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Friday, June 29, 2012

Acadia National Park ~ Baa Haa Baa

Granite mountains on islands along coast

Acadia National Park in Mount Desert Island is really a majestic park.  With everything from lush forrest, mountains and rugged shore lines ~ it is a wonderful place to visit and spend time at.  This was our main purpose for coming to this area and we are glad we did.  We arrived here on the 18th of June and were excited about exploring the National Park and surrounding area... not to mention eating lots of great seafood!
It took us 4 of our 7 days here to visit this park and enjoy all it has to offer. The very first thing we did was visit the Hulls Cove Visitor Center which was right down the road from our campground, Mount Desert Narrows RV Park, click here for complete review of park. At the visitor center we watched a movie on how glaciers formed the lakes and mountains and how it formed the granite that many of the mountains are made up of. We also got information and maps to many of the stops at this park along with how many Passport Stamps you can get here ~  12 that is how many!!! Woo Hoo :-D Looking for the places to get the stamps was a fun thing for us to do....

The first day we did part of the scenic drive around the park with a stop in Bar Harbor... What a quaint little town with it's harbor, shops and restaurants.  In town there is a National Park building where you can get a Pasport stamp.

After a visit to Bar Harbor and picking up brochures of things to do while here we headed out for something to eat ~ well I can never get enough of the fabulous seafood that New England has to offer.  We saw a few places when we came into the Island and we decided on Trenton Bridge Seafood Pound and what a good choice it was.  I highly recommend it for great lobster or steamers.

After a great lunch we traveled onto Seawall Harbor and the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.  Now as I have told you before we LOVE Lighthouses and there are a lot to see here.  This one is run by the US Coast Guard.  The cliffside Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park, Tremont marks the entrance to Bass Harbor on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, Maine. The lighthouse was built of brick in 1858 on a stone foundation, stands 56 feet above mean high water and is accessible by car.
Height: 32' 0" (9.75 m)
Automated: 1974
Opened: 1858
Address: Tremont, ME
Materials: Brick, Stone

This was our first day here on the Island and we had so much fun visiting the area.... There is a lot to see and do here.  The next day we visited Sieur de Monts, Wild Gardens of Arcadia, Nature Center and Abbe Museum.  Come on back and check it out!

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beantown USA!

Train from Newburyport into Boston
We decided to take a day and head into Historic Boston and spend the day.  After doing some research we found out that we could take the train from Newburyport directly into North Station in Boston ~ that sounded good to us since we didn't want to drive in or around town.  I love Boston and all it diversity & history so I was pretty excited about our adventure.  Not to mention we'll add another Capital to our list of ones we have visited.  Also we can get several Passport stamps there too at the National Park.  So we got up really early and went to the train station ~ once on the train we bought round trip tickets so we didn't have to do it on the way back.

Photos of Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours, Boston
Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours
An hour later we were getting off the train and heading outside to pick up the Upper Deck Trolley Tour.  After some Internet research and we had taken the other trolleys when here last we chose this one and so glad we did.  They sit up high for better views and picture taking and the seats were a lot more comfortable. Our tour guide/driver was full of information and they had more stops then all the other tours.  So I highly recommend them as your guide around the town.  They picked us up right in front of the Train Station. 

Historic Fanueil Hall
We rode the trolley through the historic streets enjoying everything we saw... Around noon we decided to get something to eat and made the choice to go to Historic Fanueil Hall aka Quincy Market and eat at the HUGE food court.  There were so many activities outside ~ vendors, street entertainers and just plain old people watching... We ended up getting a Cheesesteak with fries.  Last time we were here we ate in Little Italy which I recommend if you like Italian food.  Faneuil Hall Marketplace is actually four great places in one location - Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market, all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by.  In 1742 Peter Faneuil, Boston's wealthiest merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a gift to the city.

The best way to see Boston is do a go around on a tour trolley, which I highly recommend the Upper Deck Trolley Tour, then get off and walk the Freedom Trail.  The Freedon Trail is a red line painted on the sidewalk that you follow through Historic Boston.  It is a 2.5 mile walking trail  sites in downtown Boston & Charlestown which starts at the Boston National Park located at Fenueil Hall.

