Archive for the ‘day trip’ Tag

08-08-2016 Journal – August in Maine!   Leave a comment

I have to say that the last week of weather has been as good as it can get for Maine in August.  Temperatures during the day have been in the mid-80’s and dropping into the mid-50’s at night. Just perfect.  Since it’s been so nice we decided to take our visitors for a day trip to Portland.  A hot and sunny Sunday in August means lots of tourist and thousands of people to watch.  Finding parking is usually a problem but we got lucky, parked the car, and headed down Commercial Street into the Old Port.

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Commercial Street runs right along the length of the harbor and always has some nice shots available of the boats.

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The ladies were in and out of a dozen shops and buying, buying, and buying. I spent most of that time people watching and taking a few pictures for future use.

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We returned home tired and hungry and began the preparation of our dinner. Shish-kabobs, salads, pies, cakes, and a growler full of Goat Island Light beer. Since it was my birthday my better-half bought me the only beer I like. and it was wonderful.  After dinner we made our way to the beach located in Scarborough, Maine. A cool breeze was blowing and the water was perfect for wading and relaxing.

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The clouds just kept getting darker and darker but it never rained.

It didn’t take long to tire us all out and we returned home to relax for the rest of the night.  Another great day and an even better birthday.

 

 

 

07-07-2016 Journal – Spoiled Rotten!   Leave a comment

I think I may be getting a little bit spoiled but trust me . . . I won’t tell that to anyone but you. I never thought I’d live to see the day when I’d be considered spoiled but I have and it arrived yesterday.

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My better-half is on vacation this week and we’ve been going and doing anything we want and enjoying it immensely.  Yesterday was an almost perfect day. It was in the low eighties, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. We decided to take a short day trip into New Hampshire to shop for antiques and to just relax and roam around for a few hours. Sounds pretty good right? Then why was I complaining almost the entire time? Why, because I’m spoiled.

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After getting home last night I sat on the deck and tried to figure out what my problem might be.  I spent a great deal of time whining and complaining about New Hampshire and those endlessly boring forests, lakes,  and those beautiful White Mountains. I complained about having to drive twenty miles along dozens of lakes and streams and be forced to see all of this damn beautiful scenery.  I also moaned and groaned after traveling through the countryside for an hour about that one car that was tailgating me or the one truck that was in front of me going only twenty miles an hour. Truthfully they were the only other cars on the road at that time. I was also upset that I had to drive by all of those cool little campgrounds and small beaches where I was forced once again to ogle a few well tanned and bikini clad lovelies enjoying their day. Am I going insane of just horribly spoiled?

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As we drove home back into Maine I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I could stop bitching about New Hampshire and return to my normal everyday bitching about Maine. More damn forests, more lakes, more good weather, and more of those damn beautiful vistas. Why me? What did I do in a previous life that I deserved all of these wonderful things.

I don’t know for sure but I’m working on it.

07-02-2016 Journal – The Holiday Weekend!   Leave a comment

I’m not one to become overly excited about holidays but the 4th of July has a little extra meaning for me. Not because it’s the nations birthday, which is important, but because it was the birthday of my favorite grandfather.  It’s the only day of the year that brings back in vivid detail the many memories that I have of him. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA and grandpa Jeff.

My better-half surprisingly started her vacation yesterday which will include the holiday weekend. Since the day was beautiful and sunny we once again took a day trip to Bridgeton, Maine located an hour east of our home. It’s located in the foothills of the White Mountains along the New Hampshire border. It’s a quaint small town filled with many interesting shops that we enjoy visiting.

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Here are a few shots of the Maine street which was fairly busy with visitors. We hit our usual favorites to look for anything old and interesting. It’s always fun to people watch and roam around and not have to be concerned about the time.

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If you like bells . . . they’ve got plenty.

It was very relaxing day but since we were starving we made a stop at Towanda’s Deli for a nosh. We relaxed at an outside table and had one of the freshest and most flavorful sandwiches we’ve had in a long while.

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At the next table sat this handsome fellow. He lounged quietly with his owners and seemed to be enjoying his day as well. His name is “Russ” and what a sweet and friendly dog he is. He came over and said hello and goodbye as he and his family were leaving. An awesome dog.

