24 August 2012--So I am 5 days behind in my blog posting, trying to do a little catch-up here with Hallie's and Donna's last full day with us...last Sunday.
We drove down to Portland, ME, to go bike-riding on Peak's Island and to check out the Old Port section of town, but saw this sign 1st thing out of the parking lot and just had to post it. I swear, this sign about sums up the New England attitude towards one and all...haha. We can't figure out why everyone seems to be so ticked off all the time, but if you were thin skinned you just might never come back after visiting this area once. Once you realize it is nothing personal it can actually be a little funny, but you certainly have to work at keeping your sense of humor.
We took the ferry to Peak's Island, a small island where lots of people go to go bike riding. It takes about an hour and a half to ride around the island, with stops for pictures, etc.
The bike shop had both individual and tandem bikes so we thought we would try the tandem ones, for a few laughs if nothing else. Hallie probably wanted to do the tandem bikes more than anyone else, and Donna gave it the old college try, but she didn't last very long. Hallie has a long history of accidents, so I think that's why Donna called it quits pretty quickly. Cathy and I tried it too, but it was much more difficult/awkward than we thought it was going to be. I wish I had kept filming longer than I did...we were laughing pretty hard...at least Cathy, me and Donna were (haha).
So we all ended up in short order on individual bikes. There were some beautiful spots to stop and take pics along the way.
These 1st 2 pics show a WWII bunker. And then we are taking pics of each other as we drive along...not too smart as at one point I almost mowed a guy and his kid down because I was looking behind me to take the picture.
There were some really nice houses on the island, especially the glass one and the 3rd one with the wrap around porch.
Can't say much more than I already said...so pretty!
As I said a little earlier, Hallie has a history of accidents, and Sunday did nothing to change the course of that history...haha! She is getting a little old to recover quickly from these falls, but being the trooper that she is she quickly pushed her bike off her street-prone body, leapt to her feet, and never let on to the kids that ran to help her that she was hurt! (In the last pic here Hallie is about to squirt water on me as I try to document her cuts.) (The funniest part is that Hallie still doesn't understand why Donna got off that tandem bike so quickly--haha)
So we return to Portland.
Coming into the bay.
A few shots as we head into the city. I took the dolphins for Marie; this kid's father had him out singing for his supper; liked the watch; and that is their City Hall.
We were actually walking to the Portland Observatory, the highest point in the city, when we came upon this church, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It was built in the 1800s some time...I lost the piece of paper I wrote the info on so now I can't remember. And I guess the priests just found a slightly nicer way of telling you not to even think of parking here. haha
You can walk up to the top of the Observatory from the inside and look out over the entire city. The neighborhood it was in was surprisingly like South Boston...the only thing missing was the attached houses. It even had the corner stores you expect to see in Boston.
Here is a painting of what the area looked like before it was populated.
The city hall I showed above looks more like a state or federal level building than an old city hall.
The 1st 2 are stitch pics of the view as we look out at the bay.
This is the other lighthouse we saw where we said we were no longer sure if it was Portland's or York's lighthouse that was the oldest/most photographed, or whatever. All I know at this point is that it was a really nice area and that at one time there was a shipwreck here...haha!
So Hallie, Donna, Cathy and I had a whirlwind tour of the Southern Maine seacoast area over the course of 3 days. We saw town after town filled with beautiful and huge houses, so many that we kept wondering what everyone around here might do for a living? And where do all the Dunkin Donuts employees live? Where are they hiding them? haha The area is more than worth visiting...truly beautiful!!!