Joel: In our last week here we've done a lot of swimming and being outside. I think I got more tan than I do in Arizona! My hair is also lighter because of the pool and sun.
Wendy: We spent one beautiful afternoon at Popham beach (that's the fort in the background). We saw a few interesting sights, like the guy and his dog taking a nap together after playing fetch in the ocean, and the dive-bombing birds catching fish (video below), and the several Joel sightings on the beach!
Joel: In addition to lots of swimming, we've been attending outdoor concerts. The Brunswick area is very artsy and full of talent! We heard a group called "Pretty Girls Sing Soprano" and another band that mostly played two-step dances. The Soprano ladies were especially wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, we went to the local farmers' market a few days later to hear them again!
Wendy: Three part female harmony - that's my kind of music! If you want to hear my favorite song they performed that day, click on the link below.
Wendy: A discouraging and unsettling trend we saw during our visit here was the conversion of what were once churches into more secular-use buildings. The one on the left below is now a fabric shop, and the one on the right is an arts center.
Wendy: We also took one day to visit Camden, Maine. We sat on a dock and ate lunch looking out at this view, then we shopped in the shops and spent lots of dollars. :-)
Wendy: We also made a trip to my old hometown, Farmingdale (and Hallowell), where I met up with my childhood best friend, Heather (below on the left in green) and several others who went to school with us. Foolishly, I did not take a picture of us, but this photo was taken shortly after we had left while they were all at trivia night. Hallowell is yet another town that has weekly, free, outdoor concerts. We happened to catch part of one that night.
Joel: Other musical events included a lot of playing the community piano in downtown Brunswick and going to free concerts and an open mic night at the local Irish Pub. That was interesting. I also took the opportunity to attend the local Episcopal church service one Sunday morning (below). The music director was on vacation and they had a sub organist and soloist. It was pretty good and the organ was very cool looking (and LOUD). What got my attention was the organist playing from an ipad! I have some friends that do this as well, but I've always been afraid of doing something like that... what if the program freezes?? I talked to him about this after the service and he said he'd never had any problems and loves it. Friends from Arizona and New York also confirmed this, and the next thing I knew I was standing in the apple store in the Portland Mall. So now I've got that to look forward to at VPC! Hope it works...
Wendy: Once again I failed to get photos of some of our adventures, but we spent several days with the people below (Mark, Rob, Dee, John, and me - Joel took the photo). Mark, John and I all went to high school together. We had dinner one night with John and Dee, took this photo the next afternoon in John's back yard (after visiting our second farmer's market this visit - strawberry rhubarb pies, haddock casseroles, Maine strawberries...yum!), then all met up again at an Irish pub the following night for open mic night. John and another classmate used to perform at the open mic nights, but the other person moved away so now he mostly enjoys them from the audience. We saw quite a variety of talent that night. John and Dee were just married two weeks before this photo was taken so congrats to them!!!
Joel: It's our last day in Maine and the state is crying to see us go. It's been drizzling all day with some major thunderstorms predicted in a few hours. Not sure if we'll get to experience those, but I know we'll get to live through some storms when we get back to Arizona. It's been a great trip full of seafood, friends, and (with the exception of two days) great weather. We'll be back again soon, so I'm not entirely sad to leave.
Wendy: For our final lunch in Maine we went back to the place where we had our first lunch, Day's, and I had the exact same lunch - steamers and a lobster roll. I'm going to miss this!
Joel: This will be our last blog entry for this trip as we leave early in the morning. There's typically nothing too interesting to report while driving across the country... especially Texas! What a drag! A long, never ending drag...... See you soon!
Joel: Since arriving in Maine, the weather has been extremely hot! In fact, Mainers have been saying this is one of the hottest weeks they've had in years. It's been in the 90s with somewhat high humidity. I still don't think it's been as bad as South Carolina. As I write this blog entry, I'm sitting outside on our porch and it's about 68 degrees. The hot weather, it appears, is behind us. Luckily, we have been able to go to our friends Mark and Rob's house to swim. It's rare that someone in Maine has a swimming pool, but we were very grateful for the cool waters to swim in this past week.
Wendy: In addition to Mark's pool, we also managed to get to Mel's lake! We've been talking about seeing Mel (from our own choir at Valley Presbyterian in AZ) in his Maine home for a few years, and this year we finally made it happen. He (and his nearby adopted family members) not only took us out on his boat, but he fed us lobster rolls while we were out there!
Joel: We've been doing our normal day to day stuff here in Maine. Visiting our favorite places and restaurants, enjoying the views of the farm we're staying at, seeing friends, and discovering new places. I'm in love with the green here (even if it brings the bugs!) and I never get tired of looking across the field here at the trees. I know the farm where we are staying is beautiful in the fall!
Wendy: We didn't do as much sight-seeing this week because of the hot weather, but we did make it out to Fort Edgecomb. We like visiting the various forts in Maine and this one was on our list for this visit. Unfortunately, you can't go inside this one. Still, it pretty cool to stand on a piece of history and imagine what it must have been like in days gone by.
Wendy: On the way to the fort we drive by the Taste of Maine restaurant. They have added an accessory in the past couple of years (the big lobster on the roof) and it's quite shocking to see. Compare it to the size of the cars in the parking lot to get a sense of just how large it is.
Joel: There have been 5 cases of rabid animal attacks on humans since we arrived in Brunswick. The locals say this is normal, but it usually happens toward the end of summer, and the incidents are isolated and disappear as fall sets in. Because it's happened so soon in the summer, there has been a warning issued. The problem will only get worse over the summer, and people should take extra care when walking dogs, or being outside in general. It's put a damper on my running schedule... but I plan to go running in the morning! I figure I can hop into a tree if a rabid fox attacks... just kidding, I'll be fine!
Wendy: We had a few options for the 4th and decided to stay close to "home" and go to the Bath Heritage Day fireworks. We sat on the shore of the river right beside the bridge, and watched them being shot off from a wharf on the other side with two of our closest friends here.
Wendy: My involvement in dog rescue over the years led me to look into the situation here in Maine, and I had planned to visit the local Humane Society. However, when I began to look them up I found they had very few animals and I wondered why. Turns out Maine has basically cured their pet overpopulation! So much so, that demand exceeds supply here and they import dogs from out of state (helping states that haven't solved the problem) just to try to keep up with the people here who want to adopt. Dogs are HUGE in this area, you see them everywhere (walking with owners, in stores and in restaurants, etc.) so it's not really surprising, but still, WOW!
Joel: We still have lots to do before we leave, but we are enjoying ourselves immensely while we are here. I think often of those back in Green Valley and Tucson, especially on Sunday mornings. Can't wait to be back in the saddle!