Sunday, May 27, 2012

Magnificent Maine

Notice: We will be traveling in Maine for the next couple of weeks, so I'm not sure how regularly we will be able to get to the Internet, so my postings may be irregular.

Monday: Took the subway to Boston! We walked all over the city, ate the best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten, and saw Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church, and where the Boston Massacre took place among other highlights.

Tuesday: After going to the Boston temple, we drove right through New Hampshire. It was raining all day, so no chance to stop anywhere. They don’t have an information center, so we didn’t know where to go anyway. I’m sure there were lovely things to see and do, but we didn’t find them. Here are pictures of the beautiful area we drove through. We’re just over the border in Lebanon, Maine.

Wednesday: Finally a restful day hanging out at the campground Potter’s Place in Lebanon, Maine—a day of rest and recuperation. We’re in yet another gorgeous mountain forest with a pond and nature sounds. In the daytime birds of many types sing from morning to evening, and then the frogs and crickets start their melody.  Birders would love it here.

Thursday: Traveled to Skowhagen, Maine. They have a 62 foot Indian statue that they are trying to restore, another mainly relaxing day.

Friday: Major hiking day. We’re in Acadia National Park in Maine. We hiked 8 miles to the top of Gorham Mountain, all of 500 feet high. We started at Sandy Beach and ended up back there on an easy trail along the beach. Tough hike, but we enjoyed it. Part of the path was rocky and sometimes wet, some of it was a slab of granite, and other parts had rock steps that were steep and hard to clamber over. When we got to the top we had a view ... of fog. There is supposed to be a view of the ocean, but we didn’t see it. It was still worth the hike because the fog was thin and we could see the gorgeous landscape along the trail.

Saturday: A 7 mile hike today. This one was on carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller from 1913-1940. Smooth sailing compared to yesterday’s trek, wouldn’t be able to handle another one like that so soon.

We also drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain (named by the man that built the car. He once owned it). We did have some magnificent views from there. Acadia National Park is truly a well kept secret. One of the most magnificent of our national parks even if it is off the beaten path in the north-east corner of the USA. They have trails from very easy to difficult. I highly recommend coming here! We drove to a campground in Harrington, ME for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New York City and Beyond

Monday: We drove to Freehold, New Jersey. We visited Hopwell Furnace National Historic Site, an iron furnace that was built in late colonial times. Such a difference from  the Sloss iron works we visited earlier that was built around the 1930’s.

Tuesday: Our first day in New York City. We went to the temple, and started learning about their subway system. We’re staying in the best place to see New York if you have an RV or tent: Liberty Harbor RV Park & Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey. The ferry to Manhattan is 100 yards from our RV, and the Red Line #1 subway is only a couple of blocks from the dock on the other side. Besides, we can see the Statue of Liberty from here.

Wednesday: We went to Times Square, and Rockefeller Center where we went to the Top of the Rock and had a marvelous view of the entire city. We took in the play Anything Goes. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. In Times Square, they have a TKTS kiosk where they sell left-over tickets at up to 50% off for the same day. While Dan was looking to see what was available, he heard someone call his name. It turned out to be some dear friends from Poway, Dave and Susan Clark. He was once our bishop, then stake president. We went to the same play because they didn’t have any tickets for our first two choices. We also sat in Bryant Park for about an hour and watched jugglers and acrobats. It was nice to take a break.

Thursday: Our last day in New York. We started the morning by walking from the ferry stop to the 911 memorial. It brought me to tears. I couldn’t help but remember where I was that day. Those feelings all came back. After that, we walked through Battery Park on our way to the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The museum is closed, but we still walked around it. She is bigger than I imagined. What an emotional day! We also saw Ellis Island, but didn’t stop there. My American ancestors came in the 1600’s for the most part, and Dan’s came from Mexico. It would be interesting, but we don’t have time for everything. Lastly, we took the subway to Greenwich Village.

Friday: Connecticut. We spent some time wandering around Mystic Harbor. They have an old draw bridge and early 1800 houses to look at too. It was a fascinating place to visit.

Saturday:  Rhode Island! We had a nice quiet day at Judith Point watching the Atlantic waves roll in. After that we walked to Worden Pond next to our camp ground.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lots of History

Monday & Tuesday: Colonial Williamsburg. We only planned on staying one day, but it was so outstanding we stayed 2 days, so much history to see and feel. The highlight both days was the program that made me feel like I was there. The actors in the reenactments portrayed their parts well. We saw both those who were loyal to the crown, and the rebels. They covered what the slaves were going through in a way that was factual. No “yammering” about how terrible things were, simply portraying the slaves and what they were going through. There was no promotion of one side or the other. Naturally I knew which side I was on, but the way it was presented was awesome. I wish every American could witness these presentations. Today’s world has different circumstances, but people, and how they feel about politics is the same. As I watched the characters I thought this person is just like that person in today’s world. No, I won’t give names.

Governor's Palace

Wednesday: We drove through Lovely Maryland today, and visited the Washington DC temple. There were horrible driving conditions for Dan on narrow streets with barely enough room for Dan to drive the RV through Washington DC to the Wal-Mart in Virginia afterwards. The temple was simply fabulous, though. We’ve been to Washington D. C. twice with our children, so we skipped going there this trip. We want to go places we haven’t been.

Thursday: We drove to Lums Pond State Park in Delaware, a nice relaxing day after the difficult driving of the day before. I can’t get enough of this green. Of course they pay for it with the hot humid summer weather, and rain/snow all year around.

Friday: We thought the streets in Washington DC were narrow. Philadelphia was even worse. I have no idea how Dan drove through the streets with inches on each side and cars parked on both sides of crooked streets. Busses don’t seem to have any trouble. We eventually found a place to park “the beast” on a side street, and took a bus into town. More US history: we saw the Liberty Bell, Christ’s Church, and a few other historical sites. We had to have a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich which was delicious. No dinner for us that night, we were too full.

Betsy Ross' House

Saturday: A relaxing day of driving. Until the GPS device started going out anyway.  It did get us to Daniel Boone’s Homestead first. The people there told us how to get to the nearest Wal-Mart so we could buy a new one. We almost forgot how to follow written directions. The homestead was interesting. We drove to French Creek State Park campground. I’ll never get tired of the green landscape.

Sunday: Delightful contact from our children, and a good church meeting. They had priesthood do ALL of the teaching so the sisters could all attend Relief Society. Our poor Gospel Doctrine teacher—he did a great job, but is much more comfortable sitting in his office as financial clerk. It was good for him. After the meeting they had desserts and veggie trays set up in the cultural hall. The women had first dibs then the men and children had some.