November 26, 2011

Maine, Boston and Long Island

Press HERE to see a slideshow
of New England.

Jonesport, Maine
IMG_3172: Jonesport
Bar Harbor from across the Bay
IMG_3179: Bar Harbor across the Bay
Sandy Bar Harbor Beach
IMG_3199: Sandy Beach
Camden Harbor
IMG_3253: Camden Harbor
The Paul Revere House
IMG_3278: The Paul Revere House
Below Deck, USS Constitution
IMG_3290: Guns Below Deck
Montauk Lighthouse
IMG_3320: Lighthouse
Santa Fishing in Montauk
IMG_3325: Santa Fishing
Hampton's Mansion
IMG_3337: Hampton's Mansion

On the fourteenth of October we were on the move again. It seems like when we go, we drive all day long to get where we are going. So it was when we left Wolfville, Nova Scotia. We had hoped to find a place to stay in Saint John, New Brunswick, but alas it was not to be. We continued on past Saint John to cross the border at Saint Stephen Calais bridge, back into the USA. We continued until dark, finally stopping at East Machais. It had begun to rain as we looked for an inn and by the time we found one, it was pouring cats-and-dogs.

The next day, Saturday, we set out to explore the Maine coast. We stopped in the little fishing village of Jonesboro and Prospect Harbor. Then we drove through the eastern part of Acadia National Park near Winter Harbor. Then we drove to the island where Bar Harbor is found. We spent the rest of the day in the Acadia National Park next to Bar Harbor. Little did I realize that so many tourists come to this place; even on the cool, short, windy days, there were hundreds and hundreds of tourists exploring the same territory that we were looking at. As the sun began to set, we looked for a motel to spend the evening. After that we had a great meal of fish and lobster.

Our Wonderful CS Hosts

Wayne and C.J.
IMG_3238: Wayne and C. J.
Betty with Tomi Ann
IMG_3306: Betty with Tomi Ann
John Mark and Bill
IMG_3336: John Mark and Bill

Sunday was the day to see the other half of the island. We saw the coast and the several little villages, like Tremont, Bass Harbor, and Southwest Harbor. We had a late lunch at a microbrewery that served barbecue, so delicious. Then we connected with our Couchsurfing hosts in Surry, less than a hour northwest of Bar Harbor. Wayne Smith and C.J. were wonderful hosts. Wayne Smith is a fascinating fellow. He is a language instructor, and he has taught 31 different languages to his students. We had a great visit with him and C.J., spending two nights with them.

On Monday, we explored the area east of Bar Harbor. There were almost no tourists on the roads. We visited several villages and one winery. Making wine is a growing cottage industry in Maine. This was surprising because the wine is rarely made from grapes. More than likely it is made from local fruit like blueberries. Wine made from other fruit can be good, but it rarely reaches the taste and quality of a good grape wine. The winery where we stopped was a typical Maine winery. The owner was a very interesting man. We had a long talk about wine making in Maine and how it was different from other places. In the end we bought a bottle of hard cider that we hope to drink at Thanksgiving with our family. The prettiest of the villages that we visited that day was Stonington. Here we stopped for a lunch of fish and chips and chowder. Besides the villages, we saw a panoramic view of the entire area from Caterpillar Hill, many bays and bridges, and a flock of turkeys. By the way, there were wild turkeys everywhere. In the evening we ate with Wayne and C.J. at a Thai restaurant in Ellsworth.

On Tuesday, we headed south. We drove all day long. We stopped along the way to see the town of Camden with its wonderful harbor filled with sailing ships. From here you can sail for several days on a windjammer. We arrived in the Boston area in the late afternoon. I needed to have my laptop checked out at an Apple store, because of a dead battery. They checked it out, and yes that was the problem. I decided to wait on replacing it. Just as it was getting dark, we made our way to Arlington. We had arranged to stay with another Couchsurfing host. Tomi Ann has had a lifetime of experience hosting and staying others through the Servas network. By the time Couchsurfing came along, it was second nature to her. She was a very good host. She helped us find the Boston Museum of Fine Art on a very rainy day. It is an excellent museum. The best of the museum was the large collection of American Impressionists.

On the 20th of October we walked the Freedom Trail. This is a daylong walk to all the main historical sites in Boston. It begins at Boston Common and ends at Bunker Hill. We saw the State House, cemeteries, the grave of Paul Revere, meeting halls, the Old North Church, and the U.S.S. Constitution. It was fascinating, going to the places that we learned about as children in the history of the Revolutionary War. As the sun began to set, we got on the subway to Arlington.

The next day, Friday, we headed for New London, Connecticut, where there is a ferry that crosses to Long Island, New York. We drove through Providence, Rhode Island, on our way to the ferry. After three hours we were at the ferry and almost on the boat. The ferry takes about 90 minutes to cross to Orient Point. We took our time driving down the north fork of the island before turning south to see some of the towns in the Hamptons. Finally, we headed to Montauk on the far eastern end of the Long Island south fork. John Mark was our very nice host. We spent the next couple nights in Montauk while exploring more the Hamptons.

We also arranged to see more of Long Island. We were hosted by the lovely Brekne family in Selden, which is in the middle of Long Island. We had planned to stay at least three nights. But we only stayed for two. We continued exploring, but quickly ran out of things to see and do. We stopped at several wineries to try their wares, however we tasted no wine. Every winery charged a fairly high fee to taste. We won't pay to taste, unless the fee can be applied to a purchase a bottle. It appeared to us that most of these wineries were not in the business of selling wine, rather they were in the business of selling tastings to tourists.

On our last day, we were able to meet Ann and Clara, my sister and her daughter, for dinner. It was a lovely get-together.

We had been planning to go to Philadelphia next. I had even arranged a place for us to stay. But Betty was tired of traveling, so we headed west. After two days of driving we were back in the Midwest and our autumn journey to Nova Scotia and New England was over.

Posted by bill at 02:26 PM