Thursday, August 18, 2011

To infinity and beyond....or was that Maine and beyond....

The Princess and I were sitting around, like old people do, and I asked the Princess where she would like to go for a vacation this year….she said “I want to see a lighthouse”….huh…. A lighthouse? Yes, I never saw one and I want to do that, she said. So I started planning a lighthouse vacation. The following is a brief outline of our weeks adventures….please take the time to look at the pictures we took along the way. But be warned, it will be like looking at “family movies”….you may get bored….just take it in sessions, there are 551 pictures! A lot….we both like to take pictures, most are “documentary” but some are artsy fartsy. The link is;

I had wanted to visit Maine for years since I thought it should be similar to Newfoundland where I had good memories of living there for a while in the 50’s. After some preliminary planning we decided to visit AAA in Fredericksburg to take advantage of their travel planning expertise. We were in luck because Ben Bell was available to assist us. He made some good suggestions about the route we wanted to take. Then he made the reservations and got the best prices for the accommodations. We had some surprises the last time we used AAA in ’07 but this time everything worked out as advertised, Thanks Ben. After we locked in how we were going to get there I decided to check out what was going on around there when we were there…. The annual Lobster Fest was going to start that Wednesday! WOW! Now the Princess really likes to eat the little crawly sea creatures like crabs & lobster. So this was going to be a great week for eating….burp! I didn’t believe it but by Friday I was tired of eating lobster….really.

We launched Monday, August 1, at 0430 and headed to the Cracker Barrel in Winchester, VA. We then drove via the “northern route” and the Tappan/Zee bridge to Strubridge, MA for overnight. The next day we left for Rockport, ME and The Country Inn on Rt. 1. We stayed here for three days and it was a great place to come home to each night. The staff was helpful, the rooms were perfect and the breakfast was just what we wanted.

We arrived on Tuesday around 2PM and had time to check in, unload then do some local exploring. We tried some of the local fare at the Elm Street Grille for dinner. We had Lobster (what else?) and Maine baked potato. I didn’t know Maine was famous for potatoes? The other two nights we had dinner at The Offshore Restaurant, very good food and fun waitresses. We also “found” one of the local ice cream establishments, Dorman’s Dairy-Dream on Rt. 1 in Thomaston.

Wednesday we struck out to visit some lighthouses and the first one was Owl’s head lighthouse. This was a fun place….a long walk but very rewarding with the scenery. Check the pictures. After we took in this we drove to the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum. Many interesting things there and 80% of the vehicles run including the airplanes! Have you ever seen a 4dr MG or a Model T snowmobile? Check out the pictures.

We left the museum and decided to try a lobster roll at Miller’s Lobster Co for lunch. This place sells lobster to area seafood houses and has a snack area near their wharf, the food was great! Check the pictures please.

The next lighthouse was the Marshall Point Lighthouse. It too was a neat experience, the water is so clear….almost mesmerizing. There was a gentleman inside the home that could answer any questions about the lighthouse and Maine in general. And the lighthouse is famous….remember Forrest Gump? I did and we had to watch the movie again when we got back…. We made our way back to the Offshore Restaurant for dinner then went back to the room for the evening….to plan for the next day.

Thursday we left for Rockland and the annual Lobster festival but first we stopped in at the Maine Lighthouse Museum, it was right outside the entrance to Lobster festival. After cruising the museum we finally entered the Lobster festival….it was a hoot. Like a carnival only nicer. They had crafters, artists, fish vendors, cheese vendors and many other kinds of things to eat. The Princess bought a lobster hat!? Huh….? And walked around the rest of the day with it on….about 10 steps behind me….I do have some standards! Grin After we left the festival we tried to visit one last lighthouse, the Rockland Breakwater lighthouse. But the path out to it was way too long and dangerous looking so we opted to take some pictures instead.

Friday we left in the fog and drove to our room for the night in Newark, DE….a nice stay at the Country Inn & Suites with dinner at Michaels Bar & Grille….great food and just across the street.

Saturday we cranked up the KIA and headed to Richmond….yes Richmond. We wanted to attend the KIA Soul gathering at Pearson KIA in Richmond. This is the first long trip we have taken with the Soul and have found it to be comfortable and fun to make an over the road trek with.

