Thursday, May 31, 2007

Maine Trip, May 2007 -- Day 1

Fright Night is Every Night in Bangor, Maine

American Airlines logosAbout two weeks ago, on a Thursday in mid-May, I went to Maine to see my parents and sister and her family. I took American Airlines (and their American Eagle brand of little jets for smaller cities) from Pensacola, Florida, to Bangor, Maine. Jack stayed home to watch the cats and tend the garden.

Usually when I go to Maine I fly to Boston and then drive up to Augusta where my parents live. From Boston to Augusta is a little more than a three hour drive -- longer if you stop at L.L. Bean in Freeport. Going to Boston instead of Bangor means less time in the air but it was certainly worth the extra flight and the extra flying time to arrive in Bangor, just an hour's drive away from Augusta. With no big-city traffic congestion.

I left Pensacola at 9:25 A.M. (Central Time) and arrived in Bangor at 10:20 P.M. (Eastern Time -- it's one hour earlier than Central Time). The distance was 2,371 miles: 604 miles from Pensacola to Dallas; 1,389 from Dallas to New York's LaGuardia; 378 from New York to Bangor. All the flights were full and there were many disappointed people on stand-by. I spent the night at the Sheraton Hotel that's attached to Bangor International Airport.

WKIT 100.3 FM, Bangor, MaineThe hotel was fine and I was tired from a long day of flights and waiting for flights. I was delighted to discover the AM and FM radio reception was good. I love to listen to the radio at night. And the one station I wanted to listen to in Bangor came in clear as a bell -- Stephen King's WKIT, 100.3 FM, the Rock of Bangor. It is one of the only live radio stations left in Maine and it has actual local DJs, 24/7. And yes, it's that Stephen King. Oh, and yes, Stephen King fans -- Bangor is Derry.

You can check out the station's website here and listen to it here. (If you have trouble listening to it from my link, try launching the live feed from the station's website.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

New link added -- from Hawaii

Hawaiian flowers from DoublebrushFor several years my friends on the Big Island of Hawaii, Cheryl and Steve, have sold Hawaiian gifts, flowers and food items by mail order and over the Internet. The photo on the left shows the flower arrangement I had them send from Hawaii to my mother in Maine for Mother's Day this year.

Many of the items they sell -- the soaps and candles -- they make by hand at their home in the rain forest near Hilo using natural ingredients and wonderful Hawaiian fragrances. They also make sushi candles and soaps that look real enough to eat, but don't.

Cheryl has now made a blog, Hawaii Vacation Gifts by Doublebrush and from it you can learn a lot about Hawaii -- like, how many Starbucks and McDonald's are in Hawaii? and the secret no one tells you if you are moving to Puna.

By the way, the name Doublebrush comes from the fact that they are both artists.

I added a link to Cheryl's blog in the sidebar to the right under Blogs from Near and Far.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Escambia Bay Bridge Construction

On September 16, 2004 the storm surge from Hurricane Ivan nearly destroyed both sections of the Interstate 10 Escambia Bay Bridge outside Pensacola, Florida. Temporary repairs were made and limited traffic was permitted. Both sections of the bridge are now being destroyed and the new west-bound lanes are taking shape.

Here are some webcam photos to show the progress. You can visit the bridge's official site here. I will post more photos as the construction progresses.

In case you are confused by the pictures, the new west-bound lanes will be approximately where the old east-bound lanes were.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Behind the Scenes with the Cruise Ship Crews, Part 2

Here's a link to an interesting article from, Working on a Cruise Ship, by Paul Motter.

To read my original post about cruise ship crews, click here.