Sunday, August 21, 2011

Maine Idea

Why Maine? Aside from being a very quintessential New England state, my sister Sarah is currently living there while doing an internship. So, since I was in the northeast part of the country anyway, I made it a point to spend some time with my dear, little sister. (Well, not so little, seeing as how she is taller than me by a few inches...)

Here are some of my favorite shots of those delightful days spent in The Pine Tree State:

Left: Scenic view of a river running near where Sarah lives;
Right: Beautiful falls running under some harbor shops and restaurants.

Left: The Camden Public Library;
Right: The ever-picturesque Camden Harbor, complete with ships, dock, and everything!

I loved the way this little entryway was almost hidden by trees and bushes growing over the arch, almost like an entrance into a secret garden, leading to...

This- a lovely amphitheater, with grass-covered stones and tiny wild strawberries
growing in the crevices of each step- What a charming find!

The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Sarah showing said lighthouse both fear? and love!

Merryspring- the place where Sarah works.

Left: Sarah teaching kids about tracking different kinds of wildlife.
Right: The thriving Children's Garden on the grounds of Merryspring.
(Note the lovely, hand-painted signs, made by Sarah herself.)

Some of the beautiful gardens on the grounds at Merryspring.

A vernal spring at Merryspring- I believe it's the spring for which the nature center was named.

Eating dinner at the Old World Potato Company in downtown Camden.
(Note the size of that potato!!!)
Left: My dinner included that huge potato and a cup of tomato bisque soup.
Right: I loved the little glasses they served with our bottled root beer!

The highly-touted, picturesque view of Camden Harbor from Mt. Battie.
As you can see, the acclaimed view was obscured by a thick fog on the day that Sarah and I hiked up the cliff. Alas.

"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"

(This tower is at the top of Mt. Battie- it looked very Monty Python-esque in the mist there :)

Scenic picnic area outside of Camden.

"Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'"

These are just some of the beautiful flowers growing around Camden.

And one of my favorites shots- me and my wonderful sister.
Thank you for sharing a wonderful weekend with me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New England Trek, Part III: Pieces of Rhode Island

Rhode Island: The smallest state of the Union- small enough that if I were to drive in one big circle around the state, it would probably take me no more than 2-3 hours. (Of course, keep in mind that math- including estimation- has not been my strong suit for many years...)

My primary purpose in spending a day/afternoon here was to check out one of my choices for grad school: the University of Rhode Island.

(Here are a couple of shots of the campus- above, the Student Union; below, the tree-lined Quad, not unlike the one at MU in CoMo)

My impressions of the school/campus: It is a small school, which is part of its appeal. The campus was likewise small and intimate. Despite the overcast, drizzly weather, I thought the campus was lovely and quaint. I had a nice visit with one of the head professors/advisors of the MLIS program.

The problem: URI has so many hoops they expect you to jump through to be able to attend as a resident (and, not surprisingly, the non-resident tuition is ridiculously high...). Thus, while I did enjoy the brief visit, it did not rise to the top of my list like I had thought it might... Oh, well.

Since I was in RI anyway, Sarah recommended a couple of places worth the time to visit.

Mew's Tavern/Pub, where I enjoyed some delicious garlic bread and pizza,
while sitting by this:

(Okay, in case you can't tell, it is a tree growing inside the tavern, heavily decorated in paint and signatures and lit with Christmas lights... I think I was pretty lucky to get a seat by such a popular icon of the restaurant!)

After lunch, even though I was stuffed, I stopped here and got ice cream-

(Because, let's face it- there's ALWAYS room for ice cream!!!)

And then, because Newport is such a historic/famous town, I drove a little out of the way- and paid yet another toll- to check out the town.

Here is the famous and beautiful Trinity Church- very picturesque and used often in pictures of Newport. (In fact, it was a picture of this church that first made me want to see Newport someday.)

Some charming spots in downtown Newport- I especially love the quintessential New England architecture.

A view of the harbor- filled with boats of varying sizes, of course!

Unfortunately, since I was trying to make it to Maine before it got too late, I wasn't able to take any tours of the famously beautiful mansions built in the town and along the cliff by the harbor. I sadly did not have time to walk the Cliff Walk, either, in the hopes of viewing these stunning homes from afar. But I did drive along the cliff, and though I couldn't drive as slowly as I might have wanted, there were a couple of nice lookout spots that gave one a nice view of the Atlantic. So, here is what little I can offer you of Newport's Cliff Walk:

If only I'd had more time. But of the time I had, I felt it was well spent.

(Next week: Maine!)