I managed to spend some more dollars at the Duty Free in Newark Airport before we took off. Well, when a girl sees a bargain, what is she supposed to do!? Perfume this time but at least it didn’t take up too much room.
We didn’t have the pleasure of flying back on the Dreamliner last night, we had to make do with an Airbus but it was fine. The flight was uneventful and we even arrived back early at Heathrow.
We whipped through the e-passport gates, our luggage was practically first off the plane, met up with our driver and were heading out of Heathrow within 15 minutes!
When we arrived home and opened the cases it came as no surprise that one of them had been opened ‘for security purposes’ at Newark and searched. At least this time it was left tidy!
We had a great time, met some wonderful people and saw some memorable things. We drove 2684 miles.
So, it’s time to say ‘farewell’ once again and to thank you all for travelling with us and for the comments you posted.
Until we all meet again, we would just like to say ………………..
arrivederci, adeus, hejdå, 再见, zoi geen, zai jian, tot ziens, au revoir, tschüss, shalom, ciao, じゃね, anyeonghi gasyeo, poka/Пока, adios, hejdå, tạm biệt, vΘleft, farvel, ya sas, tókša akhé
So, we left Lake George after our very short visit to head back to Newark for our flight to the UK. Lake George is a real tourist area but very nice.
We had re-weighed our suitcases before we left Dot and JB’s just to make sure, but they seemed okay.
The Luggage 2015
Before we left we stopped off to see Prospect Mountain at Lake George.
Prospect Mountain is one of Lake George Region’s iconic landmarks. This beautiful mountain, located in the foothills of the Adirondacks, has a 2030 foot summit with magnificent panoramic views of Lake George and Adirondack Region. It is very popular among tourists, locals, and hikers because of its 100 mile view at the peak, and anyone can either hike or drive up to the top. The views are so spectacular and breathtaking, one must not leave Lake George before going to Prospect Mountain… it’s so unbelievably amazing!
Lake George Village from Prospect Mountain
Sand and Lake George from Prospect Mountain
Old Cable Railway
Old Cable Car on Prospect Mountain at Lake George
Prospect Mountain originally had to use an incline railway car to access the house at the top where people could dance and eat. Construction on the railway began in January 1895 and cost $120,000 total. Construction was finished six months later, with the railway opening on June 15, 1895. After failing financially, the railway system ceased operation in 1903. The area was bought and soon donated to the State of New York.
Prospect Mountain House
In 1932, the building at the top of the mountain burned down and was replaced by a steel fire tower. For 30 years, people studied what to do with the land, which was owned by the state, and in 1954, New York Governor Tom Dewey signed legislation to build a highway up the mountain. Twelve years later, in 1966, then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller made funds available for the highway. The Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway was opened in 1969, dedicated to war veterans and providing access to the 2,021-foot (616 m) summit with a 100-mile (160 km) view at its peak.
The drive to Newark was a short one for a change, about four hours and as our flight was not taking off until 10.30 pm we decided to have lunch (eating again!) along the way. We found one of the places we like to eat at, Cracker Barrel, it’s a country restaurant and store, they sell lots of interesting things, including rocking chairs.
Whenever we eat at one it’s always packed full of the ‘older’ generation. The meals are great and a good price too. I had the most gorgeous Apple Cider Chicken. The sauce was so lovely I’m going to try and replicate it! Si had chicken fried chicken, yes that’s what it’s called.
We were then back on the road. It was an uneventful trip most of the way ……….. until I saw a man bent over the bonnet of a Police car being handcuffed!! Oh, plus these lorries being transported, all on the back of each other!
Welcome to New Jersey
I must make one final mention of Margaret (sat nav). She was doing beautifully, until we were just a short distance from Newark when she suddenly went to sleep. Whoosh, she was gone, black screen, just what you need when you are in loads of traffic. She re-booted eventually and we made it to the Hertz return facility.
It’s probably best not to say too much about what happened at the Hertz facility!! All I’ll say is that we were fortunate to catch the flight back to the UK!!!!!!!!!
Today we said ‘Farewell’ to Dot and JB. It’s always sad to leave but fingers crossed we shall see each other again very soon.
Our journey to Lake George was uneventful but we thought this was rather interesting …………….. a sign for a ‘Text Stop’, soon to arrive in the UK I’m sure! It indicates that a ‘Rest Area’ is imminent so anyone who wants to read or send a text should wait until they reach the rest area rather than texting/reading whilst driving!
Once we had checked into our hotel we made our way to Fort William Henry.
Those of you who know me well will understand why I wanted to visit the Fort ……………. it was portrayed in the movie ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and you know I love a movie location!
Fort William Henry
Fort William Henry was a British fort at the southern end of Lake George in the province of New York. It is best known as the site of notorious atrocities committed by the Huron tribes against the surrendered British and provincial troops following a successful French siege in 1757, an event portrayed in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, The Last of the Mohicans, first published in January 1826.
