New England Drive - Part RI, MA, & NH (July 22-23, 2012)

Sunday, July 22, 2012 - Happy Birthday Mom!

Providence was really nice downtown at night, and it was really neat to be across the street from the capitol. I got a morning photo downtown as we hit the road to indulge in some Dunkin Donuts and see the world's largest bug on the roof of a pest control building. People argue about whether it is a 58' termite or carpenter ant.



Since it was Sunday, the Hasbro Headquarters were closed. Perfect timing for us to enjoy the life-sized Mr. Potato Head outside. Skitler loved it.

Adam, Terri, and Kris pose with Mr. Potato Head

Skitler loved Mr. Potato Head

The parking spaces looked like Monopoly cards with the playing pieces on them.


Kris insisted on taking in a good ol' fashioned Massachusetts little league game.


He watched while I focused on the giant 24' tall baseball bat behind him. It was sculpted from an 85' dying red oak.  Eventually I made him pose with it for perspective.


Then it was on to Quincy, Mass. to see the World's Most Nearly Perfect Sphere. This sphere was 6 feet in diameter, 9.5 tons, and made of granite.


Nearby the sphere sat a statue of John Hancock.



A few steps away was the old Hancock Cemetery with some really old tombstones including that of John Hancock, Henry Adams (1583-1646), and 69 Revolutionary War Soldiers.


One old tombstone!

This tombstone was inscripted with a creepy poem.

We stopped for lunch at a place called Ninety Nine where they have complimentary popcorn on the table. This place advertised lobster rolls like so many other places we visited, and I just don't understand it. Why would you take a delicacy like lobster and smother it in mayo on a sandwich?



Our journey continued to Castle Island in Boston for a guided tour of Fort Independence (1634). Kris, Terri, and Adam really liked the tour. I found it a bit long - but I really just don't like guided tours very much. I like to go at my own speed through things - hyperdrive - stopping only for photographs.


The tour had an inside and outside guide.  The inside guide was a retired school teacher.



I did learn that the Star Spangled Banner was created in 1795 with one star and one stripe for each state totaling 15 stripes and stars. Congress realized what a burden adding a stripe per state would be and directed that after July 4, 1818 the flag should have 13 stripes to represent the 13 original states and could add a star for each state in the union.

Count the stripes!
I can't remember too much more about the tour, but they had every flag on display and an incredible view.
Our outdoor tour guide talks about the flag.






Our tour was packed!

Ancient loo from an old outhouse serviced the needs of many back during the war days. Original seat. Yuck.
On the way in to New Hampshire, we stopped at the rest area.  Women were inside were working on spinning wheels.


We spotted some amusements.


We stayed in the Fairfield Inn in Concord this evening, so it was a hop, skip, and jump away to the New Hampshire State Capitol Building.

New Hampshire Capitol Building


We spent a long while walking around the grounds. This was a nice spot and a nice capitol building.



Black Walnuts were growing on trees nearby, but we were skeptical. None of us knew walnuts looked like fuzzy green fruit when growing. Kris found one that had fallen on the ground and broke it open. Very pungent and definitely a black walnut!

Black Walnut Tree

Black Walnut

We went to a nice little hole in the wall diner for dinner called Beefside and really enjoyed the atmosphere. They had dog decor all over the walls. The food wasn't terrific.


Doggy decor at Beefside

Monday, July 23, 2012

Many many moons ago in Penacook, New Hampshire, a lady named Hannah Dustin (or Duston) was captured by indians. She escaped and scalped the indians that held her prisoner. A very large statue depicting her holding the scalped hair of 10 indians sits by the railroad tracks as an odd, fairly inappropriate memorial to her supposed bravery.

This memorial sign sits in the parking lot of a park and ride.

In her honor, we braved the mosquitoes to visit the statue. We never saw any choo-choos, but the mosquitoes were as big as birds!

Artistic shot #1

Artistic shot #2 - tracks are dead.  Do not try this at home.
The statue was large and imposing.  It had strange inscription, but it was from March of 1697.  The statue itself is highly controversial and the story is outlined on this website.


The next leg of our journey had us traveling to Canterbury to visit the Canterbury Shaker Village.  We spent hours exploring the Canterbury Shaker Village spending time in an assortment of buildings.



School House built in 1823

The Shakers were a very evolved religious group who believed in equality among genders when the idea was very unpopular and who believed you should be able to sing, dance, stomp, clap, and worship in any way you felt moved. They were a peaceful, self-sufficient group of people who were highly educated and embraced technological advancement before most of society. They were among the first to have indoor plumbing/toilets and electricity.




The Shakers created the first flat broom, gorgeous furniture, Corbett's Syrup of Sarsaparilla, and the 1890 Dorothy Cloak.

The first flat brooms were created by the Shakers.  Previously only round brushes were used.


Canning was done in Shaker communities to help with self-sufficiency.




Dorothy Cloak

There are only five current members of the Shaker society. It's a large commitment many people aren't willing to partake in - must be the required celibacy.  This website has some other fascinating about Shaker society.

I picked up some blueberry soda and amazing fresh squash/pumpkin rolls from the snack shop before we moved along down the road.



We got Friendly's for lunch.  We all got ice cream.


The guys were super excited about our next stop...the FunSpot American Classic Arcade Museum in Laconia, New Hampshire.



In addition to mini golf, bowling, and other games, this building houses the largest arcade with 250 classic games.

Terri might be a bit competitive.

The row of Pac-Man

Kris was excited that they had the Steve Weibe Donkey Kong machine featured in The King of Kong.


Terri and I watched the guys play games until Terri wandered downstairs and found out there was candlestick bowling.



Candlestick bowling was a lot of fun and not something either of us had ever done. You get 10 frames like you down in regular bowling, but each frame you throw three balls (without the board being cleared between throws). You bowl two frames (6 balls) before switching players.




I beat Terri game number one (74-56), but she clobbered me game number two getting two spares (77-63)!


We made sure to stop by the kiddie section of FunSpot for some fun photos before heading out.

Creepy rat frog that sits in the middle of kiddie bumper cars 


After FunSpot, the mini trojan horse of Epsom New Hampshire was a bit disappointing.


Not to worry though, Maine had lots of awesome to offer.  We were a bit afraid it was illegal for us to try to get there...was it illegal to follow the truck?  He was heading our direction.

We didn't know what to do.  There were nowhere else to go, but we weren't supposed to be behind this truck.
When we finally got to Maine, we quickly learned it is the land of signs.  So many signs!


Count the signs.  Geez!

Skitler met Smokey the Bear at the Kittery, Maine Visitor Center

York, Maine is a great little town I would have loved to spend more time visiting. They have great stretches of beaches and lots of history.



You are never too old to learn photography.

We visited the Pleasure Ground Figurines in a public park with access to a public beach (all with free parking). The figurines were bronze and tiny with lots of personality sitting on a 4'x8' rock.






After spending time wandering around the beach, we headed out of York and out to the Saco Motel for a two night stay.  The Saco Motel would be my least favorite and my only two nighter, but there was nothing wrong with it.  The internet didn't really connect, but there was free breakfast, a pool, and it was clean.



We had dinner at Run of the Mill, a restaurant that was once a water powered sawmill and iron forge.





1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Another action packed day...love it! Although you didn't care for the Beefside, I have a feeling RJ would like it a lot. I'm going to have to save your blogs to use as references for my future travels.

    Marlene