Maine, Wicked Good

As promised more pictures of Maine. This is just a montage of pictures.

Here is the whole crew (Williams, York, Ridlon) in Darcy's beautiful back yahd. I would love to have rocks like these in our yard. Darcy is quite the landscaper. =)
From left to right Katie-Beth, Ramona, Mike and Carl. Center Darcy, Breanna, Derek and Kathy. Left Carol, Mitch, me, Corie and Spencah.

Spencah....such a sweet dog!! He has got some growing left to do, just look at those paws.

The Sunsets in Maine were beautiful. I enjoyed going down to sit by the dock almost everynight we were there and just watch the sunset on the lake. We often times take for granted enjoying sites like these. We are so busy in our lives, we overlook such a beautiful wonder.

They were all so beautiful, I had a hard time choosing which ones to share. Above are a few of my favorites.

Atlantic Ocean, city of Portland Maine. Mitch and I both agreed that if we ever decide to move, we would both like to live in Portland, Maine. A condo right on the Atlantic Ocean would be nice.

Mitch and I in Portland.

Mike holding Katie-Beth while she blows out one of Corie's candles on her birthday cake. She is a darling little girl and so, so smart!!!! She knows her colors and is already starting to count! Amazing!!!! I am sure she will be teaching me things in years to come!

Mike and Carl. Isn't he such a handsome boy? He warmed up to us towards the end of the week. He was like velcrow most days, sticking right to mom's hip!!

Ramona and Katie-Beth. Katie-Beth did not want uncle Mitch to take her picture. She is pointing at Mitch, undoubtly telling Mommy that uncle Mitch is trying to take her picture.

Mitch with our niece Breanna down on the dock. Breanna is quite the artist! She is wicked smaht!!

Beautiful Long Lake in Naples, Maine.

Rivah Queen leaving long lake heading for Brandy Pond and making a final journey through the locks at Songo Rivah.

Songo Rivah Queen's Journey though the locks.

Would not want this job. He manually cranks the bridge open.

Mitch helping at the locks. He is on the very right end in the hat.

Here comes the Rivah Queen.

In the locks.

Leaving the locks into Songo Rivah.

Mitch the Big Kid at the ice cream truck.

Katie-Beth enjoying her ice cream. She is still trying to avoid the camera, but I followed her around and got these shots. I think she liked playing the game with me!!

Mitch and Mike packing the van for the trip back to VA.

And lastly, a Chipmunk. We saw lots of these while we were in Maine.


Through someone who is related to someone who needed someone.....

More times than not, this is the way the business world works. You have got to know someone to get in somewhere. Luckily this time, I had the right connections.

Okay, as most of you already know, I lost my job in May. I was out of work for two weeks until I made contact with a temp agency that had work at a law firm downtown. I went back to work so quickly that I did not collect unemployment. The week that I was eligible to do so, I started temping. I have been temping there 12 weeks now. Unfortunately, as to this date, I have not been offered a full time position with this firm. So while I was on vacation in Maine, a really good friend of mine informed her sister about me and with my permission sent her my contact information. She contacted me while I was in Maine, we scheduled an interview and I interviewed with her this morning at 10 a.m. She was looking for an administrative assistant to help her. The interview went very well!! They are a really nice group of people! She called early afternoon, made an excellent offer and I quickly accepted.

So, celebration is in order! I will be working at the Levinson Heart Hospital as an administrative assistant, helping to support 3 heart surgeons and various other administrative duties. I am thrilled!!!! And to boot, I finally get my own office! Mitch knows first hand that this has been my life long career goal......to get a job I will enjoy and to actually have my own office. So bye bye cube and hello office. =) oh yeah.....and not to over shadow the job..........the job is going to be challenging and full of responsibilities! That is why it is the perfect fit for me. I am looking forward to starting. My first day is the Tuesday after Labor Day.

One more plus.... this also means we will be able to buy a new car for me next year. I am really looking forward to riding around in a new car.

The Taurus has got to go........ no seriously....... has got to go!!