The fort’s construction was ordered by Sir William Johnson in September 1755, during the French and Indian War, as a staging ground for attacks against the French fort at Crown Point called Fort St. Frederic. It was part of a chain of British and French forts along the important inland waterway from New York City to Montreal, and occupied a key forward location on the frontier between New York and New France. It was named for both Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland, the younger son of King George II, and Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, a grandson of King George II and a younger brother of the future King George III.
Following the 1757 siege, the French destroyed the fort and withdrew. While other forts were built nearby in later years, the site of Fort William Henry lay abandoned. In the 19th century, it was a destination for tourists. In the 1950s interest in the history of the site revived, and a replica of the fort was constructed. It is now operated as a living museum and a popular tourist attraction in the village of Lake George.
Inside Fort William Henry
Si at Fort William Henry
Sand Flying the Flag
While we were there it suddenly started to thunder and a storm rolled in but it didn’t last very long ……………. here and gone in a few minutes!
Storm on Lake George
For dinner tonight we took the advice of Bud on reception here at the hotel and went to eat at the Log Jam. Great recommendation, great food! As this will be the last main holiday meal and as I know there are those who read the blog who do enjoy a food photo or two, I thought you may enjoy these. Here’s Si with his ribs and scallops and me with my salmon!
Si enjoying his ribs!
And his scallops!
I had the ‘healthy’ salmon
Tomorrow evening we fly home and land on Wednesday morning, so our final post will be from good ol’ Blighty!
The blog today will be rather short as we’ve spent most of the day shopping and eating!!
2 Guys, 2 Gals and a Dog!
After yesterday’s breakfast pizza we decided to have a light breakfast of fruit and cereals. We thought it best to save ourselves for dinner as we are going with Dot and JB to one of our favourite restaurants!
We decided a visit to the Mall was in order to do a little shopping so Dot, Si and myself set off for Sam’s Club and Macy’s. We found some rather lovely things to buy. Dot and I actually saw a dress we both liked so bought one each. We reckoned that as we both live on different sides of the Atlantic that it wouldn’t be a problem.
Tonight we went to Texas Roadhouse and enjoyed some great food, steaks and shrimp were the order of the day.
There’s always a bucket of peanuts in their shells on the table to nibble while we wait to order and they serve the most magnificent fresh hot rolls with cinnamon butter.
Peanuts in their shells at the Texas Roadhouse
Oh My! Dot and JB at the Texas Roadhouse (I’ll get a telling off for posting this one!)
JB and Si at the Texas Roadhouse
Oh dear, perhaps I shouldn’t have had the Hurricane Margarita!!
Gosh, it’s hot here today, probably the hottest day we’ve had on our holiday so far!
The Gang and Kasha, the dog, in Elmira
We started the day with a Skype ‘chat’ with my Bro and SIL back home in the UK to catch up on all the news and for them to say ‘hello’ to Dot and Nat, then it was time for breakfast. Dot had made a special trip to the local store to buy us a breakfast pizza! We’ve had one before, they are very good indeed, but oh my, this one was huge! One side was bacon and eggs, the other ham and eggs. Now, that’s what you call a pizza …. only in the USA!!
Our Breakfast Pizza!
It was our plan to head towards The Waterfront Restaurant in Hammondsport for lunch. Later of course, not immediately after breakfast pizza! We’ve been there before and it sits right on the beautiful Keuka Lake. The last time we visited we saw a sea plane landing on the Lake.
On the way we stopped off at Dot’s summer camp.
3 Gals at Dot’s summer camp
The Models up at Dot’s summer camp
Barn at Dot’s summer camp
Before we got to the Lake we stopped off in Hammondsport to take a look at the annual Art Show that was being held in the town square. There were lots of jewellery, pottery, photographic and painting stalls.
At one photographic stall we came across lots of photos that could have come straight out of our laptop!! it seems that the photographer had visited lots of the same places as us and had taken lots of the same photos as our resident photographer!
There was even an Irish band to keep us entertained, they were very good.
The Irish Band
There was one particular jewellery stall that we took a great interest in where the necklaces, bracelets and earrings had been handmade featuring Caring Stones, that is African Kazuri Beads.
Kazuri (meaning “small and beautiful” in Swahili) beads are unique, hand crafted ceramic beads made by women in Kenya. The industry started and continues today, for the purpose of helping disadvantaged Kenyan women find a way out of poverty and currently supports employment of over 300 African women.
Kauri provides these women, primarily widows and single parents, with fair wages, benefits, child care and AIDS education. All Kazuri products are fair trade.
We were enticed to buy a few things!
Dot and Sand’s Jewellery
After our purchases we continued on to The Waterfront where we managed a fine lunch at a great table while enjoying all the boats on the Lake.
