Friday, September 22, 2017

Maine '17 - Kennebunk & Boothbay Harbor

(A click on any photo will enlarge it to screen size.)

Carol and I have just returned from a brief trip to Maine, where we visited our good friends, Jay and Claire.  It was our first trip to Maine in many years.  Although we had forgotten the allure of Maine, the bond with Jay and Claire has always been strong, and that is what drew us back.

Lunch (with a local specialty - lobster roll) with our good friends, Jay and Claire

Our New Friend, Penny

Our view at lunch at the Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport

We spent three days with Jay and Claire at their lovely, recently restored home in Kennebunk before we all moved up the coast for three days in Booth Bay Harbor.
A highlight of our time in Kennebunk was the location of Jay and Claire's home.  Behind their grassy backyard lie woodlands with a few miles of walking trails.  The woods, literally a minute's stroll from their door, are the property of Kennebunk's Hope Cemetery.  You can lose yourself in the solitude of the old growth forest for as long as you'd like; or if you're hungry, you can walk a trail straight into town to the local boulangerie in just a few minutes.  There you can enjoy an exceptional croissant along with your freshly brewed coffee.
19th Century Headstone, Hope Cemetery

A walk in the woods, Kennebunk

We walked one day to Wiggins Pond, which is no longer a pond.  In times long past, locals cut ice from the pond to cool their iceboxes in the summer months.  More recently, the pond was a natural skating rink until the old dam crumbled.  Now all that remains, like the Cheshire Cat's grin, is an open clearing in the forest.  There is local interest in rebuilding the dam and restoring the pond.
What remains of Wiggins Pond

After our stay at Jay and Claire's, the four of us, with Penny the Dog, headed up the coast to Boothbay Harbor, one of Maine's many charming ocean side towns.  On the way, we took in the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a not-to-be-missed attraction if you're in the neighborhood.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Of all the cutesy coastal towns we might have visited, our choice of Boothbay Harbor was personal.  In her research of her family history, Carol learned that her parents, lifelong residents of St. Louis, had been married there in the church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.  We know Carol had (and still has) family in the area, but what brought Tom and Ann to Boothbay Harbor to wed at the end of World War II remains a mystery.

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Boothbay Harbor

Another highlight of our time in Boothbay Harbor was a ferry ride to Monhegan Island, ten miles out in the Atlantic Ocean.  The sparsely populated island holds art galleries, craft shops, a light house, a historical/cultural museum, two hotels and, the purpose of our visit, miles of hiking trails.

Residence, Monhegan Island

Lobster fisherman's gear

Retired Lobster Buoys

Hiking on Monhegan Island

After a long time away from Maine, we have it back in our thoughts.  Mt. Desert Island, with Acadia National Park, holds an important spot in our memories.  We spent two summers there when Paul and Ellen were very young.  We want to return to take in its beauty, see sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, hike some of the island's many trails, have dinner at the historic Claremont (where I tended bar long ago) and stick our toes in the chilly Atlantic.

That's it for this time.  May your travels be safe and filled with adventure.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

ISLA Grade 5 Photo Presentation

It's a long way to California!

My travel companions and best friends!

Tomales Bay After a Rain Storm

Mission San Luis Obispo

Moonipero Serra

Relax!  You'll get there.

Is there a flavor they don't have?

A five-minute walk from our home in the city.

What living creature do these flowers look like?

Balancing Act

This guy was sunning on our doorstep one day.

One of our morning walks with the dog

Bishop's Peak, San Luis Obispo

Bishop's Peak, halfway up to the peak

Made it to the top!  (San Luis Obispo in the background)

This area near Paso Robles reminded us of Italy

A hike along the Pacific coast three years ago.  Aidan El Plano was with us!

You never know who you will run into on a hike in California!

Be careful on this hike!  (Our dog, Rowdie, is chewing grass in the background.)

Later, we saw the Pacific.  Fortunately, no tsunamis today.

We hiked in a park that is a refuge for Tule Elk.  These are all young elk.

A reservoir for the city of Santa Barbara.  Notice how low the water level is because of the drought.

This guy was just fooling around on a hiking trail.

We found this gal at the top of a mountain we hiked to!

Now that is one optimistic coyote!  The herd did not seem to worried about him.

We like to ride our bikes to Avila Beach from San Luis Obispo to sit in the sand and maybe have a milkshake.

Hendry's Beach, our favorite beach (and Rowdie the Dog's too!)

Elephant seal males having a disagreement

A mom with her pup basking in the sunshine

Stand-up paddle boards - a new adventure for my wife and me!  (She's better than I am.)

I did NOT fall off!  We were practicing how to get back on if we fell off.

Somebody thinks the rule doesn't apply to them.

Duck!  (Not really.  Pelicans.)

Another look at a pelican

The Santa Ynez Mountains that border the city of Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara

Wild Thing Invades Santa Barbara!

Fresh local strawberries!  In February!

Sunny smile on a rainy day at the market.

The farmers' market draws many entertainers.

Another Farmers' Market Musician

The skateboard park in downtown Santa Barbara

I hope they have separate entrances and waiting rooms.

These people really like frogs!  There were hundreds of frogs along their wall.

Frogs only, thank you...

...unless you love pigs!

The Hermitage, an amazing museum in the mountains.  Do you think the owner loves books?

The mailbox for the Hermitage

On the grounds of the Hermitage.  Would you like to ride around in this bug?

Can you guess the title of this sculpture?  There is a clue in the photo.

A bust of Cyrano de Bergerac.  (He looks as if he is having a bad day.)

Each state is made from that state's license plate! 

I want this fence for my yard!

Think of any punctuation mark.  They were all sculptures at the Hermitage!


The owner of the Hermitage had lots of fun with his art!

Can you guess what this is made of?

More fun

And finally,  two puzzles...

What is wrong with this sign?

What is wrong with this scene?