Do you miss me too?

Our final day in America today. We had a bit of a drive ahead of us. Our flight wasn’t until 11:15pm, leaving from Boston, so we had the best part of the day to travel from Rockland to Boston and explore a bit more.

After breakfast we said goodbye to Rockland and headed off.

First stop was Bath. Where we stopped for a quick snack of the leftover cheese and meats we bought yesterday.

Next stop, Portland. We had originally planned to stay in Portland on this trip but it was just far too crazy expensive. We had a quick look around, bought some CD’s from an awesome music shop and enjoyed a very strong coffee before heading off again.

Next stop: Kennebunkport. Mission: to eat one last lobster roll. It was really busy when we got there, but we managed to find parking (I’m not sure if we have just been lucky, but we have not had any trouble with parking on this whole trip). The Clam Shack was our lunch destination. There was a large queue, but hey, when there are lobster rolls at the end, it’s worth lining up. The rolls were good and had loads of lobster meat in them – apparently an entire 1 pound lobster. 

Lunch sadly over, we went for a wander around the town.

And stopped for some mini donuts.

And icecream.

A friendly lady took this photo for us.

Then it was back on the road, and before we knew it we were exiting Maine.

A very quick stop in Portsmouth, Vermont followed by more driving and a not very exciting stop in Salem (although we did see another lighthouse)…

And it was on to Logan International Airport in Boston to check in for our long flight home.

 ‘Merica it’s been great, lets do it all again some time soon. Miss you already.

Maybe the sun will shine today, the clouds will blow away

Our last full day in Rockland and America began with waffles. Waffles that Blainie made herself with the waffle making machine at the breakfast buffet. 

And of course they had to be eaten with syrup and bacon. Disappointingly the syrup was not real Maine maple syrup, just pretend stuff.

After breakfast we explored the shops in Rockland for a bit. There are a lot of art galleries and a cool looking Museum of Modern Art that we didn’t go to.

Then we went to State of Maine Cheese Company to pick up some lunch essentials. Seems everyone in the area had the same idea. We had to fight for our spot in the queue amongst many well-to-do ladies who were buying snacks to “eat on the boat”. Meats and cheeses (finally) acquired, we went eat them at some nearby picnic benches near the water. The cheese curds were the best. The last time we ate cheese curds was in Seattle in 2009. Why oh why can you not buy cheese curds in Australia??

Then we headed off to Mount Battie in nearby Camden. We drove up the mountain and explored a bit. Note: this mountain wasn’t nearly as high or scary as Mount Cadillac that we drove up yesterday. But it was still cool.

Coffees at a nearby coffee roasters. Possibly the best cafe ever. We sat out on the porch on rocking chairs. No one else was there except us.

Then a quick trip further up the road to Lincolnville to check out the Lobster Pound situation. Lovely little town, but we decided against coming back for dinner. Wandered along the pebbly beach a bi.

Note: the seagulls here are MASSIVE. Next up, a trip to the lighthouse in Thomaston.

We were almost out of fuel. Steve tried unsuccessfully to get some out of this pump randomly situated outside a store.

For dinner, well, we just HAD to go back to Claws for our last dinner in Maine. Blainie HAD to get the lobster dinner again and Steve HAD to get the Lobster Mac n Cheese again. So very delicious. Oh and a bottle of Lobster ale for Blainie and a Vacation size cup of wine for Steve.

Dinner views.

Goodbye Claws.

After dinner we thought we would see if we get to quickly see the lighthouse in Rockland. We managed to get there just on sunset. We didn’t actually make it all the way out to the lighthouse because it was a little far, and to be honest a little scary. Yep, it’s pretty ugly around here 😜

And thus ended our last night in the US of A.

Either Way

We got up early-ish today, and after a good hotel buffet breakfast we set out for Acadia National Park. It is a bit of a drive away, but it was on our lists of must do’s.

About 3/4 of the way there, we came across a really large bridge – Penobscot Narrows Bridge, that we had to cross. We decided to stop to take some photos and discovered that you could actually get up in to the observatory. 

See those little windows up the top there? Well, that’s where the observatory is. Not being ones to miss an opportunity like this, we decided we needed to go up there. It was only like 6 dollars and included admission to nearby Fort Knox (which we sadly didn’t get the time to check out)

It was pretty high. But we got a really cool view of the bay and mountains off in the distance.

Viewing done, we headed onwards towards Acadia National Park. After a slight detour due to a Nav Man malfunction, we made it to the park. Unfortunately the weather had turned a bit and it was raining a bit. The park is HUUUGE and has a very large amount of hiking trails. As it was raining, we chose to drive around the loop road that goes around about one quarter of the park, and stop and see anything that looked good. One of our first destinations was Cadillac Mountain. Yes, lets drive up a mountain we say, excitedly. Then about halfway up we realise it’s slightly terrifying and incredibly high. Spectacular views though, although I don’t think we quite made it to the summit.

