Saturday, November 12, 2011

Maine ~ part 2. Memory Lane and a Lobster or two.

Oh how good it was to be home.


The town I grew up in has changed and while some areas look completely different, many are exactly the same.  Like the Rollodrome, it was the pre-teen hang out.
I remember waiting in the long line that gathered out front on Friday and Saturday nights.  We would wait, sometimes in the bitter cold, with skates slung over our shoulder.  We waited like Target shoppers on Black Friday, less the riots of course. 

Then the doors would open and we would skate for hours, under the disco ball, to the tunes of the 80's.  We would circle around and around on that gleaming wood floor, while the DJ spun, Come on Eileen, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Safety Dance and the rest of the Casey Kasem's Billboard Top 40 hits.  Then the vibe would slow down for Journey's Faithfully or We've Got Tonight by Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton, oh the 80's were good, weren't they?  Next trip home I am so going skating at the Rollodrome.

Then we drove to Poland and visited the Summer Camp I worked at for three incredible summers.
I had an amazing experience at Tripp Lake Camp.  I never realized at the time how attached I had become to this magical place.  I still feel very connected to the property, the meticulous grounds, the dark green buildings, the people I knew there and the lesson I learned. 

Now it is owned by Joan Lunden and her husband, Jeffery Konigsberg, yet many of the directors I knew are still there.  I believe the key to TLC's success is the fact that the owner's have been incredibly detailed about continuing the same mission and traditions held there since the camp was established, in 1911. 

TLC pride's themselves on nurturing strong, confident girls with a deep sense of self worth.  This camp is amazing and the family they create is bonded forever. 
It looked exactly the same and while we only stayed for a minute or two, it was so good to be there.

Fall in New England...
As everyone knows, Maine has four very distinct seasons and everywhere we looked, Autumn was smiling back at us.  The air was cool and crisp with the earthy smell of fallen leaves wafting through the air.  

The sky in it's brilliant blue was a perfect backdrop for the vivid display of  Fall colors.  And may I just say, the Maple and Oak trees in Maine deserve a standing ovation.  Their final show of color is both breathtaking and graceful, and the fact that it is fleeting just adds to the beauty bestowed upon those who witness it.
Jen - this pics for you.

LL Bean and a Lobster lunch.
A trip to Maine is not complete without our usual trip to Freeport for a quick stop at L.L. Bean.


......and just in case you did not know, Lobster in Maine is everywhere:
Lobster door handles,


Lobster pillows,


.......and least you forget the Lobster Theatre,

"To eat or not to eat, that is the question".......

We ate, at our favorite lunch spot.


Behold the perfect Lobster Roll.

 and a Lobster Dinner.

and yes, it was delicious, right down to the last bite!!!

Final Maine post to come, Family, Pumpkin Carving, and more Lobster.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maine ~ part 1.

It was 11 hours, from departure in Seattle to arrival in Portland Maine.  I am not the best traveler.  Vacations always begin with me working much longer than I anticipate and therefore running way behind schedule.  I always seem to underestimate the time involved in packing, dropping off the dog and preparing to head out of town.  This trip was no exception.  I arrived home an hour and fifteen minutes before the shuttle was scheduled to pick us up.  Clyde was dropping off Bailey and we both still needed to pack.  By the time the car service arrived at the door our bedroom appeared ransacked, my checked bag was four pounds over the limit and Clyde was asking me, "why I need 7 pairs of shoes for a 10 day vacation".  Ugh!!!!  

After re-packing a few items, grabbing my purse, and a few bottles of glitter nail polish, we locked the door and were off.  We arrived at Sea-Tac with an hour and a half to spare, the check in lines were short and we breezed through security.  After a few deep sighs, the stress of going out of town quickly adjusted to the excitement of going home and seeing family.  We took off at 10:55 pm, the weather was clear and although I was exhausted I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. 


I can't sleep on planes I think it the combination of many things, the dry air re-circulating through the cabin, the seats, and my nerves on overdrive.
After a comfortable layover and quick breakfast in Atlanta, we arrived in Maine about 20 minutes early. 

Luckily for me, my parent's are always ahead of schedule, obviously a trait that I did not inherit, and there was Mom standing at the bottom of the escalator.  She was cute, surprised to see us so early, and welcomed us with big hugs.   My Dad was right behind her with open arms and it felt so good to be right there at that very moment.

Thus began our trip home and let me tell you, Maine in the Fall is beautiful.


.....more to come soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Returning Home.

Tuesday Oct 17th Clyde and I took the red eye home to Maine.  This trip was long over due as we had not been home in 2 years.   The day was hectic and as each minute passed I was more excited to be spending the next 10 days with my family.  We arrived at Sea-Tac hurried and exhausted.  As I boarded the plane the anticipation of hugs, smiles, laughter and family reminded me that I really need to do this more often.

It was early morning when we arrived in Atlanta, for a quick layover, and I remember thinking just a few more hours.  I closed my eyes and pictured my Mom and Dad meeting us at the airport with open arms, happy to whisk us off to a long overdue family dinner that evening.

The flight was uneventful, the landing was smooth and I was anxious to grab a quick breakfast and a cup of coffee before we boarded the next flight to Portland.  As the plane approached the runway we double checked the pockets in the seats in front of us, gathered up our ipod, magazines and a now crumpled, half eaten bag of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers.

As we taxied towards the gate a flight attendant came over the loudspeaker, “Welcome to Atlanta. Ladies and Gentleman we'd like to take a moment to thank our armed services who are flying with us today and we'd like to send out a very special thank you to Sgt. "..." who is accompanying one of our fallen soldiers home.  We have a special request to ask of you.  Please allow Sgt. “...” and our other soldiers to deplane first so they can continue to escort our fallen soldier.  We appreciate you remaining in your seats and as soon as the Captain turns off the seat belt sign, you may begin to deplane.”

As the plane came to a complete stop, there was no movement as the entire plane sat in silence.  Tears welling in my tired eyes I could not help but think of what it means for all of us  "returning home".  We all watched with honor and respect as a highly decorated Sgt. quietly arose from his seat, retrieved his bag from the overhead compartment and started walking off the plane.  Once he had deplaned,  about 10 other soldiers stood up, grabbed their backpacks and followed him off the plane.  The sight of this was overwhelming, and my heart just ached at the thought of a very different family reunion.  Heavy tears now running down my cheeks we gathered our own bags and walked, in silence, off the plane that had instantly become sacred ground. 

I have though a lot about that Soldier during the past few weeks and the soldier's whose job it is to ensure that every fallen soldier returns home.   

It is with great honor and deep appreciation that I say, Thank you, to all of our armed services, your dedication to this country is a gift.  May you all safely return home to the loving open arms of your families.
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