Friendly Floridians

I think it was inevitable that I would get sick during my travels, but even though you know its bound to happen it still SUCKS.  I had not felt well for about a week, so decide to suck it up and go see a doctor.  We spent 4 hours in the walk-in clinic in St. Augustine….boy, that was fun!  Fortunately, there was a little girl waiting with her mom and grandmother that kept the entire waiting room entertained, otherwise there may have been some violence!  Turns out I have “”Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo”….Yes, it is official….I’m DIZZY!  For the past several years, I thought that I was having ear infections, but according to this doctor, I do not have an ear infection.  So, He does the “Epley Maneuver” to try to fix it, which is basically flinging you backwards with your head tilted to the side to induce an episode of vertigo. It was like being on Mr. Toad’s wild ride without being in a teacup. It was supposed to re-adjust the crystals that were in my ear canal.   So far….nothing.  It’s not that I’m dizzy ALL the time, it’s just that I don’t feel….right and if I looked up or  bend down…or look in a different direction very quickly, then I have horrible vertigo and almost fall down.  It probably looks like I’m drunk.  Maybe I should just get drunk and stay that way until this passes!  I’m hoping this will run it’s course soon, because it’s exhausting.

**Last night, my eye was itching so I rubbed it.  I got up and my mom looked at me and said “Oh, My GOD, what just happened?”  I’m not sure what happened or what bit me but my  eye swelled shut in 3 minutes flat.  Mom had to run to the drug store and get some eye wash and eye drops that were recommended by the pharmacist.  I swear to god, someone has a VooDoo doll with my name on it.**

Despite my vertigo affliction, we have been roaming our new location.   we went to the Jacksonville zoo two days ago.  I have a love/hate relationship with zoo’s, because I still find myself wanting to see the animals.    When you are a kid, seeing exotic animals that you normally only read about or see on TV, was such a big deal.  It was a thrill.  When you are little, you don’t understand what being in a zoo is possibly like for the animal.  I remember going to a “zoo” here in Florida one time and we thought it was funny because there was a chimpanzee going crazy in this tiny round cage.  At no time did we think “Oh how horrible for that poor animal”.  Now as an adult, I still get thrilled with seeing wild animals, but it’s also difficult  to see them in these small enclosures and cages.  Some of the exhibits were pretty large, but most of them were really small and some of them were dismal.  The Bonobo exhibit was really, really crappy.  Most of the zoo left me feeling sad. (There was a turtle humping another turtle…that was pretty funny, but otherwise…it was sad.)

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Today we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, the fort here in St. Augustine.  Another place I visited when I was little, but do not remember the least little bit!

It was interesting but I imagine that when I was little, that all I probably wanted to do was go to the beach.  Actually, I was wishing that I was at the beach this time too!

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One thing that both my mother and I have noticed here in Florida is how friendly people are.  The day we spent in the walk-in clinic, we met a woman who was with her mother and her 3-year-old daughter.  (This was the little girl who entertained the office while we all waited.)  We learned that the young woman was pregnant, when her due date was, that the Grandmother had just moved in with them and she had run out of her medicine, which no doctor seemed to care about.  Her little girl, Jazzilyn, was incredibly friendly and immediately gravitated toward my mom and wanted her to read her a book. Then, last night at dinner we met a woman, her brother and her mother.  Her mother was 90 years old, her brother had a horrible car wreck 20 years ago in which the doctor’s told them that he would never walk again.  Surprising everyone, he was walking.  His wife left him after 5 years and he now lived with her.  It seems that everyone we have met here are VERY interested in sharing their life stories.  Some people might find this annoying, but I actually find it fascinating.  I don’t believe that I have ever been in a doctor’s office back home and someone’s child interacted with strangers the way this little girl did.   And I certainly never went out to dinner back home and had complete strangers tell me their life stories.  I’m sure not everyone in Florida is like this, but so far, we’ve been lucky enough to meet some pretty nice people.  Maybe it’s all of this sun.  Maybe the farther south you go, the friendlier the people get!

