All posts tagged travel


by Chansoda on August 11, 2015

Second annual trip to northern Maine. We did the 10+ hour trek to Madawaska again this year with a short stop to the mid-coastal towns of Rockland, Rockport and Camden. Beautiful and charming little towns that I would have liked to explore more but time was limited. We had brunch in Rockland at the Home Kitchen Cafe, which was mobbed with people but a nice place to grab a bite. There we met a nice recently retired couple that were doing a trip across the states and camping out in their RV, very cool to talk to them about their adventures traveling.

Then we continued on to our Madawaskan adventure. Set up camp on Long Lake, meaning we pitch a tent on our friend’s lakefront. It’s so nice to sleep outside and listen to the loons, but have the convenience of an actual house, my kind of short-cut camping. (I’m actually not a big fan of real camping)

The weather was a little tricky this weekend, cloudy, chance of rain, then sunshine, it was unpredictable. We connected with Denise and Brigitte and went on the trails with the ATVs, got caught in the pouring rain. Ended up really cold and wet but it was so much fun! Next time we know how to dress for this kind of stuff. We spent some time on the water but it was too cold to go swimming. Explored a little bit of the neighboring towns, had dinner and conversation with fun people. Shirley and Angelo’s wedding anniversary was also that weekend, so nice of them to host us and include us in their milestone. It is a great place to get away, all in all a relaxing weekend.

I still have not seen any moose though. Next time, hopefully.

(check out our pictures from Maine 2014)


We woke up before the sunrise to get started on our trip.


Sunrise on i-84 as we passed Hartford, CT.


Stopped in Rockland for brunch.


Camden, Maine.

Arrived and set up our camp on Long Lake a.k.a. Shirley's front lawn.

Arrived and set up our camp on Long Lake a.k.a. Shirley’s front lawn.


Exploring neighboring town Fort Kent




ATV time!


Denise and Brigitte were awesome to take us for a ride.


ATV trails.


Shirley and Angelo got the most dust.


Beautiful marsh, no moose.


We got caught in the rain, but this rainbow came out


As the storm cloud rolled past, the sun was starting to set.


Then the sky took a really dramatic turn, so beautiful.


A pensive one.




Pretty happy here.


Love the sunsets up here.


Waking up to fog over Long Lake


Over the fields a wall of fog


Yup, still looking for the elusive moose at dawn.


More fog.


Still so much to explore…

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Adirondack Winter Adventure

by Chansoda on February 22, 2015

We headed up to Minerva, NY for a small Adirondack Winter Weekend with Karla’s Caramoor crew. The weather was frigid but we had a great time exploring a little bit of the area and staying in this cozy house playing games with some fun people. Late nights with Cards Against Humanity, Lunchbox, and some improvisational songwritng. Karla and I had to head out early Sunday to celebrate a best friend’s birthday, but it was a wonderful weekend. Definitely coming back for some real adventures next time. Highly recommend this wonderful Adirondack Getaway that we stayed at.


Karla and Morgan. Daria. About to head out to explore a little bit of the area.

How excited does Morgan look?



The most adorable couple: Steve and Emma.




Attempting a karate kick.


Let’s walk and experience the tundra.

A frozen Lake George.

A frozen Lake George.


My darling Karla, smiling, but really saying, “it’s bleeping cold out here!”

Me on the frozen lake, I would like to hop on one of this snowmobiles.


It’s chowder time.


Serving up cold at the ice bar.


Ahhh heat!! Let’s warm up with some whiskey.


Dylan and Daria in for a pose. But I missed it with a poor light setting.


Found a heart on the ground. Look at the lovebirds working together to stack the pool balls.


Venturing back out in to the cold.


Ice sculptures. Karla loves Olaf.


Let’s all pet the snow elephant.

We’re being “those people.” 🙂


Yay! Let’s just check out any open stores here.


Running to the car. Headed to the Sagamore.


Then decided it’s best to stay in. Warmth. Food. Games. Friends.






Finally, a picture of Christine and Tim.


Pretty awesome mosaic in North Creek.


Some animals on a farm.


The sun came out on our way home, gorgeous winter day. This was up by Bear Mountain on our way back.



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ChansodaAdirondack Winter Adventure

Sailing and Wine Tastings

by Chansoda on September 27, 2014

Went on an outing to Mystic with our friends Francia and Krista. It’s nice to be able to show our city friends a little bit of Connecticut. Just so happened Tom and Skip were also there on their weekly sailing adventure, so we met up with them to continue our partying at the marina.

First stop, Saltwater Farm Vineyard, where we had a few tastings and explored their amazing winery ( I was actually here for Tom’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago). It’s such beautiful setting and the weather was perfect, sun shine, nice breeze. Then we had lunch at this cute gourmet deli a couple miles away. Meandered along the back roads of southeastern Connecticut to our next stop, Jonathan Edwards Winery. This charming vineyard is situated on top of hill in North Stonington in the midst of some beautiful farmlands. We enjoyed the wine here and met a nice couple celebrating their wedding anniversary.

I highly recommend visiting the wineries on the Connecticut Wine Trail, they have so much charm and are fairly easy to get to considering it doesn’t take that long to drive across Connecticut! There’s also a passport program with grand prizes that include a trip for two to Spain! Defintely signing up for that next year.

