Thursday, September 20, 2012


Tamarack in West Virginia

Home tonight!  As much as I love to travel - I love coming home.  It is good.

Table at Tamarack - yes they go through the glass!
Tamarack in West Virginia is a wonderful cross section of the work of the many talented people there.  We really enjoyed looking at all the handmade arts & crafts.  

A few stops on the way home... 14 days - a great road trip.  4,500 miles.  Our car was so full - we should have taken a picture before we unloaded it. 

Everything seemed more expensive in the Northeast - gasoline, room rates, everything.  And those TOLLS.  We spent $70 to $80 on tolls - lost count at some point.  

I've traveled in 49 of the 50 states - all but Hawaii and to Italy, Canada and Mexico. Lester has been to all 50 states.  We live in a wonderfully diverse country.  I love visiting other places, but there is nowhere I would rather live than right here in North Carolina.

A great trip - now for the unpacking, laundry, catching up on everything.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blue skies were back today.  Beautiful day to be on the road.

If you're ever in this area look for the I-76 AAA Antique Mall.  We spent some time there - so many unusual and beautiful things to see. 

We skipped a couple of things we had planned for this trip.  The Frank Lloyd Wright houses in New York weren't open when we were there - maybe another time.

Fenton Art Glass
We spent several hours at the Fenton Art Glass Company in Williamstown, West Virginia.  You want to see what's happened to our economy in the last 4 years - you can see it here.  It was so sad it was hard to be there in the midst of some of the most beautiful glass you can imagine.  The factory building is huge with a great shopping area.  A few years ago Fenton employed 800 people in glass making - now there are 7 people working in the glass area and a few in the shopping area.  We talked to several of the employees - I feel so much compassion for all those who have lost their jobs.  They still have a huge stock of beautiful glass but they won't be making any more.  You can buy it there or at their online store.  They made Fenton glass for over 100 years.  They will continue to make glass beads - I bought three for my Pandora bracelet.  We bought a few other things...

Heading to Tamarack, West Virginia tomorrow.

Life is good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Little Rain Must Fall...

Lake Placid
Today was our first rainy day - all day.  Not complaining - 12 days on the road and one rainy day - not bad at all.
Hoss's in Blue Lake
    We went to Lake Placid, New York this morning.  Beautiful resort town.  The 1932 and the 1980 Olympics were held in Lake Placid.  This area has so many beautiful lakes. Long Lake, Blue Lake, Seventh Lake, Sixth Lake, Fifth Lake, Fourth Lake and ........
    We spent some time in a really fun store in Blue Lake - Hoss's - they have everything.  Even a huge tree growing up through the middle of the store.  All kinds of fun things as well as clothing, hunting and fishing stuff, quilts and much more.  A fun stop.
Fall Leaves Beginning to Turn
    Somewhere along the way on Highway 12 is the biggest Antique Shop Ever (really).  If we had a trailer I think Lester would have filled it up.  As it is, the car is stuffed.  Ken would love this store.  
   Tiger Lily Quilt Co. in Utica - Don't you love that name for a quilt shop?  Fun shop - lots of beautiful quilts on display.  


