Family Summer Vacation to the Maine and Montreal

Title: Anderson Family Summer Vacation 2004
Point of Departure: Saint Louis Missouri
Destination: Bar Harbor Maine
Purpose: Family Summer Vacation
States (15): Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Michigan
Provinces (2): Quebec, Ontario
Duration: 14 days
Vehicle: 2002 Toyota Sienna
Odometer: Start: 40,541 End: 44,146
Distance: 3,605 statute miles (round trip)

Trip Diary: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14
Photos: Beth's Place | 25th Reunion | Cadillac Ranch | Petrified Forest NP | Grand Canyon NP | Four Corners | Arches NP | Mount Evans | Uncle Dave's

Day 1 - Saturday 07/31/2004
Travel day from Webster Groves MO to Washington PA.
Odometer: 643 miles, Trip: 643 miles

This was to be our most ambitious family summer vacation ever, both in duration (14 days), distance (3600+ miles) and states (15). The research, planning and reserving accomodations took considerable time. In the end it was all worth it as we had a great time.

We got up early and left Webster Groves, Missouri about 5:20am and drove about 118 miles to Effingham IL where we stopped for breakfast. After breakfast we continued east on I70 through Illinois and Indiana. It's a pretty drive through Indiana but there were lots of semi's on the road.

During this first day of our adventure we began listening to Harry Potter book 5 on CD. This was very entertaining. Mary had borrowed the book on tape (CD) from a friend since it was unavailable from our local library.

Somewhere in Ohio (exit 39) we stopped at a Tim Horton's for a snack. Tim Horton's is a Canadian based company offering fresh baked goods to stores in Canada and the US. They are very popular in Canada and we like them. Kerry and Katie had Timbits, Kelly had a bagel with cream cheese and Rob had an iced cappuccino.

We called Aunt Beth to check on directions to the Longaberger basket factory and headquarters. The headquarters is located in Newark OH and the factory near Dresden OH. We drove to the headquarters to get a picture as the building is shaped like a giant basket - click here to see a picture.

We had lunch at the Subway in Dresden the backtracked a few miles to the factory. We toured the factory then, as a family, built our own basket with the help of a Longaberger employee. It took about an hour and was interesting to see how the baskets are built. We each took turns weaving the wood. Later we visited the village area which is full of little shops and all kinds of Longaberger baskets.

We drove south back to I-70 then countinued our eastward journey. We stopped at Wendy's in Wheeling West Virginia for dinner. Westbound traffic was all clogged up because of an accident. We saw a deer. After dinner we pushed on to the Hampton Inn in Washington PA. Fortunately we had a reservation as the sign on the door said no vacancy. We arrived about 8:30pm cst, having traveled 643.7 miles. It had been a long first day but we were all excited about being on vacation and had a fun time at the Longaberger factory. This turned out to be our longest travel day of the trip.

At the hotel I uploaded the days images to Mary's laptop, reduced them in size and rotated them appropriately. The modified images were then loaded to a photo sharing service called Fotki. I summarized the days events with a link to the pictures, in an email, and sent the message to our our familes.

Link to Day 01 pictures (12 images), click here.

Day 2 - Sunday 08/01/2004
Travel day from Washington PA to Mystic CT
Odometer: 564 miles, Trip: 1,208 miles

We got up at a descent time, had breakfast and loaded the van. We were on the road by 8:25am est. We drove on several PA state highways and backroads as we wound are way to Fallingwater near Mill Run PA, arrving about 9:45am for our 10am reservations. Designed in 1935 for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, Fallingwater is recognized as one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most acclaimed works. As the website notes: It is a supreme example of Frank Lloyd Wright's concept of organic architecture, which promotes harmony between man and nature through design so well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. We took the guide tour through the home and property and learned about all about the history of the house - its an amazing place.

