Friday, October 29, 2010

26 - 10-29-2010

Initial Impressions 

26 - October 29, 2010

1.     1.  So they are bringing back one of my favorite cereals of all time, Boo Berry, just for Halloween.  But wait, they dump it in a store, Target, that is like an hour away?  So the question is do I drive that far for cereal?  Hell I did 2 hours for Chick-fil-A, right?
      2.  You ever notice that some of these meatheads at the gym look like someone literally shaved an ape and put clothes on it?  Big forehead, slack jaw, walking with their arms out to the sides like their carrying kegs under their arms, freaks. 
3.       3.  So as Thanksgiving gets closer I saw three turkeys in someone’s yard playing/fighting.  I wondered if it was something where the loser got cooked.
4.       4.  Do you ever feel like you’re being taken for a ride by someone, but they don’t even know they are driving?
5.       5.  A few days ago a pair of old ladies pulled up at work, slammed on the car horn for me, then after I told them what time we opened one of them yelled out ‘Wow!’  Like I had just explained how the universe was made.
6.       6.  After watching it enough I have decided that the character of Pam on The Office reminds me of my friend Lorena.  Those of you who know her, or if you read this yourself, I mean that as a compliment.
7.       7.  So I asked our Brazilian dishwasher Jose today about another guy named Duval who worked with us for seven summers.  He owns a small motel in the town of Conceicao do Mato Dentro.  When I asked him what the name of it was he said ‘Pousada.’  Turns out when I looked it up pousada is the Portuguese word for motel.  Yay, that was helpful thanks Jose.
8.       8.  The reason why in my opinion the Celtics will go further this year than the Miami Heat is the fact that Boston’s Big 3 is all about the team while Miami’s Big 3 have all been selfish players their entire careers and will need to adapt or it will be an epic fail.
9.       9.  It’s Halloween time, right?  It is time to be scared and watch bloody horror movies, right?  I think that if you’re a network for kids, or families, you should not be allowed to show any chopped up versions of horror movies, it is so beyond stupid, you basically never see anyone get killed and the plot is just pointless.  Well, those horror movies that have legit plots that is.
10  10.  Really love how in the NBA you are not allowed to even talk to the refs about bad calls.  Yeah because these refs are gods and never make mistakes, right.  Sorry they suck and are more often than not wrong about calls.  When will refs in any sport be held accountable for their shoddy officiating?  
11    11.  Do you think that Hollywood has officially run out of fresh ideas?  I mean I love the 80’s, my childhood but damn if I am not tired of every single idea from the 80’s being remade.  Hey there are writers out there with original stories, go find them and stop being lazy.

Quote of the Day:  “To suffering there is a limit, to fearing, none.” – Sir Francis Bacon