3 Girls enjoying lunch at The Waterfront
2 Gals and a Guy enjoying lunch at The Waterside
Sadly, Nat had to leave us today and return home to Pennsylvania but we look forward to the time when we will all be together again.
We had a long drive, leaving New Hampshire and travelling through Vermont into New York state. We passed Lebanon Airport and Windsor, birthplace of Vermont in 1777 and in Wilmington we saw Dot’s Restaurant! I think our Dot must be moonlighting, I’ll have a word with her about that!
Dot’s Restaurant!! Wow!
Vermont has no major roads that we saw and so it took us longer than expected to drive through it. We expected our drive to Elmira would take six hours but after a couple of stops and then a major accident, it took seven. At least the drive was lovely and sunny.
Vermont is lovely and seems to be mainly made up of trees so there wasn’t really much to photograph as we travelled along, but we did see this rather oversized chair!!
The Big Chair
We are now together with two of our best buddies Dot and Nat (JB will be here on Sunday) and spent a lovely afternoon and evening catching up, laughing and enjoying a lovely meal together and an evening stroll.
We decided an easy day was the order of the day as tomorrow we have a six-hour drive to Elmira in upstate New York.
Tomorrow is a very special day as we will be meeting up with our best pals, Dot, Nat and JB. Those of you who know me well or have been following the blog for a while will know that Dot and Nat are my ‘Twilight’ best buddies. It’s been two years since we were all together so as you can imagine, we are all very excited!
‘The Gang’ May 2013
So, we drove back to Lake Winnipesaukee but this time went to the west side of the Lake to a town called Wolfeboro. It’s not very large, the population at the 2010 census was just 6,269, but as it’s a holiday destination it was very busy. Parking’s a problem but we were very lucky and managed to find a space just off the main street.
Lake Winni at Wolfeboro
The town was granted by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1759 to four young men of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and named Wolfeborough in honour of English General James Wolfe, who had been victorious at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. In 1763, 2,300 acres were added to the 60 acres reserved for the governor. Colonial Governor John Wentworth, his nephew, established an estate on the site, known as Kingswood. Built in 1771 beside what is now called Lake Wentworth this was the first summer country estate in northern New England. Settled in 1768, the town was incorporated in 1770.
Over the years Wolfeboro, whose town motto is “The Oldest Summer Resort in America” became popular as a summer colony, particularly for families from Boston and southern New Hampshire. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Kurt Vonnegut, Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon have spent time in Wolfeboro and in August 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed there too.
It has loads of little shops and eating establishments. Of course, we shopped and then we ate, at Jo Green’s Garden Cafe. We sat on the upper deck and the view out over the Lake was just wonderful.
Lake Winni at Wolfeboro
On the way to Wolfeboro we passed through Chichester and Alton! It really is enough to confuse the already confused!! For those of you living outside of the UK, we have town named Chichester and Alton too.
We then travelled back to New London for our dinner reservation, The New London Inn Coach House Restaurant, again! Again, I had the wonderful steak and Si had …………… scallops! Again, I forgot to take pictures but believe me, it happened!
There was one thing I forgot to mention on yesterday’s post and that was that we saw a man being arrested on the main street, handcuffed and put in the back of a police car! Well, that’s not something we see very often, if at all, where we are from! Apparently, he was being arrested for DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol. We were told that it happens quite a lot here in New London. My goodness, you wouldn’t think it was that kind of place, it’s very small and very quiet. Hey ho, you never know!!
To cap it all, when we arrived at the restaurant tonight there were two police cars parked outside! We thought they must have been waiting to breathalyse Si as he left after dinner but when we asked the receptionist what was ‘going down’ she said that one of the policemen was her boyfriend and he’d locked his keys in his cruiser and had to phone for backup to bring out a spare set of keys!!!!!!!!
Today was again supposed to be cloudy with rain but once we left for Lake Winnipesaukee the sun came out and we had another really lovely, hot sunny day.
I had a thought after posting yesterday regarding travelling at speed ………….. that’s a way to smooth out wrinkles!! Just a thought …………. well I had drunk a glass or two by then!!
We last visited the Lake some 20-odd years ago together with Squam Lake. Again, for those old enough to remember the film ‘What About Bob’ an hilarious comedy with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, was filmed on Lake Winnipesaukee.
The area was full of families and young people enjoying their vacation. There was also romance in the air!
Young Love at Weir Beach
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire. It is approximately 21 miles (34 km) long (northwest-southeast) and from 1 to 9 miles (1.6 to 14.5 km) wide (northeast-southwest), covering 69 square miles (179 km2)—71 square miles (184 km2) when Paugus Bay]—with a maximum depth of 212 feet (65 m). The center area of the lake is called The Broads (just like Norfolk).
