Friday, August 31, 2012

Life in the slow lane.......

We did make it to Camp AndyMason despite a slide issue.   After a chat with the Tiffin guys, a fuse replaced solved the immediate problem and we were on our way.    But, it blew another fuse when we got here so it will go in for some work while we stay in the stick house.    
Just throwing up a couple of pictures of favorite things we saw and did on our 5 weeks ......
Love the Cape Breton area and especially, the quiet, quaint town of Beddeck.
I'm slowly finishing up two sweaters while we lumber down the road.....I tried to knit around
the nightly campfires and now the multi-colored sweater has a decidely smoky flavor.....those who know said to leave it in the sun and air for awhile.  
Here's what I've been reading for the past 3 weeks.........Not recommending, just saying that it is working for me.    And aside from a pizza looking really really good the other night, I don't feel deprived.    So far I definitely feel better, have more energy,  and I'm thinner altho that was not the purpose of this experiment.    I may stick with it until the next meal, tomorrow or next week.....I may have some ice cream with chocolate on it or not......I'm liking what I'm doing and I will go with it for as long as I want.      So far, I've given up meat (including fish) , sugar, dairy, most oils and most processed foods.   I'm really good at reading labels and surprised at what I do eat without counting calories.    I still eat eggs altho I've cut way back.    
This seems to be a fad type of thing right now with a lot  of press, numerous books and cookbooks  and enthusiastic blogs.   And even Rosie is touting a plant -based diet after her heart issue.    I've been wanting a change of some sort  for awhile but didn't know what I was looking for.     Weight Watchers has always worked well for me to drop some pounds but I didn't feel that "eating anything you wanted" was necessarily healthy.  And I was looking for a healthier way of eating and not just weight loss.       Initially, it sounded too radical and difficult but actually, it is very easy and the food industry is starting to come around with some good choices.    Don't worry, if you invite us over to dinner, I will eat whatever you serve.....except maybe a big steak....I didn't eat that before and meat has always been easy for me  to ignore (except maybe for bratwurst ! )

The knee is coming along......walking unaided now but much too slow.    Don't know if I'll ever want to give up the brace.    And  I miss my morning walks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

NAS Brunswick Airshow

We moved on down to an area of Maine that is very familiar to us.    P was based at NAS Brunswick for about 3 years.    I lived there for about 36 months and he was gone for 2/3rds of that time.   We have a lot of memories of the people and places, some good, some difficult.   The squadron lost 2 P-3's and 26 young men at the height of Vietnam .  

  We arrived with 2 active little boys and left with 3 !!

So yesterday, still very hobbled with the knee, we headed over to the base.  Decommissioned a few years ago, it still looks familiar.    This was the 2nd day of the annual airshow and the crowds seemed tolerable.    We got up close and personal, right along the fence....and also in the direct sun.   Luckily there was a breeze and it was mostly comfortable but I still left with a souvenir sunburn.   

We saw our share of upside-down airplanes, 
Lady acrobatic flyers..... Lady sky jumpers....Japanese zeros,  antique planes and even a truck with a jet engine.   There was a flight demo and ground exhibit about the Tuskegee airmen.

This was my favorite plane....a colorful bi-plane that wowed the crowd with it's tricks.
And yes, this plane did land on the truck platform while both were moving down the runway.
Of course, the highlight of the show, after SIX hours, was the Thunderbirds.   They came screaming  across and delighted and astounded the crowd.    There were 6 fighters, one of which was piloted by CAROLINE !!    
This is a good view of the paint on the belly of the plane.    They were going soooo fast that I didn't actually notice this until I saw my pictures.    I use the continuous shutter mode on the camera in order to get relatively in-focus shots and to capture quickly moving a result, I end up with a large number of shots to go thru.......this day, I had 585 pictures !!

After the show, we headed to see some familiar places.......down the country road to Bailey's Island, we came across these kids on skateboards and bike, using the gently rolling roads as their playground.
Brunswick is on the rugged coast and there are many islands jutting out.    Years ago, there weren't too many homes, just lobster boats and  a shanty or two and a few year round residents.    In 40 years, it has really built up and we only recognized a couple of places.    One is this Cribstone Bridge connecting Orr's Island to Bailey Island.    Built in 1926, it is made of slabs of local granite and designed to let the strong tides flow thru.
The other is this view of this rustic cabin with the lobster buoys hanging off the shingles.    It used to have buoys on the other side as well and I have a picture to prove it that I took about 20 years ago on our last visit.    It is looking a bit sadder these days.
We are heading down to Connecticut and to Camp AndyMason for a week or so.      Or, we hope we are.......currently on the phone with Tiffin maintenance trying to figure out why one of the slides won't retract.    It's always something !!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UH OH.......