Monday, September 17, 2012

Ben and Jerry's for Lunch - a really good day

September 17, 2012

Morning Fog in Vermont
Vermont Farm
    Driving south in Vermont - so green here.  The fog in the valleys was beautiful.  There are still lots of big farms in Vermont and New York.  Beautiful barns.  Lots of antique shops - we only stopped at a few.  Our car is almost completely full.  Lester might have to ship some more home!
    We spent some time in two different glass blowing studios - bought a couple of pieces.  I love watching glass blowers.  I told them we were from North Carolina and I had been to Penland School of Crafts in the North Carolina mountains - both of them had studied there and one of them taught there.  They also know the Bernsteins - I've been to their studio several times and bought a couple of pieces from them.  Penland is known and respected all over the world and most people in North Carolina haven't heard of it.  
Von Trapp Family Lodge
     Ben and Jerry's tour and ice cream tasting.  The tour was fun - short and informative.  We were treated to a flavor that is being tested and considered for marketing "Cherry Malt".  It was really good but I prefer a little crunch in my Ben and Jerry's.  Ice cream for lunch - a very good day.  Each employee gets to take 3 pints of ice cream home each day - do you think they get tired of ice cream?
    Stowe, Vermont - very upscale resort town.  It is probably very busy during ski season.  Thanks to Henry (our GPS) we found  Stowe Fabric and Yarn Shop in an old house - like so many businesses in the Northeast.  Really nice shop and friendly shop owner.  Lester has not been very nice to Henry GPS at times - he disagrees with him.  I do think Henry is almost always right but we've learned to keep quiet.  Sometimes it's best not to argue.  I would never want to take a road trip without Henry or one of his family.  I'm really curious about one thing - we have Lester's IPad with Verizon 3G - it works great until we cross the border into Canada and instantly - no service.  How in the world does the signal stop that precisely.  Anybody know?
   We drove across to the Lake Champlain Islands and then into New York.  The lake is huge and really beautiful.  A nice restful day of antiquing, ice cream eating and driving the backroads of Vermont.  Crossed the bridge over Lake Champlain into New York.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old Town Quebec - Might Be the Best Day Yet!

Thousands of Stairs - yes they are steep!

September 16, 2012  

    We spent the day in Old Town Quebec - it is amazing.  It must be like being in France.  It sure reminded me of my trip to Italy.  Quebec is very French - all signs were in French and everyone speaks French.  New Brunswick and Nova Scotia seemed mostly English speaking.

    I can't even estimate how many stairs we climbed - and the hills were harder to climb - I've never seen streets with such a steep incline.  We actually found ourselves leaning forward climbing the streets.

    It is really hard to describe Old Town.  It is a walled city.  We walked the wall - quite a long walk.  The city is a fortress with huge guns and the city walls have openings - I guess for soldiers fire their weapons to protect the city.The streets are stone and very uneven - you really have to watch your step.  The doors into the shops have high, uneven steps.  the buildings are very old interesting.  The pictures don't begin to show what the city is like.

We parked down in the newer part of the city.  You can drive up to Old Town but we didn't see much parking.

They have a Funicular (like a railcar) going up about one fourth of the climb.  Did we ride the Funicular??  Of course not - we climbed the whole way and then walked the wall.

43 degrees this morning and 75 degrees this afternoon.  We were the only ones there without coats - these people are cold natured.  Some were wrapped up like mummies.

Lots and lots of shops.  We did some shopping and lots of looking.

Lunch was delicious - I had a French Croissant sandwich and a tiny little dessert pastry (about an inch in diameter) that was delicious - don't know what it was.  A very light pastry with layers of raspberry and another layer of something yummy.

I did have a scoop of Strawberry Gellato.

The sidewalk cafe got crowded around noon.  Very nice atmosphere.

Artists are set up along the street in certain areas painting and selling their art.  Prices from $10 to thousands of dollars.  Lester and I each bought a 16 x 20 watercolor.  The artists were very friendly and tried to speak a little English - better than our French to be sure.

Beautiful flowers everywhere.

When we left Old Town, we drove about 7 or 8 miles to Montmorency Falls.  I guess if we had not been to Niagara Falls it might have been impressive.  Lester climbed all the way to the top - see those stairs on the right - I didn't go with him.

Montmorency Falls

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stephen King's House...

