Happy dog

Daily Photo

Starting the day


With a breakfast like this, how can the day be bad?


Not this land


So, right, Kris has been talking about buying land in Maine. The land he's been talking about it like $6,000 an acre, so inexpensive enough, with low enough taxes, that even if we never build a cabin on it or visit it, the land wouldn't be too much of a financial burden.

So (so many so's here), off we went to look at some places that we saw on the window of a realtor's office in downtown Camden.

And there's where the problems began.

We had our first fight when looking at a property that, on paper, looked perfect. I know the trigger of my frustrations, I know that my frustrations are the reason for our fight. I know the fight wasn't so bad, but it definitely had some lingering effects, which, well, annoy me more. Vicious cycle that.

The land we looked at, for the record, was swampy, and, though big, not what would work. Honestly, I'm somewhat relieved. How much can you enjoy land 3000 miles away?


Crab sandwich


After our harbor boat cruise, we had sandwiches at the crab shack on the dock.

I ordered a shrimp taco, instead of a crab sandwich because it sounded tasty. When it arrived, I realized the shrimp inside in the taco were deep-fried. When I lamented that I wouldn't have ordered the shrimp tacos if I knew they were deep-fried, Kris asked, "Oh, is it not good?"

"Oh, no," I answered, "it's really really tasty, and I'm totally enjoying it. I just wouldn't have ordered if I had known it was deep-fried."

Tasty, indeed.


I'm on a boat!


Kris has been talking about going on a sailing cruise for a while now. Not a short cruise in the hahbah (that's "harbor" if you don't read Bostonian), but a couple week long cruise on a working boat of some sort. Not a seriously hard working boat, but rather a boat where the passengers were expected to help with the sails and the cooking and the cleaning and the general boat upkeep.

When he talks about the cruise, I think of the way Pete Fenner used to talk about his retirement, how he wanted to hop into a boat and sail around the world. I also think of how Nancy wanted nothing to do with it, because, really, I have no desire to head out on a boat.

I'm a mountain girl, not an ocean girl.


But, he's been talking about it, finding cruises he's interested in going on, checking out the itineraries, the ports of call, the prices.

When Kris gets this serious about something, he's going to do it. I did the best thing I could do given my lack of desire to go.

I invited Andy.

Andy seemed initially hestitant, but decided that he's in, if he and Kris could pretend to be a couple, because, really, two white guys from San Francisco? Everyone would assume they were an item anyway. When Andy told me his logic, I tried to refute it. When he said he'd bring his Speedo, I gave up.

The only known snag in this plan is the last boat trip Kris went on. We went snorkeling as Bharat and Jen and maybe Ben and Lisa went scuba diving. Kris swallowed a bunch of salt water when his mask slipped off, and ended up feeding the fishes later on the boat. He had never been seasick before that, and it was time to find out if that trip was a fluke, or if his plans of a two week cruise would need to be smashed.

Today, we were heading out on the water, for a two hour tour, a two hour tour. I was prepared with my hat, which stayed on my head all the way until the boat left the pier, which is to say, not long at all.

Still on dry land

Before we left the dock, we were told all about the booms and the sails and how when the booms are released, everyone ducks, lest you be smashed in the head with a swinging one. I chose to lie down on the top of one of the cabins, looking up at the booms. The captain was a little puzzled by my choice of seating, but seemed okay with my place once he realized I was going to lie down as the sails went up.

I mean, hello, awesome view!

Looking up into the sails

Most everyone else sat with the captain. I can't say I blame them. I mean, warm blankets, comfy seats and entertaining stories? So much better than sitting on the deck.


Or jumping around putting up sails.






So, I'm not a boat person. I'll go on the boat. I'll hang on tight. Until I get used to it, though, I'm a wreck. Ha, ha, no, not a shipwreck.

I am, however, fortunate that seasickness is not a problem for me. I mean, anyone who can read a book in the back seat of a car that's winding up 9 on the way to Santa Cruz does NOT have to worry about seasickness.

At all.

Doesn't mean the rest of it is completely enjoyable.

Fortunately, some of it was. Okay, a lot of it was. Once I released my deathgrip on the rigging, I was nominally fine. I kept thinking, yes, this is the human condition that makes us so powerfully capable and so devastatingly fragile: we can get used to anything. Including moving quickly along the surface at a 30° angle, thinking, wow, it would be really easy to fall in here.

Despite the angle of the boat, I did go to the bathroom in the boat. I mean, how many times do you get the chance to pee sitting at a 30° angle with your back to the ocean just below your ass? Really? How many times?



We went out for an hour, went past a number of small islands, some inhabited by seals, some not, some inhabited by people, some not, some owned, some not. We listened to stories from the captain, too. He told us about his grandfather's heading out from Maine to walk to Canada when he (his grandfather) was twelve, and his (his grandfather's) mother saying, "Fine, but be back by school.". He told us about the ice industry at the beginning of the last century, and how it enabled Maine to have a winter income for decades. He told us about the few times when he tried to tell his corporate clients that no, they didn't need to provide three lobsters for each of the 40 guests, that two would suffice, then going home in the evening with 50 lobsters, and overeating on lobster for the next two weeks.




It was a good boat ride. And, I get to write "I'm on a boat!"

