As you can see I have updated the blog and changed the name of it was well to Labbe Family Voyages. I also went back and deleted several posts and are re-posting a couple dozen of them on my wrestling blog.
It's a New Year and that means new adventures and we've got some ideas of things we'd like to do.
Once again the Labbe's headed out on a adventure to the White Mountains, for the first time though it was during the peak of Autumn foliage.
A few weeks back I had discovered the Sandwich Notch Rd in the southwest corner of the White Mountain National Forest. Built in 1801 and still in use it is a single lane dirt road that according to research even though it is steep at times it is traversable, one guy even said he took his mercedes across it. I'm pretty sure we were not talking about the same road.
I planned this whole trip around taking this road and seeing some covered bridges in the area as well. The night before we left, I was looking at the map and for only 40 miles longer we could still hit Sandwich Notch Rd, but go north after and hit other covered bridges, plus go to Chutters and take our favorite route back home through Gorham, New Hampshire. When given the option Kate went with the new route.
I got out of worked, grabbed Kate her coffee at Dunks, a bag of ice and after changing we were on the road before 8am. Wesley is such a good boy on these adventures, riding in his car seat doesn't seem to bother him and he loves to get out and explore the covered bridges. Of the four that we took in two were in busy areas, one not so much, and one closed to vehicles. The secluded and closed one we like a lot because he can just run around on them with out a care.
Our first stop of the day was at Durgin Bridge in Sandwich. Originally built in 1869 spanning 96 feet over the Cold River. Surprisingly we saw a lot of people at the covered bridges.
Next we drove over the road that was the inspiration for this trip. Ultimately I don't regret that we drove the road, but really there isn't much to see for us. After stopping at Beede falls 3/4 of a mile in it's just hiking trails, which we can't do with the boy, and a narrow road that we scrapped a half dozen times on. I sincerely doubt the guy drove his Mercedes with no issues.
Beede Falls was neat, but it's been so dry that there was no water flowing.
After completing the road with headed north taking rte 112 west towards Bath. This side of the Kancamagus Highway we had not taken before.
Along the way we stopped in Bath at the Swiftwater Bridge. Built in 1849 spanning 158 feet over two spans, 77.6 & 57.5 feet over the Wild Ammonoosuc River.
We had lunch in Bath right near the Vermont Border at Little Grille with has two year round locations and a season one. It's actually a Mexican restaurant that specializes in Burgers.
Kate had the burger of the day, it has caramelized onions and mushrooms and she really like it.
Wesley has a cheeseburger with ketchup, and I had The Sticky Vermonter, sticky glazed maple bacon, Vermont cheddar, maple aioli with tomato.
It was real good! They boast themselves as the best burger in New Hampshire and although it was good, they are not the best because I've had Black Mountain Burger Company.
Less then a mile away we stopped at the Bath-Haverill Bridge, this was the bridge that was closed to traffic and the one Wesley really got to have fun one. This was also the only bridge to have an attached walkway. This two span bridge was built in 1829 crossing 256 (104 and 120 feet) feet over the Ammonoosuc River.
The fourth and last bridge of the day also located in Bath is the Bath Bridge, a four span bridge also crossing the Ammonoosuc River was built in 1832 totaling 374.5 feet, 117.5, 66.5, 62.5, & 80 feet,
The final stop of the day was in charming town of Littleton. My main reason for wanting to go was to stop at Chutters, home to the world's largest candy counter.
It is here were I can buy ten different flavors of frooties for just 1 cent each. That's right actual penny candy. I few hundred for the kids and I.
On the street they had a few pianos sort of a community music appreciation. We set Wesley up and let him tickle the ivories for a spell.
Littleton is the birth place of Eleanor Porter who wrote the beloved children's novel Pollyanna in 1913. The Littleton library features a statue of Pollyanna on their front lawn.
I had been awake some 22 hours by the time we left Littleton so Kate wisely drove us home. I slept more than halfway, Wesley watched Winnie the Pooh and slept a spell himself.
Along the way we some wonderful fall foliage including snow on the mountain tops.
We've had a year or day trips exploring the White Mountains, what's great is there is so much more for us to still see!