Our drive home was pleasant and the day was a perfect start of our holiday weekend.

HAPPY FOURTH EVERYONE

06-25-2016 Journal – Summer Day Trip!   Leave a comment

As always my better-half and I try use our time wisely.  She’d been working for more than a week without any time off and it was burning her out. Finally a rare day-0ff arrived and we wanted to make the most of it.  The day was bright and sunny and expected temperatures were to be in the mid-seventies.  Perfect! We packed up the car and headed north along to coast to the towns of Brunswick and Bath, Maine.

The drive went smoothly although the summer increase in traffic was immediately obvious.  It’s always relaxing to just cruise along the coast, watching the boats, and listening to some good music.  We stopped briefly in Brunswick to attend the Strawberry Festival taking place in the town square. A friendly crowd of people enjoying the warm day.

Then we were off to the town of Bath, Maine. It’s most famous feature is the Bath Iron Works. Over the years they’ve build or repaired damn near every American naval vessel.  Just up the coast a short distance is a restaurant, the Kennebec Tavern, located on the water with a great view from their rear deck.

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We were both starving and were pleasantly surprised by the variety of seafood on the menu.  I ordered an extremely dry Malbec wine to go along with my oysters and Caesar salad.  The better-half went outside the box a little and ordered a scallop and bacon sandwich with crispy onion rings on the side.  Everything was just as delicious as it looks here.

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After lunch we took a short walking trip through the town so the better-half could do some shopping.  She scored a few items that will magically appear under the Christmas tree in a few months.

The trip home was uneventful and we were ended the day relaxing on the deck.  Then it was back to reality with garden watering and paying some much needed attention to the cat.  He hates when we leave him alone and he made it immediately obvious by totally ignoring us for an hour.

CATS ROCK !!

06-07-2016 Journal – Cape Porpoise, Maine!   Leave a comment

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Another beautiful day here in Maine and my better-half and I decided to make the most of it. We had errands to run but not before we made a short trip to one of our favorite spots for lunch.  This place is located in Cape Porpoise, Maine.  The bistro is right on the water and this early in the summer it’s only moderately busy. It’s called the ‘Ramp’.

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‘Very cool entrance.’

We visited it for the first time last year quite by accident. We both fell in love with the place almost immediately. It’s quirky and pricey but well worth visiting.  Here are a few shots of the interior bar area.

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As we look out the windows from the bar it feels like we’re almost sitting in the water. It was high tide when I took this pic.

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The employees are friendly and efficient and the food is outstanding. We weren’t there for a large meal just a light snack and a couple of drinks. This plate of nachos was incredible and had my mouth on fire for fifteen minutes.

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An ice cold glass of Chardonnay cooled me down perfectly as did the beer, ‘Rogue – Dead Man’s Ale’, for my better-half.  We’ll be returning here very soon for dinner and an evening out.  I’ve had their mussels in the past and I’m already looking forward to them again.

Here are a few views from the entry way as we were leaving.

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GOTTA LUV SUMMER

04-16-2016 Journal–Garden Day #2 & Chicken Wings!   Leave a comment

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I spent an hour this morning working in the garden and freezing my ass off. Another night in the mid-twenties and the fourth hard frost in as many nights.  Gardening with a heavy coat, hat, and gloves is cumbersome to say the least. The garden frames have been upgraded and extra soil added to all of the areas.  There’s nothing more left to do except add some fencing then relax on the deck until Spring decided to actually show up.  This cold weather has got to go.

My better-half and I spent the last two weeks being good little dieters. No alcohol, no sugar, and no carbs. In other words we’ve been miserable. This morning’s weigh-in showed me down 5 pounds and her down 3.  It’s a slow start but we have a long way to go to meet our final goals. So far, so good.

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Our celebrating of our two week diet brought us to the Great Lost Bear tavern in Portland.  It’s known for it’s excellent chicken wings and draws my better-half to it like a giant magnet. Her obsession for wings is beyond belief.  She wolfed down a platter of the super hot variety while I had a chicken sandwich soaked in what they call their Hellfire sauce.  The name is no joke, believe me.  My mouth, throat and lips were burning for an hour after we left the  establishment but it was so damn good. I remained alcohol free and settled for some rather good ice tea to help put out the fire in my mouth.