I took so many photos on this day that the only way to show you the sights of Boston is with a slide show ~ so sit on back and enjoy.

Welcome to my latest follower Patty from My Rving Life ~ she is just getting started in the Good Life so go on over and welcome her & her husband and the greyhounds to our RVing community!
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where did I park my broom?

I was excited today as we went to visit one of my favorite cities ~ Salem, Massachusetts. Best known for the witch trials that took place in 1692, Salem sure does bewitch you with its seaside charm, its maritime history and spellbinding beauty. We followed the Red Line along the sidewalks which took us on our journey through historic sites, including the Witch Trial Memorial, the Old Burying Point Cemetery and more. The Bewitched statue, the Witch Museum and the Witch Dungeon which conjured up diverse takes on witchery through history. Salem  is also full of old homes that are huge and full of  history.

We spent the day visiting the city ~ We have visited Salem many times and today we had decided to take the trolley that goes around town even though you can pretty much walk around the city ~ you can ride the trolley if want to just to hear some of the history and that is what we did.   Also there is the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on the wharf that you can visit and then perhaps stroll the waterfront and eat at one of the local restaurants.  We ate outside on the patio at Capts'... Great Clam Chowdha!

The port of Salem was at its prime between the end of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. By the time the crisis with Britain was reached in 1775, aggressive sea captains such as Richard Derby and George Crowninshield had accumulated great wealth, primarily due to the cod fish export and molasses import trades. Trading cod brought valuable cargoes of Valencia oranges, Malaga grapes, Bilbao iron, Cadiz salt and Madeira wines back to Salem, while molasses from the West Indies fueled the very profitable rum industry.

 I just love this Mystic City from the witch trails - to the history of the port and Nathanial Hawthorne who wrote House of Seven Gables... which is here and you can visit it too. If your into fortune tellers and physics then there is plenty of that here too along with great little shops and restaurants.  We had a great day revisiting Salem and I know I'll be back.
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Where There's Ore ~ There's a way!

History is a huge part of the way we live today ~ It is amazing to me how the early colonist came to this country and thrived with hard work and determination.  Do we still have that drive today?

We visited the Saugus Iron Works National Site here in Saugus Massachusetts and our history lesson continued on the beginning times of this grand country of ours.
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site is the site of the first integrated ironworks in North America, founded by John Winthrop and in operation between 1646 – 1668. It includes the reconstructed blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter-ton drop hammer.
The facility is powered by seven large waterwheels, some of which are rigged to work in tandem with huge wooden gears connecting them. It has a wharf to load the iron onto ocean-going vessels, as well as a large, restored 17th-century house.

Here was built the first successful plant for the integrated production of cast & wrought iron in the new world.  When John Winthrop found significant ore deposits in the Boston area, he was offered incentives by the Massachusetts government to establish the Iron Works.

After the initial effort failed Winthrop was replaced by Richard Leader, who chose the site on the Saugus River for it's water power, water transport, woodlands and raw materials. The Saugus works was producing iron products for Massachusetts and England.

The people who worked at the works were not Puritans settlers but artisans from England and Wales, brought to Massachusetts as indentures servants.

In the early 1650's it was having financial problems which it could never recover from.  The last recorded blast was in 1668.  Despite it's short life, the Saugus Iron Works introduced a complex and demanding technology into what was still a  roughhews world.

Reflections of Saugus Iron Works
After we finished our visit at Saugus iron Works we took a drive over to Lynn, Massachusetts where we drove by to see my childhood home.  It brought back a ton of memories and was so glad the house looked like it did in the olden days.

It was another GREAT day in our adventures ~It is nice visiting where I lived as a child.  I also got another Passport Stamp for my book! YaY♥
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Textiles Anyone?

