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Published: September 14th 2010
Part of an old stone wall
ARRR! What a grand and glorious day--somehow it has made me talk like an Irish Pirate.
We started out under gray and looming clouds in Gorham, New Hampshire, and explored enough to find breakfast and the famous Shelburne Birches--in fact, we circled back to see them again. One can see why Robert Frost was inspired. As you see, the leaves have not yet turned, outside of a tiny tease, but still and all a beautiful stand of trees.
So, we hit the road for 147 miles out of the White Mountains and across Maine to the Atlantic Sea Coast and Bar Harbor. "147 miles? Why would that take 4 and a half hours?" Well, this is Maine, and we spent half the day on Highway 2, a two lane "route" and were sent by Jane, our GPS, onto many short and long-cuts. We also travelled through lovely countryside and beautiful little towns. I have to say that my photo shooting is not up to par this trip: lifting my right arm is still painful and I am not steady enough to shoot one handed from the left, so I delete many more images than I can save.
Isn't this just like our collective image of New England?
It also means that John is doing all the driving--poor man. But, he was rewarded by arriving (finally) to an afternoon by the ocean. I was rewarded by seeing Kennebec County, at least from the road--my family was here in the 1700's.
But, back to the present. John and I dropped off the luggage at the Hotel and then spent the afternoon exploring the town of Bar Harbor. First we scarfed down a late lunch: John had his first lobster roll ever and I had my first ale of the year. Both were lovely, although I think that whoever thought of Blueberry ale is a nutrition genius--beer with antioxidants and it is delicious! I may be hooked. Oh, and I also had some lobster bisque, for those of you who are afraid that I am just drinking my lunch. Then we walked down to the harbor and discovered a wonderful mile long waterside trail. It was so great that we turned around and walked back to the harbor again. Of course we were quite tired and thirsty after 3 miles of walking so we found an outdoor bar by the water and spent an hour nursing a glass of
The Shelburne Birches
Outside of Gorham, New Hampshire
wine and listening to the very funny conversation of two drunken couples sitting next to us. "You sent your three dogs on the Lobster and Seal Boat Tour?" "No, I sent my children!" "Ohhh..." (still baffled.) Oh.......people watching is so much fun.
And speaking of fun, lets talk about me having my first ever boiled Maine Lobster with drawn butter. The fun was everywhere and now it is time to change my shirt. We are trying for an early night and a brisk walk in the morning before I start tracking more ancestor sitings.
But before I say good-night, two questions have come up:
1: How do we keep finding such great restaurants? Answer: TripAdvisor.com: google in the location plus restaurant reviews (ie: Winooski VT restaurant reviews) and you will come up with a list of restaurants. Don't go by the ratings, read the reviews and discount the illiterate ones (ie: they done ain't got no catchup for there stakes) I use it for finding accomodations, restaurants, and looking at which stops offer something other than a bed and a Mc Donalds.
2: What about genealogy? We are both gathering information as we go along. As we looked
The Shelburne Birches
Driving out of the stand
at the trip, we realized that it would take many, many more weeks of planning and research in each stop to dig deeply into the history of our families. On quiet evenings, I am trying to assemble the records that I have gathered into a cohesive report. John has found pictures, connected with a cousin who is interested in finding out more about his family, and unearthed a website that may help him to do research in Ireland. For me, it is fascinating to get a mental image of where my family has been. It is a process at the moment, not a goal. The goal is still too overwhelming.
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