Rockport, Massachusetts July 7, 2013

We were up early, had breakfast and off to Rockport. It would be
a full day of driving, around 313 miles. We were now on Highway 1
heading south. It was a little bit of backtracking but we wanted to
hit some towns we missed on the way north.

We arrived in Rockport around 5:30, checked into the Rockport
Inn just outside the town. We had dinner at the Blue Lobster
Grill in town facing the harbor and the famous red barn that
Rockport is known for.

I had been to this town twice before and always thought it was
a picture postcard. Rockport is filled with large estates, summer
homes and a small fishing village. It is only 40 miles from Boston
at the tip of Cape Ann peninsula. It’s rocky beaches and seaside
parks attract tourists from the Boston area and Rhode Island.

Many movies have been filmed here. The Proposal with Sandra
Bullock in 2009, Mermaids with Cher in 1990, Edge of Darkness
with Mel Gibson in 2010 and Stuck on you with Matt Damon in 2003.
Of course it is also well-known for the famous Motif 1, which is the
famous red barn in all the Rockport advertising.

We finished the evening off sitting on a bench eating an ice cream
cone and people watching. This is the life!!

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Acadia National Park July 6, 2013

It was another beautiful day, very hot in the 90’s, and we were on a
tour bus entering Acadia National Park. We did a 27 mile scenic
loop drive past some major must see sites with access to all.
We saw Sand Beach, a 1000ft vertical hiking trail for only the
very experienced hiker and Thunder Hole, where just before high
tide, the surf races into the naturally carved inlet and explodes
40 ft in the air with a thunderous roar. It is a fascinating sight
to see.

We then saw the famous Cadillac Mountain with a 1530 ft. elevation.
They say it is the perfect place to watch the sunrise.

The park also has 120 miles of historic hiking trails, biking trails,
and horseback riding trails.

The day was, I must say, perfect, it was hot but beautiful. Maine
is such a gorgeous state with its rugged coastline, light houses,
and wonderful seafood. It is one of my favorite states.

Dinner was in town at Testos with a great lobster roll and the best
blueberry pie I have ever had.

A final evening walk of the town and both agreeing this was another
perfect day.

Bar Harbor, Maine July 5,2013

Left Freeport at 8:15 the next morning. It was another great
day with lots of sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. We were
driving to Bar Harbor.

Driving along Hwy. 1, we again went through towns sitting right
on the water’s edge. One of the towns was Camden, a beautiful
seaport town used for the settings in many movies from Peyton
Place to Carousel. It is the typical New England town that we all
think of. They say it is one of two places on the Atlantic Seaboard
where the mountains meet the sea.

From Camden we stopped in Booth Bay, an attractive town set on
the Harbor. There is so much to offer the tourist, shopping,
boating, great seafood, an aquarium and a botanical gardens.
It is considered the boating capital of New England. It also has
a 1000 ft bridge connecting the east and west sides of the harbor.

Something you must do when on the east coast is to stop at a
lobster shack for some good lobster and seafood. We chose
McLaughlins right on the water. It was wonderful. The lobster
just melted in your mouth.

We arrived in Bar Harbor at 5:30 and checked into the Bar Harbor
Grand. A lovely hotel right in town. We would be here for two
nights. Dinner was across the street at a place called Poor Boys.
Good stuffed haddock.

In considering a vacation to Maine, Bar Harbor is a must. It is
truly one of the best places to visit in Maine. It is surrounded by
Acadia National Park and located at the edge of the ocean.

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Freeport, Maine July 4, 2013

We were checked out of the hotel and back on the road by 9:00 am.
We would be sleeping in Freeport, ME tonight driving through many
towns on our way. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, the
music blasting, good conversation, it was another good day.

We were on US 10, entering the city of Sanford, when we came to
a halt. Because it was July 4th, they were preparing for their annual
parade and the highway was blocked. We thought about hanging
out and watching the parade but decided to try to continue on.
We noticed a policeman sitting in his car so we drove over to him
and explained we were trying to get to Freeport and how could we
pass the parade before it started. After a little conversation, he said
“follow me ladies” and officer Patrick Flood escorted us out of the
downtown area. We waved goodbye and laughed saying only we
would get a police escort out-of-town.

Back on the road and passing through the little towns all having the
festivities celebrating the 4th, it was a real delight.

One of the towns we stopped at was Ogunquit, ME. A beautiful
resort town with a motto of “beautiful place by the sea” with
more than three miles of white sand beaches. Yes it was!!

We arrived in Freeport and immediately checked into the Holiday
Inn Express and went into town for a bit of shopping.
This city is a shopping Mecca with many outlet stores (good ones)
and the home of LL Bean. After shopping, we had a great seafood
dinner at Azures.

