Water Country

There is nothing more refreshing than being at a waterpark on a hot summer day.  In Portsmouth, New Hampshire there is a water park called Water Country.  The park opened in 1984 by the Samuels family until Festival Fun Parks bought out the family in 2000.   Palace Entertainment now owns the water park which contains many slides, waves, rivers, and swimming pools for all ages.

The newest ride to the park is Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror.  It will open this season.  In a two person tube, you will sit face to face and take a 40 foot plunge through a twisting totally dark tunnel.  During the ride you will experience a tornado funnel that will make your head spin.  It is the first ride like this in New England.   Another thrilling experience is the Double Geronimo which is a body slide.  You fly down a 58 foot slide that is nearly vertical.

A gentler experience could include the Giant Wave Pool.  It is New England’s largest wave pool containing 700,000 gallons of water.   The adventure river allows you to float for ¼ of a mile through waterfalls, fountains and caves.  In addition, there is an Activity Pool where

for the whole family can relax for open swim.

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Photo Credits: rickpilot_2000

The schedule for Water Country begins in early June and ends on Labor Day.  The park opens at 10:30 am and closes at either 5:00 pm or 6:30 pm depending on the day.  Check weather as the park may alter its hours.  It is usually open if raining but severe weather may close the park.  The single day tickets prices are $37.99 for 48” and taller, $25.99 under 48”, $25.99 for 65 and older.  Children under 2 years are free.  Season passes are available for $65.99.  The contact information is www.watercountry.com on the web or call 1-603-427-1111.

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Summer

Summer

The warmth of the sun on your skin

Visiting places you’ve never been

The smell of sea salt at the beach

Makes you feel so very free

Children running to the ice cream man

And their toes sinking into the sand

While you relax, burn and tan

No one is concerned about school

And thats not the best part

This is what makes it summer

Having fun with your friends

Swimming, Barbecues, Bonfires

S’mores, Burgers, and Popsicles

That is why…

…All these things involve one word…

Summer  

White Water Rafting

An exciting day trip for the summer is white water rafting at U. S. Rafting Maine.  It offers   locations on the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. The experience includes rafting down Class III and IV rapids with all necessary equipment and an experienced guide.  There is transportation between the river and base camp.  A full lunch at the base camp is prepared for you, which includes barbecue chicken, baked beans, pasta salad and watermelon.  Finally you will receive a video viewing of your experience.

The Kennebec River is the most rafted river in Maine.  The Upper Gorge is a huge adrenaline rush mixing fun with fear. The Kennebec River requires no previous experience and is perfect for a family adventure.  You must be at least 10 years of age to attend.  The Dead River offers 16 miles of continuous whitewater and many surf holes and famous for the “High Water” releases.  The Dead River requires no experience, but is challenging.  You must be at least 14 years of age to attend.

The check-in is at 9:30 a.m. and trips return to the base camp at 4 p.m. This is a full-day adventure which includes all necessary equipment including a paddle, life jacket and helmet, a licensed guide.  The guides are knowledgeable and make the experience awesome.  You will be on the water for 3 to 4 hours of the day in a raft that fits up to 10 people.

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Photo credits: Razvan Orendovici

The schedule for white water rafting begins in May and concludes in early October.  The cost for the trip starts at $129 per person.  The excursion will take place despite rain since they figure you are going to get wet anyway.  For more specific information, visit the website as schedules and pricing differ depending on which river you choose to raft.  For more information, you can visit http://www.usraftingmaine.com on the web or call 1-207-323-3052.

Canobie Lake Park

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Photo Credits: IronGargoyle

Imagine riding on a carousel over 100 years old or a wooden roller coaster built in 1930’s.  You can do both and a whole lot more at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire. Canobie Lake Park opened in August of 1902, as a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company.  In the early years, it was visited for its flower gardens, promenades and simple attractions.  From 1930’s through 1950’s, Canobie Lake Park opened the Dancehall Theater which became a famous location of entertainment which hosted many famous celebrities.  Today, the park features over 50 rides including thrill rides, water rides, family rides and kiddie.

The classic rides found at the park are the wooden roller coaster and carousel.  The Yankee Cannonball, a 1930s-era wooden roller coaster, is one of the park’s best known rides.  The Antique Carousel dates back to 1905.  It is equipped with stationary and moving animals as well as benches to ride on.  Additionally, the park features over 50 rides including thrill rides, water rides, family rides and kiddie rides.  That is not all, there is a variety of foods, prize games, three arcades, live entertainment, and fireworks.

One of the more recent rides that was added in 2011 is Untamed. It is a roller coaster that features a 72-foot vertical lift which then drops at a 97 degree angle. Untamed also takes riders through three inversions, a vertical loop, and a zero gravity roll. This year the park will open its newest ride called Equinox.  It has three spinning arms similar to a giant fan that can go 75 miles per hour around.

The schedule for Canobie begins in May and ends in October.  The times vary so you can check the website for details.  The general admission prices are $35 for adults, $26 for under 48″, $26 for 60 years old and over, $26 after 5 pm admission. Children under 3 years are free.  Make sure you check the website for specials and coupons for discount admission.  The contact information is www.canobie.com on the web or call 1-603-893-3506.

