Sunday - September 30

Lots of 'oohing and aahing" going on today......first off, we exercised, Mark made yummy sausage/egg/cheese omelets and bagels and then off to see the beauty of New Hampshire.    When we started this trip, one of our "must do's" was to drive the Kancamagus Highway (34-mile scenic road between Conway and Lincoln).    It was gorgeous - unfortunately, no sun but still breathtakingly beautiful!     The colors are just exploding more each day.    when we were here August, 2012, we started driving the "K Highway", but the clouds rolled in and visibility was awful, so only went about 10 miles and turned around.    Today.....a much different story!   Took oodles of pics but here are just a few...

Beauty in the mountains 
Single lone tree 
 Footbridge over the rocks
Picture-perfect - waterfall, foliage, rocks

Highway 302 and interstate 93 were also great spots to see the color.    We stopped in Lincoln at end of our trip at the "Half-baked and fresh brewed" coffee cafe - had our coffee/latte and shared a yummy warm cinnamon roll.     Checked out the gorgeous Omni Mount Washington Resort.    Yesterday at the Cog railway, we met a family from Cincinnati, Chattanooga, and Lake Placid who were all visiting the area and in town for wedding last night at the resort - wow!!!   I'm sure that was quite something. 

Beautiful resort

  Stopped at the Bretton Woods Ski Resort (largest in NH).    Other than zip lining, repelling and gondola rides, nothing was open, so no hot toddy or glass of wine before a roaring fire.   Views were awesome though!

Back to Flo for some hot cider and hooked Big Red and Flo up as the rain is coming and not wanting to do that in the morning.   

Meant to talk about the COG railway system yesterday - this is the oldest in the world (since 1869) and currently the only one operating in the US as Pikes Peak did not operate in 2018 and not sure if/when it will be back?     The picture shows the cog  down middle of track that holds the train in place and keeps it from coming backwards down the mountain.    The engine pushes the car up the mountain and coming down, it leads the way with car behind.


 The past few days, the internet has been awful with little or no service.....sooooo thankful that my techie hubby knows which cables and other stuff to set up to bring in a signal.    Most of the time it works, but really s l o w here.    He does a phenomenal job of keeping me "connected".

Back in 2012, we had visited the neat Maine towns of Portland (Old Port), Kennebunkport, and Ogunquit so passed on those this time;   ahhhh, there's just sooo much to see and do out here in the beautiful NE.

October 15th seems to be the magic date that most RV parks will close for the season although we've seen others closed already.    Summer is definitely high tourist season but we can't say we experienced the heavy traffic/# of people for fall colors (probably cause it's not prime time) just yet?    At any rate, we have had a very leisurely and enjoyable time seeing the sites and getting around.

So tomorrow we will be leaving New England.....just as we did for checking the best viewing for the cherry blossoms, so it has been with fall colors (website when it is at peak in different parts of the state(s).     Although it is not peak here, we are overwhelmed by all the beauty and our friends, Allie and Owen who are headed this way, should see the full effect!

 Bye bye September and thanks for so many wonderful memories....

Saturday - September 29

What an exciting COLD morning.....we left the campground at 8:25 and drove 11 miles to the cog railway station.    Mount Washington is our destination, the highest peak in New England at 6,288 feet.   There were 3 separate train cars (72 passengers per car) each pushed by diesel engines (locomotive).    Mark had on 4 layers; 5 for me (not enough)!!!   It was about a 45-minute ride with Dakota, our narrator and brakeman.     The views were spectacular but eventually we were totally in the clouds.   

Running brook and fall leaves outside our window as the trip was underway

Upon arriving, we were met with very COLD and WINDY conditions and almost zero visibility.    We went inside the visitors center for some lunch and warmed up before we ventured out again - the temp was 15 degrees with wind chill and 40-50 mph winds gusting to 80.    There was so much mist in the air it was difficult to see much of anything, but just knowing we were on top of Mount Washington and all that unseen beauty around us....well, best we could do.     There are only about 63 days in a year they have good visibility.....and we also heard that the later in the day you take the train, chances are better for good viewing.
Just a little break in the clouds to see the railing
Cold and Windy - oh so COLD and WINDY

We were on the mountain for 1 hour and then the trek back down....this time we were in a steam locomotive which was quite interesting and Eli was our brakeman - no narration going down....too busy keeping the brakes on!!! 
Coming down 
We've yet to see a moose since we've been in New England....and then today, along the way...
he wasn't real, but close enough!