Another great day!!

Mt. Washington July 3, 2013

After a great breakfast we decided to take a Cog Train ride up to the
Summit of Mt. Washington.

The Cog Train was the first mountain climbing railway in the world
and took its first excursion up the mountain in 1869. It is still
in operation today.

We boarded the train and were on our way up the western side of
the mountain which followed a ridge for 3 miles to the summit of
Mt. Washington with a grade of more than 37%. We were at an
angle chugging up the mountain, but what a fascinating experience
it was. Although is wasn’t a very clear morning, we were still able to
see the surrounding mountains around us.

We arrived at the summit at an elevation of 6,288 ft. We were
dropped off there and spent a good hour going thru the museum
showing the history of the mountain range. There were many hikers
at the top and I thought of my son who has just recently taken up
hiking the mountains and trails and knew he would have loved this.

Coming down was even more spectacular. The sun was out, the
clouds disappeared and we could see, so clearly, the mountains
that were all around us. The beauty of it all!!

We returned to the hotel and decided to take a tour of the grounds
and hotel. It was very informative and enabled us to see rooms and
areas we would have not otherwise been able to see.

After a great dinner at the Bretton Arms Inn on the grounds of the
hotel we had a cocktail on the veranda and watched the sunset over
the mountains. It was beautiful!

What a great two days this has been. We were able to relax in this
wonderful and peaceful setting. I would highly recommend this
hotel. Treat yourself to this spectacular experience!!

Bretton Woods, NH. July 2, 2013

We left Burlington at 9:30 am and drove the back roads towards
Bretton Woods, NH. The scenery was breathtaking. Being
from Michigan we are not accustomed to seeing mountains. I can’t
imagine living amongst them. Michigan is a beautiful state
but not like this.

Two hours later we arrived in Bretton Woods. We would be staying
at the beautiful Mt. Washington Hotel that had been recommended
to us. We would stay for two nights.

The hotel is set amongst the mountains of Mt. Washington. It was
stunning. I don’t think I was prepared for something like this. I
knew it would be nice but I did not expect this.

Was I really lucky enough to be staying here? Wow!!

Entering the lobby was just a little overwhelming. The grandeur of
this hotel was something out of a movie. I knew immediately that
I would not want to leave. Our room was lovely with a huge
bathroom and the view was an added bonus.

After settling in our room we started to explore the grounds and hotel.
This hotel is like a grand masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance
architecture in the New Hampshire Mountains.
It took two years to complete Joseph Stickney’s dream hotel that
opened in 1902 and in 1986 became a National Historic Landmark.

It is now owned by Omni and is on many awards and accolades lists.
The hotel has been host to many famous people including Thomas
Edison and three U.S. Presidents. In 1944 it hosted the now
famous International Monetary Conference. There were 44
delegates there from different Nations to establish the World Bank
International Monetary Fund, making the U.S. dollar the
backbone of International Exchange.

We wandered the hotel and grounds trying to soak in all this beauty.
Later that night we had a wonderful dinner at Stickney’s in the hotel.
We finished the day sitting on the huge veranda of the hotel with a
cocktail in hand and enjoying the mountain view and the stillness
of this wonderful evening. Was I really lucky enough to be staying
here?

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Burlington, Vermont July 1, 2013

After a good nights sleep and breakfast at the hotel, we were back
on the road at 8:30 am heading to Burlington, Vermont.

We crossed over to the US a couple of hours later on the Ogdensburg
Prescott Bridge Ferry heading towards Lake Placid on our way to
Burlington.

We had asked AAA to route us through some scenic roads on a good
portion of the trip. It was perfect. We were now driving through
the Adirondack Mountains heading towards Lake Placid. Although
it was a cloudy day, it was lovely. Neither of us had even been to
this area and thought it was beautiful.

We stopped in Lake Placid, jumped on a free tour shuttle bus that
took us all around the town, passing the Olympic Training Bldg.,
along with the Olympic Stadium. We then drove along the lake
surrounding the town. I had always wanted to see Lake Placid
and was not at all disappointed.

We were back on the road again heading towards Burlington,
a bustling college town located on the shoreline of Lake Champlain.

After arriving in Burlington two hours later we checked into a Hampton Inn. We then decided to take a walk through the town. We discovered a great area, Church Street Marketplace, a wide 4
block concourse that appears to be the social center with over
100 stores and restaurants.

We ended our walk of the city with a great dinner and a good
glass of wine and both agreeing it had been another great day.

