06.30.16 – Rock of Ages Granite Quarry in Barre, Vermont

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPAAAAAJGM4Yzc3ZWFlLTc2NjgtNDk0ZC05MGEzLWE0NWUzN2QwN2IyNgThursday, June 30, 2016 – On Wednesday we ventured out to see Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, Hope Cemetery, Robbins Nest Covered Bridge and to eat at Ladder 1 Grill all in or around Barre, Vermont.

I am working hard not to have my blog posts be so picture heavy (I’ve gotten carried away in the past!) and not covering so much in each one.  I’ll be writing about Rock of Ages Granite Quarry today.  I image10patch-4e5d0d099a6731-457x260hope these changes please ya’ll! I’m also going to stop saying when I add photos from the internet.  Just assume that I have to do it from time to time when mine don’t come out too hot!

The photo to the right is the Visitors Center where we paid $3.50 each for the tour.  They have amazing granite things there for sale.

For the caravan tour, we followed in our own truck, a guide truck up a bumpy road to the quarry site, which can be viewed from behind a gate. What was once an operation requiring the hard manual labor of a few hundred men is today manned by just a few people, with the help of some impressive machinery.

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The caravan ride up passes piles and piles of granite blocks – since 1885, quarry workers have simply dumped pieces of granite with fractures or cracks in these piles. These piles are all over the town.  The company now grinds up the piles of rocks into usable small pieces for adding to concrete, asphalt, and other things.  A very knowledgeable man was our guide, Johan and we really enjoyed learning about ways of mining granite from the past and current ways.

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Near the middle of this picture running horizontally are a bunch of chunks they mined out previously.20160629_134233 20160629_134137 20160629_134111

The quarry itself is the world’s largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry, and though 600 feet of its depths are under a well of milky-green water, the quarry is astoundingly huge.  The color of the water is a result of the grinding needed to separate chunks of the granite from the bigger mass.  The milkier green/blue water is the newest water.  The emerald clearer water over to the left is from previous years mining.

Our tour group and wonderful guide

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After the tour of the quarry, we took a self-guided tour of the granite plant, which was fascinating. Huge blocks of granite are moved around, cut, polished, and engraved for gravestones. Most of America’s granite headstones come from right here. We saw many gravestones being worked on while we were there.  If possible, ask for a Rock of Ages stone for your loved one!

Rock of Ages has quarrys in several states  These are some of the different colors that come out of the various quarrys.

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Some of the amazing work they do and some they were working on while there.

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Six tombstones ready to ship. 20160629_145604 20160629_145400 20160629_145333 20160629_145220

We saw a video in the Visitors Center about the whole process from quarry mining the granite to the finished product marking someone’s grave, city monuments, national monuments, etc.

One of the statues they created now stands in the townsquare in Barre, Vermont.

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One thing we forgot to do was to see the outdoor granite bowling alley they have there.  Don’t miss it ifyou go there!

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06.29.16 Seaport RV Resort in Connecticut, Saddleback Campground in New Hampshire, and a lovely home in Vermont

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 –  Seaport RV Resort in Connecticut and Saddleback Campground in New Hampshire couldn’t be more different but we really liked them both.  When I like a park I take pictures.  I took too many of both places not to share them so here goes!

Vermont Covered Bridge

Most of the time, when I remember to do it, the photographs in our blog posts are all clickable so that you can see them in their full size if you would like to.  If you want to see something larger and I didn’t do the thing that causes this let me know and I’ll add it!  It use to be an automatic thing in WordPress but recently they made it into a manual two step process that has to be done to each photo.  Go figure, that doesn’t sound like progress to me but it is what it is!!

Seaport RV Resort is in Old Mystic, Connecticut.  It is a Coast to Coast resort under their category of Good Neighbor Parks. They had a Laser Tag area, community campfire area, beautiful Mini Golf area and swimming pool. Here are some of our photos.