Stopped for lunch at Munroe's Family Restaurant in Twin Mountain and enjoyed some good soup/sandwiches (#1 on Trip Advisor out of 5).    Back to Flo to hibernate; I took a nap, read and we thawed out!   

Drove to Whitefield, NH for 4:00 Mass at Gate of Heaven Parish.    St. Matthew is the church in Whitefield.    The parish consists of 5 churches all served by 1 priest (Father Matthew Schultz) and each church has 1 weekend mass.    We've heard of priests serving 2 or 3 churches, but 5?   
St. Matthew's

Back to Flo for a hot toddy and worked on the blog.   Leftovers for supper.

Congratulations to the Corpus Christi Saints who came in 3rd in the State Class 2A of the IESA.    They lost 9-8 and then won 4-1 for 3rd place!!!    This is 2nd consecutive year the Saints have taken 3rd place in state!!!

Way to go Saints and a great season for Liam and Connor!
Proud Mama with her boys!

Have thought of Missy so many times today and wishing I could be with her as she grieves for Butch.     Missy and I met in 1966 at Midstate College of Commerce in Peoria.    After we graduated, she and her family moved to Lake Havasu City, AZ which was just getting settled.    Her dad was in construction and helped "build" Lake Havasu.    At the same time, Missy met Butch who was very instrumental in getting Havasu on the map and considered a true Pioneer.    He has been frequently referred to as "Mr. Havasu." and was "a great docent and historian - a walking, talking encyclopedia of Havasu"  (quoted from a tribute on Facebook)

This brings back special memories.....Missy and Butch with their grandsons, Tim and Anthony enjoying the Blue Angels in El Centro, CA on March 14, 2015
A fun day....

Friday - September 28

Congratulations to the Corpus Christi Saints who won their game today against Germantown Hills.    The Saints were losing 1-0 going into the 7th and won 4-1.    They are in the Final Four and play tomorrow at 10 AM.

We are in New Hampshire and it is sooo pretty,.    The day started out cloudy, cool and misty rain along the way - over 300 miles today but now settled at the Twin Mountain Motor Court and RV Park in Twin Mountain,, NH.    Stopped for a quick lunch at McDonalds in Newport, ME and the sun came out shortly after noon.    A very pretty drive.    We are surrounded by the White Mountains!

We left round 4:30 to check out the COG Railway where we'll be going tomorrow morning to the top of Mt. doesn't sound the best, but we'll bundle up and hope for some pretty color.    My Aunt Dee reported that on September 24, 1989, the temperature on top of the mountain was 18 degrees with 100 mph winds.     Oh my.....

 Stopped at Fabyan's Station (old train station) in Bretton Woods.    Mark had a yummy shrimp dish and I had the skillet layered with corn bread, baked beans, pulled pork, cole slaw and 4 pickle slices.    Very good and similar to what we had from the food truck at Cypress Trail. 

So, we've left Maine but what a fun and beautiful week of charming little towns, all the white churches (no matter the denomination) similar in design and the ever present steeple, meeting friends Bob and Martha for lunch, great siteseeing, shopping and eating.     We enjoyed everything from the mountains to the hills to the ocean, the many lakes and fields of broccoli, sunflowers and potatoes.

I am so very sad tonight just hearing the news that my friend, Missy's husband passed away in Las Vegas.    Butch suffered a massive stroke 4 weeks ago tomorrow heart is breaking for Missy and her family.   RIP Butch.

No sun
Bright sun

Here at the campground

Thursday - September 27

Pinching ourselves today and thanking God for all this beauty in northern Maine and that we're here to enjoy this spectacular day.

