Maine — Day 3

>Yesterday morning was our last day in Maine. I woke up earlier than Mary and Kristen to head to St. Mary’s for mass. It was a cute little church and you could tell it was a parish of elderly people and some of us that we there just for vacation. After mass, I headed back to the hotel for us to pack up and check out before we headed out.

Our first stop was in York at Stonewall Kitchen, where we spend far too long wandering the store. We all tried new things and came up with a whole bunch of things each of us liked and wanted to cook with. We then tried to find downtown Kittery to drive around another little seaside town, but we were not able to find anymore than the outlets so we decided to head back to Ogunquit. We drove from Kittery to Ogunquit along the water which was very nice. We decided to spend a little bit of time on the beach in Ogunquit while eatting lunch (ice cream for all of us). It was a gorgeous day and getting to spend some time on the beach before heading home for a long drive was just what I needed.

Again, we were extremely fortunate and did not hit much traffic on the way home. The most traffic we hit was on the Mass Pike (I-90) where there was rubbernecking due to an accident on the other side of the highway.

Here’s all my pictures from Maine.

Maine — Day 2

>Today we woke up and headed to Portland early in the morning. We wanted to get there early to get our tickets for our ferry to Bailey Island. We were plenty early, but we were glad as we got to walk around downtown Southern Portland. While exploring the area, we stumbled across the US Customs House which made me really excited as I work in the import/export industry and actually know a bit about customs and regulations now. Then while walking down the street Mary and I found a sign that made us both very happy…

After exploring a bit, we went back to the ferry terminal and boarded the ferry. It took about two hours to get to Bailey Island. The view from the ferry was a bit dull as there was plenty of fog in the morning, but it was a nice ride out. We ate at a place called Cooks, then wandered around a bit taking in the sights. The ferry ride back was better, minus the brief 3 minute downpour. We were able to get much better pictures and see further out from the boat.

We then headed back to the hotel to change into some warmed clothes and drove down to Kennebunkport. We walked around downtown for a bit and headed to Alisson’s for dinner. It was one of the greatest meals out that I have eaten in a while. I had the best steak tips I’ve ever had (and those of you who know me, know I eat my fair share of meat). We then stopped by the local candy store to buy some fudge and headed down to Gooch’s Beach to see the town fireworks.

Maine — Day 1

>So we woke up bright and early yesterday morning, 5:15 for me, which was hard since we got home at 12:10AM. Mary and I got our stuff together and headed to Dunkin’ Donuts before picking Kristen up. Once we were all in the car, we got a full tank of gas and got on the road. Fortunately we didn’t hit traffic at all on the way there. We were checked into the hotel and in our room at about 11AM.

After changing and figuring out what to do, we got some more gas and headed to Ogunquit for the afternoon. We walked around the downtown area, ate some lunch and headed down to the beach. The water was a bit cold, but refreshing to put our feet in. After spending a bit of time on the beach, we took another stroll around downtown Ogunquit.

We decided to go to Mike’s Clam Shack for dinner. It’s a nice place in Wells, ME where apparently a bunch of the locals go. It was good food and reasonable for us. Kristen and I had our lobster dinners that are a must have when visiting Maine. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel we stayed at in Biddeford. We took a little dip in the pool before heading to our room and were all fast asleep quickly.

Mary came to visit!

>So today I didn’t exactly “travel”. My friend Mary flew out from Denver to visit for a week. Mary and I met while studying abroad in Ireland, details of that adventure can be found here. I spent last night on Long Island at my grandma’s house so I would be closed to JFK to get Mary since she flew in on the red eye. So I picked Mary up and we drove back to CT so she could shower and drop her stuff off at my house.

After that I took Mary on a mini drive through Ridgefield, I mean, what could I really show her besides Main Street? We grabbed breakfast at Steve’s then got coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts before heading to Goldens Bridge to get the train to the city. We spent all morning catching up, which wasn’t too much since we’ve kept in pretty good contact since we’ve been home from Ireland.
The first thing we did in the city was to go down to Wall Street. Mary’s in finance and it made me excited that she wanted to see the financial district (tell tale sign that I’m growing up? I think so). So we saw the NYSE, Trinity Church (commonly known as being the church from National Treasure), the Wall Street bull (which is actually at Bowling Green), Battery Park and Ground Zero. It was weird being at Ground Zero, especially since its in a state of disarray and in my opinion it looked more like something when there was still a pile of debris there, not a construction site that we have sitting there.
We then ventured a walk uptown to SoHo and were fortunate to beat the rain to our location. it started to drizzle a few blocks from where we were headed and we walked into SoHo Park maybe 30 seconds before it began to downpour. SoHo Park is a great little burger joint that is so reasonably priced; I suggest you all try it someday if you ever need a burger in the area.
Then we headed to midtown and took a walk down 5th Ave. we saw the Empire State building and I showed Mary where I work. After our little walk, we headed to Grand Central to take the subway up to the new Yankee Stadium. We were going to the game with another friend from Ireland, Tim, his girlfriend and some of their friends from home. We first went over to Billy’s before the game started and I must say, I rather liked the bar. It’s a great place for drinks near the stadium. Unfortunately the Yankees did lose on Thursday, but I had a good time nonetheless.
Not only was it my first time at the new stadium, but it was my first time taking the train home from the stadium. I was a bit skeptical of how well the whole system would work since I’m not on the Hudson line, but it was really easy and I have definitely found my new way to get to and from the stadium.

