Saturday, June 09, 2018

And Now For The Rest Of The Story...

After the porcupine, we just kept driving the rest of the way through Maine and into New Hampshire where we saw all kinds of moose crossing signs rather than deer crossing.  We kept our eyes peeled but never did see a moose:(

New Hampshire was really just a pit stop for us, but we did have a few hours to kill once we got there so we tried a couple different options but both were closed.  Moose Meadow Mini Golf and Mt. Washington auto road really let us down!  So Danny meekly suggested a little more hiking, (in my mind, the hiking portion of the trip was over) to which I begrudgingly pulled over to a trail head.  "Only for a few minutes!" he said.  He explored this creek thing, which really was pretty...

...while I sat and waited and tried to have a good attitude.  FYI, I get very hangry and it was supper time!

But all was well.  He stayed true to his word and it wasn't long before we were headed to supper:)  The next day we continued into Vermont, stopping at several little places along the way.  First up?  A little gift shop called The Farmer's Daughter.  We only stopped there because of the name.  I had to get a picture of it!  Since, you know, I am one!  We didn't buy anything, but the owner was very sweet and gave us a free sample of fudge!

Then we were off to see Maple Grove Farms where they have a maple syrup factory, a small museum, and a gift shop with free samples!  (Free is always nice.)  We were not able to tour the factory but the video they showed was really informative and interesting.  And the samples were tasty enough that I did buy a little bit to bring home.

My trusty navigator (Danny) took me along this dirt road winding through the mountains to get to our next stop.  It was beautiful, but I did question his judgement more than I should have.  I should never doubt his map reading skills!

Because sure enough, pretty soon we were back on a main road and just minutes from the Cabot Creamery.  Up until January of this year you could do a tour but now it's also a video just like the syrup place.  But we still learned a lot and got all the free samples!  (You'll notice a trend...)  That cheese was gooooooooooood.  All I needed was a package of crackers and a can of pop and I'd be set!

Then we made it to our final destination of the day- Burlington, VT.  The main draw was the Church Street Marketplace which is just about a five block section of town that is pedestrian only.  Shops and restaurants and lots of people playing music on the street.  It's on the far west side of Vermont so that evening we had supper along a lake with the Adirondack mountains in New York for our backdrop.  It was fun to visit for a short while, but both of us agreed we didn't need to go back.

The next morning it was back to the countryside for a little bit!  We stopped and did the factory tour of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  We both really enjoyed that!  Four bucks for a half hour tour and a decent size free sample?  Count us in!

While we waited for our tour to start we visited the flavor graveyard.  They have a tombstone for every discontinued flavor complete with a short, witty poem and the years it was on the market.  We got a real kick out of reading all of those and seeing that some even had flowers by them!

I think I might like working here.  This is the room for the taste testers.  Actually I would get so sick of it but it would be fun for a little while!

Our last country side stop was a cider mill.  Hot cider on what was a cold and rainy day reminded me that yes, fall truly is my favorite season!  We had another video tour and the last of our free samples for the trip.  I think this might have been my favorite of all the Vermont things we did!

After the cider mill we headed to Boston for our last hurrah.  We came up out of the parking deck and were instantly confused and met with the reality that we are NOT used to a big city!

However, we did enjoy Boston.  That night we visited Chinatown which my Chinese food loving hubby was pretty happy about:)

We browsed through a grocery store, finding things we don't find at our local Wal*Mart or Kroger!

Then we went for supper at a restaurant famous for it's dumplings.  They seat you wherever they have room, putting you with strangers in order to utilize all the seats and making the wait time shorter.  We sat with a dysfunctional southern family from South Carolina where only once did we start to feel awkward and uncomfortable with their behavior!  But the food was great and it's funny to look back on!

We had the whole next day before we flew out, so we did the history thing in the morning while it was warm and sunny.  The Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea),

and a demonstration of how chocolate was made during the American Revolution.  Oh yeah, we did have one more sample!

After lunch it got cold and was supposed to rain so we headed inside to the aquarium.  A couple shows and lots of cool looking fish later, it was time to head to our car and go to the airport.  Vacation was over:(

But it wasn't all sad because we were pretty ready to see our kids by that point!  They were well taken care of while we were gone.  Thanks to grandparents and aunts and uncles who were willing to help out!

