Asheville Awesomeness

Asheville has an old Woolworth store with all local artists in it and the lunch counter is still open. The city is very cute. I could live here. We wanted to drive by the Biltmore and see the holiday lights, but we decided to hover above it and take a picture. ;)

Snowless

It was a travel day ending in Charleston, SC. We'll explore until Friday morning then continue South. Let's just say there are too many people living on the east coast and their driving is ridiculous. How's that for generalizing? We did stop to help a man and his son who were forced off the road and hit the guard rail because of the crazy driving.

We found a place to eat dinner in downtown Charleston called Tasty Thai and Sushi. Apparently the chef has won some awards-the sushi was excellent, even by my (Esther's) standards. If you are ever visiting, you should give it a try. Hopfully we'll take more interesting pictures tomorrow.

Stay on the Sunnyside

Today began with a storm at the Sunnyside (that's the name of the bright yellow bungalow we were staying in). It rained until we reached Vermont and we made a short stop in the quaint town of Brattleboro for some chai and cookies. This is the town where Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book. Now it's home to many hippies and hipsters. We stopped for the night to visit our friend Allison in North Adams, MA. We had some delicious fish tacos at a restaurant next to the modern art museum. Tomorrow we're planning a hike before we head out on the final leg of our journey home.

Chocolate Cream Mountain

There are many carriage roads in Acadia. A Rockeffeller built them to highlite and share his favorite views. Only hikers, bikers and horses or horse drawn carriages are allowed. We rode our bikes about seven miles around Eagle Lake. We then climbed a mountain of chocolate cream pie after dinner at Helen's. It is the best in the country, or so they say. Sylvia told us about her along with many other things. It was the Maine in her, although now she lives in Florida.

Organic

On the summit of Mt. Cadillac we ate organic peanut butter on whole wheat bread for lunch and followed it with possibly the best brownie (organic and all natural) ever tasted by human. We picked that up outside of Portland. It was basically a tour of Acadia and the rest of the island today. The national park is made of land donations by private citizens and it was the first national park east of the Mississippi. It was a mountainous, rocky coastal, organically scenic day.

Bah Habah

We started the morning eating cereal while looking out over the bay. Then hiked around the peninsula. We are now in near Bar Harbor, ME right outside Acadia National Park. It's raining. I think the locals call it Bah Habah.

Turning Left...A Good Idea

You know a trip is good when you've been gone three days and it feels like a week (or two). We started in Boston, drove to Salem to see witch trials and ended up eating dinner on the waterfront in Portland, ME. We thought everyone in Boston was going to sound like Matt Damon in Goodwill Hunting, but they didn't. It seemed like there were a lot of people reading everywhere-in the park, on steps, walking down the street, everywhere. Salem was interesting and somewhat creepy. What's also interesting is of you were to take all the road signs away, it looks like you could be driving into and between any city from mid-Ohio to the East coast and from Maine to Florida. For audio and other nuggets from the trip, click the Facebook link at the top of the page.

Portland is the largest city in Maine. It is the county seat of Cumberland County. The city population was estimated at 63,011 as of the 2006 Census. Portland is Maine's cultural, social and economic capital. Tourists are drawn to Portland's historic Old Port district along Portland Harbor.

The city seal depicts a phoenix rising out of ashes, which aligns with its motto, Resurgam, Latin for "I will rise again", in reference to Portland's recoveries from four devastating fires. The city of Portland, Oregon, was named for Portland, Maine.

Boston, Mass

Newport, RI was cute. We had brunch at a place where there were a thousand women talking about the bachelorette party the night before and weddings. Newport was cute. Then in Boston we walked most of The Freedom Trail and saw Paul Revere's house and Sam Adams grave. Do his decendants get any royalties for his name plastered on beer labels and everything else? We stayed in a brownstone on Newbury Street with jazz playing outside of the window. Sunday night and people are out at restaurants and playing music on the streets.

Mystic

Mystic was a treat. The pizza, Julia Roberts, the town was great. Most of it is untouched by national retail chanes. The restaurants, shops and ice cream were all local. We camped in Old Mystic. Camping is under-rated these days. On the other hand, camping used to be $10 a night.

