The usual light breakfast, not enough sleep, quick ride to the airport same lack of service orientation by the "C" lot drivers. Check-in at Southwest was painless. We ended up with "B" group seating preference. "A" group is impossible to get now that Southwest has gone to internet boarding passes. Plane is coming from Oakland and already has people on it. We end up with 2 aisle seats one in front of the other with the empty center seats next to us to Philadelphia. Five hour flight, I brought fruit and they gave us snacks. Bumpy air, we are heading into some weather. The flight will continue on to Manchester so we stay on board. The guy setting at Berni's window is a young architect from San Francisco. He has been in the plane since Oakland. He is going to a wedding in Millinocket. It's a small world. The departure from Philadelphia is delayed, we end up spending about 8 hours in that aluminum tube before we get to Manchester. Hertz tries to rent the same car twice, after we get that straightened out, the trip to Ogunquit is uneventful, it did rain most of the way. We check into the "White Rose" a B & B we discovered on our last trip. They were willing to give us one night lodging on the 3 day Columbus weekend. We are grateful for that. Off to dinner at the Lobster Pound. This is another place we discovered last year. This place is all about lobster. If you order the boiled lobster as I did the procedure is as follows. The waitress gives you a ticket with your table number on it you walk out to the lobster tank. You can pick what you want if you like. I just tell the lobster wrangler I want a 2 1/2 # hard shell lobster, he picks it out and weights it. It right on weight wise. The cashier writes up the price which you take back to the table. While you're outside you also can see the cook and his cooking pot and the cracker who breaks the shells for easy eating. Great place. Back to the "White Rose" they have gone to these waterproof mattress pads. Good for the bottom line but makes me sweat. Clandestine bed making and off to sleep .
We sleep well, mattress pad replacement and off to breakfast. Fresh pears and strawberries, apple cranberry French toast. The cute Portuguese serving girl is back from college. A very good breakfast. It is raining hard. We are supposed to have rain for the next 4 or 5 days. We head south to catch the 95 in a dry run for next Sundays run to the airport then north to Medway. We get off on 11 in Dexterand stop for lunch at Pat's Dairyland. Very small place seating for 11? We both had Lasagna since they were out of lobster rolls. We drive through Brownville Junction and Berni's chagrined to see the decline of her old home and the town in general. Her old church is no longer active and for sale. We stop in at the cemetery to look in on Gwen , George , Margaret and Martin. Up the road to Millinocket. The trees are spectacular. We check in at the Gateway Inn and call Terrina. We invite us over for dinner. Everyone is glad to see us. Kristin is headed out with a friend later. Nice hot cheeses dip appetizer and chili for dinner. I actually get to see some of the UCLA CAL game on Paul's TV. We head back to the Gateway around 9:30. Berni forgets her cell phone so Kristin and friend bring it over for something to do. Medway is not very lively on a Saturday for the teens. Another clandestine mattress pad removal and off to bed.
We clean up and head down to Ruthies the local restaurant for breakfast. Kristin is working here part time but not this morning. A very good food value in central Maine. As we wait for our breakfast in walks a couple in full camouflage! It is bow hunting deer season in Medway. The wife, I assume, even has a camouflage purse. I wonder if she bow hunted before she married him? Something you won't see in LA. Back to the Gateway for swimming. Terrina brings the twins over. A covered heated pool. The twins always come over to swim when we are in town. Berni went in with them while I kept up on sports on ESPN. I went down to the pool for a while and the girls tried to get me in the pool with out success. No FOX at the Gateway so I'm anxious to get over to Paul's satellite TV to watch some football. Paul and I watch a little football then we all take a drive down to Lincoln for an early supper. We get to see where both Paul and Terrina work in Lincoln. A nice drive and fall colors are in full swing. A nice meal more lobster rolls for Berni and I and some ice-cream made on the premises. Back to the house. The girls talk while Paul and I watch the last 8 innings of the 18 inning Brave Astro game. This 3 hours later thing sure makes watching sports harder. Back to the Gateway after many hugs and good-byes.
