New England Adventure

Image property of Nelson48

This trip was all about the NHRA New England Nationals drag race in Epping NH combined with a desire to visit areas of Maine that none of us had ever visited; Bar Harbor, Acadia Park, Portland, etc. Since we have a number of family members in the New England area, plus we are huge seafood enthusiasts, making this trip was a very easy decision!

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Trip Planning & Motivations

To maximize our time in New England, we decided to fly from Tampa to Boston, drive to Manchester and met with my brother-in-law Chris. All of us then drove north to Bar Harbor, and back again.

This trip started with a telephone conversation with Chris, who invited us up to watch the NHRA New England Nationals drag race. Chris is a NHRA fan (as I am), and as we continued to discuss the idea, we agreed to combine the Drag Races with a trip up into areas of Maine that none of us had ever visited.

To view the details of how we plan trips, click here.

Tampa International Airport

This image is the property of the Tampa Bay Times

Obviously for us to get to New England, our trip will have to start with a flight out of the Tampa International Airport.

Our departure flight was scheduled for 6AM, so we decided to try a different approach to departure. Rather than driving to the Airport from Sarasota at 2AM, we drove up the afternoon before, and stayed for the night in the Marriott Hotel inside the airport. This allowed us to have a couple of drinks, have a nice dinner at P.F. Chang's, and then have a comfortable night's sleep and rise in time to catch the 6AM flight. It worked out very nicely !

Travel Tip With the new Tampa International Rail system between the economy parking building and the Airport Terminal now in operation, using economy parking is cost effective & simpler.

Kennebunkport, ME

We obtained a rental car from Hertz at Boston Logan, and drove up to Kennebunkport, ME to visit some friends of ours.

This is the home of some very good friends of ours, a gentleman who was the former CEO & Founder of a company that Celeste used to work for. We spent a great evening with them, had a seafood dinner, some good wine and some great conversation.

A view of the Kennebunkport Inlet from the north side of the river from our friend's house. This view is looking towards the city of Kennebunkport, ME.

Kennebunkport Inlet as it wanders into the town of Kennebunkport, as you can imagine, seafood restaurants are everywhere here.

The town itself is easy to walk-about, many small shops, seafood restaurants, etc. For a complete list of restaurants & shopping in Kennebunkport, click here.

Looking out at the Atlantic Ocean with the Kennebunkport River Inlet jetty in the center area. The river continues into the village of Kennebunkport.

Looking north from the Kennebunkport River Inlet jetty at Colony Beach, and the famous Colony Hotel is to the left just "outside" this picture.

Typical street as we walked about Kennebunkport, it is scenic in every direction.

We were walking south on Route 9 when this picture was taken, that is the Clam Shack on the right looking at the Kennebunkport Marina in the distance.

To view more Kennebunkport Images, click here
Parking in Kennebunkport is not plentiful, the simplest solution to parking here is to get here as early as possible.

Biddeford Pool, ME

This is an example of the tidal variation in Maine, the tide is at it's lowest level when this picture was taken. That is "Stage Island" on the right, and "Basket Island" on the left, both can be easily walked to when the tide is this low.

After our Kennebunkport, ME visit concluded, we drove to Manchester, NH to stay with Celeste's brother Chris Malcolm, and to attend the drag races that Sunday.

The 2018 NHRA New England Nationals event took place at the drag strip in Epping, NH. I was supposed to go with them, but I had tweaked my back (once again) to the point where sitting in bleacher-style seats all day was not an option, so I stayed at Chris's house and watched the races on TV. This wasn't the way I had expected to view the races, but it allowed me to keep icing my back, to stretch and prepare for the car ride into Maine.

The picture above belongs to WWW.NHRA.COM, and we thank them for such a great image.

Wells Beach, ME

This part of the trip was for us to spend time with Dana Malcolm, another of Celeste's brothers and his partner.

The seagulls are out early in the morning in Wells Beach, enjoying the beautiful sunrise and looking for a snack. Nobody was up and about at this hour of the morning, so a beach walk was enjoyable.

Sitting on the deck, listening to the ocean talk to me ! This is a very laid-back area, and the beach is so close to the house, that it makes the overall experience very relaxing.

Looking south along the beach, in the distance are a couple of restaurants. One of which we hiked down to for lunch the very next day.

The sun rises very early in Maine, but it certainly is beautiful.

All of us relaxing in the afternoon sun. From left to right are; Celeste's brother Chris, myself, Celeste's brother Dana and on the far right is Ron Cates.

A better view of the rear of the house, very comfortable porch where the beach can be studied easily & comfortably.

To view our entire set of images from Wells Beach, click here

Freeport, ME

On our drive north, Chris wanted to stop by the L.L. Bean Store in Freeport, ME to make a purchase. As you can see, they have a very large store here, with everything an outdoor person could ever need.

A better view of the large boot at the front of the store, looks like Paul Bunyan size doesn't it?

Bath, ME

During the drive north from the Wells area, we decided to stop in Bath to drive by the Shipyard and to visit the Maritime Museum. In image #1, you can see a new Zumwalt class Destroyer being built for the U.S. Navy.

