Friday, November 16, 2018

East West farm experience

After driving for four hours from Portsmouth we reached East-West farm in Verona Island, Maine which we booked through Airbnb. First we lost the road, and reached somewhere else. Then after contacting with them, we found that we drove two signals ahead. Anyway, after driving through the narrow village roads with lush green we reached the farmhouse. The sun was about to set. Before setting down on the West it was radiation bright crimson colored rays, making difficult to look. 

It was first time in my life in a farmhouse. It was a different feeling. Standing at the patio on the second floor of the guesthouse we could see the sheep were grazing on the green field beside two vegetable patches. At the end of the green field, through the trees we could see Penobscot River. 

After having the cup of steaming aromatic Darjeeling tea, we decided to take stroll around the farm. Though most of the parts of the farm were restricted due to safety reason, we could stroll at least on the green grass. Junior decided to stay inside, while we went out. I was pretty curious to see around. 

The pretty fall color had started setting on the trees. In the fading light of cow dust time the farm looked mesmerizing. We walked casually across the grassy patch to take glimpse of the Penobscot River. Though I wanted to see their greenhouse, but that was not allowed. Anyway, on that tiring evening we decided to go early to bed. Next day was going to be hectic, as we had plan to visit Acadia National Park. (I already posted about our visit to Acadia National Park in my previous post. You can check here.)
We spent there two nights. The last day when I was packing everything, I found a newspaper.

That was kept with the rules paper of the house. Out of curiosity I took out the paper and I saw a bid article about our hosts. It was a great story. I read the article in one breath. It was story how Annie and Eric (the owners) came into farming from two different professions. It was a fairy tale story of two people from different country. Eric, who a law professional and Annie , an engineer by training came to know each other few years ago in a very different country.

Few years ago, Eric went  to volunteer in Ethiopia to teach english , and Annie went there to volunteer with technical stuffs. They came to know each other. After their service they went back to their respected country. Then Annie invited Eric to her home country in Philippines to see their life style. Eric loved that, and they married, and Started their farm in Maine. Apart from local vegetable they also grow exotic Asian vegetables here. I really loved their story. It was really amazing how they chose to farm. 

They were amazing hosts. The last day of our stay Annie gave delicious dinner with chicken and rice (with very little pay). When she saw my son, she took him to the veggie patch and asked him to choose the melons. My son came back with a melon and a watermelon. Those two fruits served as snacks for next two days. 
If anyone visiting Maine, please stay with them. If you are from city, and you love nature, you surely love their farm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bass Harbor lighthouse, Maine

After having a hearty meal in restaurant we decided to visit Bass Harbor lighthouse before  going back to the farm house where we stayed for two days. We were already tired and junior became very cranky. Actually we decided to visit the lighthouse for him only. When I told our plan, he stopped whining.

It was late afternoon.The sun started turning soft. We crossed the golf club of Bar Harbor, and started slowly through the winding road of Acadia Park again. In the mellow light of afternoon, the color of the trees started glowing brighter than morning. The traffic was not much, may it was a weekday. Mr. Man, started to talk about his visit in 2005. In torrential rain he and his friends drove through the park in the afternoon to Bass Harbor. The ocean was rough, they couldn’t even go near the lighthouse.

From park, we gradually came out and drove on the village roads. We passed all the small houses, small general stores, little library. It was a kind of dream. I couldn’t imagine how little all those picturesque houses. I just couldn’t stop myself clicking pictures of every moment. 

Every time we crossed a little bridge, I jumped in excitement like a little kid. The deep blue water, the moored colorful boats, and fall colored forest at distant made the nature so mesmerized, that it was difficult to stop admiring the creations of mother nature.

We faced a little traffic before entering the parking of Bass Harbor light house. Actually, the parking lot was very small, so people were waiting in queue to get chance to park the car. As it was already late, we didn’t have wait for long. 

For the fist time in 1858 the lighthouse was lighted. It was brass lamp filled with whale oil. Later it was replaced by kerosene and other kind of lamps. Now it was lighted by a 1000 watt lamp. An acrylic shroud created the bright red light.

Life of the light keepers always fascinates me. In my childhood I’ve never seen any lighthouse. However, I read about lighthouses in a magazine when I was an elementary school kid. The light keepers live their whole life in a lighthouse, situated far from locality, usually on cliffs. They were accountable for anything in the lighthouse. How hard it was to keep eyes on the ocean for the safety of the speeding ships. On foggy days banging huge bells, in storm rushing to the top of the lighthouse through a spiral steep staircase to give danger signal to any ship heading to the shore in rush was incredibly hard jobs. In bad weather they couldn’t stay inside, rather they had to work more.


When we reached there, sun was almost going to sleep. Seeing the lighthouse my son gained back his energy.  It was a protected area, so we couldn’t go inside of it. For out side we saw huge bell, which was supposed to be banged on foggy days. There was two trails on the both side of the lighthouse. On the first trail you can read about the history, but the view from that trail was not good. You cannot see the whole lighthouse.To see the lighthouse properly you have to take the other trail through the forest toward the ocean. Then you need to hop down on the stones towards the ocean to get the full view, where you can see the lighthouse standing on the red granite .

My son wanted to get down by jumping from one to stone to another. I also did the same earlier the day. But, when I reached there I couldn’t do the same. Some unknown fear pulled me from behind. Mr. Man and kiddie went down the stones almost to the ocean. After seeing the lighthouse we drove back to the farm. 
We ordered adobo chicken prior. The owner gave a steaming hot chicken and rice. We were tired and hungry. Rice and chicken we so good, that we devoured that, and called it a day. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Route 66 resturant

In my previous post I wrote that we found out a very unusual place. The place was inside a small alley. I saw from across the street that a model of a car that seemed to be emerging by the borealis the wall on the top of a door. First thing came in my mind was museum. I wanted to visit there. Then I saw the word, “Restaurant.” We couldn’t figured out whether it was restaurant or museum. I sent Mr. Man to enquire. He went inside , and came out within second, and told me that was a museum, and he had no will to visit. But I was skeptical. I wanted to go inside again. 
Wow! What I saw inside really looked like a museum, but it was a restaurant. A real restaurant, where people were eating delicious dishes. 

All the walls of the restaurant were full memorabilia, artifacts, small to big collectibles. I’ve never seen such a place in my lifetime. From models airplanes, vintage model cars, old typewriters, old advertisements, party dress, and many more was on display. It was so overwhelming to me that I forgot order my food.
The restaurant had a little history behind it. The previous restaurant was destroyed in a fire. After that the then owner wanted to build a restaurant with theme. He bought the old couch building on east Vassalboro, Maine, and transported various parts to Bar Harbor to build the current restaurant. Then he collected all those memorabilia and put inside the restaurants. So, it looks like a museum. As the restaurant was built with parts of old church, so beautiful stained glass windows could be seen in various parts of the restaurant. 


Junior wanted to east boiled lobster like his dad. However, we told him not to take whole lobster, as it would be difficult for him to eat. He went for lobster roll, a popular dish in Maine. I had soup, so I took least time finish my plate. 

Mr. Man stole the show. Armed with forks, pliers, and other equipments he started eating the giant red lobster. He is the very much into all those exotic food. He took most of time to finish his plate. He enjoyed his food, and we enjoyed to watch his eating. Isn’t the crazy?

Anyway, after having filled our stomach we headed towards the harbor, to take a stroll. It was bright sunny day. It was a beautiful to watch the people are canoeing in the bright blue ocean, busking in the soft sun. 

After strolling around we decided to go the Bass Harbor to see the still functioning light house before going back to the farm.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Visit to Bar Harbor

The clock was ticking twelve in the middle of the day, and we were in the middle of Acadia Forest. I was not that much hungry, as I was still very much engrossed with the fall color, and beauty of the forest. However, skipping lunch is not good for health. So we decided to have lunch at Bar Harbor.

Searching for restaurant

Mr.Man was very much interested visiting Bar Harbor. Actually he visited Bar Harbor back in 2005, when Hurricane Katerina hit the East coast. He was telling me the stories about his experience, how they drove in torrential rain from Hartford to Maine. He was reminiscing the moments of deserted Bar Harbor at that time.  We walked down the busy streets full with tourists from different part of the country and the world. He was telling me how this stunning coastal town was very different when he visited.