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20160621_144800 20160621_144832 20160621_144946 20160621_144955 20160621_145026 20160621_145123 20160621_145135 20160621_145156 20160621_145328 20160621_145436 20160621_145815 Saddleback Campground is in Northwood, New Hampshire.  It is an independent park that accepts Passport America memberships which means we stay there at half their normal price.  Here are some of our photos while there.  They have created such cute wood decorations around the place, makes it a fun place to roam around and enjoy!

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20160626_162716 20160627_153123 20160627_153142 20160627_153320 20160627_153347 20160627_153537 20160627_153605 20160627_153651 20160627_153713 20160627_154058 20160627_154126 20160627_154138 20160627_160007We are now in Vermont staying at Lee and Marj’s home.  They are Boondockers Welcome hosts.  That means they open their outside parking area to RVers for a night or a few nights.  Some have no hookups but we’re blessed to have full hookups while here.  After staying at two parks that did not have sewer hookups we’re happy to have it here!  They are also members of RVillage which makes them especially great folks!  They have 18 acres of beautiful woods with a nice amount cleared out for the house and driveways.  Several walking trails have been cleared through the woods and we walked some of it yesterday.  Here are some photos of our walk and where Dora is staying this week.
20160629_19572520160629_195945 20160629_195936  20160629_195637 20160629_195352 20160629_195338I hope this gives RVing Dreams (what we call those who haven’t started RVing yet!) an idea of the various types of parking places we encounter.  We may not travel like everyone else but this seems to work for us both budget wise and accommodation wise.   Also, we love for our friends and family to get to see where we are living while on the road.  It’s not always all about the things we see or do, it’s also about the places we stay!

We’ve already visited some cool places here in Vermont and are leaving in a bit to see more today.  Friday will be a day of rest for us before we get back on the road Saturday headed for northern New York state for a week.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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06.27.16 – Kennebunkport, Maine Lobsters – My, Oh My!!

Monday, June 27, 2016 – Saturday we went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and then on to Kenneybunkport, Maine to eat lobsters.  It is a beautiful area, very New Englandy and nautical being right on the Atlantic Ocean.  Here’s some of the town.

We saw several of these tall directional signs throughout the area.

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The official welcome to Kennebunkport20160625_173903

Look at the little rooftop seating area!20160625_173729 20160625_173719 20160625_173250 20160625_162707

Even McDonald’s sells Lobster Rolls up here.  We planned to get a couple for Sundays lunch on our way back home from Nunan’s but we went a different route and didn’t see another McDonald’s.  Shucks….20160625_172142

The restaurant we chose to eat at was Nunan’s Lobster Hut.  We chose them because they catch their own lobster and cook them right there at the restaurant on the ocean. And they were close enough that I wouldn’t be away from work for too long.

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Lobster is pretty pricey but we figured this was definitely a once in a lifetime experience eating Lobster in Maine so we splurged.  We each ate two lobsters, Roy’s were a pound and a half each.  Mine were a pound and a quarter each.  They are served with Lays potato chips which seems to be the normal side dish to lobster up here.

We started off with their own brand of Root Beer.  Quite delicious.

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Then the main course, Main Lobsters!

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We were quite full after eating the lobsters and chips.  But we saw the folks at the next table get blueberry cobbler a la mode………………Maine has tons of tiny blueberries and that’s what was in our cobbler.   Hot blueberries in cobbler and cold delicious vanilla ice cream.

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When we were leaving the restaurant Roy discovered the outside screen door to the room where they store the lobsters until they are needed.  We went in and they let us take a coy of some of the live lobsters.

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Some things we do make me happy and some make Roy happy.  This adventure made both of us very happy.  What a blessing to be staying all the way in New Hampshire and getting to go into Maine to enjoy their lobsters.  Life is so good and God is so great!

The weather here is also amazing.  During the evenings and night it’s in the low 50s and during the day in the low 70s.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Next I’ll share with ya’ll our adventure into Portsmouth, New Hampshire where we saw Strawbery Banke Museum.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.26.16 Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Sunday, June 26.2016 Strawbery Banke Museum, in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an authentic 10-acre outdoor history museum dedicated to bringing 300+ years of American history in the same waterfront neighborhood to life. The Museum is a place for people of all ages to gather to explore eight heritage gardens, 32 historic buildings and traditional crafts, preservation programs, hands-on activities, the stories told by costumed role-players offer hours of fun and discovery. The Museum’s restored buildings and open space invite visitors to immerse themselves in the past, using objects from the museum’s collection of 30,000 artifacts, and the histories of the families who lived and worked in the Puddle Dock neighborhood to engage, educate and entertain.

