Magnificent Coastal Maine
8.20.12 First let me tell you how
much we enjoyed the trip to Maine. We have traveled all over
Early morning the day of our departure, we had a pretty good thunderstorm, which was over by the time of our departure. Then it rained again on the return home. The weather was absolutely magnificent while in Maine - low to mid-80's. The folks on our tour must be living right! We could not have had better weather.
On Day 1 we arrived in Buffalo, New York early enough to take a short hop over to Niagara Falls, since many of our passengers had never visited the falls.
We then checked into our hotel, The Adam's Mark, in downtown Buffalo, where we had dinner and spent the night.
Beautiful scenery as we traveled along the New York Thruway and the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Holiday Inn Express in Lawrence, Mass., where we picked up our Tour Director, Mary Lou Zirnheld of Unicorn Tours.
Dinner that night was in a great local restaurant that opened just for us, since they are usually closed on Mondays.
The morning found us back on the road headed to Maine. Ogunquit and the Nubble Lighthouse.
It was low tide, so these boats were sitting on land where water would again have them floating in 4 hours. I loved all the little boat houses with lobster trap buoys hanging on the side.
Next was a lobster boat where we learned about lobstering from Capt. Tom and his assistant.
Here is one of the traps he pulled up that had about 4 lobsters. They must be measured and meet a minimum size.
The black are on the underside of this lobster are 100's and 100's of eggs. Out of all of the eggs, only 1 or 2 will live to become an adult lobster. Capt. Tom notched the tail of the lobster to show it was a fertile female in case it would be caught again. Those fertile females will be returned to the water if ever caught again, even if they do not currently have eggs.
This young boy on the boat was quite fascinated with the process, so Capt. Tom handed him an empty eye socket, which was left in the trap after the lobsters had eaten the bait.
After returning to the pier, we took some time for lunch and a bit of shopping in Kennebunkport before loading the bus for a drive by the Bush's compound.
We arrived at Portland Head Light, which is probably the most photographed lighthouse. You will likely recognize it from calendars.
We arrived at Hollywood Slots Casino in Bangor, Maine, where we spent 2 nights.
In the morning we headed to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain for a narrated trolley ride.
Within the park is Thunder Hole. Water rushed into the tunnel and splashes against the back of the hole with force, making it sound like thunder.
It was time to head for Bar Harbor to shop or choose an optional Whale Watch Cruise or a Nature Cruise.
The whale watching was amazing! Be aware that these photos were actual photos, not using the zoom on my camera. Sorry to say, I was never able to time it right to get them with the tails flapping at us out of the water. I'm not sure if they were entertaining us or we were entertaining them. There were 3 humpbacks together who gave us a great show. At one point, they slowly drifted right at the side of our boat, got within a few yards, dove under the boat, and surfaced on the other side.
Tonight was our scheduled lobster bake. Steak or haddock was available for those who did not choose to have lobster.
And a surprise birthday cake for my birthday.
The next morning brought us to Camden, Maine, a typical quaint coastal village.
Mary Lou threw in a great surprise stop......the Maine State Prison Showroom. The prisoners can learn woodworking and various other skills while doing their time. Monies collected for the sale of the items they make are saved for them so they have money when they are released, as well as a skill to help them start a new life. The craftsmanship was amazing. Why don't other states offer this in addition to television and ping pong?
The men in the dark green shirts are guards, and the men in the gray T-shirts and the prisoners who helped reading off the prices and bagged the purchases.
We then moved on to Freeport, Maine and the L. L. Bean Flagship store, as well as the many other shops that lined the streets.
All shops must be of the same coastal theme, so look at the McDonald's that was here. The line of cars in the back left of the first picture is their drive-thru.
Dinner this evening was at the Old Mill Restaurant.
Ron and Rae Wright were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary on this trip.
After dinner, our Tour Director, Mary Lou, departed when we reached our hotel for the evening, the Wachusett Village Hotel. What a superb tour you set up for us, Mary Lou! I can't thank you enough.
Friday morning it was time to make our departure for home. We drove through the Berkshires, with beautiful scenery and winding roads.
We stopped in Le Roy, New York, the home of Jell-O, with a visit to a great little museum.
Upon arrival at the museum, a greeter stepped on the bus before a fun nostalgic treat.
The lady in the green shirt and brown pants gave us the history of Jell-O and its founder. This lady was terrific! She is so proud of her town and the fact that Jell-O was borne here and gives her presentation with humor and her total heart. You can tell that by the smile on everyone's faces.
They also had a small transportation museum in the lower level.
This evening's dinner was at the D & R Depot Restaurant, an old train depot. Excellent food.......excellent service ......and great ambiance!
We over-nighted in Batavia, New York for our last night before making our final leg for home.
No trip is complete without a group picture! But first, a bit of guidance to get them close enough together to all fit in.