Another thing that we have noticed is that everyone we meet in the campgrounds automatically wonder where “the husband” is.  Yesterday, when I was getting some things out from under the camper, a man walked by and said “I noticed you are the one doing all the work around here, where’s your husband?” I told him that I was traveling with my mom and he said “Were did you learn how to do all of this stuff?”  First of all, what the hell?  Is it 1950? Seriously, every couple we have met have asked those types of questions.  Today mom was talking to a couple and they wanted to know, if it was just the two of us, then who was driving the RV?  Like, surely a WOMAN is not driving that thing!  Mom explained that I was driving it and they were both  shocked.  And They are not the first ones we have met that expressed that sentiment either.  I’m not sure I understand what’s going on here.  Surely, I’m not the only female that drives an RV?  I also  know that no one wants to hook up the sewer hose, but how hard is that?  You can read how to do all of this stuff on-line!  That’s where I’ve learned to do most of it. The next thing you know someone will ask me where I learned to read!   Maybe I should start a single, female RVer’s web site for those of us that are apparently….surprisingly competent.

Happy Trails to all the competent females out there!

 

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I thought I’d died and gone to Hilton Head.

Last week, we stayed in Hilton Head Island.  I had never been there and I got the chance to learn the difference between a campground and a motorcoach resort.  OMG!  That place was AWESOME!   Our camp site at the Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort was a completely bricked patio with a deck overlooking a lake, complete with a chiminea and patio furniture.  The resort was beautifully landscaped and had fabulous pool, tennis courts and bike paths to the beach.  We were so spoiled.  We spent the week exploring.  On 10/26 we took a drive to Beaufort South Carolina.  It was named one of the best small towns in America by National Geographic.  It’s a small, quaint town right along a river and it was very pretty and had a lot of big beautiful old southern houses.  We walked along the river and ate lunch and watched the people go by.  On 10/27 we went to Savannah.  Another city that I’ve never been to.  We got in line at Misses Wilkes Boarding House for lunch.  The people start lining up in the mornings and we got there about 10:30 and there were about 25 people already in line.  By the time they open at 11:00, the line was all the way down the street and around the corner.  They only serve until 2:00pm, so I guess if you don’t there early, then you will not get served.  They take about 10 people in at a time and sit them at big tables and serve you family style.  We didn’t have to wait long until we got to go in.  They had an entire table full of food waiting for you….Fried Chicken, green beans, collared greens, creamed corn, baked beans, cole slaw, squash, potatoes, okra, pulled pork, mac and cheese, cabbage, corn bread…etc.  There was a LOT of food and then you got a small dish of banana pudding for dessert.   It was good food, but I don’t know if I would’ve waited in line for hours for it.  Then when you are finished, you have to take your plate and glass to the kitchen.  That was weird, but I guess it’s tradition.

After lunch we took a tour of the Mercer Mansion.  The house from the movie “Midnight in the garden of good and evil”.  The sister of the person the movie was about, now owns the house.  They tour guide didn’t talk about the murder that happened there, just about him being an art dealer and how he was responsible for the restoration of 70 of Savannah’s old mansions.  I imagine they are not allowed to bring that up.   I loved that movie.  You should rent it if you’ve never seen it.  There were pictures of the owner with Kevin Spacey all over the house.

After that we took a tour  of the city.  There are a lot of parks and a lot of big old beautiful mansions here.  It really is a beautiful place, but of course we only see the nice parts.    We went on a ghost tour at night on one of the local trolley’s.  We met a couple from Ohio on the tour.  The husband swore that everywhere he went he got pictures of orb’s and he also said that he saw a ghost in Gettysburg!  His wife just laughed at him and he said that he was surrounded by skeptics at home (head nod in her direction).  He also told us a story about him seeing his dead grandfather when he was little and his wife just rolled her eyes, but I told him that we were going to stick next them him because he seemed to draw ghosts to him.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any ghosts or any orbs at all.  I thought is was a fun tour, but I start giggling and people get really pissed when they think you are making fun of the ghost hunting thing.   I took this picture of mom and started cracking up and had to work really hard to make myself stop laughing….look at this….is that NOT funny?DSCN0390

She was pointing at the couch because the tour guide said a ghost was always seen sitting on that couch.  I said “point to the couch where the ghost sits”….