Ahh.....Maine, The way life should be

Views from the other half....Having grown up in Maine until the age of 18, when I joined the Navy, I had forgotten about the absolute beauty and tranquility of my home town in the summer time. The population explodes during the summer with people from all over New England and Quebec coming to enjoy the many lakes the Naples area has to offer. Getting around can become quite bothersome if you don't know the bridge opening schedule, but once you learn to avoid the roads or learn of the many detours than you get used to the hustle and bustle that summer tourism brings to the area. It's this time of year that all of the shops and restaurants open up catering to the insatiable appetite of these out-of-towner's. Prices go up in those establishments that do stay open all year long, but watching the sun go down on Long Lake while enjoying one of the many local brews available at Rick's Cafe is something you just have to do. I took Michelle down to see the Causeway and we were able to see the bridge open up to let the River Queen go through on it's daily journey down the Songo River to the locks. When I was a kid they used to let us ride on the bridge when it opened up and they also let us jump off the bridge when it was both opened and closed, something modern day kids can no longer do. I guess we didn't know just how dangerous it was. The first time you jumped did scare the heck out of you, but the next time was pure fun. My wife and I then journeyed down to the other bridge over the Songo and the locks close by. This bridge opens manually and my Grandfather, Harold "Huck" Ridlon used to tend it when he was a young man. I used to ride my bike down to the locks and help the State Park Ranger open the gates to let the boats in and out and of course the "scenery" was often quite nice as well. The Sebago State Park is just up the road from the locks and my family used to go camping every 3 day weekend. Mike and I ran into another pair of twin girls there once just around the time when boys stop thinking that frogs are way better than girls.
Mike and I rode our Motorcycles up through the White Mountains in New Hampshire, absolutely beautiful. We also played a round of golf with his oldest son Derek and one of our older sisters Kathy. He beat me, as usual, but I always seem to play a little better when we pair up. He shot a respectable 86 (a little higher than his usual) and I shot a 96 (a little lower than my usual). The rest of the time was spent enjoying the lake, awesome home cooked meals, local brews and wine, and other brews and wines. Mike also showed us how to make Tennessee Tea (A shot of bourbon, a shot of triple sec, a shot of sour mix, and coke for color) yummo.
When we were kids we used to play a lot of games together as a family, Clue, Pit, Monopoly, cards, were reining favorites. Carol (our oldest sister) found our old Pit game (commodoties trading game) and we, of course, had to indoctrinate Mike's wife (Ramona) and older kids (Derek and Cori) and Michelle. It's a riot and quite loud.
It's been a long time since I have been to Naples in the summer time and the flood of memories made me miss my home town even more. We used to ride our bikes every where, swimming behind the old Irving Convenience store, building forts in the summer and snow caves in the winter, taking swimming lessons rain or shine in Brandy Pond (and man was that water cold when it rained), working summers in a local Mario's Pizza shop (long since burned down).
I believe a winter trip is necessary to bring me back to reality. Snow is fun when you can play in it but shoveling it....well, it's about as fun as tarring a roof on a hot Virginia day.
Well that's all from the other half. As they say in Maine, "It's been wicked good".

So we are back from our week vacation in Maine. 13 and 1/2 hr. ride back, we arrived home around 1:30 a.m. this morning. We had a blast! The weather was perfect, high 70's-mid 80's all week. We drove up with Mike in his Astro Van trailering his Harley and Mitch's Magna. We left at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and were in Maine eating breakfast at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. When we got out of the van, we were all freezing! The temp was somewhere in the low 50's. Yikes!! I was not prepared for this at all! We ate breakfast and then continued our ride on the Maine turnpike.

Get your Maine accents out and ready to use when you read this entry. It's easy to do, just open up and say ahh.

Okay for all you rookies, here are a few words to practice with:
Beeah, cah, lobstah, trailah and Mainah.

Since check in time was not until 2:00 p.m. we decided to kill some time down at the causeway. Basically the causeway is a stretch of Route 302 (Route 302 is the main route from Portland to Naples) that goes through Naples Maine. On one side is Long Lake, which is a very long lake, hence the name and on the other side is Brandy Pond. On the sides of the causeway are places to park, shops and restaurants. We went to Rick's and I bought a sweatshirt and Mitch bought a longsleave shirt. Below are some shots of the causeway and Long Lake.

Long Lake and the Causeway.

Long Lake.


Bridge opening at the Causeway.

Bridge opened at the Causeway.

We drove to the cabin and unpacked then Mike took the Van to pick up Ramona, Katie-Beth (2 & 1/2 yr. old), Carl (1 yr. old), Corie and Derek at the Portland JetPort. Mitch and I waited at the cabin for the rest of the crew to arrive. Carol and Kathy arrived around 3 ish and we learned of their troubles flying from CA to ME!! Their flight was cancelled due to weather and they were pretty much on their own to find a flight to ME. Oh yeah and just to add insult to injury....they did not get their luggage until mid week (Carol got hers on Wednesday and Kathy finally got hers on Thursday). Just in time for their trip back to CA! Crazy!!!
Carol and Kathy do not recommend flying!!!!!!

Heah is wheah we stayed. This was a really nice place. 3 Bedrooms on the first floor, nice size kitchen, dining area and living room. 2 bathrooms, one with a whirpool tub and downstairs: a laundry room, bedroom and game room with a futon. Plenty of room for everyone!

