Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teaser Only ~ More Later

We got in much later this evening than we usually do and we had such an exciting day too! I'm just going to share two photos that were taken today.

Do you know where we are in this photo?

Look at the background behind Rich. What is that called?

Tomorrow I'll tell you more...oops...we have a big day planned for tomorrow too!

Lovin' Life ~~ Havin' a Blast!  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Newport, Rhode Island

Today we toured two of the Newport Mansions. Both of these were built by Vanderbilts as summer cottages and are even more magnificent than my imagination could ever conjure.

Driving over the Sakonnet River Bridge we entered Aquidneck Island. The towns of Portsmouth, Middletown, and Newport are on this island.

The first of the great summer cottages we toured was the Marble House, built by William K. and Alva Smith Vanderbilt and completed in 1892.

Marble House was built using 500,000 cubic feet of white marble and cost eleven million dollars. I can't begin to describe the opulence inside.

For scale, here is Rich standing inside the front door of the Marble House.

This is the dining room.

We drove along Thames Street which runs parallel to Narragansett Bay until we found a parking spot and had a bite of lunch. From there we found Ocean Drive which allows access to the ocean although the shore is extremely rocky in this area, even where the famous summer cottages are located.

The Breakers is perhaps the most famous of the great summer cottages of the gilded age in America. Built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II it is a four story limestone palace with seventy rooms.

This home is so large that I could only get the center section in the frame of my camera.

Rich standing inside the front door of The Breakers.

The dining room table was not extended and only had eight chairs around it today. It must be quite a sight when all four arm chairs and thirty side chairs that I counted in that room are set at table.

Don't pass up an opportunity to visit these homes if you are in the area. There are eleven homes that can be toured but we were only able to visit these two. It takes over an hour to tour each one plus any time you spend outside or just dawdling in disbelief that anyone could possess such vast wealth.

On our way back up Aquidneck Island, we passed Easton's Beach. In the 1840s, "Women and their escorts were permitted to use the beach in the morning, under protection of a white flag. At noon when a red bunting went up, women were expected to leave..." according to a nineteenth-century chronicler.

This is Easton's Beach today...after Tropical Storm Irene passed through.

Much of the sand seemed to have washed away and the ground was covered with dead clams.

Closer to the water were piles of seaweed and some dead fish. Other than lots of downed limbs and trees and a couple of boarded up windows, this is the most damage we have seen from Irene.

Lovin' Life ~~ In Awe of Today's Sights  

Maine to Massachusetts

Yesterday we moved south, to a point in Massachusetts that is about forty miles from Boston, 40 miles from Cape Cod, and 40 miles from Newport, RI...a perfect location for exploring this area. We're scheduled to leave here Friday morning but we'll see... In anticipation of that though, we have a full schedule for these three days. Not wanting to get behind on my travel blog, I'm posting a few highlights of yesterday's drive.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge over the Penobscot River near Bucksport, Maine opened in 2006 and replaced the 1931 Waldo-Hancock Bridge seen to the right.

The Statehouse in Augusta, the capitol of Maine.

The Zahim Bunker Hill Bridge across the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts. Both this and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge are a design type of bridge called cable-stayed.

The Tip O'Neill Tunnel under downtown Boston...of course we drove right through Boston...would you expect any less???

As y'all know, I LOVE bridges, I LOVE state capitols, and I LOVE seeing major cities so, yeah, yesterday was a great day with Rich driving over, through, and under several of my favorite things!!!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Favorite Things  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last Day on Mount Desert Island; 400th Post!

After our perfect day hiking and picnicking yesterday, we spent the evening doing laundry and then watching a couple of movies. How's that for a lead sentence on my 400th blog post??? Laundry? Yeah, chores still have to be done, even in paradise.

As Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene was approaching this morning, we lingered over breakfast, I worked on photos and started posting, and Rich followed the storm on the computer at his desk. I don't recall ever posting a photo of his desk in the RV; you've seen mine a couple of times when the kids would be playing on my computer up front. His is in our bedroom.

