Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New England 2016

Following our recent travels in Mexico, we began seriously planning for a 2+ month trip to Europe, starting with a detour to Maine to attend our youngest niece’s wedding.  As we were planning, the trip extended a little bit. See itinerary below.

We flew to New England on July 10, we expect to return to the US on October 5 so Pat can attend her 30 year Stanford Business School Reunion. Our return to San Miguel is still TBD, likely in early November. Below we list our stops in sequential order.
  • US/New England (Freeport & Garland Maine; Boston)
  • HUNGARY (Budapest) 
  • SLOVAKIA (Bratislava)
  • AUSTRIA (Vienna)
  • CZECH REPUBLIC (Prague & Cesky-Krumlov)
  • AUSTRIA (Salzburg)
  • BELGIUM (Brussels)
  • FRANCE (Paris)
  • WESTERN FRANCE (Mont St Michele, Loire, Bordeaux, & more)
  • SPAIN (Costa Brava, Barcelona, Costa Dorada)
  • PORTUGAL (Porto, Lisbon)
  • US/California (San Francisco)
From Mexico City we had a 5:55 am JetBlue flight through Orlando to Boston.  We picked up a car and drove to Freeport Maine, the home of LL Bean. We got to Freeport in time to enjoy dinner at one of our favorites, Azure Cafe that started with a bruschetta arranged as a starfish.

The next day, Bill’s cousin Maxine (& husband John) visited with us. We drove to Orr’s & Bailey Islands. The Islands are connected by the only remaining "crib stone bridge" in the world (the name “crib stone” is based on the shape of the stones used). It is now a "National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.”
The crib stone bridge and a nearby lobster pound

Enroute back from the islands, we passed by a lovely waterlily pond and managed to catch a shot of a family of ducks. Look carefully at the photo.

Believe it or not Pat deferred eating lobster for a couple days. But she did have some “steamers” (steamed clams). Enroute to Garland (where Pat grew up), we met with Carol, a High School friend, for lunch looking over the Kennebec River.   

We enjoyed a day trip to Bar Harbor with Pat’s brother Jim and wife Sandra.  Following our drive tour along the Ocean Drive we made a beeline to Blaze Restaurant so Pat could have her now favorite, Grilled Lobster.
Hunter's Beach in Acadia National Park
through one of Pat's new toys...a fish eye lens for her iPhone
The following day we visited various family members and their farms (Pat’s brother Frank, and Bill’s cousin Charlie).  For dinner we went to Blaze in Bangor. The menus differ but everything is still “wood fired."  Bottom Line: no grilled lobster, but we enjoyed the food and our visit with Peter & Mary.

Saturday, we joined Pat’s sister-in-law Elaine for lunch at Stutzman’s Farmstead & Brick Oven Cafe in Sangerville.  While there we learned that the rehearsal dinner for our upcoming wedding had been held there.  Keeping in mind that Pat comes from a farm family and her brothers and families still love farming, the wedding had a few unusual features...starting with the suggested attire of "barnyard casual."

The wedding party posed on one of numerous John Deere tractors owned by the farm.
Note: Most of the  guys are wearing blue jeans.
The bride, groom and best friend arriving at the reception.

The reception venue...also known as "The Squash Barn"
...fortunately the squash won't be harvested for some time yet
The cake, decorated with burlap.

Sunday morning we rose early and headed to Boston to visit with our friend Ruth, her daughter Lorraine and Lorraine’s delightful 3 full-grown “children” (the oldest graduated from college in June, the youngest starts in September).  After our lunch with them we drove to a nearby marina to visit our friends Ken & Pat as their first overnight guests on their Sabre (Maine-made motor yacht).  On Monday we cruised around Boston Harbor before heading to the airport for our overnight flight. Fortunately we flew Business Class (using miles) and had lay-flat seats so we got a few hours of good sleep enroute to Budapest.

Ken & Pat at the helm of the Sea Trekker

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