The last couple of days there spent enjoying the beaches and sights of Hilton Head Island, doing some camper maintenance and getting a much-needed haircut.  There is one end of the island that you have to pay $6.00 to just drive thru, which is ridiculous.  I think they just want to make sure that the riff raff that cannot afford $6.00, stay out.  Fortunately, there are other beaches on the Island and BOY do they know how to make beach going swanky!  The walkways to the beach have: restrooms, little individual changing rooms, covered decks with Adirondack chairs and swings, an area right off the beach with foot sprayers to wash the sand off your feet and even a long walkway that is made out of this mesh like stuff so that you can almost go all the way out to the water without getting sand in your shoes!  OMG!  Why have I never been here?    Probably because I am not rich.. Oh….yeah, damn it.  Oh well.  I guess my future will only contain beaches with none of these things and I’ll have to wash my sandy feet off with a common garden hose.   Boo Hoo.

We made our way to St. Augustine today.  It was not a long drive but the wind was so bad that I had trouble keeping the RV on the road.   There were wind advisories all the way down here and I was glad when we finally made it here, not to mention that I’ve had a bad case of vertigo for the last couple of days which makes driving interesting all on it’s own.   Our campground certainly isn’t the Hilton Head Motorcoach resort, but I like it all the same.  I actually like the sandy camp site because it lets you know that you are in Florida.  Finally!  We made it our goal to be in Florida by November 1st and here we are.  Unfortunately, it was pretty cold today….54 degrees.  We saw people wearing big winter coats and hats!  You can certainly tell the people who live down here from the ones that come from cooler climates because they all have shorts on.  We will be here for a week before heading on.  St. Augustine is another place that I came to as a child, but remember very little of.Photo(4)

I think I must be 3 or 4 in this picture. That’s me in the yellow and green swim suit with the giraffe on it.

 

We have been on the road for 1 month now and I’m always excited to see what’s next.  We have met some pretty interesting people, that all seem to have the same wonder lust that we do.  Some of them have been able to make their dream of traveling come true, while others are still in the planning stages.  I have yet to meet anyone on the road that has a negative reaction to our traveling plans.  Everyone one we talk to is very encouraging and supportive. It’s nice to have people encourage your crazy dream and tell you that you are NOT crazy.

To recap, we have been to:  Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire , Massachusetts,  Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, D.C., Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.   I may have forgotten some, but that’s the states that I can remember at the moment.

Not only is this a once in a life time trip, but I will also be turning 50 this month.  It’s the perfect set up for a little reflection, don’t you think?  It’s difficult to believe that all of the things that have happened to me this year have been a series of coincidences. Some seem to think that it is a little divine intervention. The big guy up there cutting me some slack maybe.    I’m not sure I know which one it is, but it is hard to wrap my mind around all of the things that have had to fall into place in order to put me here, in this place, at this moment.  I mean…think about it.  What are the odds that I would get laid off, sell my house to the previous owners son (that lives in Zürich, Switzerland), have no attachments, find the perfect RV AND be going thru a major midlife crisis all at the perfect times?  Either someone is looking out for me or I’m just lucky.  And I have to tell you, I AM NOT, nor have I ever been, lucky (except for that one time when I was 13 and won a room full of carpet).  After the previous year that I’ve had, I was beginning to truly think the opposite, that someone hated me and put a hex on me.  I had this black cloud following me around….a BIG BLACK CLOUD!  I’ve always been a ‘half glass full” kind of person, but last year…my glass was pretty dry….Sahara dry.   So,  What do you think?  Divine Intervention?  Luck? Did the Hex just wear off? Are we solely responsible for making our life suck or not suck?  So, many questions….I think I’ll leave those for another day.   Good night all.  And as always, Happy Trails.FSCN0328 DSCN0352 DSCN0335 DSCN0329 DSCN0324 DSCN0312 DSCN0375 DSCN0429

