Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good Night Riley!

See the cute spaniels enjoying their LL Bean dog bed? While we were on vacation, we bought Riley his very own (slightly less fancy) Bean bed. He has completely ignored it since we got home. Emma laid on it briefly at Riley's birthday party. Finally - finally - one night this week he laid down on it. He was only there a couple of minutes before he was off to play with Gracie again, but maybe just maybe he'll figure out what it is for.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Party Has Gone To The Dogs

We couldn't let Riley's first birthday pass without a party.
He had a peanut butter dog cake, complete with his name.
His friend Emma and he ate their cake off plates - kind of.
Emma brought Riley a bag of tennis balls, but like a lot of kids at parties, had a hard time giving them to the birthday boy.Riley's grandparents came too and brought him a stuffing-free raccoon. He hasn't quite torn it up yet, although it has undergone a squeaker-ectomy thanks to Riley. He had a great first birthday!

Monday, August 23, 2010


My friend Robyn moved into a new house last weekend. I went over to see it and see if I could help. I got the very fun job of helping her do a little arranging and such - my favorite thing! I wasn't inspired to move -way too much work. But I was inspired to hang a few things here and to clean a bit.This afternoon I hung up a couple of souvenir plates that my mom gave me. I haven't used them here, so they've just been sitting in a drawer.
I also hung up one of the vacation pictures that I had enlarge - it's the bottom picture. Yes, Gracie helped.
I also gave the guest room a good cleaning. After trying a couple of different looks for the bed this summer, I put the original bedspread back on. I decided I liked it best.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First Trip to Portland Headlight

Our recent trip to Maine wasn't my's my dad and I at Portland Headlight in 1977.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One Year

Today, Riley turns ONE! Last October when he came to live with us, he was barely bigger than David's shoe. His paws were so big compared to the rest of him.
It seemed like he didn't do much of this:But he did sleep all night in his crate, barely whining at all when he went in. He played with his toys, but didn't destroy them.He still loves an adventure and is happy to hop in the car or truck never questioning where we're going. He enjoyed the snow and proved his ability to find a tennis ball even buried in the mysterious white stuff.

He graduated from puppy class, and is eagerly awaiting intermediate class. He was an excellent student!
This summer he has found a love of water and the lake. Turns out he is a very good swimmer!
These days he acts less and less like a wild puppy, and more like a laid back grown up dog. We are ridiculously crazy about this furry member of our family and spent much of our vacation talking about him and wondering what he was doing. Our house is hairier, muddier, and noisier because of Riley, but I can't imagine it without him. Happy 1st birthday, buddy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 7 - Scranton, PA to Dayton, OH

After leaving Mystic Seaport (and eating at Five Guys - YUM), we headed to Scranton, Pennsylvania were we planned to spend the night. Our Roadfood book suggested the Glider Diner for breakfast and it was great! I didn't take any pictures inside, but it was just what you'd expect from looking at the outside.We drove on a scenic highway along the Susquehanna River for a while before getting on the interstate and high-tailing it toward home.
We stopped in Dayton, OH for one last night away from home. It was a wonderful vacation, and I always hate to see them end. But, it was good to get home and see our pets. We missed them and I think they missed us too. Thank you to David for planning our trip and getting us safely there and back! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 6 Part 2 - Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

One of the highlights of our trip was an unexpected stop at Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport is a living history museum on 17 acres showing coastal New England life in the 1800's. It is worth a stop!I loved this house. The inside was a bit dark for pictures, but it was interesting also. The ceilings were just barely high enough for David to stand and the furniture looked tiny. No Big Macs in the 1800's I guess!

This is the view from atop one of the giant ships they are restoring.
Loved the lobster traps!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 6 Part 1 - Portland Headlight

One of the things we liked about staying with my aunt Beverly is that she has this funny pug named Lilly. Lilly rivals Riley in being spoiled and is very entertaining. She seems to understand what you're saying as she raises her eyebrows at you. Bev didn't want her picture taken, so I complied, but Lilly didn't seem to mind. :)After we left Beverly's house, we went to Portland Headlight to look around. It was gray and foggy, but still really beautiful.
I remember visiting it before, and if I can find the pictures I'll scan them in.
We were there fairly early, so it was quiet except for a few walkers and joggers.
Another item on our foods not to miss list was an Italian sandwich in Portland. It wasn't quite lunchtime, but who says you can't have a sandwich for breakfast? This was worth breaking the rules for. Yum!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 6 - Bangor to Portland, Maine

After leaving Bangor, we headed for Highway 1 which winds through the coastal towns of Maine. We stopped at this state park for a break and a quick picture before it started to rain.The weather started to lighten up a bit and we stopped at this picturesque town to look around and buy a Christmas ornament. I bought an ornament on our first trip together 10 years ago and that has since become my souvenir search wherever we go. We left Highway 1 for a bit to explore Boothbay Harbor. This used to be a family summer house - wouldn't that be a neat place to spend a summer?
One of the must-eat foods on our trip was lobster rolls in Maine. I don't really eat much (any) seafood, but I ordered one anyway. And it was GOOD! Looking at this picture makes me want another. I'm sure that eating outside in the salt air watching the water had a little something to do with how much I liked it.

