Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maine to Mystic

Maine to Mystic

The Puffins have been located and viewed so now it’s on to the next item on our respective “bucket lists”! Long Island is next on H’s list!

Thursday morning we headed south down Rt1 and took the side route 9 that took us thru all the quaint fishing/tourist towns including Kennebunkport. We even parked the van and walked a few blocks and shopped in a few of the pretty little shops that lined the main street. One of the interesting things we noticed along the back roads in Maine is that a lot of the old farmhouses had their barns attached right to them. It sure must have made it easier to get to the horses and livestock in the barn during the cold and deep snow of winter. So . . . this must have been the original “attached garage”??!!

Back on Rt1, H put the pedal to the metal and moved to Interstate 95 (yep – it runs from Maine all the way to Miami Florida!) and only stopped at a seaside state park in New Hampshire for a picnic lunch. From there it was straight thru Boston Massachusetts in bumper-to-bumper traffic, thru Providence Rhode Island and on to Mystic Connecticut.

We had visited Mystic Seaport several (OK- many) years ago on a bike trip so this was a delightful time of remembering. Yes – I have the patch on the back of my jacket! On our last trip we went aboard the floating National Historical Landmark, the Charles W Morgan - the last wooden whale ship in the world. Now she is in dry-dock and is being restored even further. They have built a huge staircase up the outside of her black bulking side and have a full canopy above her. Visitors are still allowed to go aboard and climb down into the deep caverns that used to hold the whale blubber and renderings. From the height of her elevated deck, the view of the harbor and the rest of the historical park was like looking down on a scale model scene. We strolled down Main Street and stepped in and out of all the educational seaport shops and restored homes. After H’s afternoon nap, we took a ride to make sure we could find the ferry dock in New London and trusted Lola (the GPS) to find a restaurant for us. She found it but it was closed so we stopped at a little neighborhood bar/grill 3 doors down and can now say that we’ve eaten Dominican Republic food! “Chimi” means sandwich and ours were pork and came with fried plantains! Bananas but different!

You know - when you are in a strange place with an important reason to set the alarm clock to wake up early, you ALWAYS wake up hours before the alarm time! Our reservation for the Cross Sound Ferry, which was to take us from New Holland Connecticut to Orient Point on Long Island, was for 7 am!!!! We both tossed and turned from 3am till the actual alarm time! It was a cool and windy crossing and the boat was chased by thick black threatening clouds but soon the sun came out and shone brightly for the rest of the day. From there we found we needed to take the van on 2 more expensive ferryboat rides before ending up in “the Hamptons”! Narrow, winding, scenic roads, lined with 10ft tall immaculately trimmed hedges, fancy gates protecting the mansions and castles behind them, complete with long disappearing driveways. H thinks that we had the only American made minivan out of all the fancy little shiny foreign cars with funny little designs on the front.

Dinner this evening was Greek - Gyros! Delicious!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Heading east without the trailer

Heading east without the trailer

2 90 86 17 88 9 4 1 129 & 130 What do all these numbers have in common??? These route numbers will get you from Toledo, thru New York, New Hampshire and Vermont to New Harbor Maine to see the Puffins!

Saturday May 16th, my son Dave graduated cum laude from Lourdes College in Sylvania Ohio and this Momma was way proud to see her son finally receive his hard earned degree. On Sunday the 17th, H and I attended a party for a dear friend who has now joined the ranks of the retired. On Monday the 18th we loaded our bags in the van, left the “mobile motel” sitting in the driveway and started collecting route numbers, starting with route 2 to Cleveland. If you ever need to stop for a good breakfast- the Blue Sky Restaurant in Lorain is a good place. Rt 86 took us right over the northern end of the Allegheny Reservoir where we camped with the boat last summer. Yes, the area is still inviting! The lake was deep and calm and the surrounding New York hills were lush, green and rolling.

For once we picked up the coupon book for hotels and motels and have used it all 3 nights and have stayed at 3 very nice motels – one in New York, one in New Hampshire and now in Brunswick Maine.

This afternoon we ventured up the coast and then down a few peninsulas to see what was waiting for us at the end of their long winding roads. We found several quaint fishing towns, nestled around deep-seated harbors with anchored fishing boats that bobbed at the end of their tethers in accordance with the direction of the tide. At the pier in New Harbor we enjoyed a seafood dinner while we watched the lobster boats return with their catch and then join their tethered harbor mates out in the bay. Our Puffin tour boat arrived and gathered her passengers on board like a mother hen gathers her chicks and off we went to spot Puffins and any other interesting birds, seals and porpoise that were waiting for us out on and near Eastern Egg Island. The captain and his first mate did a wonderful job of locating and pointing out all of the above, plus Auks, terns, and some bright colored ducks that neither H nor I can remember its name. The sun was already starting to set in the west as the boat returned to the dock and as we drove back to the motel, the sky turned a marshmallow-y coral.