D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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10/20:  Took the train into D.C. yesterday.  There is so much to do there, but we didn’t have time to do everything that I wanted to.  We went to the Holocaust Museum first and it was difficult to see.  There were several people who brought their small children to see it and I’m not sure that it is something that I would want my kids to see at such a young age.  I think that it would be difficult to explain.  There are a lot of very graphic photos and video’s all over.  While some of the most graphic are somewhat hidden behind half walls so they can’t see them, I think the ones that are visible are bad enough.  I was okay until I got to the special section called “Daniel’s Story”.  It’s the story from a child’s diary, telling about what life was like before and after Hitler took over and how he survived being in a concentration camp.  His sister and mother did not survive.

We went to the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum for the sole purpose of seeing the Hope Diamond.  It is one of the few things that I remembered seeing when we came here on a family vacation when I was little.  Unfortunately, that part of the museum was closed.  I was so disappointed because I wanted to see if it was anything like I remembered. Here’s is a picture from that trip:Photo(5)

I was also a little sad because the museum was a little run-down.  They really need to do some refurbishing or at least paint the walls!  We went to one of the IMAX shows playing and it was pretty cool.

The people there were so nice.  A policeman helped us get the correct train tickets and even took us over to the machine and made sure we got what we needed.  Then a security guard in the Smithsonian actually walked with us outside and made sure we knew which way to go in order to get to the Ford’s Theatre.  It was unexpected but a pleasant surprise and  made up for the rude people of Massachusetts.  We walked around and went to the International Spy Museum and were going to go to Madam Trousseau’s, but they were closed.  I was shocked that a lot of the attractions closed at 6:00pm!  We really didn’t get to do any of the things that we had hoped to do while here, like going to the White House…but, maybe next time.

10/21: Made the uneventful drive to Williamsburg.  Realized that KOA campgrounds are the best places to stay.  Out of all the campgrounds we have stayed in so far, the KOA’s are the cleanest and nicest.  This one is no exception.  The site has a brick patio and a swing!  They have “ambassadors” that actually take you to your campsite instead of just handing you a map and letting you go find it.  This is such a nice touch.  They really do make you a Happy Camper.

10/22: Rained all day here.  So, we went to the Williamsburg Outlet stores.  I really need to stay away from there!  They had the best stores!  Not the usual “outlet” crap you usually find at outlet stores.  They had actual items that would be sold in the NON-outlet store.  It was a good day to stay inside though and watch something on Netflix.

10/23: We went to Colonial Williamsburg today.  I remember nothing of this place from our visit during my childhood.  It was interesting but not some place that I would actually go out of my way to visit again.  We had a short tour of one of the “taverns” and learned what it was like back in the 1700’s.  Supposedly George Washington visited the one we were in.    Really didn’t think much of it, so we came back to the campground and did laundry.  It was about 68 degrees and sunny today, much better than yesterday, but I’m ready to move further south and enjoy some really warm weather.  Tomorrow we will head to North Carolina and stay in Fayetteville one night on our way to Hilton Head.  I am SO looking forward to sticking my toes in some sand.

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Take a ride on the White Knuckle Turnpike