Kingston, Ontario June 30, 2013

With our car packed, our coolers filled with food and water, we
were off. There was only one problem, we discovered the
license plate on our rental car was expired. Now when I say
expired I mean expired. Not a day, not a week, not even a month,
would you believe three months. We knew we couldn’t just ignore
this as we would begin our trip thru Canada and did not want a
problem at the border.

We called Hertz and because it was 8:30 on a Sunday morning, we
would have to drive to the airport to pick up another car. We
drove there and explained to Hertz the problem. Of course,
everyone was puzzled as to how this could have happened. I guess
the lesson learned is to always check the license plate when you
rent a car. Who would have thought!!

Within 45 minutes we were back on the road driving a beautiful
new 2013 Camry heading towards the border to Canada. Clearing
Customs, we were on our way to Kingston, Ontario where we would
spend our first night.

It was a beautiful day driving through Canada. We stopped along
the road for a picnic lunch in a park along the highway. Sandy
was in charge of the food and I must say she did a great job. We
would be gone two weeks and wanted to watch our budget while
eating sensibly. It was perfect.

We arrived in Kingston at 5:35 and checked into the Holiday Inn
Express and was upgraded to a suite. We then went into town and
had dinner at Milestones right in downtown Kingston.

Sitting there after dinner, drinking our wine, we decided that even
though our day started out with problems, that it had indeed been
a great first day on our Road Trip.

East Coast Road Trip June 2013

In the winter of 2013 my friend Sandy and I decided to take
a road trip to the East Coast.
Sandy had never been to that part of the country so we
decided that it would be the perfect place to go on a
mid summer trip.

I had been a couple of times and knew exactly what she
should see for her first trip thru the eastern states.

A lot of people were giving us suggestions as to where
we should go and what we should see. We gathered all
the information, had a couple of travel meetings, made
some decisions and our trip began to take shape. With AAA
mapping our route, hotel reservations made, our car rented,
I was off on another Road Trip.

Hoboken, New Jersey November 1, 2013

imageWe were up early, had our breakfast and headed to the ferry that would take us to Hoboken.

I must tell you that my friends and I are all Frank Sinatra fans.
We are baby boomers who grew up listening to his music.
We have always wanted to go to the city he was born and
grew up in, and now we were going.

After a short ferry ride across the river we were walking the
streets of this wonderful city. I was pleasantly surprised at
how nice and quaint Hoboken is. Here we are in a regular
neighborhood with bustling Manhattan right there overlooking
this city.

We first headed to Carlos Bakery, The Cake Boss. It was still
early so there were no crowds. It’s a small shop with many
enticing baked goods calling our names. We decided to come
back after our Frank Sinatra pilgrimage. I know I know pretty
crazy huh!!

With map in hand, we walked the back streets passing wonderful
houses with all their stoops decorated for Halloween along with
beautiful flower pots overflowing the stoops.

We found the birthplace of Frank at 415 Monroe Street. The
home is no longer there, but there is an Arch where his home
had been. Also, a plaque on the sidewalk, a tribute to him.
We then found his childhood home at 841 Garden Street where
he lived as a young boy and as a teenager.
We saw his grammar school, high school and the Brownstone
his parents bought after he started his career.

I think we saw almost everything that we wanted to see including
where he would perform in the early days. Pretty crazy huh!

We ended up having a great lunch at Leo’s Grandezvous, home
of the jukebox with the largest selection of Frank’s hits.
I had a special pizza that they are known for with a glass of
red wine. Good food, good music!

After lunch, we were told to contact a man by the name of Nick who
has lived in this city for many many years. We had no problem
finding him. When we told him why we were there, on this
Frank Sinatra pilgrimage, he just chuckled but was more than happy
to share stories with us about those days. He told us a lot about
the history of the city and even took us into a tiny small Chapel
called St. Fabiola. It is only open for a service once a year at
Christmas. It is over a 100 years old.

After leaving Nick we headed back to Carlos Bakery for a little
treat. We took our sweets over to the Frank Sinatra Park and
sat and enjoyed not only the desert but the view. Wow, what
a fantastic view that was. It was stunning with the skyline of
Manhattan right there. I only wished it was dark so the lights
of the city would be on. What a sight that would be.

I must say, I was very impressed with this city. It is a place I surely
would return to.

We took the Ferry back into the city passing the Statue of Liberty.
As many times as I have seen it, it always makes me so proud to
live in this Country as an American.

After a short needed nap, we decided to have drinks at Grand
Central Station at the Campbell Apartment on the second floor.
John W. Campbell, 1920’s tycoon used this beautiful room as his
private office and Salon.

It was a perfect ending to a great day and visit to New York City.
We were leaving the next day and although there was so much
more we wanted to see and do, we knew we would return.

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