The lake contains at least 258 islands, half of which are less than a quarter-acre in size, and is indented by several peninsulas, yielding a total shoreline of approximately 288 miles (463 km). The driving distance around the lake is 63 miles (101 km). It is 504 feet (154 m) above sea level.
It has been a popular tourist destination for more than a century, particularly among residents seeking a safe haven from the summer heat of Boston and New York City. The Native American name Winnipesaukee means either “smile of the Great Spirit” or “beautiful water in a high place.” At the outlet of the Winnipesaukee River, the Winnipesaukee Indians, a subtribe of the Pennacook, lived and fished at a village called Acquadocton. Today, the site is called The Weirs, named for the weirs colonists discovered when first exploring the region.
Winnipesaukee is a glacial lake and over millions of years the area has been under ice thousands of feet thick four times.
Today we stopped off at Weirs Beach, a lovely spot and decided to take a ride on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. It was a two-hour trip and our conductor today was Conductor Tim. We had a very interesting chat and found out that he’s a star in his own right because he has five websites, one of which is AsktheBuilder.com. I’m sure we’ve visited that site in the past. What a small world it is!
We also had a lovely chat with John the ticket seller. Both Tim and John are very interesting chaps.
Ticket seller, John
The railroad was first built in 1849 and was originally a primary route for business and vacation travel between Boston and Montreal. Our route today took us along the western shore of the Lake and Paugus Bay.
The ‘Winni Express’ – don’t know it’s real name!
Here’s a couple of ‘old geezers’ enjoying the ride!!
Si on Train
Sand on Train
It will come as no surprise that we chose to sit in one of the dining cars and enjoyed a Hobo Picnic Lunch of rolls, crisps, cookie and a drink, served to us by, I think, Theresa.
Theresa (we think!)
Included in the price was either a Hobo pack back or brindle stick! (Thanks Conductor Tim for giving me the correct name). I can hear you asking “what are they?” Well, here they are. Of course I’d want the brindle stick, it’s nice and big to put in one of the suitcases, because as you know, there’s plenty of space in them …… not!!
Hobo Back Pack and Brindle Stick
The trip and the scenery were great. People all along the route were waving at us and there were two people on a jet ski who decided to try and keep up with the train, which they did and were waving at us when all of a sudden and for no apparent reason they both suddenly fell off. We all laughed, it was quite a funny sight but that didn’t deter them, they both clambered back on and took chase once again.
Here are a couple of videos taken from the train.
There was also a balloonist on the train who occupied his time making all kinds of balloon animals and funny hats for the children. He was very good.
After we left Weirs Beach and were heading home we stopped off at a place called ‘Meredith’ because yesterday as we zoomed through the town I happened to spy a magnificent waterfall so today we stopped to take a look.
Completed in 1818, the canal and waterfall connect Lake Waukewan and Lake Winnipesaukee and once powered several mills. Now it is the centerpiece of the Mills Falls Marketplace and Hotels.
It was a fun day and finished off tonight with another superb meal at The New England Inn Coach House Restaurant. I had just about the best steak I’ve ever consumed and Si had prawns with grits (rice pudding to you and me) followed by a delicious pork chop. (Sorry, no photos today). We so enjoyed it we are going there again tomorrow!! ‘Boring’ I hear you cry, try somewhere different!
We were told to expect thunderstorms today but we were very lucky and saw no rain at all until we were on our way back to the Inn this afternoon and then it ‘tipped’ down. After that the sun came out and it was gorgeous again.
After a lovely breakfast this morning of french toast and sausage we decided to head for Squam Lake. For those of you reading this and are old enough to remember the film ‘On Golden Pond’ well, that is where it was filmed.
The countryside around here is very lovely but it takes a long time to get anywhere due to the speed limits. They are very low! At one point we went on the Freeway and actually managed 70 mph. The G-force was incredible and I told Si to beware nose bleeds!!
We passed through many pretty villages, one called ‘Andover’, that made us laugh as we used to live in Andover, Hampshire back in the UK. At one point we even drove through Bristol. Being ‘old folk’ as we are, we sometimes forget that we are actually driving in the US and not the UK.
Anyway, I digress ……………………..
We first visited Squam Lake over 20-odd years ago and not much seems to have changed. We didn’t go out on the lake on this trip as we did that last time, instead we spent our time at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Centre. It was great!
The Centre is an environmental education center and zoo founded in 1966 and opened to the public on July 1, 1969. The mission of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is to advance understanding of ecology by exploring New Hampshire’s natural world.
The science center uses live animal exhibits, natural science education programs, and lake cruises, to educate visitors about the natural world. Using the outdoors as a classroom and native New Hampshire animals as teaching ambassadors, the science center teaches the ecological concepts of adaptations, populations, interrelationships, and habitats.