It was a busy trip and we probably won't be going away for that long for quite awhile now, but we are really glad we did it!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Maine Event

For as long as I can remember, travelling through New England- especially Maine- has been on my bucket list.  Anyway, at least for over ten years.  As of this past week I can finally cross it off!  We had been thinking we would take a nice trip for our five year anniversary, which isn't actually until next March.  But with having a baby this fall, we decided to just do it a little early.  Danny, bless his heart, left it up to me to decide where to go.  The pacific northwest is also on my bucket list and we almost went there.  But that's a more recent development and in my heart of hearts I knew I had to choose Maine:) 

We dropped the kids off with his parents on a Tuesday night because our flight left eeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrrllllly the next morning.  Bleary eyed but excited, we boarded our plane and settled in for the trip.

After a layover in NYC where we both had a huge slice of pizza for breakfast, we went on to Bangor, ME, rented a car and drove about 45 minutes to Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park.  On the way I was trying to decide if I wanted to grab lunch or not, and just as I was thinking I wasn't that hungry and would just wait...... to what did my wondering eyes did appear was a little roadside Jamaican restaurant!  Such a random and unexpected place for it!  You guys, I LOVE Jamaican food.  Jamaica is my first love as far as mission trips go and a big part of those trips includes some delightful cuisine.  There wasn't much warning for the restaurant and when I saw it on the other side of a two lane one way road, it's quite possible I stopped traffic and cut people off in order to get there.  They might not have been happy with me, but I sure was happy!

After a classic jerk chicken, rice and peas, festival, and patti feast, we were back on the road.  Maine was off to a great start!  We got settled into our hotel and did a quick driving tour of the park and Bar Harbor.  Then it was off to this restaurant that I found online that I purposed in my heart we would eat there:)  I promise, the trip wasn't ALL about the food, but it was a big part!  The Travelin Lobsta.  Another roadside restaurant with only outdoor seating but really good food.  By that point we were well satisfied and really really tired since we had been up at 2:30 that morning.

We went to bed 2 or 3 hours earlier than our normal bedtime that night!  Partly because we were so tired and partly because the next morning we had plans to watch the sunrise on the tallest mountain in the park.  So, the sunrise comes significantly earlier in Bar Harbor than it does in Indiana!  We got up around 4:00 in order to drive up to the mountain, and when we walked outside we were surprised to see that it was already fairly light out!  But we did make it to the top of the mountain in time for the actual sunrise and it was gorgeous!  I just couldn't help but sing "The sun comes up, there's a new day dawning..."  Like, physically I could hardly stop myself from doing it.  So I started in and Danny joined me for a duet:)  Even for someone who normally gets up about 8:00, that was worth it!

We had a long day ahead of us.  We went back into town for a quick breakfast and had a problem we've never had before.  We were up early enough that we had to wait for the restaurants to open!  That was a new experience:)  After breakfast it was off to hike Acadia.  BTW, I didn't wear my pajama pants into town or anywhere really.  Only during the sunrise part of our trip because it was so cold that early in the morning on top of a mountain that I needed an extra layer.

We actually split up for our first hike.  Danny wanted to do one called the Beehive and I did not.  And probably at this point in my life, could not!  I should have taken a close up of that warning sign.  Pretty much it talked about all the risks and how people have died doing it.  It takes you along cliff ledges and sends you climbing these iron rung ladders up the cliff.  So I had to get what I was convinced would be my last picture of him before he plummeted to his death.

I really wasn't THAT worried.  In fact I sent the camera with him because I thought his views might be a little bit better than mine.  It was strictly advised to not go down the Beehive, but to go down the backside of the mountain instead.  So I hiked up the back and met him at the top and then we walked down together.  SO romantic:)  It wasn't a terribly difficult trail until the end when it was just huge and endless boulders I had to climb up.  Thank goodness there were blue paint marks along the way to keep me on track or I might still be wandering those boulders!

Meanwhile Danny had fun taking a few selfies on his death defying climb.  And also after the whole trip was over he said that trail was his favorite part of the week!

That day for lunch we went out on a lobster cruise.  It was just us and this guy with his small lobster boat.  He didn't make a living by lobstering, but just had a few traps that he used for his lunch and dinner cruises.  It was really interesting to learn all about the lobstering process.  The traps, how the measuring of every lobster that gets caught, how lobsters hunt, and so on and so forth.  We were out for a couple hours seeing different things besides just the lobster, but that was the main purpose.

Fresh from the cage,

into the pot,

and onto our plates!  Complete with corn on the cob and wild Maine blueberry pie.  Definitely a unique experience!

After spending the rest of the afternoon driving around and exploring some other parts of the area, we went and hiked Bar Island, which has to be timed with the tide.  For about three hours during every low tide, there is a small island you can walk to via a giant sandbar.  It's only about a half mile round trip but it's cool to be able to walk to somewhere that otherwise would only be accessible by boat.  After that, I had reached my limit for the day and I was DONE.  Time to eat supper and go home and go to bed.

