Of course to get to Maine from Connecticut, one has to pass through New Hampshire (albeit briefly) where they have these humongous state-run liquor stores that are feast for the eyes and the palette if you're a drinker at all. Even if you aren't much of a drinker, the stores are a great place to stop and use the restroom and stretch your legs - especially if you haven't gotten out of the car since leaving Norwich!
I took the above picture for Barb as I know she loves her wine and the selection at the state-run stores is quite wide and varied! I don't know much about the cost of wine but I'd willing to bet it's quite reasonable if for no other reason than that there's no tax on it in the State of New Hampshire. You really have to love a state that has their own supermarkets for alcohol and no tax!
Interstate 95 through Portsmouth is no stranger to me at all having traversed it many, many times over the years and I'd have to say that the stretch through New Hampshire is probably one of the best parts of I-95 on the entire East Coast. Granted, it's only about 17 miles from the Massachusetts border to the middle of the Piscataqua River Bridge where you cross over into Maine but those 17 miles are in darned good shape. So good in fact, that I really don't mind paying the $2 toll to drive on it!
Speaking of the Piscataqua River Bridge - here it is ... and yes, I took these pictures while I was driving but I took them quickly and carefully - honest!
Speaking of taking pictures, I took this one shortly after crossing over into Maine and I'm glad the state was open for business as otherwise I'd have driven that whole way for naught!
I took the picture above at the Kittery Information Center as I thought it was rather amusing that the State of Maine cared about what I ate! Of course after I'd thought about it, what it mostly did was make me feel guilty about the chocolate chip cookie I'd had for breakfast and lunch as I was pretty sure that didn't count as a meal at all!
Arriving at my destination - the seaside village of Kennebunkport - around 2:30, I figured that I was probably too early to check into the Bed & Breakfast I was spending the night at so I took a drive up Ocean Avenue out of town towards the north. Unfortunately, the blue skies of Connecticut had not followed me up to Maine so it was a bit overcast AND it looked like the tide was out but that certainly wasn't going to stop me from taking a few pictures of the ocean!
I found a place that had a spot for cars to park for 15 minutes and climbed out to take a few pictures of the ocean and the anchor that was there. Not being the most observant person in the world, I didn't exactly realize where I was until I read the inscription on the plaque with the anchor.
As a light bulb slowly came on, I realized that I was looking across at Walker's Point - the summer home of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush. D'oh! That would explain why so many other cars were pulling over, snapping pictures in that direction and then driving away.
The estate, which sits on a piece of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean that was originally named Point Vesuvius and then Walker's Point, was purchased in the late 19th century by St. Louis banker George H. Walker who built a mansion there in 1903. Later, the estate passed on to his daughter Dorothy Walker Bush and her husband Prescott Bush. President George H. W. Bush spent much of his childhood at the Kennebunkport estate and upon the death of his parents, he inherited the property which came to be known as his "Summer White House".
I really can't say that I blame the man for taking the chance to go there as often as he could during his Presidency as it certainly had to beat the heck out of being in Washington - or even Texas for that matter as you can't get these kinds of views in Texas! Oh, and I should probably mention that it never even dawned on me to pull out my zoom lens to try to get closer pictures of the house though in retrospect, perhaps I should have. Oh well, next time?
I traveled a short ways further up the coast but as there wasn't much to see that was near the ocean that I could get to, I eventually turned around and headed back down to Kennebunkport but I stopped a few times along the way to take a few more pictures. The skies were trying to clear up and the sun had come out a little bit but it wasn't exactly ideal conditions for picture-taking.
Can you imagine living in that house in the picture above and being able to look out your windows and see the Atlantic Ocean spread out before you? I don't think I'd ever get tired of it if I had that view!
This is St. Anne's By the Sea Episcopal Church which is built on a piece of land that was donated by the Kennebunkport Seashore Company and is constructed from sea-washed stones that were gathered from the local area. Work on the chapel began on May 27th, 1887 and upon its completion five years later, the church was consecrated on August 24, 1892 by the Rt. Rev. Henry Adams Neely, Bishop of Maine. Since that time it has been in continuous use as a summer chapel as one of 18 historic summer chapels in the Diocese of Maine. Unfortunately, though, that means it's only open mid-June through Labor Day and the best I could do was take a picture through the closed gate. I'm thinking that another trip to Kennebunkport will be in order during that time as I'd love to go back when visitors are welcome as the grounds looked absolutely gorgeous.
Speaking of absolutely gorgeous, by now you're probably wondering what my final destination was for this trip, aren't you? Well I'm not going to tell you just yet but I'll give you a hint ...
... it was the absolutely gorgeous yellow house above that is located on the top of a sweeping lawn which is known locally as the River Green because it overlooks the Kennebunk River and if you think the house looks nice from a distance, wait until I show it to you up close! I guarantee at least a couple of you will jealous!