Interviews

The Curves of the 50s

At the peak of a new decade, the 1950s birthed a new generation that would carry on a legacy for years to come. The Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe first rolled off the line in 1941, and was manufactured through 1952. The exterior smooth curves and original chrome and stainless trim, quickly made it a staple of its time.

We got to sit down with Ashley to photograph and talk about her 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe Fastback. She got into cars young. Her dad was a mechanic when she was growing up and he had a 1973 Ford Ranchero that she worked on with him frequently. She can remember bleeding the breaks when she was seven, barely old enough to have the strength to push down on the pedal.

Ashley started her hunt for her own classic vehicle about 2 years ago. After a long time of searching, the perfect one popped up in August of 2021. She was originally looking for a Ford Shoebox, but gained interest in the Chevy Fleetlines. She drove out from Hampstead, NH to Troy, New York to go look at one She decided that this was the one for her and brought it home. Once it was back in her territory, she looked at it more closely. It needed a lot of body work. The body mounts were gone, the floor pans had holes and the inner rockers were “non-existent.” She got to work and brought this classic vehicle back to some of its former glory. Ashley was able to enjoy it for a little bit of the end of the season last year. Over the winter, the bondo on the hood showed itself as the weather changed. They stripped the hood and repainted it. While stripping it, they discovered five bullet holes. Ashley likes to think it may have been a bootleggers car.

Her Fleetline is still a work in progress. There is still a lot to be done; the interior, the exterior, and all the wiring. It is kept in storage over the winter. Her old boss at one of her mechanic jobs allows her to rent one of their lifts for a day to be able to work on it. Otherwise, she is out in her driveway doing it old school. With the car being dropped two inches, driveway works proves to be a challenge.

This is Ashley’s first baby, her first project car. She has always loved the era of cars between the late 40s up to the early 60s. The classics from the 50s is where her heart lies. Those smooth lines, body styles and curves that first rolled off the line in 1941 is what eventually brought Ashley to love it now as it once was back in its prime.

We hope to circle back with Ashley as she continues to work on her classic, and see the final result.

Until next time.

Motor on.

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20 Years of Granitecon

On Sunday September 18th, I had the privilege of being a part of the photography team at the 20th annual Granite State Comicon. One thing that have really enjoyed recently is being able to capture the memories of other people. Seeing their happiness and enjoyment through a lens give me a different appreciation for the little things in life. I was assigned to the Kids Con Are and the Armory. Kinds Con consisted of character meet and greets, and arts and crafts. It was an area where kids could just be kids and enjoy their favorite super heroes or princesses, or both!

Since I was only there for a day, I was able to experience just a fraction of what the convention had to offer. In the Armory, there were a variety of artists and game developers showing people their latest and greatest creations.

The talented individuals who gather here to display their pieces are incredible. It is always interesting to see what the world looks like through other people’s art. One of the sections in the Armory that was a big hit was the Star Wars themed area. There were live droids rolling and beeping around, greeting weary travelers on their journeys.

What an absolute privilege to be able to be part of the Granite State Comicon team. I can’t wait to be back next year and capture more great moments like these!

Until next time.

Motor on.

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Driving

Mercedes Day at Larz Anderson Auto Museum

This summer has brought a lot of great opportunities for me to write about my experiences, and I could not be any more grateful for it. Sunday September 11th, Larz Anderson Auto Museum held Mercedes Day. An onslaught of beautiful Mercedes and their owners flocked the grounds of the estate. These cars are a testament to the craftsmanship and durability that comes with the name, Mercedes.

This event was a great opportunity to step back, observe and listen. No matter the vehicle on spotlight, it’s good to see people come together and talk about something that they love and enjoy. I found a spot to park myself and took a few photos of the cars rolling in. Here are some of my favorites.

My good friend Matt brought their family Mercedes to the show. For Matt, this car was more than just a car. It belonged to his father who passed away last year. His father bought it in 1995, when the car was 10 years old. His mother did not have any romantic attachment to it and just wanted it gone. Matt’s sister did not want it gone and kept telling Matt that she thinks their father is talking to them because she kept seeing them out and about.