We left "My Brother's Place" (not sure what the story is behind this name?) at 9:15 and headed NW to northern Maine to see some color and at Fort Kent, we would be at the start of Route 1.

Stopped in Mars Hill for breakfast at Al's Diner - very good (I had a Maine blueberry pancake).   I drove today so Mark could do some oohing and aahing.    With the sun shining brightly, the colors just kept getting prettier and prettier.    It was about a 2-hour trip to Fort Kent and here were the signs (right next to the bridge and customs taking folks to Canada). 
The northern start of Route 1 from Fort Kent, Maine all the way to
Key West, Florida (2, 446 miles)
The start
And the end....Mark and I in Key West
January 29, 2008

 Pretty pics along the way today...
 Pedestrian bridge in Houlton
Truckin' down the road 
Lemon-colored tree

We stopped in Ashland, Maine to walk a bit and stretch our legs.    Also picked up some treats, including our first whoopie pies which are a big treat in Maine.   Mark's was pistachio with cream filling and I had chocolate with peanut butter.    

On the outskirts of Ashland, we came upon the huge Ashland Sawmill Company - oh my, a humongous area of logs ready to be made into 2x4's  and then that huge area ready for delivery.    Passed many truck loads of logs off to the mill.

We also went on the million dollar highway - about 9 miles of mountains, lakes, trees and oh wow!!!

When we were having breakfast in Mars Hill, I thought back to Mars Hill, NC the home where the Mitford Series of books written by Jan Karon featuring Father Timothy Kavanaugh - such good books!

Did 2 loads of laundry back at the park while Mark ran some errands and got Flo's diesel tank filled and a good washing.

Pizza and salad on Flo.....
tomorrow, off to New Hampshire

Wednesday - September 26

Lots of rain overnight and early this morning - very heavy at times!!!    Thankful it had stopped when we were getting ready to hook up and be on our way at 8:26.     We drove 150 miles from Ellsworth to Houlton (just 3 miles from the Canadian border).    We are at "My Brother's Place Campground".

We had drizzle off and on coming here and after settling in (temps were thankfully in the upper 60's), we took off for town and had lunch at The Courtyard Cafe.    One of their specials today was Italian sausage lasagna with salad,    Some good comfort food on this damp day - really hit the spot!!!

Forgot to include this pic last night of John, the avid bicyclist we met at dinner....

More rain tonight....tomorrow, sunshine hopefully?

Tuesday - September 25

Cloudy and chilly, but we had a fun day starting with a trip to Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert Island (where Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are located).     On Sunday, while waiting in line at Red Eats for our 1# lobster feast, Tracy from Tallahassee and I were chatting about places to eat (of course) and she said she was on the hunt for some warm popovers with strawberry jam?    They were a specialty in the Bar Harbor area and her friend said "You've got to have the popovers and bring back some of the mix to make at home".

Okay.....we googled popovers in Bar Harbor and came up with 3 choices - Jordan Pond House; Asticou Inn and the Common Ground Soup Kitchen.   The first 2 were further away and only served them at lunch time.    Common Ground got great reviews plus it was a unique experience....

We arrived in Southwest Harbor, found Common Ground, a man explained how it all worked.....get your coffee or tea first; then your warm popover, then juice, then choices of fresh strawberry and blueberry jams, cinnamon or maple walnut butter.   And oatmeal was the final station with maple syrup, raisins, walnuts, etc.   You could sit outside with  a mis-matched set of tables, chairs and umbrellas  (huge patio) or dine indoors which we chose as it was chilly.   Everything was and cold drinks, popovers and oatmeal - that's the menu.    And then you give a donation - whatever you want and that goes towards them feeding those less fortunate who come there for a meal.    What  a great concept and Trip Advisor gives this place 5*.    The popovers were wonderful!!!    Oatmeal good, too!   They are open 7:30-11:30 Tuesday-Sunday
 Warm popover with delicious accompaniments

Walked around Southwest Harbor - very laid back with much less traffic and people than Bar Harbor - some cute specialty shops and cafes/markets.   It was chilly walking around - I got a latte at "Sips".    Before leaving Southwest Harbor, we drove down to the harbor..

