Week 8.1: Maine, Part 1

Hey friends!  We are writing this from Austin, Texas, which is pretty entertaining since the blog post is about Maine.  We may be slightly behind on our writing. Since our adventures in Maine, we have driven the RV something like 3,000 miles.  The RV gets an extremely efficient 7.5 mpg, so the gas cost was… not something we are going to calculate.  It’s been pretty busy, at least for people who don’t have jobs.

While we may be behind on our blog posts, there is no need to fear, dear reader.  We are still committed to delivering high-quality, low-punctuality travel blogging. We were just feeling a little burned out.  Like Jack Donaghy, we needed a vacation from our vacation.  (We’re sure your sympathy levels are high.)  Luckily, we’ve now crossed off the one and only item on our schedule – the lovely wedding of Danny and Rose! So now we are about to slow our roll.  The many, many people who have told us to write more blog posts can expect a slight uptick in blogging productivity as a result.

OK, enough from Texas.  Back to Maine.

Tired Out

So there I was (I = Jake), driving from Massachusetts to Maine in the motor home all by myself.  Heather drove behind me in our car, since we didn’t have the towing equipment for our car yet.  We had just sailed through New Hampshire and crossed into Maine, and I was blasting out some tunes, as four hours of being cut off by Massholes that have no idea I could COMPLETELY CRUSH THEIR CAR takes its toll.  At some point, the back right tire of the RV goes flat, and I am completely oblivious.  Note there are two rear tires on each side of the RV, so it’s not as obvious one is flat as it would be in a car.

Of course, the flat is obvious to Heather, as she can see all of this happening.  She flicks her lights at me, but it was the middle of the day, and I can’t really see behind me anyway.  She honks, but my windows are closed, and please see above re: tune-blasting.  She calls several times, but my phone is on vibrate and does not alert me.  This could be bad.

Luckily, I happened to decide at this moment pull off at a rest stop. Heather thought I finally caught one of her signals, but I just wanted to get some lunch.  Specifically Popeye’s, which usually makes me instantly regret my life choices.  But not this time!  Like an extremely salty fried chicken lighthouse, Popeye’s guided me to safety before any serious damage was done.  

Then we had this conversation:

Me, hopping out of the RV:  “Hey, looks like the tire is flat.  Why didn’t you tell me??”


The tire was destroyed, but we had a spare.  However, it turned out the spare was unremovable, even by the roadside assistance guy, since it had essentially rusted to the frame of the motorhome.  So we carefully drove over to a nearby tire place, and we learned that the spare was the original spare tire from June 2001.

Since I prefer my spare tires to be a little newer than the date of my high school graduation, we ended up with two new tires.  We purchased the “unnecessary extended warranty” on these under the theory that Murphy’s Law guarantees they will now never, ever have issues – so far, so good.

On to the Brown Compound!

Brown Compound

Our flat tire adventure set us back a few hours, but we made it to our destination, the Brown Compound, just after the sun had set.  We were headed to the main house, which is on a private road off of a semi-remote cul-de-sac, with only handmade signs to mark the correct road.  Being idiots, we of course drove down a road that “felt right” rather than bothering to read all the signs with a flashlight.  This decision worked out beautifully, assuming “beautifully” means “frantically and repeatedly turning around an RV in a narrow forest road owned by strangers in the dark.”  Which, come to think of it, it usually does not.

The Brown Compound is so called (informally) because our friends and their family, the Browns, own a group of summer houses in the area right next to one another.  The legend goes that the first and biggest house was won in a classic fiddle duel with the devil.  The rest were won in a less-classic recorder duel with the devil’s young nephew, but hey, fair is fair.  Of course, we made all of that up, but they’re pretty sweet legends, so think about it, Browns!

Anyway, we had a great time hanging out at the Compound, and the Browns were fantastic hosts.  It was our first time sleeping in a real bed since we started our trip, and we even got some surprisingly good cheesesteaks from a man in a trailer at the end of their road.  (Not as shady as it sounds.)  We played shuffleboard, which was possibly improved by the fact that their dog Reggie kept trying to bite the pucks as we slid them – only got hit once! – and Jake even made friends with a dragonfly.

The highlight of the visit was heading out on the Browns’ boat, Todaro, which to our knowledge has no devil-related acquisition backstory.  Captain Rhea and First Mate Dan were steady hands at the helm, and we saw live lobsters in a tank, followed by about a million seals on the aptly-named “Seal Island.”

We finished the outing off with some lobstah rolls overlooking the bay.  It’s the kind of day that we could happily repeat many times, especially since we didn’t pay for any of the gasoline for the trip.

