Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scalding Nether Regions of Fury!!!!!!

Day Seven:

So, here's a hypothetical for you: What happens when a six foot tall man with long limbs trys to shower in an incredibly small confined space such as a cabin bathroom??? I'm not sure but I do know it involves screaming numerous four letter words. Roger is fine, dont worry. Tuning around resulted in knocking into the temperture knob which resulted in lots of scalding water and pain. Despite this, we loved our little cabin so much we decided to shift around some of our plans and stay another night there. We let the innkeepers know this only to find our little cabin was not available that night. They only had one other open whic is referred to as "One Maine Pine". So, back to the first cabin to pack everything up and schlepp it down to Cabin 18. Turns out Cabin 18 (One Maine Pine) is RAD(Please see photos). Its a PINE cabin, the only one like it in the complex. It was also cheaper!( No Range/Oven). So, once we moved, it was off to more shopping. We revisited L.L. Bean and made numerous attempts to get a picture in front of the giant boot: this was not an easy task. Afetr this, it was onward to Portland. Portland is very beautiful, much like all of Maine, and has a great downown center with lots of shopping and food. We had planned to visit a famous sushi restauant called Miyake only to find it was closed. Luckily right downtown we found another Sushi place called Fuji that turned out to be phenomenal! Rogers sashimi was a work of art! After lunch, we did more shopping and visited the POrtland Museum of Art. Roger dearly wished to see "Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth, but alas, they had taken all of his work down. We did find a piece by N.C. Wyeth we both really liked however. We then set forth to find ourselves another lighthouse, specifically the Portland Head Light. This turned out to be a really picturesque one! And for anyone who knows Roger, we also located some VERY appropriate graffiti. We had another amazing animal sighting as well: a red fox. we got a good long look at him close up thanks to Rogers driving skills, but I couldnt get the best photo in time. After that, we headed back to One Maine Pine, picking up a pizza on the way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Get Yo' Cheeto's out of my Cannon















Day Six:

Victoria is reporting today!(With snarky comments by Roger)Well, off to a later start than we wanted today which seems to be a trend on this trip. We commented later on how tiring it is to be out and about for an entire day, nothing like being home and having your normal rest intervals. We thought we would just take off from Bar Harbor straight to Portland, but as I haven't really seen the town proper in the light of day, we decided to go for a walk instead and check out the shops. Tacky souvenirs mostly, although we did find a cast iron moose coat hook that we couldn't resist. We ended up having breakfast at a very cute diner, but neither of us were jazzed about the food (R. pancakes are not supposed to be an inch thick). From there, it was onward to Camden (R. we did stop at the SPCA and found a pair of Maine Coon Cat brothers that were named Jimmie and Leo. I almost took them home with me.), with me driving for the first time on the east coast. We got distracted about halfway there by a low, grey bunker type building we spotted. Feeling adventurous, we veered off of our determined destination to find out what this building was. Which is what we asked when we drove up to the gate: "What is this place???" The answer is: Fort Knox, which was established in 1844 off of the Penobscot River to protect against interference with our harbors and waterways by those lofty British A-holes.

http://fortknox.maineguide.com/

On top of this, you get admittance to the observatory on the top of the Penobscott Narrows Bridge which is a recently built bridge. This is the fastest elevator ride in Maine (R. actually all of New England...), 50 seconds to go up 423 feet. Anyone who knows me knows I was a little nervous about this. The elevator was very fast and smooth as promised and opens upon a floor to ceiling window of incredible east coast bay views. Turns out, I'm OK as long as I don't look straight down (R. So she says, with her hand in a vice like grip on my hand). Another customers husband got off the elevator, took a few steps and promptly went back to the bottom. The views were amazing with many informative plaques of which mountains were which, etc. Once we came down (pheewww!) we visited the Fort, a concrete monolith complete with cannons. The best part for me was the fact that they are in the middle of converting this bunker into a haunted house for the season (we thought of you, Kevin (Sarah you could come too)) which means there were errant body parts, spider webs and skeleton bits scattered throughout. (Also a giant cockroach which I found amusing) We at this point realized that we really needed to get going if we were to complete our day as planned, so onward to Camden!
What can I say about Camden? Many words come to mind....quaint....beatiful....unreal. The land meets the ocean in a stereo typical east coast movie fashion. A harbor full of clipper ships, with fall foliage, church steeples and charming local shops in the background. Give me a break with this place. We decided to eat at a local bar called "Cappys", very nautical themed as though you are in the bowels of a large ship. The food was good, but I had a hard mulled cider that was to die for. We stayed through Happy Hour at which time they offered free popcorn AND buffalo wings in a little crock pot. THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF!!! I was shocked that people weren't swarming the little crock pot for free goodies!(Cause I did. I heart buffalo wings)(R. I was confused she had never heard of Happy Hour snacks...)
We considered staying in Camden instead of moving on, but upon finding out the most affordable hotel was full, we decided to move on. (Camden struck me as a pricey destination: all B and B's, eeehhhhh) We drove on to Freeport to stay and visit the L.L. Bean Factory Store. This place is huge, three different locations. We did a quick walk through of each, promising each other we would go back in the morning. Meanwhile, I had seen a quaint hotel off of Highway One that was little individual mountain cabins: we had been looking for just such a place (R. I should clarify that Victoria has been freaking out about these tiny traditional cabins every time she sees one). We went back to find that the rooms were affordable and have fireplaces! Turns out they don't take credit cards, so a quick trip back into the town proper got us the necessary cash to get into our little dream cabin (r. CoastHills better refund my fees; Superready checking....). And this is where we sit right now. Enjoying the fire (which Rog wants me to add that he is pretty impressed with)(R. Because I made an amazing fire.) full of the food we got at the local grocery store, and overall enjoying each others company (r. That makes one of us). We also posed for cheesy pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lobster Breath

