Memory of the DayZips Shoes at Stride Rite  

Photo of the Day
Marblehead Harbor

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

25 - In My Footsteps Maine Trip - Day 6

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 6 - October 6, 2010

1.  This was my 'go home' day from Maine, as always 5-Hour Energy was the key to getting my mind ready for the 4 plus hour drive.
2.  I forgot to mention from my trip to Lubec yesterday that I went to a gas station that had their prices in Canadian dollars.  It was a bit confusing.  The lady also told me I could pump first then pay which I had not been able to do in years, since gas prices got jacked way up.  I asked for $20 worth, she charged me like $19.10, so I got 90 cents of free gas, don't know how far that got me but hey.
3.  How about this for bookends, it rained on my way up to Maine, so naturally it had to rain on my way home.  I had 4 stops planned, the rain came during the first stop in Freeport.  I got through that one soaked and canned the rest of the stops and headed home.
4.  I did get to go to the Desert of Maine in Freeport which is like someone dumped a beach in the middle of the woods.  Even on a cool, cloudy day it was an awesome sight.  There is a house buried under the sand too, must have sucked to spend your time building it only to have nature come and dump sand on it, yay.
5.  I guess the best way to sum up the Desert of Maine is that there was a farm there but the people did not know how to farm so they ruined the soil which eventually became basically beach sand.  No offense to the descendants of those farmers but they should have looked for another line of work.
6.  Oh yeah and nothing says ‘desert’ like 54 degree temperatures and rain.  However, nothing could stop me from getting my photos of the mama and baby camel statues,even at the risk of soaking my camera.
7.  There are tons of outlet shops on Main Street in Freeport, like a mall only outside.  Too bad that I spent my time running to a couple of historic homes and shooting a photo before running again while getting soaked.  Thanks Mother Nature you really did me a solid there, ass.
8.  I would love to go back when it is nicer, they have L.L. Bean, Nike, Reebok, and other huge companies with shops on the street.  I could see myself losing tons of money shopping there, so maybe it was for the best that it was rainy.
9.  In Freeport they actually had a Chinese food cart along the roadside, normally it is for hot dogs or things like that.  Nope here we have crab rangoons and beef teriyaki at a cart.  Pretty swanky little town huh?
10.  I had to make a stop over in Portland to the Allagash Brewery to pick up some booze drinks for my pal Rob Blake.  His instructions?  ‘Here’s $40, just get the most expensive beer they have.’  My answer, 2 bottles, each $19, they’d better be good.  Oh and I helped myself to an Allagash sticker as compensation for the extra toll I had to pay getting back on the Maine Turnpike.  Turns out the lady did not charge me for it so it was a win-win for me and Rob.
11.  One good thing about the crazy amount of rain is that it sets me up for a future trip to Portsmouth and Rye, New Hampshire since I had to skip both.  Probably a day trip though, just over 2 hours drive for me.  I would have tried to stop even if it was only showers but man it was such crazy downpours I would have needed several changes of clothes for each stop, not happening.
12.  I was surprised by how many people still found it necessary to go insane speeds on the highway as the torrential rain and wind made it impossible to see.  I felt like I was driving a sailboat at times.  No better feeling than nearly being blown off the road and knowing you still have more than 2 hours to go.
13.  Also, be careful when driving alongside an FW Webb 18-wheeler, they decide that it's cool to drift into your lane in the wind and rain as you try to pass.  Hey, FW Webb, you need to hire better drivers, these ones suck.
14.  I can’t believe it costs three dollars to cross the Tobin Bridge, no wonder I choose to set my GPS to the ‘avoid tolls’ option. It would have been cheaper to drive my car through the water, good old 'Tax-achusetts.'
15.  Thought about taking a detour near Boston so I could snag me some Panda Express, but the rain told me don’t stop.  Also there is a place in the Cape Cod Mall with all of the same stuff so the Panda will have to wait for another time.
16.  So that concludes my week in Maine.  The most fun I have had during my travel writing adventure.  Thanks to Steve Davis for allowing me to use his home in Owl's Head, it was amazing and I am so grateful.
Photos of the Day:
Cows at Wolfe's Neck Farm

Panoramic View of the Desert of Maine

Desert of Maine camels as the rain started pouring.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