After a good night of sleep it was time to hike again!  This time we stuck together and did a loop that was partly filled with more of those giant boulders and partly just a nice flat(ish) trial that went along the coast.  The first part was not super easy for my extremely out of shape, five month pregnant self, but it was fun to hike together and rewarding to get to the top!

Even more rewarding was the picnic in the park we had packed.  I had put "picnic in the park" on our travel itinerary and it was GOING TO happen.  No questions asked.  There was a genius deli in town that served lunch food at 7:00 in the morning so we could get a sandwich and take it along for later.  Bear with me while I talk about food some more.  But this sandwich is worth mentioning.  It was called the Day After Thanksgiving sandwich and it was filled with carved turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cheese, and mayo.  And it was spectacular.  The whole way through it I was just amazed at the goodness I was eating.  If you ever see that on a menu somewhere, don't think twice about it.  Just get it.

So, funny story.  Danny took our trash and went to throw it away.  I had just walked up beside him when he let out this nice girly scream and I saw a blur go flying past.  We're not sure if it was a large chipmunk or a small squirrel, but he had found his way into the garbage can and was trapped.  When Danny opened the lid he found his freedom!  Oh we laughed so hard!  The poor animal though was freaked out and couldn't decide what to do with himself, running all over the place once he was out.  But it was just so funny!

Also funny: there is what is called the Park Loop Road that does exactly that.  Loops around the main part of the park.  Some of it is one way and we spent a lot of time on that road getting to our different trails and such.  There was a small section of it that was under construction and the sign holder was the friendliest sign holder you ever did see.  Every single car he smiled and waved.  We went past him three or four times and each time got a smile and a wave.  Now there's a guy making the best of a boring job!

After we were done with Acadia, we started making our way west.  Which will be a whole nother post.  But on the way, while still in Maine, we saw this roadkill which we were pretty sure was a porcupine.  That's not something we see in the Midwest so my darling hubby decided we needed to turn around and go back.  So we did, and it WAS a porcupine, and it was indeed dead and swarming with flies and stinky.  But we saw a porcupine up close.  And got a quill.  GROSS!!  And after that we were officially done with Maine.

Maine, you treated us well!

Next up: New Hampshire and Vermont!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Summer D Is Three!

I am just a little unsure how this tiny baby...

...turned into this little girl!

The little girl who didn't want any cake.  She only wanted to lick all the frosting off of the Barbie:)  Whatever, kid, it's your birthday!

The Barbie, by the way, who was just a little too tall and had to be dismembered before she would work for the cake!

Anyway.  Summer is quite the joy to have around.  Some of her current favorites include gum, painting, David & Goliath, watching movies (bonus if it's a movie about D & G!), being outside, reading books, and having dad and mom play WITH her.

She is definitely maturing in character and brain development.  We can see that in how she interacts with others and how she is starting to have better understanding of how things work.  As much as I can get sappy about life going too fast and kids not staying little, it's so fun to see that growth and be able to do more with her than before.  

But now she is boycotting her naptime which is the norm these days.  It's always fun to hear what kind of songs she'll come up with while she's passing the time in her room.  But I suppose since it's her birthday she can get up and play:)  

Happy Birthday Summer Danielle!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

When You...

When you just sit there in cute happy moods and mommy HAS to take a picture...

When it's finally warm enough to go on walks and play outside where you get such joy from banging a stick against a tree....

When you hit the snack time jackpot and daddy gives you frosting and a spoon...

When you wake up with some serious bedhead...

When you are Just. So. Booooooorrrrreeeeed and can think of nothing better to do with your life...

When you have the glasses, gap in the front teeth, and nerdy laugh all working together...

When you decide your pregnant self NEEDS a cookie dough and brownie chunk blizzard and your hubby runs and gets you one after the kids go to bed...

When you get this treasure in the mail from someone who still hasn't fessed up...

When you have such fun playing in the big chair at the doctor's office but have no clue you are about to get your blood drawn...

When you get a real good chuckle out of watching your nephew's t-ball game...

When you never tire of going up the stairs and down the slide, up the stairs and down the slide and on and on and on...

When you are once again reminded how much your little girl looks like you did when you were about her age...

When you are on the way home from a fabulous weekend, so tired, supper still on your cheeks, and completely zoned out while watching a movie...


When you have a full heart from all these people that you love so much...

Except for maybe not the creepy doll.