from 3-5 weeks according to his surgeon.

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It would be safe to say that today did not go as planned. Had it, our family would be enjoying the view of Sullivan Bay (just outside Acadia National Park in Maine) with my brother and his kids. Instead it was spent at Emerson Hospital where Nicolai had an emergency appendectomy. Last night he went to bed complaining of abdominal pain. This morning Kyle checked in on him and thought his symptoms sounded like appendicitis and encouraged him to check on the Internet. We decided it would be best to take him to the hospital before starting the 5 hour drive. After an ultrasound and a cat scan his condition was confirmed and he was in the operating room an hour later. The surgery was successful and there were no complications.

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Maya won many carnival game prizes but was not able to dunk our CEO who was a great sport and seemed to enjoy the picnic as much as the kids. It was a great event with something for each member of the family. I received an iRobot jersey with my name on the back which will no doubt be featured in a future posting.

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Kyle and Nico teamed up for a 2V2 match of volleyball and demonstrated great control and excellent passing. I really enjoyed watching them work as a team and the resulting elegance of play.

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We traveled to Milton Academy this afternoon where we all enjoyed the iRobot family picnic. Jeanine and I both enjoyed meeting Madeline Chu a friendly and adorable one year old. Maya connected with her sister Olivia and the two were hard to separate. The boys made a beeline for the food before starting a game of volleyball.

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The boys have acquired a taste for poker and routinely host games on the sun porch. Tonight’s pot is $75 and the trash talk was in high gear before the first hand was finished. I had planned to take advantage of iRobot’s half day Friday summer hours to get an early start on our up coming week long vacation. One thing led to another and by the time I returned home I had logged an actual half day (12 hours) which is not really how this benefit is supposed to work.

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