Though often referred to as a town, Mystic is not a municipality. Rather, it is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River). The population was 4,001 at the 2000 census.

Historically a leading seaport of the area, the story of the town's nautical connection is told at the Mystic Seaport, the world's largest maritime museum, which has preserved both a number of sailing ships (most notably the whaler Charles W. Morgan) and the seaport buildings ashore. The town is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of town.

The town is also home to the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, and notable for its research department, dedication to marine life rehabilitation and not captivity, and its popular beluga whales.

The 1988 film Mystic Pizza got its name from a restaurant in Mystic, which is still open and is popular with tourists. Scenes in Mystic Pizza were shot in Mystic and nearby towns.

In 1997, Steven Spielberg shot various scenes for the movie Amistad at Mystic Seaport.

One commercial was filmed in 2005 at Mystic Seaport for FedEx. It was based on the lobstering business in New England. The commercial was aired in the Orange Bowl.

Bellefonte, Like Elephant

We were trying to make it to Scranton to see Dwight, but it got late and we got tired. So we stopped in Bellefonte, PA at a truck stop that could be described as creepy. We both had really weird dreams.

Bellefonte is a borough in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population in 2007 is approximately 7,000. The town features many examples of Victorian architecture, as well as a natural spring, from which the town gets its name (bestowed by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord during a land-speculation visit to central Pennsylvania in the 1790s). However the spring, which serves as the town's water supply, has been covered to comply with DEP water purity laws (not, as is commonly believed, for fear of its being poisoned). One of the town's historic sections experienced a renaissance in 2004. The Match Factory (officially the Pennsylvania Match Company), after standing vacant since 1996, was being renovated by the American Philatelic Society as their new home, one building at a time. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and the town was anxious to find an appropriate owner for the historic property.

How many Itallians?

It was a little rainy, but that didn't stop us. We checked out the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, Little Italy, Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Chinese food, pizza and gelato...mmm. We found a place called Sal's and a place called Angelo's. We asked someone if they knew where Dominic's was...they looked at us like we were crazy.

NYC

We're in New York City for the weekend to visit Esther's friend Adria. Our flight was late, but we got in early. How did that happen? We went to Central Park, or part of it and now we're going to the American Folk Art Museum for Free Music Friday. You've got to love free, if you're into that kind of thing for crying out loud. Oh, and Afghan food, mmm.

Escape from...

The food in San Francisco is outstanding. The House of Nanking. Before that we rode the cable car to the wharf, ate at In N Out Burger (grilled cheese), it was my first time. The boat to Alcatraz was a good time, and so was the island. Tomorrow we escape from San Francisco, only to return at another time. Pictures from the day are at the Pictures & Video link to the left. A video will follow soon.

Adventures Are Tiring

We're to tired to write. Our vacations are a lot of work. The next one should be sleeping on a beach for a week, but it will probably be an adventure like the others. Click on Picture & Video Galleries to the left to see today's pictures.

Urban Hikers

We decided or figured out that we're hikers. We like to hike, whether it's nature or urban hiking, we like to walk around and look at things. It was the Mission district, Haight Ashbery and Golden Gate Park today. There were a lot of interesting people living in the park. Ironically, Golden Gate Park is not by the bridge. Anyway, we had Indian food for dinner with Esther's friend Katherine and partner Janice. BART is kind of fun. Wouldn't it be great to live without a car? 

These Boots Were Made for Walking

We must have walked seven miles today. That's not so bad by itself, but the hills man, the hills. They are fantastic; seven miles of hills. We went to Chinatown (tried a baozi), Little Italy, Fisherman's Warf (saw the sea lions, they said hi), Fort Mason (talked to a guy about renting an apartment), Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights and Japan Center. Then rode the bus back through the Tenderloin. Did I mention the hills? We found a cool museum with old arcade games at the warf, had really good sushi for dinner (according to Esther, I don't know the difference) and walked through a really big Apple Store before getting Lost at 9 on ABC.