Thursday August 25th Kate took the day off from work because Wesley's Day Care was closed for the week and she had told her mom she would take AJ for the day. I was off the night before and couple that with the fact that it was our night for Canaan & Addison it seemed like the perfect time for a day trip.
We were on the road that morning before eight heading north for a day of exploration. Our first stop was just off Route 15 in Guilford at Lowes Covered Bridge. The plaque on sight states the bridge was built in 1830, the State of Maine DOT lists it as being built in 1857. Either way no one can argue the fact that the great flood of April 1, 1987 washed the bridge away. This was the same flood that destroyed Fort Halifax in Winslow and devastated much of Maine.
Rebuilt in 1990 on the original abutments the bridge spans 120 feet over the Piscataquis River. Of course we drove across the bridge before parking and then walking across it. This bridge is not as remote as most of the others in Maine but Wesley still got to partake in his favorite activity, stomping back and forth across the bridge while yelling loudly enjoying his echo.
All the kids really seemed to appreciate the bridge and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Our next stop was going to be Tobey Falls and although I thought I had good directions the road started getting sketchy and we found to markers ensuring us that were going in the right direction. We ended up turning around and someday we will try to return.
We continued north passing through Greenville and into Bowdion College Grant West Twp where we stopped at Elephant Mountain to explore the wreckage from a B-52 Bomber that crashed on the side of the mountain on January 23, 1963. Only two of the nine member crew survived the crash. For more information on the crash check out this wikipedia page here.
All the kids had good time and thought the wreckage was neat. Canaan however loved it, he found it to be very fascinating and thanked us multiple times for taking them up there. He took over 130 pictures on his phone!
The drive from the Lily Bay Rd to the parking area is about 7.5 miles of dirt roads with varying degree of rockiness that at times narrows to one lane. The road was very dry and dusty coating vanna with a fine layer of dust from bumper to bumper.
The final stop of the day was at Lily Bay State Park. It's a beautiful park with a beach that has a picnic area, playground, basketball hoop, and volley ball net. There are also campsites, hiking trails and more.
We had our picnic lunch there before the kids and Kate descended into Moosehead Lake for a swim. I wadded in myself, the water was quite choppy and refreshing, not cold at all. Wesley loved the water showing no fear when charging in and not getting upset when his face dipped into the water whenever he fell. They spent over an hour in the lake.
The kids made sure to take advantage playground before we headed back to the comfort station to get changed up for the drive home.
It was great to get this trip in before the kids headed back to school, and most importantly fun was had by all!
Tuesday the 26th we hit the beach in the morning. I went for a swim enjoying some of the biggest waves that I can remember ever swimming in it was a blast! A crab pinched me on the heel and jumped the crap out of me!
Once Wesley was done with the beach he had himself a good nap and then we headed north to Rehoboth and their boardwalk.
Rehoboth's boardwalk is really nice and features a lot of the same type of places as Ocean City but it seems classier? It was at Rehoboth that I finally had Thrashers fries, and they were fantastic!!
One place they have is Funland which opened in 1962 and has been run by the same family ever since. Funland features rides, games, skeeball, and other ticket games. Most of the games are only $1 and ride tickets are 35 cents each, cheaper the more you buy. Ocean city is much more expensive as most of the same games are $3 - $5 by comparison.
Kate and I played a game called Flushing Meadows, it appears to be vagabonds running to the bathroom holding their backsides. You roll a ball into the play are and depending on the hole it drops into your character advances the corresponding number of positions until one reaches the other side. I won! Wesley loves his ram.
Another place on the boardwalk had Skeeball for 10 cents! I don't know why I love Skeeball so much but I just do!
We checked out a strip of the stores on Rehoboth Ave where Kate bought a stylish hat and showed me this amazing store called Gidgets Gadgets. They had Moxie in a glass bottle, I had to buy one and it was delicious.
Rehoboth is were Kate wanted to eat at Grotto's Pizza, even though there were locations all over she likes this one the best. I must say that didn't have a positive experience at Grotto's, maybe next time I will.
On the way home we stopped in Fenwick Island and right on the Delaware & Maryland state line set off from Route 1 in a urban neighborhood are two landmarks that Kate had never stopped at or seen before even though one of them is 75 feet high and she had driven by it several times.
