Friday, August 31, 2007

Becoming Jane

I can't say I loved this movie, but it was okay. Once you get by the fictionalized story of Jane's romance with Tom LeFroy, you can sit back and enjoy it. For Jane purists though, it must be painful. It moved a little too slowly, but it had to be hard to flesh out a 2+ hour movie with the very little that is really known about Jane herself. It was a pretty movie though and Anne Hathaway (the girl in The Devil Wears Prada) did a credible job as a young Jane; she's very pretty and you don't even realize she's not English. I especially liked the way they linked the insult Tom delivers to Jane early in the movie with the insult Mr. Darcy pays to Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice at the assembly. That was a nice touch. Fodder for the writer's mill. See below.

Becoming Jane Trailer

Here's the trailer from the movie. It may interest you enough to go see it, or it may be all you need to see. Either way, I just wanted to see if I could get it to work.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Okay, Time To Come Home

I'm really missing them and, while the blogs were cute and fun and a novelty, it's time for me to see the real people. I think I will have to set a limit on vacations to 2 weeks at the most. A month is just too long for me. I swiped this picture from Amy's blog, by the way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

You'll Be Happy To Know. . .

that I've already found the house I want in Maine. Here's the description:

"Bold, dramatic oceanfront. This 3 bedroom post and beam home is perched at the edge of the Rocky coastline with fabulous ocean views. Stately fieldstone fireplace in living room, pegged hardwood floors, living rm, dining rm, eat-in kitchen, and master with amazing water views. Outside deck off dining room with sliding glass doors to enjoy morning coffee and rolling waves."

Yes, sir, this one has my name on it. I'm not sure it's exactly what Bill's looking for though. I'll have to work on him. Wait 'til I show him these pictures. . .back me up on this, you can come visit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We're Baaack

We got home yesterday afternoon and it is very miserable here. It is raining like mad, cold and dreary. I think I want to be back on vacation. I am feeling a little disoriented. I spent a week trying to figure out where things were, and now I'm back home trying to figure out where things are. Go figure.
One bright note was our "stray cat" sitter, Betsy. She left me the nicest letter and said she found Junior to be "very pleasant" and would be happy to take care of him any time we want to go away. Mind you now, I'm not sure what cat she was referring to but our Junior is anything but pleasant. He'd just as soon hiss you as look at you. He did arrive after a few minutes of our getting home and submitted to some petting, so I guess he missed me.
So, the rain is pouring down, the garden is overgrown, the wash needs to be done, and I am going to miss writing my blog. I guess I'm home.

All The Pretty Horses

Chestnut foal

Mama Buckskin

Two foals
These are some of the horses we met at Whistlewood Farm where we stayed in Rhinebeck. They were right outside our cottage and always interested in our comings and goings. We always had to stop for a little chat and a pet. I was sorry to leave them. I got quite attached. You know how I am with animals.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hanging Out With FDR and Eleanor

Today we went back to Hyde Park to see FDR's home away from home. This was really his mother's home, but he and Eleanor lived there when they weren't in Washington or New York. The tour was very interesting and made us appreciate what a remarkable person he really was. He was apparently a spoiled child and a mediocre student and went on to bring the country out of the depression and through World War II. Eleanor was also quite an inspirational character; I am going to read her autobiography when I get home.

We had dinner at Le Petit Bistro in Rhinebeck. I know, the name sounds too precious, but the food was wonderful. Bill says he'd come back to this area anytime for the food alone.

Speaking of home, that's where we're headed after breakfast tomorrow and I think we're both glad to be going. It's been a wonderful vacation, but you know what they say.

Horsing Around In Rhinebeck

Here I am sitting on the porch of our horse farm b&b in Rhinebeck, NY. That's our cottage you see and the horses are right outside our door. There are 2 mamas with foals on the other side which I am trying to get a good picture of for you.

Before we checked in yesterday, we drove down to Hyde Park (a few miles away) and took a tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion. I can't decide if the lifestyle of these super rich people is interesting or a little silly. They lived like royalty and thought of themselves as kings and queens yet they were as ordinary as chicken soup. Rose from being penniless to wealth beyond imagination. Their fortunes, made as they were, before income tax and inheritance tax, were so vast that the Gates's wouldn't be able to live the way they did. Here is their little summer cottage along the Hudson.