Also, luckily we carted all our warmer clothes around for this whole trip, because they actually came in handy here. It was quite cold.

Mountain successfully descended we continued around the loop road. We saw lots of nature and nice views of mountains and oceans. We also saw a snake and some other thing running in the bushes. Don’t know what that was.

We spent a few hours at Acadia which was nowhere near long enough. You could probably spend your whole life exploring it and not see it all. We needed lunch so headed to nearby Bar Harbor to see what they had to offer. We found a place that served lobster, so that was good.

We wandered around Bar Harbor a bit after lunch but it was really busy. We hightailed it out of there and headed back to Rockland. That took a couple of hours, so by the time we got back it was dinner time. We went back to Claws and had a lobster each for dinner. And some delicious scallops. Best.

Airline to (Lobster) Heaven

Packed up and headed off to Atlanta airport this morning. We had a good time in Atlanta, good food, good people and very hot weather. 

Here’s a photo of the upstairs part of our accommodation.

Then, before we knew it we were on a plane bound for Portland, Maine. We had just started to taxi out to the runway, when it was discovered one of the seats on the plane was broken and it was policy that they could not fly with the seat like that. So we had to wait while a technician came and fixed it. Luckily it didn’t take to long, and everyone gave him a cheer and a round of applause when he was done. The flight to Portland was quick and smooth and we had an amazing view of the harbour when we came in to Portland.

By the time we got in and picked up our hire car we were starving hungry. As we were going to be driving up to Rockland (about a 2 hour drive) we decided to get lunch in Portland first. So….what to have for a meal when you are in Maine? Well, Maine lobster of course! A quick search of the Internet and a look through a magazine we picked up in Boston (which had a Maine lobster special article in it) we discovered a place called The Lobster Shack at Two Lights which wasn’t too far away and sounded good. When we got there, the car park was very busy, we managed to snag a spot, before going up the stairs towards the restaurant to see a VERY VERY long line of people waiting to order. We joined the queue, because, well, lobster.

The place was right on the coast, so it was no surprise that it was busy. It actually didn’t take all that long in the end. We ordered a lobster roll each and some fried clams. We sat inside because it was too cold and windy outside! Bit of a change from Atlanta.

The food was so good. Steve had blueberry pie too.

The view from the lobster shack.

Then we drove on to Rockland, which is a small fishing town. It was already early evening by the time we checked in, and most things in the town were already closed. We had a bit of a wander around the place.

By now it was dinner time. Hmmmmm…what to eat for dinner in Rockland, Maine…yep, you guessed it – lobster! We found a great place within walking distance from our accommodation called Claws. Blainie ordered the Lobster dinner featuring a whole lobster, corn and coleslaw. Steve got the Lobster Mac and Cheese. These meals were the best ever. Also the Lobster Ale Blainie had was delicious too.

And thus ends day one of Lobsterpalooza.

Impossible Germany

Got up early and and headed to The Center of Puppetry Arts. We head heard they had a good Jim Henson exhibition. They also currently have a Labyrinth exhibition on also, so this was a must do on our trip. When we got there it was really quiet, only one other family and they ended up going off somewhere else, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. We checked out the Labyrinth display first and it was super cool.

Then on to the Jim Henson exhibition.

Wow. It was so good. There were Muppets, and Fraggles and Doozers and Sesame Street characters and all the things that anyone who grew up in the ’70’s and ’80’s would lose their mind over. We spent a lot of time in there, and as previously mentioned we where the only ones in the whole gallery.

Loved it all. If you are ever in Atlanta, you must go here. Heck, book a trip to Atlanta just to go there.

After we had officially lost our minds at the exhibition, it was time for lunch.  A lot of people had recommended a Southern cooking restaurant called Mary Macs, so we thought we should probably go and check it out. Glad we did because it was delicious. Really good home cooking all made from scratch – and very generous portions of course. Blainie had the roast pork with cornbread gravy and Steve had Chicken Fried Chicken.

After lunch we decided to go for a drive to the county to check out the Chattahoochee River and a small town called Helen, which incidentally is a German themed town. It was a bit of a drive to get there, but the scenery was pretty spectacular. When we got to Helen it was REALLY hot and REALLY humid. We had a bit of a wander around, then stopped for a coffee. 

Feeling a little rejuvenated we went for a wander down to the river. The smart people were keeping cool by renting tubes and floating down the river. We only put our feet in the river.

