Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Acadia National Park

This was our third trip to ANP. The first time we went was in high school while on a missions trip to Maine, and the second was on our honeymoon.

When we went in h.s., several of us went for a quick swim at Sand Beach. It was freezing cold, but we did it anyway. I don't really remember doing it myself, but it sounds like something I would have done. Sarah, I am almost positive you did it too. This time there was a group of teenagers doing the same thing.

Sand Beach at High Tide


Otter Cliffs


This was a perfect day for a picnic, but we didn't have any time. The first picture is from Wednesday, and we didn't finish our tour (we bought a park pass and a motorists tour book--well worth the $2 for the book!), so we went back on Thursday morning before heading to Clarks Summit. On Wed. we were there at high tide, and on Thurs. we were there at low tide. It was amazing to see the difference between the two!

Otter Point


Cadillac Mountain is the highest point of land on the Atlantic coast (1,530 feet). If you are there at sunrise (yeah right!), you are one of the first in America to see the sunrise.

View from Cadillac Mountain



I still have pictures from Nova Scotia to post, but I had better stop stalling and finish up my syllabus. My first class starts tonight! I am not ready, and I am not motivated!! I told Mark that I am very willing to be a stay-at-home wife. He said no. Oh well.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Mark and the FBI

Everytime Mark and I go to Canada, we get stopped for a car search. We always figured that we just had bad luck and were always the car chosen for a random search. Turns out it wasn't random. We were flagged.

When we excited the Cat in Yarmouth, we were told to go park in a special section for a car search. By now, it is almost routine. However, this time they started taking swab samples of our car and looking in unusual places (visors, glove box, etc.). Then they asked which luggage was Mark's, and they x-rayed ALL of our luggage. At this point, it was getting weird. Then, the officer told us that we needed to go to immigration and customs, and he walked us over there. He asked Mark if he had ever been arrested (no), especially anything with drugs (again, no!). Mark asked him if something were wrong, but he just gave us a vague answer and told us to talk to the people in the office.

In immigration, a lady asked to see all of Mark's/our id, and she made copies of it. She also asked us a few questions. Finally, Mark asked what was up, and we were surprised by what we heard!

Apparently, there is another Mark C. born on the same day who "specializes" in narcotics. That Mark is on an FBI list. When the Cat left Bar Harbor, they sent a list of all passengers and birthdays, so he was flagged long before we got to Yarmouth. The lady working said that she knew he wasn't the one they were looking for just by looking at him (they had a description).

As she and Mark were talking, Mark showed her a Canadian certificate that had been sent to his parents' house and asked her what exactly it meant. Apparently, Mark is still a Canadian citizen. We thought that his dual citizenship ended when he was 18, but they changed the law. The lady suggested that Mark visit a Canadian consulate, and when we looked at the list, there was one in Detroit. She suggested that Mark get a Canadian passport and enter Canada as a Canadian citizen. He could then leave as an American citizen with an American passport. This SHOULD eliminate being stopped at the border each time, and we are definitely looking into it.

What an adventure!

Riding the Cat!

For years, Mark has been excited about riding the Cat. Since we changed our plans and decided to go back to Bar Harbor, we changed our one way tickets to round trip ones.



As we left Bar Harbor, we were escorted by the Coast Guard. This is one of their boats that was with us until we were well out of the harbor. Notice the officer ready at the gun! When we left Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, we weren't escorted out. It was interesting to see the differences between the two countries and their procedures.


We weren't on the boat for very long before Mark started to feel sick, really sick. I suggested that we go to the duty free shop to see if they had dramamine, and they did. However, before we could buy it, Mark was in the bathroom throwing up. Poor guy! I didn't feel the greatest either, but he was much sicker. Needless to say, he was no longer so excited about riding the Cat--and then we realized that we now had to ride it back to Bar Harbor!

Two Sick Travelers!


The View Leaving Yarmouth



We stood on the back of the boat and took pictures for a while after we took off. The boat goes up to 50+ mph. That makes the previously 6 hour ride a much shorter 3 hr. ride. On the way there, one passenger asked why there weren't observation decks on the front of the boat. The attendant said "because you'd be blown off." Encouraging!

Fun in Bar Harbor!

We had a great time in Bar Harbor! At first, Mark wanted to revisit what we did on our honeymoon, but we ended up doing almost all new things instead. One of the first things we did was go on a nature cruise of Acadia National Park. (Last time we took a trolley tour.) It was interesting to see the park from a completely different view point.

We stopped at Little Cranberry Island and visited a 200 year old fishing village. I can't imagine living on a tiny island year round! There are only about 40 year-round residents!




Bear Island Lighthouse



On the warf in Bar Harbor

LOBSTER!!


We had a very full itinerary for our trip, and while we were in Bar Harbor, we decided that we would cut out Prince Edward Island and come back to Bar Harbor after going to Nova Scotia. I wanted to stay a few extra days then, but the Cat didn't run from Bar Harbor on weekends, so we had to make it two separate trips.

When we went to make reservations for our room for the next week, we found out that it would then be considered "high season," i.e. our hotel room would cost $60 more! Needless to say, we had to go elsewhere. We ended up at the Wonder View Inn next door. The room was smaller, but other than that, it was fine. We had a small balcony overlooking the ocean. The view wasn't as great, but it was still good. Mark was excited because we got a room with a queen bed instead of a king. It saved us $10, and Mark said that he could actually find me at night!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We are in Maine!

