Thursday, July 10, 2008

New England - Day 2


What in the world?? I woke up at 7a.m. by a seemingly possessed doorbell. I look out, but don't see anyone. Maybe I dreamed it? Maybe it was the Shipyard's dock bells... I go back to bed, Ms. Nicely didn't seem to notice it from her room.

DINGDONGDINGDONGDINGDONGDINGDONG.... are you kidding me?! This time, there had to have been someone there. Right? Well, long story short, Ms. Nicely had told me about the neighbor kids, and how intrusive they can be. She wasn't kidding! But once they saw it wasn't anyone they really knew staying there, they left us alone the rest of the time. Seriously, I am on vacation, I don't want to be disturbed by kids if they aren't mine! Since we were up, we decided to get ready for the day.

Today was Exploring Northern New Hampshire While Slipping Into Maine Day. We didn't officially name it that, but we should have. I guess I should say, we didn't really have a plan per se. Kind of a "wherever the road takes us" sort of trip. We had plenty of maps to help us in that journey. We had a few things in mind we wanted to see and do during our trip, the rest was visited as it came along.

We were headed to The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel. We stopped along the way to get some gas. I saw a funny sign (Only because of the name). I had to get a picture. I swirled out the number so they don't get any drunk calls after you try Shipyard beer.

I believe I was in complete photography nirvana. Land full of lush landscapes and nature, just waiting for me to capture them on film, er digital media. I really believe I could go back just as a photography trip for more than a week! And trust me, just after day 1 I was sure I was going to have to purchase another memory card or two for the camera! But through the miracle of cables, I checked out some shots on the TV and cleaned out the shots I didn't need or were not fond of. We made sure to do this each night.

I loved their signs there. Now maybe it's because we don't have moose, but I am sure the road signs are not a main attractions for just anyone. And I will say, on this trip we saw a bronco on the side of the road. I am guessing it had a run in with a moose. Seeing how the how front end looked like a boulder had been dropped on top of the front hood, and there was no sign of a boulder...

Along the way, Ms. Nicely was having a contact issue, not good when you are the driver and are supposed to be able to see. So we saw a little babbling brook of sorts, she pulled off so I could snap away and she could fix her contact. I had read some info (thanks Mop) about water movement pictures. So this was fresh on my mind to try out. I maybe could have done a tad better with a tripod and did later on (you will see what I mean). Then as I headed back to the vehicle, I saw a sign. The 12 year-old in me came out and took a picture of it (you may have to click on it to read it).

Back on the road we make it to BALSAMS. Beeeeeauuuuutifuuuuullll. Another place I could have spent the whole day shooting! I will let it's beauty charm you! They seemed to be having a natural springs issue in the parking lot. A little reminder, we don't control Mother Nature!

If you didn't read up on it, there is a small town called Dixville Notch that holds their election voting there. It's actually a really big deal! They are the first to vote in New Hampshire!! For some light reading (and shorter blogging) you can go here to find out more!

We left there and continued on the journey, this is where we ended up in Maine for a short time. We missed a road we were going to take, but we ended up with some really cool shots though. First we were at Umbagog State Park, took pictures by Umbagog Lake, and if you can say Umbagog ten times fast... you win. I don't know what you win, except the title of winner. Here is how beautiful it is! Please excuse the artist rendering of us, witness protection program you know! You would think their artist would be better than that...

We continued on in Maine, this time near Grafton Notch State Park. This is where we saw Moose Cave and Screw Auger Falls. Yes the latter was visited for it's name, incidentally I got some GREAT pics there!

You have to admit that Ms. Nicely made a great equipment girl!

As we are leaving Screw Auger Falls, we passed by a cute little pie shack! She had it set up as an honor system, pick out your goodies and put the money in the box on the tree. She had a lot to choose from, we settled on the apple pie. It had a cute little moose on top! And let me tell you, that was THE best apple pie I have had in a long, long time.

We head back into New Hampshire into the White Mountains Region.

On the way back to her family's house, we stopped where the family sugar shack is. After trodding through Poison Oak, oh yes we did, in flipflops, we finally found it. I didn't get very good pictures here like I had hoped, but the mosquito population must have been having a big family reunion that we disturbed and we were losing daylight. After looking around making sure local punks hadn't done too much to the place, we carried an old trunk back out to the road. Then immediately went up to the house and scrubbed our legs,feet, and shoes in the shower. Miraculously, we got it within that 30 minute window you supposedly have after contact, and we didn't break out! We did end up with a few mosquito bites to annoy us though.

I cooked up a quick supper, boneless pork chops, crash hot potatoes, and corn on the cob. Fabulous! And yes, that was our one meal of the day - see, the trend really had started. Aside of some cereal for breakfast and a couple helpings from the candy stash, that was all we had. Frankly, neither of us were even hungry until supper!

We sat down with some more beer, turned on the TV, and talked all evening long. Oh and you better believe we had some pie! What a perfect day. I had made it through without missing the kids and hubby too badly. It was just the break I needed.

Product rave:
More of a food rave
Crash Hot Potatoes
I love Pioneer Woman's blog, and when she added this recipe to the collection, I knew it was going to be a must have. They are perfect. They are not real heavy (as far as a potato is concerned) and they seem to go great with just about anything!
Give them a try!

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