The tallest being Fenwick Island Lighthouse and the second is the Transpeninsular Line, which you can read about in the photo.
Wednesday July 27th we awoke to a light rain fall, but we didn't let that deter us from traveling to the Salisbury Zoo. Founded in 1954 the Salisbury Zoological Park is absolutely free and houses a variety of animals from Alligators, Flamingos, Bison, Spider Monkeys and more. It was pretty muggy while we visited the zoo but Wesley had a great time and really liked the Flamingo's and Spider Monkeys.
Leaving the park I grabbed a flyer for the Delmarva Discovery Center, we quickly decided to make the 30 mile drive to Pocomoke City and check it out. We had lunch at an old Pizza Hut now called the Red Roof Family Restaurant, it was quite good.
The Delmarva Discovery Center was smaller than I thought it would be, but it was very nice inside. They have a brand new Sea Otter display that has just opened two days prior to our arrival. They have several displays of the history of the region and exhibits showing that lifestyle. They also have a large steamship display that you can climb through.
Wesley loved it because we just let him run around and do what he wanted. At the gift shop we got these really nice postcards of the region that we are going to frame up to hang in the new house.
That night we decided to return to the Ocean City Boardwalk to check out the Ripley's Odditorium. This is the fourth different one that I have been too and I love them. For those that don't know Robert Ripley's collection of oddities and curiosities that he collected in his world travels are amazing and they have done a great job of spreading them around to their 33 museums as well as adding newer displays that fit perfectly.
At the entrance area there is a mirror with a TV that shows people doing amazing tricks with their tongues and it challenges you to look in the mirror and try it for yourself. What I knew, that Kate didn't, was that it's a double sided mirror and at the end of the museum you can watch people trying. Also they have a monitor where you can look up and watch yourself. As you can see I found Kate's attempt and recorded it.
Thursday July 28th we went to breakfast at Bayside Skillet,a place that Kate loves and I had heard so much about. The prices made me shudder but the food was AMAZING! I had a sausage and cheddar omelette that came with a fresh crepe that had butter and a fresh strawberry preserve on it. It was so good!
Kate had the raspberry crepes with Chantilly creme, next time I'll be getting the strawberry version of this, the bite Kate gave me so rich and delicious! Wesley really enjoyed his crepe as well.
The weather was iffy today so we hung out at the room for most of the day. We went to dinner at the Abbey Burger Bistro that night. Kate had never been, but my research showed that it had been voted the best burger in Maryland for a few years running.
I was disappointed with the place as a whole. The messed up both our orders, they corrected it but I wasn't impressed with the burger at all. I didn't think the meat tasted like anything and even though the color looked a perfect mid-rare somehow it was really dry. Kate agreed that here burger was also dry even though it had the appearance of being cooked perfectly.
After dinner I took Kate and Wesley back to the condo and I headed out to the movies for a solo double feature. Theater, a Fox cinema, had the ticket window outside the front of the building like I've only seen on TV and movies before.
I watched Star Trek Beyond first followed by Jason Bourne, both flicks were great!
On Friday July 29th we ended up coming home early. The forecast was rain all day and I suggested to Kate that getting back a day early would allow us to finish the old house up and give us a day to relax before going back to work on Monday. She agreed.
We hit the road about 11am grabbing Chik-Fil-A one last time in Rehoboth and fueled up before continuing north. I don't know what they do to those sandwiches but it's just a toasted buttered roll, fried chicken breast, and pickles and yet it's amazing!
The route we took us back up the Garden State Parkway, Jersey Turnpike, and over the Tappan Zee Bridge into Connecticut via 684. Traffic slowed at times but it flowed, we didn't hit problems until I-84 when it took us 3 hours to what would normally be 90 minutes.
Kate had a hankering for Cracker Barrel so we altered our route adding 15 miles to the trip to stop at the Cracker Barrel in Windsor, Connecticut. We finally arrived home just before 1 am.
All in all it was fantastic trip! I was very happy to finally see and experience the places that Kate and her family and friends have gone to for years and have told me about. This trip was also tremendously different for Kate as she went to a lot of places she had never been to before either.