Pictures from California

>All my pictures are up on Shutterfly and can be found through the following links:

Pictures from San Fran: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AaMWbhk4aMWToQ

Pictures from Yosemite: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AaMWbhk4aMWTqY

Pictures from Carmel/Monterey: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AaMWbhk4aMWTsA

BTW – some of the pictures are blurry due to all the haze and smoke from the forest fires which aren’t all too far from where we were at.

Day 11 – San Fran to Home

>Today we woke up at 8am and got ready before heading down for some breakfast. Then we came back up to finish packing everything up and left the hotel at 10:50am to head to the airport. We were checked in and sitting at the gate at 11:30am for our 2:35pm flight. I got a bunch of reading done and walked around the airport. The flight back wasn’t bad and I got the window seat.

When we got to JFK at 11:15pm, we got our luggage which seemed to take forever. Then we loaded up Mom’s car ad headed to Joan’s to drop her and Kevin off. Then Mom & Dad took me home. Now I’m off to bed as I have work at 10am in Westport.

Pictures will be up soon…I hope!

Day 10 – Carmel Valley to San Fran

>Today we were up at 8am to pack up the car and head to San Fran. We grabbed some breakfast before taking off on our drive. We had some problems near the end with our GPS, but we found the hotel in San Fran. We are back at the same Holiday Inn that we were in last week.

After checking in, we walked down to Hyde Street Pier and grabbed lunch on the Wharf. We were all cold and tired, so we headed back to the hotel to watch the movie, Firehouse Dog and get ready for the SF Giants game tonight. In the process of getting ready for the game, Kevin and Joan found that Kevin left his brand new jacket in Carmel Valley at the hotel.

We drove down to AT&T Park and watched the SF Giants loose a game to the Chicago Cubs.
After the game there were fireworks which got lost in the fog but they were still nice.

Now we are getting ready to go home in the morning…

Day 9 – Monterey

>Today I got ready before waking the others up again and Joan stayed in bed for a while since she said she had a pain in her leg. We finally got ready so we could get breakfast at the hotel before it was over.

After breakfast we headed to Monterey and to the Aquarium. This was an amazing aquarium and we spent hours there. I loved that there we penguins!!! I was so excited. While we were there we grabbed lunch and I had an amazing Hawaiian pizza. Then we went for a walk down Cannery Row and had a wonderful dinner. I got steak and a drink. The steak was great, not so much the drink.

Now we are back at the hotel and packing pretty much everything up since we are heading back to San Fran tomorrow and home the next day.

Day 8 – Pebble Beach & Pacific Grove

>Today I woke up at 7:30am, got ready and then woke everyone up before we headed to breakfast. My day was made when they had raisin bagels and chocolate muffins 🙂

We drove back through Carmel and to Pebble Beach, via the Carmel Gate where we hopped on the 17-mile drive. There will be plenty of pictures up for you to see of the views. The whole thing is gorgeous and I really hope that I can go back and play some golf there some day. We left Pebble Beach via the Pacific Grove Gate. We went for another drive along the ocean in Pacific Grove. We ate lunch in the historic downtown at Toasties. None of our lunches sat well with any of us…

We also went for a walk through the town and saw many antique stores. We stopped in at the American Can Tinnery and walked around while I had my conference call about my reunion. Then we played black light mini golf. Kevin and I were in the lead by 1 after the front 1/2 and I ended up winning by 1 and was 4 ahead of Joan.

We got back to the hotel at 4:30pm so I went up to the wine and cheese hour that the hotel has and I was the only one there, but I got some good white wine. We then went into Carmel Valley and had an awesome dinner at the Running Iron. We were the first tourists they have had in a while and the waiter was hilarious!

Day 7 – Mariposa to Carmel Valley

>Today we woke up at 8am and finished packing all our stuff up again. We loaded the car for Carmel Valley and grabbed another breakfast in the hotel. The drive to Carmel Valley was about 2 1/2 hours. On the way we stopped to get some drinks and I ran into a very angry man in Quizznos who almost decked me for accidentally “cutting” him on line to pay…ahhh well.

After checking into the Hidden Valley Inn, we drove to Carmel-by-the-Sea. We went for a drive down Scenic Dr and finally saw the Pacific Ocean!! We also explored up and down Ocean Avenue before stopping at Portobello’s for a great dinner. I had amazing penne pasta with chicken apple sausage and an apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

We also drove through Carmel Valley, which is where we are staying, before going back to the hotel. We wanted to go swimming but it was cold and the pool was very dirty so we watched TV instead….