HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION
I spent an extended two-week period this summer in New England and Canada, particularly Maine and Prince Edward Island. Here is my travel log.
Day 1: Maine
My first time in Maine.
Motto of the Interstate “Camp in the woods, not the left lane.”
It only took 4 hours to drive here from Boston Logan Airport. Got here fast and now taking it slow.
Lake cabin, or as they call it here “Lake Camp.”
Day 2: Maine
State motto “Dark Sky State”.
Few inhabitants here, so there’s little light pollution at night.
Primitive conditions here at the lakeside camp, survival dubious. I feel cut off from civilization. Only 4 MB internet speeds.
Day 3: Maine
Weather here begins to break. Wild animals kept at bay by use of Deet. Spirits rise around the camp as coffee brews.
Day 4: Maine
Maine’s main import: money
Lowest population of any state east of the Mississippi, so lots of vacation homes and lake cabins.
State motto: “Land of 2,200 lakes.”
Day 5: Maine
State motto: “Gluten free, or Die!”
The locals capture giant water-bound crustaceans from the Paleolithic era.
Fortunately, they are susceptible to butter.
Day 6: Maine
State motto: “Breathe easy, it’s Maine.”
The skies are clearing and sinuses too.
The forests, breeding grounds for flocks of mosquitoes, are dense and humid.
The seafood is ubiquitous.
Day 7: Maine
State motto: “You can’t get there from here.”
Wandered down to the lake day armed with Eau de Citronella.
As I waded into the Stygian depths I was met by no leviathan from the abyss, nor did nattering nether-dwellers nibble on my knees.
The surface of the water was as smooth as chocolate frosting.
I did Water Tai Chi. Like water aerobics, but more deadly.
Day 8: Maine
It’s been a quiet day here at Lake Quantabacook, where the children are strong, the women are good looking, and all the men are above average.
I’m having an above average day, whereas the next door children are strong in smell and the women are good looking after them.
The lake folk here are singularly proud of the capacity of their septic tanks, which might explain the smell of the children.
Day 9: Maine
Latin name for Maine: “Lahbstah”
Dinner in Rockport near the limestone kilns.
Some of the streets are named Limerock, which I thought was a misspelling of the Irish town of Limerick, but no. Lime from here was used on the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. after the Revolutionary War.
Day 10: Prince Edward Island
Have fled the country.
Here in Canada I evidentially drove by a very large town because there were lots of exits off the highway to it. The town is Sortie. I have not seen any town even approaching this size except the time years ago when I drove through the German-speaking part of Switzerland, past the many exits off the Autobahn to Ausfahrt.
On a religious note: I passed by the Bay of Fundy. There were far fewer Fundamentalists here than I expected. This part of Canada is the hometowns of some of the original Apostles: St John and St Andrews, as well as some of the later saints, like St Stephen and St George.
Bonus driving benefit: In Maine, the posted speed limit is usually 55. Here in Canada, it’s twice that: 110. I’m passing everyone on the road!
Day 11: Prince Edward Island
Most of the tourists I encounter here are in PEI for one reason: the Anne of Green Gables pilgrimage. The best-selling turn-of-the-century books by Lucy Maud Montgomery describe the adventures of the young red-haired girl in PEI.
The location that inspired the books since 1985 has been a heritage museum in Cavendish and attracts 250,000 visitors a year from all over the world (5% are Japanese, where it became part of the school curriculum after the War). It’s a $1B Canadian business!
With a population of 150,000, PEI attracts 10x that number during the tourist season of April-October. As many as 4 cruise ships a day may arrive at the capital port city of Charlottetown.
Day 12: Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island, like so many other islands, is completely surrounded by water, but not by beaches. Where there are beaches, they attract both tourists and locals.
On the south coast, especially, the soil is red — terre rouge — and the sand also is red. Even on the north-central shore where the PEI National Park beaches are found, you can see red sand.
The east coast beaches, south of the eastern-most Points East lighthouse, face toward the Atlantic Ocean and have white sand but the water is colder than the north shore which faces the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Day 13: Prince Edward Island
The people of Canada are friendly and approachable. As I was leaving the snack store of the roadside gas station during my return trip to Maine I opened the rental car door to get in when I heard these words from inside the car “Sir, you’re in the wrong car!”
I realized it instantly and as I apologized to get into my own car, we both laughed.
We returned to the seaside town in Maine where we had our last lobster dinner at Young’s Lobster Pound, my third time there. And the sunset was glorious.
So we bid a fond farewell to the east coast to return to the mountains of Colorado.
Day 14: Boston Logan
Boston Logan Airport motto: “You are now free to freak out!”
Logan airport, though it is the 19th busiest in the US, is the only airport to be named for a Marvel hero. Boston roads were designed hundreds of years before automobiles and thus were laid out “boustrophedontically” or ‘as the ox plows’ meaning right-to-left then left-to-right.
Because of this obscure road arrangement, reaching the airport by car involves space warps, as routes appear and disappear indiscriminately, according to Google Maps. This leaves the typical driver in a perpetual state of situational uncertainty.
One unique saving grace of Logan is that in the airport they have a Legal Seafoods Restaurant. I’ve been coming to Legal Seafoods Restaurants in Boston for over 30 years and it is one of my favorites in New England.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian