At this time of the year, a great many of our residents leave Grand Horizons for a mini vacation to their winter homes, plus some people leave on camping trips or for a quick getaway. But, they at Grand Horizons still stay pretty active with the Wednesday coffee hour, plus other activities.
One special event took place in the community center on June 26 where several people met to wish Luella Wheeling a very happy birthday, and also to say “farewell,” as she was leaving in a few days.
Chris Buckley, who hosted this event, had this to say, “The party for Luella was well-attended by approximately 70 Grand Horizon residents. Cake, ice cream and coffee were served and enjoyed by everyone. All joined in to sing “Happy Birthday,” wishing her many more. We will definitely miss Luella when she moves.”
I would like to add that Luella is a wonderful woman, and I recall the patience she had when teaching mahjong. I also recall with fondness the many things that she had done for our community.
While this was going on, Marty and I went to Poland Springs, Maine, along with our good friends, Buz and Shirley Smuckler. The four of us started on this mini vacation on June 26 and took a leisurely trip, as we went through many towns with lovely scenery around every bend in the road.
We got to York, Maine, and once there, we saw the Nubble Light, also known as Cape Neddick Light. This was built in 1879 and was first lighted on July 1, 1879. The tower is 41 feet high and 88 feet above sea level. The lighthouse is so picturesque. It is one of the most photographed and painted in the world.
From there, we went to Ogunquit and passed through Perkins Cove. Also, we went on Marginal Way, which is a little over a mile walk to Perkins Cove along a walkway with one side of the rocks facing the water with the waves crashing against the side of the rocks. There are benches along the walkway, so people can enjoy the view.
From there, we went to Kennebunkport, where we saw Walker’s Point. This is the summer home of George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. It has been a haven for generations of Bush family members who have enjoyed many a summer here away from the pressures of the outside world.
Afterward, it was off to Cape Porpoise pier, where we had a terrific view of the Goat Island Lighthouse. This is an authentic fishing village, where you still see many a lobsterman bringing in their catch.
We then went to a “special” treat called Len-Libby Chocolates in Scarborough. We had the opportunity to see a moose made of 1,700 pounds of pure chocolate and mama bear, made of 300 pounds of pure chocolate. There were also some baby bears.
After a delightful experience there, we went for a drive to Grey. We visited Marden’s Surplus and Salvage. Here we found all sorts of treasures, one thing after another, and it was fun just browsing.
After that visit, we went a short way down the road to visit The Barn on 26. It was filled with antiques, and I saw things that our grandparents had. We then checked in at the Inn at Poland Springs, where we had dinner and saw a delightful show —a person playing the piano and singing many tunes. Some of the numbers were real oldies, and the audience joined in on the singing in several parts of the songs. Everyone had a good and relaxing time.
Later on in the evening, there was a show called “Jerry’s Girls,” and this was a quartet backed up by a three-piece orchestra doing a tribute show of the songs of Jerry Herman who scored the music to many Broadway shows.
The following day, we took a ride to Portland and took a “duck” ride. This was a ride on land and water. When we launched in the water, we saw two lighthouses. One was called the “Spring” Lighthouse, which resembled a plug, and we also saw the “Bug” Lighthouse, with Captain Joe steering the “duck.” We got to see many attractions, including a mama osprey with her young ones in a nest, along with several drawbridges going up or down.
Once we disembarked, we did some browsing in the different stores on the main street. Afterward, we had a discussion on where to go next and decided to go to the Portland Head Light. This was absolutely breathtaking, and the grounds were well-kept, with many benches for people to relax and take in the view. In addition, there was a lovely gift shop with lots of souvenirs.
There was another lighthouse that we were able to see, and it was called the Ram Lighthouse.
All good things must come to an end, and it was time to return to Poland Springs, where there was another performer playing guitar and singing in the lobby. After the show, we had dinner, and our friends attended another concert that was located on the grounds of Poland Springs.
The next day, we made the rounds to various sites such as The Poland House Antique Store and drove by the Oxford Casino. From there, we went to Lewiston and had lunch with our Florida neighbors and friends, Sam and Pat Allen, who reside in Maine during the summer. We had a lovely time.
The following day, we drove to Gardner for a lunch with our old friends from Connecticut, Duane and Joanne Ferrante, who now live in Maine full-time.
After lunch, Duane and Joanne drove to Poland Springs Inn to see the facilities. It was great to see them again, and we always have a good time together.
A little while later, Shirley, Buz, Marty and I went to dinner and then some karaoke.
The next day, they had belly dancing in the activity room. The teacher performed several dances and our friend, Shirley, took some lessons. Between her and the teacher, they did some fancy footwork and shaking of the hips.
After the lessons, we decided to go to the Poland Springs bottling plant which is located on the grounds. It was built in 1904 in Spanish design. Poland Springs water was prescribed by doctors to cure many ailments. Inside the plant were many posters and some videos. As they say in Maine, it was wicked special.
We then drove back to the casino, which we drove by the previous day, and this time we went in to try our luck. We played a few games, and I was the big winner of 149… pennies, that is.
Sometime later, we took a ride to Naples, Maine. We enjoyed a boat ride called the Songo River Cruise 11 and sailed Long Lake. This was an enjoyable hour seeing the beautiful houses along the shore. We also saw several boats and jet skiers on this lovely day. The tour was on a stern-paddle wheeler and was fully narrated. When our cruise was completed, we went back to the inn where they had Roger on the sax, and he sang some songs in addition to his playing the music.
Later, after dinner, they had a fanfare concert band. Several patriotic songs were played.
That concluded our relaxing trip.
By Helene Rubenstein
Published July 13, 2016