Carol made Betty's Chop Suey on Saturday and that really hit the spot!! It was yummy!! =)
When Mike got back with Ramona and the kids, we all ate and relaxed outside chatting the night away. On Sunday, the York family came over for a cookout. Hamburgers, hot dogs (red hot dogs, apparently it's a Maine thing, because I had never seen a red hot dog before) and Italian Sausages on the grill along with side dishes, cake, cookies, pie and ice cream. We had enough food to feed a small army! Everything was yummy and it was great visiting with the York crew!

Darcy and Breanna came up from Harrison and joined us for the cookout too. She even brought her new dog Spencah (Spencer, to all you tourists) with her. He is a two year old golden retrievah. Such a sweet dog!! We also went swimming in the cove of the lake. The watah was warm, all though the Florida group would disagree. It was warm to Mitch and I and we enjoyed a nice dip in the Lake to cool off.

The Beach.

Sebago Lake.

On Monday, Mike and Mitch took a long (6) hour Motorcycle ride through Maine and New Hampshire. They were rained on for a bit, but overall had a great time riding. We went grocery shopping and bought some more wine. Kathy made her yummy roast in the crockpot!!

We killed 14 bottles total for the week. Lost count of how much beeah we all drank, but I am sure it was quite a bit.

On Tuesday, Mitch and I took the van out for a cruise around Naples. We drove by the house wheah Mitch grew up, then went down to the Causeway, watched the bridge open for the Songo Rivah Queen II and then rode up to Sebago State Pahk to the Songo Locks. We got to see a piece of working history. The locks were really neat.

Bridge manually opened to let the boats through to Songo Rivah from Brandy Pond.

Boats waiting to be let out of the locks to enter Songo Rivah. This is all done manually by the Sebago State Pahk Rangah.

Then later in the evening, we celebrated Corie's 19th birthday. Ramona made her yummy Spaghetti carbanaro, spinach salad and Corie's birthday cake. Below are a couple of pictures of the occasion. Bear in mind that at this point in the night, I already had finished a bottle of wine, so the pictures are not that great. Hopefully Ramona and Mike got some good pictures. Sorry Corie!

Corie and Mitch.

Mike lighting the candles on Corie's cake.

On Wednesday, Mitch, Kathy, Derek and Mike went to play a round of Golf in Naples. Later that day we all went to Darcy's for a Lobstah/clam bake. Yumo!!!! Nothing like fresh Maine Lobstah and Steamahs!!! We decided to take our group picture in Darcy's beautiful back yahd. I love the rock walls and the gahdens. Absolutely beautiful!! Darcy has put a lot of time into her yahd, it shows, it is lush, green and has gorgeous flowers blooming!!

On Thursday, Mitch, myself, Mike and Ramona drove up to Freeport Maine. We of course went to LL Bean and ate lunch. It was nice to have some away time from the cabin. I am sure Ramona and Mike enjoyed being able to have some alone time from the kids! It was Mitch and my turn to cook dinner. Mitch cooked steaks on the charcoal grill and I peeled all of the shrimp and cooked shrimp and scallops on the gas grill. Shrimp and steak were awesome! Mitch said the scallops were really good, I will have to take his word for it, I don't like scallops, but everyone else seemed to enjoy them.

On Friday, Mitch, Kathy, Corie and I all went to Portland and ate Sushi for lunch, walked around the old Port and did some shopping. The old Port is very similar to Cary town in Downtown Richmond. We also had a somewhat decent view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Okay, Philly has their cheese steak, Texas has their BBQ, Boston has their Baked Beans and Maine has its Lobstah, but what most don't know is they also have incredible Italian Subs. For the tourists out theah, an Italian is Ham, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions, black olives, olive oil, salt and pepper. Now that's an Italian sub!! We enjoyed subs on Friday night.

And, you can't come to Maine and not try Blueberry wine from Blacksmith's winery. This wine is somewhat dry and sweet. It is 75% Blueberry wine and 25% Grape wine. We brought a bottle home to enjoy also!

We also played putt putt one day, but my mind escapes me as to which day that was, but we had fun and Mike won a free game of putt putt! It was neat watching Katie-Beth play putt putt. We would help her hit the ball and then tell her to put the ball in the hole, and she would pick the ball up and walk over and drop it in the hole. Too cute!!! :)

We also hung out on the deck quite a bit. While Mitch was on the deck he caught Carl playing with his shadow. Mitch thought this was a riot and could not resist snagging a few pictures. Below are a few shots.

Before discovery of his shadow.

Wait.....what is that?

I gotcha!

And lastly, but not least, no vacation at the "beach" would be complete without the Ice Cream truck! The kids could hear this coming before we could. Breanna, Mike and Katie-Beth went over to get some ice cream.

Ramona and Carl enjoying ice cream.

Breanna enjoying her ice cream.

Mike and Katie-Beth at the Ice Cream truck. Breanna waiting patiently at the Truck and......

who is the biggest kid of all...............................that would be Mitch.

