Quick Stopover in New Hampshire

I was in Maine and the next New England state to visit was New Hampshire. Since it was already late when I left Maine, it was about 1500H and it took about almost an hour to get to New Hampshire. I only did a quick stopover in New Hampshire. I intentionally planned to visit Flume Gorge due to the fact that it was advertised beautifully in the web. But due to time constraints, I ended up visiting Manchester, New Hampshire instead.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/22/quick-stopover-in-new-hampshire/)

I arrived in Manchester around 1600H and searched the internet for any sights that is open late. I found this park and just decided to take a peek. I was in Crystal Lake Park.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/22/quick-stopover-in-new-hampshire/)

Crystal Lake Park is a recreation site with a natural pond for swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking with a playground. It is near Bodwell Road and Corning Road in south of Manchester. The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery with observed fishes such as smallmouth and largemouth basses, black crappie, brown bullhead, and chained pickerel.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/22/quick-stopover-in-new-hampshire/)

I stayed in the Lake Park about 45 minutes and when I left, I was not contented of my brief stay in the state so, I ended up going to the mall. The mall was just about 10 minutes from the park. I got to the Mall of New Hampshire at 1925H.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/22/quick-stopover-in-new-hampshire/)

The Mall of New Hampshire is a shopping mall located in the Lower South Willow neighborhood of Manchester. It has major anchoring stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, Old Navy, Sears and Best Buy. The mall has over 120 stores with large food court and is the third largest mall in the state. It was spacious and I got my souvenir made since I can’t go to the nearest souvenir shop.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/22/quick-stopover-in-new-hampshire/)

My whole trip in New Hampshire was brief but I was still able to do some quick sightseeing even though I didn’t get to see the tourist attractions of the state. One of these days, I’ll be back and I will make sure to visit Flume Gorge and other beautiful spots of New Hampshire.

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The Maine Attraction

Before I even left for the New England states trip, I already set the course of my journey to the state of Maine. Maine has a lot of tourist attractions and is also known for its really delicious and mouth watering lobsters. Thus, it made me decide without second thought of going to that state. I called my trip the Maine attraction.

Maine is in the New England region. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. The state is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine especially clams and lobsters. The capital is Augusta but the most populous city is Portland. Either way, I made up my mind to go to somewhere near the coastline and has really good lobsters. The main reason why I went to Cape Elizabeth.

Cape Elizabeth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine. The town is the location of the Beach to Beacon 10K road race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park (the beach) to Portland Head Light (the beacon). Thus, I followed the route and visited the state park first. It was around 1200H when I got to Crescent Beach State Park.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

Crescent Beach State Park is a state-operated, public recreation area on the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mile-long, crescent shaped beach for swimming and sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, and even trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. It was freezing cold that day since it was still May so, I skipped the swimming and just wandered the state park.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

It was relaxing just sitting on the beach. It was indeed a good way to spend the day if only I didn’t have other sights to see. I left the state park after an hour and have decided to grab something to eat. One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Maine is its lobsters. The state is known for its really good and delicious lobsters. I asked the concierge in the hotel on where to eat in town and she said to try the Docks Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

Docks Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant is a casual kitchen and fish market offering fried and steamed seafood platters with sandwiches and chowders. It is located South Portland and is family owned. Diners can enjoy great local fare in a relaxed and comfortable ambience. Their menu was the freshest local seafood what Maine has to offer. They always carry haddock, dry scallops, tuna, swordfish, wild salmon, lobsters, clams, shrimps, calamari, crab meat, and mushrooms. Of course, I ordered the lobsters.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

It was so good that I want to bring some back in Ohio but I don’t want them to get spoiled while I’m on the road since I have two other New England states to visit. Maybe next time I get to come back in Maine, I’ll make sure to bring more lobsters. For more information, just visit their site here. Anyway, after that sumptuous late lunch, I headed to my next Maine attraction. It was Fort Williams Park.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

Fort Williams Park is a huge 90-acre park encompassing numerous historical sites with Portland Headlight as the most famous and the largely demolished Fort Williams which was operational during World War I and II. These historical sights include:

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

‘Battery Hobart was built in 1898 and named after Lt. Henry A. Hobart, one of the first Maine graduates of the U.S Military academy, who was killed in action during the War of 1812. The battery mounted one British-built six-inch gun whose function was to help protect the mine field laid in the main channel in time of war from hostile minesweepers. Battery Hobart was manned during the Spanish-American War but was made redundant by the completion in 1905 of Battery Keyes which mounted more modern American-built guns. Therefore, when the U.S Army determined that America’s pacific defenses required strengthening, Battery Hobart’s gun was removed in the summer of 1913 and sent to the Hawaiian islands where it was used to  protect the Army and Navy facilities at Pearl Harbor during World War I. The battery’s magazine continued to be utilized for the storage of ordnance supplies at Fort Williams until 1929.’

