Tag Archive | beach

Mainly Maine ~

We left for Portland, Maine, on Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m.   All research said we should be there around 7 hours later… plenty of time to make the check-in deadline at the bed and breakfast of between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.   However, our sources evidently did not take into consideration the tourist traffic that hit us hard as soon as we got onto the Mass Turnpike.   At one point, we were going about 20-25 mph, bumper-to-bumper and stop-and-go traffic.   When we finally got closer to our coastal destination, we decided to get off the insanity that was the turnpike and try a local Route 1 that would take us to Portland, but with hopefully less traffic.   We were banking that no one “knew about” Route 1.   Were we ever wrong!   The first 5 miles were great, until we started coming into small town after small town. They were all inundated with tourists, and it was dinner time by now. It took us 25 minutes to get through the first small town ~ it should’ve taken us about 5 minutes. Eventually, we arrived at our Portland B & B at 7:30 p.m. – almost 12 hours after leaving home, and over an hour “late” for check-in. The host/hostess left us an envelope with our key and instructions in the mailbox.

Our B & B, the Inn at Park Spring, was a quaint brick townhouse with Victorian interior decorating, but our room was small and our bathroom/shower even smaller. However, it was home for the next three nights, and we were ever so happy to have it! Parking was a little over a block away in this cityscape area. We weren’t far from anything, but because my walking ability is limited to about a block, we had to drive everywhere, which meant finding a place to park even closer to our ultimate destination ~ whether it be the Schooner cruise or dinner or shopping. What a nightmare! It got so Al would drop me off in front of our destination, then go find a place to park, usually several blocks away.

I don’t know what I was thinking when planning this little getaway. Portland is a city. A very BUSY city, with hordes of tourists at every turn. It was, however, beautiful and enjoyable. Just a little hectic for what we expected. Much of the Commercial Street shopping district had touristy shops from every walk of life. However, most seemed geared toward the younger, college-aged crowd… same with many of the restaurants. Most were Indian, Italian, European, bistro or “eclectic”. There were only a few that actually catered to the seafood menu. Portland Lobster Company was one such, and had delicious food ~ but it was VERY expensive for a help-yourself atmosphere. It was more like a hot dog stand. We each ordered lobster rolls w/fries and cole slaw … Al got a beer and I a Pepsi for $55.00. We eventually decided it was easier for us to go OUT of Portland to eat, down Route 1 there were some nicer restaurants, and even some favorites like Dairy Queen. Fortunately, breakfast was provided for at the B & B each morning.

On Monday we went on the Windjammer schooner cruise which took us out into the bay for a couple of hours. Being a lover of water, I especially loved this excursion. There weren’t a lot of guests on this cruise, but a few were kids that grew bored really fast. After the cruise on Monday, we traveled down along the coast to Old Orchard Beach, which consisted mainly of arcade games, souvenir shops and a decent carnival with rides. We’d hoped to park and take a look around, including seeing a beach, but the throngs of people prevented anything but a quick drive through and back to Portland again. Although we knew we were driving right along the coastline, the over abundance of hotels, motels, resorts and private residences kept us from even seeing a glimpse of the water. Monday night would be our last evening in Portland, as we would be heading out to Burlington, Vermont on Wednesday morning, so we were hoping to find a nice place to have a quiet dinner with relatively little parking issues. There was this little hole-in-the-wall place called “Andy’s Pub” amidst all the stores and restaurants that were packed with people, and we decided to give Andy’s a chance. I don’t know how this place remained undiscovered! It was a nice little pub w/restaurant that offered great food and a singer that started crooning around 7:00 p.m. It was quiet, only a couple other customers that were obviously locals remained. Even though we had to drop and park about 6-7 blocks away, it made for a nice final evening in Portland.

The next morning, Wednesday, we were off to Burlington.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our excursion.  Check out our continued vacation to Burlington and then Lake George, NY.   TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Independence Day ~


Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the U.S. ~ otherwise known as the Fourth of July.  The typical American citizen in our neck of the woods will be spending time at a local beach, grilling hot dogs/hamburgers in the back yard (or at a local beach), or maybe on their way to or enjoying a July vacaation away from home.  Then there’s always the fireworks! 

But do you remember what the true meaning of Independence Day is?  Many do not, myself included.  I had to look it up to remind myself! 

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.[4][5] After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

The hubby and I don’t typically “do” much on July 4th but try to catch up on those things, like yard work, that we’ve gotten behind on because of the rain.  That’s  my plan for tomorrow… July 4th.

Would love to hear what YOU’LL be doing!?

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

My Adirondacks ~

 For as long as I can remember, our family spent one or two weeks each summer camping and visiting relatives in the Adirondacks, right through my teenage years.  So it should be no surprise that I’ve always thought of Long Lake, New York, as my second home.  My mother’s sister and her family lived there, so we would go and visit and camp at nearby Lake Eaton each July 4th for the local Independence Day festivities.  While there we would swim, ride our bikes, go shopping and sightseeing at local stores, then sit around the campfire at night and roast marshmallows and see what local relatives would show up for a visit.  We were never disappointed.  And, although I’m sure we had our share, I don’t remember any time when it rained during our stay.  All I remember is the fun. 

A church steeple rises above the fall foliage as taken from the deck of the bridge in Long Lake, New York

A lone kayaker paddles in the colorful splendor that is Long Lake, New York

Now, as adults, my husband and I have visited Long Lake and Lake Eaton over the past couple of years, both in summer and in fall.  I’ve been able to share with him the members of my family that still reside there, the places we’d go when I was a child, plus we’ve experienced new places together and made new memories to share with others.  I never remember the fall being so vibrant and colorful in my childhood, and I’ve been able to appreciate it much more now. 

A view of Lake Eaton, New York, through the trees on the beach.

Another view of Lake Eaton as the light shimmers on the water and the fall foliage across the way.

 Al and I visited the Adirondack Museum during one of our stays in the Big Woods.  I think I’d been there as a child, but didn’t really remember.  Now, seeing it as an adult, I can fully appreciate the history and beauty that is kept in the museum and its many outbuildings.  There is even a small section dedicated to my Uncle Bob Wallace, who was a fixture in Long Lake for his entire life, and well-respected as they come.  I only remember him as being “larger than life” and very generous with a great sense of humor.

Al sits on this “larger than life” Adirondack chair outside the Adirondack Museum.

A hand made Adirondack-themed quilt on display inside the Adirondack Museum.

I’m so grateful that I have such memories of growing up in the Adirondacks each summer.  And now I have photos and even more recent memories to enjoy.  These photos are just a few of my memories of my childhood, my family, my Adirondacks. 

Buttermilk Falls just outside Long Lake, New York.

A seaplane takes off from the placid waters on Long Lake, New York.