Monday, September 18, 2017

Penobscot Mtn., Sargent Mtn. Pond and Fog...Lots of Fog

Up at 8:00 and ready to go by 10:00, actually we were in the car with Wendy and Dan and leaving three minutes early!  We decided to hike Penobscot Mountain, then to Sargent Mountain Pond and Sargent Mountain.

We left from the tail marker at 10:47.

There was a lot of fog, restricting the awesome views described in the guidebook but these berries provided some color.
We reached the Penobscot Mtn. summit at 12:00, took pictures and ate lunch.
It appears that at some point, some scumbag stole part of the summit marker. Grrr!
Nothing to see here...
To be honest, I was pretty creeped out by the fog and was anxious that it would get thicker until we couldn't see the cairns and we would get lost.  However, I was the only one concerned.  

Onward toward Sargent Mtn. pond...
From here we planned to climb to the summit of Sargent Mtn. but we missed the trail and ended up at Deer Brook Trail, which was the way we planned to head down.  Rather than turn back, we headed back to the car.

When we came to the carriage road, Dan took the road toward the Jordan Pond House and the three of us continued down to Jordan Pond, where we walked along the pond and met up with Dan where the trail meets the road.
Looking toward the Bubbles
Still pretty foggy...
Back at the car, it felt so good to take off our hiking boots!  We drove to the Asticou Inn for more popovers.  It was chilly on the deck but our awesome waiter, Wes, brought everyone a blanket, a nice warm Land's End blanket.  We were his only table and he was super attentive and personable.  We each ordered coffee, along with a cup of artichoke soup because it came with 2 popovers and was only an additional $2!  We all thought it was a pretty sweet deal.  The soup was very hot and very good, as were the popovers.  Wes was rewarded with a generous tip.

We came back to our cottages, Wendy & Dan headed next door to take a nap, then go into town.  I made notes in my guidebooks about our hike, Bill did some reading.  The "kids" stopped in to say good night when they got home.  

Not a very good weather day, which always puts me in a bad mood, but overall not a bad day. 

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to Bar Harbor...WooHoo!!!

Sunday, September 17

We left the house by 9:00, had breakfast at McDonalds, stopped at Wendy and Dan's to pick up a table from their "forgotten" list, ate lunch in Belfast and arrived at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor a little after 2:00, where we met W & D for popovers and beverages.  We drove most of the way in the fog but it was 64* on the deck and sunny!  We had a good view of the harbor and could see the fog in the distance.
The waiter was kind enough to take a group photo for us.  Everyone looks good in this one, except me...
I look better in this one, but it's not as good of Wendy.
Interesting that the guys look good in both of them.  

The popovers were large and wonderful.  In fact, we had to wait about 20 minutes to get an order fresh out of the oven!  I think mine looked like a walrus.
The price was $10 for two popovers and tea or coffee, about the same as last year.

The kids headed into town, Bill and I headed to the Edgewater Motel and Cottages, our home away from home.  We unpacked, then sat in chairs down by the water until about 5:30, when we got chilly.
We brought filets to celebrate Wendy and Dan's sixth wedding anniversary.  They provided portobello mushrooms and brussels sprouts.  We also brought some pears that the guys grilled for dessert.  

We played a game of Racko, which I barely won.  Hooray for me!  I'm not a very good winner but I'm a terrible loser!
 We came "home" around 9:00 and watched a documentary about Vietnam by Ken Burns.  I took a shower.

We plan to hike Penobscot Mtn. with Wendy and Dan tomorrow, weather permitting.  Hurricane Jose is working it's way up the east coast and although it doesn't appear it will make landfall along the coast, it will screw up the weather.  We should get to see some great surf, tho!

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Quebec 2017...Day Three

Thursday, August 3...

Up around 8:00 and headed to breakfast at the Creperie by 9:30.  We walked out of the old city toward the condo we used to stay in down by the river, coming across some super cool petunias and awesome art work...
This is four (I think) trash containers, turned upside down and the inside was pretty amazing.
"Celestial Rubbish"
There were holes drilled in the bottoms, now tops, of the containers, the sides were covered with mirrors and lengths of chain were hanging from the, now, ceilings.  Very cool effect!
"Invitation to Travel"
We came across this awesome feline cafe!
Cats roam freely throughout this cafe (not in the kitchen) and you can sit and read or snack with the cats cuddling up to you.  I have read about these but never come across one.  Unfortunately, you had to remove your shoes and I didn't have socks on, so we didn't stay but it was fun to check out.  Next time...

We walked through the train/bus station and the farmer's market, then along the marina and more art.
"Migration Pathway #2"
This next piece is supposed to evoke  "the feeling of sailing under heavy wind".
"10 on Beaufort Scale"
There are  holes in the large cylinders and they vibrate when the breeze blows through them, giving off a low, humming sound if you are standing close enough.  

We walked past a cruise ship that had just docked and past this bar, where you could sit with your feet in the water.  We didn't stop but promised ourselves we would next time!
Farther along our walk, we came across another splash pad, very popular here in Quebec.
Back into the Old City.  We walked along La Petit Champlain to the funicular and rode it to the top with passes given to us by our friends Archer and Karen Ann.  The fee was $3 each to ride, a large increase from the 50 cents when we were here ten years ago and it was like an oven inside!  We took another afternoon break at La Maisson Smith.  We lucked out today and got to sit outside, watching tons of people in the square, many with a 3' selfie stick...accidents waiting to happen!  This used to be one of my favorite places but it's super crowded now and that pretty much ruins the atmosphere.