We stopped at L.L. Bean in Freeport. That is quite a place! Three large buildings full of Bean goodness. Our big purchase was a bed for Riley. Good news is that this bed will last forever, as he has shown no interest in it at all. Oh well, looks cute!Our next stop was dinner at my cousin Mike's house with his family, my aunt Beverly, and cousin Cathy. Dinner was delicious and lots of fun. We spent the night at my aunt's house, which was a welcome relief after so many nights of hotels.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 5 Stowe, Vermont - Bangor, Maine

The drive out of Stowe was beautiful! Huge boulders, ferns, and trees dripping from the misty day.

We stopped by Rovers North so that David could drool on their Land Rovers. They were very nice. Greg, one of the salesmen, gave us a tour and let us look around. Maybe David will tell you all about that sometime.

This neat old railroad is the Fisher Bridge. It's no longer in use, but was the last covered railroad bridge in Vermont.

As we continued on to Maine, we saw lots of roadside antique places. It was hard to decide which ones might be worth stopping at, but this one caught David's eye with all the neat signs. We left empty-handed, but it was a really interesting place.

We ended the day in Bangor, Maine at The Charles Inn. It was an interesting place! Our key (yes, actual key rather than magnetic card) wouldn't work, so we went back to the front desk. The woman working that evening headed back up with us to show us the trick of unlocking the door. As we walked, she explained that this was Stephen King country. Soon, we opened the door into a neat room...that looked a little like the set from a Stephen King movie. Soon after we went to sleep, there was a persistent knock at the door. David opened to find a very surprised French speaking woman. All in all, it was quite an experience!

Ice Cream for Breakfast

One of the must-sees if you visit Stowe is the Ben and Jerry's factory tour.
You aren't allowed to take pictures inside the factory, just in case you might be a Haagen Dazs spy. :) It was interesting though! Kind of Willy Wonka like. Funny how a giant vat of caramel looks slightly less appetizing than I expected.

At the end of the tour, you get to sample the flavor of the day. We sampled Milk and Cookies, which was somewhat like cookies and cream and quite tasty.

After the tour, we visited the graveyard of past flavors. Each gravestone has a witty poem about the flavor. I wish I'd take more pictures, as some of them were pretty clever. Some of the flavors didn't last long and you could see why. Peanut butter and jelly ice cream? Gross!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 4 - Began in the Adirondacks, Ended in Stowe, VT

On day four of our vacation, we left Watertown, NY to drive through the Adirondacks. It was absolutely beautiful. Creeks and rivers everywhere. I would really love to go back there some time to kayak.
We had planned to ride the gondola at Whiteface Mountain, but a storm had moved in and we weren't able to go. The storm and rain continued while we rode the ferry across Lake Champlain. It was still neat, just really couldn't see much!
As we left the ferry and drove into Vermont, I was open-mouthed at all of the beautiful colonial houses. I think I could live there. Well, I could live there in the summer anyway. We ended our day at the charming Golden Eagle Resort in Stowe, VT. Our room was so cute with it's screen door and wallpaper.
Tomorrow we'll travel from Stowe to Bangor, Maine. Stay tuned! ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 3 - Began at Niagara Falls, Ended in Watertown, NY

We got up bright and early, and having battled the crowd at the hotel breakfast were ready to battle the crowds at Niagara Falls. Except...there was no crowd. The parking lot was blissfully empty and we could walk around the state park and take pictures freely. Hooray for early birds!

Rumor has it that I have been to Niagara Falls before, but it seems that I was nine months and my memory isn't quite that good.

It was a spectacular site! And amazing just how close you can get to the river that leads to the falls.
Before we left on vacation, we bought a book called Roadfood. Since we were in Buffalo, NY it seemed only fitting to dine on the wings for which they are known. Our book directed us to the Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo. It claims to be the place where the buffalo wing was created. 15 minutes after opening, it was already packed with locals and tourists.The wings did not disappoint. They were finger licking good - crispy, not too saucy, just the right amount of heat. Mmmm....I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Never mind that bone in the background. My plan was to take a picture as soon as they arrived, but photography was far from my mind when the plate of wings appeared in front of me.