Now, if Kris would just stop singing that damn song.



I have found a new street sign to replace my previous favorite street sign ever:

Lmnop Dr.

It better be good: I was almost run over trying to take that darn picture.

Skip skip


Well, time to use the new hat.

We went out to the Owl's Head Lighthouse. It was closed for repairs.

Kris and Kitt

So, we wandered around the park a while, wandering down to the beach. On the way there, we passed a group of tipped trees.

Tipped trees

I find these trees fascinating. There were a couple on the prettiest walk in the world the other day. The root systems are incredibly shallow, possibly because of the rocky spots the trees grow on, possibly because of the weather. They seem to fall in groups, too. An interesting look at what's happening under the ground.

The beach we went to was rocky, but rocky in the most delicious way: it had hundreds upon hundreds of nearly perfect throwing stones.

I wandered around, picking up stone after stone and tossing them to Kris, who would exclaim, "This is a perfect throwing stone!" then throw it so that it would skip along the water surface. His best skip was over 14 skips before I lost count. Some of his throws weren't so spectacular (say, the one that didn't skip at all), and some were entertaining (say, the one whose first skip went about twenty yards so that we didn't realize it had skipped at first).

Skipping Rock Beach

Kris skipping rocks

He threw skipping stones until he threw his shoulder out.

Yep, that's a skipping stone good beach.

Hard as a rock


Okay, yes, I eat a lot of chocolate. This trip, however, appears to be my chocolate habit's undoing. I haven't been able to find any chocolate that wasn't some crap cheap-ass candybar chocolate, so I've been (cringe!) doing without.

Today, since we were wandering around downtown and came across a candy store, we went in for chocolate for me.

They didn't have any milk chocolate covered peanuts. Yeargh. My chocolate fast would continue if I didn't like cashews so much.

While I was wandering around, Kris cried out, "Dubble Bubble!"

Dubble Bubble

He had to buy some. I mean, really, the gum you chewed as a kid playing baseball? Yeah, you have to buy some. So, we bought some dubble bubble gum, and wandered out of the store.

A couple minutes later, I heard a popping noise and looked over.

"Yup," he said, "just like when I was a kid. You need to jaw on it for like 10 minutes before it softens up."

Kris jawwing his gum

And he wonders why I prefer chocolate.

New and new


Today ended up being more of a planning day than we had originally planned. We woke up late (unsurprising, and I think a trend that may last this whole trip), and had our run, so lunch time was the next item on the list.

We wandered through downtown Rockland-not-Rockport, eating at MacClarens, a small Scottish Deli (right, that made no sense to me, either). I had some incredibly tasty, I-can't-finish ginger beer, which may just become my new favorite drink.


Afterward, we wandered through downtown, checking out the bicycles we could rent (and catch the ferry out to the islands for a day of casual riding), and the ferry schedule.

Since Kris is all excited about a boat trip tomorrow, he commented that I needed a hat. I had forgotten to pack one. I've been was using Kris', and, well, he'd had enough. So, he offered to buy me one. On our tour of downtown, we wandered into a gift shop, and found hats.

I wanted one with a wider brim, but Kris liked this one. I figure, he's the one that's going to see it, so, he chooses.


So, I now have a new hat!

Out and back


Having walked out to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Kris has been inspired to run out to the light house and back. When he first looked at it, he thought a minute to run to the end of it. Distances are deceiving when you're looking at a sidewalk of giant granite blocks. After we walked it and realized it's 7/8 of a mile, the time was jokingly estimated back up to 5 minutes.


7/8 of a mile on uneven ground in five minutes?

Not going to happen.

The run, though, could. Starting the day late (AGAIN, we cannot seem to get up earlier than 11 am), Kris laced up his shoes, with my following quickly behind, and off we went.

Unfortunately, my knee locked up about 200 meters out. Kris kept going around the drive and down the street, as I took the short cut we found the other day, and started doing walking lunges to unlock my knee.

Down the street

Kris caught up to me, and kept going.


Since my knee has been locking up a lot lately, I've decided to start on the lots of squats, lots of lunges, lots of balancing program I've done a couples times. While Kris was out on the breakwall, I started my lunges. As I finished up my second set of 20 lunges per leg, my left hamstring completely cramped and I nearly went down in a wave of pain.


Annoyed, I skipped the third set of lunges and tried to find Kris on the wall, checking if he was still running out.

After ten minutes of amusing myself taking pictures of the rocks, chains, seaweed and wood around the breakwall, and being unable to spot Kris in the distance, my worrying took over, and I started out along the breakwall myself. I made it half way out before Kris caught up to me running back.


"You came out a long way," he commented as I turned to head back to shore.

Yeah, yeah, I guess I did. Whoops.

We split on the run back, with my going the shorter way, and his going the longer way. When he arrived back at the room a short while after me, he flopped down on a chair and asked, "What did you think of running on the wall?"

I answered, "I thought it was meditative, and good symbolism for life. You couldn't look up into the distance, you had to be looking where you were right now, or you'd lose your footing. The stones coming up and passing you were hypnotic. When you did look up, wow, you had accomplished a lot. I liked it."

He thought they were very much like agility ladders, with the shorter steps and the side to side movements required to find good footing.

A good experience for both of us, each in its own way.