Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Highlights:  Portland, Maine -  Freeport Maine - Rockingham, Vermont - Brattleboro,Vermont - Pennsylvania - Wheeling, West Virginia - Williamstown, Kentucky

 The famous Portland Head Lighthouse in Portland, Maine - gorgeous!

We walked out onto the rocks to see the Spring Point Lighthouse - it's a short one!  This is our wonderful host with The Hubs.  I posted earlier about their wonderful hospitality.  

Boots, anyone? L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine.  We felt like the whole town was kind of an outlet mall, but we did eat a delicious lunch at an Inn and the drive up there was pretty (we took a scenic route) with the fall leaves and lovely homes.
One of only a few pics of New Hampshire - I wasn't feeling well so slept through most of that state!  We drove several hours through some rural towns and The Hubs got pretty worried at one point because we were getting low on gas and hadn't seen a gas station for a long time!  We were saved with only 20 miles left in the gas tank.

The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, Vermont (one of three locations in Vermont)was something I definitely wanted to see.  I had gotten their catalog some 30 years ago and had ordered things from them occasionally. They have a lot of old-fashioned things other stores don't sell.  It was a fun stop and we did end up making a few purchases.   

Photo-op by the Vermont Country store

We loved spending two nights in Brattleboro, Vermont!  We hiked nature trails and up a steep incline to this ski jump!  It was kind of scary being on the structure.  I can't imagine being on snow skis and going down that.  They are having a competition there in February!

In the middle of the woods of Brattleboro there is this lookout tower they call the Retreat tower.  It was built in the 1800's by patients of the Insane Asylum nearby.  The history of the hospital is interesting - back then they were known for their new treatment which included treating patients as productive people who could work and enjoy nature.  Unfortunately the tower is locked up due to several unknown people/patients that jumped to their death.  There are no roads up to the tower, you have to hike to it, and it's hard to see until you are right upon it.  Also, there is a small cemetery on the grounds near the trails.

So many covered bridges up here and this one has been turned into a picnic spot!  We got our lunch from a delicious local deli - Vermont Country Deli - then came over here to eat one day.

So the Vermont Country Deli was amazing - we got lunch there 2 days in a row!  Look at these cookies the size of my hand!

We learned about making maple sugar at the Robb Family Farm and bought lots of maple goodies too!  We had been wondering what "those ropes" around the trees were...

The maple syrup cooker and purifier

Downtown Brattleboro has lots of shops and restaurants and is a good afternoon stroll! This mural says something about Carter's Little Liver Pills, which is something my mother used to say!

Before we left we stopped by an Apple farm and also a cheese making factory!  So much good stuff to eat around here!  Right by the apple farm was the Rudyard Kipling house.  The author lived there for a few years after he got married.  The house is now part of the Landmark Trust and you can actually stay in it!  
Heading home, we are really burning up the road!  On this turnpike in Pennsylvania we drove through 4 of these tunnels.  Each one had the name of the mountain on it that we were driving through.  The turnpike charge was something like $28!  Guess those tunnels are expensive!
 Wheeling, West Virginia!  We were only in WV a short time, but we made time for a lunch stop at the Soup Shack in an historic old market place.  Definitely needed some TLC but had some great history there.  

The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky was an interesting thing to see!  It is the largest timber structure in the world and they used information from the Bible and shipbuilding practices of that day to make this amazing boat.  They had many ideas inside of the ark to show how food and water could have been stored, where animals and waste could have been managed, etc.  Of course, I believe even without all these devices God was going to take care of them in a supernatural way.  Overall, I felt it was expensive to only spend 2 hours there.  They had speakers and singing groups scheduled throughout the day but we couldn't stay that long.  We tried to watch a short film called "Interview with Noah," but it was just too cheesy.  We left.  Some of the the exhibits were closed for the season as well.  My review would be that it is great for those who know nothing about the biblical story, but it was also very preachy.  Just kind of strange to me in some ways.

Our daughter was working in Kentucky at the time we drove through, so we stopped by to see her!

So after that we had a night in Tennessee, but it was nothing but a stay.  We were anxious to be home after driving so much and so many one night stays. It was great though, we only paid for two nights of the entire trip because we used hotel points, plus we stayed with friends in Maine.  This trip was a unique time for The Hubs in between jobs and a time to be away from responsibilities of church and home.  It was a time for us to have fun together and worry less.  It was a great road trip and way to see so much of the country.  My only regret is not getting to see more of Maine and Vermont!  Next time...