We were lucky enough to arrive at the same time as about 10,000 young children!! Young children make a lot of noise!!
Here are photos and videos of some of the animals we saw on our visit. All these animals were found injured in the wild or orphaned. They are kept at the centre if it’s not possible for them to be released back into the wild.
Here’s another couple of ‘wild’ animals enjoying a snack!
Si eating pizza!
Sand eating Pizza
One of the highlights of the day was our visit to the Otters! They were crazy, check out the videos. In this first video the otter was ‘performing’ non-stop for about 15 minutes!!
There’s no sound to the next video.
Now that’s what you call a back stroke!
There’s a beautiful garden at the centre too, here’s one of the flowers, complete with bee.
Flower with bee!
Tonight we went into town for dinner at The New England Inn Coach House Restaurant. The food was so delicious I forgot to take photos but Si had Korean Style Short Rib, he thought it was pretty d… good!! I had horseradish crusted cod and that was pretty d… good too. Si had maple syrup creme brûlée to finish and I had black coffee with Frangelico …. delicious!
All in all, a good day!!
PS: Just realised I’ve missed something out!! For our dear friend Ann …………… you asked me to be on the lookout for cowboy boots!! Check this out, unfortunately not for sale, but interesting non the less …. it’s a bird house!!
The Inn we are staying at has its own lake and small beach with sailing facilities, tennis and BBQ. We think we may go kayaking later in the week! Watch this space ……….. some of you know I’m not really a water person and can get seasick on a mill pond!! Lucky I have Carol’s bracelet!
We are rather ‘out in the sticks’ here, there isn’t even a mobile signal! The countryside is lovely, full of trees, very green and loads of small country roads!
The Inn at Pleasant Lake
Sand at the Inn
After a lovely breakfast, we decided that today would be a gentile day and so decided to visit the Shaker Village and Museum in Canterbury!! Canterbury, New Hampshire, USA that is and not Canterbury, Kent, UK!
Well, we found today’s history lesson fascinating. Especially as it all started in England!! Sorry to those who hate history but that’s all we have today.
Our guide was Darryl, he first moved to the village when he was 18 months old and is the only person now left who knew the last inhabitants. His father helped start the museum. The children who lived at the village would plant a tree that was then named after them and was theirs to look after and nurture. He is an historian and his knowledge of the Shakers’ history was truly amazing. This is Darryl with his tree.
Darryl and his tree
Canterbury Shaker Village is a historic site and museum. It is one of the most intact and authentic surviving Shaker community sites, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993 and “is dedicated to preserving the 200-year legacy of the Canterbury Shakers and to providing a place for learning, reflection and renewal of the human spirit.”
Canterbury Shaker Village was established in 1792 when followers of founder Mother Ann Lee formed their seventh community in Canterbury, New Hampshire, which remained prominent for 200 years. The Village has operated exclusively as a museum since 1992 when the last Shaker sister in residence, Ethel Hudson, died. The last four remaining Shakers live at the Shaker Village in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. At its height in the 1850s, 300 people lived and worked in over 100 buildings on 3,000 acres at Canterbury Shaker Village.
The religious group that we know today as the Shakers was formed in 18th-century England when dissidents from various religions, including English Quakers and Methodists, formed a religious society based on prophetic doctrine. The group, formally called the United Society of Believers, were known as Shaking Quakers, or Shakers, because of their use of ecstatic dance in worship.
Shaker Village house
The Shakers emigrated to the United States in 1774 and eventually established nineteen self-contained communities from Maine to Kentucky. Canterbury Shaker Village is one of the oldest, most typical and most completely preserved of the Shaker Villages. The Village contains the only intact, first-generation Meetinghouse, built in 1792, and Dwelling House, built in 1793, in their original locations. Overall, the Shakers were the most successful communitarian society in American history.
The Shakers’ revolutionary Christianity shocked their contemporaries. They challenged almost every mainstream ideal of American society during their time. Shakers believed in community ownership, pacifism, dancing in worship, equality of the sexes, celibacy, and living simply. Most Protestants of the day found that bringing dancing, whirling, and clapping into a sacred space and elevating it above the word of God, spoken by an ordained minister, was sacrilegious. But to the Shakers, the dancing signified a communal, not individual, relationship with God, which was a powerful symbol of the Shaker cultural system.
Shaker Village grounds
They believed in community ownership, but were aggressive entrepreneurs, launching industry after industry, developing and adopting new technologies, and reinvesting the earnings into community enterprises to encourage greater growth and productivity. At their height, they were highly successful in competing with the outside world. By the 1830s the Shakers at Canterbury were rich in buildings, land, cash, wood lots, livestock, produce, industry, community possessions, and community skills. The Shaker “brand” quickly became known for quality, integrity and reliability. Shakers cared for the poor and used resources and profit for social good.
