Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Day 54, Monday, September 17, 2018. Forsyth, GA to Tampa, FL.
A uneventful, mostly sunny 389 mile drive home. Total trip coach miles traveled was 5418 with about 250 extra miles going around Hurricane Florence.

Day 53, Sunday, September, 16, 2018. Salem, VA to Forsyth, GA
Again after checking on Hurricane Florence, we abandon our plan of going through Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC, to I-95 and decide to head further west to avoid the winds and flooding and going around some road closures. We take I-81 to I-40 to Knoxville, TN, then I-75 in Chattanooga, TN, south into GA. We had rain until Chattanooga which was mostly light, a good thing since our windshield wipers were not functioning. A newly waxed windshield made it possible to drive in the light rain. We stopped at Walmart in Forsyth, GA, after 509 mile, another new mileage in a day record.

Day 52, Saturday. September 15, 2018.  Jersey City, NJ to Salem, VA (Roanoke).
After checking on Hurricane Florence, we begin our travel to home by heading a more westerly route, I-78 to I-81 and stop at a Walmart in Salem, VA, near Roanoke after 458 miles, an apparent new record for mileage in one day.  The outer rain bands of Florence arrived just about the same time as we did.

Day 51, Friday. September 14, 2018.  Millis, MA to Jersey City, NJ (NYC).
After a very pleasant and extended visit with the Davis gang, we depart for Liberty Harbor RV Campground.  On the way we stopped at Stonewall Kitchen near Hartford, CT, for samples and half a dozen jars of Rosemary’s favorite, Wild Maine Blueberry Preserves. After some incredible traffic, we arrived at our campground and checked into our no service, gravel lot for a one night stay to have dinner with Daniel and the grandkids. Dinner at Surya Indian Cuisine was good but seeing Daniel and the grandkids made fighting the traffic well worthwhile. The traffic back to the campground was light and no problem.

Days 44 through 50.  September 7 - 13, 2018. Millis, MA.
Friday was microbrew hopping, Jack’s Abby for 12 samples, Springdale Barrel Room for a few more and finally Exhibit “A” Brewing Company. A very fun afternoon. Saturday was a trip to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. The weather was perfect, sunny and cool, and the sculptures were interesting and included one appropriately named “An Ugly Mess”. Afterward we partake in a tasting at the Nashoba Valley Winery where each tasting is 10 one ounce pours. The Massachusetts wines were surprisingly good but after 10 ounces can one really tell? Sunday was a gathering with Johnny and gang at Kathy’s house. Monday was our original day we intended to leave but Hurricane Florence was approaching south where we intended to head so we extended our stay in Millis. Thursday was dinner with Johnny and Amy at Mango Tree Thai.

Day 43, Thursday, September 6, 2018. Arlington, VT to Millis, MA
A quick stop at the Sugar Shack which is right next door to the campground where we bought a half dozen cider doughnuts and it being our last opportunity in Vermont, a gallon jug of maple syrup. Then we hit the road for our visit with Kathy and the Davis gang in Millis. When we arrived, a new dedicated 20 amp outlet was awaiting us which provided just enough electricity that we canceled our campground reservation in Bellingham eliminating the 20 minute drive each way to visit the Davis gang. Dinner at the Heritage of Sherborn was good but the company was much better.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Day 42, Wednesday, September 5, 2018.  Arlington, VT (Manchester).
An early start for us, in the car by 10:00 for our hike in the Green Mountains National Forest. The Lye Brook Falls Trail is 4.6 miles round trip along a forested trail with plenty of rocks and a few small streams to cross on the rocks to get to the falls.  It is considered a wilderness trail and is all uphill toward the falls with an elevation gain of 740 feet.  We arrived at the falls in an hour and 10 minutes, spent 30 minutes resting at and admiring the falls then 1 hour downhill to the trail head. After our picnic lunch at the trail head we visited Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home. The Hildene, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a 412 acre estate with a 24 room, 8000 square foot Georgian Revival Mansion built in 1903 for Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham Lincoln to survive to adulthood. R. Lincoln and his family moved into the home in 1905 and it was occupied by the family until 1975 when the last descendant died.  The estate was donated and is now preserved. We toured the house and the formal gardens behind the house. The house is located between the Green Mountains and the Taconic Mountains with beautiful views in every direction. The estate includes an observatory, an animal farm, a vegetable farm, hiking trails and a restored 1903 Pullman Palace Car. R. Lincoln was general counsel for the Pullman Palace Car Company founded in 1862 by George Pullman. Upon George Pullman’s death in 1897, R. Lincoln became the company’s president and served as its chairman from 1911 to 1922. The estate has a nubian goat farm and makes goat cheese. The goats are milked at 3:30 am and 3:30 pm and we just so happened to arrive at the goat farm at 3:15 so we got to see the milking in process. After walking on some trails at Hildene including on the floating boardwalk, we drove the town of Manchester, lots of hotels and restaurants. A cute little town made for tourists. A fun day and 19,000 steps.