Southwest Harbor 

 Then we drove to the J and P Farm Market on outskirts of Trenton for some apple cider, raspberry jam and a pumpkin for Flo. 
Good stuff!

Ellsworth was out next stop - Mark got a coffee at the "Maine Grind" and I checked out a few shops, including Ruth Foster's Children's Shop - darling things and Ruth is an 85-year old lady who has had this shop for 35 years, still does all the ordering and comes in daily!

Back to Flo and spent the afternoon catching up on computer stuff, read, and cleaned out our closet putting summery things away and got out more warm woolies.

The rain started at 4...  at 5, we left for dinner at the Union River Lobster Pot per the recommendation of Bob and Martha.    It was wonderful (both of us had the cedar plank halibut with maple/bourbon glaze.)    Excellent!    Very popular place and glad we went early as many lined up out the door when we left.

While there, we met John.....he sat at a table next to us and is a bicyclist from Michigan
traveling all around the country raising funds for these great causes:   Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Make-a-Wish, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Team Breakthrough and Presbyterian Villages of Michigan.    He is currently  biking from Quebec City to Washington, DC.    He has quite an amazing story and showed us pics of his grandchildren (8 boys and 1 girl).    You can check him out at:

The rain continues to gently fall and forecasted into tomorrow!

Monday - September 24

Our address tonight is the Forest Ridge Campground, 40 Flockamoosen Way, Ellsworth, Maine.   We traveled 101 miles from Boothbay to here.    Stopped in Belfast for lunch at Wasses Hot Dogs for delicious kraut dogs with over 5 million sold.   Saw one of these a few days ago - good stop and a little break from lobster!    Ha!

Just a spectacular day with temps in the 50's and lots of sunshine!    And so enjoyed more fall color as we headed north.    Antique shops are abundant up here in Maine and just town after town with so much charm (they all have a white framed church with tall steeple).  Drove to Acadia National Park (about 25 miles) with gorgeous scenery.    Lots of people at the top of Cadillac Mountain, but oh my....what views!!!   Did a bit of trekking while we were up there and then off to Bar Harbor.     We were here 6 years ago, but it is so touristy with many T-shirt/souvenir shops    The big cruise ships come here and when those tourists come into town....crowded sidewalks, shops, etc.    Walked around and just enjoyed the beautiful day.    Mark bought a T-shirt and then back to Flo around 6:15.

Here are some pics from today...

Mike, Robin, Joan and Ron from MA
Our neighbors we met this morning.  Joan and Ron spend the winter in Naples
We saw these wrapped bales of hay in Vermont and again today - they look like big marshmallows (the campfire size) 
Good lunch spot with yummy kraut dogs 
Top of Cadillac Mountain overlooking Bar Harbor  
Bar Harbor with cruise ship in the distance (all the passengers were in town shopping)!   
Acadia National Park 
Rolling along thru rural Maine 

Had salads for supper topped with our lobster leftovers from Red's Eats!
Whew...we may be "lobstered" out for awhile!!!


Sunday - September 23

38 chilly degrees when we woke up, but the skies were a deep blue and gentle breeze.    We left around 8:30 and drove to Freeport for 9:30 Mass at St. Jude.   Another neat little church with friendly parishioners and nice priest!    Father commented that today is officially the first full day of fall and for the locals that means "we are in a downward spiral" for the season and the cold and snow just around the corner.    Their season is so short up here

Walked across the street to Isabella's Cafe for cinnamon rolls. coffee/tea.    Neat little local place that was downstairs in old building and rolls were excellent.

Pretty fall foliage in Freeport
Burning bush 
Best trees we've seen yet!
Nor your typical McDonalds but this is Freeport's preferred architecture - love it!