We arrived in Bar Harbor around 5:00 this evening. It would have been earlier, but we spent a lot of time at Walmart. It is the last real place before you get to Bar Harbor, and we wanted to get some water bottles and look at memory cards for our camera. Our fairly new memory card is corrupted (and I lost all my pictures on it!), so we are borrowing one from Mark's parents. (We have other really small ones, but we didn't want to have to worry about running out of space.) We didn't find anything in our price range at Walmart, but we did get the water bottles!

Our room is exactly how we remembered it, except that it now has a messaging recliner in it! It is easy to just sit there, with the chair remote, tv remote, and air conditioning remote, and forget about everything else!

Tomorrow we are going to explore downtown and then have dinner at the Rose Garden. OnWednesday (or maybe tomorrow), we are probably going to go on an Acadia National Park cruise. Last time we went on a trolley tour, and this sounds like a fun way to see a different side of the park. We are also talking about renting a canoe or possibly a tandem kyak and exploring Long Pond, the largest lake in the park. We are NOT going in the ocean. I am afraid of being swallowed by a whale. Last year I was afraid of falling over Niagara Falls, and I did manage to avoid that, but I am not risking this!

When I called to make our reservations last week, I tried all the different discounts that I could think of to make the stay more affordable (except for my classic "poor people discount"), but I didn't get anything great. However, shortly after we checked in today, they brought up a bucket of ice with sparkling cider and two glasses and a congratulations card for our anniversary. That was very cool!

I will try to post some pictures tomorrow. I am not sure if we lost our C.S./LJ's grad ones, but I think we might have. Mark is asleep, so I can't ask him (and if he realizes that I am still up. . .).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We Leave Tomorrow!

I can't believe that we leave tomorrow afternoon. I have so much to get done before we leave, including grading, laundry, cleaning, packing, picking up a prescription, buying Father's Day gifts, buying graduation cards, and that doesn't include going to LJ's dinner, graduation, and then dessert (and yet, here I am updating my blog)!

In honor of our going back to Bar Harbor, I went back through our honeymoon pictures, and here are a couple for you to see.


The view from our room.



Mark at the Rose Gardent Restaraunt--we can't wait to go back!


Shopping!



Lobsters!


Sadie's favorite--Bark Harbor!


We are taking our laptop with us, so I might be able to post pictures as we go. If not, I will have quite the update when we get back on the 24th!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Soccer!

Last week I went to several of Lauren's soccer games. They were undefeated in the regular season for the last two years, and this was one of their play off games. The first two play off games, they mercied the other teams, including this one. Unfortunately, they lost the next game (to the same team that knocked them out last year too). However, they had a great season.

Way to go Lauren!



The soccer star who was so excited to get her picture taken after the game!


Some family pictures--I really don't have many of them.



It was an incredibly hot and humid day, but at least there was a breeze. If you know me, you know that I HATE hot/humid weather. I don't like it about 75, so the weather we have been having is a stretch for me. I am usually just as pale in the summer as I am the rest of the year because I don't like being outside. I rationalize the extra expense of the air conditioning because we keep the heat really low in the winter. At night, we keep it below 60, and when we are home, we only raise it to 74.

Unfortunately, my usual strategy of staying in the air condition is not working. Our air conditioner is DEAD. I have held up surprisingly well, and it has been over a week now. Fortunately, we have a lot of fans. Mark wanted to sell them at the garage sale, but I said no. Good thing!

We aren't getting the a/c fixed until early July. Since we are gone most of June, we are just dealing with it for now. It isn't a complete surprise that is broke--it is 20 years old (as is the heater and water heater). They are well past their life expectancy. That is why we aren't even bothering to have a repair person come out. Hopefully the new one lasts just as long as this one!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Vet Update

Katie and I ended up just taking Sadie to the vet. By the time we pay for the shots, blood work, office visit, heartworm pills, etc., it gets pretty expensive. I called a "cheaper" vet to see how much it would be to take her there, but it came within $20, so we stuck with the vet from our church that I really like.

I called the vet and asked if Jo really needed to come, and after we went through her paperwork over the phone, we realized that she didn't need any shots or anything this year. When we got Jo, her first family took her to the vet to get a full check up before bringing her to our house, so we haven't had to take her to the vet at all. I do want to get her weighed, but I can just stop by with her and get her weighed without an appointment (and without getting charged).

I was a bit dismayed to find out that Sadie is now overweight. Last year she was 63 pounds, and when I asked the vet what she should be, he said around 60, so we were okay. However, this year, she weighed in at 73.6. Oops! The problem was that I misread the instructions on the dog food, and I was feeding her the daily serving twice a day. We discovered this a month or so ago (after Mark and I argued over how much to feed her--I pulled out the package to prove my case and found out he was right), and I had cut her back.

The vet said that you are supposed to feed critters one cup for every 20 pounds of their ideal weight. This means that Sadie gets 3 cups a day (what the instructions said, too) and Jo is now getting 1/2 cup (instead of 2/3) each day. Surprisingly, Jo really hasn't seemed to notice.

After the vet, the pup got to go to Dairy-Go-Round and get their doggy sundae special. It is vanilla ice cream with dog treats on top. She loves going there, and since it is right by the vet's, I usually take her there after her annual visit. My mom later pointed out that it was a bit contradictory to take a dog you just found out was overweight (even though the vet said "slightly overweight") to get ice cream. Oh well, she deserved it after going through the trauma of getting blood drawn.

Katie took some pictures for me, but then my memory card got corrupted, and I lost them. She did take a picture with her camera phone of Sadie with her sundae, and I will be sure to post that once she gets that to me.

I am glad that the trip to the vet is only once a year, but next year, I will probably have to take both critters, so the adventure will start all over again!