Mom in Maine Vacation

Downhome welcome

Met Mom at the airport in Boston and then we took the T back to the hotel. It had little icons on each door so you could remember which was yours. Seemed appropriate that the Hoosier folks should get a tractor.

Freedom Calls

The next morning, we prepare to start the Freedom Trail in the Boston Common. It should be mentioned that I got us there on the T! Epic.

Locked out of the Granary Burial Ground

We kept getting to things too early. Wake up Boston!

King's Chapel Burial Ground

Also locked. But it was still a nice view.

Old South Meeting House--locked

This is where Sam Adams kicked off the American Revolution setting the stage for the Tea Party.

Old State House--locked

From this balcony the Declaration of Independence was first read in public. From where the photo was taken, the Boston Massacre took place.

A classic Boston side street

Picturesqe cobblestone street.

The Home of Paul Revere

This is the oldest house in Boston still standing--and it is wooden, not brick!

Paul Revere

We saw plenty of Boston Strong signage during our stay. The Old North Church is in the background.

The Old North Church

It is still the tallest steeple in Boston. Would have been fun to go inside...but it was closed, of course

Chopps Hill Burying Ground---Open!!!!

Less famous than the Granary, Chopps Hill has some more interesting trivia: Like patriot Daniel Malcolm's gravestone that was riddled with bullets by the British soldiers


Chopps Hill is also were the British set up their cannons for the battle of Bunker Hill

Preparing to board the U.S.S. Constitution

My favorite stop on the Freedom Trail.

The Top Deck

The smaller cannons were kept up here.

Land lover on display

I was so embarrassed that Mom chose to descend into the hold face-forward.

The Constitution's Firepower

Can you imagine how LOUD it must have been with these all firing in this enclosed area?

The Low Ceilings

Our tour guide claimed the term jar head for marines came about because they were always "jarring" their heads on the low ceilings of early ships. I think this is false and that the term came about in WWII because "the high collar on the Marine Dress Blues uniform made a Marine's head look like it was sticking out of the top of a Mason jar." He was still a great guide.

Butterfly Garden at the Science Museum

I don't know why Mom looks so shocked...the place was full of butterflies!

A second visit

Butterfly left, and then settled back down again. Here is a video of the butterfly making its escape.

Pennellville: A bit of Brunswick history

Back in Maine, Mom and I set off on bikes to see the old Pennell family mansions. The Pennells were shipbuilders in the 18th and 19th centuries. The shipyards have vanished, but a number of the seven mansions the family built remain.

James Pennell House

Built in 1837 with a unique "widow's walk" cupola, common in sea-captain houses in Maine

Charles Pennell House

Built in 1843. I think this house has held up the best of all that we saw.

The Benjamin Pennell House

Site of the Pennell Shipyard

Nothing remains but this memorial. Interesting when you think about how this company dominated ship building in this country in its infancy.

Prime Real Estate

All of historic Pennellville is quiet and countrified. And it is really only a mile or so out of Brunswick proper.

No more big ships

Not a sight or sound of industry now.

Required Scrabble

Scrabble was played each night.

Now for work

After luring her in with fun trips, I used the next day to put Mom to work gardening.

Herb Garden

This included dragging fallen trees from the woods. I got three ticks for my trouble!

Finished product

Rebecca approved it.


Mom did a good enough job on the gardening that I let her take a short break to sketch our local scenery.

Whaleback Shell Middens Historic Site

Even in overcast weather, it is a nice walk to the middens

Have umbrella, will travel

Our toes got a bit wet, but other than that it was fine.


Middens are just oyster shells that have were formed by the inhabitants from 200 BC to 1000 AD. They are basically just oyster shell garbage dumps.

A cross section of the Whaleback midden

At its peak, the Whaleback midden was 30 feet high and 1600 feet long.

Not what it once was

Today, the forest has reclaimed much of the midden, and the midden was gutted in the 1870s as a source of feed for chickens.

Ancient reminders

But you can still see shells everywhere.

Heading back

The walk back takes you through a pleasant apple orchard

St. Patricks, Newcastle Maine

Built in 1808, this is the oldest Catholic church in New England.

Divide graveyards

St. Patricks actually has two graveyards: a consecrated and an unconsecrated.

A real country church

Though not far out of Newcastle, this really is set in the most pastoral of environments.


Though too small now to host the larger congregation, the church is still active and is kept in great shape. Note the old-fashion "back to the congregation" type altar setup.

Then it was on to the Taste of Maine!

Believe it or not this standard Maine seafood place is one of our favorite vegan stops! It has its own vegan menu!!!

Rebecca is PUMPED!


Inside Taste of Maine

Then...more Scrabble

Lunch at the Frontier

While sitting at the window overlooking the Androscoggin River, we noticed people driving up to check out the fishway.

The Fishway

I'd been trying to get in to see this for about 11 years.


Like salmon, alewives head upstream to spawn. For years, allowing alewives to return to their natural spawning areas has been a hotly debated issue in Maine but the newest scientific results seem to be gaining a foothold.

Looking for the eel

I don't think you can see it in this photo, but a morey eel was swimming along with these alewives waiting to get further on upstream.

Giant Rhubarb

At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens checking out the varies large bunches of rhubarb.

Pear Tree shelter

We thought this was a neat idea for a little shade.

Checking out the pitcher plants

Fortunately, they weren't too hungry.

Iris Pallida

Mom says we have these growing in our front yard too.


You should also check out Mom testing out a sounding stone.

Damariscotta River

Mom ponders the beauty that is the Damariscotta river.

Best aspect of the visit!

At the Portland Train Station

Preparing to dump Mom off onto a bus to Boston

I miss this