Sep 1, 2013

Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Maine.


Ever since we moved to Massachusetts and I applied what I learned in school and realized how close I was to Maine I have needed to go there. Anytime the sun comes up and it is a gorgeous day I say to myself and anyone else that will listen "It's a beautiful day. Let's drive to Maine." Most everyone agrees with me but strangely it has never happened. I was serious every single time I said it. As with anything I long to do I asked a lot of questions over the last couple of years when ever I found someone who had been to Maine. I have several friends who spend lots of their summer in Maine and I am extremely jealous of this. Throughout the course of my gathering information process I came across a copy of Yankee magazine in the library that had an article just about Maine and things to do there. I checked it out from the library and I read it cover to cover and took copious notes. That article was where I learned about the Penobscot Narrows Observatory.

About three and a half hours into Maine is the town of Prospect, Maine and Verona Island, Maine and between them is the Penobscot River. There was a bridge connecting them that was built in 1931 but it needed to be replaced and so in 2006 the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory were built. What caught my attention was the fact that there are only four bridges in the world that have bridge observation towers and this is the only one in the United States. That kind of information always escalates Jennifer's interest immediately past the point where you say, "I want to go there someday." To the point where you say, "I am going there next weekend." I mean you have a bridge....and I LOVE bridges. Then you have a bridge with a observation tower that is taller than the Statue of Liberty. An elevator that takes you to the top and is the fastest elevator in all of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. And...wait, let me catch my breath....you also have a 360 degree view from the top.

Then when my Amanda, her friend Julie, and I had a conversation a few weeks ago that caused us all to realize we all had a burning need to go to Maine the deal was sealed. My husband got us a hotel in Portland, Maine with his Marriott points and last Friday afternoon, after paper routes were finished, and after work was done, we loaded up my little Subaru with Tatiana, Natalie, Julie, Amanda, snacks, music, maps, my little ponies, clothes, and me and we headed out for a girls road trip to Maine.

We drove through Massachusetts and New Hampshire and arrived in Portland at about 8 at night. We did what girls always do when they hang out in hotel rooms we watched a couple episodes of "Say Yes To The Dress" and lounged around in the hotel hot tub. It was so relaxing and fun. I decided before we even started on our trip that I was not going to rush our next morning. These kids get up early every day for work and school so I decided to just let the morning go without much structure. We left the hotel by 9:15 am which was just right.

It took us another two hours and about twenty minutes of driving to get to the bridge. When we first drove in to the parking lot is where you buy the very reasonably priced tickets that get you up to the top of the tower...$31.00 for all 5 of us. Sometimes when you pay for something you feel in the end that the money you spent was not worth it. I feel like the money we spent was well worth it.

 We did not have to wait in a line and headed straight up to the observation room in the super fast elevator. The minute you step out of the elevator there is solid windows. The view is everything a view should be. You can see the river below....endless trees in every direction and a few little towns. I need to go back in the fall because I bet seeing all the changing leaves from up there is amazing. And I wish I worked there so i could sneak up in the winter and see it in the epic Maine snow. Okay, I even fantasized for a minute about being up there at night in a thunder and lighting storm. Yeah, I know what is wrong with me? :) We took lots of pictures and did lots of gazing and then we went down. And it was over. Just like that. I always hate that part :)

Another small detail you need to know is that there is a Fort Knox right next to this bridge. This Fort Knox never saw battle but it is an amazing place to visit. It was the first fort in Maine to be built out of granite and not wood. I did not think my girls would be interested in the fort at all but when you buy the observatory ticket the Fort is included. My girls gleefully explored every passageway this fort had to offer. The lighting was perfect and the stone and brick and starkness of the interior offered way too many photo opportunities. They played, and played, and played until I finally said we had to get going. We took way too many pictures there. I tell you when you shoot for your upcoming album cover, or your upcoming engagement pictures, or your upcoming graduation pictures, or just your upcoming pictures you should definitely plan to go up to nowhere Maine and take them at this fort. Check out some of these pictures :)
Tatiana looking down at me :)



Cool Passageway, right?

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