DSCN0235 (2)10/14: we drove to Rochester Massachusetts, via the highway 1 from hell. We should’ve taken 95 south around Boston, but of course where did we end up? I’ll give you one guess…………Yes, we did. I had read a lot about driving motorhomes on freeways and there is a lot of advice out there on the internet so you can plan your route carefully. A LOT of advice. I had read that there were some places that you were not allowed to drive vehicles with propane and all about places with low clearance bridges and tunnels. SO, in all of my infinite wisdom from the internet…when I saw a sign that said “no propane”, I thought that meant me!  I freaked out and exited off of I-95 and ended up on highway 1 going thru Boston! WHOLLY $%%#% !!!!!!!.  This took me down  tiny, bumpy, pot-holed streets where it was VERY apparent that I should not be going in a 34 foot motorhome with a car attached. To add to the sheer fun that I was having already,  the nice people of Boston, clearly did not want to be bothered by some Hillbilly from Indiana driving an RV in their finely potholed streets and were very nice to let me know it. So, I just said “@($*#( it” and got back on I-95…. I went thru tunnels, over bridges, around corners that should only be on racetracks and no one stopped me and I didn’t get thrown in jail…might have had more fun in jail.  To make things even more pleasant. I stopped at a toll booth, I think it was toll booth number 45, and when I pulled forward, I heard a horrible scraping sound. At first I thought, “What the hell?, I’m scraping the top of the toll booth?” But, turns out,  it was my car dolly. Apparently, along the way, the pin came out of my dolly and the ramp had come down. Luckily for me, I found a turn-off  and then stopped in the middle of the road and put my blinkers on. At this point, I was like “just give me a frigin ticket”, I’m not driving around scraping this thing until I find a parking lot big enough to turn around in.   I had to pull toolboxes and bins out from under the camper to find something to pin the ramp back up. Again, luckily, I had put a large bolt from something else in one of the bins. So, we put that on and away we went. Just an FYI, if you have a Mastertow tow dolly, make sure to get an extra pin because NO ONE sells a pin that is long enough to go thru it.  I ended up going to a Lowe’s and getting a really big bolt and a couple of nuts.   So, far….works like a charm.

So, we made it to our campground in Rochester, Mass, without any accidents. Knock on wood. The campground was in the middle of nowhere, sort of. It seems like it’s nowhere, but it’s close to Plymouth, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, etc… So, it’s a great place to stay for exploring the area. But, it is in a thickly wooded area with unpaved roads and no lights in the campground. When you come back at night, it’s really hard to tell where the actual road is.  Once we got set up, we decided to take a drive around. One of the other campers stopped us and asked if we had power. We did, but apparently theirs had just gone out. We left the campground and about a 1/2 mile up the road someone had hit a power pole and knocked all the power out in the campground. When we got back to the campground the power was still out and we didn’t really want to use the generator and of course our flash light died about 10 minutes after we turned it on, so we just went to bed. I was exhausted from that white-knuckle drive anyway.

10/15:  We went to Martha’s Vineyard. Another first for me. You drive to a place called Woods Hole and catch a ferry over to the Island. Had I known you could take your car, I probably would’ve done that. I guess it costs about $80, but you really do need a car. The island is a lot bigger than I imagined, so we went ahead and rented a jeep when we got there. (The ferry goes at a snail’s pace and it takes about 45 minutes to get there). There were a lot of bicycle rentals near the ferry terminal, but I cannot imagine riding all around the island. It’s not a flat, straight road and the towns are pretty far away from one another. We stopped in several small towns and went to the Gay Head lighthouse. We ate lunch in Edgartown, which was beautiful, with all of their huge island cottages. We also went to this tiny village where they filmed the movie “Jaws”. It was teeny, tiny and not much there, but it was kind of cool to see it. It was a warm, sunny day so it was the perfect time to visit. There were hardly any tourists and I think that during the summer it would be just too crowded and crazy.

Just a side note before I forget: I would like to give a great big middle finger salute….no, make that a two, middle fingers, salute to the fine folks in Massachusetts. So far it’s very apparent that they do not like tourists and especially ones that drive here. I’m a pretty competent driver and these people tailgate you and blow their horns with pure abandon. So….as my friend Patsy would say “duels”. (as in double middle fingers), to you! Thanks for the warm welcome.

