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.

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