Pack up for the run up to Fort Kent. One last breakfast at Ruthies and we are on the road. Still raining. The fall color is at its peak between Medway and Holton. We reach Fort Kent around 3. We check in with Mrs. Daigel and spend about an hour catching up with her. Up to see Nina next. She has taken up permanent residence in a convalescent hospital. It seems to agree with her and she has gained some weight and is in good spirits. Off to dinner at the "Swamp Buck" more lobster rolls, see a recurring theme here? We stop in to say hello to Phil and Flo. After some catching up back to the B & B and bed. Try to watch Angel's game and Monday Night Football but can't hang to the end.
Breakfast with Doris is always a joy; rumor is the weather will improve. We head down to Lionel's and have a nice chat. Lionel is recovering from a knee cap injury. Both Martha and Lionel have had health problems but they have a positive attitude and are a joy to talk to. We finalize plans with Nina, she has a hair appointment and mass so we settle on 1:30. We have been contributing to the Fort Kent Historical Society. They are going to give us a personal tour of Train Station. A neat place, lots of artifacts from both the B & A and the St. John River valley. We head up to Nina's and play some Dame de Pic. We take Nina and her friend Annette to dinner at the "Lake View" restaurant in St. Agatha. Nice prime rib for me and scallops for Berni. Spectacular view of the lake and a great time had by all. Back to Daigels and bed.
I'm fixing breakfast this morning, I convinced Doris to let me cook Finnish Pancake this morning. Doris seems to enjoy the pancake and her son and husband are eating with us so everything gets consumed. We have a few errands to run then we have lunch with Phil and Flo. Tomato sandwiches, Jan's home grown tomatoes YUM!! Off to pick up Nina for another ride through the countryside. Doris has suggested a route through the little town of Daigel. We look at the memorial to the church that once stood in Daigel, Nina knew several of the priests that served in the church. We then took a ride through the back roads that dropped us out in Frenchville. I was getting sleepy so Berni took over while I napped in the back seat. We took Nina back and then went to Phil and Flo's for dinner. Boiled New England dinner. Ham, potatoes, turnip, carrots, cabbage, onions. With home made pickles and beets as condiments. After dinner we went over to Canada to see Susan and Joel (Phil and Flo's daughter) place on Baker Lake. They moved here from Edmonston 2 years ago. A beautiful 2 bedroom place right on the lake. We got there just after sunset. We sat and talked for a while then Berni broke out a cake she had bought earlier in the day. We celebrated Phil's birthday 12 days early. Great fun was had by all. Back to the USA, Phil skates through both ways he knows everyone on both sides of the border. We head back to the B & B were we see Berni's cousin Jim Madore the Sheriff of Aroostook County is on TV. They are doing a story about annual Aroostook county sheriff's inspection of his deputies. Jim is looking good. I watch the Angels get screwed in the second game of the ALCS then off to sleep.
French toast from Doris this morning. Great as usual. Over to see Reginald and Janelle. While we are there their daughter Judy drops in and regales us with the ins and outs of Birdseye maple. Her husband is evolved in the wholesaling of timber. Lunch at Rocks. We pick up Flo then we go up to Nina for another round of Dame du Pic. We finish up and bid Nina a tearful farewell. We never stay long enough as far as Nina is concerned. Back to downtown Fort Kent for some last minute shopping. We go over to Jan and Pete's. We catch up while drinking wine and eating Jan's cherry tomatoes and home made salsa. We go to dinner at " the Rivers House". I have maple syrup duck and Berni has scallops. A very good meal. One the way back to Jan and Pete's I have another one of these stress episodes. It freaks out everyone and I'm very embarrassed, I have to talk to my Doctor about this. I recover relatively quickly. Back to the B & B and we watch CSI. I watch a little of the Cards Astros game then off to sleep.