10/17: We drove out to Provincetown, Mass. today. It was a really long drive and is at the very tip/end of Cape Cod. The drive is on a two lane road with a mostly 45 mile per hour speed limit…hence the long time it takes to get there. It was nothing like I expected and is a lot of wooded area’s until you get all the way to Provincetown. We spent the day walking around, having lunch and then driving around the area. It was cute. But there is one narrow sidewalk and I cannot even imagine what it is like during the summer months. We spoke to a woman who ran one of the lobster roll stands and she said that they are all closing up next Sunday. So, we hit it just at season’s end.  I’m really glad that I saw it, but I can’t say that I would ever be interested in going back. It reminded me of Nashville, but close to water. I think it’s good that I’m getting to see all the places that I had imagined would be somewhere that I would want to live, but now that I see it…not so much. Of the places that I’ve been so far, I like Bar Harbor the best. But, I would still not want to live there in the winter. I also think that really none of the towns that we have been to hold a candle to Mackinac Island. Maybe it is because they don’t allow cars on that island, I don’t know. I have always loved that place and is somewhere that I enjoy going back to.

It rained all day on 10/16 and the campground  had a lot of big mud holes in the road and  when we came back to the campground that night, it was pretty creepy, trying to find our way around the washed out road and to our campsite. Luckily, we ran into a guy in a golf cart, sucking on a popsicle and he helped us find our way! Seems like it was a pretty good popsicle too, because he sure was enjoying it.  I think I may dedicate an article to all the food and places we have eaten.  I’m sure everyone on Facebook thinks that is all we do, because I post pictures of food all the time, but we have had some really good food so far and I like to take pictures of it.

10/19:  The last two days have been long drives.  Last night we stayed at a campground in the Catskills.  The drive was beautiful.  But, no….I did not see any dirty dancing.    And today we made our way to Maryland.  We will be here a couple of days so we can take the train into D.C.  It was another hair-raising drive today, going thru tunnels and the roads were horrible.  We went thru enough tolls that you would think they could fix the roads.  We paid over $75 in tolls today.  Too bad I didn’t get an EZ Pass before I left home. I’m glad to be stopping for a couple of days so we can enjoy D.C.

Oh….the cord that powers the brakes to my tow dolly came out on the highway yesterday and sheared off part of the plug!  Luckily, I have a roll of electrical tape with me and there was enough of the prongs left to make a connection!  So we went to Lowe’s again and I’ll splice on a new one when we get to Williamsburg.   I’m glad I packed a lot of tools! DSCN0146 DSCN0148 DSCN0155 DSCN0165 DSCN0179DSCN0205 DSCN0213 DSCN0219

Penobscot Observatory and Amiee’s words of wisdom.

We went to the Penobscot Observatory and Fort Knox yesterday.  Who knew that we have 2 Fort Knox’s?  I didn’t.  When we were driving around the other day, we just happened upon the Penobscot narrows bridge and observatory.  So we went back yesterday so we could go up in the tower.  Neither of us had ever heard of it before.  Have you?  It is the ONLY bridge observatory in the United States and one of only 4 in the world.  This bridge cost $85 million dollars to build and 420 feet tall, plus has the fastest elevator in 3 states.  You can find information on it at http://www.fortknox.mainguide.com.  It is truly amazing what you can discover when you go wandering.  I think that instead of sitting in a classroom, maybe we should require kids to travel.  What do you think?  I don’t think reading a book gives you the same experience as actually seeing the places where history takes place.  That was your history lesson for today!  Again…you’re welcome.

I discovered a few things yesterday… Number 1:  I don’t really like lobster.  Or maybe I should say that I don’t really like the WHOLE lobster.  I actually find it disgusting to rip that sucker in half (reminiscent of that Seinfeld episode, with his date with “man hands) and have all of that green stuff ooze out.  Bleck.  The first one, I ripped the tail off and quickly hid the rest of it under a napkin.  But, you still get a glimpse of the “tamale”.  Ick, Ick, Ick.  No I don’t care if it’s a delicacy.  You can have mine, okay? I will mail it to you!  The second whole lobster, I ripped the tail off and then thought I would see what was inside the body.  BIG MISTAKE, even if you have a stomach of steel, I’m not sure how in the world you could find that appetizing.  Someone explain what goes on in your mind when you think…..Oh, that looks SO good, I think I’ll eat it!  Bleck, Bleck, Bleck.   So, I don’t think I will be eating anymore whole lobsters.  I will stick with the lobster bisque, lobster claws, lobster dip…etc..but, you can keep the whole ones.   Actually, if I have a choice, I will always choose king crab legs.  I have NEVER seen green nasty, gunk come out of them.

