Archive for the ‘tourists’ 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.

 

 

 

07-17-2016 Journal – Beach Day!   Leave a comment

My better-half was able to sneak away from work a little early yesterday making it possible for us to make our first visit this summer to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, the ultimate tourist trap.  The weather was sweltering at our house but when we arrived at OOB there was a beautiful ocean breeze that was grand. The beach looked beautiful and it was loaded with visiting tourists.

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The only place to stay cool for a few hours.

I love just walking around and people watching when I stumbled on this young lady wearing the required bikini I always look for. It was too bad she decided to stay buried in the sand.

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What’s a trip to the beach without our mandatory visit to the Surf 6 bar. It’s located directly adjacent to the beach just a hop, skip, and jump from the water. I should also mention the excellent mojitos and margaritas that are available.  As always laced with some excellent Patron tequila. OLE!

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We took a nice walk along the beach just as the sun was setting. The cool water felt damn good our poor overheated and sweaty feet.  It was heaven.

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All in all it was a lot of fun and we are planning more of these outings over the next month. The food was delicious, the water was cool, the drinks were icy cold, and the people watching was the best.

SUMMER WILL CONTINUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

11-04-2015 Journal – The Last Warm and Sunny Days!   Leave a comment

Well for the first time in over a year I missed a day I had  scheduled for blogging.  I’m as surprised as you are but that old adage of “sh*t happens” happened. I normally post on one day then workout the next and so on and so forth.  I  became a bit confused and distracted and lost track of the days when our out-of-town visitors were here. It wasn’t until after they left that I realized my error.  So enough of that, let me get on with things.

We had such a good time with our visitor’s I’m not sure where to begin. We spent one afternoon in Kennebunkport doing some shopping and having dinner at Federal Jack’s restaurant.  A couple bowls of clam chowder and a plate of fried clams were followed by massive platters of fish and chips. Wash that all down with a couple of incredibly excellent Goat Island Light beers and your good to go.  So we went.

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‘The best fried clams ever.’

The tourists have all fled southern Maine leaving the towns somewhat deserted as reflected by these photo’s:

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‘In season.’

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‘Off season.’

Federal Jacks just happens to be located directly above the original Shipyard brewery. Of course it’s mandatory with my better-half to complete any trip to Kennebunkport with a stop there too.  It’s her own private Hajj.

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A fun time was had by all. The food was delicious and the beer cold and refreshing.  We took a slow leisurely ride home through Kennebunk where the streets were clogged with parents and costumed children enjoying their Halloween night festivities.   We arrived home safely and enjoyed a good night’s sleep. 

My next post will be day #2 of their visit where we spent a good part of that day playing tourist in the city of Portland. 

We’re in the midst of one beautiful Indian Summer and we all hope it lasts all the way to Thanksgiving.

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.

7-13-2015 Journal–A Lazy Maine Day!   Leave a comment

It’s another week of our normal screwy summer weather to deal with.  We went from wearing hoodies and sweatpants on the Fourth of July to a period of sweltering heat and humidity.  There never seems to be any middle ground with the weather in Maine.  Just once I’d love to see a week with seventy degree weather with low humidity.

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The better-half was scheduled to have one of those rare weekends where she  didn’t have to work. We always try to spend her days off doing something together but with her working, the grand children, and other obligations, it’s not as easy as it once was. Since we really enjoy our road trips we decided to go exploring for the day.  The best way to start any day-off on any given summer Saturday is at the beach.

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One of our favorite places is a small and cozy little restaurant in Old Orchard Beach located about fifty yards from the water.  It’s normally crowded with tourists and beach folk which makes people watching a lot of fun.  The meals are always good but not great. The coffee is always great but not excellent. The waitresses are unusual with a hottie or two thrown in for good measure. It helps to have some one nice to look at when your eating their mediocre food.

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We then made our way inland towards Naples, Maine which sits along the shore of Sebago Lake. It was a beautiful day and the place was packed with tourists. It was too crowded for our liking so we continued on to the small town of Bridgeton, Maine.  This is more like a village, off the beaten path, loaded with many small antique shops, and art galleries.  The people are always friendly, the prices are always reasonable, and the general store is outrageous.