Grief is a funny thing. We hold on tight to those memories of those gone before us. For some, getting rid of reminders of those loved ones is one way to help the grieving process. Matt’s mother was certain that she wanted to sell the Mercedes. They found someone down in Cape Cod who was interested and Matt agreed to take it down to them. Matt’s mother was nervous about the car braking down and offered to follow him down. Matt told her to just drive down with him.

On the way down to the Cape, she said that the car drove really nice and asked if the car had a radio. Matt’s dad had nothing but the best, of course it had a radio. He turned it on and it was her favorite song, “Somewhere Out There.” His mother got emotional as they continued on there way.

As they pulled up to the dealership, the interested party was up front and honest. He stated that the amount of money that he would offer would not be life changing. He somewhat convinced her to keep the car, stating to just let her kids and grand kids enjoy it. On their way back home, Matt turned the radio on once again and “Celebrate Good Times” started to play. Matt and his mother both agreed that his father was there in the car with them, telling them to keep the car. Since that day, they have decided to keep the car, and it will remain in the family forever.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Michel, another Mercedes owner in attendance of Mercedes Day at Larz Anderson. Michel has not one, but two Mercedes, one is a 1987 190E 2.3-16 and the other is a 1985 190E 2.3-16. The 85′ is a blue-black color and the 87′ is a smoke silver. Michel’s love for this model started way back when he used to play Gran Turismo 3. For those unfamiliar with the video game, it is a racing simulator. In order to race in the different cups and on the tracks, you have to earn your “licenses.” One of the licenses that were required had Michel in 190E 2.5-16. He had to attempt the specific license quite a few times. The game is as realistic as possible. Michel fell in love with how the car handle. He did some research on the car just to learn more about it.

A week later, his brother called him while at a local used auto parts shop. The shop frequently received rare car donations. Michel’s brother said he was standing in front of a 2.3-16. When they asked about it they were told that someone had already put a deposit down on it. The parts shop also said that the Mercedes didn’t run and it needed a new motor. They were told to wait another week to see if the other interested party actually came to pick it up. The other party never showed, so Michel, his brother and father grabbed a jumper pack and went down to pick up the car. They completed the needed paperwork, paid for the car, and then jump-packed the car. To the shops dismay, it started right up and turned out to not need a new engine. And so the love affair began.

Michel drove the car for a few years, and then sold it to someone in Montreal. After a couple of weeks, Michel and his brother were out driving when they stumbled across another 2.3-16 sitting in a driveway in Saugus, MA. Michel knocked on the door, and a little boy and his father answered the door. The father said it was his brother’s car. He got the owner’s number and patiently waited for his chance. He saved the number under the model of the car. He called a few times a week, starting all the way back in 2010. As time went on, he called less and less. He continued to call or would drive by occasionally to see if the car was still there.

One day when he drove by he did not see the car parked in the driveway. But it was just blocked by a another car, a Hummer, that the owner had purchased. Fast forward to 2021, Michel’s calls and texts had gone unanswered, but still he persisted. One day he decided to take another ride out to Saugus, MA to see if he could persuade the owner. By then, the car had been sitting for more than ten years. It had sunk into the black top and the paint was faded. But he still wanted the car. He rang the doorbell, and a much older boy answered the door. It was the same little boy who had answered the door 10 years ago. He remembered Michel and said that he would pass the interest along to his uncle. Michel gave him every single number he could possible be associated with so that he would not miss the call.

The call finally came. The owner of the Mercedes called and Michel answered the phone to laughter. The current owner, Sonny, was amused, and impressed, by Michel’s patience and persistence over the ten year span. Sonny stated he was moving away, and told Michel he would sell him the car. They agreed on a selling price, and Michel and his father went down the next day with the cash in hand. They took it home, put it up on a lift and it surprisingly had no rust, even after sitting for so long. The car is currently being repainted. So we got a chance to photograph his other 1987 Smoke Silver Mercedes.

To some of us, a car is not just a car. It is an extension of ourselves. Thank you Matt and Michel for sharing your stories.

Until next time. Motor on.

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Hampton Beach Seafood Festival 2022

This one is for all of you foodies out there. If you live in New England, chances are that you love seafood. Around here, we indulge in the privilege’s of living right near the ocean. Seafood is plenty and delicious. For the past seven years or so, I have enjoyed the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival alongside my fellow New Englanders.