Day Five:
Well, upon arising this morning we got ready and out the door to head over to Jordon Pond. Jordon Pond is a lake that rests between granite monoliths that tour 1200 feet above the surface of the lake. We hiked the circumference and over to the carriage house. The carriage house is a private residence that resembles English Tudor and traditional colonial building styles, Victoria was freaking out that she wanted to break in and stay for good( V: I swear, I would be very quiet, eat very little and only light one candle a night: please let me live there!) . We left there and headed up to Cadillac mountain which is the highest point along the eastern seaboard: at over 1500 feet high it is quite dramatic to see the a 360 view of the surrounding area and coastline. We hiked the ridge down to the a knoll that over looked the Western part of the park. Snow lined the granite patchwork of ground cover, the wind was blowing and at 40 degrees it was what you could call brisk (V: I fell down three times and got smacked in the face by a branch! Aaaaahhhh nature!). I realized that there was no other place I would rather be than there at that moment(V: Yes, it had a dream-like quality).
We then headed down to lunch, we ate at Lunt's which I had ate at exactly one year ago. We began with a lobster stew that hands down was the best thing I have eaten all year. It was amazing. The fat and heavy cream mixed together into a red and white Jackson Pollock painting that you could eat.(V: This place was amazing! Horrible, tacky Maine tourist souveniers for sale covered practically every surface. The upside? The sweetest, most endearing heavy-set Maine ladies as the waitresses! With Accents! Ours was named Doreen, she had a stain on her sweater and I loved her!) We finished the meal with blueberry beer, fried shrimp and a whole lobster that with its claws and mouth terrified my meal partner(V: Yes, has anyone else seen this done? It was the mini autopsy of a attenae laden, pointy, pincher-full hideous arachnid. Icky. Just Icky. That is all.)
After lunch we headed to the only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island, it is just south of Seawall. What happened next was right out of a movie: as we were exploring the lighthouse, a large bald eagle glided by us(V: No kidding! An honest to god bald eagle! I commented to Rog it was akin to seeing a mythical creature. I would have been just as impressed with a griffin!) . It was perfect. We headed back to Bar harbor and ate dinner (lobster roll and bread bowl full of Chili) and called it a night. It was a long day.
V: What I learned today: Maine is the world capital of wild blueberries. I had no idea! Apparently berries do great in this climate. Also: Lobsters are very ugly. VERY. But tasty. Oh, and that Roger can make very good ducky sounds.
What Roger learned: I dare say Roger learned two things today. The first is that when kitties are hauling ass they do superman glides, then put their feet together. The other thing he learned was the meaning of the term "Flotsum and Jetsum" which he still thinks I made up. Help me out here people.

