Wednesday, August 10, 2011

As promised a rainy evening in Stowe and time to catch up. However I have no internet connection so I’ll type this in word and hope to post it as soon as connection resume’s. The price you pay for the room furthest away from the connection I guess.

Ok where were we? Oh yes in Maine, staying at the lovely Mount Battie Motel with our gracious hosts Ed and Christine.

Saturday was a lovely day and the A came out of her portable garage and after a wonderful breakfast on the porch of the Motel (Christine bakes daily) and had an array of muffins, loaves and cakes as well as juices and a bread station. Her muffins and cakes were so moist and good that even though I don’t normally do sweets for breakfast it was a nice treat.

We headed off to the Owls Head Transportation Museum where they were having a classic car show, air acrobatic display and all kinds of other things. The trip there was a bit of a challenge as the Lobster Festival was going on and many of the roads were closed for the lobster parade. We made it though and it was HOT and sunny. We enjoyed the interesting show of rare classic cars in the museum, wandered around and sat in the shade and enjoyed some of the heart stopping air show.

We left about 2:00 and started to tour the area. We explored Owls Head Island, visited the lighthouse, enjoyed harbour towns and breath taking scenery. We stopped for lunch at a real Lobster Shack Right in a harbour in the middle of nowhere. The fisherman were there bringing the lobster right off the boat and we enjoyed our first but hopefully not last lobster Roll. Oh it was so good, just loaded with fresh lobster.

After exploring the area some more we headed back to Mount Battie for a rest and then back to the Whales Tooth for dinner. We decided seeing the weather looked so bad to take this night to enjoy our Lobster dinner - again SO good, so fresh and oh so very messy *laugh*

Sunday did not prove to be as fruitful in the beginning. Rain and fog had socked in and the way the rig was parked it was impossible to unhitch the car so we could take it out and no way we were going to drive in the rain and fog in the A. We spent a lazy morning in our room. I caught up on some work and relaxing till about 1 when we decided to call a taxi and head into Camden for lunch. Ed and Christine would not hear of it and Ed drove us into town and recommended we go to Bayview Harbour for lunch. We were not disappointed. The clam chowder was |THE BEST and the fresh pan seared Haddock was just delicious. After lunch with local wine and beers we explored the town amongst rain showers. What a beautiful little harbour town. As you will see from the photo’s (when I get them uploaded) great shops, beautiful harbour and pretty footpaths.

We called a taxi back to our hotel and enjoyed a light dinner of cheese and crackers that I had brought along.

Monday - still rain and fog. We made the difficult decision of leaving Maine a day early as we could not do as we wanted and started out for Stowe. Another very long day of driving, lots of road work, lots of traffic delays but we FINALLY made it around 7:00 PM. Oh I should mention the ordeal of getting the trailer backed out of it’s spot at the motel. In order not to bottom out Ed and a friend had Glenn back out inch by inch as they placed blocks of wood under the wheel so that he didn’t scrape. It was tense but we (the royal we) finally did it.

We were happy to arrive in Stowe, check into Sun and Ski and start looking for dinner. The weather was good and we pulled out the A. Craving the great Mexican food at Frieda’s we headed into town but not a parking spot was to be found. So off to the Blue Donkey for one of their great burgers. They close at 8 - UGH so up the road a bit to Picasso’s. Yeah, we parked, Yeah they were still open - they were packed. However, we got a spot on the patio and finally relaxed, had a beer and glass of wine. Glenn enjoyed a loaded pizza and I had a great burger that was cooked the way I WANTED (medium) not the way the Canadian government says I have to have it cooked (well done). What a long day!!!
Tuesday - the sun was shining and off we went to The Gables for breakfast. We got a lovely table on the porch and I enjoyed one of my 3 favourite breakfasts in Vermont - a plate of grilled tomatoes with Vermont Cabot cheese and fresh herbs - oh so very good. After that Glenn wanted to take the A through Smugglers Notch. A challenging drive for even a modern car, very narrow roads, tight turns, steep hills both up and down. We made it though and got some wonderful photo’s on the way. Then we headed into town to the visitors centre to see if there was anything new. Nope. So up to Trapp Family Lodge where we heard they now have a new brewery and deli. They do and it was gorgeous. The views from the patio were .. Well Vermont. We were not hungry so just enjoyed a glass of wine and beer and of course the breathtaking scenery. While enjoy the scenery though we could see the dark clouds moving in. So headed off, toured a few back roads on the way back to the motel.; Once back I had a nap - I love naps J then it was time to unhitch the trailer and head for dinner. Dinner tonight was at Frieda’s for there excellent Mexican food - fresh Guacamole made at our table and great fresh food.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where does the time go?

