Boone Tavern

Boone Tavern
Inside of Boone Tavern in Berea Kentucky!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Surf and Rocks, Casco Bay, Portland, Maine

This undated postcard shows Casco Bay in Portland Maine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Elephant Mountain and Wilson Pond, Maine

This old card was sent from Portland in 1938, showing Elephant Mountain and Wilson Pond in Maine.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Western Promenade, Portland, ME.

This postcard was sent in 1910 (YES, 1910) from Portland Maine to a friend in Florida.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Yachts at Anchor, Gloucester, Massachusetts.

This postcard was sent from Kennebunkport Maine in 1933.  It shows a tranquil view of Gloucester, Massachusetts

Friday, March 16, 2018

Random Thoughts on Friday

I was reading an article the other day about Akron Ohio, a town I have spent a lot of time in.  I worked there for nearly 2 years.  Some of the people I love the most on this planet live there!  It is a town that can be rough (indeed, it does have a bit of a reputation) but it does have a lot of history and character.

Anyway, the article called Akron "the bonus round of Cleveland".  This may have been one of the nicer things I have heard about Akron.  This was the nicest description of Akron I have ever heard when being compared to Cleveland.

BUT, I like that phrase.....  describing a small town near a large town as a "bonus round."

I like the whole thought one town being a bonus for another one.  I know I have planned trips thinking, "If I can see all of the things here I want to see, I might be able to fit this in."

What other cities have a "bonus round" relationship to another city?  Nashville/Franklin, Atlanta/Marietta, Cincinnati/Florence, are a few that I think might meet that description.

I can think of others, but I can't think of a more appropriate "bonus town" relationship than Akron and Cleveland.

Lexington Comic Con in Lexington Kentucky

HEY!  I went to the Lexington Comic Con again this past weekend.  When I lived up north, we used to hit the Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, and we went to several other cons in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  I can honestly say that the Lexington one is drawing some of the biggest crowds I have ever seen for a convention like this.

We did go on Saturday...  and I will likely not make that mistake again.  The lines were pure chaos.  They were trying to do the whole metal detector screening (I heard they abandoned doing that later in the day) but it was a mess on Saturday morning.  Still, it was fun, and it was worth dealing with the chaotic lines.

I kept it simple, and only bought a few small things.  I did find a couple of dealers that I loved.

One comic creator I talked to (and bought some comics from) was Adam Meadors who's put out a cool old style western comic book called Among the Willows.  It is set after the Civil War and is a very pleasant read.  I will be looking forward to more issues.

I picked up some cool stickers, postcards, and buttons from a unique artist who goes by Pizzaface.  Check out her site...  She does some cool retro art of images of old Halloween masks.

We briefly walked through the autograph area on the floor of Rupp Arena, but it was packed.  AND, the whole autograph thing is a bit odd these days.  $30-$95 for an autograph?  Double that if you want a photo with the person?  To each their own, but I put that sort of thing in the ridiculous column.

The costumes were pretty cool.  I LOVED the Pirates characters walking around.  See my bottom photo.  The little boy on his dad's shoulders was offered all of the rum he could drink to join the pirate crew.  There were some great Star Wars characters too.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

West Boston Bridge, Boston, Massachusetts

"West Boston Bridge, Boston.  Bridging the Charles River, connecting Boston and Cambridge.  A beautiful granite structure, over which pass some of the cars to Cambridge, the home of Harvard University."

This older postcard is undated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Portico Over Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts

 Here is an old, undated postcard showing Plymouth Rock Massachusetts.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Final thoughts on our New England/Canadian Cruise

My buddy Bill at work loves to take cruises.  He likes the whole experience.  If he has a few days off, he might look for a brief cruise that he can take anywhere.  To him, where you go isn't as important as the cruise itself.

I REALLY enjoyed this cruise and I do look forward to doing more of them.  It was over the top in many ways.  I don't think I mentioned this in our other posts, but we went with another couple who have been doing at least a cruise a year since 2004.  They have used Norwegian every time, and they had a very nice large room.  They also had a steward, a butler and a concierge.  Their concierge (an exceptionally professional fellow named Roel Gonzales) was great, and I have never seen service like he provided.  Their room was decorated (complete with a great custom cake) for her birthday, which was celebrated on the cruise.  Snacks were brought to their room.  They did not have to wait for anything.

