Monday, August 31, 2015

Acadia National Park and Points North

No we have fallen into the Atlantic!!  We just got so busy living the dream, I got lax about reporting it..... I took lots of pictures and hopefully will get it all reported.

 So here goes.....

After helping the kids move into the New House and our trip into New York, Hailey and I left for a few days to go north for a few days to Maine.  They needed some time to get settled into the new house and we needed some 'sploring' time.

Our first adventure was to Cape Cod where the water was warm, and it was Hot, Hot, Hot.
Our time in Cape Cod was all about the beaches.....well almost.

The first day we drove around the 76 mile boot of Cape Cod checking out beaches.  Many of the beaches are private, but we did find some to wade in and explore.

The water is remarkably warm compared to the waters in the Pacific Northwest.  It is easy to see why Cape Cod is a popular destination.

 On the far north end of the Cape is a quaint little tourist town called Provincetown.  The town is filled with hustle bustle of little shops but the beaches are secluded and many are quiet without crowds.  My history lessons did not serve me well.

The Pilgrims actually landed here first before sailing on to the mainland to build their settlement at Plymouth, Ma.  A monument and museum marks the location in Provincetown.

The little town is also full of funny little moments

An Uncharted Stop

My childhood was filled with memories of going to the outdoor drive-in theater.  We would sit outside the car when the weather was hot and watch the movie eating popcorn brought from home.  Not many of these theater are still operational so when we saw this on on Cape Cod.....I said why not?  We found a campground a couple of miles away so we would have a home to go after the movies.  Not movies I would have chosen but I relived old memories and Hailey saw her first movie at a Drive-In.  There is something to be said for both nostalgia and creating new memories. 

We fixed dinner in the Road Trek while we waited for the movie to start and popped popcorn during intermission.

 They still use the old speakers, but they also have sound that you can pipe in via your radio.

After a lazy start visiting with campground neighbors we headed out for points north.

Around and through rush hour.

On to Acadia National Park

 We eventually ended up overnighting at a Walmart near Acadia, Maine after a long, long drive.  Our plans will take us into the park the next day so we will get a good nights sleep before arriving....ready to see Acadia.  This Walmart had neat little lines of other weary travelers with the same idea.  Others however set up this Walmart as a base camp and came back and forth leaving there 'camps' for the day.  We also saw huge motor homes with levelers down and slides out making this there campground home.  Not what overnighting at Walmart is suppose to be.  I can image it will not be long before this spot will not be available if people continue to take advantage of this service.

After filling up with groceries the next morning, we headed out on our way to Acadia.  It is true what they say, if you want to stay in the National Campgrounds during the summer you will need to be committed to reservations.  That is not the way we fly so we were prepared to investigate other options.

The Park was first instituted as a National Monument named Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916 with 6,000 acres by Woodrow Wilson..  The only National Park in the Northeast, Acadia has become one of the  top 10 most visited National Parks in the country.

 Beautiful rock formations surround the Sand Beach

There are several private parks adjacent to the national Park (and serviced by the FREE bus service)  and were reasonable $25 for electric and water with a swimming pool.  We stayed at Hadley's Point Campground which was located near Bar Harbor  One of the awesome parts of the Park is the hop on and off bus system through the busiest part of the park. The Propane buses are free and allow riders to ride to many of the best sights without fighting traffic or look for parking and best of all for us, the kitties stayed cool at the campground while we toured.

                                                               Yep, the water is chilly.....                                                                                                      

Sand Beach is the only sandy beach in Acadia, so there is generally a crowd.  We were there on a sunny evening so there were plenty of people but we found our own space and enjoyed the water.

The next morning were headed to Jordan Pond riding again on the bus.  I was able to sit back and enjoy the view as we traveled through the Park, a rare opportunity as a solo driver.

We hopped off the bus at Sleur de Monts not knowing what we would find.  I needed batteries for my camera and while we were there we went for a walk through the the visitor center and a lovely walk around the grounds.  Our plan was to walk for a few minutes while we waited for the next shuttle in a half hour.  So was the plan.....  I of course became involved in the history that was  displayed and then the walk was very interesting. So was the plan was modified.

Our walk started out a boardwalk through a meadow filled with beautiful trees with light streaming through. It was intoxicating as I could see new landscape drawing us forward to explore.

The natural gardens include a mixed forest,  a coniferous pine forest, a marsh, a pond and a brook area and a beach area.  It was lovely to hear the birds and frogs and view wildlife along the way.


We found this little fellow along a path.  He seemed to be in some distress and upon our return we alerted a ranger who set out to check up on him. 

After our walk we hopped on a shuttle bus and off we went to Jordan's Pond.  My son-in-law spoke fondly of his childhood memories of Acadia.  On the top of the list was to stop at Jordan's Pond for Popovers. We checked on the Popovers at the Restaurant and decided to have lunch on the Patio overlooking the Pond.

We were surrounded by gardens in bloom full of flowers and herbs.

The Popovers were delicious, served with butter and strawberry jam.

We were not alone in our adoration,  we were joined by many bees (we counted 5 different kind), searching for their own snack!

After our lunch we headed down to a trail the circled around Jordan Pond.