In images 2 & 3 there are several other ships were being built next to the destroyer, the ships are built in a modular fashion, and then assembled inside these "sheds".

To learn more about the Bath Iron Works Shipyard, click here

Bar Harbor, ME

These images are of the harbor from Agamont Park, which is just at the end of Main Street and a block above the Harbor itself.

The schooner in these pictures provides a tour of the harbor for those so inclined. I am not exactly sure of this ship's name, but it belongs to the Downeast Windjammer Tours company.

We ate dinner at Stewman's Oceanfront Lobster Pound, which not only had lobster, but provides tables on a pier that sits out on the Harbor. Beautiful views !

Dinner here was very good; Celeste had a lobster roll, her brother had a clam roll and I had fish tacos. I had a locally brewed ale named "Thunder Hole Ale" which is one of the best ales I've had in a long time. The beer is made at the Atlantic Brewing Company (formerly known as "Bar Harbor Brewing") and they unfortunately do not ship this beer to Florida!

A better view of Celeste's Lobster roll dinner at Stewman's Restaurant. All fresh lobster, sweet potato fries and cole slaw!

There are a number of restaurants in Bar Harbor that have "Lobster tanks", where you can purchase one to take home, or in some cases, select the one that you want to eat for dinner there. Here is a pic of a lobster, waiting for a customer to select it.

The bus back to our motel departs from the Village Green area of Bar Harbor - a nice park in the middle of Bar Harbor. The Village Green is located in the heart of Bar Harbor just a 4-minute walk to the town's northern waterfront. The Village Green has free Wi-Fi and a helpful information center where you can learn about seasonal events and local festivities being held in the park and the town.

In the background of image #3, you can see the city buses queued up waiting for passengers. Buses are free to everyone! To put it more clearly, parking in Bar Harbor is not that good and taking the bus frees you from having to search for a parking spot!

This is Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium in downtown Bar Harbor. We can testify as to the great fudge to be had here!

Nice view of the harbor as we walked down Main Street, past Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium.

Acadia State Park, ME

This is a view of Eagle Lake as our Acadia National Park tour bus made it's way up Cadillac Mountain.

This is a view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, looking at the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

This is a view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, looking down at Bar Harbor in the distance.

Doing a "selfie" before re-boarding the Tour Bus.

The coastline geography & composition varies, but in this area, it was all granite with cliffs.

This is a hole and small cave, carved out by the ocean waves. At certain tide levels, when the waves surge into the hole strongly, it makes a "booming noise" that acquired the name "Thunder Hole".

This is a view of the Thunder Hole cave from the ocean-side, and you can see how the waves fill the hole when they surge into this cleft in the rocks.

Another "selfie" before re-boarding the tour bus.

This cove was just immediately north of the Thunder Hole, and you can see the granite cliffs.

While Celeste is taking pictures, my brother in law and I are comparing notes on the tour.

At low tides, the sandbridge in Bar Harbor is completely exposed and people can either walk or drive to Bar Island.

Far enough out on the sandbridge and you can get a great view of Bar Harbor.

To view our entire set of images from Bar Harbor & the surrounding area, click here

Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Fort Knox, ME

In Bucksport, ME you will find the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. It is 2,120 feet in length and the towers are 446 feet high with an observatory on top of the western-most tower.

This is a view of the Penobscot River, looking down from the Tower Observatory. The highway in the right side of this image, is the road we will be traveling upon, to continue our journey back to Manchester, NH.

This is a view of the Penobscot River, looking north from the Tower Observatory, with Bucksport in the distance. You can just see Fort Knox on the left, facing Bucksport, which is our next stop.

This is a better view of Fort Knox from the bridge tower. Built in the 1800's and never really put to use as no enemy of the United States ever came around again.

Not sure why a U-Haul truck is parked at the entrance to Fort Knox - it may have belonged to a group of people preparing an exhibit inside the Fort. In fact, there were exhibits being setup for public viewing once we got inside.

The heavy artillery inside the Fort were comprised of 15 inch guns, however these artillery pieces are obviously not 15 inch units. To put that size artillery into perspective, a 15 inch weapon is the same size as WW1 battleships used to have as their main armament.

Each artillery piece had their own portal (or "firing port"), to be able to fire upon anyone on the river. The firing ports provided only a limited traversal space, because the next artillery portal was expected to cover the additional areas.

The Fort had some very large spaces, probably originally utilized for storage of artillery shells, etc. And then each "firing port" and storage area, was connected by long protected walkways such that men could be rushed back & forth to resupply or to render aid as necessary.

To view our entire set of images from Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Fort Knox, click here
To learn more about Fort Knox, click here

Boston, MA

Image is the property of Ristorante Limoncello

My sister and her husband drove up from Cape Cod, and we had a fantastic dinner at the Limoncello Restaurant in Boston's North-end. It is not possible to describe how good the food was, everything was absolutely perfect and we highly recommend it to one and all.

If you ever are in the Boston area, do yourself a favor and go to this restaurant and enjoy a meal, you will be glad you did!

Back to Florida

This part of the trip was rather mundane, so I'm not going to show any pics or text about flying out of Logan to Newark, and then onwards to Tampa. We got our car out of economy parking and motored back to Sarasota.

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