Day 41, Tuesday, September 4, 2018.  Montreal, QC to Arlington, VT (Manchester).
In no hurry, it was after 11:00 before we departed Montreal. The border crossing was only 30 minutes away and was fairly easy although we had two agents come onboard instead of the usual one. The only fresh produce we had left was one avocado which we were allowed to keep. The target today was to do some hiking in the Green Mountains National Forest South Section near Manchester, VT, and then spend the night in Bennington, VT, which had a Walmart. We headed south on I-87 on the New York side of Lake Champlain thinking we would cross a bridge over the lake into Vermont but Google had a different plan. We ended up on some very small country roads through eastern New York and did not cross the lake but went south of it. The scenery was beautiful but the going was slow. Approaching Manchester at 4:30 we decided to find a campground nearby for our desired hiking tomorrow. Checked into Camping on the Battenkill campground for 2 nights (fhu 50 amp).  After dinner, we drove to Bennington about 20 minutes to Hannaford grocery to stock up on produce, etc. It was nice to be shopping back in the US with familiar brands and writing in English! Back at the campground on a clear night, I took advantage of the dark sky and enjoyed the view of the milky way.

Day 40, Monday, September 3, 2018.  Montreal, QC.
Aaron’s last day of vacation so we naturally began with a stop at Patisserie Kouign Amann for an almond croissant and an apple pastry. Then we walked around the Jewish section and stopped in a Jewish bakery where we purchased rugelach and tri-colored cake. Lunch at Ma Poule Mouillee featuring Portuguese grilled chicken, where Aaron ordered the regular size chicken and chorizo poutine.  When I saw Aaron’s order being made, I quickly changed my order to a petite size. Rosemary had a salad with the grilled chicken on top. Needless to say, Aaron could barely eat half.  Even the petite was too large to finish despite how good it was.  Goody, more leftovers. We did leave enough room for the Jewish pastries. Dropped Aaron off at the airport and spent the rest of the day resting in the coach.

Day 39, Sunday, September 2, 2018.  Montreal, QC.
A day planned by Aaron.  First stop, Patisserie Kouign Amann for a chocolatine and 2 kouign amann (layers of flaky dough with caramelized sugar in between the layers) - outrageous. Next, we went to the Jean-Talon Market where we had lots of samples.  Lunch was a Viet fresh roll and a lobster roll Gaspesie style (no mayo but seasoned butter instead) together with the sampling. We bought more maple syrup and Rosemary and Aaron got more teas to take home. Next, we drove to the Old Montreal area where we walked around until it was time for dinner. Dinner at Les Pyrenees, where we had a fantastic meal 2 years ago. Well, we had another fantastic meal. Rosemary and Aaron had the duck breast in berry sauce.  I had the melt in your mouth, 12 hour braised lamb topped with spinach and almonds. Next, we attended “Cavalia”, a  show under the big top tent produced by Odysseo. It featured horses and acrobats and was very enjoyable. A well planned day by Aaron.

Day 38, Saturday, September 1, 2018.  Saguenay (La Baie), QC to Montreal, QC.
We departed Saguenay and headed to Montreal, a 5 ½ hour drive, 295 miles.  We arrived at the Montreal KOA South Campground (FHU 50 amp) and checked in. Then we drove the car into Montreal for dinner in the Little Italy section. Aaron wanted to try Montreal pizza so we ate at D’Agostino Pizza. The pizza comes in 8", 10", 12" and up. We had 3 different types, including sausage and rapini, and a capicola, mushroom, pepper pizza. They serve a side of fries with each meal, in lieu of serving bread. Leftovers mean pizza for another dinner down the road. Next we walked around the Mont Royal / Fairmont area and had frozen custard at Cremerie Meu Meu. We continued our walk to Fairmont Bagel Boulangerie.  This is our favorite bagel place which we visited on a previous trip and Rosemary definitely needed her bagels. Amazingly, it is open 24/7. We had thought that the bagels were made early that day but when we arrived we found a line out people out the door and the many employees fast at work making bagels. We bought a dozen and a half sesame bagels. Unfortunately, I was really too full to eat one then but the aroma was very tempting.

Day 37, Friday, August 31, 2018. Saguenay (La Baie), QC.
A 2 hour car drive along the north shore of the Fjord to Tadoussac, QC, contained some beautiful scenery. Along the way we stopped at Patisserie Ladouche to pick up sandwiches and an almond croissant for lunch. In Tadoussac, we took a whale watching boat trip with AML.  A 3 hour boat trip departing at 1:00 was a success as we saw many whales including fin, minke and humpback.  Unfortunately, we did not see any belugas which do reside in the area but were not around during our cruise. The water was like glass so no seasickness worries this time.  After the cruise we hiked the Pointe de l’islet which was part boardwalk and part rock climbing along the shore.  A short but fun hike in an area where the Saguenay River meets the St. Lawrence River.  The Saguenay Fjord, created 10,000 years ago by glaciation, is 1,000 meters deep.  No bridge traverses the river due to its depth and the cost of a suspension bridge is estimated at a billion dollars.  Thus, a free ferry system runs back and forth every 20 minutes connecting the north and south shores.