Monday, August 31, 2009

Everything I Imagined It To Be

Maine. I have never been to the state, but I always envisioned it to be full of small, quaint towns with art and good seafood. I was not disappointed. In fact, it was as if I jumped right on to page of coastal living magazine the few days I was there. I saw people digging up clams on the shore, I ate lobster, browsed the cute shops and for a moment, was living the life in "Vacationland," their state motto.

Max and I picked a perfect 2 days to explore. The weather was sunny, breezy and a perfect 70 degrees. The first night we stayed in a town called Bath in a campground off the beaten path. It was one of the top campgrounds so far on the trip. We were alone, I felt safe and best of all, the campground host boiled up a fresh lobster for dinner.

The next day we headed up to Camden and stayed at the state park along highway 1. The park was in a great location, but we spent the majority of the day driving up the coast and exploring different towns.

There are so many local artists and speciality shops, it's easy to miss a turn. All of the signs are on 4x12 inch posts on the side of the road so you have to drive slow to catch all of the attractions. It is easy to miss something so keep your eyes open.

Also, "vacationland" doesn't come cheap. It costs $5 each way in road tolls and the campsites have been the most expensive by far at $30 and $25, respectively. If you lived in Maine and drove to work in, say, New would be spending $10 a day just to get to and from work. Add it up and it's $300 a month. Add Gas, a car payment and insurance and you are spending about $1,000 just to drive to work each month. Whew. Sure is pretty, though.

Each time I see a beautiful home along the road and see someone working in the yard, I think...awww, I could live here. Of course this is me saying this on a perfect sunny 70 degree day. I don't think I could survive one winter here.

Maine is everything I imagined it to be. I don't know if I will ever be back, but I am fortunate to say that I had an opportunity to visit. Here are some pictures from our stay:

Our Route So Far...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Camping in Paradise

After Michigan, we headed East. I didn't know where we would end up so I just drove. After about 8 hours, Max and I landed in mid state Pennsylvania. As usual, I relied on my map as my guide to see if there was camping located nearby. There was, so we thought we were headed to that state park.

We must have missed a turn.

There were signs to camp, however it wasn't the state park we were aiming for. After driving through the back country, following signs that were so weathered we could barely make out the word "camp" on it, we found the site. We decided to tour around the loop. It appeared to be a deserted RV campground with RV's permanently stuck in the ground.

I did manage to find the camp "office." It was deserted but I noticed a sign for tents to set up at the top of the hill. Off we went.

The sun was setting so I wanted to set up the tent fast and head out to take some pictures. For some reason, I didn't notice that we were directly camped under a power station. I didn't mind until it turned on. Then off. Then on. Once the sun set. It followed with a light on the station turning on. Then off. You get the point. I liked to think of it as the ocean. Ahhh, now we are camping in pure luxury.

We didn't camp unnoticed. A 95 year old woman in a Cadillac driving 2MPH came over to see us. After watching her drive up and get out of her car (about 20 minutes later), she came to collect her fees. I paid her and watched her leave on her long journey to her home 50 yards away.

In the morning we decided to meet someone also staying in camp paradise. We walked the loop to find the wedged trailers empty. Only the sound of the trees with the wind blowing.

The added touch of class was pulling a shower curtain for privacy in the shared bathroom.

We soon left and noticed the camp we were supposed to find was one exit down the road.

I suppose I should clean my glasses more often.

Drive By Shots

Driving for hours a day can be extremely boring. To pass the time I think, listen to music, take pictures, and talk to Max. Here are a few pictures I've taken on the road, driving across the USA:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Visiting The Abrahams

After leaving Illinois, I headed to visit my friend Susan who lives in Michigan with her husband, Rob and their kids Jenny and John. I hated to see them move away from California 3 years, has it been that long? Max and I were greeted with open arms! Jenny and John loved to play with Max in the yard, at the park, in the kennel...pretty much anywhere Max was.

We had a fun filled few days touring around town and playing at the park.

I have to say that I have a new found respect for all of the mothers out there. Being the youngest in my family and not being around kids that much, I have to say...whew. Jenny and John are the sweetest kids, let me tell you. They are polite, funny, and smart. Perhaps I am just getting old but I would love to be able to bottle up a third of the energy they have to save and use on a daily basis. Maybe that's why I have a love affair with coffee.

If you want to make money in Michigan, grow basil. We were having a "make your own pizza" night at the Abrahams and the store Susan usually shops at didn't have basil. So, off we went to another grocery store. John, Jenny and I waited patiently in the car anxiously waiting the arrival of some fresh basil. None at the second store. After our 5th trip to a grocery store in another state, EUREKA! We found some!!! Ok, it was just the 3rd store, but let me tell was worth it.

Max and I had a nice break from camping and a great visit with the family. Thank you Rob, Susan, Jenny and John!


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