Here’s a map showing the 10 acre location.

strawbery banke mapWe walked through every house, the general store, the gardens, greenhouse, tavern, and more.  I really enjoy seeing the flowers and plants that do not grow in Louisiana and this place was loaded with them.  A few of the houses were not restored but were used to display house building tools from that era, one showed what the house would be like if just left as is and not restored,  and one showed the various layers of wall, floor and ceiling construction from days past.  These things are what you’ll see in the photos that follow.  I’d highly recommend visiting this if you are in the area.  The cost was $19.50 per person but it was a good 3 hour tour.  Could have been longer if we weren’t tiring out from all the walking.  Plus we were ready to eat lobster!!

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These next two were some of my favorite spots.  Madisyn would love this!20160625_143929 20160625_144016

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1866 baseball bats, balls and uniform! This was at the Children’s Discovery House.

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One of these is a modern day hula hoop, the rest are old wooden ones.  Children were enjoying playing with them!20160625_16092220160625_145522 20160625_145530

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Inside some of the restored and decorated homes.20160625_151607 20160625_151949 20160625_153322

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The General Store20160625_154417

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20160625_16113920160625_161202  This is the house left just as it would have been with no renovation since it was originally built.

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Some of the houses that make up this village.20160625_151035

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Roy told me “hop in” so I did!

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Next I’ll share with ya’ll a little more of the RV park we just left in Northwood, NH.  We just arrived in Orange, VT where we’ll live for several days seeing all we can in the area.  Lots of factory tours here and we’ll spend a couple of days visiting those! There is an automobile race at a nearby track on Thursday evening.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3 KJV This evening was promising to be a beautiful one. But when the clouds put on their show I was amazed even more than usual. The structures were amazing, and they were changing as fast as the light. This beautiful glow on the high wispy clouds only lasted for a few moments. What a beautiful time of year!

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06.25.16 Saddleback Campground and our weekend plans in New Hampshire and Maine

Saddleback Campground102750500Saturday, June 25, 2016 –  We arrived at a delightful RV park in Northwood, New Hampshire on Thursday.  Saddleback Campground is its name.  It is amazingly comfortable here.  We are parked next to a large pond with water spraying in the air.  Lots of trees, rocks, frogs to catch in the pond, great kids playground, and very quiet.  All those trees provide a lot of shade but they also mean that we don’t get any satellite channels.  Normally that would spell disaster for us but since we were able to get several channels on antenna television which include the local and national news we’re happy.  Just watched a Superman marathon from back in the black and white days to more recent color television days.

portsmouthThey also do not have a sewer hook up…………………….  The last resort didn’t have it but they did have a free service (called a Honey Pot……….  which I think is just awful) that comes by and sucks out your black and grey tanks.   I asked the owner of this campground why there is no sewer hook up.  She told me that we are the “Granite State” and that laying down pipes for sewage  is not cost effective because they have to blast out the granite to run pipes.  We haven’t figured out how the folks who live here in the resort handle that but we are trying very hard for our water supply to last and our tanks not fill up before we leave Tuesday morning.  I won’t describe what those measure are.

Thank goodness the Boondockers Welcome family we will be staying with next have full hookups at their home!!!!!

We originally planned to take one day to see Portsmouth, NH and another day spent in Maine where we would20160625_173903 eat Lobster.  Things changed when my work load grew considerably since we are having a photo contest featuring RVing Pets.  It seems everyone (except us) has a pet and of course they are all worthy of being entered in the contest!  So many cute ones whether dog, cat, fish, bird, whatever!  We rearranged our exploring time to just one afternoon and evening.  We went to Portsmouth, NH located about 30 minutes from our park and Kennebunkport, Maine is another 30 minutes north of Portsmouth, NH.

