Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hello all,

Sorry for the delay on keeping you posted in real-time about out trip to Jessica and Adam's wedding in Vermont.  Of course that event has already occurred (July 2nd) and we are now onto other things, but in any event here is a rundown on the entire trip.

As we had never been to Nova Scotia before we decided to head on up that way before the big day.

If you want to see a snapshot of our various stops that we made on this trip see the Overall Trip link on the right side of this blog.

We departed Cambridge, MD on June 23rd and proceeded north.  On the way we took a new route around New York City using the Tappan Zee Bridge instead of using the George Washington Bridge. Much much easier.  We then used the Palisade's Highway and along the way north which provides very scenic views of the Hudson River we stopped and had a picnic lunch at one of the overlooks. Impressive to see New York City from this vantage point, especially since a cold front had come through and there was virtually no haze.  You could also see hordes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

Our first stop over was New Haven, Connecticut.  There we dined at Adriana's, the oldest Italian restaurants in the city, and had their Osso Bucca pork.  Fabulous!  Their portions were huge so we had leftovers for two (2) meals afterwards.

The next day we traveled a shorter distance to Moody Wells, Maine to spent a couple of days with an old colleague and friend of Gerry's at her beach front home there.  You expect Maine to be rocky, but this area was a complete surprise to us in the sense that the beach is completely flat much like Hilton Head, SC or Cape May, NJ.  Along the way we stopped off in Kennebunkport, Maine for a quick glimpse.  George H.W. and Barbara weren’t there.

It was good to see our old friend in Moody Wells and reminisce and talk of all the things that have occurred since our last get together probably 15 years ago.  A lot happens in that time frame and so there was never a quiet moment.  We had two lovely days there with lots of excellent seafood.  Gerry indulged with her first lobster of the trip.  This one had to be the best ever that we have seen.  It was a hard shell and contained a tremendous amount of meat.  Just watching her open it was entertaining for everyone.  The wait-staff couldn't believe the amount of meat that she was able to retrieve.  We were sad to leave two (2) days later and continue on our journey.

On Saturday, June 26th we departed to proceed to Canada, but on the way we visited Lubec, Maine to see the West Quoddy Head Light House which is the eastern most part of the continental United States (the first place the sun rises).  We can now boast that we have seen three (3) of the four (4) corners of the continental United States: Lubec, Maine; Key West, Florida; and San Diego, California.  Also, we went over into Canada to see Roosevelt Campobello International Park where Franklin D. Roosevelt's summer home is located.  A quaint large structure where the Roosevelts spent many years with family and friends.  It is preserved with all the original furnishings just as it was in their lifetime.  Gerry's Mom would enjoy seeing this as she admires Franklin Roosevelt, and especially Eleanor Roosevelt tremendously.  Afterwards we then proceeded onto our destination for that day which was St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.

The next morning, as our ferry boat to Nova Scotia did not leave until 2:15 pm, we walked all around St. John.  It is very metropolitan rather large city with a nice mix of new and old structures comprising their waterfront setting.  We visited a craft show and farmer's market held in one of the town greens that are in St. John.  There we had nice and informative discussions with some of the vendors about Nova Scotia, their craft work and livelihoods from water man, to artists, to gardeners. All were very friendly and outgoing.  Refreshing.

After lunch we boarded our ferry and settled in for the two (2)+ hour voyage to Digby, Nova Scotia. This was a large ferry that can handle tractor trailers, tour buses, RV's, and cars in large numbers. The upper decks included indoor and outdoor lounges.  Half of the lower deck lounge looked like the inside of a large passenger jet.  We arrived at 4:30 pm and went to the Digby Restaurant for an early supper of the famous Digby scallops.  Again, plenty of leftovers for follow-on meals along the way. Afterwards we proceeded to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to our hotel.  As it was still daylight we walked around Yarmouth which is also on the water and got to see the Bay Ferry Lines large catamaran ferry boat.  It can hold 900 vehicles and travels 40 - 45 miles per hour.  It goes from Portsmouth, Maine to Yarmouth in six (6) hours.  The next morning we also got to see it depart.  Fascinating.  The Bay of Fundy tides are also impressive.