Thursday, November 14, 2019


A stop at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut on our road trip deserves it's own post.  Like the song (Sentimental Journey) says, I was like a child in wild anticipation!  I hadn't been there since I was 16, and I was excited to share my memories with The Hubs.  

Backstory:  When I was 16 years old, my Dad, a professor of Mathematics at Oklahoma Christian University, was honored to get to study Babylonian Mathematics at Yale for the summer of 1980.  It was a wonderful experience for him academically and a great surprise for our family, as we had taken "our last big road trip as a family" the summer before to California.  Dad arranged for my mother, sister and me to fly up to Connecticut and join him the last month.  We had an apartment, with no air conditioning (which was common there) but the summer of 1980 is known historically as one of the hottest!  I thought the people up there must be crazy to not have air conditioning.  

For a month, my sister and I walked all over New Haven, stopping often in the Peabody Museum to see the dinosaurs, eating pizza at a local diner, going to the mall, even taking sewing lessons at a fabric store.  We were extras in a commercial filmed at the mall.  We went to several events on the Yale campus with our parents- a tour and film nights; a picnic with the other professors.  We went to church and doubled the size of the youth group, enjoying time in one of the member's homes.  On the weekends we went to other states - saw Boston, New York City, and Princeton, New Jersey, even staying with another professor and his wife in their home.  We enjoyed Hamonasset Beach and Mystic Seaport.  We grew to love Italian bakeries.  I realized on the way home I had not seen a Mexican restaurant in a month!  On the drive home we stopped to take in more history and culture in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Nashville.  I actually kept a journal of the trip, so it's fun to read and see what my 16 year old mind thought about all these new experiences.  

 Our first stop in New Haven was at an Italian bakery for some goodies!

 Peabody Museum of Natural History, on the campus of Yale University.

They had a special exhibit on Babylonian Antiquities, which is what my Dad studied there!

The Peabody also has an excellent dinosaur room!  This was my first time ever as a kid to see actual dinosaur bones!

 In the Children's Area, they have Hissing Cockroaches and Leafcutter Ants!

What they believe the Dodo bird may have looked like, based on the skeleton.

So, I mentioned in my teenage trip journal that Clark's pizza was the best.  And they are still there!!!! 

This beautiful bell tower on campus was chiming as we walked by!

Entrance to the Sterling Memorial library, which has interesting architecture and history.  

This is something I've always been in awe of on the campus since I first saw it - the Beinecke Rare Book Museum.  They have one of five Gutenberg Bibles in the US displayed here.  But what I really loved are the walls.  They are made of marble.  On the outside of the building it looks like a plain white building.  But when you get inside, if it's a sunny day, you can see the sun shining through the marble and all the striations of the stone.  It's always been so amazing to me!  I was tickled to just walk around inside and show this to The Hubs as well.

The few hours we spent here were really special to me.  I loved seeing the sights and eating the foods I remembered.  I never really had memories of living anywhere else except Oklahoma, so New Haven, Connecticut was a real eye-opener for me in so many ways: historically, an ivy league university, small churches, and the culture.  It was such a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I got to share a little bit of it with The Hubs.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


Every once in a while, I think we all need a little time off-grid.  Not off the map, but just away from your responsibilities and a chance to do some unplanned things.  The (mostly) unplanned road trip to Maine was something fun and different and just a little bit crazy for us! It came at a time when The Hubs had been laid off from his job for a couple of months and seeking new opportunities. It came at a time when I had been heavily into women's retreat planning, and everything else was taking a back seat.  The Hubs declared we were going on a road trip when one of his work friends invited us to come to Maine.  
Oddly enough, we ended up with quite an itinerary when The Hubs decided we should touch base with 2 other business friends, one in Toronto, Canada, and one in Buffalo, NY.  Then our son won a film challenge contest and his film was going to be shown at ADFF (architecture and design film festival) in NYC.  So we realized we could be there for that!  Anyway, those things had us all over the place!  To save $ we decided to only stay in hotels where we could use points.  Worked out pretty well; we only paid for 2 nights of a 2 week trip!  Here's a few of our stops:

Casey, Illinois - little town with the world's largest things!  Behind us is the WL wind chime.

 Here's the WL rocking chair and the WL teeter-totter!

Niagara Falls at night

Rainy morning at Niagara Falls
Toronto, Canada and St. Lawrence Market

Hiking to Albion Falls in Hamilton, Canada

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

NYC - we discovered Starbucks Reserve Roastery!

NYC - Hudson Yards - walking sculpture - last time we were here this was unfinished, so it was neat to see it completed.

NYC - meeting up with our son and his wife at the ADFF!  
So cool seeing his work on the big screen!