We did finally leave to return the movies at a grocery store in Bar Harbor and pick up a few things.  From there we drove the long way back home on Rte 3. Because the surf and the sky and the air were the same gray color, photography was just not happenin'. When we came upon this though, the colors of the water grasses seemed to pop out of the fog.

Beauty can always be found ~ even on a gray, foggy, windy, stormy day.

As we got nearer to home, we saw these wild turkeys grazing in a yard. We saw them in the same yard yesterday! Cool, huh?

We plan to leave here early tomorrow morning. It will be a long day of driving because we are going to try to make it to the place we have reserved. Originally we were going to take two easy driving days to get there, while exploring more of the Maine coast, but ended up staying here those two days to avoid the worst of Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.

Lovin' Life ~~ Photos & Blogging
400 Posts ~~ WOW!

Picnic on Somes Sound

Having worked up an appetite during our hike yesterday morning, we thought about picking up sandwiches and looking for a picnic spot.

When we got to Northeast Harbor, fog was rolling in over the harbor so we stopped to watch and I walked down onto a dock to take photos.

The fog was moving very fast from the right side of this photo to the left and getting thicker as it came in.

I just liked this shot of the wharf pilings above and the lobster trap on the dock where I stood.

A couple blocks from there we saw a sign for the Full Belli Deli where they offered made-to-order sandwiches, as well as freshly baked cookies and wild blueberry bread. They even carried bottled Diet Pepsi! What more could we ask?

As we drove along Somes Sound, we contemplated eating our lunch in the car at one of the roadside turnouts but, after taking a couple of photos, we would decided to drive "just a little further." Thank goodness we didn't give up because we saw a street sign that said Suminsby Park...nothing else, just a street sign. We turned onto that road, parked and saw a couple of picnic tables on the lawn. While Rich was getting the girls and their water, I took the lunch bags and as I walked toward those tables, this came into view down the slope...

...yes, we had stumbled upon our very own, very private point on Somes Sound. It was an absolutely perfect picnic spot. Here are our views to the left and to the right.

Here is Rich surveying our lucky find after securing the girls to the picnic table and getting them fresh water.

Wondering what we would find, we were delighted to unwrap our sandwiches and discover these delights!

I had ordered their Cranberried sandwich with turkey...yummmm

Rich got their Italian Stallion, I didn't make up that name...with roast beef, pesto mayo, roasted red peppers, and a few other things.

Rich is coming back after taking the trash up; the girls stood like this the entire time he was gone...awaiting his return.

I should have taken photos of our jumbo cookies because they, too, were delicious. This morning we had some of the blueberry bread with breakfast and it was as great as everything else we bought there. If you visit Acadia, I strongly recommend picking up your own picnic fixin's at Full Belli Deli in Northeast Harbor and keeping your eyes out for that little sign at this unmarked park on Somes Sound.

While we Meander, we seem to have a knack for frequently stumbling upon hidden gems or unusual sights. To us, yesterday was yet another perfect day at another hidden gem. We are racking up quite a long list of those but don't think for a second that we take any of them for granted...we are openly grateful for each one.

Right now the RV is rocking in the wind...the winds of Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene that is.

Lovin' Life ~~ And Hidden Gems  

'Shrooming in Acadia

Yesterday morning we headed out with the girls for another hike along a portion of the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park.

We left from the Brown Mountain Gatehouse parking lot.

The girls are always ready for a hike.

This is Hadlock Pond, our destination.

Since Rich and the girls walk much faster, I asked them to go on ahead when we turned back so they could get in a faster-paced walk and I could stop for photos without holding them up.

That's when I got to do some serious 'shrooming...with my camera that is! Here are several photos of fungi that I took while hiking back to our car.











I typed a number under each because I would love to hear from you if you have a favorite photo among these. Please add a comment to this blog post or e-mail me at with your favorite.

As I approached the end of the Carriage Road at the parking lot, I noticed this tree stump where it had been sawed. What a perfect way to say that I  you for following us on this blog and I  Mount Desert Island!

Lovin' Life ~~ And All It Encompasses

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunset on Cadillac Mountain

As though our day had not been perfect already, we drove up to Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunset.

Lovin' Life ~~ Grateful for Perfect Days