Service was great even without a concierge and butler.  The food was amazing.  AND, it was nice riding on a ship from port to port.

Unlike my friend Bill at work....  I liked the cruise a lot, but I think I will enjoy it in the future as a way to get to fun places that are otherwise hard to get to.  I think an Alaskan cruise will happen in the near future.  I can see doing some more international ones too.

I DID NOT like the fact that I am not in control of the trip.  I like to drive, and to allow myself more (or less) time as needed here and there.

I have mixed feelings on the excursions too.  I am glad we did all of the ones we did on this first cruise.  They were all enjoyable.  And they helped us to cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of time.  I DID feel like we paid top dollar for them though.  AND, we felt that often the guides were somewhat expectant of a tip (though this was not always the case).  Next time, I would likely do less of the excursions.....  BUT I would not rule them out.

I loved having a balcony, but you don't spend a ton of time in your room.  I am ok with having a smaller room, but I really enjoyed looking out at the waves through the night.  I think I will always want a room with a balcony.

Our friends that we went with obviously love cruises, and they especially love Norwegian.  The free style thing promoted by Norwegian, they feel, makes the whole experience more informal than on other cruise ships.  We liked the experience too.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Flying Home

We were dropped off at Logan International Airport in Boston.  It took maybe 20 minutes to check in and go through TSA.  We found a Wendys that didn't have jacked up airport prices!  It was very good too, and there was a seating area! 

We talked to a couple from the St. Louis area seated next to us, they had been on a similar cruise.  I had hoped to walked by the gates where the planes were taken from on 9/11, in section B &C, but we were in section A, which did not have easy access to those areas.  It was actually nice though.  We felt like we were in a small airport the way it was sectioned off. 
We went and sat near our gate.  I charged my nearly dead phone and listened to my ipod, and read some in my Haunted Acadia book.  It was a bit noisy at the airport, and drowning stuff out with tunes was nice.  I listened to some Lou Reed, Kristina Stykos (Turn Off the Noise), and my autumn and Canadian playlists. 

As we got ready to leave, we got emails that our flight was going to be delayed from getting us to Lexington at 11, to getting us there at 1am, then 2am, then we got an email that our flight was cancelled!   

The flight crew from Boston to Detroit was great, and cheery- which I think affected everyone else's attitude.  I was going to read, but the flight was a little over 1 and a half hours, and they had free movies to watch on the seatback, so I watched the Beguiled, which I heard was a Civil War movie.  7 southern women of various ages rescue a Yankee who's leg is injured, and they nurse him back to health.  I ended up liking this movie because it was weird....  but it wasn't exactly a Civil War movie, other than the time and setting.

When we got to Detroit, we had an email that we were rescheduled for a flight leaving in an hour and a half or so (ended up getting us to Lexington about 15 minutes later than what we originally thought).  Anyway, we were just thrilled to not have to spend the night at the Detroit airport.

Most places were closed at the Detroit airport, but we found a Wendys again, which was fine.  They were getting ready to close I think but they were still taking orders. 

We had a nice flight back to Lexington too!

Thursday, March 8, 2018


So, it was Friday morning, and we would be leaving the Norwegian Dawn early.  We had booked a short driving tour of Boston that would end at the airport.

We went to the theater to wait to be let off. A very nice staff person was making announcements, and telling us how things would work.  Well, at one point, an older man yelled out, "Can you speak up, we can't hear you."  OK, the feller has some hearing issues. 

Understandable.  He then went on, "Are you speaking English?  Speak English!"  A grumble was then heard through out the theater.  I heard someone by me say, "That man is just being rude now."  Someone in the back of the auditorium then yelled out, "We can hear you just fine!" to which EVERYONE clapped.  It was nice seeing the rude jerky man being shut down.  The staff person handled it well too, saying that English was not his first language but he was trying.

We were then allowed to go to the port station to get our luggage, which had been left outside of our rooms the night before.  We went to the black tag area... and could not find our luggage! 

We felt a bit of a panic!  Kim, and the staff who did announcements were helping.  Port staff kind of helped, but we were asked at least 20 times if another family member may have grabbed the luggage.  My wife went to look with a port person and ended up finding it in the green section.  Kim grabbed our largest bag and helped us as we ran to our tour bus. 

