Thursday, July 29, 2010

It rained a bit during the night but we awoke to bright sunshine and enjoyed another hot, sunny day.

This morning our first stop was the train station at Saco to buy our Amtrak tickets for our trip into Boston tomorrow. From there we headed to the outlet malls in Kittery, which is just on the New Hampshire border.

Boy, talk about a busy place and a weird outlet mall – the road runs between the shops and there are 4 or 5 different areas so you have to keep moving the car. Our first stop was fine and we had no problem finding a parking spot but that was not the case at the next area we wanted to stop – it was a flipping zoo and we couldn’t find a parking spot so drove around a couple of times and headed to the next one. Fortunately we got a parking spot there and managed to find some really good bargains at the Columbia Sportswear outlet so left there happy.

Our next stop was Best Buy but they didn’t have the iPad I wanted so it was on to downtown Portsmouth. We stopped at Albacore Park and saw the Albacore submarine, a submarine that was used during WWII; we didn’t take the time to do an actual tour of it but did check it out and agree that there was no way any of us would be able to sail on something like that.

We got downtown and finally managed to find a parking spot so we could walk around a bit. We went to the Portsmouth Discovery Centre and watched a video on Portsmouth then the lady at the centre recommended we tour the Moffatt-Ladd House which was built in the 1790’s. It was a beautiful home and we really enjoyed the tour.

Portsmouth Brewery Sign

Loved the Name of This Pub

From there it was a stop at Wal Mart then back to Biddeford for dinner at the Olive Garden, which was very good, then back to the hotel around 9 p.m. We sure do seem to put in long days!!!

It is now time to hit the sack as we have to be up at 6 a.m. to be at the train station in Saco in time for the 8:15 a.m. train. I think another long day is ahead!

And so ends a great gift of a day and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And the gorgeous weather continues although today was a bit hotter and more humid than yesterday, but thankfully there was a nice breeze.

Our first stop this morning was a quick run into Wal Mart to get water plus a few other things we wanted. From there it was off to Old Orchard Beach and the mini golf, what a blast that was and yahoo, I got 3 holes in one; and wow, I was the only one to get any holes in one – just pure luck!!

Next it was a stop at Tim’s for a coffee then on to Prout's Neck and then Cape Elizabeth where there are twin lights. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a way to get close to the lights but managed to get pictures of them from the Lobster Shack where we had lunch. It was a nice lunch sitting at a picnic table overlooking the ocean and after we ate Nan & Kel walked down on the rocks a bit. We drove around the cape looking at the houses and wow, are there ever some beauties!

View of Old Orchard from Prout's Neck

Prout's Neck Post Office

Nan & Kel on the Rocks at Cape Elizabeth

The Twin Lights

We came back to the hotel and Kel & Pat changed into their bathing suits and we were off to Biddeford Pool, a beach the girl on reception here at the hotel told us about. I didn’t bother with my bathing suit as I hadn’t really been too impressed with the beach at Old Orchard Beach but the one today was much nicer, with very little seaweed, and the water seemed a bit of warmer so I sort of wished I had put on my suit, on the other hand it was much cooler at the beach as it was after 5 when we got there so it was just nice sitting there. Nan doesn’t have a bathing suit and hasn’t been able to buy one so we kept each other company on the beach while Kel & Pat swam.

From there we drove around Biddeford Pool and Fortune’s Rock, once more oohing and aahing over the beautiful homes overlooking the ocean and we had to listen to the girls bemoaning the fact that they don’t have rich parents with a nice house on the ocean – poor them!

Biddeford Pool

Fortune's Rock

Back again to the hotel and after a quick change we went to Restaurant 99 for dinner and had another yummy meal.

I don’t know how the days can go so fast but they just seem to fly by, guess time flies when you are having fun! Again, by the time I get this finished I will be ready to hit the hay!

And so ends a great gift of a day and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We are so lucky that the weather has been behaving and we are enjoying such beautiful sunny, warm days – sure hope it continues but it would be nice if it just cooled off a tad.

This morning we were out of the hotel before 9 a.m. and went to Freeport, home of L L Bean and all their stores, as well as tons of other outlet shops. I wandered around the women’s section of L L Bean then went to Starbucks and used the internet on my iPod Touch and enjoyed a coffee while the others shopped. Kel came back and met me and we went to the L L Bean Home Store, then met Pat & Nan and it was off to the L L Bean outlet store. My, oh my, what a lot of L L Bean stores and I didn’t buy a thing!!

We left Freeport shortly before noon and headed south to Portland where we were going to do the mail boat cruise, a 3 hour cruise of all the islands outside Portland. We finally found a parking spot and then walked about 8 blocks to the pier where we bought our tickets for the cruise, then went to a restaurant for a quick lunch – two of us had clam chowder and two had seafood chowder – all of it being totally delicious.

The cruise was fun with lots of beautiful homes and boats along the way and the mail boat stopped at about 5 islands to unload supplies and passengers as well as picking up new passengers. We sat in a covered area until about the last hour when the sun wasn’t as strong so we could comfortably sit out front in the open.