Wow I can't believe that I have not posted since Thursday - yikes!!!  Ok so lets start with Friday - it was a long drive from Ithaca to Camden Maine, but such a pretty drive.  The roads were hilly, steep and windy especially with the trailer, but we were in no rush so took our time.  Once at the coast we sidetracked and took 1A through Hampton Beach and Rye Beach which as you can imagine on a sunny Friday in August were packed!!!  but oh it was so good to see the ocean, waves, beach and smell the air :-)  back on the highway it was JAMMED and crawled along across the bridge to Maine.  WHen we hit the toll booth to pay apparently we had the lucky ticket, the toll booth operator asked if it was my birthday - I quizically looked at him and said "last Saturday" he said, no charge, go ahead - yeah $1 or 2 saved.  Back onto highway 1 we again hit a massive traffic jam and for many miles were lucky if we hit 6MPH.  Lesson leaned, do not travel to the coast on a Friday!!!  Finally we made it to our Model Mount Battie Motel which was as nice and the proprieters were as friendly and helpful as any traveller could hope for.  They truly live up to their slogan "Motel privacy with B and B hospitality"  Both welcomed us, Ed took Christine around in the golf cart to decide where to park the trailer.  I don't think they were expecting the rig to be that big.  Finally they moved there cars around and had Glenn pull it up the hill into their private spot.  Hmmmm nobody thought about the massive bump in the drive that bottomed out the trailer causing it to scrape a good 10 feet of their drive :-(  felt so bad. 

After unpacking, unloading and checking out the property it was getting late and we were HUNGRY!!! So down the road to The Whales Tooth right on the coast with a lovely view of the harbour.  It was packed but we got parked and went inside to see about the wait and guess we hit it lucky as all the other parties were big but they could fit the 2 of us.  Oh boy, what a great meal, fresh fresh fresh fish right of the boat.  What a differance to the stuff we get at home.  I know, all you folks in England and Scotland who are reading this are laughing at me but really there is a such a huge differance in taste from our "fresh" to coastal "fresh"  probably a few days difference at least *laugh*  anyway we both enjoyed our meal then headed back to our suite.

Well it's now 4:05 and I'm going to head outside for a bit - will catch you up on all the excitment of Saturday, Sunday and Monday later tonight when it's supposed to rain.  At least thats what "they say" :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Watkins Glen - Bully Hill -- Rainy Day and Hemmings Cruise In

Well, as usual I had great intentions of catching up earlier while Glenn was at the Hemmings Cruise In, but instead I got chatting meeting interesting people and before you know it, it was time to go - then as he loaded Cecelia on the trailer, I got chatting with the owner of the Bennington Motor Inn and well now it's 9:00 and we sit on the porch overlooking the lovely full service Hemmings Gas station and museum. Sadly it's closed and the attendants in their white pants and shirts have no windows to wash or oil to check.

I will start with today - we left Ithaca early had a beautiful drive through the countryside to Vermont. As usual as soon as we entered Vermont my shoulders dropped and I just felt this feeling of "ahhhhhhhhhh" :-) The Cruise In did not start till 5:30 but cars started rolling in around 3:30 so we took Cecelia over and were lucky enough to get a spot in the shade. A good turn out but not great as we got rained on 3 times. As usual great people, good music and lovely cars - even my lottery car a 62 Vette. A brief drive through town before back to the motel so Cecelia could dry off a bit - and now here we sit.

