S: Destination MaineJune 2011
FC: 1 | Destination Maine | June 2011
1: Road Trip 2011 | Acadia National Park
2: EMBARKING ON A ONCE IN A LIFETIME | Day 1 – June 11 While waiting on Brad to fish a tournament with Donnie, the kids and I finished packing our things and stuffed them into the Mountaineer and camper. As soon as Brad made it home, we hopped into the vehicle and were on our way to Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia. (Sawyer forgot the name and called it Fat Mother). The park is about 5 hours from our house. Brad was excited about taking us to Ridgewood BBQ in Bristol. Unfortunately, we found the place to be closed. What restaurant closes at 8:00 on a Saturday night? By that time we were starving, so we settled for the Golden Corral (quantity over quality). From the restaurant we only had about an hour to the park. We arrived and barely got set up before complete darkness set in.
3: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION. | RALPH WALDO EMERSON | Ca | Hungry Mother State Park Virginia | Playing the card game Tonk finished out our evening. The sound of Whipporwills serenaded us to sleep, but at 2:30 we were abruptly awakened by a down pour of rain. The top vent was left open for ventilation which proved unlucky for Sawyer. He got a little wet!
4: Posing with Jefferson | Jefferson's grave | Jefferson's copying machine | Brade determined to win! | Creating!
5: Monticello | Day 2 - June 12 We awoke early, packed up, and headed towards Monticello. We arrived a little after lunch. The kids were very excited. Monticello was at the top of their “to do” list for this trip. After heading to the top of the Jefferson property, it was time for our tour of the house. We all really liked seeing the clock that not only gave the time but also displayed the day of the week through the use of pulleys and weights. Sawyer and Brad both really wanted the ivory chess set. Savannah .. After the tour we headed underneath the house to view the kitchen, stables, ice house, storage rooms and servants quarters. The kids only had time to write their names with a quill and ink when a severe storm blew up. We were asked to stay in that area. Taking refuge in the laundry area, a tour guide gave us personal attention and told us other interesting tidbits about the house. Sawyer was intrigued by a man that was from England; he loves to practice his English accent. When we completed the tour of the grounds, we headed back down to the visitor’s center via a path by Jefferson’s grave. Sawyer really wanted to go to the hands-on Discovery Center but Savannah was less than thrilled. However, she found herself interested in the “copying machine” invented by Jefferson, as well as the interesting assortment of blocks with which to play. Both kids created interesting architectural designs. | Upon leaving Monticello, we headed the two hours to Williamsburg. We set up camp at Anvil Campground, ate supper, and found a Wal-Mart to buy our food. (I think we tour through U.S. by way of Wal-Marts!) After setting up camp, we realized that we were 30 feet from a railroad track. Talk about a rude awakening in the middle of the night! It came through about 4 times during the night and shook our camper each time! | The Gardens | Twisted tree | Incredible storm | The back of the camper and the train
6: Busch Gardens | Griffyn | In the Sky buckets | Smashed money
7: Day 3 – June 13 Today was one of those rare perfect days at an amusement park. Our day at Busch Gardens was filled with lines with no waiting, temperature in the low 80s, and low humidity – triple good luck! It was so comfortable, in fact, that we debated on whether to get on the water rides; we did – but only once. The roller coasters were awesome! While Sawyer only chose to ride 2 of them, Brad, Savannah, and I loved trying them all out. At first we thought Griffyn was going to be our favorite of the day with its 90 degree plunge straight down after a suspended moment on the top, but then we discovered Alpengiest and concluded that it was truly our favorite with its smooth spirals and plummeting hills. After eating supper at the campsite the kids made friends with the neighboring campers, and they all hung out on the playground. Our evening ended with a little boy, Malachi, from next door telling us animated stories in his own 2 year old language. He was a hoot! Again tonight, someone forgot to tell the trains that quiet time is from 10 to 8 – lol!
