9/10 – 9/12/10 – We arrive at the Days Inn in Bangor and meet up with Joe, my step-father, who promptly whisks my mom off to dinner on the back of his motorcycle. Joe is part of a veteran’s motorcycle group called the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, or CVMA for short and the main reason for this little road trip was to meet him up there so my mom could participate in the events around their annual Fall Ride. Can I just say my mom looks adorable in her motorcycle helmet?
While standing in the parking lot Angie and I discover that we are at the end of the runway of the Bangor International Airport. How could we tell? Well, the giant freakin’ plane landing over our heads was a big clue. Scary cool!
Angie and I unload the car and go to check in to our room… well, try to anyway. Joe said the room was all set, but in reality the reservation was what was all set. They needed an imprint of a credit card in order to complete the check in and Joe was supposed to be paying for the room for us. Angie reluctantly handed over her card so we could go check in. I told her she should make sure she doesn’t get stuck with the bill, and my mom took care of it when we checked out.
We get to our room and discover it smells funny and the floor is slightly damp. The hotel is full though so we are stuck with the room. The room only smells funky when the A/C is on so we turn it off and open the window to air out the room and proceed to settle in.
Angie and I decided to go exploring so we grab the Garmin and hop in the van and hit the road in search of dinner. We drove through downtown and heard a little bit of an Alan Jackson concert as we drove by. Once again it is difficult to get the lay of the land after dark and the next time I go to Bangor I should make sure I see some of it during daylight hours.
So anyway, we’re wandering around and we decided to stop exploring and head back to the hotel and eat at the Ground Round which shares the parking lot with our hotel. On the way back I miss a turn and end up on Route 395 going the wrong way. It isn’t until we miss the next exit that I realize the mistake and I start looking for the exit after that to turn around. That’s when the fireworks start.
Yes folks, literal fireworks… we didn’t get into an argument or anything, we saw real fireworks and they looked close by so Angie and I exchanged a quick look and decided to go find them and watch them. Two more exits and I get off the highway in Brewer, pull over in a parking lot and discover we are right under them. We were so close we could smell the gunpowder and feel the sound waves pound through our chest as they went off. It was AWESOME. And of course, I took pictures. I’d never photographed fireworks before, and have never seen them that close… I think I did alright. A most satisfying detour!
We made our way back to the hotel and the Ground Round for a late dinner. I remember The Ground Round as being a cheesy kind of place along the lines of T.G.I.Fridays or Chili’s… which are both fine, but not what I’d call “classy”, y’know? Well, we weren’t really in the mood for classy anyway and they had a full bar and we could walk back to our room – all bonus points in my book! We were both pleasantly surprised but how good the food was!
Saturday, which happened to be September 11th, there was a big ride planned for the CVMA folks. Hey look! It even made the news! You can just make out my leg in the newspaper photo in the upper right hand corner. Yay! My leg is famous! While my Mom and Joe were participating in the “rolling thunder” Angie and I were on our own for a bit. We decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool and chill out for a bit.
At some point during the day I recall saying to my sister as she was having a cigarette that I could sit in parking lot with my camera all day and watch planes take off and land. She replied “Photographing airplanes on September 11th is probably not the smartest thing you could do.” Hmmm… I s’pose she was right. When the ride was over we all attended the CVMA cookout before leaving Joe behind to go visit Nana, my mother’s ex-mother-in-law.
All of the photos from this trip can be seen HERE. More coming soon!