I have more pictures to post and hope to get them posted by Next Monday.
Check out Ramona and Mike's website for more pictures.

We had a wonderful time!!! We look forward to the next family vacation tentatively set for October 2010 in Florida.


Quality Time.............

Ridlon Family:
We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!! We are so ready to relax at the cabin and spend time with everyone!! I am ready to sit by the lake with a glass of wine and enjoy the cooler weather. It has been unbearably hot here the last few days.

Everyone have a safe trip. See you Saturday. =)

Vacation time is finally here! We have been planning and looking forward to this trip for more than a year. Tomorrow we leave for Maine. We are driving up in Mike's van trailering two Motorcycles. Looking forward to a nice ride on the bike in Maine! Dropping the Greys off at Trina's tomorrow evening and Mom is going to watch K.C. Misty is pretty much on her own. Cats are so independent....gotta love that. =)

So the last few weeks have been about spending lots of quality time with the kids. I have been
going through some of the older pictures we have of the kids. The pictures below were taken the first week Maggie came home. I love this picture of her! Just look at her intensity when she is attacking this toy.
Aligator jaws away..... froggie doesn't stand a chance.

Just look at my sweet girl!! How could you not love her? We have come up with so many nicknames for her, it is a wonder she knows what her real name is, but she does. =) I will share some of them. Magpie, Maggie Mae, Mags, Mookey, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Pookey Shmookey, Monkey Moo, and Maggie Moo Moo. Maggie is a perfect fit for our family! Her personality is very similar to mine, which amazes me. She is standoffish in crowds, just like her mom. She needs lots of personal space, just like me. And, once she gets to know you, and she trusts you, she will open up and give you all the love in the world!!! She is so much like me. Amazing!! She is a couch snuggler too!! She doesn't sit in laps, but she will curl up with you and rest her head and front paws on you.

She is a momma's girl, that is for sure!!

I am going to miss my sweet Maggie! She will be having fun at Trina's and we will be having fun in Maine! Mommy and Daddy love you and will miss you Maggie!

Now as for my Booyah....well everyone that meets Booyah LOVES Booyah and how could you not? He is a love bug!! We fostered Booyah with the option to adopt last November. I knew before we even went to Trina's to pick him up that we were going to keep him. I just needed Booyah to work his magic on Mitch. Well he did in no time. Once we were sure that Maggie was going to accept Booyah as part of the family, we officially adopted him. He is the sweetest dog I have ever had. There is just something about Booyah, can't explain it, but once you meet Boo Boo.....you know! =) We are so lucky to have such a wonderful, big, goofy, silly boy!!!

Here is Booyah his first week with us. Just settling in.

We have a few nicknames for Booyah too. Booyah Boo, Boo Boo, Big Boy, Goober, Goofball, Black Beauty, Monkey Smonkey and Sweet Pie. He is not brightest apple on the tree, but we love him and adore him!!!

Maggie agrees.....Booyah's a keeper! Notice the distance, she still needs her personal space. But she is sharing the couch, which is awesome for Miss Alpha Maggie.

Booyah is definately a follower. He would not have done as well in a home without another dog. It took Booyah roughly 4 weeks to really get the concept of toys and how to play with them. He still has trouble squeaking them. He loves to gather toys.

Booyah's favorite toy is his yellow lamb.
He takes this toy with him everywhere.

Booyah gets to see his girlfriend Dana and have some fun with his sissy while we are in Maine.
Mommy and Daddy love you and will miss you Booyah!!

Can't forget about K.C. K.C. will be staying with Grandma for the week. She will be kept company by mom's collie (who looks exactly like lassie) Spanky. She will be spoiled beyond imagination! Grandma adores K.C.!!!!

Mommy and Daddy love you K.C. Have fun at Grandma's!!

Misty, we will miss you too! Your a daddy's girl, so Daddy will really be missing you lots.
You have reign of the whole house, you will be one happy kitty.

And finally........ preseason football has started and regular season is just around the corner. AHHHH......................YEAHHHHHH!

Can we say Couch Potato Sundays? AHH yes. Thank you thank you DirecTV Sunday ticket! All our friends know, Sundays are all about Football for us. Football, Football, Football all day long =)

Hey my license plate isn't 18sFAN for nothing! GO COLTS!!! I have been a loyal fan since '98!
And of course, Manning is my favorite player. I have been watching him play since his college days at Tennessee. I also root for the Dolphins. I have been rooting for them since '92.

Mitch roots for the Patriots and the Steelers. Can you see the rivalry within the house? We can't even watch the games in the same room when our teams are playing each other! That is horrible I know, but I am a sore sport and Mitch does like to give me a hard time.

=) Will be posting lots of pictures from Maine. I am taking my journal so I can write down all my thoughts. Hope everyone has a greyt week!!!