I Smell Cabins



















Day Four:
After eleven hours asleep we arose at seven to find a chilly clear 30 degree morning, in Littleton. We went for a run through the cemetery that faced our motel, thick frost covered everything, which almost looked like a thin blanket of snow. Victoria had seen a sign for a horse cemetary, after four tries we eventually found it, she even galloped in front of it( V: yes, I did the horse dance, and yes Cory, it was for you). We collected our things and headed south east to the Mount Washington Hotel ( http://www.mountwashingtonresort.com/ ). The hotel was built in 1902 and looks very similar to the hotel used in "The Shining" ( V: The hotel from the Kubrick orignal film with Jack Nicholson! It was amazing!). We walked the grounds that over looked the valley floor beneath Mount Washington, were we had been the day prior. We had lunch on the base floor in a semi-circular glass encased room that faced the valley. The food was mediocre but the view was spectacular(V: Addendum: Roger's food was mediocre, mine was very good, fresh beef barley soup, I was a happy camper!).
We left the grounds and drove east, we were headed to Oxford, Maine which has the only Maine Coon Cat breeder we could find. Well upon ringing the breeder we discovered she did not want anyone to look at her cats that didn't have a cat carrier with them( V: Yes, she was highly inconvenienced even speaking to me on the phone. Witch is putting it mildly. We are still on the hunt to see one of these big beauties). So we continued our route to Bar Harbor, stopping at sites that were beautiful. In Augusta, Maine we stopped to find a cord to upload the photos we've taken as we didn't have one. Well, the GPS navigator couldn't find a store, it then began to yell at us that we were going the wrong way( V: Computers can and do sound pissed when pressed. "PLEASE DRIVE HIGHLIGHTED ROUTE!!!!!!") . Upon driving the wrong way we saw a Best Buy beyond the Tahget (Maine directions) and drove to it, the center it was located in was literally carved out of the bed rock, when we entered the store we realized that no one wanted to help us. Store staff literally walked away from us to avoid helping. We eventually found what we were looking for and checked out, the clerk kept repeating herself over and over(V: "Did you find everything you were looking for?" " Yes, we did, thanks" "Did you find everything you were looking for?" "Uuuuummm, yes, we did....." ). It was little bit like the twilight zone, I literally began a laughing fit the moment I entered the car(V: This was extremely fun to watch). We continued our drive down into Acadia National Park. As the sun dipped below the horizon we stopped at Saint George Lake, with islands and points it was pretty idyllic as the setting sun caused a rosy hue to be cast upon everything.
When we arrived in Bar Harbor the town was lit up by its many street lights and bustling restaurants. We found an inexpensive motel in downtown and immediately checked in. We then collected our things and walked to Poor Boys Gourmet, a local Italian restaurant as Victoria had a hankering all day for, "Lobstah pastah" (Maine accent applied). The food and the ambiance were amazing. I had shrimp and scallop scampi and a blue berry beer. We then strolled through the town and headed to our room to retire for the night.
V: Overall everything I have seen has been gorgeous, these two states are incredibly picturesque. The countryside is rolling and full of fall color, Im obsessed with the homes up here, all of them are either beautiful or darling. Lots of brick or stone siding, barns and churches with big stained glass and steeples. I am looking forward to getting a good look at Bar Harbor in the daylight, I'm sure Im going to love it! We are off to Acadia Nat'l Park in the morning!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Hampshire: The state of cops




















Day Three:
We exited the plane to a very rainy wet Boston morning. The Avis bus swiftly carried us to our rental car, a black Nissan Versa. We decided to rent a GPS device from Avis. I have to say that I wish I had this little magical instrument on many of my other travels. We left Boston and stopped in a little town on the New Hampshire border for McDonald's and a discussion if we would continue on to Mount Washington. With the amount of rain we were receiving we didn't want to spend it wet on a cog rail. We rolled the dice and continued to upstate NH and White Mountain state park. We lucked out and the rain quit as we drove into Franconia and Littelton. We checked in to the Maple Leaf Motel and debated if we would trudge on. At this point we had been awake for thirty hours and were exhausted.
With gentle prodding from Victoria we headed out to The famous Mount Washington Cog Rail. The Rail was built in the late 1800s and climbs from the valley floor to the highest peak in the North East. Our Brake Man narrated the ascent to the summit which to our surprise was covered in snow from floor to peak. The Mountain Ash were covered in red berries that contrasted the white blanket of snow. The train emerged from the tree line at about five thousand feet to climb another thousand feet to the the barren tundra like summit. Ice clung to the windward side of anything protruding from the ground as the air chilled to ten degrees Fahrenheit. With a ten miles an hour wind it put us at an adjusted temperature of -4 (Victoria couldn't believe she survived). We explored the summit for about ten minutes until the wind burn made us feel like human-sickles..... The visitor center has a museum but most importantly coffee and hot chocolate for 1.50 (we would have gladly payed $20 dollars a cup).
We then headed to Littleton for dinner, we ate a the most delicious Chinese food we have eaten in a long time. The dumplings alone are worth a trip to littleton. We climbed into bed at a seven thirty and literally passed out.