I’m taking a break from working to catch up a little on my blogging.  We’ll be leaving here Tuesday morning on our way to Orange Vermont for 8-10 days.

Next I’ll write about Saturday’s adventure when we went to Portsmouth, NH where we focused on Strawbery Banke Museum which is a collection of actual houses from the 1700s and 1800s.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.24.16 Newport, Rhode Island – Cliff Walk and 10 Mile Ocean Drive

signnewportFriday, June 24, 2016 – I absolutely love Rhode Island!  It’s different from Connecticut in a way and we did only see the amazing town of Newport, but I love it!  The homes (huge and small), the land, the stone walls (are everywhere), the Christmas pines and the seashore! Newport, Rhode Island was one hour from our RV park in Connecticut.

The summer “neighborhood” of Newport emerged when New York families starting around 1859 decided to build “summer cottages” each larger than the other.  Today, Newport’s Ten Mile Drive combines the history of a wealthy summer community with a fabulous Newport treasure of parks 863_Newport_RIand miles of public access shoreline to rank as one of the popular “drives” in the country.   There is a specific route to the Ten Mile Drive but we mostly just rambled around town gawking at the amazing multi-million dollar  homes.  

Most of my photographs could never convey what Bellevue, the 2.5 miles of mansions, truly looks like.  I never imagined a place like this existed so I want you to really see what these “cottages” are like.  I got some from the internet that show them better.  Those are after my photos.

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Chateau-sur-Mer-first-of-the-Gilded-Age-Mansions-on-Bellevue-Avenue-in-Newport-Rhode-Island-©-Demerzel21-Dreamstime-50460959-e1428695262526 doc4e13a161b63902531426921 exterior-painting-in-bellevue-093015 glencoveExterior_2010 newport-ri-mansion-elms newport-ri-mansion-roughpoint orig The_Breakers_Newport

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After driving and gawking quite a while we went to one of the locations in Newport where you can enter the Cliff Walk.  The Newport Cliff Walk is considered one of the top attractions in Newport, Rhode Island, in the United States. It is a 3.5-mile public access walkway that borders the shore line. Some parts of the walk are smooth, others are a rough walk which we chose not to do.  We entered the walk at two different locations and walked a bit seeing what we could along the way.  In our younger days we may have started at the beginning and not stopped until we got to the end of the 3.5 mile path.  Here’s what we saw  on the Cliff Walk. The first ONE is an aerial photo I got off the internet so you could see some of the walkway that way.

cliff_walk_3  20160622_142150 20160622_141905 20160622_141856 The yellow on this stone wall is something that grows on it.  I thought it had been painted yellow at some time and wore off but no!20160622_141205

One of the entryways to the Cliff Walk.  You have to pay to park (which aggravates Roy so much).  20160622_141140

More of the Cliff Walk.20160622_141104 20160622_141033 20160622_141028 20160622_140909 20160622_140825

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Boat with scripture

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06.23.16 Olde Mystic Village, Seaport and Sea View Snack Bar in Mystic, Connecticut

i_love_new_england__32594.1378922315.1280.1280_1Thursday, June 23, 2016 – We left Connecticut this morning on our way to New Hampshire and Maine which means I’m catching up now on what we did this week while in Connecticut.

After touring the USS Nautilus on Monday we went to the Olde Mystic Village.  At the Village you can stroll the beautiful lanes and enjoy shopping in distinctive buildings designed to represent a New England Village of about 1720.  There were picturesque settings of flowers, trees & duck ponds that surround you as you relax and unwind. There are many benches and rest areas to catch your breath, unwind, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and let your mind slip pleasantly back to another era. Roy patiently strolled with me as I shopped and enjoyed all this Village had to offer! Their address is 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, Connecticut.

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These are for my niece, Dana, who loves nautical decorations.  You would have absolutely loved this particular shop.  So much of the shopping around here is nautical stuff!20160620_151549 20160620_151938 20160620_152334 20160620_153916 20160620_153924Some additional photos I got off the internet.  I’m having glare problems with my photos so a lot of mine did not come out.