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

‘Goddard Mansion was completed in 1858 for John Goddard (1811-1870) to an Italianate villa design prepared by Portland architect Charles Alexander who planned other prominent buildings in the area. It was built of native stone and was one of the first grand houses to be built along Cape Elizabeth shore. Goddard had been successful in the lumber business and then in 1853, he purchased the Cape Cottage which was a popular summer hotel built in 1835. The mansion was built on a portion of the hotel property. Goddard was active in a number of local businesses and was appointed colonel of the 1st Maine Regiment of Cavalry during Civil War but he saw no action. The mansion was acquired in 1898 by the U.S Army and was used for housing married enlisted men and their families stationed at Fort Williams. The basement was converted into the fort’s Non-Commissioned Officer’s Club.’

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

Portland Head Light is a lighthouse inside the Fort Williams Park. It was built and completed on 1791 by directive of George Washington. The headlight stands 80 feet above ground and 101 feet above water. The grounds and the keeper’s house are owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth while the beacon and fog signal are owned and maintained by the U.S Coast Guard as a current aid to navigation. Portland Head Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 1973.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

And of course, the view of the state park and the seas were amazing. The rock formation and the water compliment each other making the state park a must visit location.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/15/the-maine-attraction/)

As a conclusion to my trip to the Maine attraction, it was indeed one of the highlights on my New England states trip. It was memorable and everything I put on my checklist came into reality. I was able to see the Atlantic Ocean and seas. I got to visit amazing and beautiful state parks. I got lessons about history and historical places. And especially, I got to eat and taste the most delicious lobsters I ever devoured in my life. My entire trip in Maine was worth every penny!

Check my vlog during my Maine attraction trip:

The First Public Botanical Garden in America

Massachusetts is the next destination in the New England region if you came from Rhode Island. Massachusetts is the most populous state in the region and is named after the Massachusett tribe which once inhabited the east side of the area. The capital of the state and most populous city in New England is Boston. Boston is famous to tourists and is a must visit if you are in the United States. It covers 48 square miles city proper. Since Boston is the capital of the state, what better to see the city is the heart of Boston which happens to be the First Botanical Garden in America, the Boston Public Garden.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/08/the-first-public-botanical-garden-in-america/)

Boston Public Garden is a large park in the city center. The garden is listed on U.S National Register of Historic Places and U.S National Historic Landmark. It has 24-acre and has open space, a pond, and a large series of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and other organization.

These plants vary from season to season. It was a good timing that I visited during spring since flowers were bloom and trees were having leaves. The prettiest garden flowers I’ve ever seen in the nation. It has different colors of tulips and also other flowers, as well as, blooming trees.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/08/the-first-public-botanical-garden-in-america/)

The pond is the home of great many ducks, as well as of one or more swans. A popular tourist attraction is the Swan Boats. For a small fee, tourists can sit on a boat and pedal around the pond with a tour guide. Being no more than 3 feet deep, the pond easily freezes during the colder months. The reason why the Boston City Council passed an order to maintain the pond for skating during the winter and it is an official skating rink.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/08/the-first-public-botanical-garden-in-america/)

The Public Garden has several statues and structures all throughout the area. But the one that stood the most was the Equestrian statue of  George Washington. It is located at the Arlington Street gate entrance. The statue itself stands at 16 feet tall and made of bronze, and stands on a granite pedestal for a total height of 38 feet.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/08/the-first-public-botanical-garden-in-america/)

Right across the botanical garden was a very big open space, the Boston Common. It is a central public park and is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common or referred to as the Common was designated as a Boston landmark by the proper authority.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/08/the-first-public-botanical-garden-in-america/)

My stay in Boston, Massachusetts was brief but it sure was a beautiful experience. The public garden is well maintained by the locals and the management. It was the center of the city with people from afar and near just making it a rendezvous point for meet-ups, fun and strolling in the park. It was absolutely colorful and lively to look at.

Back in Rhode Island

After I visited Connecticut, I went back in Rhode Island. The reason I came back to Rhode Island is to see a pal who used to live in Ohio but left after he got a job in Rhode Island and be close to his family. It was about an hour drive to North Providence. It was a nice drive, not so traffic as compared to my trip to Connecticut passing through Bronx and Manhattan in New York. I arrived in his family’s apartment around 1400H. I met his family and they were accommodating and welcoming and treated me like part of the family.  They toured me around Rhode Island but this is my second trip in the state. I already visited Rhode Island back in 2016 when I tried to reunite with my cousin and that’s the reason why I Love Rhode Island as my previous blog entry.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