8: Tuesday, June 14 Sawyer bounded out of bed this morning to see if he could find the coins he placed on the tracks for the train to flatten. By the end of the day, he had 10 different coins smashed; we won’t discuss how many were not found. Savannah joined in the festivities by the end of day but she couldn’t find any of hers. We spent today enjoying Colonial Williamsburg. While Brad and the kids really didn’t enjoy the reenactments, they did enjoy hearing the cottage crafters explaining their trades. Brad really enjoyed listening to the carpenters and joiners explain how they built in 18th century fashion. Sawyer got into the brick layer’s job. He jumped into the clay and worked it with his feet! What fun! Savannah was bummed that we didn’t make it to the wiggery, silversmith, and tailor. These will be our first stops tomorrow. We enjoyed a relaxing evening at the campfire. I finished my book, Brad & Sawyer played some pool, and the kids also enjoyed the playground. We also played more Tonk – marathon game! | Williamsburg
10: Posing with Pocahontas | Wednesday, June 15 The day began with a hunt for a tire store that could patch our vehicle tire. A long screw chose to implant itself. Bad news. It could not be plugged so we will go to Sam’s tomorrow for a new tire. We then made our way to Williamsburg to checkout the locations we had missed the day before. Savannah enjoyed hearing how the tailor made the clothes; he was making a replica of a man’s lounging gown from measurements he had taken off an over two hundred year old garment. He was matching it stitch for stitch –even errors. Sawyer was intrigued in how the silversmith could take a seemingly small piece of silver to pound into an object. The gunsmith made Brad salivate over a handmade rifle for $20,000. Leaving Williamsburg took us to a Jamestown. After asking if they offered teacher discounts, the man let us all in free – a $40 savings. We toured the island and enjoyed watching the archeologists digging up artifacts. The man who discovered the Jamestown site in 1994 was wandering among the dig sites – “archeology royalty” we were told. A trip to Water Country USA rounded out the afternoon. While Brad was a bit reluctant, the kids were all gung ho. We had a fantastic time riding the slides where we all went down together. Sawyer decided that he likes water parks better than amusement parks. I couldn’t believe that both kids did the Vanishing Point slide. Basically, you stood on a platform and the bottom dropped out of the holding chute leaving you to fall into a tube that led you to the bottom. Whew!
11: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEMORIES | The man who discovered Jamestown | Water Country USA
12: WE WANDER FOR DISTRACTION, BUT WE TRAVEL FOR FULFILLMENT. | HILAIRE BELLOC | June 16, Thursday Our Sam’s trip for tires had positives and negatives. Negative – we had to wait 2 hours to have the tire changed. Positives – (1)it only cost us $16 for a brand new $200 tire because our tire was covered and (2) the kids bought books at Sam’s and were very content to read while we waited (much more so than Brad). Our first stop after tires was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Island 1 for a picnic lunch on the pier. A man caught 2 stingrays while we enjoyed our meal. We trekked on through Virginia and Maryland to find ourselves at the Delaware coast. It was sad that it took us about 30 minutes driving up the coast before we saw the ocean because large hotels blocked the view. When we arrived at a place that we could pull over, we made our way to the ocean for pictures. Originally, we thought we would camp in northern Delaware, but instead we decided to push on because none of us were really that tired. Mistake. The campground where we thought we could stay was in the middle of nowhere! Savannah commented it was like the setting of one of those movies where you are telling the characters to not stay there, so we didn’t. We tried looking up a campground; the closest was Camp Misery, but the name turned us away. Then, we found a camping resort 15 miles away – that sounded great. It would have been, but they don’t do late check-ins; the gates were not moving. So, we opted to just keep on driving and see how far we could get before fatigue set in. So how far was that? Let’s see, we saw the sunset in Delaware, drove through New York City at 1:00 in the morning (still had extremely heavy traffic), zoomed across Connecticut, watched the sunrise in Rhode Island, and arrived in Cape Cod at 6:00 in the morning. | Lunch on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge | Beach in Delaware | On the Road Again
13: Waiting patiently? | Waiting patiently. | Hello Beach! | Another toll booth | Delaware Beach | Rhode Island sunrise
15: Cape Cod | June 17, Friday Without any sleep, we headed to a state park to find a campsite. Unluckily, they had no vacancies for the night. We then trekked to McDonald’s so we could get WiFi on the laptop and find a campsite. Settling on Bourne Scenic Park which wasn’t supposed to open for another hour, luckily, they were open and let us check in. We quickly set up camp and slept for about 4 hours foregoing teeth brushing and changing clothes. After we awoke, we showered and headed out further into Cape Cod. Lunch found us at Nickerson State Park. The temperature was in the high 60s and cloudy, but we were satisfied with our explorations. Four things that Cape Cod doesn’t lack – lighthouses, antique stores, ice cream stores, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Honesty, one time we could see 2 Dunkin’ Donuts at one time. The afternoon was spent at Cape Cod National Preserve where we went inside a lighthouse and walked along the beach. We spotted several whales spouting water and seals bobbing their heads above the water line. Lack of sleep getting the best of us, we made our way back to the campground after a lack luster seafood supper. Awww. Sleep.
16: ARE WE THERE YET?
17: Plymouth | June 18, Saturday Beautiful weather today after heavy rains all night. After packing up, we began our way to Maine. Our first stop along the way was Plymouth Rock where we viewed the rock where the Pilgrims landed. We also were able to tour a replica of the Mayflower. Once along our route to Maine, we decided to side-track to Salem. Mistake. The camper and Salem were not compatible. Let’s just say that after getting caught behind a bus and almost jackknifing, we opted not to stay in Salem for long. Forward Ho to Bass Harbor. We arrived at the campsite at about 9:00, set up camp, cooked a quick bite to eat, and headed to bed.