After that, we headed to party on the boat! Margaritas, wine, storytelling, barbecue, it was such a fun time we ended up crashing in the hotel room with Krista and Francia to get up early for a morning sail with Captain Tom and Skipper. They were happy to have four lovely ladies tour the ocean with them.

The view at Saltwater


Inside the hangar, pretty cool!


The lovely Francia and Krista.

The lovely Francia and Krista.



Down and out.

Down and out.

Entrance to Jonathan Edwards

Entrance to Jonathan Edwards

The couple celebrating their wedding anniversary, took a photo for them!  Congrats ladies!

The couple celebrating their wedding anniversary, took a photo for them! Congrats ladies!



Another Charla sighting.

Another Charla sighting.

More of the lovely ladies.

The group!

The group!

Stroll through their vineyard.

Stroll through their vineyard.

That's how we do wine tastings!

That’s how we do wine tastings!mystic-7334

Our old guys! Love them.

Our old guys! Love them.

Trying to look the part of a sailor.

Trying to look the part of a sailor.

Ladies ladies.

Ladies ladies.

The marina at dark.

The marina at dark.

We were all hurting, but we made it up for the morning sail.

We were all hurting, but we made it up for the morning sail.

Marina in the daytime.

Marina in the daytime.

Leaving the marina.

Leaving the marina.

Can you see the seagull?

Can you see the seagull?

Captain Tom.

Captain Tom.

Skipper at work.

Skipper at work.


Great morning to be out.

Enjoy the sail.

Enjoy the sail.



Karla at the helm.

Karla at the helm.

shooting the breeze.

shooting the breeze.

All the sailboats hanging out.

All the sailboats hanging out.

Smooth sailing.

Smooth sailing.

at the front.

at the front.

Skip, my "pseudo dad" and me.

Skip, my “pseudo dad” and me.



Cool track that opens to let boats in to the marina.

Cool railroad track that opens to let boats in to the marina.

Pulling the sails down.

Pulling the sails down.


We enjoyed the sail.

Beginning of a colorful fall.

Beginning of a colorful fall.

Our sailors!

Our sailors!

Off to town.


Strolling in to the town center for lunch.

Strolling in to the town center for lunch.

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ChansodaSailing and Wine Tastings

Trip to Maine

by Chansoda on August 12, 2014

Madawaska, Maine! God’s country, because there are more cows than people.

We took the 10+ hour trek up the the heart of the St. John Valley to visit our friends Shirley and Angelo (they spend part of their summer in Maine, winter in Florida, and the rest of the time, down the street from us in CT). Karla and I seem to have a thing for only vacationing with retired people 🙂

Madawaska is Shirley’s home town and we really wanted to see it. She was excited for us to come up during the Acadian Festival to show off her roots. Angelo was excited for company, he’s a very social Italian man. They are also celebrating their five year wedding anniversary (they are quite possibly the cutest couple I have ever met).

We left really early in the morning and made a quick stop in Ogunquit, Maine to take a walk along Marginal Way and grab lunch. It’s quite breathtaking, the coast is absolutely gorgeous and the walk was very easy, relaxing and scenic. We even ran in to a friend and her husband from Connecticut on our walk who were vacationing in Maine, such a small world. Then we continued on towards the valley into the backwoods to Shirley’s cottage on Long Lake.

We literally camped out on Shirley’s front lawn, sleeping right at the lake front to the sounds of the loons. It was perfect! Still had access to the shower and bathroom and Shirley’s delicious cooking each day. We spent time exploring the St. John Valley, tried to do a little house hunting for our other retired folks, boating, and had lots of laughs. It was a great time! We met Shirley’s family and became friends with her neighbors Denise and Brigitte. The weather worked out perfectly, it really doesn’t get too warm up there but there was a bit of a heat wave that gave us clear blue sunny skies everyday perfect for boating and swimming. We saw bald eagles, fields of potatoes and wheat, and trails everywhere, but no moose!

Since our trip also coincided with the full moon (supermoon), I was able to get some practice with night time moon photos. Was very excited to set up for that.

Looking forward to coming back again


Entering Marginal Way.


Looking out from Ogunquit, Maine.


Beautiful sea.


More scenic intake on Marginal Way.


Another stop along the road to check out Mount Katahdin view.


Mount Katahdin is some where out there… I think.


Set up our “camp.”


Yup, nice view.


Started off with breakfast here. Awesome bread!


It was a little shop and breakfast place. So cute!


Explored a nearby church.

_MG_3241 _MG_3253-Edit


Fields everywhere.


He had a beautiful garden and gave us fresh produce from it!




How cute are they?


Us on the overlook to Long Lake.


One of the four corners of the U.S. Madawaska, Maine.


These heads are fun.


The causeway to the island.


Morning walk to the island.


But watch out for cars… and the dust they bring.


Wheat field in the middle of the island.




Boating time.


Relaxing on the water.


Pretty and undeveloped.






A smooch.


St. Agatha at the Lakeview restaurant.


Crab apples! (A favorite cambodian snack)


Sunset portrait of Karla.




And the full moon.


Happy Anniversary!


3 a.m.


Calm lake water in the morning.


More boat time.


Finally, a group picture.


That’s a bald eagle!




And more fields




Another sun set portrait.




Early morning rise.


Traveling back through the fog.


Portland, Maine for lunch at Central Provisions. So good!


Karla didn’t know how to focus the camera but Life is good.

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ChansodaTrip to Maine