Collings Foundation “Wings of Freedom” Airplanes
Every year the Collings Foundation flies a "Wings of Freedom Tour" with their vintage WWII airplanes. This weekend they were in our area, so we went early so that we could to see the planes fly in. Here are some photos of the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang as they arrived (click on any photo to start the slideshow).
Once the planes were parked on the ramp we got to take a closer look at them – both from the outside and the inside. Here are some of those close-up views (click on any photo to start the slideshow).
If you want to see these magnificent examples of living history, here's a link to the Wings of Freedom website with lots more detail and the complete tour schedule:
You Really Must Visit the New American Heritage Museum – Especially if You Like Armor
Last week we went to the Grand Opening of the new American Heritage Museum (AHM) in Stow, Massachusetts. The latest addition to the Collings Foundation, the American Heritage Museum is housed in a brand new 70,000+ square foot facility that features an immersive WWI Trench Experience and some of the rarest historical military artifacts and vehicles in the world - from WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, the Cold War and the Gulf War.
The artifacts on display include an American WWI tank, Kommandogera¨t 40 (WWII German rangefinder and mechanical analog computer for directing anti-aircraft guns) a Higgins Boat that survived D-day, an LVT-(A)4 that survived the Pacific battles, a Panther tank, a German Sd.Kfz.222 reconnaissance vehicle, an IS-2 tank, an Me 109 fighter, a Scud B missile and launcher, an original section of the Berlin wall and many other unique pieces. You can see the complete listing of all the artifacts here:
The museum is wonderful and the artifacts are stunning; even more so since most of them have been fully restored and are actually operational. So, if you are in the area, or looking to see some world class military vehicles and other artifacts, you should really make a trip to the American Heritage Museum. You can find more information about its location and hours here:
Here are some photos that we took the first day that the American Heritage Museum was open (click on any photo to start the slideshow).
Added Photos of Some of our Adventures in Egypt
Earlier this month we took an 11-day trip to Egypt - and I’ve finally had time to catch up, review, edit and post some of the 2,000+ photos that I took during the trip. It was a great trip that allowed us to see a lot of spectacular sights and hike all over Egypt – from the Lower Kingdom to the Upper Kingdom (both in the desert and in the urban areas). Here’s a short list of the places that we went and the sights we saw (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
You can see all the photos of our Adventures on the Adventures/Middle East page.
Kittery Trading Post and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
With the end of Summer upon us we decided to take one last quick trip to Maine for a little outdoor gear shopping at the Kittery Trading Post and doughnut shopping at the closest Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store.
Kittery Trading Post
Our first stop was the Kittery Trading Post, located in Kittery, Maine. For those of you that have not heard of the Kittery Trading Post – it’s a regional treasure that has been in business for 80 years; since 1938. During that time it has grown from 360 square feet to over 90,000 square feet. So it’s big – really big! So big that it carries merchandise from over 1,700 different manufacturers. https://www.kitterytradingpost.com/all-brands/
The store has three main levels where you can spend hours roaming and looking at cool gear:
We spent over $80 (how could you not) so we even got an 80th Anniversary T-shirt:
You can find out more about the Kittery Trading Post on their website:
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
After our detailed perusal of all of the gear at the Kittery Trading Post we continued to head North to Saco, Maine where one of only three Krispy Kreme Doughnut stores in New England is located. Since New England is Dunkin’ Donuts territory getting some Krispy Kreme doughnuts is a real treat since they are so much better.
You can find out more about the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on their website:
Needless to say, the quick trip was a great way to end the Summer!
Added Photos of Some of our Adventures in Maine
We just got home from a trip to Maine where, as a part of the trip, we visited seven of the larger active lighthouses (there are ~60 active lighthouses) along the Atlantic coast to include:
1) Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse - York, Maine
2) Cape Elizabeth and Cape Elizabeth West Lighthouses - Cape Elizabeth, Maine
3) Portland Head Lighthouse - Portland, Maine
4) Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse - Portland, Maine
5) Pemaquid Point Lighthouse - Bristol, Maine
6) Owls Head Lighthouse - Rockland, Maine
7) Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - Acadia National Park, Maine
You can see all the photos of our lighthouse Adventures on the Adventures/North America page.
If you want to learn more about the lighthouses in Maine here is a great website that has detailed information on 29 of the lighthouses:
A Mother’s Day Hike Instead of Brunch
Most people go out to brunch on Mother's day. Since we love the outdoors we did something a little different; we took a hike at a few locations on the Massachusetts North Shore (Ship Rock, Devereaux Beach, Marblehead and Castle Rock.). It was a great way to spend the day!
Added Photos of Some of our Adventures in Japan and South Korea
In April we took a 16-day trip to Japan and South Korea - and I’ve finally had time to catch up, review, edit and post some of the 2,500+ photos that I took during the trip. It was a great trip that allowed us to see a lot of spectacular sights and hike all over the countries (both in the woods and in the urban areas). Here’s a short list of the places that we went and the sights we saw:
You can see all the photos of our Adventures on the Adventures/Asia page.
The Sights and Sounds of a World War II Battlefield
This weekend we went to The Collings Foundation WWII reenactment of the “Battle for the Airfield”; a live-action reenactment of a 1944 battle between the Allies and the Germans for a forward operating base airfield.
There were over 300 reenactors, representing several units of Allied and Axis military, participating in the reenactment. There was also fully restored military equipment of all kinds to include tanks, cannons, troop carriers, halftracks, aircraft and support supplies. Allied and Axis camps were set up with authentic materials and appearance and the reenactors shared their knowledge about the weapon systems and life as a WWII military person.
As you can see in the following photos, a significant number of restored WWII vehicles participated in the reenactment:
German Historic Vehicles:
Allied (American and British) Historic Vehicles:
If you would like to learn more about the Collings Foundation - here's a link to their website:
Niagara Falls by Day and by Night
During our recent trip we spent a couple of days at Niagara Falls. Now everyone knows about Niagara Falls, and we saw people from all over the World when we were there. But in order to really appreciate it you have to see it in person.
Niagara Falls is actually made up of three waterfalls; from largest to smallest, they are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world that has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America. More than six million cubic feet of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet falls per minute on average.
Here’s a short video of Niagara Falls during the day so that you can see the massive amount of water flowing over the Horseshoe Falls:
For those that don't find Niagara Falls interesting enough, at night they light both the American Falls (on the left in red) and the Horseshoe Falls (on the right in blue) and have fireworks. Here's a short video of what it looks like during the night:
You can see some photos of our travels around Niagara Falls on the Adventures/North America page.
Hiking the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen, NY
During our recent vacation one of the many hikes that we took was on the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park. Although this trail can get a little busy if you go in the middle of the day during the summer months, we hit the trail early (they are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM) and were successful in avoiding most of the people that seemed to be arriving as we were leaving.
There are 19 waterfalls, of all shapes and sizes, on the 1.5 mile (one way; 3 miles round trip) trail. The vertical elevation change from the beginning of the trail to the end is 554 feet. The park is open year-round, but the Gorge Trail is closed in winter and opens later in spring depending on the damage caused by the winter weather.
Here are two short videos of waterfalls that we saw along the trail.
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