24 - In My Footsteps Maine Trip - Day 5

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 5 - October 5, 2010

1.  So that turkey sandwich from Hannaford gave me a stomach ache this morning.  Pay for what you get I guess, but I still would not have rather gone to see that tranny at Subway.
2.  My mentioning that I was a travel writer did not help me get any discount on my motel room.  I will still give them a positive write up, but it would have been way sweeter if I had gotten a perk.  Maybe I should have taken that stupid bottle opener/cork screw off of the wall, that would have shown them!
3.  My payback for no perk was to leave a stack of business cards neatly tucked in between a pair of brochures.  No, they were in the open, I'm not gonna hide them, then nobody sees them, come on.
4.  Thought of hitting this local restaurant called the Log Cabin.  Breakfast buffet for $7.99, how can I lose, right?  Then I read all of these online reviews about how crappy it is so I got on the road before eating.  My stomach was growling about 20 minutes later.
5.  Once I got through Ellsworth, just north of Bar Harbor, I realized how wide open Maine’s coast is.  There were more hills than on MTV, and no places to eat.  Had to drive an hour into a town called Machias to find a McDonald’s.  
6.  I had a breakfast platter, three bucks and it had sausage, pancakes, eggs, hash browns, and a biscuit.  That was good eatin’.  It was pretty much the only area during the entire 2 hrs. 10 mins. drive to Lubec that resembled a normal town, the other areas were like stuff out of 1950's calendars.
7.  As a side note, on the way up to Machias I found myself behind a truck of old Texans.  They were so damn slow that I finally whipped past them, legally of course.   Then they caught up with me at McDonald’s and gave me the evil eye.  Nothing like coming out of the bathroom and being face to face with angry old rednecks.  So I flew out of there but met up with them again in Lubec at West Quoddy Head Light.   They stared again but were more interested in putting their Texas flag near the lighthouse for a photo.
8.  The ride out to Lubec was smooth until I ran into about 5 miles of nonstop road work.  There were 3 areas nicely spaced so that once I got up to highway speed there was the damn construction sign.  At one point I had to drive sideways in the dirt to get by, I swore my car was going to flip, at least there was equipment to get it turned back over right there.
9.  Every now and then on my drive up the coast there would be this overpowering stank of fish with the wind.  I thought to myself ‘is this how it always smells up here?’  And if so how the hell can people stand it? 
10.  Seeing West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec was like meeting a rock star for me.  I have been dying to see it since the beginning of the year but a 7 ½ hour drive from the Cape was not happening.  So I did 4 hours to Owl’s Head, 1 hr. 40 mins. to Bar Harbor, and then 2 hrs. 10 mins. to Lubec, that’s much easier!
11.  I did hug the lighthouse when I saw it, that was not a lie.  I was like a kid meeting the Jonas Brothers, screeching and crying.  Well, not that bad but I was happy, felt like I had reached a seemingly impossible goal.
12.  Had a sort of magical moment while shooting the ‘spark plug’ lighthouse near Lubec.  I left my car running and ‘Hey Jude’ was playing, a nice warm sunny day and the sound of The Beatles filling the air, I just stood with my arms open wide and soaked it in.  Wish someone had been filming it, quite inspirational!
13.  That lighthouse is called Lubec Channel Light, just to share correct information.
14.  I then got to see Canada!  From the Maine coast, sorry, no passport.  I was so close to Campobello Island in New Brunswick that I could hear the people across the water with their ‘eh’s’ after every sentence. 
15.  I shot Mulholland Point Light in New Brunswick since it was only about 300 feet away once I got out on the breakwater.  Don’t know why I am so excited that I have a Canadian place in the photo collection.  Oh and I also got to see some seals diving for fish there.  The seagulls were flipping out trying to catch the loose fish guts that floated up to the surface.
16.  Only when I got back to Owl’s Head did I realize how far I had driven.  It ended up being over 400 miles.  That's longer round trip than any trip I had ever taken, besides the New Hampshire one.  The funny thing is that it was just another day at the beach for me which shows me that I can definitely handle the long drives.   
17.  I was ready to pass out but got back in time to find out Randy Moss was going to be traded.  The Patriots are worse in the short term, but an angry Moss would not have done them any good since it's obvious he was being phased out of the offense.
18.  I ended up doing almost 6 hours of driving just today, but it was still worth it to see that barber shop pole-looking lighthouse.  I wanted to steal it and bring it home with me.
19.  Speaking of that, like an idiot I didn't even stop at a gift shop to buy one of those little lighthouses.  So now I have to order one, plus shipping charges, damn it!
Photos of the Day:
West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec

I was so sad to leave it,obviously.

