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Maine and Vermont, June 2014 - My plan as it stands

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May 3rd, 2014, 11:06 AM
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Maine and Vermont, June 2014 - My plan as it stands

A few years ago I realized that I was very close to having visited all 50 states in the US. Then it became a goal to do so. This June we are visiting two more states that I have not visited, Maine and Vermont (after that, only 4 to go!)

My interests when visiting an area include history, art, gardens, butterflies, anything outdoors, and anything quintessentially representative of the area. (ie, if you go to Maine, you have to eat lobster right?) My husband's interest when visiting an area is birds. Specifically warblers. He's responsible for that portion of the trip.

Here are the bones of the trip, feel free to offer things we possibly should not miss in the areas we will be in.

Friday, June 13
Fly direct KC to Boston, arriving 11:30 PM. Pick up Enterprise rental car, drive to Portsmouth NH and stay in Best Western there. Thinking is that it is an hour earlier for us and DH is a night owl, so the hour drive gets us not only an hour closer to where we want to be, but gets us away from the spendier airport area hotels. Called Enterprise, they assured us they would be open for that late flight and if not, there is a 24 hour Enterprise nearby.

Saturday and Sunday Night - Pride Motel and Cottages, Scarborough Maine
http://www.pridemotel.com/Pride_Motel/Pride_Home.html
It seems very "Maine-ish" and we like some self catering.
There are birding areas nearby, and two things I want to visit are:

Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens https://www.mainegardens.org This is in Boothbay.

The Farnsworth Art Museum http://farnsworthmuseum.org This is in Rockland

These may be on our way to or from other things, will let the days guide us.

Standard Baking on Commercial Street in Portland ME has been recommended for the cinnamon rolls.

Monday and Tuesday Night, June 16 and 17, Hutchins Cottages, Bar Harbor ME
http://www.hutchinscottages.com

It's recommend that on the way to Bar Harbor we should check out the Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth for used books and magazines.

In the area I have checked out Island Cruises as a possible way for me to get on the water while husband birds. http://www.bassharborcruises.com They have both a Morning Lunch Cruise and an afternoon Nature Cruise that look really interesting and are only something like $29.

Hardy Boats also has a Puffin Watch evening cruise that I might see if husband wants to do. www.hardyboat.com.

Someone also made another recommendation in the area, but that note is somewhere else.

Wednesday night, June 18 - Hampton Inn, Bangor. There is some birding husband wants to do in the area.

Thurs - Sunday, June 19-21, Norwich Inn, Norwich VT
http://m.norwichinn.com

Thursday we will make our way to VT. Husband will bird in the area.
I have been given this suggestion for the drive:
you might want to take a scenic route thru NH's White Mountains. (Tamworth/Center Sandwich is one of my favorite areas.) The lupines might still be in bloom
Friday - Tapas cooking class at King Arthur Flour

http://www.kingarthurflour.com

Saturday night - Dinner at Tip Top Cafe, White River Junction, Vermont
http://www.tiptopcafevermont.com

Possible activities in the area

Explore the town and relax on the veranda reading a book
St. Gaudens - http://www.nps.gov/saga/index.htm

http://www.thefells.org Gardens

Justin Morrill Homestead Historic site

Sunday, June 21 Return drive to Boston, looks to be about 3 hours, for 3 pm direct flight back home.

I'm afraid I have to post and run as I need to go to a funeral this afternoon, but will be back this evening to read your input!
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May 3rd, 2014, 11:11 AM
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This sounds great.
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May 3rd, 2014, 12:07 PM
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I think the itinerary looks good, too!

I have a bakery suggestion in BH, too... I love MorningGlory just off Cottage St. My first choice for breakfast, and they make really good sandwiches that we take on hikes.
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May 3rd, 2014, 01:27 PM
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I think that if you plan to find time to visit things in Boothbay and Rockland, which I would recommend....you probably ought to get further up into the state that first weekend than Scarborough. And the Pride's Motel sit's right on a busy stretch of route 1 which may not be what you're looking for in regards to "Mainish". It's like any stretch of busy roadway anywhere, not particularly charming in any way. I'm not sure how to describe it other than that it's not really in the woods...more like their are plenty of trees just off the main drag but the cars are still whizzing by.