I don't sleep well if feel full from last nights dinner and the little episode has freaked me out as well. Spend a lot of time thinking about losing weight and getting in better aerobic shape. Breakfast with Doris is great as usual; she wants to know how I feel. Jan has called a couple of times inquiring about my well being. I assured her I was feeling better. Off to say goodbye to Nina, Phil and Flo. We a get a little misty. It is funny how at the beginning and end of your life a year can be a long time. I can't see us getting back here any sooner than next fall and no telling what next year will bring. We top off the tank and head down route 1. We stop at the Burger King in Presque isle for hot chocolate and a potty break. Berni wants me to see the inside of the B & A caboose they have. Lots of railroad stock certificates and rail photos. Neat. We drove straight through to Camden checked into the Blackberry Inn, neat place quiet room; no TV Berni is overjoyed to be rid of ESPN. We drive down to Rockland and find the Maine Eastern roundhouse and yard they point us to the train station. The office is closed but we know where we will be going in the morning. Back to the Blackberry to park and a nice stroll down to the "Ocean View" restaurant a recommendation of the innkeeper. I have Haddock and Berni has scallops. I eat lighter tonight I haven't been hungry all day. Berni finds a shop open "Maine's Gold" and I catch up on the journal. We take a leisurely walk through the village and window shop. We come back to the Blackberry drop our stuff and find a parlor to read in. We will be turning in early tonight because the train leaves at 8:15 AM! We head to bed after a leisurely evening. Very relaxing.
Awake at 4 Up at 5:30 AM. It rained hard last night. There is some flat metal somewhere outside. It made a lot of noise and woke me up early. We were on the road at 6:30. Breakfast at the Rockland cafe. Steak and eggs for me, homemade hash for Berni. The hash was seasoned with rosemary. The idea of homemade hash is more appealing than the taste and Berni eats very little of it. This place is obviously a local favorite, many colorful characters having breakfast this morning. It is raining hard. The train shows up and we board. The conductor has our tickets all is good. It's a spectacular ride looks a lot like the Alaska scenery. Lots of bogs and swamps no moose seen by me yet. Great old cars the first one we set in is to warm so we migrate to a cooler car. Conductor thinks it was once NY Central looks it streamlined modern. The train is not to full from Rockland to Brunswick. The train picks up lots of passengers for the return to Rockland. The land is very wet; it must have been difficult to build this line. This is some of the best fall color we have seen. Berni gets grandmother, mother and 4 year old child setting next to her. After about 45 minutes of this we go to the diner for lunch. They had only expected 60 people and got over 200. Service at the diner was slow but good. We were on the road by 1:15 PM on our way to the Ogunquit museum. There is a display of W.W.II photographs that Berni wants to see. The drive is long and arduous through some of the worst rain I have seen in quite a while. The display is worth the trouble. The flag at Iwo Jima and the Sailor and Nurse in Time Square are but a few of the famous photographs. We get back to the White Rose and I get to watch most of the USC game. We head out to dinner at the Lobster Pound. Another great meal. Back to the inn and bed. It's going to be a long day tomorrow.
Up at 5:00 on the road by 6:10 AM. Quick drive to Manchester. The cafe I remember appears to be out of business a recognizance around downtown finds a nicer place than the one I was looking for. Steak and eggs for me, omelet for Berni. Good efficient service. We pop the trunk and mingle gifts and dirty clothes consolidating luggage. We show up at the airport about 2 hours early. We are headed to Las Vegas. There is a geriatric group from Wooster about 40 people head to LV to loose there social security. The plane is full we both have aisles. Lots of smoker in Wooster. It will be good to get back home where the government is so hostile to smoking. We arrive on time. Our flight to LA is delayed almost an hour. All the Southwest flights are delayed. People all over the place. The airport is surprisingly smoke free. Good thing there is some delay, the gate is a fair hike from our arrival gate. We have "A" group for this flight so we sit down and relax. The Flight to LAX is late we final get on the ground at 5:30 PM we pick up our baggage and go out to the "C" lot and find my Truck has been ticketed. In LA's continuing search fro revenue LA is ticketing cars in the LAX parking lot. We have been having lots of trouble with getting the DMV to recognize our new address and it looks like we did not get registration for the truck so we got a $25 dollar welcome home from LA. Will be going to the Auto Club Monday. Dinner at La Cabinita for a Mexican food fix and early to bed. Spectacular Lightning storms all night but still sleep a lot. It was a great trip even if we only got 3 rain free days. It is Good to be Home.