We left about Noon est and headed back toward I-70/I-76. Along the way passed over the Chestnut Ridge Summit. Pretty area as we traveled along the Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway. Once on I-70/I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) we encountered lots of traffic and construction and a 55 mph speed limit. The Interstate is rather narrow here with little in the way of shoulders. We went through the long Alleghany Mountain Tunnel. We stopped in Harrisburg PA for lunch about 2pm. The girls had apple dippers with theie Happy Meals. We switchted to I-81, then I-78 as we continued to Allentown. Didn't Billy Joel since a song about Allentown?

On through New Jersey to the XX State Park just before the exit to the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan. We took pictures of the New York City skyline across the Hudson River. In the distance, we could see the Statue of Liberty. The SOL reopened to the public a couple days later. Once you make it throught toll both then all traffic lanes squeeze down to two lanes to go through the Holland Tunnel. Then on to Ground Zero where we were lucky to find a legal parking spot on the street about a block away. At Ground Zero we took pictures, read some of the displays and contemplated the horrible effect that had ahappened 3 years earlier. Now, the site looks like a huge contruction zone, which it is. The Freedom Tower is suppose to open in 2008. For dinner we ate New York style pizza by the slice. The girls and I each bought a hat or visor from a street vendor for $5 each.

We called an old co-worker Faith Silvius who lives in mid-town Manhattan and decided to stop by her apartment for a visit. It had been about 5 years since we had seen Faith so it was nice to visit with her. She walked us around her neighborhood then showed us her apartment. Small and expensive by very comfortable with a very nice, modern kitchen. We left Manhattan about 10pm and headed for Connecticut. We encountered lots of traffic on I-95 even though it was late on a Sunday. A couple toll boths and a traffic jam slowed our progress. After a while everyone fell asleep except for the driver who cranked up the Pat Methany and continued to wonder when the traffic would lighten up. Well the traffic finally did thin out a bit about 40 miles from Mystic. We arrived at our hotel in Mystic about 11:45 pm - that was a long 90 miles from Manhattan. We were all exhausted from the long day of traveling and sight seeing.

Link to Day 02 pictures (40 images), click here.

Day 3 - Monday 08/02/2004
Visit Mystic CT, Travel to Boston MA
Odometer: 141 miles, Trip: 1,349 miles

We had breakfast at the Ground Round restaurant attached to the hotel, then a swim and showers. The girls elected to visit the Mystic Aquirium rather than Mystic Seaport since we didn't have time for both. We spent about 3 hours at the aquirium and got see a sea lion show. The girls each made a penny necklace with a Mystic theme. Kelly bought some earrings. Katie and Kerry bought stuffed animals.

For lunch we dined at Mystic Pizza. They are known for the pizza that made the movie famous. The movie was about three teenage girls come of age while working at a pizza parlor in Mystic Connecticut. One of the three girls was Julia Roberts. We sat upstairs and the pizza was quite good. We bought a Mystic Pizza beer glass on the way out.

Mary visited a bead shop that specializes in amber and she bought some supplies. The younger girls bought a couple things also.

Mid-afternoon we headed toward Boston MA with a stop in Providence RI. We decided to stop at he Roger Williams National Memorial. He founded Providence in 1636. Through word and actRoger Williams fought forthe idea that religion must not be subject to regulation by the state - that it should be a matter of individual conscience. Similar principles are in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

On to Boston MA where we paid $1.999 per gallon for gas. We found our way downtown and then to Quincy Market and parked in a garage. It ended up costing $22 to park the car for a couple hours here, ouch! Aunt Beth called to see where we were. We went to Durgin-Park for dinner and had Boston Schrod. Very good. Afterward we shopped in Quincy Market and watched the street performers. Kelly fell and scraped her leg from the knee down. She ended up with quite a contusion but it didn't slow her down much. Could have been much worse!

We left Boston via a series of tunnels, bridges and elevated highways and headed north to Peabody MA. We had bad directions to the hotel and looped around various highways trying to get turned around. As it turned out, our hotel was right on the main highway. We arrived about 8:20 pm.

Link to Day 03 pictures (29 images), click here.