Oh, and we also saw this amazingly-named boat.

It was a great time with the Browns.  Thanks guys!!


Sorry about that pun.  Not to make promises we don’t intend on keeping, although that is exactly what this is, we promise our post covering the rest of Maine will be available soon.  It is mostly just about Acadia, but there will also be Chipotle and a giant boot, so please be prepared appropriately.

Last Bits

What’s next:  Currently, we are in Austin, Texas, keeping weird and working on shamefully old blog posts.  Next up:  Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Obligatory social media self-promotion:  If you want to follow along and you haven’t yet, please Like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter (@NothingMundane) and/or Instagram (NothingMundane) to make sure you get all the updates.  Do you hear us?  All.


Week 6: Road Through Rhode Island

Cast your mind back to the halcyon days of early August.  Everything was different then; the summer still stretched before us, Labor Day just the fevered nightmare of students and wearers of white.  Geno Smith hadn’t yet been punched in the jaw by his own teammate, and Zimbabwe had not yet defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in Harare, which is an actual headline we found (six balls to spare!).  Donald Trump was somehow a viable presidential candidate… well, never mind that one.

But we at Nothing Mundane did not yet have a car.  And now we do!

Yes, in early August while staying in Rhode Island, we successfully purchased a used 2010 Honda Fit, which is tiny, hopefully trustworthy, and eminently towable behind our RV.  It’s been a huge improvement over our previous world, in which we had to drive our thirty-one foot motorhome over questionable roads into unfamiliar small towns in order to do basically anything.  This would typically involve a lot of hopped curbs, panicked 27-point turns in the middle of busy intersections, and our nemesis:  speed bumps.

Ever gone over a speed bump with your house?  Everything sounds like it’s going to break:  dishes, glassware, the crystal chandelier decorated with razor blades which dangles directly over us while we drive.  It can be a little nerve-wracking.

But now, those days are (mostly) over, thanks to our glorious new (extremely used) car!  Wonder what we did with it…


So glad you asked.  The first thing we did after getting the car was drive to nearby Providence, Rhode Island.  Providence turned out to be pretty unexciting, except that the roads are insane and were entirely under construction, which was a fun test for our brand new (extremely used) car.  We walked around the campus at Brown (motto:  “the grandfathered Ivy”) and ate some crepes, but didn’t end up with much in the way of pictures or stories.  We did spot this very strange sculpture which we rather enjoyed, though.

Newport Cliff Walk

Next up was the Newport Cliff Walk, which is a semi-famous path along the ocean in Newport, Rhode Island with nice views and large houses.  Newport is in southern Rhode Island while Providence is more northern Rhode Island, so it took upwards of forty-five minutes to drive there.  In Rhode Island, that qualifies as a road trip all by itself!  (Just some trash talk from a Connecticut native)

It was a beautiful summer day, and the views were gorgeous.  It’s hard to beat a walk along the ocean, especially when it’s a weekday and you don’t have to go to work because you quit your job to drive around in an RV.

We saw these warning signs all over.  We took their meaning to be “Caution:  Do not jump off of the cliff while decapitating yourself,” which really threw our afternoon plans for a loop.

There were a lot of old and pretty houses along the cliff walk, along with a lot of hedges hiding said houses.  We especially enjoyed the the blue and yellow construction wrapping on the house in the picture above, and felt pretty clever for making jokes about an Ikea being built there, until about 3 other groups of people passing by did the same thing.

Maybe they were semi-professional travel jokesters too?  Yeah, most likely that’s what it is.

We still need some work on our selfie aim.

The Fantastic Umbrella Factory

Our final stop in Rhode Island was the Fantastic Umbrella Factory, which confusingly is not a factory and which does not sell umbrellas.  But it is pretty fantastic!  The FUF, as we’ll call it to save a tiny amount of time, is basically a hippie bazaar / petting zoo: it features a great cafe, cool gardens, chickens and rooster and goats and emus, a bamboo forest, and lots of tie-dye.

My Big Lebowski Vitruvian Man shirt totally played at the FUF, which may give you a sense of the kind of place it was.  We also got to see a pretty impressive rooster that seemed to have some peacock in its blood.  The pictures don’t quite do it justice – it sort of looks like it’s getting turned down by the other chickens here, but trust us, this rooster was the cock of the walk.

It’s a pretty small state, so that’s all we’ve got for Rhode Island.  If you’re interested, see below for a few more pictures of the weird and cool world of the Fantastic Umbrella Factory.

What’s next:  Currently, we are in southern Pennsylvania, seeing some friends and hoping to tour Gettysburg tomorrow.  Next up:  friends and fatcats in Washington, D.C.

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