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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The last leg... Maine, Vermont, and Niagara Falls

So here we are wrapping up the last leg of our summer vacation.  I still can't believe it's October and I'm still talking about this damn trip!  I suppose it was quite the whirlwind of an adventure with so much packed into just two weeks.

Well, we arrived in Maine knowing that we were going to spend a few days camping in Old Orchard Beach, which is about 20 minutes south of Portland.  It's a cute little seaside town that has fireworks and carnival rides all summer long.  There were many campgrounds to choose from but most were full.  I can't recall where we stayed but I do recall the INTENSE heat wave that was happening while we were there.  The temps were above 100° and we trying our best to stay cool... it wasn't working out too well.

I was a little disappointed in our campsite.  We were plopped right in the middle of ashy dirt that stuck to every inch of the girls' sweaty bodies.  There were other tents set up on grassy sites, but we were less fortunate.  The girls didn't seem to care, but being that I'm a bit of a neat/clean freak, it was driving me insane.  Luckily we were right next to a water spigot so cleaning off wasn't too difficult.


We roasted marshmallows, grilled some burgers, enjoyed an evening stroll at the carnival, and watched the fireworks.


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We went to a local lobster shack where Scott learned how to dissect his boiled lobster and I had my first lobster roll, which are quite popular out east.  AND it was air conditioned!  I spent some of my time right in front of the fan trying to cool off.  I'm sure the other patrons thought I was a bit weird.

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The girls really enjoyed camping though.  Playing in the dirt and swimming in the pool was how they kept busy.  We did however have one mishap early one morning when we awoke to Ginger screaming her lungs out.  She had reached into my toiletries bag and cut her finger on my razor.  She cried so loud and for so long that I'm quite positive she woke up everyone else in the campground.  It was a traumatic experience for her and she did not recover quickly.


I believe it was the second day we were there that we headed up the shore to Portland where we had planned to walk around, take pictures, enjoy lunch, and collect sea shells on the beach.  We took a drive through town first to see the sites and then headed to a nice little beach that was covered in shells for the girls to collect.  They loved it!


Maria compiled quite the collection in her green panda bag and kept busy and stayed happy through the heat.

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We ate a snack on a blanket before heading into the city for some lunch at Otto's pizza.  We ate our delicious slices outside the pizzeria and then headed down the street to do some window shopping.  It didn't take long for us to realize that we were exhausted!  The heat had definitely gotten to us in more than one way.  Our bodies ached, we were tired, and all four of us were irritable.  We had heat exhaustion for sure. 

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We cut our day trip short and headed back to the campground.  That's when I tried to convince Scott to forgo our last night of camping and head out in search of a hotel room with air conditioning.  He eventually conceded and we immediately started packing up our things.  When we got into the truck the temp read 104° with a whole lot of humidity.  I think it was the best decision we made during the whole trip.


We were then on our way to Vermont.  We drove through beautiful New Hampshire and eventually made our way to Killington, Vt.  We found a great deal online for a two night stay at one of the ski resorts on the mountain.  We had decided to take this time to relax with no real agenda.  We ordered take out from across the street and took scenic drives to take in all the beauty Vermont has to offer.  It was absolutely lovely there.

After a few days of recuperation, we headed north to Burlington. We loved the city and it in some ways reminded me of Duluth.  It was while we were here that we really started to get serious about buying a new car to drive home in.  We knew what were looking for and they were abundant out east.  So, a bit of car shopping was on our agenda as well as a trip to the popular Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory!

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The wait time for the tour was far too long for the girls, so we decided to walk through the gift shop and enjoy a pint of ice cream on the picnic tables instead.

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It was crazy busy there and before then, I hadn't even known that Vermont was were B&J ice cream originated.  I guess I'm more of a Kemps girl. :)


Vermont was absolutely gorgeous though and I really wish I would've taken more pictures.  I think by the end of the trip, I was just so exhausted that taking pictures seemed like too much work.  There were times when we'd be driving through the cutest little villages or by one of the many covered bridges, and I was too darn lazy to tell Scott to pull over so I could snap a few.  Oh well, just another reason to come back.


We left Vermont a day earlier than we had planned.  We still had Niagara falls and a whole lot of driving to get out of the way, so leaving a day early seemed like a good idea.

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Driving through upstate NY was stunning.  Lots of trees, farms, and hills to keep your eyes busy and stay awake.  We stopped somewhere along the way (I can't remember where) to buy our car and found out he seller was actually from Minnesota!  It's such a small world.

So with me driving the new car and Scott still driving our truck, we continued on towards Niagara Falls.  I couldn't believe my eyes when we finally arrived.

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My pictures don't do it justice.  We were unable to travel the the Canadian side, which would've made a much better photo op, but I did what I could.

The waters were the prettiest color blue, the scent of the water was wonderful, and the mist coming off the falls was refreshing. 

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There was a tour boat that took you right into the falls.  People were lined up waiting to get on wearing rain slickers and water shoes.  I couldn't understand how some people would consider that to be fun.

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It was really beautiful there and the water was so mesmerizing.

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We walked around a bit and enjoyed ice cream treats that melted way to fast.

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Niagara Falls was such a great ending to our enduring trip.  It's a memory that will forever stay in our minds because of it's great beauty.  If you haven't been there yet, I'm going to suggest that you go at some point in your life.  It's truly an amazing site... right up there with Mt. Rushmore in my opinion.


  1. beautiful photos. i was just telling ken the other day that i want to go to Niagara Falls ... you captured it so wonderfully. Ginger and Maria are getting so big!!! i love watching them grow on your blog :)

  2. Don't feel bad - I'm still posting about Little K's big Nancy Drew Birthday from several years ago...darn - I have one more installment. We went to Niagara this summer with Little K - I haven't been since I was in High School - and it truly is mesmerizing, and very hard to capture in any pic I've taken. Never seen Mt. Rushmore thought....must put that on my USA list.


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