We wandered around a bit more, then decided it was time to head back. Just as we started driving, from out of nowhere a huge storm hit. Thunder, lightning and a lot of rain. We had to pull over briefly at one point.

A quick stop at Cracker Barrell and Old Navy to buy some jeans, before getting back into the city.

We decided to go to The Varsity for dinner. An Atlantan icon, it is the worlds largest drive in fast food restaurant in the world. You can eat inside the restaurant too, which is what we ended up doing. It’s not somewhere we would rush back to in a hurry. It was cheap though, so that was something.

You’re gonna make me spill my beer

Our first full day in Atlanta, also happened to be the 4th of July. We weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves or if things were going to be crazy busy or open or whatever. We decided to stay local-ish to our accommodation and head out for a wander along The Beltline which is a walking/cycling/running track made from a disused railway line. It goes right past our accommodation and to the Ponce City Market which is where we decided to head to.

It was rather a nice walk, but perhaps a little hot. It is very hot and humid in Atlanta at the moment, and we like the heat!

Saw some cool street art and stuff along the way.

Made it to the markets.

First stop, coffee. We went to Spiller coffee. Their coffee was good. They also had cool baseball cards that they used as your table/order number.

Looked at some shops and bought some things. Ate a chicken sandwich from Hops Chicken.

Then thought it would be a really good idea to keep wandering up the belt line. We saw some more art.

And found some Tiny Doors – which is an art installation around Atlanta. There are about 15 or so tiny doors in various places around town and you have to seek them out. We found two on this walk.

After walking around for about 40 minutes or we realised that we were a bit mad for walking around in the scorching heat, so we headed back to Ponce Street Markets for icecream. 

As it was the 4th of July, the markets were holding a special event in their rooftop to celebrate. We decided to go to it. But as soon as we got up to the roof top the weather chanced and it got windy and started to rain. We managed to have one beer before we had to go back downstairs again.

So we had a drink downstairs whilst waiting for the rain to ease. They have the coolest beer shop at the markets. The Tap has a whole load of beers on tap. Most of which we had never heard of. You choose your beer, and size then they pour it into either a bottle or a growler, put the lid on and there you go. Your very own bottle of beer that you are free to drink at your leisure.

The rain eased eventually, so we headed back up to the rooftop. They have a small carnival set up on the roof, it was pretty cool. 

We got free rides on the slide.

We hung around there until it got dark. Had some drinks and food and made some friends. And played some carnival games. Blainie won the horse race game and Steve won the ring toss game.

Once the sun went down, the fireworks started. Not an actual organised fireworks show, they don’t need to worry about that here. Just random fireworks being set off by random people all over the city.

After all the excitement, we walked back home to our accomodation and went to sleep.

Oh and we found another tiny door!

Passenger side

See ya later Nashville! Today we were bound for Atlanta. But first, the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg. Things got off to a shaky start when we went to pick up our hire car and it wasn’t there yet. Being on somewhat of a tight schedule to get to our 10:45am Jack Daniels tour, we waited around for about 20 minutes or so before asking if they could just give us another car. They found one we could have (which was a downgrade from what we booked – I’ll be sorting this out later) and we hightailed it out of there. Except the GPS they gave us was shoddy and kept resetting itself. After momentarily fearing we were going to get lost somewhere in the middle of Tennessee, we figured we could use Google maps on our phones. Phew. Holiday saved. But there will be some more stern words with Avis when we return the car in a couple of days. Problems sorted, we headed towards Lynchburg. Everyone is gearing up for the 4th of July tomorrow, and we saw countless tents along the road selling fireworks. Pretty bizarre site for us Aussies.

We made it to Lynchburg with moments to spare before our tour started.

The tour was great. We got taken around the distillery and told about all the processes etc etc then at the end we got to sample some of the whiskys. Interesting fact to note: Lynchburg is a dry county. Meaning no alcohol is served or sold. There is a small loophole that lets them serve the whisky samples at the end of the tour but that’s it. How bizarre is it to think that there is a whisky distillery in a dry county?

Here’s us with Jack Daniels (in statue form)

Here’s the cave spring which is the source of the water that goes in to making Jack Daniels.

After the tour we got to sample 4 whiskys. The Gold, The Sinatra, Single Barrel and Rye.

After the tour it was time for lunch. We headed in to Lynchburg town centre where we went to Barrelhouse BBQ, because we really needed to have BBQ again 😁 We had to wait for a while to get in as it was so popular, but it was worth it. We had pulled pork sandwiches.

Then back on the road bound for Chattanooga. We saw the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Read the plaque for more information.

Next stop, Atlanta. Via a brief stop at the Cracker Barrel family restaurant and store. It actually stocked some really cool things.

Our phone GPS even welcomed us into the state of Georgia.

And then we were in Atlanta.