Because one of their believes was celibacy, this started to be a problem as the members of the Village began to age, so in order to attract more people they sent out missionaries to ‘spread the word’. Eventually, they began taking in orphans and homeless children in the hope that they would stay when they grew up. At the age of 21 they decided whether to remain within the community or leave.
Whole families would come to the Village but once here the parents, although married in the eyes of the ‘outside world’ would separate inside the Village and together with the children, would all become ‘brothers and sisters’. Once modern ways arrived it was the start of the decline as women got the vote and were able to work and earn their own living, they no longer depended on the safety of the Village so left to start new lives and the young people became more attracted to the outside world and its modern ways.
Of the four Shakers left in Maine, three are aged over 50 and one younger man in his thirties has just joined them so who knows, perhaps there will yet be a Shaker ‘revival’.
So, now you know the history of the Shakers (if you’ve read it all that is!!) and when someone starts talking to you about their ‘Shaker’ kitchen you’ll know just where it all began!!
Yet another post 24 hours late!! I won’t bore you with the details of why!!
Well, as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and so it was today when we said farewell to our friends at Stone Throw Cottage. We had the most wonderful stay and will be returning as soon as possible and will stay longer next time! It was just like being with family. The china was even called ‘Queens’ and was from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) collection no less! In a conversation with Jerry I happened to mention in passing that I didn’t like mushrooms and sure enough when he cooked anything that included mushrooms he did a ‘special’ one for me without. Now that’s what I call attention to service. Jerry and Kim are the most accommodating hosts and the breakfasts and afternoon treats were just wonderful.
Thank you, it was ‘lovely’!!!!!!!!
Our hosts Kim and Jerry
Goodbye Maine, hello New Hampshire!
Due to horrendous traffic, our journey up to New London took a lot longer than anticipated, 6.5 hours. We were a little concerned when we were unable to find New London on any maps but ‘Margaret’ (sat nav) got us here in the end. Bless, she’s not so bad.
We are now staying a The Inn on Pleasant Lake, it dates back to 1790. Will tell you more about the area once we’ve explored!
For those who have never experienced the 4th of July celebrations here in the US, there is always a town parade. Literally anyone from the town can take part from the youngest to the oldest and they are always very colourful and very noisy.
The Bar Harbour parade was no exception. It went right past our B&B (Stone Throw Cottage, Bar Harbor) so together with our fellow guests, all Americans, we had a superb view from our seats at the edge of the drive. As the floats pass by the people throw sweets (candy) into the watching crowd. By the time the floats reached us some had already given their supplies away but we still managed to grab a few. For one of our group, Mary, sweet collecting is one of the highlights of her day, she was quite successful.
Taking part in the parade
In the parade
We’ve made some wonderful new friends at the B&B, they are all lovely people, very friendly (even on July 4th!) and together, the eight of us have put the world to rights. Here we all are enjoying the parade.
The Gang watching the parade
From the left we have, Mike, wife Cathy, me! Mary, husband Wayne, Chris and wife Kathy. Mike and Chris are brothers who just happened to both marry gals with the same name! Good job they are spelt differently or there could be some confusion.
After the parade we decided a hike was in order and went off in search of beavers at Witch Hole Pond on Mount Desert Island. It was a three mile hike and although the beavers were sleeping and didn’t appear we did see a turtle, lots of people on bicycles and people running (mad fools, it was rather hot).
Selfie at Witch Hole Pond!
We took our first ‘selfie’ today, shame we didn’t have a ‘selfie’ stick, this photo is full of our faces!
Turtle in Witch Hole Pond
Sand at Witch Hole Pond
Being a Saturday and a holiday, you can imagine what the crowds were like in town and trying to get something to eat was more difficult than usual. We had wanted to go back to ‘Fathom’ but when we tried to book an early table we had been beaten to it by all the locals. The hostess said she would call the B&B if there was a cancellation. Anyway, we didn’t hear anything so decided to make our way into town to try there.
What we didn’t know until later was that five minutes after we left the B&B, Fathom called and said they had a cancellation. Our dear host, Jerry, jumped on his daughter’s bike after realising he couldn’t use the car and his own bike had a flat tyre and chased us into town to give us the good news but alas, he couldn’t find us. Jerry deserves a medal, Bless him!
We ended up in a restaurant called Blaze. I was very impressed because the first thing I noticed after sitting down was the Plymouth Gin. Well, those who know me well know that Plymouth is my ‘tipple’ but alas, not very common in US hostelries, so this one already had a five star rating as far as I was concerned. Secondly, I noticed Frangelica sitting on another shelf! Well, this place should now be rated as 10 stars. Si, get on to Trip Adviser immediately! I love Frangelica with my coffee. The food was good too!!
