Easter Tradition - 2019

Sea­son­ably Warmer this Year but Much the Same Deal as 2018.

Published: 20 April 2019

 Boats, Dogs, Birds, Squir­rels, A Har­ley & Some Young Anglers

Was Tardy, Now Timely

Last year I pushed out our annual personal newsletter later than we would have liked. Unable to pull it together early enough in 2018 to associate it with New Year / Christmas, we sent it out at Easter. It was genuinely tardy. Some of you remarked that you preferred to get it during the Easter holiday because there was more time to read it.

The first quarter of recent years has been busy for us on work and other fronts. So it is easy to follow that notion and re-classify the delivery this year as timely. So, best wishes for Easter and the balance of 2019.

On a Personal Front – More Bionic

In the Spring, my left hip joint was replaced with a plastic and titanium affair. It matches, more or less, the one fitted four years earlier on the right. It was the same clin­ic, same sur­geon and much the same pro­ced­ure. I had long become accus­tomed to trig­ger­ing air­port and oth­er secur­ity scan­ners. So not much per­son­al adap­tion required to becom­ing more bionic. It's terrific to have essential mobility restored. I can pull on my socks and tie my shoelaces again without eye-watering pain. Dog walking is enjoyable and not the uncomfortable chore it had become.

What's Going On

Karen still works for the Government. She is a 17-year veteran of that already! Recent highlights include occasional trips to Federal Prisons. She went to mediate between aggrieved warders and their managers. It always involved travel to remote locations in the nation's heartland. International travel had dropped off a bit for her, but trips to professional events in Las Vegas still needed to be done. She isn't a gambler and can't be bothered with slot machines. She and her colleagues found more original ways to entertain themselves.

Karen and the Minigun

Her 100-round Minigun burst topped off a session with other automatic weapons, including a .50 Cal Barret Sniper rifle.

.50 Cal Barrett Sniper Rifle

.50 Cal Barrett Sniper Rifle

Where We Are Headed

Karen is not long back from a trip to Brussels and is off to the Mediterranean in mid-May for a week on business. So International travel is back on the agenda for now.

As usual, I am the officer-in-charge of the rear party and the Vizslas.

I still design, host and support websites. Staying abreast of changes and innovations in the industry is an ongoing commitment. But I enjoy it.

Holidays in 2018

Our holidays in 2018 followed a familiar pattern. We spent two weeks in Maine in the Fall and another two in the South Carolina Low Country over Christmas.

Back in the Maine Stream

In September, we rented a property in the hinterland behind Camden, Rockport and Rockland in Maine. It was close to Belfast, too, where we stayed in 2017. And it was near Rackliff Island (2011) too. So we were in familiar territory.

The house was on a vast hillside covered by dense conifer woods interspersed with huge, interlinked open spaces. To us, these looked like gigantic oversized easements. But, we found out that they are commercial wild blueberry fields. Their owners had completed the 2018 harvest about six weeks before we arrived. So, the areas were available for dog walking right on the doorstep. They were steep going for my new hip.

There were ample nearby dog-walking alternatives with easier going for the hip. We had been to all but one of them on previous trips. It was like visiting old friends.

The rental owners had a comprehensive bird and wildlife feeding station on the deck. They invited us to keep it replenished during our stay. We were delighted and rewarded by a never-ending procession of visitors that were great fun to watch. It gripped the Vizslas' attention for hours on end.

Notable from this Trip – Eric Hopkin - Local Artist

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockport houses works by some of America's greatest artists. These include paintings by Eric Hopkin, a local artist. He lives and works on North Haven Island. We enjoyed looking at his work.

Notable from this Trip – A Most Exclusive Restaurant

During our stay, we would have liked to have dinner in the restaurant's Lost Kitchen in the nearby hamlet of Freedom. The same was true last year; it was close to where we stayed in 2017. But, it may be the most difficult-to-book restaurant anywhere. Chef Erin French runs the 40-seat restaurant inside a restored hydro-powered grist mill. When the reservations open in April, the dining room gets booked up through to the end-of-season New Year's Eve within a few hours.

The restaurant has no menu, eight tables and one sitting a night. French and her small team of local women servers and cooks do it all. One server grows the flowers; another raises the chickens. They use what's available that day. It is pure Maine Farm/Boat-to-Table, so the ingredients are excellent.

We tried to book again in 2018 but, given the odds, didn't make it. Our postcard was too plain to get noticed.

Hilton Head Obsession

We went back to Hilton Head for Christmas and New Year. This was despite the reservations we had about the place. We left booking very late, so we missed out on other areas we would have liked to go to instead. Yet, it all worked out very well. The house we rented was first class. It was less than 100 metres from the beautiful dog-friendly beach and in a quiet location. The owners enhanced the yard fencing for us to make it dog-proof. And they heated the swimming pool!

On the photography front, I had the usual struggles with weather conditions and entry to gated communities. An early morning trip to Bluffton proved to be fruitless. An impenetrable fog shrouded the May River.

I found a small Gullah enclave at the island's northwest end. It provided access to Port Royal Sound and a pair of shrimp boats. They were laid up until the next season started.

 Ye Wee Blogger

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