Lowell ~ Massachusetts
Boott Cotton Mills Museum with Trolley
We are all for visiting and supporting our National Park system ~ so we got up early and headed for the town of Lowell to check out Lowell National Park. I never knew there was a park there even though I knew about the town. The park has several places you can go and visit including a ride on a trolley and a boat ride down the canals to a lock you will pass through and down to the river.
Boott Cotton Mills Museum
Boott Cotten Mills Museum
The History of Lowell is closely tied to its location along the Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimack River, from being an important fishing ground for the Pennacook tribe to providing water power for the factories that formed the basis of the city's economy for a century. The city of Lowell was started in the 1820s as a money-making venture and social project referred to as "The Lowell Experiment", and quickly became America's largest textile center. However, within approximately a century, the decline and collapse of that industry in New England placed the city into a deep recession. Lowell's "rebirth", partially tied to Lowell National Historical Park, has made it a model for other former industrial towns, although the city continues to struggle with deindustrialization and suburbanization.
The mills of Lowell
Massachusetts Mills
Trolleys played an important roll in the early days ~ Getting the workers to & from the factories

Trolley Tour
The canal system allowed transportation around Pawtucket Falls and was also a part of the power canal system ~ which provided power to the mills.
River Ride down the Pawtucket Canal to Pawtucket River Dam
This was a thriving textile area and in the the late 19th century, the city's industrial prominence was fading ~ A brief resurgence during World War II led to renewed hiring and  production ~ but by the mid 1950's the last of the original mills closed down and only a few smaller textile producers remained.  It was very interesting learning about the history of Textiles in Lowell, Massachusetts and as always I loved getting another stamp for my National Park Passport Book.

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A ride down to Historic Gloucester

Happy Father's Day!!

We are having another overcast day with bouts of sunshine ~ I know sounds weird but so true... We decided to take a nice long drive in the southeast direction down A1A through all the quaint towns towards Gloucester. Newburyport ~ Newbury ~ Rowley ~ Ipswich ~ Essex ~ Gloucester

Newburyport: This is a city with a long and rich history. A city where historic preservation has been the key to economic revitalization and whose foundation is based on maritime trade. A city who values its historic sites. As we drove and walked through many of the historic areas we saw that this is a place for revisiting. So much history and beauty!
Plum Island Harbor Light
There are a lot of interesting things to see and do in Newburyport

Ipswich:  I was really excited about going through Ipswich since it is where the Clam Box is located.  The Clam box has been featured on the food network and other channels.  It is a clam shack that is in the shape of an old fashion Clam Box so of course I had to stop for lunch.  Also on our drive through there were many homes built in the 16 & 1700's.  Don't you find it amazing that homes built back then are still standing? 
Clam Box ~ Icon of Ipswich ~ Famous for Ipswich Clams
Gloucester:  I loved this place ~ an historic ship building and fishing port and also a well known artist community. It was heavily overcast on our day to visit But we managed to see a lot of the area never-the-less.

We had a ton of fun on our drive and hope to get a chance to explore this area further
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cruising the Beaches

We have moved to the Northeast coast of Massachusetts and staying in Salisbury Beach at the Beach Rose RV Park. (Click here for a complete review of park)  As soon as we pulled into this park we absolutely loved it!  The weather is sunny and cool with a few rain showers at night ~ we can definitely live with that.  We have had so much better luck with parks on this trip through New England then we did a few years back.  On our first trip to New England we looked for bargain campgrounds and we certainly got what we paid for bad power ~ dirt ~ unlevel.  Since then we have gotten a little smarter with our choices.  The parks are a little pricier this time here but you do get what you pay for. 

Cummins Northeast, Inc. - Headquarters
100 Allied Drive
Dedham, MA 02026
It was a tough day for us because as we were heading north through Boston area it seemed like Tassie was chugging not to well... We found a Cummins Service place and pulled in.  They were very helpful and after checking her out they said it was the fuel filter and after changing both filters we were back on the road.  Whew that was a lucky brake but  we wondered how come the guys who did a oil change and check up on filters and etc didn't find it before we left home.  Thanks guys for getting us back on the road so quickly!
The very first day here we decided to ride up the north coast to Portsmouth, NH.  It was cold and rainy off & on but we headed out anyways.  It was a 35 mile drive one way along beautiful beaches and fun touristy areas. We traveled up 1A along the coastal towns of Salisbury ~ Seabrook ~ Hampton & Portsmouth.  We stopped along the way and enjoyed looking at the beaches and small towns. 

We also stopped at Beach Plum Ice Cream shop in Hampton where I enjoyed a cranberry ~ chocolate chunk ~ walnut ice cream... YUM YUM!    We stopped by Walmart in Portsmouth and loaded up on supplies and then went back down on Highway 1 to Salisbury.