Bug Light

Old Fort

One of Many Boats We Saw Today

Golf Carts Lined Up At Dock Waiting for Owners to Return

Other Views from the Boat

Once off the boat we worked our way back to the car with tours through a few shops to cool down in their air conditioning as it was still really hot.

Statute of Lobster Man

We then headed for the Portland Head Light, the oldest working lighthouse in the U.S. It is an absolutely gorgeous lighthouse and the keeper’s house, which is now a museum, looked beautiful.

Just a Small Cruiser Going By Portland Head Light

From there we went to Old Orchard Beach where we had dinner at the Clam Bake, it was a huge place where we ordered our food then picked it up when our number was called. Nan, Kel and I had fried clams with French fries & coleslaw and Pat had Haddock & chips and we all agreed that our meals were delicious.

From there it was a quick tour through the Gift Shop then down to the beach, just as it was getting dark, for a walk along the beach. The mosquitoes chased us back to the car after about half an hour but the rising moon over the water was spectacular, a bright orange orb rising up in the sky. Of course, guess who didn’t have their camera with them!

We got back to the hotel shortly after 9 p.m. so another long but fun day. Pat did laundry and Nan & Kel spent some time computering so I am now getting this done when they all have gone to bed as Nan was using my computer earlier.

And so ends a great gift of a day and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We are so lucky with the weather as today was another gorgeous, sunny day although it was hotter than I like but guess that is better than freezing cold and wet.

We had breakfast at the hotel as it is included in the price, then headed out for a day of touring. Our first stop was the Lighthouse Shop where we enjoyed browsing through the store and, good heavens, we all found a couple of things that we just couldn’t live without purchasing!! We then drove to Kennebunkport where we admired all the gorgeous houses and got our first glimpse of the ocean. We found a parking spot and walked a bit along the waterfront where we took some pictures and drank in the scenery.


We toured in a southerly direction along the coast enjoying the scenery, even though there were throngs of other tourists doing the same thing – imagine that at this time of year!! We eventually arrived at Perkins Cove, a small community along the coast with the usual tourist shops, and gorgeous scenery. We parked the car a couple of blocks away from the tourist stuff (the only place we could find a parking spot!) then walked down into the cove. There is a pretty walkway along the ocean, Marginal Way, and we enjoyed the walk along it and the scenery.

Views from Marginal Way

We returned to the cove where we had a delicious lunch on a covered patio looking over the ocean, then wandered through some shops in the cove and took pictures. I managed to hold onto my money while wandering the stores there but a couple of our group managed to find something that sparked their attention.

Perkins Cove

We came back to our hotel, relaxed for a few minutes then headed to Pine Beach at Old Orchard Beach. The tide was out when we got there so it looked kind of yucky with the seaweed on the beach but we all went down and waded in the ocean for a bit, but Pat was the only truly brave one who actually went for a swim. She and Kelly then walked further down the beach while Nan and I just sat and enjoyed the scenery and watched our belongings.

It was about 8 when we got back to the hotel so we ordered a pizza to be delivered for dinner and it was delicious. We have had a brief chat on Skype with Art in Australia and I am now trying to get this done before I crash.

And so ends a great gift of a day and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This morning I woke up to comments about how loud I was last night, my sister & Kel both seem to think I was doing some serious snoring but Nan said she didn’t hear a thing so I am taking her word and not believing the other two – tee, hee! (I couldn’t figure out when I woke up about 5:30 why Pat had a pillow over her head but didn’t think too hard about it!!). Anyways, I have never laughed so much first thing in the morning and I have promised them I will try to do better tonight and be much quieter.

Nan & Kel Loading the Car this Morning

We were on the road by 9:15 and it took us 9 hours to drive 300 km, needless to say we did some stops along the way. The drive through the White Mountains in New Hampshire was beautiful and we stopped in the Franconia Notch National Forest and walked to The Basin, what a pretty walk and so nice in the woods. The Basin was very interesting and it was so tempting to just jump in the water and cool off! Of course it is all posted “No Swimming”.

Pictures from The Basin Walk

The Basin

Views of the White Mountains

We went to North Conway in New Hampshire and had lunch and spent a couple of hours shopping at the outlet mall there as well as a stop at the L. L. Bean outlet. We all found some good bargains so it was a very profitable stop for us. On Kel’s recommendation we went to the Christmas Tree Shop, which is like a dollar store and again found some bargains there. I have never seen or heard of the Christmas Tree Stores but will stop again if I ever come across another one in our travels.

After a very scenic drive on the back roads of New Hampshire & Maine we arrived at our hotel, Comfort Suites in Biddeford Maine about 6:15 and got checked in then headed out to find something for dinner. We ended up at Applebee’s where we had a great dinner for a great price, I was the only one who has been to Applebee’s but now they all say they will go again as we really enjoyed it.

After dinner we walked over to Kohl’s for a quick look around – no spending there, then stopped at Target where there were a couple of items bought. Then it was back to the hotel to finish unpacking etc., get caught up on e-mails and I want to get this done before going to bed, which will be soon as I am wiped.

And so ends a great gift of a day and we look forward to another great day tomorrow.