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Munson’s was a cool shop that made delicious looking chocolates.  We can’t ship chocolates right now (heat… melting)  so we bought some lobster shaped gummis for our granddaughter Kallie!

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Slices of pizza made from chocolate!!20160620_154057 From here we drove through Olde Mystick seeing the seaport where we stopped at the Sea View Snack Bar.  This was no snack we had there, it was a full blown meal! We’ve heard about Lobster Rolls from some of our friends and found this to be one of the top places in the area for delicious lobster rolls.

Where we eat chicken salad in Louisiana, they eat this similar food with lobster instead of chicken.  And it is served on a nicely toasted bun that looks like a hot dog bun but tastes way better!  They served it with french fries and a soft drink for $20 each.  A bit pricey for a snack shack but like I said it was a full blown meal and was quite delicious.

LOBSTER ROLLS AT SEA VIEW SNACK BAR

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Not only was the lobster roll delicious but we had the company of a very friendly seagull as we ate our lobster rolls by the sea!

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And here’s Boots in Mystic, Connecticut!20160620_163200

I love cemeteries, Roy does not, so I capture shots when I can.  This one was very cool!

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02-newport-jury-2006-award-gdapThis wrapped up a beautiful day of exploring in Connecticut.  On Wednesday we went into Rhode Island to the incredible Ocean town of Newport.  So many amazing photo opportunities that it will take me over night tonight to go through them all!

My new Kindle Paperwhite was waiting for me at the Post Office in Mystic this morning (Wednesday) so I’ll be back to my avid Kindle reading self!  After crunching my regular Kindle Paperwhite, I’ve been reading on my Samsung phone for the last two weeks until we could get to a place where I could have the new one delivered General Delivery.

We’re hoping our new extra phone batteries reach us at our next stop in New Hampshire so we’ll be set for more photos in the next few weeks in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, Philadelphia and Massachusetts. Can you imagine how much my phone/camera batteries are put through with all the photos we take and how much we depend on the GPS when we’re on the road.

I truly love New England.  It is everything I thought it might be.  If I could move my family to Connecticut and could afford to live here I would!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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06.22.16 USS Nautilus Submarine Tour and Museum in Groton, CT

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This is one of my favorite photos from the day. I love it when railroads run alongside water. This one runs along the Thames River in Connecticut where the USS Nautilus is docked

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – On Monday we went to nearby Groton, Connecticut to see the USS Nautilus Submarine and Museum there.  This was on our optional to do list but we needed to go to Groton for something else, so we went here also and we’re really glad we did!

September 30, 1954, NAUTILUS became the first commissioned nuclear powered ship in the United States Navy.  This was when I was only 16 days old!

Over the next several years, NAUTILUS shattered all submerged speed and distance records. On July 23, 1958, NAUTILUS departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii under top secret orders to conduct “Operation Sunshine”, the first crossing of the North Pole by a ship. At 11:15 pm on August 3, 1958, NAUTILUS’ second Commanding Officer, Commander William R. Anderson, announced to his crew, “For the world, our country, and the Navy – the North Pole.” With 116 men aboard, NAUTILUS had accomplished the “impossible”, reaching the geographic North Pole – 90 degrees North.

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We first checked out the mini submarines outside the museum building.

20160620_132202 The little vehicle below is a Swimmer Delivery Vehicle. Submarines have operated with special operations teams since the days of WWI.  These were used in a variety of clandestine operations.  Carried in a special watertight tank “piggybacked” to a submarine, this Swimmer Delivery Vehicle gives a SEAL team a greater range of stealth, mobility and endurance.20160620_132249 20160620_132328 20160620_132610

Roy had a real good time on this majorly awesome gun as you can see by the smile on his face and the video!20160620_132833

After entering the museum and being welcomed by a nice older man we first visited an exhibit room which is recreation of a World War II submarine attack center. The attack center has three operational periscopes through which we could see Historic Ship NAUTILUS, the Thames River and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Roy and I both enjoyed that experience.  We even found Boots in the parking lot through the periscope!20160620_13370120160620_133710 20160620_133810

One of thee torpedoes is a Mark 14 which weighs over 3,000 pounds and is 20.5 feet long.  It had a maximum range of 4.5 miles. Another of the torpedoes is a Mark 48 which is the Navy’s primary submarine torpedo.   It weighs 3,5oo pounds and is 19 feet long.  20160620_134055

This is the Polaris Missile, A-3` feet long, 35,000 pounds.  It is made up of four sections, the nose cone (warhead) section, the equipment (guidance) section, and the first stage and second stage boosters.  It was operational from 1964 to 1981.