First on our road trip in RI, they brought me to Newport. It was my second time there too. Newport is really famous for tourists. The location is really good since it is in the seaside and it has popular mansions and some summer resorts. Newport harbors is one of the best in the country. It is still known as the sailing capital of the United States. We were in Bowen’s Wharf just checking the stalls and their products that they are selling. We went to this chocolate factory store. They sure have a good and delicious chocolate products.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

We went to College Hill after and visited Brown University. Brown University is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The school is also the first college in the nation to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. The university’s location is filled with stores, restaurants, establishments, and etc. from blocks to blocks.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

When we were done in Brown University, it was almost 7 in the evening so, we headed out for dinner. We got back to North Providence and have decided to eat in a buffet restaurant. His sister, Becbec, suggested to go to a Korean buffet restaurant. It was the best suggestion since I love Korean food especially samgyupsal. We spent almost USD200 for 5 people. It wasn’t bad but I was full with unlimited grilling of fresh meats in different cuts, seafoods, side dishes, rice, and drinks.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

The next day, it was a relaxing day. I stayed in bed until late morning. I went out around 1130H and had lunch with my friends in a Hibachi buffet restaurant. I was really craving for seafoods, the reason why I ate all seafoods dish in the buffet. It was really good. I can tell the difference between the seafoods in Ohio and in Rhode Island. The taste of the seafoods in Rhode Island is very good. It was fresh, kind of sweet tasting, and I can smell the sea. We stayed in the restaurant until 1400H. We drove to a nice park in Providence. It was the Roger Williams Park.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

Roger Williams Park is a 427-acre landscape city park named after Roger Williams who is the primary founder of the state of Rhode Island. It is also listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The layout of the park contains 7 lakes and is one of the finest urban parks in the US in the 2000 annual report. It contains the Roger Williams Park Zoo, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Botanical Center, Japanese Gardens, Victorian Rose Gardens, Casino, Dalrymple Boathouse and boat rentals, historical tours, Carousel village, bandstand, Temple to Music, Hasbro Playground, and many more walking paths.

(check for full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/06/01/back-in-rhode-island/)

My back in Rhode Island trip was great. I got to meet my friend and was able to explore more of Rhode Island again. It was also nice to get out of Ohio once in a while. Rhode Island is one of the smallest states in the US but it sure never failed to amaze me.

The Museum of America and the Sea

I was stuck in Marietta, my new home address, and I have thought that a vacation is long overdue for me. Since I can’t go on overseas trip yet so, I have decided to just do a road trip within the United States. I was looking on the map of the US on what states I haven’t visited yet. I am currently still in the Eastern part of the country, thus, doing a road trip to states closer to my location would be a plus. I’ve been already to New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and so on. It appeared that I haven’t gotten to the New England states of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, but I’ve been to Rhode Island a couple years ago. New England states are also known for its Colonial past, Atlantic coastline, forested mountains and awesome autumn scenery. Anyway, as I was reviewing the New England states, I have decided to visit all of those states. First on my list was Connecticut.

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region. The state is named for the Connecticut River which is a major US river that bisects the state. The word ‘Connecticut’ is derived from word and spellings of the Algonquin which means ‘long tidal river’. I got only few hours to see the state hence, I picked a destination that has a tourist attraction and can also save me hours on traveling and seeing the other New England states. I went to Mystic, CT. It has the nice seaport and was featured on a magazine few years back about nice places to visit in every state. I made up my mind and went to the Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic Seaport.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

Mystic Seaport has an entrance fee of USD28 per head. This entrance fee entitles the bearer to roam around the museum, discovering how the old life of the people of Mystic. There was a lot to see and it was very informative about the gold old days and ways.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

It has various attractions such as collection of ships, old houses, stores, restaurant, museums, and historic vessels. Upon entering the museum, tourists are welcomed with this ship, the L.A Dunton.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

It is the last example of early 20th century New England fishing vessel and it offers a glimpse of the long past seafaring days.

Other attractions in the shipyard museum were;

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

It also has this Stillman Building which is a museum for whaleships and the history of whale hunting and the whales uses. They named it, ‘Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers’.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers is a new exploration of America’s historic and contemporary relationship between whaling and whales. The museum has exhibits that showcase artifacts and artwork alongside with audio-visual presentation. The exhibit pushes past the mechanics of whaling to show the richer and deeper stories of the people, places, whales, and ships that were impacted since the Morgan’s construction in 1841. Exhibits such as;

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/05/25/the-museum-of-america-and-the-sea/)

On the second floor of the Stillman Building, a much detailed history will be explained. History about how the ships and sailors work is waiting for guests from a well-experienced museum curator.

The exhibits were well maintained and very informative. I stayed in the museum for almost half an hour. It was really nice. When I got out of the museum, I walked on to the direction of the Captain W. Morgan whaleship.

