This June, for the first time in nine years, I'm going to be gone when we put out a newspaper. I was a bit shocked when I realized that I had, for nine years, arranged my time off from work to avoid missing putting out an issue. And then, I thought, how can you call it a vacation if you never were really gone that long?My friends have heard me talk for years about my friends in Massachusetts, Bruce and Susan Wheltle. I've told them about Boston and how much fun it is to walk around. I've gone on and on about the Vanderbilt, Whitney and Rockefeller summer cottages in Newport, Rhode Island, and how they need to be seen to understand America's "Gilded Age." I've explained the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and detailed the many beautiful locations in that state.And I've talked about Maine! And there's so much to talk about. There is the beautiful Gulf of Maine, dotted with islands. There are the pine trees along the shore of dramatic rocky coasts. There are the lighthouses, some going back to President Washington. And there's the food!Sitting having breakfast at the Lighthouse Cafe, enjoying blueberry pancakes with fresh maple syrup while watching the sun rise over the Atlantic. Or, coming back from a Hardy Boat lighthouse cruise and having dinner at Shaw's Lobster Pound, enjoying lobster bisque, fresh clams, corn on the cob and succulent broiled lobster, all washed down with a cold beverage.And now, after not having been to visit in over fifteen years, I'm heading back up to New England with a small group of friends. I've been to all the places we're going to be visiting; but, that just means that I get to play tour guide and to rediscover all of the beauty and fun once more.Though Boston, Newport and the White Mountains are all an integral part of the tour, Maine is the real target. For my Texas compadres, they'll see that Maine, like Texas, is largely a rural state, populated with people that work the land and the water for their livelihoods. There are vast stretches of open space, covered with pine trees and marked with rivers and bays. The people are warm and funny, and enjoy knowing that they live in a place that so many others find attractive.We're still pinning down all the details; but, the trip is on. We've already discovered that it's cheaper to fly out of San Antonio than Austin, and it's cheaper to fly into Boston rather than Portland. I've found out that my mapping software almost melts down when I tell it to include nearby points of interest because there are so many of them. And, I've discovered that my friends are just as excited as I to be going.Scott Wesner has already let me know that he'll be coming up to Mason that week in mid-June to put out the paper. I'll be back on a Wednesday, just in time to do the postal paperwork and get the paper out on the street; but, I won't have to worry about putting the paper out.I haven't talked to Daddy yet to arrange for him to babysit Dozer while I'm gone, and I sure as heck haven't told my dog that he's not included in the vacation!I'll bring back plenty of photos, maple syrup, souvenirs, and maybe even some fresh lobster will be shipped back home.Heads up to Bruce and Susan, as we'll be bringing you some goodies from Texas. I know you haven't been in years, so I'll get your "wish list" of items (good salsa, sausage, etc.).Somehow, knowing the time is approaching makes every day a little better.
It’s all just my opinion.