As the pond is a drinking water source, no swimming is allowed....but Hailey managed to enjoy the rocks crossing back and forth along the shore.

We hopped on the shuttle again and headed down to another pond before heading back to the van.

It was a lovely stop, but of course not enough time but time marches on even when the 'vacation' is a long one.  It is difficult to ever decide which stops to make and how long to stay.  There are always those undiscovered treasures to be found.

~ Happy Trails ~

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A New York Minute


The more I travel on this trip, the more I realize just how much of a country gal I am.  I hear people talk of the excitement of cities, but mostly I feel overwhelmed when in the hustle bustle of the cities.

None the less we are going into New York for the day.  I have been several times over the years but of course this is Hailey's first trip to the East so we will go in for the day.  Of course there is no way to do justice to New York in a day so we must choose carefully the most important things that we want to do.  I have been to New York several times post 9-11 and followed the reconstruction of the area so I wanted to visit the site and see the Museum.  Hailey wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and ride on a Ferry in the Harbor to get the Harbor Views.  Her second choice was to see the John Lennon Memorial in Central Park.

Getting to the city is a long trek from Northwest Connecticut but I enjoyed the scenery since I was a passenger rather than the driver.  It is amazing to just be able to look at the scenery as I pass by rather than the cars and the road.

 Lunch was first on the order of business.  It always is when Bjorn is with us.  Some people view the city as a way to experience the city.  With Bjorn along....we would eat our way around the city.  Near the 9-11 site is a wonderful place to eat.  The glass atrium is huge and full of light.  The are upscale restaurants but also a large food court on the second floor that has anything a person could want.  We had salads at place that chops your fresh salad, made to order. 

The last time I was in New York the new  1World Trade Center tower had only begun construction. 
 It certainly is now a magnificent building.  

I love the reflection of the buildings in its mirror image.

As the water falls gently over the edge, it is difficult to ignore how many people were lost that day.

  Each one loved and lost to family, friends, coworkers.
  The losses still unimaginable and overwhelming.

Where once rubble lay, a new winged shape rises.  

It is the new Transportation Hub that brings three subway lines to the area.  It's design brings light and fresh air to the underground area.  The orientation of the building on the grounds so that it on September 11, the sunlight will fall directly onto the floor inside.  

The structure visually symbolizes recovery as it rises out of the ashes into recovery.

We remember the horror of 9/11.  The visual images of that day are seared into our very being.  I was not sure what I would come away with from attending the 9/11 museum, I just knew that I must go.


On a previous trips to New York, I saw the mangled steel left behind by the collapse of the towers. The steel beams still formed a cross as they stood up in among the ashes.  It became a symbol of hope and recovery in the somber days following 9/11.  Workers wrote memos on the beams.

I saw it then, it touched my soul. 

 Photo from the Examiner via internet

It was later moved to  a former plaza on Church Street near Liberty by Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 
Notes and mementos on the cross...

photo from Catholic exchange

I saw it then, it touched my soul

Recently court challenges by atheists  were rejected and it has been allowed to remain in the 9/11 museum although no pictures of it are allowed to be taken. 

This inscription placed on the cross was found on the internet.

I saw it again, placed in the 9/11 museum.  It is placed in a location where photos are not allowed so I was not able to include it but,

I saw it again, it touched my soul.

Out of all of the pain and loss of 9/11 that is symbolized in this one place there was one symbol that stood out to me symbolized the good and prevailing loving nature of our country. 

The National 9/11 Flag

Following 9/11/ the 30-foot American flag destroyed at 90 West Street in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center was stitched back together by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas, and other veterans who survived the shooting at Ft. Hod, Texas, World War veterans on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, the family of Martin Luther King Jr., on the 9/11 anniversary in 2008 and school children from around the country.  Patches from retired flags from all 50 states were used to repair the flag.  The National 9/11 Flag contains threads from the American flag Abraham Lincoln was laid on when he was shot at Ford’s Theater. On June 14, 2012 – Flag Day – three red threads from the original Star-Spangled Banner flag that flew at Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem were sewn into the fabric of

The National 9/11 Flag, thereby completing this amazing historic journey.


 This flag stands as a symbol of  hope, resiliency and recovery in the museum.


This tree was the lone tree survivor in the ground zero area.  Named the Survivor Tree, it was severely burned, with broken limbs and roots.  It was moved to another site for recovery while the area was rebuilt.  It was returned to the grounds and thrives next to the Museum .

The museum while a somber experience is not grim and hopeless.   It is a testament to the resolve of the American people and the resiliency of those that lived through that trying time.  I am glad to have borne witness to the strength and renewal.

Next we boarded a ferry for a harbor cruise.

 Note, the name of our Ferry was.....     Spirit of America

City Skyline

Time Square a blur of color and motion.

I struggle with the finding my way even with the GPS.  (Sometimes I am stressed because
of the GPS  - I hate those turn around trips down dead ends)  So I was happy to have Melissa do the driving into the city.  We spent $52 for parking....OUCH..... but lucky to have found parking due to the vehicle height.

We found street parking and enjoyed dinner in Hells Kitchen before our return home, very tired.

There is a phrase about a New York Minute.  It certainly does not apply to the amount of time needed to see New York.  You need much much more time and many visits to see New York.