Monday, August 26, 2013
We had a full week on our vacation to New England. On the second day, we drove to Conway NH where we boarded the notch train and took the scenic route through the notch to Crawford and the mountain. Living in Florida, I rarely see any hills let alone mountains so it was a treat. We rode an old train and listened to stories on the way up. We had lunch in the dining car and then walked around the mountain top enjoying the scenery. A slow trip back down the mountain and our drive home. Dinner at a local pub and driving around my husband's old neighborhood was the end of the day.
Let me regress a bit here to talk about the ice cream. Baskin Robbins give up. There is no comparison to the ice cream that you get in New England. Those cows feed on nutritious grass I guess because the ice cream is sooooo yummy and they give you a healthy scoop of it. One scoop is more like 3 scoops at Baskin and Robbins. We stopped for a dose of it daily and I got a different variety each time. So lovely.
On Thursday of our trip, we left Concord NH to head for Portland Maine where they have a narrow gauge railroad museum and a train that you can ride for a little ways. My husbands father was a railroad man and he made a career out of taking photos of every train he had ever seen in his lifetime. He had kept two photo albums of nothing but narrow gauge trains back through the 1930's. Most of the pictures were ones that he took and each photo had a typed description of the train, time, event, when taken, etc all lovingly put together by his father. We took the albums with us and met with the curator of the museum there. We donated them to the museum as we knew that is what my husband's father would have wanted. They were thrilled to get them, especially since every photo was documented. They had a lot of old train carriages needing restoring and they said that the photos of the interiors of the cars were very helpful. I had never really looked at the albums and was impressed. We even found a photo of my husband's grandfather sitting in a train car taken in the 30"s. He died shortly thereafter so we kept that photo and a few others.
My husband's father had purchased a caboose from the narrow gauge railroad for $25 back in the 30's and he had fixed it up as a man cave for himself in his backyard. Then he eventually donated the caboose back to the museum and we were able to go into that very caboose and sit in it and take pics. My husband thoroughly enjoyed the day and he knows his father would be pleased.
Afterward, we walked down to the port and had a lobster dinner lunch right on the docks. Then we walked up to the Longfellow house and museum and toured there. VEry interesting it was and amazing how prolific Longfellow was and how much of his prose is still used in every day life. They also had a Civil War Display at the museum and we walked through that, looking for folks who had died in the war with our same last name.
The day was done and we motored on to Brunswick, Maine where we were staying with my husband's cousin and his aunt who is 98. She is my mother-in-laws remaining sibling, sharp as a tack still at 98. When we opened the door, 2 of my husband's other cousins were also there. He was so surprised to see them and had such a nice visit reminiscing about growing up in New England. They had fond memories of his mother. We had not been able to travel to New England for many years due to his mother not being able to travel and it was so nice to go and see family. We had a beautiful dinner of lobster macaroni and cheese and other Maine specialties. Corn, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, swiss chard. The veggies in Florida do not compare to those grown in that Maine dirt.
I took some geneology information that I had obtained working on ancestry.com and shared it with hubby's and cousins. It was so much fun. A good nights rest and ready for the next day!