Later we drove the short distance to Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, another famous Nova Scotia waterfront settlement.  There we stayed in our first B&B of the trip, the Mariner King.  Good friends recommended this inn to us and even which room to stay in and we were fortunate to achieve both.  Lovely town and again lovely people.  We enjoyed our lobster lunch that was included at the Rim restaurant down the street.  While in Lunenberg we got to see the Blue Nose II arrive back to its home berth from Halifax.  This is a replica of a sailing fishing vessel originally built in the 1930's.  It is schooner 133 feet long with a crew of 22 before they take on guests.  Impressive boat to see in action. This version has everything either electrically or hydraulically powered.  Can only imagine what it was like to sail the 1933 version.  Later that evening we enjoyed wine and all the leftover food items that we had accumulated from the New Haven Italian restaurant and the Digby Restaurant while sitting out on the adjoining rooftop balcony to our room at the Mariner King B&B.  Nice.

The next morning at breakfast we met a number of bicyclists from the U.S. who were touring Nova Scotia that way.  Their days were broken up into about 50 mile segments by their touring company which also furnished the bikes used.  They were about our age and were all decked out in their bike gear ready to go for the day.  Driving a car is also nice.

We would have liked to have spent more time in Nova Scotia exploring other small villages and towns but as this was now Tuesday, June 28th and we planned on being in Vermont for the pre-wedding activities associated with Jessica and Adam's big day we again sadly departed for the next steps of our adventure through Canada.  Onto Frederickton, New Brunswick on the St. Johns River to the Abbey Glen Riverfront Bed and Breakfast run by Clarine Craig.  A delightfully wonderful hostess with whom we chatted and chatted.  This was our second B&B this trip and we highly recommend you stay there if ever in this area.  Having arrived while still daylight, and after checking in with Clarine, we walked along the riverfront park to the downtown area and enjoyed a nice dinner and then an outdoor concert before walking back to Abbey Glen.  This Clarine is only the second Clarine that we know.  The other is Gerry’s sister.
Next morning after another large scrumptious Canadian breakfast (they always were really generous) we departed for entry back into the U.S. and our next planned stopover at Skowhegan, Maine.  Again, after arrival and while still daylight, we walked into the downtown area and enjoyed an early dinner at one of their riverfront restaurants (gotta get those 10,000 steps in).  Discovered along the way an old bank that has been converted into a bakery that we re-visited the next day for their breakfast sandwiches.  It's called the Bankery. Great food!

Then on Thursday, June 30th we headed on over to Morrisville, Vermont.  Lovely countryside driving as we had been doing just about this whole trip.  Lots of trees but no moose as the road signs kept
warning us about.  After checking into the Maplewood Bed & Breakfast (our 3rd of the trip and we highly recommend this one as well). we drove around the area to check things out and determine where we would meet up with those participating in Jessica and Adam’s first day of wedding events – the climb up Mt. Elmore!!!.  Later that evening we visited with Dave and Vonda (Larry’s brother), the parents of the bride, and had dinner with them and their daughters Jessica, Sara and Rebecca and Dan (Rebecca’s special friend).

Friday morning, July 1st after breakfast we checked out of the Maplewood Inn and went over to Lake Elmore to meet up with those who were going to participate in the ascent up Mt. Elmore.  This is about a 2600 ft. climb that took us all about 2 ½ hours to achieve.  We all made it.  Gerry and I were the senior citizens and the youngsters did cut us some slack and really were patient with us to navigate all the vertical parts of the climb.  They only beat us to the top by ten (10) minutes so we all felt pretty good about that.  The decent down by a longer less inclined route took us two (2) hours.  Afterwards we all met at the Elmore General Store for pizza and beer.  Thank you Adam and Jessica.

That night we all convened at the Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont for their wedding rehearsal dinner with their invited family members, friends and guests.  Our daughter Shana, her husband Josh, and their son Sabin drove in from Kansas to attend the wedding, so it was enjoyable to spend some quality time both during the wedding events and aside over the next few days while they were there in Vermont.  Interacting with Sabin even though it was only 1 ½ months that we previously had seen him, boy had he changed in only that short time-span.  Beginning to talk in short sentences of a few words.  Impressive for not yet 2 years old.