Now I just wrote all the next part out already and then lost connection .... grrr so let me quickly try to re-create.

Yesterday was a rainy day so Cecelia stayed in her portable garage aka trailer while Glenn unhitched and we went exploring.  First stop necessities, wine and beer.  Then it was off to Corning.  After being stuck in a loooooooooooooooooong traffic jam we finally made it, enjoyed some antique shopping and a great sale at Van Heusens.  How great was it?  70% off + an additional 30% on many items . . yes almost FREE!!  Back to Ithaca we explored their pedestrian mall and enjoyed a nice dinner just before the clouds opened again.

Tuesday I think was the highlight of Glenn's holiday so far.  We headed out to Watkins Glen and enjoyed some beautiful roads with some challenging hills (up and down) along the way.  When we arrived at "The Glen" we stopped at "The Shop" to buy our Thunders Run tickets and some merchandise, then headed up to the track.  Cecelia had quite a climb up to the track but once up there, the view was magnificent and we were sent to the staging area.  With some time to spare we were allowed to sit in the stands and watch some "pro's" practice on the track.  The squealing engines and the screeching tires scared the heck out of me ... no just kidding :-)  it gave us a new appreciation for the craziness and skill of these drivers.  The track is much different than it appears on TV, the hair pin turns hairier, the hills steeper and the banks .. well bankier!!!!  After they finished our pace car arrived.

OK side story here.  The one car that really belonged on the track was a nice Corvette driven by two men enjoying their mid-life crisis.  Well what do you know it over heated just on the way up to the track.  These poor guys looked very down in the mouth as they sat their trying to cool off their engine as our 1931 Model A chugged along cool as a cucumber - even with all her badges *laughing*

Ok back to the track - speed Demon Glenn thought he could put the pedal to the metal and whip around the track no problem, well even though he had the perfect racing line going, he still had to brake in the chicanes and hairpins.  We did however reach a whopping 49.3MPH on the back straight away.

One of the rules was no passing.  Apparently that did not apply to the Mini Vans on the track with us as the ones in front of us were soon out of sight and the ones behind us were tired of being held back and broke the rules.  Oh well it was fun :-)  we got to do 3 laps, stopping at the finish line on the 2nd lap to take photo's and change drivers (yeah right!!!)  It was an experience.

After that we headed to Bully Hill Vineyards for lunch.  We had heard a lot of good things about Bully Hill and I guess so had a lot of other people.  It was packed.  The drive up there was beautiful but even Cecelia had trouble with a few of the inclines.  It was worth the drive though as the view was spectacular of Keuka Lake and the Vines on the side of the hill were reminiscent of Tuscany (or at least the photo's I've seen).  The patio was packed but it didn't take long for them to seat us and enjoy another wonderful meal with a gorgeous view.   After our late lunch we took the long way back to Ithaca where Cecelia enjoyed a rest, as did we.

Well I think that's you caught up.  Tomorrow morning we have a 7 hour drive to Maine, I can't wait to get their and experience the East Coast.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Good night for now :-)

Falling behind

It's much to early to type anything co-herent. Just to let you know all is well. We leave Ithaca shortly for Bennington Vermont and the Hemmings Cruise In before making our way to Maine on Friday. Last night I updated the photo's and the video's but they don't seem to be showing. I'll sort this out later and catch you up on our time here in Ithaca.

Ciao for now :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cecilia does Cayuga (which rhymes with ah-ooo-ga) Lake

Yesterday was a perfect day for Model A touring in the Finger Lakes.  The day started off with dark clouds and rumbles of thunder but they magically seemed to float over the mountains quickly and without rain.

After a great breakfast on the patio at Kelly's Dockside Cafe and our doggie fix with their lovely Siberian Bandit we headed off in the blistering heat.  First stop the Visitors Centre to pick up more brochures than we needed.  With the guidance of a very helpful local we planned our route around the lake.  What a gorgeous drive hugging the lake all the way.  Cecilia did an amazing job on the challenging roads, steep hills, long drops and tight curves all in very hot weather.  So much better than when she was here 2 years ago and we were crawling up the hill on only 3 cylinders.