After our break, we walked along the boardwalk and up a hill to an area surrounding The Citadel and overlooking the Chateau and the river.

Then and now...
Apparently it's always windy up there and I'm thankful I'm not wearing the same outfit; I still have that blouse from 2007!  And...I like the roof better when it was new and bright green.
We decided to take a tour of The Citadel.  It's an old fortress and is still in operation as an active military base.  The tour lasted about an hour and it was nearly 4:00 when we finished.
An example of one of the buildings.  It was originally used to store ammunition but now it's a small museum, one of the few buildings we were allowed to enter.
One of the reasons for The Citadel was to protect the city and you can see that there was a good view of the area from inside.
This was a nice area located next to the Chapel.
Je Me Souviens translates roughly to We Will Never Forget.

More walking took us along the Grande Allee, which is lined with restaurants, art galleries and small shops.  We enjoy looking at the architecture.
We ate at a pretty fancy restaurant called Bella, although it was a pizza place last time we were here.  We ordered pizza, which was very good but was $28.00 and Bill had a $4.00 coke!!!

Back to the boardwalk where we sat and watched the ferries while our dinner settled, then to La Maisson Smith for gelato.  We returned to our hotel, sat on our little deck for awhile and enjoyed another perfect evening. We logged another 22,000 steps today!

Home tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Quebec 2017...Day Two

Wednesday, August 2

After a decent night's sleep, woke up around 8:00 and were out of the hotel by 9:30.  Walked a couple of blocks to the Le Petit Chateau Creperie for breakfast.  We sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.  Bill had an apple and cheese crepe and I had raspberry.
We took a leisurely walk through town, enjoying the many different pieces of art that adorn the city.  Unfortunately, I didn't make notes of the titles...
I think the one below is called "The Muses". 
We really liked the look of this building, located across the street and we later learned it's a hotel.
This fountain is located inside a round -a-bout on one of the main roads just outside the old city.
You literally have to cross traffic to get to it.

This is one of the gates through which you can enter the old city.
Our next stop was the Joan of Arc gardens, one of our favorite places.
We enjoyed great weather while visiting this time; however, it has almost always rained on our previous visits.
Joan of Arc statue
Base of the statue...2017
Base of the statue...2007
This year we discovered the Martello Towers, one of which is located right across the street from the gardens.  How did we not see it before?!
Look how thick the walls are!

There were originally four, but only three remain.  

"The Martello towers were constructed by the British to form a first line of defence within the ensemble of Qu├ębec’s fortifications by preventing an attacker from drawing close enough to the walls to lay siege. Functional, and massively strong for their time, these towers were essentially elevated gun platforms."  You can find more information here.

It was very warm today, temps in the mid 80's, so we walked through the Plains of Abraham to the snack bar at the top of the Governor's Walkway where we got bottled water and ice cream cones, which we ate very quickly at a picnic table in the shade.

We walked down the steps of the walkway to the terrace, where we just sat in the shade and watched the river traffic.
Along the Governor's Walkway
Dufferin Terrace and the Chateau Frontenac
We visited the excavation below the terrace, which is part of the Parks Canada system and since Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, there was no charge for admission.  From there to the shopping/restaurant area called La Petit Champlain.  There were people EVERYWHERE, much busier than any of our other visits.
internet photo
internet photo
Although I didn't take these photos, it looked pretty much just like this.  We could hardly move and we didn't spend much time there.  There used to be an awesome chocolate shop where I got the best ever chocolate covered cherries, filled with cherry liquor.  They were expensive but super good and Bill actually bought me a small box for my birthday several years ago.  To Die For...but it's no longer there.

After escaping the crowd, we ran across another La Maison Smith so enjoyed iced coffees and chocolate croissants for "lunch".
This was located in a large courtyard, surrounded by some very old architecture.
I love the window boxes.

We walked back to the boardwalk, watched the street performers for a few minutes, then walked to the gazebo at the end of the boardwalk where we watched the river for awhile.  We find it very relaxing.  We had dinner reservations at our favorite restaurant, Portofino at 6:00 so more walking, past the splash pad where we watched the kids playing because we had a little time to kill.

Dinner was excellent, as always.  I ordered my favorite ravioli and Bill had spaghetti carbonara.  

We got back to our room about 7:30 and were pooped, both totaling more than 20,000 steps on our fit bits, nearly 9 miles!  We climbed out our fire escape window and sat on our own little deck area for awhile, giving our feet some rest.
We were nicely settled in our pajamas, watching something on TV when we discovered a fantastic fireworks display down by the river, which we could see from our room by looking between the buildings across the street.  We didn't know anything about it in advance and had no idea how long it would last, so we just watched from where we were.  If we had known about it, or known it would last for a good 30 minutes, we would have gotten dressed and walked the block down to the river.  We learned later that it occurred every Wednesday and Saturday all year, celebrating the 150th birthday and something to do with the lottery.  

Thanks for stopping by...