     We drove from Canada back into Maine this morning.  The route through Maine looked more interesting than the Canada route.  It was rainy for about an hour then turned into a beautiful day.
We made several stops today.  Met some interesting people along the way.  We stopped at a large antique shop in a huge old house - stuffed full of interesting things.  The lady who owns the shop is in a wheelchair and had braces on her arms - she runs the shop by herself.  She was so upbeat and interested in everyone who came in.  I admire her so much when I think how difficult her life is and yet she continues to live to the fullest.
Stephen King's House - Bangor, Maine
     We listen to books on CD when we're on long stretches of highway with no interesting stops.  Makes it seem faster to the next stop.  The trees are beginning to turn here.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and lots of other vegetables and fruits are in season here - feels like June in North Carolina.
     Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine is very interesting - it is a huge old house - beautiful.  A black fence all around with a beautiful gate with a spider web design.  There were several others taking pictures while we were there.  Fun stop.
Love this frog hanging on Stephen King's fence.
     Skowhegan, Maine was on our way so we had to stop at the New Balance Shoe Factory Outlet.  I bought a pair for Jeremiah - Lester bought a pair.  Great prices.  New Balance is the only Athletic Shoe Company still making shoes in the USA.  Not all of their shoes are made in the USA but I like to buy their products because they are manufacturing part of their shoes in the US.
     We crossed back into Canada - drove 6 or 8 miles before meeting a car.  Several miles before the small communities began.  This area looks like it used to be large farms - lots of huge old barns - and I didn't get a picture of one.  We stopped early today - staying in St. Georges, Quebec.  A really nice Comfort Inn - especially the shower - I want one like it.
I love this bathroom.
     On to Quebec City tomorrow


Friday, September 14, 2012

Halifax, Peggy's Cove and Long Drive

Friday, September 14, 2012
     On our way to Halifax this morning we stopped at "Mastodon Ridge" in Stewiacki.  The bones of a Mastodon were found and excavated here in 1991.  They have some exhibits, gift shop. places to eat, a lifesize Mastodon and a putt putt course.  We filled up with gas - almost $5.50 per gallon! - took a little math to figure that out.  Litres to Gallons.
Parking meters take Credit Cards!

Titanic Victims Graves in Halifax 

On to Halifax  - another day of perfect weather.     I didn't realize that Halifax is such a large city.  

A cute little tug in Halifax harbor.
        Crowded with lots of tourists.  We bought a couple of things and found that the sales tax in Halifax is 15%.  And their parking meters take credit cards.  A very expensive place.  
     We really liked the Titanic Exhibit in the Atlantic Maritime Museum.  The museum is on the waterfront - Halifax is a busy port - we watched containers being loaded on ships and leaving the port.  There is a huge community of artists and craftsmen in Halifax.  We drove to Fairlawn Cemetery where 120 Titanic victims are buried - a beautiful memorial to them.  More than 1,500 people died when the Titanic sank.
Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Yep - that's my brother on the treacherous rocks!
     From Halifax to Peggys Cove - a very popular tourist spot.  The drive was very unusual - there are areas that look like rocks and desert in the American west - some spots made me think of what other planets might look like - Peggy's Cove Preservation Area.  The lighthouse is on huge rocks - the whole village seems to be rocks.  A very laid back little village with craft shops, souvenir stands and craftsmen at work.  We had a "Traditional Cornish Pastry" for lunch - delicious.  Lester says I need to learn to make them - seems to me that he could learn as easily as I can.  The rocks look treacherous - there is a sign "Injury and even death have occurred when careless visitors climbed on these rocks".  I was smart enough to stay off the rocks - see the picture of Lester climbing on the rocks waving his arms.  He just won't listen.

    We left Peggy's Cove - heading toward Quebec.  We're staying in Fredericton tonight.  We drove a lot of miles today - we usually have one or two "high mileage" days.  We're heading to Quebec - and decided tonight that we will drive back into USA and drive across Maine.  It's not much farther and looks like a lot more enjoyable drive.  I think Lester is hoping for some more antique shops along the way.  A very good day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roosevelt Campobello Island and New Brunswick, Canada