Mulholland Point Light, Campobello Island, New Brunswick

Penobscot Narrows Bridge, old and new, in Bucksport

Lubec Channel Light

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

23 - In My Footsteps Maine - Day 4

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 4 - October 4, 2010

1.  Woke up really sick, headache, stuffed up, plus it was rainy, almost thought about postponing the rest of my trip.  It came down to asking myself if I could deal with being sick, or if I could deal with missing out on so many things in Maine I had been dying to see.  That changed my mind really fast.
2.  It was an hour and a half to get up to Bar Harbor today from Owl's Head, it rained much of the way.  It gave me ample opportunity to make an excuse to turn around but I sucked it up.  Lucky for me the weather and my head cleared up right before I got there around noon.
3.  As it has so many times before, 5-Hour Energy helped me through my driving.  I will keep on name dropping them and asking them until they sponsor me or send me a Cease & Desist order.
4.  Just seeing the signs for Acadia National Park flipped me out, ever since seeing Ansel Adams’ photos of it when I was in high school I have wanted to go there, got my chance today.
5.  The only chain restaurant on the entire Mount Desert Island is Subway.  You want McD’s?  Got to drive 15 miles back off of the island to find one.  Didn't want their food that badly to do so.
6.  Mount Desert Island ended up being much bigger than Google Maps made it seem.  Wanted to check out Bass Harbor Head Light on the other side of the island, it took me 25 minutes.  It was worth it though.  Scaled down into the rocks by the water to get shots of the lighthouse from underneath.
7.  A recurring theme for me on this trip was how many people from out of state and out of country were there wherever I went.  I though driving up from the Cape was far but then out on the rocks at Bass Head Harbor Light was a young Asian couple asking another guy to take their photo with the lighthouse in the background.  The world really is smaller now.
8.  Bar Harbor is very Cape Cod, sort of like a Chatham on steroids where their main street (Cottage Street) is filled with quaint shops but it's much larger.  It was crowded on a Monday in October, but that could have been due to the Norwegian Cruise Ship docked in the harbor.
9.  Oh so I ended up getting Subway and was hit on by a very obvious transvestite with 5 o’clock shadow.  When he/she asked me if I was from around there I said I was from Cape Cod and going back home tonight! 
10.  My motel room had no shampoo in the bathroom but there was a bottle opener/cork screw on the wall. So I could not have clean hair but I could open a beer while brushing my teeth.  Who the hell was the person that came up with that?  A serious alcoholic I'll bet.
11.  Was hoping to see a moose or a bear at Acadia, no such luck though I did have a deer run past the car ahead of me.  I am surprised I didn't swerve off of the road, every time I passed any body of water I was scanning for moose and bears, then yelling at them for not being there.  Damn it moose!
12.  It was really cold 1800 feet up on Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunset.  There must have been 40 people up there to watch as well.  One of the best things I have ever seen was this sunset.  You could see for so many miles, it was worth the 15 years I had waited to visit Acadia.
13.  I was so excited to see that sunset that I didn't even mind the know-it-all jackass that was giving a class on how to be a great photographer behind me.  The funny thing is for all of his yapping I never saw him take a single shot, I mean talk is cheap man, show us, and shut up while you're at it.
14.  The Thunder Hole at Acadia was something unbelievable.  It’s basically a small cove where the water rushes in and rumbles off of the rocks in a thundering noise.  The waves at times come crashing up over the platform where people stand to see it up close.  I shot a video of it because my words won’t do it justice.
15.  I did happen to get a shot just as a wave was hitting a few kids that were standing and waiting on the platform, I was glad I got out of there when I did, plus I could laugh and they wouldn't know.
16.  It was one scary ride coming down Cadillac Mountain after sunset.  A few spots only had a couple of rocks between the road and a nice drop.  I did get to watch that Norwegian Cruise Ship exiting Bar Harbor from way up which was really cool.
17.  Wanted to try this Chinese place in Bar Harbor for dinner but the roads were packed as they had been during the day.  I could not find a spot within a half mile and was not feeling walking all that way.
18.  Went to Hannaford instead rather than try Subway again.  It is very small, like it is straight out of the 60’s.  Wanted some chili, of course there was none left, stuck with a premade sandwich and a piece of cake which was good.  Have eaten so badly over the past few days gonna have to correct that once I am back home.
19.  Got to watch the Patriots whip that Miami Dolphin ass which made my trip even sweeter if that was possible.

Photos of the Day:
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Bar Harbor Inn

People about to get soaked at the Thunder Hole.

Sunset from atop Cadillac Mountain.