We were here in 2012 and had checked out the flagship store of L L Bean, so went back and each of us got a lightweight jacket.    Lots of shoppers in this huge store.....Freeport is full of outlet stores.    I browsed around and then we were off to Bath which is back north and another quaint little town.    Bath was once home to 21 wooden ship building factories back in the mid 1800's.    Today there are only 3 and they build steel boats.    We checked out the pretty park and waterfront overlooking the Kennebec River.

Bath, Maine waterfront 

And then our final stop this gorgeous day was to Wiscasset and experience Red's Eats.    This place is extremely popular and well-known all over the state.    A list of celebrities who have dined here is listed and along with other tidbits about Red and how it came to be,.   We had the recommendation of Mark's brother Jim and Lydia and our Annapolis friends, Charlotte and Doug to be sure and eat here.
We always do what we're told.....especially when it comes to eating!    Ha....

It is just a shack-type place with walk-up counter to order and the lines are always long.    We waited 1 hr. 30 minutes to order and then another 15 minutes for food, but such a pretty day and stood behind Joe (Dad) and his daughter, Tracy from Tallahassee who are vacationing in Maine for 2 weeks.    Joe's wife and Tracy's husband were holding down one of the picnic tables along the water. 
Had a great visit with them and compared notes on where we and they have been in this wonderful state.

Tracy and her Dad, Joe
We decided to get ours to go as we weren't that far from the campground.   2 lobster rolls, an order of onion rings and a piece of blueberry cake.    The line was still very long when we left town!
Almost there.....finally!

Sat at our picnic table and scarfed down most of our delicious lunch (some leftovers) and we'll have the blueberry cake (kind of like a coffee cake) for breakfast.   

Church for sale here in Wiscasset?

Our NC boys are all back safe 'n sound after a fun weekend in Iowa City with Drew.    Bummer the Hawkeyes lost to Wisconsin....

Michael is off to Ireland tomorrow!

And we are heading to Ellsworth!  

Have a great week!

Saturday - September 22

H A P P Y 1st Day of F A L L

Sunny, cool and very windy start to the day....we exercised (indoors for me), had a big breakfast of ham/eggs/toast and then just caught up on stuff on Flo.   We left around 10:45 and had quite a big day out and about!    First stop was Rockland, cute little town and known as the "Art Capital of Maine" - lots of galleries, etc. - got our coffee fix there and off to Camden.    Banners that hang on the lampposts in town say "The HeART of Rockland"

Then we were off to Camden, another neat town and bigger - 5,000+ population.    We were here in September, 2012 and had wanted to stop\; however, we were in Daisy, it was raining and hard to find a parking spot.    It was a "wanna come back to" place and today, we did just that.    Around noon the sun came out, the wind died down and temp was 63 - gorgeous!!!    Lots of folks out and about!

Mark found a neat little spot to get some sandwiches!    He had a crab roll and I had what they called, a shrimp taco with chutney, lettuce, tomato, etc.....actually it was a big wrap - .both were very good and we sat on a bench along the water overlooking Camden Harbor.

And finally, decided to drive on past our campground and check out Boothbay Harbor again as yesterday was cold!   So, the weather warms up and time for an ice cream fix!    Of course, at all these towns I checked out the shops and browsed.    Mark wandered around and always enjoys being near the water!

There is nothing quite like the charm of Maine and its architecture - beautiful old homes sitting high on the hills, B 'n B's and inns are everywhere and one more beautiful than the other, shutters are practically on all the homes, etc.     Just oozes charm!!!!!

And of course, all the seafood - lobster, crab, shrimp, bisques, chowders, etc., etc.

The Lord Camden Inn 
Camden Harbor 
One of many church steeples in Camden

I walked around the park when we got back to Flo - it is sooo pretty out and love the scent of pine here at Shore Hills.    We just had cheese/crackers/cashews/wine tonight and enjoyed them on our picnic table.    but once that sun goes sure cools off!

And today, Liam, Connor and their Corpus Christi teammates won the sectional baseball tournament 6-0.    Now onto state (elite 8) next weekend!!!     One year ago we were there for the games - the Saints came in 3rd!!!
Congratulations boys!!!