Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happy happy HAPPY dancing!!!

On the last day of our incredibly relaxing and wonderful vacation, we got two pieces of GREAT news!

First, after one year in a condensed master's degree program that A juggled with many other intense responsibilities (and got straight A's, I might add), he took his comprehensive exam two weeks ago. At the end of the exam, he felt good - like he'd nailed most of the questions solidly on the five hour essay exam. We were a little nervous when one fellow came out of the exam before A and told me that he'd taken it four times. (Turns out that after listening to him for a few minutes, he's a dolt and didn't bother to properly prepare for the exam.) We weren't worried that A was going to pass but... Ya never know!

So... On our last day of vacation, A received an email that he PASSED the exam. Yahoooooooo! Now he just has to to finish this last class in December and he's got his master's degree. Yay!!!!

And around the same time, we learned that A's dad, who has been battling Stage 3 lung cancer since May, had a very good scan last week! The scan shows a "significant reduction" in the tumor and in the presence of cancer in the lymph nodes. YYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

So.... It was a HECK of a vacation and pure delight to wrap it up such positive news!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vacation... Part 3

Today we hiked South Bubble and North Bubble Mountains in Acadia National Park at the suggestion of my friend who grew up here. It was magnificent with views of Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor (I think), Jordan Pond and another vista I'm not sure what it was but it was all amazing! I LOVE New England!!!

After we summited both of the boobies (that's what they look like....), we summited Cadillac Mountain as well. Well... This time it was in our truck. :-) We are planning a sunrise visit to Cadillac on our last morning here. I hope it's clear that morning! From Oct 7 to March 6, Cad is the first place to see the morning sun! (I didn't know this! I always thought it was Eastport - the eastern most point in the US.)

Panoramic view from Cadillac Mountain

Atop North Bubble with Jordan Pond nearest and Northeast Harbor-ish in the background. 

Hey! I DO go on vacation with my husband! (I'm usually behind the camera but he's done a great job documenting my existence on this trip. :-) )

Glacier rests atop South Bubble

Andy holds dogs during our 500' ascension in 4/10 of a mile while I pretend to take pictures (but I'm really resting my thighs!)

Just before this stop, we met an older Asian man picking his way down the VERY steep rock trail. He said "if you see my son, tell him to come this way". An HOUR later, we saw a young Asian man on the summit looking a little anxious. I asked if he was looking for someone and he said yes, his dad. We described him and told him which way his dad had gone sooooo long ago. I couldn't stop worrying about the older fella and I was a little concerned about the son as well as they CLEARLY were not hikers, didn't have a plan or a map or provisions. I really kicked into "obsessed mode" when as we were leaving, two rangers went flying by us toward where the man and his son might be with their lights and sirens on. I said a little prayer hoping to see the man in Bar Harbor later when we went in for dinner... Apparently my prayers were answered as Andy pointed out a man who he was 85% sure was the older man. Pheeeeeeeew!!!

Andy and the dogs take in the view from South Boobie

We are goofy at Cad

Balancing rock on South Bub

Another GLORIOUS DAY on vacation! Did I mention that I LOVE LOVE LOVE New England?!?! We didn't even plan to be here during leaf season - it was the ONLY week we could both get out of town - but it's worked out beautifully! If only I could post what New England smells like at this time of year. It's earthy and delicious!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vacation... Continued

I'm told I need to learn to do Instagram... Maybe I'll figure that out this winter. For now, here are a few more vacation photos....

Today we stumbled upon Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine. It's magnificent! You can access it two ways - one is to drive up to it. The other is to park in a lot at the edge of the main road and walk up some beautifully built granite staircases and a trail about ~1/3 of a mile. Since we've got dogs to exercise, we chose to walk. It was lovely with several places to stop and look out on the harbor through the fall foliage. There were several open-front lean-tos with benches so you could sit and enjoy the view at various places along the trail.

At the top of the trail is a visitor's center (apparently closed...) and the garden. I planned to just pop in for a quick look while A held the dogs (no dogs allowed) but with my camera, the peacefulness, and the beauty, I got swept away and probably spent a half hour in there. I could have stayed for at least twice that! Here are a few of the pictures I took in the garden...

After A had his turn (which took longer than I had anticipated because apparently he quite enjoyed it as well!), we headed back down the trail to meet up with an old college friend who works in Northeast. 

This was the view as we left the garden and headed back to the trailhead. 

I can't even remember how I learned about the garden this morning. Somehow I stumbled onto a website with information about it and it intrigued us. I am SO glad that we went!