I want to say a big thanks to Deb C for coming by my blog and joining my followers list.  Hope you enjoy our travels and adventures!

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chips & Sea

It has been raining a lot since we've been on the cape but mostly we didn't allow that to stop us from sightseeing.  So today when we got a break in the rain we loaded up to head off to the Cape Cod Chip Factory.  One of my buddies alerted me to the factory and being that I love the potato chips it was a fun thing for us to do on a rainy day.  No photos were allowed in the factory so sadly I can't share their tour with you.  I can tell you that it is self guided and small but very interesting.  Also the lighthouse that is on the bag is the Nauset Light House which we had visited the day before so that was kinda cool!

Nauset Lighthouse ~ Cape Cod Potato Chip Symbol
Cape Cod Potato Chips began as the dream of two small business owners. They imagined a small operation where they could produce and sell the potato chips they had cooked in their kitchen for years. On July 4, 1980 that dream became a reality when they set up shop in a small store front in Hyannis. The big crunch of the kettle cooked chips soon became a local favorite. News of the chips quickly spread as tourist sampled the chips and took bags home to share. The business soon grew out of the store-front and a worldwide love affair with their natural snacks began.  I was surprised how many styles and flavors they actually make ~ I don't think we have them all in Florida.  At the end of the tour they have you enter the gift shop where they give you 2 small bags of chips and they sell many items with their logo on it and all the different potato chips.

After that we went for a ride down scenic 28 through many small towns and beaches ~ we did manage to come across 2 lighthouses. One we saw in the distance, Sandy Neck Lighthouse at Barnstable and the other Nobska Lighthouse in Woods Hole.

Nobska Lighthouse ~ Sandy Neck Lighthouse on Rainy day ~ Sandy Neck on clear day
Beautiful Cape Cod Seasides
We had a funfilled day of exploring and soon we'll be moving upstate Massachusetts

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Another Passport Stamp

I know you think I am traveling out of the country when in fact it is a Passport Stamp in my National Park Passport book.  For those of you who don't already know about it ~ the National Park Service has a book or notebook you can purchase along with stamp collections they release every year (since 1986) of different parks.  Well when you visit a National Park, Monument, National Seashore, anything sponsored by the NPS you can get a cancellation stamp in your book.  Also on the blank pages I get other stamps ~ visitor centers, site seeing places and even Post office.  OK now here is why the title ~ we got a stamp at the Cape Cod National Seashore.... It is a fun thing to do!
A great hobbie for travelers!!

So we headed off early in the morning for the Cape Cod National Seashore which runs from Eastham to Provincetown on the cape. Our first stop along the way was the NP Visitor Center located in Eastham.  There we saw a movie on the development of the Cape and how the Ice Age played an important roll in it its shape and lakes... They also had exhibits that you could stroll through and learn the different sea creatures, birds and plant life that is in the area.  After that we picked up our National Park map and headed out to explore. Oh yes and got our stamp♥  Also along the way we ran into several Lighthouses which we always enjoy visiting.

Three Sisters Lighthouse ~ Nauset Lighthoust ~ Chatham Lighthouse
 There are many many miles of beaches and small quaint towns included in this drive.  Also just getting there and back to our RV park we saw a lot of great things like Historic houses and Cranberry bogs. We didn't go all the way to Provincetown since we have been there several times but if you have never been there, then it is perhaps a place you should visit at least once.  A different kinda town with a lot of artsy shops and people.  Fun to explore!

Of course you can't visit Cape Cod without over indulging in Seafood ~ Especially Clams, Lobster and famous Clam Chowder ~ so todays feast was at the very popular Arnold's Lobster & Clam Shack in Eastham.  Very close to the Cape Cod National Park Visitors Center.  This place is a must when you visit Cape Cod. Now be forewarned ~ go early to beat the crowds and bring cash because they don't accept credit cards BUT they are well worth it all.  It is a Calm Shack that grew & grew....

Yes you are seeing clear ~ that is a very yummy 3# lobster with drawn butter ♥

You get a ton of food and it is by far the best seafood we have had on this trip!!!
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....


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