Miles and miles and miles of this

West Quoddy Lighthouse - Weird light on water
Thursday, September 13
     We enjoyed our night in small town Machias, Maine.  No chain hotels - we were lucky enough to find a small local place - Machias Inn.  Friendly people, nice clean room, wireless internet - everything we needed.
     We stopped at a little antique shop along the road. Door was open - nobody home.  We looked around for about 10 minutes and a nice lady came out - enjoyed a chat with her.  She and her husband, "the boss" are retired and enjoy gardening and the shop.  Their vegetables and flowers here are like ours are in June.  She had lots of tomatoes - they grow some she called "4th of July" tomatoes because they only take 45 days to pick tomatoes.  Lester only bought one thing - I know it was hard for him to resist buying more.
     Quoddy Head State Park - West Quoddy Lighthouse.  These short lighthouses can be hard to find!  We got there early - before it opened but we walked in and took pictures and enjoyed the morning.  The coastline here is so steep and rocky - no beaches to walk on at all.
     We drove northeast along the coast to Lubec, Maine - the easternmost city in the USA.  Lots of "most eastern" signs along the highway.  We crossed the border into Canada at the Roosevelt Campobello Bridge to Campobello Island.  Roosevelt was taken to Campobello every summer with his parents and siblings from the time he was one year old.  They built a "summer cottage" with 24 rooms. Roosevelt continued spending time there with his wife and children - they added on to the cottage - it now has 34 rooms!  Beautiful place - the flowers were just amazing - never seen prettier ones.  Roosevelt Campobello International Park is the only international park - owned and operated by two nations - USA and Canada.  The film about Roosevelt was very well done and we enjoyed the tour of the house.   The East Quoddy Lighthouse on Campobello Island is the most photographed lighthouse in the world.  We didn't get very good pictures because the only way to get to it is to cross some water at low tide and hope you don't get stranded on the island waiting for low tide to come back around.
     We crossed the border back into the US and spent some time in Lubec - we had not had any chocolate since leaving home so we couldn't resist "handcrafted chocolate" at Bayside Chocolates.  Delicious.  Walked around - very small town right on the water - perfect weather.
     St. Andrews, New Brunswick was our next stop - so nice to visit these tourist towns without the summer crowds.  I bought some beautiful wool yarn - locally made.  Enjoyed the yarn shop.  Lester sat outside on a bench with a stuffed monkey - he wouldn't let me take a picture.  The shop owners said their summer had been slow because the huge Algonquin Hotel is undergoing renovation.  It is a beautiful place.
Roosevelt Cottage on Campobello Island
    We were disappointed with St. John - seemed like just another big city.  We did walk down a lot of steps to get a view of the "Reversing Waterfalls" which meant we had a lot of steps to climb back up. We looked around for a while and decided to drive north before calling it a day.
East Quoddy Lighthouse - most photographed in world.  See it???
     We're spending the night in Moncton, NB tonight - on the Bay of Fundy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beautiful Day in Maine - Wednesday - September 12

Permaquid Beach
Pemaquid Lighthouse

Acadia National Park - that white dot is a huge cruise ship

Lester at Acadia National Park
   The weather continues to be perfect.  We left Brunswick this morning.  Zipping down the highway when what do you know - Lester spied a huge antique flea market.  I really think he has some kind of radar for these places.  This was a good one - on Highway 1 somewhere not too far north of Brunswick.  Really nice people - good prices on antique glassware and linens (for me) and all kinds of old stuff for Lester.  We spent about two hours there.
Lester at Pemaquid Beach
Brenda - the only Lobster I li
    Back to Highway 1 - I've never seen so many antique shops (we only stopped at three more) and several quilt shops which I agreed to ignore.  The car was getting so full that we went to a pack and ship place in Rockland, Maine and shipped some stuff home.  Too much fun.             

found three pieces of blue  hobnail depression glass (I've been collecting for years) which just can't be found in NC anymore.  
     Pemaquid Lighthouse - really nice parklike area.  The Lighthouse Hostess said it must be hard for us to be impressed with lighthouses after seeing Cape Hatteras.  She had visited the North Carolina lighthouses.  An impressive art gallery with work by local artists and a fun gift shop.  There was a beautiful hedge of Rugosa Roses (I had to ask what they were).  The rose hips look a lot like persimmons!  Lester walked out on the rocks - I visited with some local people.  
    A beautiful drive up the coast to Acadia National Park.  We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain - magnificent views.  We climbed up to the top - not too far from the parking area - to get some great pictures.  It is crowded here now - it must be crazy in the summer.
     We had to drive longer than we wanted to find a place to stay - things are getting farther apart.  We're staying in Mathias, Maine.
    My favorite thing about road trips is that we have no schedule - no reservations - so we can stop anywhere we want and stay as long as we want.  A very relaxing way to travel.  We keep finding places we add to our route - so much to see.  