Anyway, as we got to our bus, I gave Kim a small tip for his help, which he declined.  I insisted though, and we thanked him.  He was our tour guide, and we bumped in to him on at the port at Sydney and at various other times.  He had been VERY helpful several times on the cruise.  We also had filled out a comment card about how helpful he had been before we left the ship!

So, we got onto our tour bus for our Boston tour.  This was nice, we quickly saw the Cheers entrance (I did not have enough time to get a good photo).  We saw Boston Marathon landmarks, and other things.  We DID NOT see Fenway park (I think I barely saw it from the plane).  We got to the airport and unloaded.

Again, like with some of the other tours booked through the ship, this was a short trip, kind of hitting the highlights.  We didn't have enough time to do any sightseeing in Boston on our own, so this was a nice way to get some of it in on a limited time budget.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Acadia National Park in Maine

I mentioned before that we were in the Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park area over 10 years ago, and it was very foggy that day. 

Well, it was great getting back here on a pleasant day with good weather.

In fact, on that trip long ago, we went to the top of Cadillac Mountain and we could see nothing.  Just fog.

This day was different.  We did take an excursion through the cruise line that gave us about a 2 hour tour through the park with a very informative guide, and we had some time to hang out at the top of the mountain for great views.

We got on our bus and we were toured around Acadia National Park.  Our guide talked about the fire of 1947, that took out about half of Bar Harbor, and a third of the park. 

He pointed out the old growth (pre-fire) and the new growth and the differences.  He noted that the rich and famous used to party in the area.  He talked about the "bar" which is a piece of land that you can walk on at low tide. 

Our guide pointed out a nice house owned by Law and Order producer Dick Wolf, who's neighbors include Martha Stewart.

He told us the story of a man building a nice house (he pointed it out) who asked a young lady to marry him.  She agreed to, but only after sailing back home to see family.  On her return ship (the Titanic) she died.  He then told us that the story was false, but had been told around the area as true forever. 

Anyway, we had a very nice tour around the area. 

There is so much to see here though.  A two hour drive through is just not enough time, BUT the excursion was a great way to see a LOT of the park in a couple of hours.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Bar Harbor Maine

Bar Harbor Maine was our first stop after technically leaving Canada, and getting back into the US.  Before we left the ship, we had to show our passports to an immigration official, then we could get on one of the lifeboats to be tendered to Bar Harbor.

We were told to be in line at 7:30 for the immigration thing.  We got in line around 7:20.  A big line had already formed.  The line finally moved around 7:45 and we spent a split second showing our passport to the official, he said thank you, then we moved on.  We were walking around Bar Harbor by 8:10.  It was relatively a short, easy process that seemed intimidating at first.

Oh, and the ports of Bar Harbor aren't big enough to accommodate a cruise ship- so they anchor out a bit, and use lifeboats to take you for about a 10 minute ride the last little bit of the way!

I described Bar Harbor to a friend the other day as a "New England Gatlinburg".  There is some great natural beauty here....  but the souvenir shops have popped up around it for sure!

Most of those shops are pretty tasteful though, and you can still enjoy a lot of the natural wonders in an undistracted way.

We were actually in Bar Harbor over a decade ago, on one of our road trips through New England.  It was a very foggy and rainy day back then though, and we really weren't able to enjoy the area to its fullest.

We did go into several shops here, and I do want to say that we LOVED a couple...

Sherman's, the oldest bookstore in Maine is here!
They have a great selection of local gifts, and local books. 

We also ended up spending a good amount of time at Coffee Hound Coffee Bar.  They had some nice drinks, and the place was very pleasant.  We got a couple of coffees and took a seat.  While we were there, we noticed that a LOT of people came in to ask about wi-fi.  Most made no purchases, and a number of them were a bit stiff when asking (no "thank you" or "I appreciate the help").  Anyway, the staff here still politely told each person where to go to try to get wi-fi, and they treated each person asking just as politely as they treated people who actually made a purchase!

The whole area is nice and this is another place I hope to get back to again.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fairview Cemetery- Halifax Nova Scotia- Titanic Cemetery

As I mentioned in my previous post, we bought tickets for an excursion to visit Peggy's Cove, and Fairview Cemetery in Halifax.  With a tour group that spent a lot of time at Peggy's Cove, and with a cruise ship that required everyone back at the ship at a specific time, our time here was very limited.  In fact, our tour guide announced as we got off the bus, that we had maybe 15 minutes to spend here.