Monday, October 11, 2010

22 - In My Footsteps Maine - Day 3

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 3 - October 3, 2010

1.  I was woken up at 7am after being buzzed twice in my ear by another fly.  Thought I had killed them all and was so mad that I smashed him flat, maybe that is the end of the flies tormenting me.
2.  It was 39 degrees this morning in Owl's Head.  It made me realize I am in the middle of Maine, not Florida, not even Cape Cod for that matter.
3.  There was no highway leading into Gardiner so I had to take a very curvy and hilly road, after 30-plus miles I felt like I had ridden a rollercoaster.  There was very little in the way of civilization, houses spread out along the way.  It was a nice ride, as they all were, don't get me wrong.
4.  Gardiner’s main street (Water St.) was deserted when I arrived, then I remembered that it was Sunday and church was in session.  Though it came in handy since I was able to navigate the streets like a ninja with nobody around.
5.  An old lady on Water St. who was just hanging around outside her apartment actually came up to me and said it would be busier if there was something fun to do in Gardiner.  There’s a nice endorsement for your town!
6.  Got to see a mother and father letting their little boy pee next to their car on the street, no restrooms available?  I mean how classy of a family are you?  Then you scoop the kid up and hurry into the store like nobody saw you?    
7.  In Augusta I saw some more intelligent folks at Fort Western.  These trashy people walking around with a pitbull-mix running free.  Oh yeah, that type of dog never hurts anything, right?  Hey, morons put your dog on a leash you idiots, then it won’t get loose and go off attacking other dogs at the place which is exactly what happened. 
8.  Visited the Kennebec Arsenal, a collection of really old granite buildings that were one of the oldest military complexes ever built.  It was really dilapidated and creepy but the creepiest part was the random guy that showed up out of the woods to tell me about its history.  He told me that the buildings must have caught my eye.  Yeah I got out of there pretty fast before I ended up dismembered inside one of those buildings.
9.  Maine’s State House was virtually empty because it was Sunday, made for some amazing photos.  The Capitol Park across the street helped too, an awesome wide open green field.  There was a cute little boy playing on a stone marker who saw me and began yelling to me and trying to follow me while I shot some photos.  His Dad didn't think so, guess random bearded strangers with a hoodie are seen as dangerous now, news to me.
10.  The State House did not have a golden dome like the Massachusetts and New Hampshire ones, it was still really cool though and I got up closer than the others thanks to it being Sunday.  I kind of was expecting security at some point to come ask me why I was shooting all of the photos, but I guess there aren't too many security threats in Maine, right?
11.  Still trying to get 5-Hour Energy to sponsor my trips, even took a photo smiling with their product.  If that doesn’t convince them I might have to just lie and say the already do sponsor me.  Of course until the lawsuits start showing up.
12.  Had some good Chinese from China Garden in Rockland.  My fortune cookie said ‘You will do well to expand your business.’  They must have read my mind, that’s all coming once my trip is over.  

Photos of the Day: 
A Fall scene of Water St., Gardiner
Water Street in Gardiner
Fort Western and the Old City Hall in Augusta
The State House in Augusta seen from Capitol Park.

Friday, October 8, 2010

21 - In My Footsteps Maine Trip - Day 2

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 2 - October 2, 2010

1.  Glad that it was a bright and sunny day, and yes the sun did wake me as I had hoped.
2.  Birch Point State Park is absolutely classic Maine with the pine trees on the rocks.
3.  The best view so far is from Owl’s Head Light, I have never seen a lighthouse at the top of stairs on top of a hill. 
4.  There was a guy in an orange shirt who basically shadowed me at Owl's Head Light, he took every shot I did in the same spot.  He saw my skills.
5.  I saw a DeLorean today too, had to pull off the road to take a shot of it.  I wonder if it was for sale?  I wanted to take it and drive 88 mph and see if I could go back in time.
6.  I love it when I put a location into my GPS and the GPS brings me round in a circle to almost the same spot, one way streets will do that.  I could have just walked.
7.  The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse was awesome, granted it was a mile walk out but I got to go up in the lighthouse.  That is the lighthouse that shines through the window as I am trying to sleep.  Oh yeah and got some awesome shots of the light from a dock, too bad it was rolling from the waves so much that I felt sea sick!
8.  Of course there was a golf course next to the lighthouse, I’ll bet some of those holes have crazy views.  I wonder if after a hospital and maybe police station the towns all decide where a golf course could be built?
9.  Rockland has a great Main Street, one way but that’s all right.  It is even cooler driving through it when it's dark, there was an awesome sign for a diner which had the word E-A-T on different signs and each lit up one at a time.  Don't know why that interested me.
10. They have raspberry Fluff at Hannaford, do they have that anywhere else?  Don’t know why this interests me so much also.(By the way they do have it elsewhere, bought it at Shaw's when I got home to the Cape.)
11. Popped my Walmart cherry, yeah I had actually never been in one until today in Rockland.  I only went to the Dunkin’ Donuts inside though, so I still haven’t bought anything from them yet.
12. Thomaston seems like an average little town except for the fact that they have a “Museum on the Streets.”  It’s like a scavenger hunt trying to find the historic plaques in front of the historic places.  It was so much fun except for running back and forth across the streets and also pulling over quickly which did not please some of the locals.  Hey, what do you expect?
13. Camden Hills State Park is one of the best spots I have seen yet.  I got tons of amazing photos from the top of Mount Battie.  Although it’s only 800 feet high it actually helped because you can still make out homes and other buildings below.
14. There was even a tower much like Scargo Tower up top, I basically saw all of the places I am going this week from that spot, well not all of them, but you get the point.
15.  I stood by and listened to a husband and wife argue as to which direction south was from the top of the mountain.  The husband was right, but I figured it would be better for him if I did not confirm this to his wife.
16.  Camden is every bit a classic ski town.  The only trouble was visiting it on a Saturday meant that the main streets were clogged and it took way too long to drive short distances.  Again it would have been easier to just walk.
17.  I had been driving up and down Bay View Street in Camden trying to find the best view of Curtis Island lighthouse only to discover that it was shielded by trees no matter where I looked.  Even on top of Mount Battie I could only make out the very top of it.  Damn trees!
18.  Finally defeated that damn fly, I know I swatted him at least 3 times, but finally he went down.

