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8.26.2016

Favorite Maine Posts

Surprise!  I managed to sneak up to Maine for a little long weekend to see my family!  The fun part is, while I've had the trip planned for months, only my brother, sister-in-law, and niece knew about it!  While she managed to keep it a secret, she's got my whole trip planned for me.  To include going to the "pancake store" and the "pizza store!"

So while I'm out exploring life with a four year old, I thought I'd share some of my Maine- centric posts.  


Downeast Maine Vacation Ideas

This was one of my favorite posts, because it wrapped up some of the popular tourist things to do in the area.  Honestly, the vacation where I pulled a lot (if not all) of the pictures from, was the first one that I actually explored my little town and surrounding spots in quite some time.


Augusta, Maine in the Winter

One time, almost two years ago now, Scott and I snuck up to Maine for maybe 36 hours to surprise my big brother at his swearing-in ceremony.  I'm getting better and keeping my plans quiet and surprising folks it seems.

Will Tuell, Representative for Maine District 139

But, before I got a chance to go up to see the swearing-in, I made a post completely about big brother.  In it, I shared one of his articles from the town newspaper about our grandmother.  While he's not writing for the paper anymore (that I know of), he still writes some fun posts almost daily on his Facebook Page.

Bangor Daily News 1987 Tuell Article

In October 2014, I stumbled on The Daily Tay and Helene in Between and their Blogtober link up.  It encouraged me to post to the blog daily, and I gained many of the followers that I have today because of it.  On day 9 I talked about my Downeast Halloween memories- and kind of changed it into a whole "Fall traditions" type post!  


Geocaching for Beginners

This post is fun, because I first started geocaching up in Maine.  Unfortunately geocaching in Florida is a little more scary.  Too many snakes, gators, and other creatures, and too humid!

Have you all vacationed in Maine?  How about making it into ... less populated parts of the state?  Be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram, as I've got lots of recent shots on there!

8.24.2016

Scenes from Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park was a stop that was on the books since we decided to go to Colorado.  I mean, how could we not?

Of all the hikes we could've done, we decided to try the hike to Mills Lake, which is about 7 miles round trip.  I picked this one solely because less than a mile in, you're at Alberta Falls.  I figured, if we were exhausted by this point (okay, mostly me), we'd at least get to see something.  There are points of the hike that are on rougher ground, but the trails are well maintained.  The hardest part is going up- you gain 700 feet in elevation during it.

Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Alberta Falls


Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Mills Lake


Our second trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was a bit less strenuous.  We drove the Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to Grandby, and then back around.  I don't recommend the whole loop if you don't like driving.  I honestly fell asleep during part of it once we got out of the park.

Drive Trail Ridge Road, the oldest continuous paved road in the country, up to the Alpine Visitor Center.  At one point along the road, I noticed a sign that stated we were two miles above sea level.  And still climbing.  That's quite a switch, coming from Florida, where we're AT sea level!

There are a number of turn outs along the road for you to stop and take pictures.  My favorite is after we got above the trees, to the tundra.  There were still patches of snow, and the wildflowers up there only have an average of six weeks to bloom and reproduce before it gets too cold.

One of the biggest tips I have if you visit, is to make sure to bring a jacket.  While the temperature in Estes Park was around 90 degrees.  At the Alpine Visitor Center, it was 54!

Chipmunk at Rocky Mountain National Park
At an overlook on Trail Ridge Road


Elk next to Trail Ridge Road
An Elk. Not at a turnout on Trail Ridge Road.
It's blurry because I managed to get this while Scott was driving!

Lake at Milner Pass
Milner Pass, shortly after the Continental Divide

Rocky Mountain National Park in July
A view of a mountain lake on Trail Ridge Road.  Snow still on the ground in July!

8.22.2016

The Eighth Story... | Harry Potter Review

I've had Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (affiliate) on preorder since the play was announced.  And then I got it.  And then I read it.  And I flagged pages.  And I took notes.  Now it's time to talk about it.  Unless you intend on reading it, then I suggest... go away!  Or sit back and realize just how big of a dork I am.

I thought I would get into a brief overview of the play or something, but decided not to for a couple reasons.  One, if you plan to to read the book/script, I don't really want to give away the plot.  Two, if you have read the book, you already know what happens.  Three... if you haven't read the book, and have no intentions to, a plot summary probably won't change that!  Instead, I'm going to pick out some aspects of the play that I found were interesting for one reason or another.  I tried very hard to keep in mind that the format of this story is not the same as the originals, and that I shouldn't compare the two.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, and J.K. Rowling.  But, I feel like it was mostly Thorne and Tiffany writing, and Rowling just gave her blessing on what they wrote.  I feel like they had to include her as a writer, because there are so many scenes that came from the original HP series that they probably needed to credit her with.

On the return of the time-turner.  Why is everyone convinced that ALL of these were destroyed at the battle at the Ministry (book 5)?  Hermione was able to have one checked out in her third year, so it stands to reason that at the time of the battle, there were others that would have been checked out then.  Not to mention, ones that could have been in the hands of wizards that were not recorded.  As I mentioned above, there were many scenes that took place in the original books.  I think they (the writers) brought the time-turner back as a way to act out these scenes that everyone remembers.

Delphi.  So many things to say about her that would give apart the plot.  But at the very least... no one is wondering why she is skulking around Harry's house instead of making sure her uncle isn't making a scene?

Albus at Hogwarts.  He doesn't feel at home at Hogwarts, not like Harry did.  He's not even in the same house as the rest of his family.  But, between Hermione and Ron's kids, Albus's brother and sister, Bill and Fleur's daughter, Hagrid, Neville, Professor McGonagall, and all of Ron's/Hermione's/Harry's/Ginny's friends' kids, they ALL make him feel left out and shamed because of his house?

"Thank Dumbledore."  I'm unsure how many times this phrase is used in the script.  But I cringed every time someone said it.  Is this really a saying 15-19 years later?  Dumbledore = God?  It's especially weird coming from the kid who is named after Dumbledore.

"Oh Potter."  Keeping with the above, apparently "Potter" is a dirty word in an alternate universe.  I still.  Just.  I hope when the actors were reading the script, they realized how ridiculous some of these lines are.

Back to the time-turner.  The best part of the time-turner- and I feel the whole script- is we catch a glimpse of what life might have been like had Ron and Hermione not gotten together, if Cedric had lived, etc.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review


I started writing this review prior to actually finishing the book.  As I neared the end, I found myself enjoying it more and had every intention of going back and changing this review around a little bit.  But then, I read through all of the things I had written while in the middle.  I realized they all still hold true.  I enjoyed reading the story, but found (as with other reviews I've read) gaping holes in the storyline, and the whole plot just seems preposterous.  Witches, wizards, Quidditch, and dragons don't sound nearly as crazy as a world in which Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter / Hermione Granger / Ron Weasley team up to stop evil from taking over.

Bottom line, don't expect the same characters you loved from the original 7- they don't sound or act anything like them.  It's not a bad story, just different.  Do get the book, and read if you're curious on how life with the Potters may have carried on.  Or if you're a completest, you'll need it to finish off your collection!  If you've read the script, what are your thoughts?  Did I spoil anything for anyone, or deter anyone from reading?