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The Maine Event

Never had a chance to get this little junket to Maine recorded, so I'd better do it before it gets too late.

When I arrived in Harrisonburg in March, ToniAnne's mother (and former stepfather - don't ask, it's a long and convoluted story) were living with her. They had left Florida, and were on their way up to Maine, where they were to stay with TA's oldest daughter in a mutually-beneficial living arrangement. They left for Portland in late April, and left their stuff with us, intending for us to drive it up to them in a U-Haul later.

We got a truck (had to drive to Franklin, WV to get one, since all the local trucks had been rented by students departing JMU - that was an adventure in itself. Both of us got lost on the way back - in separate vehicles! It was pouring down rain, and I missed the turnoff to Route 33 at Brandywine. By the time I got up into the hills beyond Sugar Grove on a single-lane section of Route 250, I realized something was very wrong. And, wouldn't you know it, almost the entire stretch between Harrisonburg and Franklin was a Verizon dead spot, so I couldn't use Google Maps on my phone. Had I just kept going East on 250, I would have ended up at I-81 northbound, but with no way to know that, I backtracked the 15 miles to 33 and made it home, but it was no fun. As for ToniAnne, I'm not sure where she wandered off to, but she just plowed through and found her way home.

So we got the truck packed up, and ToniAnne and her daughter Katie and I headed off on the 28th of May. Along for the ride was T.K. Monroe:

(Yes, TK, the name is not a coincidence)

We overnighted at the Holiday Inn Express in White Haven, PA - the hotel was nice, but our experience ordering a pizza from Carmine's downtown was awful - they couldn't find the hotel and ended up delivering late, cold cardboard. The hotel's breakfast was excellent, though.

The following day we were driving through New York and ToniAnne spotted a sign that said "Fishkill". I said, "Hey! I have family with a restaurant there!" So we drove into downtown Fishkill and had a lovely lunch at the Eleven 11 Grille, owned by Dennis and Jamie DiMattia.

The Eleven 11 Grille in Fishkill, NY

Stained glass window decoration

I feasted on a divine Grilled Eggplant:

L to R: Judy DiMattia (Dennis' mom); Dennis DiMattia, Katie Horne, Chris DeSantis, ToniAnne DeSantis)

After a wonderful lunch and a very nice visit, we wheelbarrowed ourselves back to the truck and continued on to Portland, where we arrived in the evening and were greeted by Thai Takeout for dinner. ToniAnne's mom is living in a beautiful apartment with her granddaughter Sarah, and we rested well that night on a large air mattress we had brought along, in a comfortable private bedroom.

The next day ToniAnne took me out for a few sights around the area of Norway, ME, where a family barbecue was to be held in our honor. On the way we visited Pennesseewassee Lake (with a name like that, all I can think of is The Bad Pipsisewah) - but the lake was beautiful, especially with ToniAnne in front of it.

ToniAnne wading in Pennesseewassee Lake

We partied and dined at Roland (Buster) Morey's house in Norway:

Katie Horne, Joyce Morey Tillotson Ham (ToniAnne's Mom) and Buster Morey

Food was plentiful:

There were sandwiches and desserts galore as well.

I got to meet a whole slug of ToniAnne's relations:

Marie Morey Kilponen and ToniAnne

Joyce, Karen Hakala and ToniAnne

Brenda and Aunt Marion

Carol and Noreen

Anita and Laila

Ivan Morey

Tim (In background), Brenda, Karen, ToniAnne, Judith

After the gathering, we had a couple of days in Maine for ToniAnne to take me around to places she had lived, and we took the time to visit other friends as well.

ToniAnne perusing the goods at Liquid Sunshine in Farmington, ME - an awesome store

We visited Bernice Hoisington, an old friend

Dinner al fresco with the Dauphinee Family - Rebecca, her parents, and her husband Dan - in the vicinity of Bangor. They also very graciously put us up for the night, where we slept under a thousand quilts to keep off the Maine spring chill.

Before we left, we also had dinner with the incomparable Brooke McEldowney and his good family, at the Mekhong Thai Restaurant in Kennebunk. It was a delight to meet his good wife, and an honor to introduce them to my lovely bride.

On the way back home, we drove through New York City and had dinner at Piccolo Angolo, the Zagat-rated Italian restaurant owned by my cousin Pauline Migliorini and her husband Renato - I opted for spaghetti alle vongole, and ToniAnne had the melt-in-your-mouth osso buco. That evening we stayed with Pauline's daughter Maria Cintron in Jersey, and had a wonderful visit with them. They all loved ToniAnne and her daughter, and the feelings were mutual - many compliments passed between them.

Maria and Ted Cintron

Renato at the restaurant (this is an older picture)

Katie on Ted's Hog

It was a wonderful trip, and I'm only sorry we didn't have more time. The pizza and sandwiches at Sam's, and the milkshakes at Giorgio's were amazing; the whoopie pies to die for; and the weather was beautiful.

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Aug. 2nd, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great trip :)

I love that stained glass window!
Aug. 4th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
Maine Journal
Chris & ToniAnne,

It was a great visit, if too short. Next time, plan on a longer one and we'll do lobster and steamers!



The Old Wolf

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