Day 4 - Tuesday 08/03/2004
Travel day, Peaboday MA to Bar Harbor ME
Odometer: 274 miles, Trip: 1,622 miles

We left Peabody MA about 8:50am and headed toward New Hampshire and on to the pretty state of Maine. We arrived in Freeport ME a couple hours later. There we shoped at the L.L. Bean Outlet Store. I bought a couple bicycling shirts. We stopped by the local ice cream shop and formally introduced the girls to the wonderful world of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. Kerry had Phish Food, Katie had Brownie Batter, Kelly had Chocolate Fudge Brownie, while Rob and Mary feasted on the illusive Coconut Almond Fudge Chip which only available in certain parts of the country.

Next we visited the real L.L. Bean store - what a place! Huge store with all kinds of fun stuff including a complete bike shop. The bike shop sells a special hybrid bicycle called the Acadia Cruiser - perfect for all those carriage roads.

We also visted the The Gap, Bass and Yankee Candle before heading toward Bar Harbor. We took the scenic route off the Interstate. A few miles prior to Bar Harbor we stopped for supplies at Walmart and then at the local IGA for spirits. The small IGA store had live lobsters in a tank.

We arrived in Bar Harbor at out motel about 7:35pm. After registering and unpacking the van we walked downtown. I took nighttime, existing light picture of the motel and if you closely you can see the blurred images of Kelly, Mary and Kerry walking. Exposure was 1/4 second - I steadied the camera on a nearby fence.

We walked the few blocks to the downtown area and shopped for a while. Lots of people were out and about. We bought a few food items and wine at a little grocery shop. I also bought a cold Cadillac Mountain Stout brewed by local micro-brewer Bar Harbor Brewing Co. Awesome beer - one best beers I have ever tasted. I liked it so much I drank one every day we were in Bar Harbor and bought 12 bottles to bring home with us. We ate cheese and crackers for dinner. I uploaded our days images to web and sent an email to family members. Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island. The dial-up speed from our hotel was slow 21K bur the connection was reliable.

Link to Day 04 pictures (6 images), click here.

Day 5 - Wednesday 08/04/2004
Visit Acadia National Park Day 1

We had a breakfast of bagels. Then headed off to Acadia National Park. Located on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park encompasses over 47,000 acres of granite-domed mountains, woodlands, lakes and ponds, and ocean shoreline. Such diverse habitats create striking scenery and make the park a haven for wildlife and plants. Acadia attracts about 2.5 million visitors a year.

We drove to the Sand Beach area and hiked the Great Head Trail. Mary and Kelly rested at the summit while Katie, Kerry and I continued hiking a loop to the coast and back. Next we hiked the Ocean Trail. Many people see no reason to do this hike as the road parallels the trail along the ocean front. What you miss if you stay in your car or stay on the trail is the opportunity to scramble along the rocks and boulders along the water. I had done this as a kid with my siblings some 35+ years ago. It was great fun then and great fun now. The trail takes you past Thunderhole and if you are lucky and your timing just right you might hear it. We never did hear although a lot of people were milling around water for the big sound. The girls tired at the end of second hike so I walked back and retrieved the van and picked them up near the otter cliffs.

We drove to Northeast Harbor and had lunch at the casual Blue Bouy resturant. The younger girls had grilled cheese and I had the daily special, lobster roll. We walked around a window shopped in Northeast Harbor for a bit. Then off to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. The summit affords very nice views of the surrounding area including town of Bar Harbor.

Link to Day 05 pictures (38 images), click here.

Day 6 - Thursday 08/05/2004
Visit Acadia National Park Day 2

We ate breakfast at the hotel as our room came with a continental breakfast. Afterward we drove a couple miles north to the entrance to the Grand Canyon where we paid the $20 admission fee. We continued north for a few more miles and came upon Mathers Point. We jumped out of the van, ran over to the edge and starting taking pictures. Katie went a little nuts and used up half her disposable camera in a matter of minutes before being coached by her parents to pace herself. We drove around the Grand Canyon Village and found a place to park - several lots are available.

