#25 Zip line

For Mary Ann’s birthday we went to ‘Go Ape’ at Lake Needwood in Rockville to experience a zip line.  We climbed trees, crossed all sorts of rope bridges between trees, swung like Tarzan, and the highlight – rode the zip lines.  For our first time, it was quite exciting.  We did about six zip lines, each getting progressively longer in distance.  The longest was 400 feet and started about 50 feet high in a tree.  We were propelled along the cable safely through the trees and branches.

The Tarzan swing was fun, too.  We swung from a vine (rope) from one tree to another tree (a rope net).  Of course, I was Tarzan and Mary Ann was Jane.  The net was like swinging into a big ol’ spider web except that you bounced off and don’t stick.

The entire time from the ground, up the tree, across the rope bridges, and down the zip line we were attached to at least one and up to three safety clips.  It was so safe that neither of us, especially Mary Ann, was not afraid of the heights.

It was a fun experience.  In the future we would like to do it again in a more challenging setting- longer and higher zip lines.

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#24 Experience a pastry shop

I wasn’t going to add this “Experience”, but Mary Ann saw this place, “The Cookie Jar Pastry Shop”, on the way to the lighthouse in Portland and wanted to check it out. She is my “experience editor”. With her experience approval, we went inside for a ‘pastry’. This is unique experience in that it is just a Mom and Pop kind of place with really good pastries, including doughnuts.

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#23 Experience the lighthouses of Maine

While in Maine, we wanted to experience the lighthouses. We saw several, but these two stood out.

The first lighthouse we saw was the Portland Head Light. It is located just outside Portland in Cape Elizabeth. Its claim to fame is that it is the most photographed lighthouse in America as well as the oldest lighthouse in Maine. All I know is that it was impressive.

The second lighthouse was the Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick near York.

#22 Observatory on top of a bridge

On our way up to Bar Harbor we stopped at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. This bridge spans the Penobscot River in Maine, near Fort Knox. I had never been to the top of a bridge span because it would be petrifying to climb the cables. This bridge however had an elevator to the observatory on the top of one of the towers. We had a 360 degree view of the neighboring islands, rivers, towns, and mountains.

Special note: This is the tallest bridge observatory in the world. At 447 feet, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet) but not taller than the Washington Monument in DC (555 feet).

 

#21 Visit Acadia National Park (Maine)

On August 23, 2016 we visited Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The park offers rough granite coastline. But the best part of the experience was Cadillac Mountain. This granite mountain is the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil, 1530 feet. From the summit, which had very few trees to block the view, we were able to see great distances to the north, east, and south. The view was awesome.

Acadia National Park and the neighboring town, Bar Harbor, is well worth the visit.

#20 Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

I like watching “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” because the types of food really appeal to me. They are things that I would like to eat or even cook (e.g., BBQ ribs and burgers). Having said that, I have heard that while the meals look very appealing on TV, in real life they may not be all that good. Regardless, I wanted to experience it. What better way was to choose a lobster place in Maine.

On our way up the Maine coast, we zeroed in on one. A diner with a real catchy name: “Maine Diner”, located in Wells, which is in southern Maine. The diner was packed, having to wait 30 minutes to get in. A very popular place.

I had to have the much acclaimed lobster pie while Mary Ann had the lobster quiche.

The menu states for the lobster pie: “Featured in “The Cook’s Magazine” May/June 1985; “Good Food, Road Food” August 1986; “Eat Your Way Across The USA”; NBC’s Today Show 1997, and Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives 2010. Our Specialty – A secret recipe that our family has passed along. Tender chunks of fresh lobster meat are topped with our own delicious crumb and then baked to perfection in a casserole dish.”

Was it as good as advertised? No. But we enjoyed the meal and the diner atmosphere.

Would I go to that diner again? Yes. Would I go to another “DDD” diner or dive? Yes

#19 Maine Lobster in Maine

I have always wanted to visit Maine. While there I wanted to experience Maine lobster. I know you can get it anywhere, but this is their claim to fame, most likely fresher. So for my 60th birthday, Mary Ann planned a trip for us to go to Maine.

We experienced lobster in many ways. The two most popular ways of eating lobster in Maine are (1) steamed lobster and (2) lobster roll. While in Maine we ate the steamed lobster (1.5 pounder at the Portland Lobster Company), a couple of lobster rolls, lobster bisque, lobster pie, lobster quiche (Mary Ann had this), lobster mac and cheese, and lobster in an Irish whiskey sauce (“Drunken Lobster”).

By the end of the trip I was tired of lobster – looking forward to a burger.

When we got back from the trip, I wondered, “Was the Maine Lobster served in Maine really from Maine?” We assume that, but heck it could have been from New Hampshire or Massachusetts or (oh my) even Canada!