This is one of the drawbacks of excursions, and doing things on a cruise.  Time can really become limited.

And, this was probably the main attraction for me, on the entire cruise, we LOVE visiting places associated with the Titanic.

BUT, we were able to see all of the main stones that we hoped to see.  We were able to take the place in, get some photos, and say we were there.  I would have liked more time, but I can check it off of my list.

There were MANY other tour groups and tourists here.  This may be one of the biggest attractions in the province.

One of the most well known monuments is to the formerly unknown child on the ship.  The small body went unclaimed, and unknown for decades.  HOWEVER, in the 2000s, the child was positively identified through forensic testing.

The J. Dawson marker became very popular after the release of the 1990s film about the boat.  Leonardo DiCaprio's character was named Jack Dawson.... and many people assumed that J. Dawson was the inspiration.

There were a couple of other stones we hunted down......  We DID get to see all we really wanted here, so...  even on a time limit, we were happy.

We got back to our ship and settled in for the evening.  A bagpiper actually played us off as our ship left Halifax!  VERY COOL!

That evening on the ship, we saw a great Second City performance.  They acted out a lot of skits, many of which were wittily acted out quick scene jokes which were set up then punch lines.  They did improvise a song about a member of the audience wanting to be a farmer when they grew up.  It was a solid hour of laughs and I think the entire audience loved it!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Halifax Nova Scotia and Peggy's Cove

We got off the ship and explored a little bit of Halifax early in the day.  We mostly walked around the town near where our ship was docked.

We really didn't have any specific plans for the first part of the day.

We walked around and found that the area had a bit of a college town vibe.  We discovered a cool local bookshop with lots of local and specialized magazines.  We also found a nice gift and candy shop called "Sweet Jane's"!  Lou Reed was going through my head for the rest of the day.

Halifax does have a nice, bigger city feel, but it still feels comfortable.  We walked around and felt that the locals were friendly and pleasant.

We did have an excursion booked through Norwegian to take us out to Peggy's Cove and to the cemetery in town where many people who died in the sinking of the Titanic were buried.

So, we went back and got on a bus for this excursion!

They actually had 3 busses ready to handle all of the cruisers who had signed up and bought tickets for this one.  It kind of seems like a hectic process at first, but it really wasn't.  It only takes a few minutes to get on the bus and get moving.

Our bus first went out to Peggy's Cove and it was a nice drive out there.  When we finally got to Peggy's Cove, we were given an hour to explore.

I would call Peggy's Cove a colorful little fishing village right out of casting.  If you wanted a very idealized little spot, complete with a nice old lighthouse...  well, this would be it.

Check out the photos...  Google it.  It is nearly perfect.  EXCEPT for the tourists.... and the tour busses... and the fairly large gift shop.  When we arrived, our large excursion bus squeezed into a parking spot right next to several others.  Even with the tourists and vehicles....  it is still a very pretty place.  BUT I kept thinking about how special it must have been before.

AND, it got me thinking.  I know there are other great, similar spots all over the place that are just as nice, and not overrun.

Still, this is a cool place that should probably be on everyone's bucket list.

One very cool touristy thing they do here that felt very retro (and I would love to see other legendary roadside attractions do this) is they have a custom postcard booth.  There is a guy in a shack, and he will take a photo of you with the light house in the background, and then put the photo on a postcard!  For $7 each (there is a volume discount for 3 or more) you can have a nice, thick, mailable postcard from Peggy's Cove with you and your pals pictured on the card!

As we left the area, our guide told us about Swissair Flight 111 that crashed into the bay nearby, resulting in the death of everyone on the airplane.  The guide told the story of the father of one of the passengers.  He came to the area to see where his daughter died, and then he could not leave.  He started a restaurant in Peggy's Cove.  He ran the place for about a decade but then sold it to go back home.  Maybe he had some closure at that point.

Our guide asked us to be back to the bus by 2:30, but many people lingered well after that.  Some people casually walked back to the bus around 2:45, with most everyone else waiting.  This was something that I thought was a big negative on doing the excursions....  One or two people straggling can affect time spent at other sites- like our next one on this excursion- Fairfax Cemetery.