A stop in the lovely town of Aurora NY for delicious homemade "Bittersweet" ice cream at Dories Bakery and Cafe and a brief antique stop we were on the road again. Perfect Model A roads with not many cars in sight.  As we headed down the west side of the lake we stopped in at Thee Amish Market where they fed us fudge and peanut brittle (well not me I don't like peanuts) and there was great interest in the A.  Glenn spent quite some time chatting with the owner and showing him around the Model A while I gathered gifts inside :-)

Making our way back to Ithaca we took some lovely little detours right down on the lake and the scenery was just beautiful.

We made it back just after 3 and not only did it continue to heat up but the humidity was oppressive which meant - NAP TIME :-)  a good nap was all that was needed to get up and go again.  After much discussion about dinner, we picked a few spots and made out way up hill towards Cornell University to try some of the patio's there.  No luck, no parking to be found.  So up the lake a little to the town of Lansing where we choose to eat at Rogues Harbor Inn . Now that was a very good decision.  The local wine A +, their in house craft beer excellent - then the food that followed did not disappoint, fresh local ingredients and oh so very very tasty - I'm serious folks this was a very very good meal.  If you are in the area I would highly recommend it.

As we ate, out of the sunshine came a flash rainfall, just enough to soak the roads and Cecilia, then out with the sun and everything dried up in time for our drive back to the hotel.

We then spent the evening chatting with 2 lovely couples from Guelph Ontario that were travelling on their Harley's.

Today we take Cecilia to Watkins Glen to set a "new lap record" *laugh*

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Later in the day

Well here we are in Ithaca surrounded by the beautiful hills and lakes of the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

I'm afraid there is really nothing much to report as today was a travel day. Line ups at the border were not bad but we sure were glad we were not sitting in the blistering heat and humidity. The roads were good and clear and of course being a Sunday, NO CONSTRUCTION.

When we arrived we took the A out for a late lunch at the The Boat Yard Grill, once again overlooking the water and boats (do you see a theme forming?) then off to stock up on one of Glenn's favourite beers that we cannot get at home.  Finally back to the hotel.  Seeing we are here till Thursday everything is getting unpacked.  I have come to the conclusion that we need more than a mini-fridge.

I'm sure tomorrow we will have much more exciting stories to tell as we hope to tour all day in the A and enjoy some of the local wineries, antique shops and of course restaurants :-)

Day 1 - my birthday - a good - after

Good morning all, I write this from our balcony in Jordon Ontario overlooking a very still and serene marina and Lake Ontario.  As for yesterday, once we made it through the nightmarish mess of the Burlington Skyway (which was closed) we finally make it to Baranga's on the Beach where we met up with Ron Ferguson for lunch on the patio.  It was great to see him again and we enjoyed lunch and a "beverage" on the patio.  Thanks to Ron mentioning to the waitress it was my birthday we also enjoyed a complementary slice of Baklava for dessert :-)
The day was HOT HOT HOT and sunny - and we finally made it to our hotel in Jordon.  After a late day siesta and wondering around the grounds and marina we took the "A" out of the trailer and drove a whole 850 metres to the Lake House Restaurant for dinner.  It was PACKED with a 45 minute wait for patio seating.  Worth the wait though, as once seated it was the perfect evening. watching the sunset over the lake and we enjoyed a delicious meal.  As you know holidays are all about food to me *laugh*  I had the Seared Sea Scallops with truffle scented mushroom and herb risotto topped with crispy leeks.  Oh was it good - Scallops have to be cooked to perfection for me to like them and these were :-)
Then we drove a whole 850 meters back to the hotel where Glenn loaded the A on the trailer again (a lot of work for a short distance I know, but you couldn't walk it and it was easier than unhooking the trailer. 

Now onto Day 2 - we are heading out shortly for Ithaca, hopefully the wait times at the border are not too long. 

Talk soon :-) photo's later when I have faster internet connection.