Monday, June 29, 2009

On the road again

Well we're driving in SC now after a night with Kylie, Mark, Noah and Emme in Richmond, VA, and a short visit with my dad and Judy. Noah and Emme are doing great and are two of the cutest kids on the planet.

Yesterday we drove from Portland, ME to Richmond. It took us 13 hours, and we hit plenty of traffic from NJ to DC. The rest of the trip should be traffic free in comparison.

Scott and I LOVED Maine, but were not as impressed with Portland. It was a big city compared to the other small towns we visited and it didn't have the same charm. It probably didn't help that as soon as we drove into town it was foggy yet again. The fog made the city look dark and dirty.

On the way to Portland on Saturday we stopped at two lighthouses -- the Owl's Head Light and Marshall Point Light. They were having a special event event at each, so we got to go up in the lighthouses and hear about their history from some very sweet volunteers. The fog lifted briefly when we got to Marshall Point, so I got some decent photos there.

We then got a sandwich in tiny Port Clyde and headed back up the peninsula to US1. After a few towns we went down to Orr's Island and Bailey Island, which were beautiful. As I was taking a photo of a fishing shack along the main road, a woman stopped her truck and asked if I'd like her to show me one of her favorite places on the island. She took us to a trail along the island's rocky coast that had beautiful Cape Cod-style homes and spectacular rocks.

After the trail, we went over to the harbor where a wedding had just started. It was a picture perfect location. It's kind of sad to be driving home, but it will be nice to sink into the couch tomorrow when we get home.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sun! Then more fog.

Yesterday we drove from Southwest Harbor to Camden after visiting the town of Castine, an observatory on top of a bridge, the town of Belfast, and the tiny village of Bayside. The sun came out a little as we left Mount Desert Island and the sky was blue once we got lunch in Castine.

Castine is a beautiful little town on the Blue Hill peninsula. A lot of the buildings are from the 1700s and it was just the perfect little town with flowering gardens in every yard. We stopped at the tiny farmers market, where we saw a baby sheep nibbling at flower petals on the porch of the church on the town green. It was probably the quaintest thing I've ever photographed!

We ate lunch on the dock at the town harbor. I had a mini lobster roll (very good) and Scott had a hot pink hot dog (with mustard, of course). After lunch we drove over to a little lighthouse that's now privately owned and then stopped by a giant field on purple lupines. This town was straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

After Castine, we went to the bridge observatory where we got our only clear view of the coastline so far. Then we kept on US 1 to Belfast, which was a very cool and artsy town with lots of interactive art and cool shops. We drove through Bayside after that, which has charming cottages on the hill leading down to the ocean.

Then we got to Camden. It's a picturesque town with a great harbor filled with lobster and sail boats. We got a little sun here but the views out to the ocean were, of course, fogged in. Our hotel room overlooks the river, which flows under several downtown buildings. It's one of the craziest things I've ever seen. There are window baskets everwhere here. Today we explored the area and had a foggy picnic at Camden Hills State Park.

Tomorrow we're off to Portland. Hopefully this fog will lift and we'll get some decent photos of the lighthouses along the way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Less rain, more fog

Today was a looooong day. We got up early and went straight out into Acadia National Park to start hiking. We did the Wonderland Trail first, which was a beautiful trail leading to the rocky coast. We had planned on climbing a mountain (yes, there are small mountains here -- about 1,000 feet), but it was really foggy. Next we went over to the Asticou Azelea Garden. Some of the flowers were still in bloom.

We did see our first peek of blue sky at about 11:00 a.m. But that was quickly wiped away by more fog. After the azelea garden we went back out onto the Park Loop Road and pulled into the Jordan Pond House for lunch. I had the most amazing lobster quiche and Scott had lobster stew. All of this plus their famous popovers -- soooo gooooood!

After lunch we hiked around the area and continued on the park road. We hiked up to the summit of one of "the bubbles" which sit on Jordan Pond. On top there was a rock balanced on the side of the cliff called Bubble Rock. Here's Scott trying to push it off! Ha Ha....
In the afternoon we drove up the road to Cadillac Mountain which was so foggy that you couldn't see five feet in front of you. It was a little claustrophobic.

After that experience we saw a deer ahead of us on the Park Loop Road and stopped to photograph it. Then two fawns came over and started nursing right there beside the road! It was amazing.

Tomorrow we'll get up early for the sunrise if the clouds are gone. Otherwise we'll sleep in and head south to Camden.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The rain in Maine stays mainly on the ... coast.

We're now in Southwest Harbor on the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island. Last night we stayed just outside of Bar Harbor after driving up from Boston mostly on US 1 and other back roads. York Village and beach were stunning and the shopping in Freeport was great. In Freeport we had lunch at Jameson Tavern, which is the birthplace of Maine.
It's been raining or misting the entire 36 hours we've been in Maine, but it's still really beautiful and lush. Every little town is more quaint than the last. We're hoping for some sun at some point tomorrow so we can take some better photos and hike. Here's a few photos....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Almost to Boston....

We've been driving and driving and driving today. Wilmington was great. We spent a night on Carolina Beach watching the surfers from our fourth-floor condo overlooking the beach. It was very beautiful and great to see my dad and Judy.

We just passed Hartford, Conn., only about 1 hour and a half from Boston, where we'll stop for tonight. We thought it would be fun to take the George Washington Bridge on 95 through NYC. That was quite an adventure. 10 lanes of cars cramming into very few toll booths and then onto the bridge. We did get a view of Manhattan, though. We'll be avoiding the city on the way home for sure. We took some scenic roads in Connecticut that were beautiful. Stay tuned for more...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wilmington, here we come

We just left Daytona Beach after visiting Amanda, Robert and Evan. Evan is so cute and has grown so much. We miss them already ):
Here's a photo of Evan.

We're on the way to Wilmington, NC, for my cousin Leslie's wedding on Wrightsville Beach. I think the Florida heat is following us up there because it's supposed to be about 97 there tomorrow. Oh well, just a few more days of sweltering heat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Off to Maine... 6/18/09

We're driving up to Maine today after I get off work. The plan is to visit Amanda, Robert and Evan Stinnett in Daytona tonight, then continue on to Wilmington, NC for my cousin's wedding. After that, it's on the Richmond, VA, to see the new addition to the Williams family. Then a night in Boston and on to Bar Harbor, Maine. I'll try to post daily with some photos!