15 September 2014

What do Downton Abbey, Segways, and Theodore Roosevelt Have in Common?

What those three things have in common is those are all part of the activities we did in September this year. 
First was a daytrip I took to Wilmington, Delaware to Winterthur, a mansion formerly owned by the Duponts. It's now a museum that was having an exhibit of actual costumes used in the show, "Downton Abbey".
 They mostly showed clothing from the wealthy family members, but below is an apron worn by the one of the maids. I thought the lace on it was very pretty.
 The clothing below was worn by Cora's mother, played by Shirley MacLaine.
 The two costumes on the right were worn by Maggie Smith. I don't remember which actress wore the green dress, but it's definitely more stylish than the dresses worn by Mrs. Crawley.
 This dress was worn by Cora, played by Elizabeth McGovern. The details on all the costumes on display were very elegant and intricate.
 This is Edith's wedding dress.
 These are the outfits that were worn when Matthew proposed to Mary. In the background they were showing the proposal scene over and over on a loop.
This flapper style dress was worn by Rose.It was very cool to see the actual costumes used in the show. It sure would be fun to wear clothes like these.
Later in the month we took a two-hour Segway tour of DC. We had so much fun on the Segways in Annapolis last year that we were anxious to have another chance to ride a Segway. I saw a groupon offer for a tour of DC and gave it to Kent for a Father's day gift, but we didn't use it until September.
 We rode past, and posed in front of, most the famous DC landmarks. (We didn't go past the Jefferson Memorial, since it's more out of the way than the other monuments.)
We even rode in the bike lane down Pennsylvania Avenue.
 It was pretty warm as the day went by, so we ditched our jackets.
Below you can see the Korean War Veteran's Memorial.
I was surprised to see this small field of corn growing next to the Department of Agriculture Building, right in downtown DC.
We also rode past the Smithsonian Castle, the original museum before it grew to be soooo huge.
After the Segway tour was over, we went to Theodore Roosevelt Island, which is in the Potomac River in the heart of DC. I've been wanting to go there for years, but this was the first time we fit it into our schedule.
 The island is run by the National Park Service, and is mostly full of walking and jogging paths. Here's a picture of the monument on the island.
I really like the quote on the bottom of the monument below: "If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness." Do politicians today make statements like that??
September was a fun-filled month, seeing some new things and having some new experiences!

10 September 2014

The MAINE Attractions

During the last week of August, Kent and I took a nine-day, 2, 900 mile road trip through Maine, three Canadian provinces, and New York state. I thought I'd start of with the highlights of our delightful visit to Maine. As you can see from the pictures, we had perfect weather! Temperatures in the 70's and sunshine.
The first day of our trip we just drove from Virginia to Boston, Mass, and stayed with my sister overnight. We headed out at 7am the next morning and drove to the southern coast of Maine. This was our day for seeing lighthouses and eating lobster rolls! The lighthouse below is called the Nubble Lighthouse.
We saw a sign for this wildlife refuge and knew we had to stop, since our daughter-in-law is named Rachel Carson!
We arrived in Kennebunkport, Maine, which we'd heard of because the Bushes have a summer home there.
We pulled in to town in time to buy a lobster roll at the Clam Shack. Since it was only 11:30am, we beat the crowds that were lined up an hour later.
 We saw the "Wedding Cake House" which is a landmark in Kennebunkport,
and below is a picture of the Bush home.
Our next stop was the Portland Head lighthouse,
and then on to the city of Portland. We drove to the harbor area and bought another lobster roll at the Portland Lobster Company.
This was my favorite lobster roll because I liked the bread it was on the best.
Our last stop on this first day was the "Desert of Maine", a freak of nature so that a large deposit of sand was left after the glaciers receded thousands of years ago.

We spent the night outside of Bangor, and day two of our trip found us at Acadia National park just as it opened at 8am. We were delighted to find out that it was a "fee-free" day!
We drove up to Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. We walked around the top of the mountain and saw some good views of the park.
As we were on our way to our next stop, we passed through the towns who started the "Wreaths Across America" program. Kent and I have helped to distribute the wreaths at Arlington Cemetery, and we knew the program originated in Maine, but didn't know where until we were driving through.
The lighthouse below is called the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, and is at the most eastern point in the USA. It was foggy as we drove to it, but it cleared up as we were looking around.
Here's a close-up of the marker, which you can see behind us in the photo above, with the two people looking at it.
The town of Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost TOWN in the United States.
Our last stop of the day was St. Croix Island, an international historic site, shared by both the U.S. and Canada. It marked an early settlement of the French.
As we headed into northern Maine, away from the coast, we saw lots of signs like the one below.
The friends we visited in northern Maine took us out on their boat on the lake just down from their house, and this is the view we had.
We had to check out the city of Fort Kent, way up north on the Canadian border.
That's where we saw the beginning of Route 1, which starts in Maine and ends in Florida. It runs through our county in Virginia just a couple of miles from our house.
And last, but not least, we visited the little town of Madawaska.
It's claim to fame is that it's the most northeastern town in the United States, and calls itself one of the four corners of the US. The other corners being in Florida, southern California and Washington state.
As you can see, we had a magnificent time exploring the state of Maine and managed to see lots of cool places in the four days we spent there. Now that the post is done, go through and count how many colors of polo shirts Kent was wearing in all the photos!!

Adventures North of the Border

 We actually passed in and out of Canada from Maine three times from three different points in the state. but for convenience sake I'm going to put all the pictures from the three provinces we visited in Canada on the same blog post. 
Our first stop in Canada was at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, where FDR had a summer cottage. We had a nice picnic on the grounds of the park before we toured the home.
Yes, the home behind us is considered a "cottage" because it wasn't insulated against cold.
This was the lighthouse near the Roosevelt Cottage.
We drove across the 7.8 mile bridge from New Brunswick into Prince Edward Island.
We just had to take a picture next to this classy sign!
The scenery on PEI was pretty farmlands and picturesque churches, like the one below.
 Our first stop was the homestead site of Lucy Maud Montgomery.
 There was also a recreated home, as described in the Anne of Green Gables books.
This was at the visitor's center, where we saw a short film. The Anne of Green Gables books put PEI on the map and accounts for most of their tourism.
While on PEI we stopped in at a local church for a lobster supper.
 There were several courses besides lobster, and we had a good meal.
Here we are at the New Brunswick Visitor's center.
 Near the city of Moncton, which is where we stayed, were some rock formations known as the "Hopewell Rocks". When the tide goes out in the Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 40 million tons of water are displaced. These are some of the largest tides in the world.
 When the tide is out it's possible to "walk on the ocean floor" and to see some Dr. Suess-like rock formations.
 We arrived there just as the park opened and the tide was out.
There were some pretty steep stairs to get down to the ocean floor.

 We left long before the tide came in, but it would have been neat to see it again when all the rocks were covered with water.
Our last stop in Canada was in the city of Quebec. We drove through the province of Quebec, which was very pretty, also, and all the signs were in French.
 Quebec City reminded us of a European town.

 The hotel behind us is the landmark of the city. It will make an appearance in a few other photos we took.
There were stone walls around the old city, which is where we spent our time.
 The fortress of Quebec has a changing of the guard ceremony similar to the one in London.
These soldiers were dressed like British soldiers, but they were being given their orders in French!
 The mascot of the company of soldiers was a goat, so he came out onto the parade ground for the ceremony.
One last view of that famous hotel, taken from the fortress where we watched the changing of the guard.
 We really enjoyed the sights we saw in Canada, and you can see we had fabulous weather every day!