Vacation thoughts and some sharing...
We left Worcester and headed for Glens Falls, NY...well, Fourth Lake, to be totally correct (you'll have an easier time finding Glens Falls on a map). We spent two nights with Julie and Steve at "High and Dry" and it was a great time. Julie and Jonathan had fun in the lake on Wednesday afternoon while Steve took a nap (on the beach...in his chair), Warren read a book, and Mary just did some serious people watching. We had two glorious lunches and dinners with them. Jonathan, Julie, and I spent lots of time on that wonderful screened-in porch they have. Skip was pretty well-behaved. Once we figured out he was troubled by the squirrel-with-the-prickly-tail statue, and we moved it, he calmed down considerably in his crate on the porch. Thursday morning we headed out to Maine.
The rain caught up with us as we entered New Hampshire and crossed Vermont, and it was sort of a drizzly/foggy drive. But so beautiful! We saw mountains -- bigger than we knew existed in this part of the country. It was great to drive through the towns and feel like we were in Colorado, as many of them have more winter tourist business than they have summer tourist business. So many new, wonderful sights.
When we finally pulled in to Searsport Shores Ocean Campground in Searsport, Maine we were engulfed in fog. Setting up camp was fast and furious, but it felt so good to be there that we just kept working until we were done. It was after 8:30 when we finally finished, then we were off to find dinner...which turned out to be "Pizza Hut Italian Bistro" in Belfast. Who knew? We all actually enjoyed our dinner and went back to camp ready for a good night's sleep. It had been a long day.
Friday morning greeted us with bright sunshine and a beautiful low tide. Warren and I set up our chairs, and the hammock, and began our job of "unwinding" -- which took a couple of days to actually accomplish. Jonathan was off on his bike making new friends, meeting old friends, and becoming a helper of Steve, the campground owner. Steve encouraged Jonathan to attend the clam digging demo on Saturday afternoon, and Jonathan decided to buy a 3-day license. His first day out, he dug 11 clams. His third day out, however, he was able to dig up 30 nice clams. We had a great dinner that night, and Jonathan invited Steve down and saved him the biggest clam.
Jonathan ended up helping Steve a lot around the campground, and Steve was so very encouraging and a very good friend. Warren and I kept a close eye on Jonathan from afar while we sat and read, napped, read, walked on the beach, and read some more. Our most extensive conversations were about what to have for dinner. I did most of the grocery runs to Tozier's but didn't mind. Warren did almost all of the cooking, and didn't mind. It was all so good. We only ate out five times in 10 days.
One "eat out" day was at Young's Lobster Farm in Belfast. OMG, it's always so good! We sat on their outdoor patio on the wharf and enjoyed every minute of our lobsters. Another "eat out" was in Rockland. We'd driven down their for an art festival. When we arrived, we found out it was a $12 admission, and pets weren't allowed. So we decided not to pay $12 each to walk around and spend money on festival food. Instead, we went across the street and ordered Lobster Rolls to go. They were incredible! Toasted buns loaded with lobster claw and knuckle meat, drizzled with a touch of mayo. Man, oh man - it was like heaven. My only complaint is that by the time I ate, I was so hungry I couldn't really enjoy the feast. It was the best Lobster Roll I've ever had, by far.
We spent one day in Belfast, just being tourists. We ate at a local diner...it was okay. After we ate, we went strolling and window shopping. Jonathan found a camouflage shirt at the Army/Navy store and was ecstatic! Warren and Jonathan dropped me off at the Co-Op so I could check it out while they drove out to the smoked salmon company (whose products Warren used to sell). I discovered a bevy of wonderful edible treasures there, and Warren and I decided he would drive back and meet me there. While I was waiting, I walked next door to a little shop...
...and upon entering the shop heard the screeching of wheels, silence, a scream, and lots of loud voices...in that order. I said out loud, "That did not sound good!" I walked out of the shop and over to Main Street and turned right. Just in front of the Army/Navy store, someone had "hit the gas" thinking he was in reverse and hit a stroller containing a small child. Luckily, the child was not injured. No buildings were damaged. It really shook me up to see all of this happening. The man who was driving the car had a 3-year old son in his car seat, and his son was terrified. I watched that man get his son out of the car and comfort him, all the while reeling over what he had just done. I wanted to help him, but the fire department showed up and shooed everyone away so they could do their job. The next day, I bought the Belfast newspaper and the pictures and story just horrified me. But, the best part is that nobody was seriously injured. It was almost like witnessing a miracle.
Warren took several good paddles out to the island, which is so good for him. I stayed back, walking Skip on the beach or reading or napping...all in all, I read 7 books this trip - one more than last year! One, "On Folly Beach" I loaned to our camping neighbor. She wasn't quite finished with it when they left on Sunday, and was ready to go buy one and read the end. I told her to "take it with you, finish it, and share it!" She was so happy. I'd recommend that book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Another book I read, "Charlie St. Cloud" still has me mesmerized. This is a book you must read - before you see the movie, which I intend to see very soon. It's the kind of book you have to go back and read some parts because it's so incredible. Would love to know what you think!
During my walks on the beach, I picked up lots of little rocks, shells, and sea glass. I had bought a cheap plastic bowl at Ocean State Job lot to keep it all in. On Saturday night, I poured it all out and made a "Sea Lover's Pizza" collage of it all. It was so much fun to show to our neighbors! Now, I'm trying to figure out how to reconstruct it and make it permanent here in Worcester. Glass? Wood? Other ideas? My last morning on the beach, there was "something big and blue" settled on a rock. I mapped my way through the kelp and finally reached this "thing" which turned out NOT to be a bag filled with $100 million dollars (as I'd led myself to believe while imagining what I was going to find), but a helium balloon from who-know-where which had become entangled around a piece of kelp and brought in by the tide. Now I understand how those plastic balloons can be so bad for small animals AND FISH. I also found "my rock" and used it to pop that balloon when I got back to the campground!
Monday morning was foggy, and as we began loading up it became more and more dense. We were pretty damp by the time we finally got everything locked up and connected and ready for the trip back to Worcester. Only one hour late, we stopped into the office. Steve was there, and it was hard for all of us to tell him goodbye. But we've already made our reservations for next year! That is exciting, knowing we've finally learned how to VACATE and relax.
We stopped in Kittery, ME at Bob's Clam Hut for fried clams/scallops on the way back. The traffic in Kittery was bumper to bumper...amazing to us, since we'd seen nothing like this since the accident in Belfast! While we sat outside eating our lunch, watching the traffic trickle by, Warren and I both agreed that it was more like Las Vegas than a small town in Maine. We were so happy we didn't have to ever spend more than about 90 minutes a year there, eating fried clams! We were in and out in a flash, and happy to head back to Worcester.