Archive for August, 2015

Maine Vacation – Part Three

August 19, 2015

IMG_1106We spent three nights on the northern coast at a sheep farm we found on Air BnB.  There were no rooms anywhere else, and this sounded right up our alley, anyway.  Our host was a baker, and he presented us with this lovely loaf, which we munched on while we were there and had for breakfast our first morning at home.  It was superb!  He told us where he got the recipe.  We will give it a try!

We both enjoyed the peace and solitude of the farm, which was right on the cove.

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Jack and our host split some wood late one afternoon.

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The next morning, we tried stealing some apples, but unfortunately, they were not quite ready!

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We did have internet access, but no TV.  NO TV!  It was great!  Neither of us was certain if we had ever seen so many stars before…and such bright twinkling ones.  There’s a lot to be said for getting away from it all.   The farm was the perfect jumping off spot for touring the lighthouses of the area and Campobello Island, which is just across the Canadian border.  We stayed pretty busy!

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Quoddy West is one of my favorite spots on the entire Maine coast.  I could have sat and watched the ocean for days.  I like that the beach is easy to access from this point.

We got a special treat in that they have started opening the lighthouse to visitors.  That wasn’t the case until last summer.  They only do it on Saturdays.  We got lucky!  The steps weren’t too arduous, but there was a lot of overhanging architecture, which made it challenging for those of us who are kind of bumblers.  I loved seeing the fresnel lens up close.

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Then, we went on to Canada via the international bridge at Lubec.  We were so disappointed that they didn’t stamp our passports!  They just looked at us and smiled.  Boo!

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This was taken while we were in line on the bridge, waiting to go through customs.  So pretty!  Everywhere you look is beauty.

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Our first stop on the island was the summer home of the Roosevelt family.  I love this place!  It is so homey, even though it’s apparent that wealthy, famous people lived here.  It was a home first.  It had no electricity.  Even though it was available, Mrs. Roosevelt chose to keep things simple.   I’ll include a few pictures of the interior.  There were too many interesting things to include them all.

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Mrs. Roosevelt used the large megaphone to call the children to dinner!

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IMG_1176The good ol’ days, right?  At least they had servants to do that backbreaking work for them!  Look at the irons built into the stove!

Next, we went up to Quoddy East lighthouse.  Unfortunately, they were having some sort of festival there, and our view was spoiled by lots of people.  We got a little time at the edge, but it wasn’t the same with all those folks there.  Bummer.  The last time we were here, we saw whales.  I didn’t have the patience to sit and wait for them with the crowded conditions.  But, it was pretty, anyway.

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At low tide, it is possible to walk to the lighthouse.  See the rusty staircase on the rocks?  The tide is very high here – something like 15 feet or so.  I can’t recall exactly.  In any event, it comes and goes quickly, hence the warning signs.  It’s a very impressive display that Mother Nature puts on in this spot.

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The water is so beautiful and clear.  Makes me want to jump right in.  But, it’s a bit chilly for that – even in the height of summer.  Not much swimming going on!

Our last stop on the island was a little harbor.  I can’t recall the name.  I snapped quite a few boat pix, which I think I will later turn into art of some sort.  I’ll include a sample here.  It’ll look great printed on canvas.

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Waterlogue 1.1.4 (1.1.4) Preset Style = Illustration Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = Technical Pen Drawing Weight = Light Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Waterlogue 1.1.4 (1.1.4) Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 8" (Large) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

We finished our tour of Maine in Bath at the Bath Iron Works and Maine Maritime Museum.  We really enjoyed that stop, but it wasn’t particularly photogenic.  We HIGHLY recommend it as part of a Maine tour.  We would allow the better part of the day for it, if we had it to do over again.  We had to just give it a once over lightly.

All in all, we had a great time.  We ate tons of blueberries and gallons of clam chowder.  Breathed lots of fresh sea air.  We’re ready to go back!

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Maine Vacation – Part Two

August 19, 2015

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Our two days in Bar Harbor were glorious!  Lots of sun, just enough breeze for sailing – and perfect temperatures.  We really appreciated the cooler weather.  We knew full well that our Loved Ones back in Memphis were simmering in their own stew.  We fully realized how lucky we were to have the opportunity to get away to cooler climes, if even for a few days.

We stayed at a place just north of town called The Colony at Hulls Cove.  It’s got a mid-century feel to it, being a collection of little white cottages of various sizes.  I couldn’t find a website.  We found the place through Trip Advisor, if I remember correctly.  Bar Harbor is jam packed in the summer.  We booked two months ahead and had trouble finding anything at all, let alone anything affordable.  We were happy to find this – and enjoyed our stay very much.

