September 25, 2012

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Been here for a week now and got to see the place. Here is our take on it. Old Orchard Beach is definitely a larger version of Pismo Beach, California. It is a summer hang out for tourists. In fact, the RV park that we are staying in has only about 5 spots for RVs because ALL of the other 550 sites have permanent mobile homes or motorhomes on them. And, since it is after Labor Day, everyone has gone home. There are only about 15 people in this whole huge park. At first, we thought that we had found a dump of a place to stay in. But, after being here the first night, we love it because the place is so quiet.

We are in the midst of very tall trees
in this park of 550 sites.

And, the nights have been so clear, except for one night of rain. Jerry even went out to take pictures of the stars.

Stars at night.

It's been cold here, getting down into the 40s at night and the high 60s/low 70s in the daytime. We've had the portable heaters on all week, especially in the morning. I think it is the cold weather causing my knee to act up again.

Entrance to the beach scene

Wider view of the same area

Entrance to long pier

View from on the pier

We also drove into Portland, Maine (about 15 miles from Old Orchard Beach) where we found a Trader Joes. And, we have traveled the coast line all around this area where we saw lots of little islands and the tides going way out.

And here the tide is way out.

Some beaches have sand, others have lots of rocks.

Right now, most of the vacation homes along
the beaches are empty.

The Atlantic Ocean in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Here are a couple of negatives we see in this area. First, there are so many telephone wires all over the place. We've never seen a place with so many wires ruining their beautiful areas. Secondly, and maybe it is only because we are from California, but there are also smokers all over the place. We are just not used to that.

It is suppose to rain tonight and tomorrow. But, we plan on heading out and will end up just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. 

Enjoy the life you love!

September 18, 2012

Bar Harbor, Maine

We went from the trees of New Hampshire and Vermont to the Atlantic Ocean here in upper Maine. Bar Harbor is actually a small town of 5,000 people situated on an island called Mount Desert Island. We are staying at the Mount Desert Narrows RV park on the island, about 8 miles from Bar Harbor.

The RV park is located on the water. This
is our view from the motorhome.

Jerry couldn't wait to get to Maine so that he could fill up on lobster, clams, clam chowder and fish in general. Well, he has! He has been paying $4.95 a pound for lobster and bringing them back to the motorhome to cook. (We actually saw that they were selling lobsters for $3.95 a pound at another place.) Did I mention that about 95% of all of the businesses here on the island seem to be restaurants and various eating places? The restaurants are charging between $25 and $28 for a lobster meal, unless you want to go for the early bird special -- then the price is $16.95 to $19.95. Wouldn't you agree that someone is making a profit!

Jerry with his lobsters, each about 1 1/4 pounds.

One day when he was in the fish market, there was a French couple with their two children in front of him. They asked the person behind the counter, "how many lobsters should we get?" The lady responded without hesitation, "you will want to get five -- two for each of you and one to split between the two kids." Obviously, the customer didn't believe her as they purchased three lobsters. Sounds like here in Maine, the people might be eating two lobsters at a time.

We've driven into Bar Harbor a number of times this week. There is always a large cruise ship out in the harbor. The people on the cruise ship come into the town by sea taxis. And, the town is full of people. The Visitor's Center representative told us that Bar Harbor gets 2 and 1/2 million visitors each year, placing it third in the number of park visitors east of the Mississippi. 

Bar Harbor

Another view of Bar Harbor. There are walking 
paths along the bay, and outside eating places.

There are even a couple of cannons directed at the bay to 
defend the town from the British during the war of 1812.

One of the reasons we came to Maine was to see the leaves change color. So far, the process of changing colors is going slowly. On one of our trips around the island, we came across three trees in a row whose leaves had already changed. We stopped along with all of the other cars to take pictures of this sight.  

The leaves were actually more red than is shown on this picture.

We also took in a drive through Acadia National Park. Here is where it pays to be a senior. Our lifetime senior pass got us in for free when the sign read $20 per vehicle.

The people take our their lawn chairs and relax on the rocks because there
are basically no sandy beaches in Acadia National Park, except one that is
only about two hundred feet long. 

On Sunday, we drove up Cadillac Mountain, which extends 1,500 feet above sea level and is the highest area on the island. The view from the top was spectacular. These pictures do not do it justice.

The tiny white specks in the middle of the picture
are the boats in the harbor and a cruise ship.
(That's how far up we were.)

We could see forever!

And then, we were all treated to a man who played
his bag pipes on the top of the mountain.

See Jerry's VIDEO.

Driving around the whole island, we came across another 
harbor -- the Southwest Harbor. 
(See Jerry taking pictures off to the far left.)

We were going to stay in the Bar Harbor area for another week or two, but we found out that most of the places shut down immediately after Columbus Day weekend. The weather report is also predicting heavy rains and winds. Thus, we took off this morning and drove 200 miles south where we are dug in for the storm that is about to hit us. We are in Old Orchid Beach, Maine, about 15 miles from Portland, in the Pinehurst RV Resort. We will be here for 8 days.

Another reason we were anxious to leave is because we were sick and tired to the lack of internet connection in Bar Harbor. Our Verizon Mifi did not work at all. In all of our travels, this is only the second time that this happened. The other time was in Death Valley, California. Even the internet connection we purchased (TengoInternet) would kick us off every minute or two.

Looking forward for the storm to pass so that we can explore this new area.