Day 7 - Friday 08/06/2004
Visit Acadia National Park Day 3

Hiking the South Kaibab Trail: We were up early this day so Mary and the girls could drop me off at the South Kaibab trail head. I tried to talk Kelly and/or Katie into going with me but they had had enough with Bright Angel hike the day before. At 7am a Ranger was leading a 1.5 mile hike down to Cedar Ridge. This hike is advertised as the most popular day hike in the park. You're not allowed to drive from Highway 64 to Yaki Point where the trial starts so the girls dropped me off and I hiked about .25 mile to the trailhead where a small crowd had gathered. I decided the group of 30 was going to move slower than I wanted so I started down the trail ahead of them. It was a nice cool morning. I enjoyed this hike more than the Bright Angel trail. About half way down to Cedar Ridge is a scenic spot called Ooh Aah Point. This trail is advertised as having little shade which really isn't true. I was in the shade about 80% of the time. I'm sure time of day was a factor. I really enjoyed the hike and made it down in about 55 minutes.

Day 8 - Saturday 08/07/2004
Travel day from Bar Harbor ME to Conway NH
We left Tusayan about 8am and drove back through the Grand Canyon and out the east exit and on to Tuba where we stopped for a bathroom break and snacks. About 45 minutes into this drive Kelly remembered that she hat forgotten her disposal camera on the table in the restaurant at the hotel. We decided to push on and Mary called the hotel about the camera. We continued across the large Navajo Nation Indian Reservation to a little town called Teec Nos Pos Arizona, population 300, where we used the bathroom and had lunch of hot dogs and Indian fry bread. We drove another 4 miles to Four Corners and paid $2 each to enter. Four Corners is the only point in the United States common to Four State corners. I remember being there as a kid about 30 years ago. We took turns taking pictures of each other, then walked around the stalls at the perimeter and looked at the goods the Indians were selling.

Day 9 - Sunday 08/08/2004
Travel day from Conway NH to Barre VT

We chose to stay in Moab because of its close proximity to Arches National Park and I-70. We had no idea what a hip and happening place it was (is). There is a lot going in the Moab area as it is a jumping off point for Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, hiking, biking, rafting etc. Lots of outdoor activities. We had breakfast, finished packing, loaded the van and left for Arches NP about 8:10am.

Day 10 - Monday 08/09/2004
Travel day from Conway NH to Barre VT
When we checked out of the hotel the desk clerk gave us a hard time about the special quoted rate of $49 as the normal rate was $79. Reluctantly they agreed to honor the rate. The motel had a very nice lobby and we enjoyed the pool and hot tub. But the room had seen its better days: plaster damage, leaking faucets etc. This seemed somewhat surprising since the lodge had been renovated in 1996.

Day 11 - Tuesday 08/10/2004
Travel day from Barre VT to Montreal QB
Sunday was a play day in WaKeeney. The kids all played together outside on Emma and Ben's new playground and new water toys. Dave barbecued hamburgers and bratwurst and we had a nice picnic outside.

Day 12 - Wednesday 08/11/2004
Visit Montreal QB
We hit the road early, leaving WaKeeney at 7:05am. Everyone was tired and slept a lot. We stopped in Blue Springs to get gas and have lunch at Burger King (again). We arrived home about 4pm, after traveling 3,535 miles in 12 days.

Day 13 - Wednesday 08/12/2004
Travel day from Montreal QB to Windsor ON via Niagra Falls ON
We hit the road early, leaving WaKeeney at 7:05am. Everyone was tired and slept a lot. We stopped in Blue Springs to get gas and have lunch at Burger King (again). We arrived home about 4pm, after traveling 3,535 miles in 12 days.

Day 14 - Wednesday 08/13/2004
Travel day from Windsor ON to Webster Groves MO.
We hit the road early, leaving WaKeeney at 7:05am. Everyone was tired and slept a lot. We stopped in Blue Springs to get gas and have lunch at Burger King (again). We arrived home about 4pm, after traveling 3,535 miles in 12 days.

If we had more time:

Happy Trails.

Trip Diary: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12
Photos: Beth's Place | 25th Reunion | Cadillac Ranch | Petrified Forest NP | Grand Canyon NP | Four Corners | Arches NP | Mount Evans | Uncle Dave's

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