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Tomorrow we sit down to discuss what will eventually be planted in our garden for this year.  We’re hoping to change things up a little to have a more diverse selection of crops.  The discussion should be interesting since we have totally different tastes in food.  Every year it’s the same process but we’ve had much in the past with our decision making and who can argue with that.

Tonight will require another lengthy hot shower to work out all of the kinks, aches, and pains resulting from this mornings work.  I’ve been looking  forward to that shower all day.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN HOT WATER ON SORE MUSCLES?

03-21-201 Journal–A Day in the White Mountains!   Leave a comment

I’d just like to send out to Mother Nature a big huge kick in the butt. I awoke this morning to her latest gift . . . 6 inches of snow with more expected. I think it’s just her way of letting us know who’s really in charge around here.  So I spent this morning getting the snowblower out of storage, gassing it up one more time, and clearing the driveway again. Dammit!!

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I much prefer to talk about our day trip yesterday which was much nicer than all this crappy snow today. We took a ride west into New Hampshire to the foothills of Mt. Washington.  It was a cold and sunny day which made for  a great drive.  We were headed once again to North Conway, NH known for it’s many cool little shops and outlet stores. Here a photo looking down Maine Street towards Mt. Washington.

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The town was packed full of visitors and every store and shop was crowded. A little sunshine goes a long way in helping to open purses and wallets. I actually opened mine for a change and did my part to help the local economy.

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After walking a few miles and looking at damn near everything we decided to stop for lunch at a restaurant called Horsefeathers.

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Their menu had a lot to offer but I always lean towards seafood whenever possible.  The better half had a great crab and cheese sandwich and loved it. I ordered some super garlicky mussels and this was all that was left a short time later.

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The food and drinks were terrific and we returned to the car fat, dumb, and happy.  All of our purchases were loaded up and as we drove down Main Street towards home this was what I saw in my rearview mirror. Just a beautiful area.

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I can’t wait to return later in the summer to make the trek to the summit of Mt. Washington. We’ve done it before because the view will take your breath away. If I remember correctly on a clear day you can see five states from up there and parts of Canada as well.

JUST A GREAT DAY TO SHAKE OFF THE WINTER DOLDRUMS

01-15-2016 Journal – Jamaican Me Crazy Coffee!   Leave a comment

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My better-half had two days off this week and that almost always means another shopping foray somewhere in Maine and a quiet enjoyable lunch off the beaten path.  The day was frigid but bright and sunny which required a minimum of two layers of clothing to keep from freezing. After much discussion it was left up to me to decide as to where we’d be spending our day.  I plugged in the GPS and were soon on our way to Bridgeton, Maine.

Bridgeton is a small town located along the New Hampshire border in the foothills of the White Mountains. It’s was almost an hours drive on windy snow covered roads through an area with minimal population.

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Comment: I need to make a note of something here. On these day trips our car conversation can get a little strange. My better-half has an ability much like the late Yogi Berra. She has her own vocabulary which she constantly uses to confuse me. We were quietly talking about the flu season and how we both have had a nagging cough at night brought on phlegm in the throat. She looked over at me and serious asked, “My phlegm is green and tastes boogery, does yours? Now you can see why I find it necessary to keep these day  trips to under a hour travel time. It’s to avoid these strange conversations and questions. Now let’s get back to Bridgeton.

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A little music and a lot of conversation later we arrived in the town and decided food was our first priority.

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The restaurant was small and tucked away between two businesses along Main Street.  We ate here last summer during another visit and were suitably impressed with the food, coffee, and the variety of artisan breads. The place was overrun with ski team members from UNH (University of New Hampshire) who were visiting from a nearby ski resort.

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I had my standard breakfast with bacon, sunny side up egg, home fries, toast, and an amazing mug of Jamaican coffee. I have to say I’m a bit of a coffee addict and this coffee was unbelievable.

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My better-half dug into a breakfast Stromboli that was well worth the long trip to Bridgeton.