Scarborough is a short hop from Portsmouth so you should be able to visit those birding areas easily that morning/early afternoon. I'd then move on towards Boothbay and Rockland.
Let me see what I can think of regarding "safe catering" and a decent distance from both.
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May 3rd, 2014, 02:13 PM
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We have a friend who is an avid birder. I could ask him for recommendations of places to go in the Norwich area if your husband hasn't already scoped this out.

In Portsmouth Strawberry Banke is a very interesting historic area.
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May 3rd, 2014, 02:53 PM
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Thanks for the additional bakery suggestion elberko!

Thank you for that info clarkgriswold. I might be committed to Pride. I think it was one of the pre-pay options (I did this a couple of weeks ago so have to look back at my details). It was one of the places recommended to birders going to Scarborough Marsh. I will go check my notes.

I don't think we are going to stay in Portsmouth much but overnight that first night on the road, but thank you for the tip in case there is more time vt. I would love to hear what your friend has to say about places to bird in Norwich. Be sure to emphasize that DH is a warbler guy. If he is a birder, he knows what that means. DH will look at other birds if they are in the area, but really he is a warbler chaser.
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May 3rd, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Enterprise at Logan closes at midnight. You're cutting it too close, evening flights are the most-oftened delayed and you have no wiggle room. What do they mean they have a 24 hr location nearby, where? Will you have to take a taxi there? And then reserve a new car at last-minute-walk up rates that are twice what you reserved at the other location? Get some more details from them, sounds like a nightmare.

Dollar or Thrifty may be at the same rates and are open 24/7. Both are now owned by Hertz. Look for "city special" on their websites. Also check the "last minute specials" for national car rental a few days before your trip.
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May 3rd, 2014, 05:14 PM
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Enterprise picks you up, at least any enterprise I have ever dealt with.
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May 3rd, 2014, 06:47 PM
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I can certainly call again. I was very worried about this initialy, but after talking to the person there (I called the actual desk) I was feeling pretty comfortable about it. My notes are somewhere around here I wrote down the name of the other site and phone number, and yes, they will pick up.

(sorry to sound disorganized, I'm in the middle of a kitchen reno and my living room is full of boxes and a lot of things got moved around, so I'm in a bit of a mad search for some stuff. All the above I had in my notebook from the plans I made while away, so easily accessible. I'm still looking for my stuff for when I was at home)
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May 3rd, 2014, 10:21 PM
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Non-airport Enterprise offices do not pick up at airports. But the real debate is whether or not any Enterprise office would be open after midnight. I'm not seeing any. Maybe the agent meant that there are other car rental companies open after midnight? Just don't want you getting stuck paying walk-up prices.

Also I don't think Bangor is worth an overnight stay. Is that hotel changeable/refundable? Much more interesting places to stay between BHarbor and Norwich.
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May 4th, 2014, 03:48 AM
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double-check cruise times since it's still June. It can be pretty cold out on the water. One time the boat guys handed out blankets but I felt very sorry for the southern family dressed in t shirts and shorts.

Bangor has Dysart's truck stop for some local flavor. The Cole Transportation Museum is more about work vehicles than the usual classic car museums like Owl's Head Transporation Museum. My FIL loved Cole since so much was familiar to him from back in the day. Look for photos of the Lombard Log Hauler. It's been years since we've been there and we actually saw a Lombard Log Hauler during a special event at Owls Head. These were like steam engines used in the woods. People tend to visit Maine's coast and sea history but neglect the logging history. If Leonard's Mills is having an activity day, the saw mill was restored and maintained by local engineers/hands on guys. FIL loved the collection of antique chain saws, some of which he had used.

