Tag Archives: maine

Elizabethan Gardens… Manteo, Outer Banks North Carolina

 

Next up on our Outer Banks day trip? The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo.

But first?

Some rocks…

 

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You’re welcome.

From Nags Head to Manteo?

 

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Scenery.

 

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Scenery from a bridge.

 

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More scenery.

How’s that for detailed description?

 

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The Gardens were recommended to us as a must stop… so we did. Even though it was off season and very little was blooming.

 

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Gardens without flowers? Let’s go!

 

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It was a pretty spot… with lots of different areas to explore.

 

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They were in the middle of their annual Christmas light show….

 

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So of course we went in the middle of the day when the sun was shining.

 

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There was an impressive set of gates.

 

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Neatly trimmed boxwoods…

 

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And Queen Elizabeth I.

 

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There were paths with balls…

 

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And paths with statues.

 

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And some extremely large butterflies.

 

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Funky Christmas lights were everywhere.

 

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And I’m sure it would have been quite pretty….

 

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Had we been there at night.

 

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Okaaaay.

Not sure what that was all about, but I don’t like peas either….. so, huzzah!

 

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There was a lonely ruin of something.

 

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And a man shivering in the cold wind.

Oh, wait. That’s the husband…. I didn’t recognize him from the front.

 

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There were fountains.

 

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And ass ends of statues.

 

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Surrounded by tightly trimmed bushes.

Stop snickering…. I know where your mind went.

 

 

There were creepy garden gnomes.

 

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And an indoor butterfly garden…

 

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With no butterflies.

 

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But plenty of fluffy gnomes.

 

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Garden path U turns…

 

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And yay!

Finally something was blooming.

 

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There were also the type of Christmas decorations you only see down south.

 

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Wouldn’t be much point of laying these on the ground up my way.

 

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But there was an impressive old tree.

 

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And yes, I do mean old.

 

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Now that’s a senior citizen!

 

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More paths…

 

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More decorations….

 

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A courtyard….

 

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A gift shop….

 

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And a fellow with a wilder hairdo than me after the windy pier.

 

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By this time we’d looped back around to the beginning.

But not before we learned a few things…

 

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About bees.

 

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In case you’re wondering, Maine’s state insect is also the honeybee. Although we designated it as such in 1975.

Long live the bee!

 

 

And plagiarism apparently.

If you shovel… they will come.

 

With apologies to Kevin Costner….

 

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I’m talking about the deer.

 

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When snow covers the ground and grass is hard to find?

 

 

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Shoveling a path is a sure way to attract a crowd.

 

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Or a herd, as the case may be.

 

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We were really glad to see our resident 12 point buck survived hunting season.

 

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And visits daily with his harem.

 

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Of course he also chases them away when the treats run low.

 

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Cheeky bugger.

Here’s a little clip in between snow storms.

 

White Mountains trip Day 6.. shopping and scenery.

 

Bethel is a lovely little mountain village with some quirky shops.

 

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With a heavy accent on the Yeti for some reason.

 

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We stopped in a gallery….

 

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Filled with local artists…

 

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Moose…

 

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And numerous paintings of vegetables.

Thanks, but I prefer them on my plate… not my walls.

 

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Heading out of town we passed a gorgeous old Victorian.

 

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And a stately old colonial.

A home like that would be my dream… that, and enough money to buy one of those grand old dames and update their interiors.

New houses have no charm.

 

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We cruised along enjoying the scenery…

 

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And the views.

 

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Damn, could you imagine having that for your back yard?

 

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Not too shabby.

A little farther down the road the husband spotted some new construction and turned in to check them out.

 

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By the look of the views? I knew we couldn’t afford it.

 

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The properties were a good size.

 

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With special attention paid to make sure no home blocked another’s view.

 

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So if I win the lottery?

 

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Look for me living here in the autumn.

Number 15 looks just fine…

 

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We have a version of this sign over our way, so it tickled me to see one in the mountains.

 

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Yes, those really are all the names of Maine towns.

 

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Day 6 done, we headed back to our resort for dinner at Camp.

 

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I liked the upscale rustic theme…

 

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Sitting under a lighted canoe…

 

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And a yummy salt brined citrus roasted chicken dinner.

 

 

 

White Mountains trip Day 6… The Bethel Inn.

 

After the rock museum we headed over to the Bethel Inn, which everyone we’d talked to had recommended for lunch.

 

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It was a beautiful old building.

 

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And I thought, oh yes… this will be good.

 

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We headed inside…

 

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And didn’t see a soul.

 

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We wandered around…

 

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Found a replica of the giant snowman Bethel is famous for…

 

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An empty indoor dining room…

 

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An empty outdoor dining room…

 

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Another empty indoor dining room…

 

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A gazebo…. and finally a person.