When we arrived at the dealership there were already 7 of the little beasts parked and a few more came later. The dealership was a great host feeding us burgers & hot dogs then mingling with us to talk about our experience with the Soul. I think the service manager, Bobby, drew the short straw because he was the cook….on a very hot day….thanks Bobby! They also acquired a 40’ blow up hamster! Check the pictures.
They also had a 2012 Soul so we could check out what was changed on the new model. We wandered around and checked out the modifications some had made to their Souls and one had made a bigger than life hamster costume….check it out! Since this gathering was an internet based exercise the attendees came from all over….NJ, DE, MD, VA, NY were all represented. It was a hoot and we hope to attend more in the future.

We finally got back home Saturday in the rain….home….our castle in Stafford. It’s always good to be back.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cranking back up!

We got back from our Maine vacation last week and finally got the hot rod out this weekend. Going anywhere around here on Friday night is problematic at best….But we met some cruisers in Stafford and snaked around the back roads to Dale City, VA and the Prince William Cruisers weekly cruise near Glory Days. When we arrived there were already some cars parked and the ubiquitous ring of folding chairs near Steve’s ’40 Ford. We unpacked our gear and set up with the group. But before we got settled in Steve started whining about when were we going to eat….so….we trekked to Glory Days and got reacquainted with their menu for the evening. When we rejoined the talking group another 15 cars had come to visit. This cruise is always fun for us because we enjoy the conversation and conversationalists! We stayed till after 11PM….we totally lost track of time catching up with the others….a very pleasant evening.

The black ’66 Chevy Impala with the big block was so very squeaky clean and Bill’s orange Willys is always fun to look over, yeah it’s got a HEMI. Jimmy’s blue ’71 Ranchero is the nastiest sounding Ford around….and it is no stranger to massive amounts of torque either. This is a nice friendly cruise on the back side of Potomac Mills in Dale City, VA so if you are near there on Friday night….stop in and say hey….they always have room for another new friend.

As I said earlier, we just got back from our vacation and were anxious to get back into playing with the hot rod. So Saturday we met some cruisers from Stafford at Bob Evans for breakfast then cruised 22 miles to Spotsylvania and the annual show put on by the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club. I never considered checking with the weatherguesser….maybe I should have!? As we were leaving Bob Evans, the rain started….just a little….then when we got on I95 it poured. I figured that we couldn’t get any wetter so we pressed on south. The rain stopped before we got to Fredericksburg so maybe the day was going to unfold well….maybe not.

We have attended this show for a few years and it always is a show that we recommend. I think they had about 150 cars in attendance this year which is about 35 more than last year! WOW….they must be doing something right!? They always have a lot of vendors and this year I think they had about 13. Of course that meant the Princess had a lot of choices to get rid of some of that nasty old money she totes around in her bag that’s the size of Vermont. I had to remind her that since we were both riding in the Princessmobile now, she had to keep her treasure purchases to a minimum. She said that if she wanted something she would just have the vendor UPS it to our home….I’m doomed!

This show always attracts a lot of VW’s because of Pop & Sue’s Baja Bug and I think there were 8 of the little wheezers present. There were some cars we had not seen before like the slammed, peach ’61 big block Chevy and the very cool pearl ’65 Riv….I always like these cars. There were 3 little Cobras among the cars which is unusual for a show of this size. The little white and yellow Metro was very nicely done as was the two tone green ’50 Chevy coupe. There were many “regular” cars that didn’t attend….I guess we know who watches the weather channel!

But the coolest deal at the show was the blue ’54 Chevy PU that belonged to Terri and her husband. It was given to Terri by her dad as a graduation gift and has since been driven all over the Country by Terri & her husband….he is a Marine and travels a little….grin. It was Terri’s 54th birthday on the 13th so they brought their ’54 Chevy and had a birthday party at the show….check out the cake….very cool! That’s what makes this hobby fun and interesting.

Coach did the DJ/announcer deal when the live band, Rt. 66, wasn’t playing. This group plays at most of the shows put on by Prince William Cruisers and they also play other places around Northern Virginia. They are the best….I’m going to shoot some video of them at their next gig during the show in Occoquan on 9-18-2011. Some people come just to watch them and don’t know that cars are here too!

It sprinkled a little right after we got there then cleared up….but around1PM it started to rain….and rain….like Ramona said it was coming down in Biblical proportions! I think there was 459 people huddled under two leaking 8’ canopies. Its funny how many people will come over to talk when the rain starts….chuckle. So we waited for the rain to slow down then broke camp and ran for home. We usually don’t leave a show early but we thought it best to get going before the “real” rain started. Of course when we got 10 miles from the show it stopped. We don’t know how the awards went but the judges had their hands full with the rain. This is a nice show and the proceeds go to needy families in the area….which in our present economy is something that I’m sure is way underfunded.

Be sure to check out the pictures;