And here's the view from their porch

We had a nice dinner in Rhinebeck at a place called Calico and then fell into bed. Today we are going to drive around the area and probably go to Hyde Park again to see the Roosevelt homes that are there and maybe visit a couple of wineries. It is a very beautiful area, but it reminds me of home and I am feeling a little homesick too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On The Road Again

Had a great dinner last night at the Wellington Room in Portsmouth along the Piscataqua River. Try saying that 3 times real fast. We're getting on the road early today because we have a long drive ahead of us. See you all in Rhinebeck.

Friday, August 17, 2007


We stopped for breakfast in Camden on our way out of Maine this morning. Then we strolled along the harbor for a last look.

This guy was nice enough to give us a big goodbye.

Strawbery Banke

We are in Portsmouth, NH, today. We arrived before lunch and needed something to do until we could check into our hotel. We found a whole area near the waterfront called Strawbery Banke. It's a kind of museum that recreates over 400 years of life in this particular neighborhood of Portsmouth. It has restored buildings and gardens and real people engaged in different occupations that they would have done throughout the years. It's kind of a time capsule of life in this area across 4 centuries. A lot like Williamsburg, but on a smaller scale and spanning more time. Okay, stop yawning. We love stuff like this.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Last Night

Our last night in Maine. Tomorrow on to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and from there to Rhinebeck, NY. I miss Maine already, but I am looking forward to the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I've been wanting to see Acadia National Park for a long time. Today I did. The day was overcast which was a shame, but not a disaster. There is a road that loops around the park and we got a bit off course and ended up doing the last part first and the first part last. That was too bad because the first part threw me for a loop. You were supposed to see various sights and then end up driving to the summit of Cadillac Mountain which is the highest point of land on the eastern seaboard at 1,530 feet. That doesn't sound very high to all you world travelers who have been in the Rockies and Grand Tetons, I know. I was okay when we started up but the higher we got, the more uncomfortable I became. By the time we reached the top, I was sure we were going to tumble off the side and roll all the way down. It just made me nervous and I couldn't wait to get down. I think it kind of spoiled the day for me. I did manage to take a few pictures of things on the shore that pleased me.

You are probably wondering how I got this fantastic shot of this guy. Well, he was eating cheezits out of some lady's hand on the rocks and seemed to quite happy to have his picture taken, as long as the cheezits kept coming.

This was a pretty lake in the heart of the park. We leave here tomorrow and go to Wiscasset for a night on our way to Portsmouth, NH.

Another Day, Another Yacht

A third yacht docked at our hotel this morning. Must be nice.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sometimes It Seems Like It's All Just Too Much

I feel like I'm on sensory overload right now. Everywhere I look is such stunning natural beauty that I almost can't believe it's real. Even the man-made things look beautiful to me.

Here's a picture from our route this morning up to Bar Harbor. This is Camden, Maine. Bill said "Isn't it strange to use the words 'Camden' and 'beautiful' in the same sentence?"

Here's one I took in another little town we stopped in briefly on the way up.

Ok, just two more. This is the view from our room.

That's enough for tonight; I have to rest my senses. Tomorrow we go to Acadia.

Now That's What I'm Talkin' About

The minute we crossed the state line into Maine, a little chant began in my head. Bill said he heard it too. "Lobster, lobster, lobster," it said. I couldn't make it stop. When we checked into our inn, the proprietor asked if we wanted any dinner recommendations. "Sure, that would be great," we said. "My favorite," he said, "is the Thistle Inn. They have the most delicious duck." Duck! Duck? Who wants duck in Maine. We can get duck in Malvern for cripes' sake. Needless to say, we ignored his suggestions and took ourselves down to Boothbay Harbor and found a little rickety lobster shack and gorged ourselves. Mmmm. Maine lobster really spoils you for lobster anywhere else. It is so fresh and tender and scrumptious. Right on the water, paper plates, steamed to perfection. It doesn't get much better than this. Am I making you hungry? Come to Maine.