September 11, 2012 – Kennebunkport, Maine

Keepsake Quilting - Center Harbor, Maine
LL Bean Store

LL Bean Boot 

      Nine Eleven – has it really been eleven years?  Remembering all those who lost their lives that day and all those who lost loved ones.  I know we were all remembering them today.  
     We enjoyed breakfast before leaving Manchester this morning – that’s unusual for us – we’re usually in a hurry to get on the road.  We took the scenic route along a beautiful lake from New Hampshire to Center Harbor, Maine to Keepsake Quilting.
     What a beautiful, big, friendly quilt shop.  I spent two to three hours – loved every minute of it.  I bought some beautiful things – but not too much since the car is filling up quickly.  Lester was very patient – he rode around a while, then found a nice shady parking place to wait on me.  Of course I did some shopping - just a little.

Home of George & Barbara Bush

Kennebunkport, Maine
 A beautiful drive to Kennebunkport, Maine – seems to be the vacation place of the rich and famous.  A beautiful, very crowded little town.  Extremely crowded – I can imagine what it’s like in the summer.  We rode through town in all that traffic twice (no that was not on purpose).  Our GPS took us right to Walker Point – the beautiful home of George and Barbara Bush.  It is breathtakingly beautiful – built on a point with rock cliffs all around.  We were surprised that there was a place to pull off to take pictures – a 15 minute parking time limit.  Lots of people were there taking pictures.  I wonder where the secret service were hiding – probably in plain sight – maybe the bicyclists?
     Portland, Maine – We went to the LL Bean store.  It is much more than a store – it is a campus of beautiful two story buildings with beautiful landscaping.  Just browsing for us – enjoyed walking around.  The whole area seems to be about shopping - dozens of upscale stores.  
     Neither of us like Lobster – which people find hard to believe.  So many people told us that we just had to try Maine Lobster.  We knew better but we decided to be good sports and try Maine Lobster.  Not a good decision.  Neither of us liked it at all.  Yuck – I don’t like the taste or the smell or the texture.  We ate a McDonald’s salad – can you believe it???  No more lobster for me – ever.
     Drove through Freeport, Maine - more shopping areas - dozens more of the same type stores as Portland.  
     We found a really nice Comfort Inn in Brunswick, Maine - looked like a colonial house.  A very good day (except for the lobster).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Every Day Can't Be Perfect - on a Road Trip or in Life...

Driving to Cape Cod
     I'll be nice and jsut say that Massachusetts is just not one of our favorite places to visit!  We spent some time in New Bedford - then drove on toward Cape Cod.  I visited Cape Cod years ago and liked it much better then.  We went to Hyannis and chose not to stay long at all - we did enjoy the town of Falmouth - where we had planned to take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard.  By that time neither of us really had any desire to spend any more time there.  I had been and Lester didn't really care about going after our disappointment with Hyannis and Cape Cod in general.

     We found a really great handblown glass place "Pierpoint Glass" in Sagamore, MA.  Beautiful handblown glass - you can watch the glassblowers at work.  We both enjoyed looking - and bought a couple of things.  Hope we get home without breaking them.  The people there were the nicest we met in Massachusetts.
The Mayflower
     The high point of our day was Plymouth - beautiful village.  "Plimoth Rock" (not a typo - they spelled it this way) is on display in a beautiful park.  A full size replica of "The Mayflower" is open really impressive.  Some nice shops.  Nice afternoon.

Salem, Massachusetts
     Salem, MA - our last stop - don't know quite how to describe it.  People dressed like witches in the streets - witches everywhere we looked.  We took a trolley tour of the city - the guide was really knowledgeable and entertaining.  It seems like the whole city is about the Salem Witches.  As if that weren't enough - there was a lady on the trolley who obviously had been drinking all day - loud and obnoxious.  It was good to get to New Hampshire.

     There is only one Cracker Barrel in New Hampshire and there it was just waiting on us in Londonderry!  What great timing - we had a really good dinner then drove on to Manchester where we're spending the night - very nice place.  A good way to end a tiring day.  Looking forward to tomorrow in New Hampshire!