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We did a little shopping  in a few stores not closed for the winter and I even stumbled upon quite the bargain. I found a soap stone sculpture of an Mayan soldier hidden away in a pile of items in the back corner of the shop. It’s the best $12.00 purchase I’ve made in years and will have a special place of honor in my man-cave.

We even discovered a die-hard artist bundled up and painting along a nearby brook.  Crazy, crazy, crazy!

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We returned home refreshed from the trip, well fed, and ready for the forecasted freezing rain storm expected soon.  Just another day in this Maine paradise.

I SURE COULD STAND SOME MORE OF THAN JAMAICAN COFFEE.

11-06-2015 Journal – Shopping, Eating, & Drinking!   Leave a comment

This is the second chapter of our visit with my better-half’s family members as we made our way through the streets of Portland, Maine.  For this late in the year this Sunday was absolutely perfect.  Sunny and warm with lots of people on the streets enjoying what remains of our Indian Summer.  I wore my comfortable shoes in preparation for hours of walking and shopping with the ladies.  It was all of that and more.

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Portland offers a crazy selection of coffee shops, galleries, and gift shops and it felt like we visited all of them.  The women shopped and we men were dragged kicking and screaming through the streets waiting desperately for food and drink, and even a cigars for one of us.

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We were in and out of so many different shops and I’m not kidding when I say we could have purchased damn near anything.  Look at these little gems we found displayed on the sidewalk and before you make any comments, I didn’t buy any.

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‘For shopper’s who need a little weirdness in their lives.’

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Our final stop was at our favorite tavern, Three Dollar Dewey’s, for a healthy four course meal of Gin, popcorn, nacho’s, french fries, and a delicious piece of strawberry shortcake.

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We had our fill of food and drink and returned to the car feeling fat and sassy.  It was a short ride home where we could kick back and relax a little more. The visitors needed a good nights sleep before their departure the next morning as they headed south for Rhode Island. 

WE CONTINUE TO ENJOY THIS INDIAN SUMMER

10-23-2015 Journal – Portland in the Fall!   Leave a comment

The warm days are becoming a rarity already and in Maine when there’s sunshine and warmer temperatures you get the hell out of the house and enjoy them. Once the snow starts to fly around here you can be sure that for the next five months it’s multi-layer clothing, boots, parkas, hats, ear muffs, and gloves. 

My better-half and I decided to try a little spontaneity yesterday when we rolled out of bed and saw the sun shining and the temperatures in the high fifties.  As we cruised around looking for a decent cup of coffee I made the decision to spend the remainder of the day in the city of Portland.  Portland is a great place to walk around, kill some time, and people watch. Parking always seems to be an issue whether it’s tourists in the Summer or huge piles of plowed snow in the Winter. We rode up and down Commercial street looking for a parking spot and got lucky rather quickly.

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As we were entering the city and driving along the waterfront we saw in the distance three huge cruise ships that had stopped in Portland for a visit.  They’re a blessing for the local economy but always clog the city with tourists and street vendors.

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We worked our way down Commercial street to the Dry Dock restaurant. It’s become one of our favorite spots to relax, have a drink, and some good food. I normally go straight to the menu looking for sea food but not today.  I had a bowl of hearty chicken and rice soup that was to die for along with a smoked turkey and cheddar sandwich.  I’m a real bread lover and that sandwich was made with an incredibly fresh rye bread baked earlier in the day.

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We finished our meal and visited a few other businesses along the street so the better-half could deal with her shopping addiction.  We stopped at Mexicali Blues for some incense and a sari that the better-half plans on converting to some sort of window treatment for the kitchen.

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It was also required by my better-half that we make a stop at the beer drinkers Mecca, The Craft Beer Cellar.  More beer varieties that I could ever imagine but since I don’t drink beer I spent my time looking through the mead selections. I settled on a locally brewed honey mead that was a little pricey but worth it. It’ll be a nice addition for us to enjoy with our Christmas dinner. The better-half spent alm0ost 30 minutes talking beer with the proprietor and finally settled on some sort of double IPA that I never heard of.  

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Then it was a quick ride back to our house with enough sunshine left in the day for me and the cat to spend a comfy hour on the deck.  We’re getting very close to the time of the year when the sun will only shine occasionally so we have to enjoy it when we can.