The Captain W. Morgan whaleship is the last of an American whaling fleet and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The ship is now the country’s oldest commercial ship afloat. Now, it is the flagship of the museum. Visitors are allowed to board the ship. Just be cautious when going around coz you need to watch your head due to low ceiling.

There are more to see in Mystic Seaport Museum but I got to go to my next destination. It was a nice day indeed and very educational for me. The watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport is the largest of its kind in the United States. It includes four National Historic Landmark vessels such as the Morgan, the Dunton, the Sabino and the Emma C. Berry. I didn’t get to take photos of the other ships since I was out of my budgeted time in Connecticut.

For travelers out there, if you happen to be in Mystic, CT, go and see aboard the Museum of America and the Sea and its collection of historic vessels that span both time and culture.

For more information, visit their site here.

Visa to the Commonwealth of Australia

It has been more than a month that I haven’t posted in my blog after migrating all my articles from my previous site. It also happened that the northern hemisphere of the world is under winter season and people tend to hibernate with this kind of weather. Thus, I ended up to be a home boy for quite awhile. Anyway, while I was under the roof of comfort of my apartment, my mind was somewhere else. My brain kept on wandering and planning on my next trip. Then, I opened my blogsite and checked the menus and discovered that I’ve only been to two continents still. I looked on the map of the world and has decided that my next trip will be somewhere south and in a different continent aside from Asia and North America. It was then finalized that I’ll be going to Australia. Since I am holding a Philippine passport, I need a visa to get to Australia and here is the process I needed to follow.

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/03/30/visa-to-the-commonwealth-of-australia/)

Commonwealth of Australia is a country and sovereign state in the southern hemisphere, located on its own continent between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Its capital city is Canberra and its largest city is Sydney. Australia is the sixth biggest country in the world by land area, and is part of the Oceanic and Australasians regions. Oceania or Australasia region is a region that includes Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and several other island nations in the surrounding area.

Getting a tourist visa to enter the country of Australia is easy. As a start, travelers can lodge their application online which I also did by myself. You just have to have all the necessary documents in hand to finish your application within a day. Mine, it took me a week since I was also busy working and I have to go to the county library to have my paperwork scanned and sent to my e-mail for them to be ready to be attached as application documents. Once you have all the documents needed such as:
1. Passport Bio Page
2. Recent Passport-size Photo
3. National Identification Card (I am a legal permanent resident in the US, so, I have to add it to my application.)
4. Previous Travel Stamps in your Passport (It really helped a lot if you travel frequently.)
5. Travel Itinerary
6. Pay Slips
7. Bank Statements or Proof of Sufficient Funds (I included my credit cards.)
8. Visa Application Fee (It cost AUD140 for the application with AUD1.37 as handling fee. as of 03/08/2018)
Then, you are ready to follow these steps:

First, Find out what kind of visa you need.

Australian Visa application has different classes and subclasses. The main reason of your trip to the land down under will determine the appropriate visa application. It will also set the criteria you are eligible for applying a visa. Several choices are Visitor Visa (subclass 600), Partner Visa (subclasses 801 & 820) and many others. To find out what classification, you can visit the Department of Home Affairs site by clicking here.

Second, Create an ImmiAccount.

Apply online by visiting this site https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login and create an immiaccount. This is where you will put all the information. This is also where you are going to attach your documents and pay your application fee. Your account will be your source in getting updates on your application.

Third, Filling out the online application form.

Once you got your ImmiAccount, you can start filling out the online application form. Make sure to answer the questions and provide information that are true and correct. Information include personal data, travel dates, travel history, proof of sufficient funding for the trip, and many more.  If you plan to visit some of your friends, relatives, or family member, you are required to put their pertinent details.

Fourth, Attach the required documents.

To meet the requirements of your application, you need to attach your scanned paperwork. These paperwork are important such as passport pages, bank statements and financial capabilities, itinerary, visas from other countries, residence status in your home country, evidence of employment, letter of invitation from relatives or friends if you are visiting them, certified copy of birth certificate, and so on.

Fifth, Make a payment.

The last part after attaching the scanned documents is reviewing all the information that you put in the application. Once you submitted them, make a payment thru credit card. Credit card fees apply. The visa fee differs in the type of visa you applied for.

Sixth, Wait for the processing time.

It takes about 20 to 33 days to have your application reviewed but for the meantime, just wait. You can always visit your ImmiAccount for information on your visa application.

(check for the full story at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2018/03/30/visa-to-the-commonwealth-of-australia/)

The whole process was easy. The platform of the online visa application was user friendly and straightforward. I lodged my application on the 8th of March, 2018. By March 16th, I got my granted visa letter from the Australian Government giving me a year validity to visit the country down under. Now, I am just waiting for an affordable airline ticket to check Australia off of my list of places I would love to visit.