Wednesday, November 4, 2015

East Coast Trip 2015, Part 2: ME to FL

It was a little difficult to leave the coast of Maine. We were enjoying the scenery and cool weather. Besides, the trees were not in full color yet! But we had more places to visit and people to see. We had decided long ago that we wanted to revisit Lancaster County where we had lived for 5 months in 2007-2008. So we headed south down I-95, except when trying to avoid the cities, which we learned is nearly impossible.

But there were some picturesque coastal towns along the way.

I surprised myself by being able to navigate the city of Lancaster after all those years. This is Soldiers and Sailors Monument (1874) in Penn Square, downtown Lancaster.

Lancaster Central Market was started on this location in 1730. It's like a farmers market three days per week all year. You can find just about anything here.

And then there is the Bird in Hand Farmers Market with mostly Amish produce, meats, flowers and handcrafts.

And north of Lancaster in the little town or Lititz, where I worked, is our favorite chocolate manufacturer, Wilbur. Their products are more like European chocolates than good ole American Hersheys. We had to buy some Wilbur Buds (the size of Hershey Kisses but different shape).

After leaving Lancaster we skirted Baltimore and DC to continue south. It was a long day but we made it to southern NC.

One of the highlights of the whole trip was visiting My uncle Lyman who is 98 and going strong. He lives in a senior apartment in Hilton Head, SC, and my cousin, Nona, works at the same complex.

After lunch with Uncle Lyman we saw our only "wild" alligator sunning next to a pond in the senior complex.

Our RV park/marina in Hilton Head was very luxurious and right on the water. Our site was next to one of the 2 pools and we took advantage of it!

Next stop was Savannah. We took a trolley tour and saw many beautiful houses and historical sites. I enjoyed how the old part of the city was laid out to create neighborhoods. And I had read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" which was mentioned frequently by the tour guide. Also saw the bench where Forrest Gump talked about life and chocolates.


Halfway down the Atlantic coast of Florida we found a nice park with beautiful sunrises.

We visited several beaches from Cocoa Beach to North Beach.

We crossed to the gulf side to attend Living the RV Dream Rally south of Tampa. We learned a lot from more experienced RVers and saw some new electronics to make our lives easier.

Visited Siesta Beach which was voted the #1 beach in the US. It certainly was wide with very fine white sand.

To be continued...

Monday, November 2, 2015

East Coast Trip 2015, Part 1: WI to ME

Seems like I didn't have much to blog about in late summer and then we hit the road and I couldn't find time to blog! Now with just a week left of this East Coast trip I will try to catch up.

We left Monroe, WI, September 22 and hauled our little house to South Bend, IN, where my sister Barbara lives. We had a good visit that evening and then we were off again the next morning for Erie, PA.

In that far NW corner of NY we found vineyards, wineries and lots of pumpkins. It seems like there was a bumper crop of pumpkins wherever we went.

Next stop was Watkins Glen, NY, where we met up with friends we made in Fairbanks, Susan and Les, and a friend from Ketchikan, Alan. Turns out they have friends in common. Lab tech small world story! We were presented with Finger Lakes wines and fresh vegetables from Alan's garden.

We made it to Springfield, MA, the next day to visit Alex and Laura. We set up camp for 10 days at Sunset Farms Campground in nearby Monson, MA. I was excited to find 2 apple trees in the campground! No one else was interested in picking up the nice apples covering the ground so I made apple sauce, apple butter and apple crisp while we were there.

We drove to Worchester, MA, and rode the train in to Boston for a day and had our first of many seafood meals. It was raining so we didn't do much sightseeing, although the Barking Crab, where we ate, is right on Boston Harbor.

We drove up to southern Vermont looking for fall color but it was still early. I just wanted to make sure to knock that state off my list as #48!

We attended The Big E (Eastern States Exposition) in Springfield with Alex and Laura where they decided they needed foot massages after hours of walking around. Each of the New England states has a building that showcases the highlights from their state and was a great opportunity for me to pick up tourist literature and maps. There was also a horse show which I enjoyed.

October 4th we headed to New Hampshire, my 49th state and we did see some progress in the turning of the leaves in the northern part of the state. We had frost the 2 nights we spent in the White Mountains.

Mt. Washington

We intended to drive up Mt. Washington the next day but missed the turn so circled it instead!

Ah, Maine! State #50 for me and home of Rollie's favorite food. First thing after arriving at Bar Harbor Campground we went to the closest lobster "pound", picked out our victims and ate the local specialty.

The campground had a view of the water and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We were just outside Acadia Narional Park and the town of Bar Harbor. The weather was cool and sunny, just the way we like it!

Acadia was beautiful and rugged. We hiked on a tame looking trail which turned out to be a rocky climb to get back to where we parked. We would like to suggest that the trails be graded on the signs!

Bar Harbor is almost surrounded by Acadia and is smaller than I had imagined. It is very "touristy" and a cruise ship port. Reminded us of Ketchikan, AK. The ships did not dock; the passengers were ferried from the ship to land in smaller boats, which was interesting to watch.

To be continued...