Welcome To Maine

I certainly haven't been to all 50 states, or even half of them, I guess, but I have to say, of the ones I have been to, Maine has to be my favorite. Now, that said, Hawaii is probably the most perfect paradise, but it's so far away, it's almost a dream. Maine is accessible. It is here on the east coast and you can get there from here. I just love everything about it, in fact, I think I could live here permanently. Bill looks at me in absolute horror when I say that, but I think I mean it. Every time I see a real estate sign with "waterfront" on it, I say "let's go look." He just drives on.

Monday, August 13, 2007

We Go To Jail (finally)

This is from the bottom of the stairway leading down to the dungeon. This is as far as we wanted to go. It was quite dark, drippy and slippery. Shirley and Bob wouldn't even go this far.

On the way to Shirley's I noticed a sign that said Historic Newgate Prison, so I asked them about it when we arrived. Apparently, although they have lived in the prison town for 42 years, they have never darkened its door. I thought it deserved a visit. It turned out to be quite interesting and although none of us ventured down into the dungeons below ground, we walked around the upper parts and learned that it was a Revolutionary War prison and copper mine. On to Maine.

Happy Anniversary

Linda and Rob in 1977

Here's Linda being surprised.

After the surprise wore off a little bit

Saturday was the surprise party for Rob and Linda's 25th anniversary. Their daughters engineered the whole thing and it was held at Linda's mother's home. There was copious food, drink, games, music, laughs, and mosquitoes. Many friends and family came - Linda's family alone constitutes quite a crowd. We were there along with Bob's sister and her husband, and, of course, Shirl and Bob. Scott, Beth and the children made the long drive up, too.

Here are the girls. I know you all want to see them. In order, Lindsay, Jenna (and Rob), Kim.

Here is Alaina mugging for the camera. That little girl can really dance!

Our Bed and Breakfast

The rain, of course, stopped as we were pulling in the driveway, and Saturday morning dawned crystal clear and cool. Bill and I took a little early morning walk down Shirley and Bob's road.


I've been out of commission for a few days due to lack of Internet access. So I am going back to Friday to update you on our weekend festivities. First, I must mention the drive up. Another drive from Hell to those of you who know what I'm talking about. There is just no good way to get from Pennsylvania to Connecticut. Bill studied directions all week before we left. Talked to travel jockeys, downloaded umpteen Mapquest routes, bought paper maps, all to no avail. Here is a photo of our drive up. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

This photo should give you an idea of what our entire trip was like. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, teeming rain, traffic, rain, rain, traffic, you get the idea. It took us 7 hours and 20 minutes (including a stop for lunch) to get from our house to Shirley's. Fortunately, things took a turn for the better as the weekend progressed. But we would just as soon forget Friday.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Packing Up

We leave tomorrow, so today is for packing and getting set. You are probably wondering if I really need a trunk for a 10 day vacation. It's all that gear I told you about, and like Amy says "how do you know what you're going to feel like wearing?" Seriously, I am not taking the trunk but I like the picture so I thought I'd use it. It is also for this week's photography lesson on texture. I like the peeling paint. I took it (the picture) on a little outing we had to Strasburg when Shirley and Bob were here in June.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Butterflies Are Free

Today Bill and I went on a photo outing to Springton Manor Farm. It was hotter than the blazes though, and many of the animals were taking it easy in the barn. We did visit the Butterfly House and got a few shots. In case you didn't know, butterflies are very hard to photograph. They flutter by so fast. I need some texture shots for this week's photography assignment, and I got one of a wooly lamb and one of a feather I think I'll use.

Send This Guy To My House

I understand there is a new Maytag Repairman. He replaces Jesse White (and then someone else) who did the commercials for so many years. Well, I need him right now. My Maytag dishwasher is broken. First I called a regular plumber. He didn't have the part, and told me to call an appliance repair place. So that guy came out and he still didn't have the part. He'd have to order it; this was last Thursday. It's now Wednesday and the part came in, but the repairman doesn't know if he can make it today. I want the new guy. Now.