 

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We had two cruises booked in Bar Harbor.  Both were on my birthday, which made for a grand celebration for me.  The first outing was on the Lulu, a lobster cruise.  The boat’s captain was very knowledgeable and gave us a thorough overview of lobsters and lobstering.  We learned a lot about the environment and how the lobster industry works to protect their very valuable natural resources.  The trip on the Lulu may have been my favorite part of the vacation – not only because of the education but because he took us out to the lighthouse and got us very close to the rocks and the sealife there.  Loved it!

 

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Can you see the lobsters in the trap in the lower right corner?  We caught three or four.  All too small to keep.  But it was great to learn more about them in the process.

 

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The lighthouse was my favorite part.  The rocks are full of seals.  Plus there were two young Bald Eagles on top of the lighthouse.  The water action on the rocks was just beautiful. This was a terrific little cruise.

 

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We got much, much closer than this.  I was so struck by the beauty of the place.

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You can see the eagles on the left of the roof.  One of them took off while we were there.  Magnificent birds!
We felt so lucky to have seen these two.

 

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Then, later that afternoon we went out for a sailing excursion.  They switched boats on us, so I’m not sure which boat we were on.  We had a good time, nonetheless.  Jack really enjoyed helping to raise the sails.

 

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The view of the harbor just before setting sail.

 

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The sails were really large and quite heavy.  They had two teams working the lines.  The little boys kind of got lost in the shuffle, but the men were actually pulling some weight!

 

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The boat nearest us is the one we sailed on.  We were supposed to go on the inner one, but she appeared to be in the middle of an updating.

That evening we celebrated my birthday at Stewman’s Lobster Pound.  They have two locations…one downtown on the harbor and one on the edge of town at the Regency Hotel.  The Regency was near our hotel, and since we were kind of tired, we opted for that location.  That was a good choice!  No crowds…and the lobster was great.  It was Jack’s first.

 

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The next morning we poked around town a bit before heading north again.  There’s a great place just up from our hotel called The Tool Barn.  They specialize in antique tools.  Jack could have spent the whole day there.  I enjoyed it too.  They have stuff other than tools.  I bought a Fuller Brush, still in the original packaging, for two bucks.  I’m going to use it every day.  They have two other locations.  I have been to the original one, and it is HUGE!  This one was a surprise.  I had no idea it was there.

 

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There was a sculpture garden across the road from the Tool Barn.  Many of the pieces needed some TLC, but there were a few that were in pretty good shape.

 

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Have I mentioned how much I love the flowers in Maine?  I do.  Very much!

 

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On our way to points North, we stopped to enjoy a scenic outlook that gave us a distant view of Mount Desert Island.  It was hard to leave that place!

 

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But, there’s more to come!

Maine Vacation – Part One

August 19, 2015

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We just got back from 8 glorious days in Maine.  It was the perfect trip.  Everything was just as planned, and we enjoyed every minute.  One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the abundance of flowers.  Flowers everywhere.  These were at the hotel we stayed at the second night.  More scenes from that spot in a little bit.

We started in Freeport.  The hotel there was the Holiday Inn Express.  It was a Holiday Inn Express.  What more can I say?  Well…the staff was extremely friendly, and the free breakfast the next morning was probably the best I’ve ever had of that type.  I tried to get us back in for our last night in Maine, but alas…they were full.

We found a place on the water for dinner.  I had done my research and came up with Haraseeket Lunch and Lobster, and when a native Maine friend recommended the same place, we set out to find it.   It was just right.  It’s where Jack had his first real taste of Maine in the form of a lobster roll.

 

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The next day we were off to LL Bean.  We came away with a  pair of these boots!  Maybe not quite this big, but Bean Boots, nonetheless.

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Then we were off to a class in sporting clays.  That was terrific!  LL Bean offers a lot of classes in many different outdoor activities.  If you’re ever in the area, check it out.  They’re reasonably priced and lots of fun.  The teachers clearly knew their stuff, and although it was raining pretty hard, we really had a great time.  I shot very well and, unfortunately, still have a bruised shoulder to prove it.  One really should shoot more than once every forty years or so!

 

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After spending a little more money at LL Bean, we were off onto the next adventure.  We had reservations on a sailing ship, the Surprise, out of Camden.  There were no rooms in Camden, so we stayed Ledges by the Bay in Rockport.  It was small and right on the water.  Nothing fancy…but clean and comfortable – and the views can’t be beat.  The title photo is from The Ledges.    Here are some other shots.  I loved this spot!   The thick fog just added to the coastal ambience.

 

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Then, it was on to Camden.  The weather was still gray at best and foggy at worst.  But, we enjoyed the day nevertheless.  We had reservations for a sailing cruise on the schooner Surprise.  We had time to grab a quick lunch and do some people watching in the harbor.  Then we had two hours on the boat.  Jack got to play with the sails a little, and we both enjoyed the peace and quiet on the water.

 

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I’m going to break this trip into at least two posts so it doesn’t take so long to load.  Maybe 3.  We’ll see.  From here we’re on to Bar Harbor where we had a VERY full two days.  We could have easily spent a full week there.