Mystic to Camden

Barry in Camden, Maine.

Sunday,  9/24/17  Getting Outta Brooklyn!


What joy to wake up in New York, the view is glorious from our balcony.  This is the stunning part of a cruise, to awake in a new place!  Boats are busy intersecting the river below us, Ellis Island with the Statue of Liberty is off just to our left, Governor’s Island right next to us,  Manhattan is out in front of us on this unseasonably warm morning.  We don’t even wait for breakfast, but grab our own luggage and disembark before the people who needed porters are scheduled to get off the ship.  We taxi to our car rental, passing joggers, bikers and walkers out enjoying a gorgeous Sunday morning.

OK, L.A. boy, Barry Hogan, can get us out of Brooklyn, through New York City!  We cross the Brooklyn Bridge, (where we walked across, was that last year?)  Google maps routes us along FDR Drive, we skirt Manhattan along the East River and the view is stunning.  We cross RFK Bridge, go through the Bronx, and we are nearly through.  However, I only partially appreciate it, as most of my attention is focused on navigating and clutching the armrest on my car door.  There’s lots of construction and the drivers are at least as crazy as the ones in L.A, weaving in and out.  We accidentally get off on to the wrong highway, but take a leap of faith that google maps “is on our side”, enter a bunch of road construction and then end up on the right highway.  Phew!  We made it into Connecticut, where everything is calmer.  My heart rate lowers.   Well, except that the EZ Pass that came with the car doesn’t seem to be registering as we drive by the toll booths.  I glance back more than once to see if police are after us for avoiding tolls.


We enjoy the Native American names that mingle with English ones on the road signs.  I admit to using  “ Tonto speak” to see how they feel in the mouth. “Woonsocket”, “Hammonasett”,”Naugatuck”.  I wonder if Easterners enjoy “La Jolla”, “Pennasquitos”, “El Cajon”.


It’s still before check-in time when we arrive at the Steamboat Inn in Mystic Connecticut, but our room is ready!  As advertised, we are right on the water, and it’s an easy walk to explore Old Mystic Seaport.  On the way, we pass some charming homes with such pleasant views of the water.  I note to myself to see how outrageous the prices are, and find later that they are pricy, but not outragous.  Wonder if we could rent one some summer?


Mystic Seaport is an open air museum, the largest maritime museum in the United States, I am surprised to find.  A 19th-century village is made up of over restored 60 buildings (many that were moved here) and a large collection of historic sailing ships.  They also happen to have antique cars on display when we visit, so Barry is especially pleased.  Though the displays and the scenery are wonderful, the heat and humidity are taking their toll.  We find a place with local ale and calamari.  Barry surprises me by ordering a pork belly sandwich and I take a “bite”.  


We have no room for dinner and decide to spend the evening relaxing in our sweet BnB.  This sweet inn is right on the water, RIGHT ON THE WATER. At 8pm, as I contentedly page through my Yankee magazine, sipping sherry and a wonderful chocolate cookie, enjoying the view of passing boats, when a large schooner arrives to dock just below our wall of windows. I can see a score of tourists eye to eye and hear full conversations. This is a little too close maybe?  


Sadly, we have to leave in the morning.  We have a 5.5 hour drive tomorrow, but there is more to see here.


Monday,  9/25/17  Checking Out More of Maine


Ogunquit, Maine is our first stop today.  It’s three hours away from Mystic.  It doesn’t disappoint, it’s really beautiful  We take the Walk Marginal Way footpath and swoon at the view of the coastline and homes along the way.  I would love to “summer” here.  Though on this particular day it’s cooler in Sacramento, I think.  The weather is still warm and humid, due to the hurricanes in the south.  


Barry is interested in stopping at the L.L.Bean campus in Portland, Maine.  I had stopped here almost 20 (!) years ago when Caroline and I were speakers at a conference in New Hampshire.  Since that visit, the huge store that I remember is now surrounded by several other huge L.L.Bean stores.  One is for home goods, one is for adventure/sports, and they have a mall of other national brand stores adjacent to them.  We bought a few souvenirs to be shipped home.  Then off on the road again.  We had planned to stop in Boothbay, but decided to just go to Camden where we would stay the night.  Boothbay will be on the itinerary for another trip, because it looks heavenly.


We are staying in the Maine Stay Inn in Camden, Maine.  It’s in one of the oldest houses in Camden and run by Italian innkeepers.  They’ve done a wonderful job of decorating and are very hospitable. We get some good suggestions from them for more things to see and do.  They suggest a restaurant on the water that we can walk to and we SPLIT the lobster dinner and add one lobster a la carte.  Just wonderful, so “Maine-y”!  


We have to repack our bags to fit into a traditional duffle bag, no wheels to board the schooner tomorrow.


Tu 9/26/17 Rockland and Camden, Maine and Board the Schooner


We go up to Mt. Battie to see the view of Camden and Penobscot Bay from above.  Just, just, beautiful! It’s a little too warm for a big hike, but we enjoy the view from up here.


Penobscot Bay

“All I could see from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood;

I turned and looked the other way,

And saw three islands in a bay…”

Edna St. Vincent Millay


We investigate the cute shops in Camden and then head over to Rockland, which isn’t too far.  We have a chance to stroll through the Farnsworth Art Museum.  It features lots of work done by Andrew Wyeth.  Another of the artists whom I enjoyed very much was Marguerite Zorach.  Her modern embroideries are so colorful, interesting and rich.


(When I got home I learned some very interesting things about her. She was born in Santa Rosa, just up the road from us!  She was one of a handful of women students who were accepted to Stanford in 1908.  She exhibited in Paris in the early 1900s and socialized with Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Henri Rousseau and Henri Matisse.  She traveled to Jerusalem, Egypt, India, Burma, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Hawaii during 1911-1912.  She did many paintings of Yosemite and is also known for her textile and embroidery works, which I was drawn to at the Farnsworth.)


I fell in love with a fabric shop, Clementine.  I purchased a bunch of fabric that I may never use.  Also In an antique shop down the street, I loved a wooden antique drying rack like one that I saw in the Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport, RI.  Deciding that it was too bulky and heavy to carry or ship, I, regretfully, leave it.   



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