I must have been able to stand cold weather at some point in my life, because I have memories of shoveling snow as a child in Chicago and of digging out cars stuck in snowdrifts during the winters of 1978 and ’79. Perhaps it was all the years of living in Phoenix and the Caribbean that made me less tolerant to cold. All I know is that when the temperatures drop below 50 I am miserable. I had an amazing month-long leaf-peeping trip to parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Georgia, but toward the end I really started to suffer as autumn kicked in, and I was anxious to get back to Florida where I could warm my bones.
The drive home from Atlanta yesterday was not without drama. Near Valdosta, Georgia, I pulled off the Interstate for fuel. I pulled into a Race Trac gas station that was advertising the lowest price, slid my debit card through the reader and waited for the pump to turn on. When the nozzle didn’t activate I checked the display. To my horror it read, “Declined – see attendant – error Z.” Now, I know my debit card is good. There’s plenty of money in my account. But my first reaction was embarrassment, that somehow I would be seen as a thief or a deadbeat. So of course, I tried again. No way. Declined. I seriously thought about trying a third time, until I realized that would be the definition of insanity – repeating the same behavior over and over and Continue reading
God was a careless artist when he created Maine. He did not dab with a paintbrush. He did not splash. He poured beauty over the State. Nowhere is this magnificence more evident than in Acadia National Park, which occupies nearly half of Mount Desert Island and a scattering of smaller islands off the coast of northeast Maine.
I could live here for years and still not sample everything that Acadia National Park has to offer, much less see it in its many moods and seasons. As it was, I spent the better part of two days viewing the spectacular fall foliage, which may have been the showiest display in years because of the abundant summer rains. On day one I began by driving the 27-mile loop road in the eastern section of the park, which is the easiest way to see spots like Sand Beach, a turquoise jewel of a cove tucked between two rocky arms that is a favorite of summer beach-goers, and the historic Jordan Pond House, known for their tea and popovers as much for the view from their floor-to-ceiling windows.
Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
At the moment, the lyrics of this old song could not be more appropriate. I arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine at noon yesterday to skies so dark and gloomy that it was difficult to get a good photo. From the town pier I climbed the hill and strolled through Agamont Park where, despite the chilly weather, people sat on wooden benches enjoying the view of the harbor. I was surprised to find the town so full of tourists at this time of year but I soon learned why; two cruise ships had anchored off-shore for the day. Apparently the activity of “leaf-peeping” – traveling in search of colorful fall foliage – has been embraced by the cruise industry and Bar Harbor is one of their major ports of call.
Indeed, the fall foliage along the coast of Maine is quite showy; the broad, leafy trees overhanging the steeply inclined sidewalks of town still exhibit brilliant colors. I wandered in and out of shops, stopping here for espresso, Continue reading
Last night, the only thing I wanted to do was get in the car and drive back home to Florida. This happens to me occasionally when I travel long term. It may have been a touch of homesickness; more likely I just needed a rest, since I’ve been hitting the road pretty hard and staying up late to sort out photos and blog. So, I recognized my mood for what it was and slept on it.