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Monday, July 31, 2017

National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

Last year Lon and I found this place by accident as we were driving north to pick up Lon's bookcase.  I wanted to show Mark and since I was driving, after one wrong turn I did.  It is in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Last time Lon and I were there,  the way to the Grotto itself was not open, it opens at 9:30 am.  So this was a first time seeing that part for all of us.

Our Lady

from the parking lot. The lot is well away from the shrine, ample parking but you do not hear the cars at the Grotto.

this is the visitor's center

The Grotto.  They do have a spigot from the spring you can get a drink from. We all did, and I even splashed some on my knee.  It is a very peaceful place.

The tiny stone chapel

The doors looking out.

along the path

The path

Mark has some pictures of the candles in the grotto, where there is absolute silence asked of all who enter. I need to get them off his phone.

It is such a wonderful place to visit.

Stopping at Godmother's House!

After the fun of the Pez Visitor's Center, we made it to Godmother's house!

As we made it into the house, I looked out the window and there was a hummingbird!  Love those little things.

Lon and Kael (I am not sure I spellled it right)  They like each other.

We had a tasty dinner and some good conversation.

 A quick picture before we went back to our hotel.  It is always nice to see them.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Our last day in Connecticut was spent hanging out. It was a nice day.  On Thursday we packed up the car and headed south.
We saw a billboard for the Pez Visitor's Center.  Mark and I thought it might be fun to see what it was like!  Exit 42 in Orange Connecticut.  It really was fun!

Can't miss the turn!

The entrance fee was not huge. 5 dollars per adult and Lon was 3.
 This is the GIANT pez near the front doors.  It actually looks as if he will dispense a Pez, but he closes back up before dropping it on your head.

Looking up at Mr. Giant Pez

That day was Bingo Day! You did not have to do a black out bingo, just one row. Once you were done with your bingo, you could turn in it to get a chance to spin the wheel of pez dispensers to see which one you won!

Santa Pez!!  Aren't these great?!
Working hard on finding all the fun Pez

Mark pointing out that the pistol Pez may not have been well thought out.

Filling up a Pez bucket with all sorts of fun flavors. Sour Apple, Cherry, Lemonade, Watermelon. !

They did not have peppermint. Mark was disappointed.

The Pez Visitor's Center was a great place to get out of the car for an hour or so.

We continued in a southerly direction over the Tappenzee Bridge.

Two for Tuesday, part 2. Mystic Seaport

Lon and I have been to Mystic Seaport quite a bit. This year, we had a reason to go. The Norwegian replica Viking ship the Draken Harald Harfagre.  It is going to be in Mystic for repairs and fund raising  till late spring.
The map

It is such a pretty place.  The ship in the photo is the Charles W. Morgan.

The Draken. Tours were from 1 to 4:30.  We had some time to look around before the tours started.

The Dragon

We went into the Figure Head Museum.  We love this cat!
Information on how the cat was used on ships.

Next to the Figure Head museum is a more conventional art museum. Lon and I enjoyed some of the wood cuts.

Lon and I were in there alone, we could take our time and read about all the Figure Heads while enjoying the air conditioning.

something fun to read

In the Discovery Barn,  Lon was having fun. It was not crowded and Lon got to play with everything.

We went into the pharmacy and chatted with the interpreter  He was showing Lon how to make pills. The equipment he was using was over 100 years old. It was very interesting!

It was almost 1, time to get tickets to see the Draken

We were able to get in on the first tour! This is where we learned what Draken Harald Harfagre means  Harold, the fair haired dragon.
As we were walking forward, the tour guide stopped. Lon looked down and saw a bunch of rocks. He asked what are the rocks for? THEN Lon said, I forgot, ballast. proceeding to say what ballast is used for and why.  When the tour guide resumed his talk, he told everyone what Lon said. The guide said Lon was absolutely right and he could probably take over the tour.

The details on the Draken are incredible.
As we left the ship, the captain told Lon he had a fine future in ships.

We went into the museum to check it all out. Lon tried on the breeches buoy. Yes, you were allowed.

Discussing rigging with the Docent.

the mini Draken. They brought this over from Norway.  This was at the entrance to the newest of the museums. The Thomas Center.

We did a little exploring. This was at the entrance you could change the photo to a calm, frozen or raging sea

World War 1 Zazzle lines

We were on the green in time for the breeches buoy demonstration. Lon and I and a lot of Coast Guard Academy Cadets.

Sending the buoy to the ship in distress

And down he comes!

The end of our time at Mystic. It is always fun

After dinner, Lon, Mark and I went to Dairy Queen for a treat!   This little bird was swinging on the chain. just a little.

Mark and Lon in line

An evening visitor.

They are such cute destructive beasts.