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We both made a few ridiculous purchases and hopped from place to place where the air conditioners were working.  It was one of those rare Maine days when the temperatures remained above ninety for most of the day and the sun was brutal.

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We left Bridgton and decided to get lost for a while.  With all of the lakes in this area it’s easy to lose your sense of direction as the roads wind in and around them. We became lost enough where I felt it necessary to plug in the GPS unit to help us find our way home. How did we ever survive all those years without GPS? After another hour we finally arrived home sweaty and tired.  The house was unbearably hot requiring us to turn on every ceiling fan in the place.  It was like sitting on the runway at a airport.  It cooled the house enough to make it bearable and we settled in for the night. Sleeping was a chore but we were tired enough to ignore the heat.

We  always have a fun day together when we have enough time to clear our heads from the normal every day rat-race. I’m looking forward to the next one already.

06-07-2025 – Journal– A Maine Beer Buzz!   Leave a comment

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As I promised, today’s posting will conclude our day trip to Portsmouth, NH and Kennebunkport, ME.  I left off last time as we were leaving the Red Hook Brewery in New Hampshire after a nice lunch and a tour of the brewery.  I still was loving that beer buzz I had from tasting the many beer samples on the tour. Unfortunately by the time we reached the Kennebunkport area the glow was gone. 

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Our last visit to Kennebunkport had been prior to Memorial Day and things have changed dramatically in the last week. The tourists were out in force and the parking difficulties have returned.  As much as I hate paying for parking there really isn’t much of a choice in such a small village directly adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.  Three bucks an hour is enough to keep our visit to a two hour minimum.

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We took a quick walk around town hitting a few shops and generally getting a feel for the place. Many of the shops from last year were gone and replaced by new owners wanting to make their fortune. Good luck with that.

As always we hung around just long enough to make a visit to Federal Jack’s restaurant. We never miss that stop when we’re in town because the food is great and the beer is plentiful.  This is the original microbrewery location that eventually spawned the Shipyard Brewing Company. I switched back to white wine for my meal of freshly caught and cooked Fish & Chips.

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The town is famous for the Bush family and as you can see the entire population is celebrating the 90th birthday of Barbara Bush this month.  As we left town we took a short ride up the coast past Walker Point where the Bush family has their summer residence. The day remained gray and chilly but that’s just life in Maine in early June.

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We arrived back home with a camera full of pictures and full bellies. Now it’s time to relax for a while and watch a movie. We’re both hoping for warmer weather soon but I suppose that’s Mother Natures decision as always.

04-16-2015 Journal–Tourist Prep Continues!   Leave a comment

I can finally accept the fact that Spring is here.  I don’t take anyone’s word for it anymore but I do listen to Mother Nature when she speaks.  The easiest way to make that determination is to sit on my deck and await the arrival of the hummingbirds. They arrived this morning and spent the entire day trying to empty our recently filled feeder. They must have been very hungry after their long trip and were sucking down that sugar water as fast as they could.  Mother Nature’s sure-fire way of letting us know.

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These last three days of beautiful sunshine permitted me to begin my yard cleanup and to complete a long list of repairs to the garden frames. Something else I picked up along the way was the beginnings of a bright red sunburn. My pasty white body will take some time making the adjustment to sunlight and I’ll enjoy every minute of it except for that first blast of hot water in the shower later tonight.

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My better-half and I decided to take a few hours off and cruise up towards Sebago Lake which is an hour or so north of here.  The town of Naples has always been one of our favorite spots for sitting on a deck overlooking the lake and enjoying a fun lunch.  As you can see by the photos the sun is shining but the lake is only just beginning to thaw.

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We drove the perimeter of the lake for an hour snapping a few more scenic pictures where the ice still is holding its own against the warmer temperatures. Most of the businesses have yet to open their doors and are spending most of their time cleaning things up in anticipation of the upcoming flood of tourists.

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I can’t wait to return here when it’s a little warmer, with the restaurants open, and the place crowded with lots of interesting tourists.  It’s a great place to relax, rent a canoe or jet-ski, and even take a plane ride over the lake up towards the White Mountains.