September 11, 2012

Vermont and New Hampshire

Decided to update the blog because we are here in New Hampshire for only two days before moving on to Maine. Each state that we visit gets prettier here in New England. We thought Vermont was beautiful with all of its trees, but New Hampshire beats out Vermont in our opinion. Not only does it have lots and lots of trees, it also has mountains and rivers.

Parked at the KOA in New Hampshire

Yesterday, before leaving Vermont, we actually drove out of our way to visit the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream manufacturing plant.

Pictures of Ben and Jerry's facilities. We were 
prohibited from taking pictures of the actual 
manufacturing that we saw on the tour.

New Hampshire beauty

Then, this afternoon, we took in the Flume gorge which is 700 feet long. It took us over two hours to walk the whole area and stop to take pictures and video. 

Entrance to The Flume

People had a choice: they could take the bus to the gorge
(paved area on the left), or they could walk (path
on the right). We chose to walk.

There are walkways all through the gorge.

The sound of the rushing water falls was loud.

The nature walk was truly a great experience.

We would cross from one side of the gorge to the other over bridges.

Who says trees and rocks can't co-exist. This tree
love his pet rock.

So tomorrow we have a very long drive to Maine. It will be long because in part we will be traveling on a two-way road (instead of the interstate) where we will be able to see more of the country. Once we are in Maine, we will stay there until the leaves change color. They have started to change already because it has been cold here (down to the high 30s last night).

Hope you are all having a great week.

September 9, 2012

Connecticut and Vermont

We actually spent time in two states after leaving Lavern and Bob's place. 

Scenery was beautiful.

We passed by Hartford on our way to one of Connecticut's overnight parking rest stops along the highway after driving for three hours.

Taken out of the window as we passed by Hartford, CT.
(Shan and I were last here in the 70s.)

Parked at the rest stop in Connecticut

The rest stop park was huge. Here we saw the longest truck we had ever seen. It was hauling a transformer for an electric plant. It had 70 tires and was close to 200 feet long. There actually was a truck at the end of it to push it along down the highway (not shown on the picture below). They can only move it at night.

Jerry standing by the huge truck.

The next day, we continued on our way to a small town called White River Junction, Vermont. From what we have seen of Vermont, we love this state. Soooo many trees! We are actually parked deep in the woods at a KOA campground. We had a heavy downpour of rain last night with tornado warnings all around us. But, we didn't feel the wind because we are so protected by the trees.

The person at the check in desk told us we had to see Vermont's version of the Grand Canyon. So that is what we did yesterday. It is just a gorge as far as we are concerned.

The Quechee Gorge

We walked along the Quechee Gorge to see a dam.

We also drove into Woodstock, Vermont -- about 11 miles away from where we are staying. They were having an art festival which we visited.

 Art festival in Woodstock, Vermont

From there we visited a maple farm. We saw how they tap the maple trees and connect the tap to plastic tubes which, through gravity, transport the syrup downhill to their farm for processing. Each tree gives off about 7% of its maple syrup and it takes 40 to 50 gallons of syrup from a tree to make one gallon of maple syrup. Of course, we have been purchasing everything maple, from candy to maple-pepper spices and also cheese for Jerry (as Vermont is also known for its cheese).

Maple trees with tubes collecting the maple syrup which runs downhill by gravity.

There was even a little chapel on the maple farm.

One of  Vermont's covered bridges

An antique mall that Jerry loved visiting.

Taken this morning in the park where we are located right now.

Tomorrow, we head on out for New Hampshire. But, our plan is to go out of our way to take a tour of the Ben and Jerry's ice cream place. Should be fun -- and I may even take a break from my vegan program.

Have a great week ahead, everyone!

September 5, 2012

Thompson, PA

Can't believe that we've been here at Bob and Lavern's place for a week already. Actually, we are parked at their neighbor's place high on a hill and behind a gate.

Parked at Joe and Lorraine's place for the week.

Got up early one morning to take pictures of the
sun rising behind their house.

I just asked Lavern "what did we do while we were here?" and she said "we ate." That's about it. We visited one little city after another a couple of times and found different places to eat. But, we also ate very well at their place.

 Here are Bob, Lavern and Jerry as they are about 
to sit down at a lobster, fresh corn, and salt potato dinner.

 A close-up of part of the dinner.

We took at pontoon ride around their pond a
couple of times before dinner.

Bob's fire pit preparation for the evening fire.

Lavern, Bob and me with Chanti

We had some interesting conversations. One night we discussed "senior moments" that seem to be happening to all of us more frequently than we want to admit. They told us the story of a recent joint "senior moment" that both of them experienced at the same time. Bob had just parked the car in a parking spot under a freeway parking area somewhere in Virginia. Both of them get out of the car while talking on their cell phones. After ending their calls, they held hands and walked into the restaurant looking forward to a nice sushi meal.

After dinner, they walked around the area checking out the various small boutique stores. Three hours later, they get back to their car. While looking for the keys, they see a man waving at them. The man comes over to them and hands Bob back his keys. It seems that when Bob parked the car, he didn't even bother to turn off the engine. They both just got out of the car while talking on their cell phones and walked away, leaving their car engine still running. Not only that, they had their computers and cameras in the car. Seems that the kind gentlemen realized what they had done. He turned off the engine and locked the car for them, holding on to their keys until they returned. Boy, are they lucky that their car and items were still there when they returned! The man refused Bob's tip.

We love Pennsylvania -- lots of hills, tree, and greenery.
Now, if only it wasn't so far away from the West Coast!

Trees on the back of their property.

We leave here tomorrow and will head towards Vermont.

Until next time, enjoy the life you've imagined!