She told us because it was technically off season, none of the restaurants were open that day. But please go downstairs and check out the wonderful pub.

 

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Oh, sure.

 

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You mean the one where we can’t get anything to eat or drink?

 

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Thanks.

We’d love to…

With further discussion we discovered this inn was on our timeshare list and we could stay in one of their condos.

 

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Which would be great.

As long as I remember to book in season… when they can feed us.

 

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P.S. food people….

I want credit for this post. I tried to have lunch!

White Mountains trip, Day 4. Mother Walker Falls

 

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Never let it be said I’m not up for a good waterfall.

Sadly, this Mother wasn’t.

 

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It sounded promising, so we headed down.

 

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And while it was a pretty spot, I didn’t see a whole lot falling.

 

 

 

Oh, there were stacked rocks.

 

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And precariously balanced rocks…

 

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But even when we followed the sound of running water, there wasn’t much falling.

 

 

I’m sure it’s much more impressive in the spring.

 

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But we still enjoyed the walk, the day, and…

 

 

The rocks.

 

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A scenic drive…

 

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Some foliage…

 

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Some mountains…

 

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And a lovely old bed and breakfast later….

 

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We followed someone’s advice and stopped for a meal at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel.

 

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Tucked away out back, down some dark steps… we found what I can only describe as the local dive bar.

 

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Local workmen at the bar (shooting us disgusted looks) and slumming prep school students from Gould Academy made up the clientele. Uncomfortable chairs, spotty silverware and a disinterested (borderline surly) bartender/waiter… who made us wait longer than he had to… made us question why we were there.

 

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But despite the business card decorated ceiling and questionable decor…

 

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There was surprisingly good food and at least 2 dozen beers on tap.

Mr. Personality even accommodated the husband’s preference for grilled chicken with his chicken parm.

 

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Which just goes to show you can’t judge a bar if you’re from out of town…. or something like that.

Our 4th day ended at our resort with us walking past the strange carved bear out front.

 

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If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was praying for new carpet.

 

 

Step Falls Part 2… forest unmentionables.

 

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We kept climbing higher,  getting closer to the falls.

 

 

But did you see it? In the bottom right hand corner…

I didn’t when I was filming, but then I took a picture.

 

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Yeah.

 

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While I usually pick up litter we find along the way while hiking? This I left alone.

I don’t even want to know….

 

 

Up a thoughtfully constructed rock staircase.

 

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Deeper into the woods.

 

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I kept thinking, geesh. Are we ever going to reach the top?

 

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One required sun drenched selfie later…

 

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Past the well marked trail tree…

 

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We finally saw the top.

 

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The view was going to be killer… I knew it.

Anxiously preparing for the money shot, I found this –

 

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Huh…?

 

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You mean I hauled my  (considerable)  butt up this  hill/ gorge/ mini mountain for bupkus?

WTF!

 

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They even had the flags running across the falls themselves.

 

 

Damned right it is! Why would you open a waterfall up to the public, create a trail, install a bench, mark that trail very carefully so people could find the top….and then not let them access the top? It’s criminal, I tell you.

Criminal.

And it made me wonder if the discarded unmentionables I saw down below were in way of protest.

I felt the same outrage! But not quite enough outrage to leave my own behind. There are limits… even for me.

Making our way back down to the parking lot I was so ticked off I didn’t take any pictures, until I saw this…

 

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And thought…

 

 

 

 

 

White Mountain Trip Day 4… Step Falls

 

Trees and rocks… rocks and trees ahead.

You’ve been warned.

 

 

Oh, come on.

Early morning day 4, we woke with the sun and headed out for a hike to Step Falls.

 

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I wish I could convey the sense of peace that envelops me when I walk into a forest. The fresh air of natural places, the gentle breeze swaying the leaves. The sweet songs of the birds, the whisper of the trees. It’s pure magic.

I don’t know who’s responsible for finding these wild and beautiful places and opening them to the public… but I’ll be forever grateful.

 

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Step Falls in Bethel, Maine. In October when we visited… gently cascading streams. In spring during snow melt season? Torrents of angry water rushing down the mountain not caring what lies in it’s path.

 

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Many of the places we visit are free to the public, but are maintained by local volunteers who ask that you donate to help with costs. Most people never do, so we make a point of it each and every time.

 

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And with this Cycloptic donation box…. how could you not?

 

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The paths were wide and friendly…

 

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Although I couldn’t help but feel I was being watched.

 

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Into the woods…

 

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Up the hill, where we first heard the falls.

 

 

 

Up some stone steps.

 

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Up some fortuitously placed tree roots.

 

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We see a bit more water.

 

 

No.

Not even close…

 

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Ever onward…

 

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And upward…

 

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Past some weird trees growing right around the rocks.

 

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More of the falls.

 

 

 

And a not very comfortable but necessary granite bench to stop and let the husband take a breath.

 

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