If you do drive thru Tamworth/Center Sandwich area, you will be near Squam Lakes Science center. It's on our to-do list with gds this summer since we haven't been there in many years. The lake is beautiful and very quiet since there are so many private landowners and no public access. On Golden Pond was filmed there. I may have already told you that sled dogs (Chinooks) were trained for polar expeditions in this area. Not really anything to see except the beautiful area. Twice we have seen a black bear near the road. We have not been to the Remick Doctor's Museum. It's fairly new.

Moultonborough is not far from Center Sandwich. I found this on the internet The Loon Center and Markus Wildlife Sanctuary – Moultonborough: warblers are listed
Your dh may already be familiar with this report
http://www.nhbirdrecords.org/journal...Winter_web.pdf

From the Lake Winnipesaukee area you can connect with I93, go south to Concord and I89 (which goes to VT). The NH Audubon Society is on Silk Farm Road near I89. But you can also take exit 17 and head west/shortcut to Warner and Mt Kearsarge. This is considered a good birding area http://nhbirds.wikispaces.com/Rollin...+Mt.+Kearsarge
and it's convenient to I89.

When you head back to Boston from Norwich, you would take I89 to I93 so Mt Kearsarge could easily be visited in the morning. (take exit 8 or 9). We have not been to the Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner. David Carroll (Year of the Turtle) lives in Warner but I don't think he's a birder.

Any chance you can add another week to your visit?!
http://www.nhnature.org/
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May 4th, 2014, 04:55 AM
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Toucan--I just sent you email with a link to our friend's website and blog. He seems to be out of town birding for a while but I will consult with him later. I just listened to a BirdNote radio segment he wrote called Yellow-rumped Warbler - The Winter Warbler.
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May 4th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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dfrost, I always wish I had more time, no matter where we go! Thank you for the additional things to look into, I will do so.

Any lobster shacks on any of the routes that you would recommend? What do you order? I have never had lobster.

We will spend very little time in Bangor, it's just a place to shower and sleep that night. It is central to some birding DH wants to do. I like Hampton Inns for those kinds of stops, I find them very reliable.

Thanks vt, I got the link and will check out. This is spring migration, so I'm not surprised he is out of town. We were ourselves out of town for the same thing for several weeks.
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May 4th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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I did not realize you had never had lobster. You are in for a treat! Fried clams and scallops are also very good in New england. I am sure others can tell you good places to go in Maine.
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May 4th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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I like the Lobster shack in Cape Elizabeth
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May 4th, 2014, 10:24 AM
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If you like gardens, then you are going to love the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. You need to allocate plenty of time to explore these lovely gardens. It doesn't really seem that you have done so looking at your itinerary. Are you planning to go there and return to Scarborough for the night (time consuming), or see if on the way to Bar Harbor? If on the way to Bar Harbor it will take away needed time in the Bar Harbor area. You haven't mentioned Acadia National Park. Are you going to spend some time there? Please don't miss at least driving the Park Loop Road and seeing some of the main stops there.

You are in for a treat having lobster for the first time. Be sure to have some blueberry pie also! We ate so well when in Maine.
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May 4th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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The Clambake, Ken's and Bayley's are all good and are a short hop from the Pride Motel, just ask the desk for directions. They will also know which markets sell cooked lobsters for takeout, since you have a fridge and utensils in your room..this is often the cheapest option though lobster is never cheap. Cape Elizabeth would be my choice for the location to enjoy your first-ever lobster or lobster roll...it's a pleasant 25 minute drive from Pride.
www.lobstershack-twolights.com
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May 4th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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It really does sound like a very good plan. We used to have a vacation home near Norwich, VT. Drive through Hanover, NH( right across the CT River from Norwich) and see Dartmouth College while you're there. We used to eat out often in Hanover.
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May 4th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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I agree with clarkgriswold about giving Bangor a pass. It's only a few hours from BH, and the area is not scenic.

We ate at the 2-lights lobster shack on our last trip and thought it was just OK. Have eaten at Ken's a number of times. Enjoy it in a throw-back kinda way.
https://www.facebook.com/KensPlace1927

In case you haven't seen it, here's a link to my BH restaurant list from 2012:
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...estaurants.cfm
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May 4th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Correction: it's only an hour from Bar Harbor.
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