People who have followed our blog since 2013 will know that invariably we need to purchase an extra suitcase to take home all the goodies we’ve bought. This time I was determined that would not be the case and made sure that the three suitcases we did bring, had plenty of room for ‘purchases’ on the way home. Alas, I’m now starting to worry a little as the ‘purchases’ are mounting up, especially after a walk along Bar Harbour shops. I dread to think what Si will say if I tell him we need to invest in a fourth suitcase!! Watch this space ………………
It was our intention to go and watch the firework display but after our shopping trip we settled in on the B&B’s porch with a couple or three, bottles of wine and stayed there for the rest of the evening with some of ‘the gang’ putting the world to rights instead. It was a real hoot, just ‘lovely’, we laughed and laughed with our new buddies.
We thought, ‘hey we’ve seen Disney’s 4th’s fireworks’ can Bar Harbour’s be any better? We were assured later that they were magnificent so that’s a lesson learned. The next time we visit on the 4th we’ll make sure to go and watch the display.
Before I write about today’s adventures, I must congratulate our resident photographer on his latest achievement …………… he has won the Caxton FX June Photographic Competition and will receive the grand prize of £100 for his photograph of Sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. For those who have not seen the photo before, here it is:
Mesa Arch with the reflection of the rising sun
After I did the blog yesterday we decided to stroll into the village to get a ‘little something’ and ended up back at McKays. I certainly had a ‘little something’ a crab cake ……….. Si’s ‘little something’ turned out to be fish and chips!!
On the way back to the B&B we discovered that the Bar Harbour Band were playing in the park so we stopped to listen and enjoyed them playing “When the Saints go marching in” which is very apt for us as we are Southampton F.C. supporters!
The Bar Harbour Band
Si at McKays with his fish and chips!
We spent a very pleasant couple of hours this morning having breakfast and chatting with some of the other guests here at the B&B. It’s amazing what we all find to talk about!
Our first port of call today was a visit to The Wild Gardens of Acadia at the Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park together with the Abbe Museum. The Wild Gardens reflect the typical habitats as found on Mount Desert Island. More than 300 native species are labeled to make identification easy in nine separate display areas.
A butterfly at the Wild Gardens
Bugs at the Wild Gardens!
Symbolically speaking, Sieur de Monts Spring is perhaps the most significant and meaningful place on Mount Desert Island. It is ground that honors the vision, passion, and dedication of a private citizen who devoted his adult life to the fulfillment of the dream that became known as Acadia National Park. George B. Dorr (1855 – 1944), even though from a life of privilege himself, worked incessantly to preserve and protect the land and waters of Acadia for all future generations to enjoy.
Sieur de Monts Spring (an official photo)
The Abbe Museum has a wonderful collection of early Native American artefacts. The collections now represent 10,000 years of Native American culture and history in Maine.
We then travelled on to see the Bass Harbour Head lighthouse (apparently, it’s well know to photographers) and taking a photo required a fair amount of agility! The best way to get a good shot is out to sea in a boat) but as we didn’t have a boat with us this morning it meant climbing over rocks, along with many others, all trying to get the best shot possible.
Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse
Si at Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse
Sand at Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse
After the lighthouse it was time for lunch so we headed for Thurstons Lobster Pound, it’s a well known eatery for the locals and was recommended to us by our host, Jerry, here at the B&B. Well, the intention was to eat lobster but sadly, when we walked in and saw the poor live lobsters being weighed before cooking. we just could not condemn those poor creatures so instead we had lobster and cheese toasted sandwiches!! At least we didn’t have to see the poor thing staring at us before eating!
Sand and Pineapple Gimlet at Thurstons Lobster Pound
Talking of food, which I always seem to be, dinner tonight was at a restaurant called Fathoms. Si thought he’d died and gone to Heaven when the waitress said one of their specials of the day was pork belly! Well, you know how he feels about that, said it was delicious and followed it with scallops. One of these days he will turn into pork belly and scallops!!
Si at Fathoms
So, tomorrow is the 4th of July! There will be big celebrations all around. Si and I will probably be hiding somewhere inside the B&B ………….. just in case the natives don’t take too kindly to us Brits being present at their celebrations!!!!!
We watched the England Ladies football last night, how disappointing for all concerned. Still, today is another day and I’m pleased to report that the sun came out …… hooray! It’s been very hot.
After a lovely breakfast of fruit, eggs benedict and a nice chat with some new guests here at the B&B we set out for our second day of adventure in Acadia National Park.
Stone Throw Cottage Garden
It was our intention today to visit the Parkman Mountain waterfall and this we did. We started out sure of foot but suddenly realised we were heading in the wrong direction! The map was very poorly printed! Turned around and went back and in the opposite direction only to find we were wrong again. Eventually we saw a trail and took that, it got us to where we wanted to go but alas, it was a very steep climb. The waterfall was lovely and well worth the walk.