As I hurried out of the MH door, I was laden down with 2 small bags of recyclables, a bag of trash and  my purse and wearing my ever - fashionable Tom's shoes with the slippery soles.    The next thing I knew I was vaulted thru the air and landed very unladylike on my hip and the trash.........cushioned by nice  soft grass.     The pain was immediate and I braced myself for it to get worse......Paul came to my rescue as did a nice gentleman who happened to be driving by and was a DOCTOR !!.......   After extricating myself from the trash, he did a quick exam and declared nothing broken.   (Thinking back on it, he could have just been a nice pervert who wanted to touch my legs.....)   Anyway, I felt extremely lucky and gathered myself together and made an effort to stand.......I could do that but when I went to take a step, the knee buckled and the pain came back.    

That part of New Brunswick is cute but lacking in medical resources so we made the decision to get on the road and drive to Bangor (3 hours down the road).       Fortunately, I was not in a lot of pain and by hopping, I could get to the bathroom.  (I'm proud that I could actually hop on one leg at this age.)'  I also consulted with my personal Ob/Gyn physician who seemed to know a lot about orthopedic injuries and her opinion matched the advice I got later.......Thanks Marybeth.  !!

The border was quick, they came on board and took 4 grape tomatoes and a bundle of wood from the car.....   Diane and Dean had to give up 2 avocados and 2.5 limes.   It all seems very arbitrary.   As we were being relieved of our little bundle of wood, a huge lumber truck full of logs was going thru !

We are at the Pumpkin Patch CG near Bangor.....very very nice and they recommended a local urgent care associated with Eastern Maine Medical Center.    After waiting almost an hour, they came thru with juice, ginger ale or water in the waiting room !!   Very nice customer service I would say.......The clinician (they don't identify them except by that title and their first names but I saw the board and know that there was a Dr, a nurse practitioner and a PA on duty), came in wearing jeans, suspenders, a long beard and about 60 years.......and he was superb ( He was the NP)......after a very thorough exam and  X-Ray of my lt. hip and knee,  I was educated on a bad strain to my medial collateral ligament.......that rubberband like thing on the inside of my knee.     It is a common injury in skiers, football players and grandmothers.  
It looks like I will be on crutches for about 4-5 days with only toe touching and then gradually switch to a brace.   I have exercises to do and about 5-6 weeks before it will be back to normal.    We feel very lucky that it wasn't much worse.....had I landed on concrete or sharp gravel, like so many campsites, ....or my head, it wouldn't have been pretty.

A few days of staying put won't slow us down and we are so thankful that it is easily fixable...........

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thank you Canada........

Hard to believe, but tonight is our last evening enjoying the Canadian hospitality.   We have a new appreciation for the beautiful Maritimes, of which we knew nothing except the names of the provinces and a general location on a map.    We've found the population to be generous, courteous and just plain nice......and this includes the youth.    The scenery is unparalleled and offers a richness of outdoor experiences.    Everything was clean and tidy, the food was delicious and fresh, the crafts were old-fashioned and the weather was perfect.    We give it all a TEN+.....   

And so, we arrived at St. Andrew By the Sea, a cute, quaint village on a peninsula  in the Bay of Fundy and  one of the oldest towns in New Brunswick.    This is our view out the front window.

 It's hard to get a picture of the Main Street with all the cars in the way.

 I don't use a tripod when out and about so flowers tend to be fuzzy.....but I like the color of these nasturtiums in a flower box.  

 These hanks of yarn announced a lovely yarn shop next to the bay.

The beach roses are all but done but the rose hips are huge...about the size of crabapples.