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To misquote one of my favorite Generals – “We  shall return.”

09-07-2014 Journal Entry–Bye! Bye! Summer   2 comments

What’s your morning routine?  For most of my life I’ve had a routine and I stuck to it regardless of the day, the month, or the year. It also was flexible enough to change when necessary to fit my always changing lifestyle.  I have to say that my routine these days is by far the best it’s ever been.

I’m sitting in a nice warm bed and  into my second cup of coffee while watching and listening to one of my favorite chick flicks, Return to Me.  My better-half has left for work, the cat has been fed, and I just finished off a bowl of crunchy cereal covered with berries and almond milk.  Now it’s time to write this posting before I finally roll out of bed and officially start my day.

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With Fall now rushing upon us and Labor Day behind us, we decided to make our farewell visit to the nearby tourist trap, Old Orchard Beach. We expected much smaller crowds because many places close up for the season just after the Labor Day weekend.  It was warm and sunny and the crowds were even smaller than we anticipated.

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We were both surprised to see that the vast majority of shops and restaurants had already closed their doors for the year.  I’d intended to do some shopping at a certain store but because it was on the grounds of the amusement park it was fenced off and locked up.  That’s what I get for delaying my visit to avoid the crowds. Another casualty of my claustrophobic need to avoid large groups of insane people.

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The beach was almost as empty as everything else.  Just a few die-hard beach people refusing to accept the fact that Winter is fast approaching. 

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We made our way to The Pier and the local Irish Pub.  They were open for business and apparently trying to rake in as much money as they could from any straggling tourists.  The prices were too high but the food was almost as good as the cold beer or so says my live-in beer expert.  I had the vodka tonic which wasn’t all that bad either.

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We ended the evening with our mandatory visit to the Arcade for my better-half’s minor obsession with Skee Ball.  Don’t ask me why she has it, I just don’t know.  We walked around for twenty minutes or so and decided to call it a night.  The Summer is over, Fall is beginning, and we’ll be shoveling the white stuff all too soon.

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Just so you know the little guy on the right is me. A little bit taller and always keeping an eye out for trouble.  And in my humble opinion a whole lot cuter  too.

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06-15-2014 Journal Entry–Father’s Day!   Leave a comment

Another Father’s Day has come and gone.  It  was great day primarily due to my better-half.  I was able to spend an hour or so early in the AM finishing my project for my man-cave.  It’s now complete and after drying for one more day it’ll be moved into the cave once and for all.

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“The Finished Product”

We initially decided to fire up the grill for a meal of corn-on-the-cob, steaks, and a fresh garden salad.  The garden is growing so fast that I actually ate my first radishes yesterday.  Take a look.

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All of the recent rainfall has accelerated the growth of almost everything.  I especially love the bright green colors and the lushness of the garden at this time of the year. 

Now, let’s get back to my Father’s Day celebration.  My better-half and I after a few cold and refreshing alcoholic beverages decided to cancel the home cooked meal and head for Old Orchard Beach, a local tourist trap and amusement park.  She was in deep withdrawal due to a lack of greasy chicken wings and I was looking forward to some good old amusement park junk food.  To hell with the weight loss program for this night.

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The place wasn’t overly crowded but the tourists had definitely arrived in force.  People watching in the park and a walk along the beach gave me my first “big butt” beach picture of the season.

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I was really hungry so as the better-half waited for her chicken wing order at the Chinese hole-in-the-wall I discovered a new entry into the food competition right next door. Lo and behold a Mexican food stand had magically appeared and I was drawn to it like a gigantic black bean craving magnet.  My black bean and rice addiction kicked in and I was hooked.

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Three tacos covered with jalapeno vinaigrette and hot sauce were just what the doctor ordered.  I threw in a fresh fruit cup for good measure and to help ease my guilty diet-conscience.  The food was excellent and fresh but suffered from tourist pricing.  No big surprise there.

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Not too bad for amusement park food.  We snapped a few pictures and did some window shopping and people watching.   All in all it was a great night filled with good food and better company.  Happy Father’s Day to me.  I saw this shirt and I almost bought it.  If it’s still there on my next trip I might be forced to make the purchase and regift it to a certain friend.

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