Anyway, we first wanted to eat. Mr. Kiddo was super excited to have some lobster. His father told him story about eating enormous lobster in Maine on his first visit. So, junior didn’t want to let his chance go. I’m not that much foodie. I was just trying to take peek everywhere and to find some history.  Once the town inhabited by wealthy people, who made many magnificent cottages. I think currently all those cottages are converted into many beautiful boutique shops , and hotels. 

We walked along the gorgeous downtown in search of the good restaurant to eat. Though all the restaurants seemed good to me, but the problem was to get place. As it was lunchtime all the restaurants , all of them were overflowing with hungry people. We went inside one, but the waiting time we found more than one hour. Again we started walking. In the mean time junior started getting cranky, and the senior started getting angry, as their stomachs wanted something lip smacking. I was nonchalant. My main interest was to visit the as many as points, regardless how minor they are.

They suddenly we saw one place, where every one was taking picture. That was a very unusual place. The facade was that, one cab had been emerging from the wall. We thought that was a museum, but not. 

The story is coming in my next post.

Anyway, after having lunch in Route 66 restaurant, we walked towards the coast to take stroll there. The coast has the power to slow you down with her captivating beauty. You just cannot pass by without noticing the deep blue water with small ripples. You can spend time just by seeing the kayaking, and numerous lobster boats. 

We took a stroll before have ice cream. If you are great shopper then Bar Harbor is haven for you. You can get from gorgeous home decor to stunning dresses and jewelries. I’m not a shopper, I only love to see. 
It was almost evening. After having ice cream we headed to Bass Harbor light house.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Visit to Acadia National Park

The night before somehow, I couldn’t sleep. I supposed to get up early in the morning. To avoid crowd inside the park ,our plan was to start early. Anyway, we tried to start as soon as possible.

The weather was very sunny and warm. Though I took our jackets with us, we didn’t need those. Anyway, leaving the towns we started driving along the freeway. The both sides of the freeway were full of big trees, where fall just had started to come.

Gradually we entered narrow mountain road towards the national park. Among the pine, beech, birch, maple, pines trees we could seed  beautiful cottages. We passed the time admiring those cottages , and imagining our life there. We first went to the visitor center, the parking lot were not full, which gave us hope of less crowd. And the park was not much crowded indeed. Getting less crowd at any famous tourist spot is difficult. As the bus service inside the park  was already stopped, we set out in our car. Taking the car gave a much time to drive around, as we didn’t need to wait for the bus to go one spot to another.

We took the map from the visitor center, and followed the Ocean Highway. Our plan was to take a round trip around the park. Hiking was out of question, as we had only one day in our hand to visit the whole place. The nice warm and sunny day made it easier to explore all the nooks and corners of park full of hidden beautiful treasures for the nature lovers. It was a great experience  to driving on the winding mountain road with big granite rocks and trees, and on the other side the great Atlantic ocean. As soon as we started driving, the beautiful view of the ocean forced us to stop and take good look toward the horizon. The bright sun was shinning on the great blue rippling water which was splashing on the big rocks. At distant we could see few bungalows amid thickets. A big cruise ship came in our view.

Again we started driving. Mr. Man gave me the map, and I’m the person to whom rocket science is easier than reading a map. (really?) As usual, I made some mistakes, but fortunately we were on right route. Then he stopped relying on me. We were driving, and suddenly on lake came in our view. Again we couldn’t resist, but stopped there to take good look. Luckily, few spots were left to stop. I couldn’t find the name of the lake. 
That was a deep blue lake was residing with big mountains all around. The bright sunlight of the mid morning was shinning brightly, making million of inkling little stars on the water which were dancing ,as the gentle wind making small ripple on the calm water. I got down from car, and almost ran toward the like little child who found some treasures. I sat down on the stone beside the lake, and took deep breath of fresh air. Then I gazed to the crystal clear water, and saw tiny fish were swimming. I don’t know wether those were tiny fish or tadpole.

Mr. Man signaled me to come, as we had a lot of places to visit before heading to Bar Harbor. Again we stopped at… After a little hike, down the huge rocks we reached the Atlantic ocean. I always have great fear of falling down. So, climbing up I have no problem, but climbing down is always difficult for me. However, I couldn’t resist myself, and hiked down the rocks to reach the Atlantic Ocean. 