Summer: A Poem

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Long days, short nights

Walking Barefoot

Playing with kites

 

Going to Camp

Staying out late

Meeting with friends

Fishing with bait

 

Doing what you please

Climbing up trees

Going to the beach

Not having to recite a long, long, long, long speech

 

Cinnamon bun

Water gun

Midnight sun

That long run

 

Hamburger bun

Tanning under the sun

Having fun

Until summer’s done

 

Going on a family vacation

Touring the nation

Playing games outside

Eating foods that are fried

 

Swimming in a lake

Stuffing your mouth with cake

 

Not an old plumber

Not a big fat bummer

But Summer

Summer.

 

Whale Watches

Have you ever been on a whale watch?   Maine offers one of the greatest places in the world for this amazing experience.   Many species of whales can be viewed on the coast of Maine including Humpback, Finback, and Minke whales.  They migrate to feeding grounds to feast on mackerel, herring, krill and other fish. It is unbelievable to witness the world’s largest creatures feeding or playing right in front of you.  If you are fortunate, you may view the dramatic Humpback whales jumping right in front of the boat. 

In Boothbay Harbor, Maine you can experience this fantastic excursion at Boothbay Whale Watch on the Harbor Princess boat.  This outing will take about 4 hours.  The Harbor Princess is a 100 feet long and 24 feet wide that will accommodate 149 passengers.  The boat allows great viewing from all sides.  You even have a choice of being out in the fresh air or in the heated cabin. Your tour begins with a scenic tour of Boothbay Harbor.  The naturalist on board will identify the sights along your journey out to sea.

The whales that have been seen are the Finback, Humpback, and Minke whales.   The Finback is a long, thin whale with a sickle dorsal fin that can be up to 80 feet long.  It rarely shows its tail before diving.  The Humpback is stocky with a rounded dorsal fin that can be up to 50 feet long.  Before a deep dive, it will show its tail.  The Minke is a small, thin whale with a hooked dorsal fin that can be 30 feet long. It rarely shows its tail before diving.  In addition, you can view other ocean creatures like dolphins, porpoises, sunfish, basking shark, harbor seals and different birds.

The schedule for whale watching begins in late May and concludes in early October.  The cost for the trip is $48 for adults, $32 for juniors (ages 11-16), $25 for children (ages 6-10) and free for children under 5 years.  If the whales decide not to make an appearance, then you will receive a voucher for another trip which does not expire.  For more information, you can visit http://www.whaleme.com on the web or call 1-888-WHALEME.

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Photo credits: Terry Howard

If you are interested in seeing whales and other ocean animals in their natural habitat, then a whale watch is for you.  Remember to bring warm clothing as it can be a little cooler out on the water.  Don’t forget a camera as well. 

The Social Network: The Topsy-Turvy Adventures of Facebook

The Social Network is without a doubt, a fantastic movie.  While the creation of Facebook does have a great story, the actual movie is even better.  I had read a book called The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick prior to watching the movie, so I knew the real story, unaltered by Hollywood.  Surprisingly, the movie was quite accurate in terms of the legitimate story of the upbringing of Facebook.  I was surprised by this because based on the various trailers and TV spots I had seen two years ago when the movie came out, it made it look like Mark Zuckerberg and his many “business” partners spent most of their time drunk and surrounded by girls.  Of course, that was nowhere near the actual movie.  The Social Network is actually a great movie, deserving all of it’s accolades and praise.

sha3telly.com

Photo Credit: sha3telly.com

I liked that the movie thought outside the box in the way that it presented the story.  One thing it did that I thought was very interesting was jumping between lawsuits with the Winklevoss twins (Fellow Harvard students who think that Mark stole their idea for a social network) and his ex-best friend Eduardo Saverin.  The Winklevoss twins were suing because they thought that Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social network and Saverin was suing because Zuckerberg lowered his equity in Facebook massively and raised Sean Parker’s, who did no where near as much work as Eduardo.  If a character says something to a lawyer, the movie might jump back to 2004 and show if the character is telling the whole truth.  It also might just delve deeper into the story or show further information and backstory.  Also, the movie doesn’t ignore the fact that the founders of Facebook had to do a lot of work to lead Facebook to where it is today.  Finally, while the movie isn’t super dramatic, it still manages to convey the emotions of all the actors to the point where you can almost feel their pain, or how ecstatic they are, whatever the case may be.  One moment that I thought was very interesting was when Eduardo stormed into the Facebook headquarters when he found out what Mark was doing to his ownership in the company and slammed his laptop on the table.  Continue reading

Because of Winn-Dixie: Character Counts

Kate DiCamillo, a well-known author in the world of literature, has written several sensational novels. From The Magician’s Elephant to the classic Tiger Rising, Kate DiCamillo has stunned readers with her rising adolescent books. Converted into movies, some of DiCamillo’s books have been nationwide hits. Surrounded by an abundance of positive hype, the movies and books became increasingly celebrated. One of her more popular works, Because of Winn-Dixie, is an easy read, yet the book provides a powerful read for a wide range of ages. This is mainly due to the fact that the protagonist is a headstrong girl with a compelling and passionate personality.

The story focuses on a young girl named India Opal Buloni, the daughter of a preacher. She goes by Opal, and she is new to Naomi, Florida. Continue reading