Gotta Smile!

Gotta Smile!

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Hampshire and Vermont

August 26 - 27, 2014

Now that we have visited Vermont, we have been in every state except Oregon and Alaska.  We are covering a lot of miles, but I can guarantee that we won't be in those last two states on this trip!

The views have changed from the ocean coast to mountain ranges:  the White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Green Mountains in Vermont.  The land is lush  with pine trees surrounding the rivers and lakes.  

New Hampshire
Lumber and paper mills are local industries.

We have traveled so much it is hard to remember
where we have been.  Signs like this don't help. 

Time for the 8 mile drive to the top of Mt Washington.
The road was originally opened in 1861.  As we sat
there preparing for the drive, it was 83 degrees.
When we got to the summit, it was 64 with winds
of 45 mph. Our sunny day had turned cloudy,
because we were standing in the clouds!   

Driving up a steep road with no guard
rail, wasn't enough -- then we had
to hike up these steps.

Long views.
60% of the time the summit is in the clouds.

Elevation 6288 feet.
The highest wind ever recorded was here in 1936.
231 mph.

Above the tree line.

In the crooked wood zone.


There was no discussion about this stop.....
Brian said "We are going to Ben & Jerry's factory." 

The graveyard for flavors that are no
longer produced.  

Driving across Lake Champlain.....
Bridges connect the islands.

Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada

August 21 - 27, 2014

When we headed north from Florida, we thought we would only go as far as Maine.  Of course, our plans never go the way we think they will.  So, here we are in Canada enjoying the beautiful provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  We love Canada!  Now we are even thinking that Gotta Smile is going to have to see it too. 

We drove along the coast.  The scenery was beautiful:  lots of small fishing villages loaded with galleries, restaurants and historical buildings.  Instead of sandy beaches and palm trees these shorelines are huge slabs of rock and evergreens.  

New Brunswick
St John
The historical city market with a roof that is built to
resemble an inverted ship to honor the city's
ship building past. 

Inside the market.

Great reuse of historical buildings.

True to our travels on land or water--  if there is a
Costco, we'll find it!

The Bay of Fundy is a 170 mile long ocean bay that stretches between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  The tides can reach 53 feet, which is higher than any other place in the world.  It takes 6 hours and 13 minutes for the tides to go from high to low and for 160 billion tons of seawater to flow in and out of the bay twice a day.  More water moves through the bay in one cycle than the combined water of all the world's freshwater rivers. 

But, that's not all that is fabulous about this body of water --- the tidal movement creates a reversing rapids!  As the tide recedes, the rapids rush to the south.  Then, as the tide rises the rapids surge to the north.      
The water is receding.  Four kayakers took turns
sitting in the sweet spot where they barely paddled.

Water moving south with low tide.

We were having a hard time finding the reversing falls.  While Brian checked the map, I leaned out the window and asked a young man to give us directions.  He said he wasn't sure how to get there, but his co-worker would know.  The co-worker said, "follow me", jumped in his truck and led us about five miles to an excellent viewing place.  Nice nice people......  

Slack tide -- no tidal movement.  The water is still.

The tide begins to rise and the rapids are now
flowing north.

Our opportunity to become one with art.

Eight sculptors from around the world
carve New Brunswick granite.
Companies and cities sponsor
an artist for $15,000.  They receive
the completed piece.  

Driving the coast to Nova Scotia

Camp Enrage
Instead of hunting for shells, rock hounds search
for fossils on these beaches. 

A different kind of beach

Hopewell Cape -- The Flower Pot Rocks
At low tide visitors walk on the ocean floor.  

After the tide comes in, 50 feet of water 
surround the rocks.  They look like
low islands. 

Driving to Nova Scotia through Moncton,
we stopped to watch an air show.
Covered bridges still stand on back roads.

Walking the Halifax Harbour

Nova Scotia

A pilot boat
When large ships are preparing to enter a harbor,
a 'pilot' is taken to the ship.  The pilot maneuvers
the ship through the harbor to the dock. 

Not one, but two Krogens in one day!!!
48 foot -- Alizann and 42 foot -- My Dream

This was too cute -- I had to take a picture.

Eating a classic Canadian dish, poutine.
French fries with light brown gravy, cheese curds,
shredded beef, hollandaise sauce and roasted tomatoes.
It was yummy!

Every house and business is loaded with personality:
architectural details and bright colors.


The docks

I put salt - lots of salt - on everything.
We didn't eat here, but it was tempting.

Lobster dinner at the Shore Club.  This local favorite 
is a must visit -- First lobster dinners served in 1936.  

Seated close to other diners made it easy to chat
with the neighboring tables.  

Driving to Peggy's Cove
Instead of mooring balls, docks are anchored in the
bay and boats tie to them.  This one even has a
storage shed on it.  

The memorial to the passengers and crew of
Swissair Flight 111.

Peggy's Cove
A tribute to fishermen
An authentic fishing village.
One of the most photographed scenes
in Canada...the lighthouse on the rocks.

Granite slabs that were chiseled and scraped
by glaciers.

Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!

Friday, August 22, 2014


August 17 - 20, 2014

Maine is one of those states that everyone raves about.  As much as we have traveled over the years, I'm surprised that we have never been here.  Brian reminded me that in 1976 we planned a trip to Maine, but before we could get on our way, we were transferred to Los Angeles, California.  Well, I can assure you that we will be traveling this way on Gotta Smile.  The islands and bays have us looking forward to a long summer exploring these northern waters.          

Winner of the cutest city sign. 
George and Barbara's house
We found many coastal towns that were exceptionally cute.  Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, Freeport and Bar Harbor were some of our favorites.  Once we left Bar Harbor the towns lost the cuteness factor and were rural gathering places.  

The world's largest rotating & revolving
globe....130 feet circumference, 41 feet

Whenever we need a bathroom, Brian
has a cup of coffee.  We spend a lot of
time in coffee shops......

Bar Harbor was a favorite destination.  It is on
Desert Island along with Acadia National Park.
We purchased a senior pass for the national
parks years ago.  It gave us free admission into
the park and a free pass for the car also.    

A must see stop in Acadia is Cadillac Mountain.
At 1500 feet it is the highest point on the eastern
seaboard -- until Brazil.  1500 feet rising from the
sea is impressive.
Glaciers 3/4 mile thick carved this
granite into smooth slabs. 

A natural high
One of the two harbors that have mooring balls and
mooring docks in Acadia Park.  Mooring is a
necessity up here due to the 13 foot tides.   

This ramp allows boaters to slide boxes
of food and equipment from the parking
lot to water level.  Great system!

Lunch at a lobster pound.
Customers choose a live lobster from the tank.  It is
placed in a numbered mesh bag and then dropped
into a pot of boiling sea water.  It couldn't get any
fresher or tender than this.  

Another beautiful view from the park.
Not everything is cute in Maine...the land of wild
Speaking of blueberries ---
Brian loves Wyman's frozen blueberries.
We buy them at Costco in large quantities!
We kept hearing about whoopie pies.
Brian agreed to give it a try.
Witness his first and last......

Lubec, one of those 'not so cute towns'.
It is the most easterly city in the USA and the
entrance to Campobello.    
Campobello was the cottage retreat of Franklin and
Eleanor Roosevelt.  The island is the only 
park in the world.  It is located in Canada,
but maintained by both Canada and the United States.    

A living room with a view.
The home is very casual and family friendly.

All of the furnishings are original.  

One more look before heading over the bridge and back to the USA.
Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!