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This is a model of a GATO Class Submarine. Here’s information on it and photos of the model.  There were several Ken and Barbie sized dolls positioned throughout the submarine.

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Several other underwater equipment items were on display.     20160620_135024

Roy says this is a Tomahawk missile that costs $1 million each……………………………..20160620_135058

There was lots more to see in all of the exhibit rooms.  After seeing it all we went outside toward the actual USS Nautilus Submarine!  20160620_135120 20160620_135145 20160620_135238 20160620_135243

The layout of the submarine. The part we toured was the back half.20160620_135410

The Nautilus is parked right outside of the museum and you get there on this walkway.20160620_135500

They gave us an audio tour device that explained to us every part of the ship that we saw.   First was the many steps to get down below the water. Everything is protected with a glass wall which explains some of the glare in the pictures.

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Roy thought this was cool, the 126 cells of Batteries, each of which weigh approx. 1000 lbs. The batteries were the ships emergency source of electrical power. 20160620_140908

The always popular Galley!20160620_140934

Some of the torpedo area.20160620_141026

Looking back at the Museum from the Nautilus.  It is a very well maintained and beautiful landscaped area.  Again, I love, all the rockiness of this area!20160620_141157

From the Nautilus we went into Olde Mystic, Connecticut to explore it.  I’ll write about that next!

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I will praise him psalm 28 7

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06.20.16 Connecticut, we have arrived!

connecticut mapMonday, June 20, 2016 – As southern New York begins to fade in our rear view mirror we enter the beautiful state of Connecticut.  Massive rocks replace green grass in the medians and that is a sight I love to see.  Even the Rest Area looks different.

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Rest area in Connecticut

We are staying at a wonderful resort called Seaport RV Resort.  It is part of the Sun Communities Resorts.   Their rates are higher than we care to pay but since it’s part of our Coast to Coast system we used our trip points to pay for it.SPOaboutUs

After staying last week in a 30 amp park in New York we are quite happy to have a full 50 amp here! We spent 7 days in Montaindale, NY in Hilltop RV Campground which was basically a majorly large field with trees and a few RVs.  Very very quiet and cool the first few days when we were able to live with no air conditioning and the windows open!  Then the temps crept higher so we experienced the difficulties an RV the size of ours with two air conditioners, etc. has living on 30 amp.

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New York – Hilltop Farm Campground
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New York – Hilltop Farm Campground

The weather here in Connecticut is beautiful, low 70s and a nice breeze! Back home it’s in the 90s to 100s so we’re quite happy to be here!

While we’re here we’ll go to Mystic, Connecticut where there is a seaport, a shopping village and the USS Nautilus submarine is open for tours.  We’ll do that Monday.

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Connecticut – Seaport RV Resort

On Wednesday we’re going to Rhode Island to stroll along a walkway by the ocean and to take a scenic drive through the area of Newport, Rhode Island.

My dearly loved Kindle got crushed when it slipped off the bed and got in the way of us closing our slide a couple of weeks ago.  No warranty so I had to order a new one.  I’ve been reading my phone kindle which is very weird! We’ll pick up the new Kindle from the Mystic, CT post office Wednesday on our way to Rhode Island.

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Connecticut – Swimming pool at Seaport RV Resort

Tuesday we will spend time at the resort enjoying the beautiful swimming pool!

I didn’t finish writing this until after we spent the day (which is Monday) in Mystic!  Great day, lots of walking and seeing, lobster rolls, and a trip to down inside a real submarine!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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