Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 5 - New Hampshire to Maine

Today's weather was quite different from yesterday's. Yesterday it was 85 degrees F in Littleton and in our travels today in New Hampshire and Maine, the temperature never got out of the fifties. It was gray all day with occasional light rain but the weather didn't wipe out our day.

We started the day driving about 30 minutes to Lancaster, NH to visit H's uncle. He gave the grand tour of his town which was very enjoyable. Then we started the journey towards our next destination, the beaches of Southern Maine. On the way down, we stopped at the site of the Old Man of the Mountain collapse. There used to be a rock formation that looked like the profile of an old man. Unfortunately, it collapsed and now it's just another hillside.

We stopped to eat dinner at a seafood restaurant in Kittery, Maine where the day took a great turn for one child and became a bitter disappointment for the other child. Dinner was uneventful. It was as we were leaving that the excitement began. Z spotted a claw machine, you know, the one with all of the prizes that no one ever gets. The restaurant hostess asked Z and B if they wanted to try the claw. They were giddy and said that they wanted to play. She gave each of them tokens to use for the claw. I tried to win a prize for Z first. No surprise, I was unsuccessful. Then I tried for B. H was desperately hoping I would fail for her as well to ensure family harmony. My competitve juices kicked in and low and behold, I caught a stingray. That was the first time that I ever won on the claw. B was thrilled. Z was despondent. To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." And on Father's Day as well. I tried 3 more times to win Z something and I failed all 3 times. I felt so bad for him and B didn't make it any better by taunting him the remaining 20 minutes of the drive to our hotel giving a play-by-play of how I got the stingray for her. There is a happy ending to the story as Z found a stuffed animal Maine lobster at our hotel which he is sleeping with now.

Now onto the nightly feature of what did we learn today.

1. Interstate 93 in New Hampshire becomes a one-lane road through the Franconia Notch state park with a speed limit of 45 MPH. Very unusual.

2. Z has overcome his fear of hand dryers in public bathrooms and now says that he will only use them and not use paper towels anymore.

3. June in Maine is really cold. At least we got to use those jackets and sweatshirts that we didn't use the day before on Mt. Washington.

4. I may be the best mini-golfer that the Wells Beach, Maine Mini Golf course has ever seen. I was "en fuego." Par on this course was 42 and I shot a remarkable 34 (8 under par) with 4 holes-in-one. I asked the guy running the course what the record was and he said that he thought it was like 2 or 3 under par. They should put my picture on the wall there.

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