18: June 19, Sunday Before getting started this morning, we ventured to the light house beside our campground. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses. - Where in the world can you sit beside a pounding surf watching the water hit the rocks, walk along a sandy beach, hike to the top of a mountain, and eat the day’s fresh catch of lobster all in one day? Acadia National Park. The visitor’s center gave us sneak peak of the park in a 15 minute movie. From there, we were ready to make the 26 mile scenic loop around one section of the park. One of our first stops was an area where we walked along the large boulders by the ocean. Next, we strolled down a path to a sandy beach where we decided it was WAY TOO cold to stick our feet in; it was just in the high 60s today with a fierce wind. Thunder Hole was our lunch stop. We took our lunch down by the ocean and enjoyed the water pounding the rocks as the tide came in. Two ladies told us that there were whales making splashes in a certain area. We were amazed by the size of the waves only to find out that it was just waves – no whales. Next, we hiked down to Jordan Pond and took a stroll along a nature path. The ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain was spectacular. From the top we had a 360 degree view of the island. Beehive Mountain was our next obstacle. We wanted to hike to the top. It was the most strenuous and dangerous hike that we have ever been on! A billy goat would have had difficulty making the climb up rocks that we conquered. In some areas, you had to climb up rebar ladders that were embedded in the rocks. It was very scary! We chose to take the “easy” Bowl Trail down the mountain. From there, we journeyed over to Bar Harbor to witness how the area got it name. A bar presents itself during low tide that becomes a bridge to Bar Island. The walk was lovely as we looked for shells. By the ocean we saw the biggest starfish any of us had ever seen. Upon recommendation from the camper check-in lady, our supper menu was compliments of Thurston’s in Bernard. Sawyer and Brad both had lobster while I chose the lobster roll. Savannah (who doesn’t like sea food) wanted a cheese burger. The meal and location were excellent. If the lady had not recommended the place, we would never have found it. Tired from a busy day, we headed back to the camper and went straight to bed. Sawyer’s favorites today were the lobster and starfish while Savannah liked the light house and sitting on the rocks for lunch. Brad and I both enjoyed lunch on the rocks, too.
20: Beautiful Acadia
21: HALF THE FUN OF TRAVEL IS THE ESTHETIC OF LOSTNESS. | RAY BRADBURY | Dinner at Thurston's
22: June 20, Monday We let the kids sleep in this morning because we all were getting a little worn down. After being lazy around camp, we made our way to the harbor to see if we could catch some lobstermen bringing in their daily catch. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any, but we did enjoy “sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away” for about an hour ( actually the tide was coming in). The kids really wanted to go back to Sand Beach for a swim, so we made our way in that direction stopping to check out the Acadia Nature Center. While at the beach, the kids each started separate sand castles but ended up consolidating to one to try and save it from the rising tide. They were actually successful. Sawyer designed an elaborate system of trenches to accommodate for the rising waters. Savannah did try jumping in the waves but the water was way too cold for enjoyment – 55 degrees. The water actually made you hurt! The day ended with a drive down the western edge of the island and an early supper at camp. We met a local man who entertained us with his stories of travels as we waited on our laundry to finish. A round of the card game Tonk finished the evening. | More Exploring Acadia
24: Baker's Island Tour
25: June 21, Tuesday We arose early to catch our boat for a tour of Acadia and a trip to a Baker’s Island – a private island. Sawyer quickly made friends with our park ranger tour guide. We all learned tons about lobsters thanks to Sawyer’s inquisitive mind. The view of Acadia from the boat was gorgeous. Our time on the island involved visiting a grave yard, old homestead, and light house. We loved hearing the family history of the island and how it used to have a federal highway due to a huge property dispute. Lunch was on a pink granite beach. It would have been nice except for the mosquitoes that wanted us for lunch! We decided to finish the afternoon with a little more hiking and then on to search for fresh lobsters to cook back at our campsite. The man, from the night before, told us how to cook them ourselves. They were delicious!
26: Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain
27: The Long Drive Home | June 22 – 23, Wednesday and Thursday Our rise today was even earlier so we could watch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain before we started home. As usual, we opted to drive, drive, drive to get on home. We made some brief stops at an awesome retro diner and beautiful covered bridges. Also, we picked up 3 more states – Vermont, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The highlight of the drive home was the reading aloud of the book - The Hunger Games. Wow! I started reading it at 6:30 am and finished at 10:00 pm. Fantastic book! It certainly made the car time pass quickly. At 3:00 in the morning, we stopped at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Virginia to catch a couple of hours of sleep. Glad to be home and thankful for the new memories, we pulled into our driveway at 11:30 ready for some real sleep. | HOME