Then we came back to the car and again and drove towards the Thunder Hole. Again that was a little hike over the big rocks to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Thunder Hole was the last stop we got down to reach the ocean. Before that we stopped another two times. One point we could get the parking so drove forward. However, the spot we stopped we got the splendid view of the ocean. 

It was almost lunch time, and we decided to got to Bar Harbor, our next stop.

Next is coming our Bar Harbor visit.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Driving from Portsmouth to Verona Island

After driving around Portsmouth we reached our hotel,Exeter Inn, in Exeter, near Philip Exeter academy. That old building from outside was exotic, but the rooms were extremely small. Anyway, it was fine for one night, though we couldn’t sleep.

Next morning we tried to start early, but we couldn’t. We started around 11. The day before I almost took pictures of every house on our way, as all of them were very beautiful to me. So, instead of doing that I kept my camera down, and watching the beauties of all the old houses on our way to Maine. Soon we left behind the town, and started driving on highway. 

On that beautiful sunny day, we decided to cover a good amount of distance in the morning, before taking a break. However, we felt hungry, and we decided to stop near a beautiful creek. It was mid morning, the weather was still not warm. The bright sunlight from the clear blue sky made the blue water brighter. Anyway, after grabbing some breakfast , and coffee we started that day’s journey.

As we started, the unending rows of different colored gorgeous trees came in our sight, which marveled us. The beauty of this part of the USA is get chance to see rivers, bays, creeks, and other waterbodies every now and then. Those waterbodies reminded me all the movies I watched before, based on Maine. 

When I watched all those movies, specially related to lobster catching,I always longed to come to Maine to watch lobster catching. I’m not a lobster lover, as I’ve seafood allergy, only I can eat little bit of shrimp. Mr. Man, who is a great foodie, is a lobster lover. Anyway, while coming to Maine, I was just wishing for getting some glimpse of the very act lobster catching. But, I think to watch lobster catching I have to contact with lobster farm, to get a permission from any of them to watch. While driving through road, I couldn’t  see any such thing.

Anyway, in the late afternoon we reached Verona Island. We booked a farmhouse through Airbnb. I’ve never in a farm house. I was pretty excited to reached there. First we lost the road. After calling the owner, we could find out the way. It was a small narrow lane, with dense trees. It first looked like a forest. But it was not. That was beautiful neighborhood, with little houses, trees, and lovely sights.

We reached the farm, the owner greeted us with a cheerful smile. Though we were very tired Mr. Man and I decided to take stroll around the farm, only on the permitted area.  
The story of the farm is coming in next post. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Visit to USS Albacore Museum

We wanted to go to Islands of Shoals, but the when we reached the spot according to the direction, we couldn’t find anything. Then we found that the ferry to Island of Shoals was closed down. 

Portsmouth Downtown

I didn’t have the idea about USS Albacore, before going to Portsmouth. Actually, when searched the places to visit, it didn’t come in my search. When we were checking the map, first my spotted it in the map. He is crazy about any kind of ship. So, we had to go there.

View from Downtown

USS Albacore was the fastest submerged speed of any diesel-electric submarine in the USA at the time it was built. It was really small, fastest, and could be controlled like airplane. When it was built that was quite amazing. We went inside the submarine. It was really small indeed. The  windows are like mini wholes. The passage through the submarine is so narrow that only one person can pass at a time. The both sides are full of machines, yet it had everything from toilet to bunk bed like any other ship. However, those bunk beds were so tiny, I just can’t imagine that  now the  soldiers really slept there. On of tourists in front of me tried to fit himself inside one bunk, but he couldn’t. Even fitting one self on those bunk needs to physically fit ,flexible, and agile. 

USS Albacore, named after the fish albacore, which is a species of tuna.

Though it was built experimental basis, it made a quiet stir in the USA. That was first submarine which has a shape of teardrop hull. The submarine  was made with one propellor, with two spare propellor. The propellor was actually reused from another submarine. The main goal was to make a high speed , small, versatile submarine. Albacore was equipped with airplane-type controls sticks. At that time the submarine had “feather-control” maneuvers, which today known as touch screen technology. Touch screen technology was in it nascent stage at that time. However, with request failure, ultimately the submarine was decommissioned.

My keen learner

Anyway, that was really nice. We could come to a bit history of the US Navy.