Photos of the Day:
Owl's Head Light at the top of the stairs.

Delorean in Owl's Head

Rockland Breakwater Light

The town of Camden from Mount Battie.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

20 - In My Footsteps Maine Trip - Day 1

Initial Impressions Maine

Day 1 - October 1, 2010

1.      1.  Beat most of the heavy tropical rain as I drove 260 miles north to Owl’s Head.  Google Maps said 4 hrs. 40 mins. but I did it in about 4 hrs. which was not to shabby.
2.       2.  Sucked it up and paid the tolls on the way up, the Piscataqua River Bridge which connects New Hampshire and Maine was the best part of the initial drive, since I see a photo of it on My Network TV every night during The Office!
3.       3.  Lot of really nice towns I passed, most I will not see again, a few are on my list.  Not too far after Portland Rt. 1 became just a regular road, just with crazy hills and dips, like a rollercoaster.
4.       4.  The house is amazing, the view is amazing, Rockland Breakwater Light is to be conquered tomorrow.
5.       5.  Did battle with one solitary fly and have been unable to take him down.  Damn thing keeps landing on my stuff to torment me.
6.       6.  My GPS decided it would be funny to tell me my destination was actually 5 houses down from the real place.  It must have looked good as I crept around this guy’s deck thinking it was the house where I was staying.  Damn GPS, it’s like my best friend and arch enemy all at once.
7.       7.  I like adventures, but the adventure of finding the house key that I lost was not fun.  Dropped it in Hannaford and had to go all the way to get it in the lost and found.  It would have been fun spending my first night in Maine sleeping in my car like a bum using newspaper as a blanket.
8.      8.  Went to 2 restaurants to check out, first was called ‘Oh Bento,’ it was closed.  Next was called ‘Chinese Jade,’ also closed, so it ended up being a KFC night.  Don’t know why I’d want to eat at a place named after one of the most foolish people I have ever met, gladly I did not have to find out how it tasted.
9.      9.  Nothing is cooler than sitting on an enclosed porch at night and watching the lighthouse light go round and round, soothing, and then slightly annoying as it kept shining on the walls of the house as I tried to sleep.
10   10. I had fun watching some crazy local tv including a random high school football game.  It literally had no commentators and no scoreboard so I had no idea who the hell was playing and what the score was, useless!
11   11. I am trying to find the video of this used car salesman guy in Bangor who is nuts in his commercials.  The guy screams and dances and looks like Chris Farley but he sells cars.  I laughed every time I saw it and wish I could remember his name.
12   12. Slept on the couch so that the sun would wake me up.  Eventually I had to switch ends so that the lighthouse light would stop shining in my face.

P    Photos of the Day:
The couch where I slept.

The view from the porch.