#2:  The lighting inside your camper is the equivalent of the lighting in a cave.  When you apply your makeup in your camper, what you see in the mirror is similar to being in a Doris Day movie…with that “fuzzy” soft lighting.  Once you step outside however, you look like a clown/hooker….no wait, you look like someone who just got a make over by that elephant that “supposedly” can paint.    So, here’s a tip: Go outside to put your make up on or get one of those large lighted, magnified mirror’s.  Although I have one of those, I haven’t been using it and looked in it today.  OMG!   It was not pretty.

#3:  You will have to go to a hotel for the night in order to shave your legs.  Even with my experience with the so-called shower’s overseas, which I refer to as “Houdini boxes” (because you have to be a magician to wash or shave in one), the shower’s in your camper or at the campgrounds are NOT made for any kind of hair removal processes with that wispy thin shower curtain clinging to your legs.   Also, If you drop anything…you will not be able to retrieve it, so only take disposable things with you.  Not that you would want to pick up anything once your dropped it in there anyway.

Today we left Bar Harbor and made our way to Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  We will be here for 2 days before making our way to Rochester Massachusetts.  We are finally in a campground that has great WiFi!   Yippee.  AND they have great cable TV….Hey, after days filled with sight-seeing and exploring, having TV is extremely nice when you come back to the camper and are just really exhausted.  I’ve never been so thankful for Funniest Home Video’s before.

Of course, that is not the only thing that I am thankful for.  I wake up every day and think “how lucky am I?”.

This extraordinary life. Clown makeup and all.

**Jenny, I hope you don’t mind that I mention you in my post, but I find you to be the most inspiring, brave, unbelievably positive person that I know. You are one of a kind and I hope that the future holds one hell of an extraordinary adventure.**  Happy Trails.DSCN0061 DSCN0062 DSCN0068DSCN0071 DSCN0089DSCN0100 DSCN0106 DSCN0110

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

DSCN0025 DSCN0026 DSCN0028 (2)DSCN0033 DSCN0052 DSCN0054DSCN0047Mom and I did some more exploring today.  We went to Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor.  Driving the winding roads, you see something new with every turn.  We found ourselves saying “wholly crap, look at that!” all day!  Every single time you come around a corner here, there is something that takes your breath away and you have no choice but to stop and snap a picture of it.  We spent the day driving, pulling over, getting out and taking a few pictures, then driving some more.   When we missed something, we would just turn around and go back.  I’m sure the permanent residents of Maine get pretty sick of out-of-towners driving like little old ladies out for a Sunday drive.  Luckily, the small villages all have REALLY low speed limits and everyone has to slow down behind you too.  Plus, the great state of Maine provides plenty of pull-offs, so you don’t end up getting ran over because you are compelled to jump out of your car because that view is AWESOME.

We have been really lucky with the weather, but unlucky in the WiFi department.  This campground is great, but their WiFi stinks and apparently you are not supposed to upload video or pictures because it takes up too much bandwidth!??? WHAT?  So, basically they keep shutting me down because I’m not following the rules.  But, hey, what is a blog about my trip if you can’t see the pictures?  So, I don’t know who “they” are, but I keep trying anyway.  I did manage to get a few of the pictures from today uploaded to my Facebook before they turned my connection off, but I haven’t been able to add pictures to my blog yet.  So, stay tuned!  I may have to go to the local McDonald’s, that has SMOKIN fast WiFi, and do it there.

Tomorrow will be our last day here in Bar Harbor.  I will miss it here and I can understand why people come here and why they would choose to live here.  There is no other place like it and I can just imagine waking up everyday in such a beautiful place.  I cannot imagine anyone would get sick of it, but then I’ve never had to experience a winter here.  The “locals” that I’ve talked to say that the winters are no trouble for them because the road crews are pretty great.  The state probably has a pretty big budget for snow removal…unlike Indiana that has to share a teaspoon of sand and one snow plow.