No, it’s this way!!!!
Parkman Mountain Waterfall
Parkman Mountain Waterfall
Us at the waterfall
We were told about a rather lovely garden nearby that was worth a visit so we did that next.
The Asticou Azalea Garden was created by lifelong resident of the village, Charles K. Savage, in 1956, with the financial assistance of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. It features a selection of rhododendrons and azaleas, including the Rhododendron Canadense, Maine’s native azalea. Styled after a Japanese stroll garden, the fine-gravel paths are raked regularly in a manner that suggests flowing water. There is also a sand garden, where this effect is repeated but with the addition of stones, which are meant to represent islands.
Sadly, the rhododendrons and azaleas had all finished flowering but the garden was still a magnificent sight to see.
Savage was also the owner of the nearby Asticou Inn, so after visiting his gardens it seemed only polite to visit his Inn for some hard-earned lunch!
As you can imagine, lobster is one of the main foods in this part of the world so today we partook of lobster quiche with garden salad …………….. absolutely delicious, especially when accompanied by a glass of vino! Dessert also seemed the order of the day so Si decided to try the popovers!! He described it as a rather large profiterole and I agreed, the popover itself was rich tasting. I indulged in flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.
Needless to say, after that lot we were ready for a nap!
However, before we did that, we stopped off on the way back to take another look at Cadillac Mountain to see how it looked in the sunshine after yesterday’s disappointment when it clouded over and rained. Today the sea was bluer and the islands greener.
Cadillac Mountain in the sunshine!
We also called in at Seal Beach on the way back to the B&B to see if we would be lucky and see some but sadly it wasn’t to be.
I’m now being told we need to go for a walk after our lunchtime indulgence so I’d better hop to it ……………… catch you all tomorrow!
So, after a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit, blueberry pancakes and bacon we set off for day one of our adventures in Acadia National Park. Our B&B is literally on the edge of the Park so not too far for us to travel.
The day started cloudy but not too bad but thunderstorms were forecast for later. Not quite as nice as the weather you are all having back home!! Luckily, we are carrying most of our home in the back of our vehicle so we are prepared for all weathers!!
Now for a little history …………….
Acadia National Park was originally created as Lafayette National Park in 1919 but was renamed in 1929. It is the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River.
The area was originally inhabited by the Wabanaki people. While he was sailing down the coast of what is now Maine in the fall of 1604, that well know chap, Samuel de Champlain observed a large inshore island. He wrote:
“That same day we also passed near an island about four or five leagues [19 to 24 km] in length, off which we were almost lost on a little rock, level with the surface of the water, which made a hole in our pinnace close to the keel. The distance from this island to the mainland on the north is not a hundred paces. It is very high and cleft in places, giving it the appearance from the sea of seven or eight mountains one alongside the other. The tops of them are bare of trees, because there is nothing there but rocks. The woods consist only of pines, firs, and birches.” He named it Mount Desert island.
Over four centuries later, the area remains essentially the same.
Looking back at Sand Beach
Unlike Yellowstone, Yosemite etc we are told there are no ‘wild’ beasts to be found here ……… however we have been told that we may be able to see some beaver …………. so watch this space! Today we visited Otter Cove but alas didn’t see any. There is a place called Seal Harbour so perhaps we will have some luck there later in the week. Even though there’s a lack of creature sightings the Park does not disappoint and is very beautiful, very green with some dramatic coastline.
Acadia Sea Shore
We drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and passed many cyclists breathlessly making their way to the top, it’s 1530 feet (466 metres) above sea level. When we reached the top it was blowing a hooley and was very cold. I expect some of you are asking why Si didn’t hire a bike and cycle to the top just like those other brave souls …. I did ask that question myself but sadly am unable to print his reply!!!!!
Us two on top of Cadillac Mountain
This afternoon it did start to rain but no thunderstorm yet but it should clear by late afternoon. Lucky for us we were ensconced in a restaurant having lunch when the bad weather hit.
Sand at Acadia Sea Shore
Si at Acadia Sea Shore
Jerry our host here at the B&B was telling us this morning about Popovers! Well, we thought they sound familiar and guess what, they turn out to be basically our Yorkshire Puds but butter is added to the mixture. They bake them in either muffin tins or tins that make them stand up straight then eat them for afternoon tea with butter and jam!! Okay, eating cold Yorkshire Puds, may be not quite our cup of tea. They even add cheese to the mixture. However, at the restaurant this lunchtime there were loads of people doing just that. This is the description of a Popover:
‘A popover is a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding, typically baked in muffin tins or dedicated popover pans, which have straight-walled sides rather than angled.’
Perhaps I’m missing something here but I’ve never considered eating a Yorkshire Pud with jam ………….. have any of you? I think I need to test this out on some of my friends ………. anyone free for afternoon tea?