We are leaving but not forgetting.    Next stop will be Bangor, Maine and back to full use of our cell phones and cheaper gas .    Everything is very expensive up here.    I got a haircut today and the 30- somethings in the shops said they go across the border to shop to save money.  
We've heard horror stories about going back across the border.   We had no problem coming this way but just in case, we've pared down the fruits and veggies (not allowed), haven't purchased any mutton to put on the grill and smoked or drank all the good stuff.      We'll call if we need bail money.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Island views

A common event around the Maritimes are the  all-you-can-eat dinners.   In the small quaint villages, you can find this offering most nights of the week.   Often held in community halls or churches, they have also become commercial establishments and we wandered over to the New Glasgow Lobster Supper restaurant the other was busy !!   It was large open room with long tables and lively conversation and crying babies but we  managed to get a table for the 4 of us and the first course was the world famous mussels of PEI.   
After sampling a bucket and a half, the group declared that the mussels lived up to the hype.   One of us did not enter into this debate and enjoyed her soup.      Next came the salad, mixed green and potato followed by a lobster (size of your choice).   The bread was 'fresh from the oven' as advertised.   After all of that, if one cared, there was various fruit pies, strawberry shortcake and the promise of mile-hi lemon meringue pie.    But, unbeknown to us, you had to get there by 6 to get the lemon pie as it 'always' sells out by then.......well, why don't they just make more if it happens all the time.  !!   The pie also comes with ice cream and you can try several varieties if you already aren't more stuffed  than on Thanksgiving Day.

 We depart this pretty place tomorrow.    PEI is a sharp contrast to the other places we've been..... it is called "The Gentle Island".   It is very pastoral and peaceful.  

 We'll head down near the Canadian border for a couple of days and then cross over into Bangor.
We did make it to a rip-roaring ceilidh (kay-lee) at St Mary's Church.   Built in 1902, it is huge, holding over 600 foot stomping, clapping locals and us.    

 This picture of the interior, shot by P's iPhone, shows the massive soaring ceiling, covered in wood strips.   It cost $20.000 to build back then as much of the materials and labor were donated by the parishioners.    

Today we wandered down the hill for a delicious breakfast at a restored butter creamery.   It is light and airy inside with large 2 story windows.    This picture is terrible but I used the iPhone to try and capture the subtle beauty  of the stained glass depictions on the windows.    They represent the life cycle of the salmon in the bottom pictures and there are about 8 panels....the upper are of various birds that inhabit the area.  The place was very busy or I would have tried to get better access to try and capture the beauty.   

Today I noted a hint of fall in the air......there is just a feel and look about it that is so familiar.    The leaves are starting to flutter down and a few of the trees are turning.   The time has gone by quickly and we only have about 2 months of travel left before we head home for the winter.    But we won't be heading south for awhile yet.....the travel-blog has much more exploring to do.......!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Around the Island.......

When last we talked, I had no decent internet  (still don't) and the view of Prince Edward Island was only thru my eyes....... So back to geography class before we get to the pictures.    We left the Halifax area and drove north across Nova Scotia to Pictou, near where the Confederation Bridge begins.   Built in 1997, it is a beautiful 8 mile span.   The other alternative is a 45 min ferry ride which Dean and Diane did.    Access to the Island is free going North ( by bridge or ferry )but they get you coming the other way....about $7 for a car and over $45 dollars for our house.....the ferry would cost us $107 to go South.   Anyway it was a pretty drive and this pic shows the last segment.   We are camped at New Glasgow, NE of Charlottetown..(about 25 min).  
PEI is noted for it's red sand.   Due to iron oxide in the dirt, it is on the roads, beaches and farm fields.   I bought T-shirts for Andy and Mason that are dyed in the dirt and come out the same color as the sand....they include a package of sand with the shirt.    It is said that there are NO white dogs on PEI. !!
Distances are short and between the lakes, rivers and coastal areas, there is a water view most everywhere.    

It is all VERY picturesque......

We have been impressed with the size of the farms......beautiful patchwork rolling hills, immaculate large farm buildings and brown and white cows dotting the hills.   

The area is dotted with golf courses....while out exploring in the early evening, we came across this red fox ambling across a fairway of a course near the water.....Diane said they also saw one and it seemed oblivious to traffic and people.     Somewhere in our travels, we read that red fox were raised here as an industry.....(.I need to find out more about this so that my blog is informative and historical because I know it's not just about the pretty pictures. : )  
All around  the Maritimes, the culture keeps ties to the is a big part of their lives and a popular pastime is the ceilidh ( kay-lee).   We encountered these in Cape Breton as well. (This picture was of a ceilidh near the Charlottetown wharf the other day.....the young teens were very good and nimble on their feet)   At local community halls and churches you can  find postings  of a ceilidh several evenings a week.   With fiddles, and bagpipes and song and dance, these are lively and popular events.   We have plans to go to one on Saturday night at the "Historic St Mary's Church".....we'll let you know.