As the wedding was not until 5:00 on Saturday Shana, Josh, Sabin, Gerry and I spent the day touring Stowe and visiting one of the local waterfalls that was recommended we see.  Nice.

Later in the afternoon we all met up at the bridegroom’s parents home, the site of the wedding.  Lovely country setting on which a large tent was erected for the reception. The wedding occurred right on-time at 5:00 pm.  Weather was great albeit slightly colder than everyone was anticipating for July 2nd (67 degrees).  Fortunately the groom’s family had plenty of shawls and blankets for everyone to use if desired.  A beautiful outdoor chapel setting had been created by Adam for his and Jessica’s vows.  He had even milled the large planks that we all sat on for the ceremony.  No small feat to accomodate the 50 or 60 people attending.

Afterwards and the traditional picture taking session that followed, we all sat down for their wedding reception dinner.  Very tasty.

Later that evening around 9:00 pm the first of many July 4th fireworks displays that we would witness on this trip were set off by some of the grooms-men.  Pretty impressive for a private showing.

I don’t know where they got them, but just as nice as those you see at any regular July 4th fireworks display in America.  Sabin was a little disturbed with them as he had never seen or heard fireworks before.  Afterwards we all sat around a huge campfire that Adam had lit for everyone to sit and talk around.

Then back to the hotel for a second night of rest after the big climb.

Sunday morning the groom’s family invited us all to a brunch for further interaction with the families.  Afterwards, we all went across the road to a neighbor’s house to either zip-line, or watch zip-liners zip down and plunge into the lake that the zip-line was stretched across.  It would have been nice to try, but as my younger brother said: his 21 year old mind said it was okay, but his 61 year old body said don’t do it.  He didn’t.  I didn’t either.  Our wives agreed.

Later we went back to Lake Elmore State Park and helped Shana, Josh and Sabin set up their campsite where they would stay for the next two (2) nights of their stay in Vermont. Then we had a camp-fire dinner with them that Shana and Gerry whipped up.  Reminded me of my Boy Scout days and how good an outdoor meal is after a long day.  Relaxing and delicious.

Monday, July 4th Shana, Josh, Sabin, Gerry and I went to another waterfall which was not as difficult to get to as the one the day before.  Even so, it was much more impressive to see.  It fell from a pretty good height and over eons of time has eroded the rocks nicely.  Sabin liked playing in the creek below.

Then we drove into Stowe for their annual July 4th parade that had a huge number of participants.  This parade in its fourth year rivaled any we have seen in recent years for such a small town as Stowe.  Sabin achieved another milestone by seeing his second parade with us.  His first was last fall at the Nashville, Indiana Christmas Parade.  I think this one was more enjoyable for him in that the weather was nice and warm this day, and mostly all the participants in this parade were throwing candy to all the crowd lining the street.  He liked that.

Then we went to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory located close by.  Yummy.  Great way to end our afternoon in the wilderness. 

Later, we had dinner at the Pie Casso pizza restaurant in Stowe.  Interesting pizzas. Good.

Then we all travelled back to Shana, Josh and Sabin’s campsite and walked around the Lake Elmore beach and later toasted marsh mellows and had Some Mores.  Finger licking good.

As it was getting dark we said our goodbyes to Shana, Josh and Sabin so they could settle in for the evening.  We all didn’t want to part.

On our way back to Stowe we saw off in the distance a couple of town’s worth of July 4th fireworks.

The next day July 5th we departed Stowe for our return to Cambridge. Along the way this day we saw some more July 4th fireworks in that it had rained on the eastern shore the day before and these town had postponed theirs.  We saw more fireworks this year than we had ever seen.

Well that’s the recap of our travels to Jessica and Adam’s wedding.  It was a delightful event and a great visit with everyone especially Shana, Josh, and Sabin.

Until the next adventure,

Gerry and Larry

Team Galileo