Bonus for today….we have TV!   Yes, TV!  So Happy right now!  Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Happy Trails.

Pop on over to Acadia and driving the scenic route 1.

imageWe went to Acadia on 10/7.  It was another sunny beautiful day.  I had never been to Acadia and it did not disappoint.  We didn’t get to hike though.  Dad is still recovering from another knee surgery, so we took the Park Loop Road around the park.  It is a scenic 27 mile loop, but it took us about 4 hours to complete it.  We stopped at all of the scenic overlooks, Thunder Hole, Cadillac Mountain, Sandy Beach and the not to be missed Jordan Pond Lodge that is famous for their popovers.  I’m not a big fan of popovers, but they certainly know their stuff and served them piping hot with butter and homemade strawberry jam.  Of course the day was not complete without my obligatory lobster.  So, I had my first lobster roll.  I have to be honest and tell you that I am getting sick of lobster!  OMG!  I never thought that I would say that, but it’s true.

The park is a stunner.  The trees are at their peak right now and every time you stop, it takes your breath away.  I was sadly reminded again that I had left my camera at home.  My phone and iPad take okay pictures but I’m sure they are not as good as if I had had my camera.  I’m sure that no picture would do it justice though.  We intend to go back in a couple of days and take the carriage ride thru the park that goes over the 7 stone bridges that apparently were built by Rockefeller.  Driving up to Cadillac Mountain is not for the faint of heart.  You drive on, what looks to be, right on the edge.  Several times, I just had to look away from the side and concentrate on the road because it made my stomach flutter.  I’m by no means a wimp either, but it was pretty scary.  Mom kept saying “Don’t LOOK!”.  I tried not to but I wanted to see the view.  At one of the over-looks we also saw a boat sink.  There was no one on board and there was a coastguard ship circling it as it sank.  There were a lot of people that had stopped along the road to watch.  No one was sure why the coastguard didn’t do anything.  But, I doubt they could’ve saved it.

Yesterday was the first crappy day we’ve had.  It rained all morning and dad decided to go home.  He is still having trouble with his knee and needs to go home and recuperate some more.  Unfortunately, the flight that we booked him on, out of Bangor, was cancelled.  The gate agent said that it had to do with the fire that was set in the airport in Chicago.  I believe that was done a couple of weeks ago and we were not sure what that had to do with anything.  She wanted to book him on an early morning flight this morning, but it would’ve taken him 12 hours to get home and they didn’t have another available flight out of Bangor until next week.  She gave me an 800 number to call and I was on the phone in the airport for 2 hours talking to someone from India, trying to get another flight.  We ended up getting a flight out of Portland this morning and he got into Indianapolis today at 11:14am.  So, dad is home now, but we will see him Christmas or maybe earlier if he feels better and wants to fly somewhere and meet us.

Since we had to be in Portland so early, we drove down last night and spent the night.  After dropping dad off at the airport, mom and I took highway 1 back up the coast.  We stopped in all the small towns along the coast: Bath, Booth Bay, Falmouth, Camden, etc… and we found a Walmart along the way so that we could get a camera!  It took us 12 hours!!!!    But we did stop for lunch and dinner, so I don’t think it counts as driving for that long.  I still think that I like Bar Harbor the best though.  It is the most picturesque.  Booth Bay is now kind of cheesy and over- run with cheap, crappy t-shirt stores.  And not good t-shirts either.  Mothball smelling t-shirts.  You know the kind I’m talking about.

So, We are back now and I’m exhausted.  I hope my dad gets feeling better soon.  We met a couple from Michigan and a couple for Minnesota that are one their own travels and they are now headed to Niagara Falls, so they are sort of doing the reverse of what we just did.  I wish them happy and safe travels!

Good night.  Happy Trails.WP_20141007_001 WP_20141007_004 WP_20141007_007image