One of my favorite things I like to enjoy first is bacon wrapped scallops from the Saint James Booth. Simple and delicious is all I can say.

Next up is a new to me from last year’s festival the Donut Ice Cream Cones. These are donuts fried into the shape of a cone, filled with your choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and a variety of toppings. I got the original, which is a cinnamon sugar donut cone line with Nutella, filled with vanilla ice cream and i topped it with strawberry sauce.

My friend got the Apple Pie one which is a cinnamon sugar cone lined with caramel, apple pie filling, streusel topping and vanilla ice cream

The process to make these looks quite interesting. Just look at all those delicious cones waiting to be deep fried and served to hungry festival goers.

Next on my list is a booth that was new to me last year as well. They were a one stop shop for everything you could want. Lobster, fish and chips, fired clams and much more. having tried their Coconut shrimp last year, I got them again this year and they did not disappoint. I also got a plate of their snow crab legs, which I devoured too quickly to take a photo of. But here are the shrimp.

Being one of the busiest booths on the strip for the event, they are nonstop making food ensuring that there is plenty to go around.

There is also a strip of vendors selling their homemade items. One booth caught my eye that did engravings on jewelry pieces. They also had dog tags. I got one for my new puppy Mochi.

Under the beer tent on the beach, there is a live band playing music. The energy of live music is unmatched by anything else in my opinion. People come together to dance and drink and enjoy just being there.

Further down the strip on the clamshell stage, there is another band performing live music. People are dancing with each other and enjoying their time after feasting on all the seafood.

At the end of the night on Saturday, they put on a fireworks show to close out the day.

With COVID-19 not allowing some of these events for a couple years, it is good to get back out here and enjoy them again.

Until next time. Motor on.

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Car Shows

Cruising Downtown 2022

As we all wind down from the long weekend, there is a lot to reflect on and be grateful for. Some of us take vacations, spend time with loved ones or spend time alone. And some of us spend out time doing something that we love. Labor Day Weekend brings with it Cruising Downtown in Manchester, NH. One of my favorite events of the year. The Manchester Rotary Club closes down Elm St., and many of the adjacent side streets so that thousands of car enthusiasts can enjoy a day of beautiful vehicles. My morning starts at 4AM with my alarm clock. Although it is early, I am excited to get out of bed and start my day. My 1962 Morris Mini-Minor was ready for her final event of the season before her seats would make their way down to CT to a friend’s shop to be reupholstered.

Before the actual event starts, show participant gather in the parking lot of the Brady Sullivan building on Elm St. I arrived at the lot at 5AM. The sky was still black and the vehicles and their owners were still waking up.

Rotary club volunteers are busy getting last minute registrations ready and handing out preregistered envelopes. People converse with each other, happy to see their friends. For some, they only get to see these people a couple times a year during car show season. The people are on of the main tings that I look forward to when I attend this event. With everyone’s busy day to day lives, it is good to come together and be able to enjoy a common interest.

As 7:15AM rolls around, everyone starts their engines to cruise together to Elm St and find their spots for the day. My Friend Abby and her 1078 Volkswagen Bus and 1969 Volkswagen Beetle are already parked and patiently awaiting the cars to cruise downtown.

Once parked, my favorite thing to do is watch and photograph them as they all roll through. One after another, the registrants for the 2022 show found their spots for the day and got out to wander the street to take in the sites. By 10AM, the streets are filled with spectators. They speak with owners of their favorite vehicles about their builds and indulge in some fair food. Several of my friends were set up along Elm St. Either with their vehicle, or with their business as a vendor. It’s worth noting that locals find it odd walking down the middle of Elm St. It’s almost like that just for the day you are transported into a different world. Here are a couple shots of what I missed coming in.

This even is always my favorite one of the year. It is good to see people that I don’t normally se and enjoy a day of cars.

Until next time. Motor on!

You can purchase photos from this event to support me on my adventures at the link below!

https://maelynnhill.smugmug.com/

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Powersports

Mini Mayhem

Monday October 25th

I am back in the south for more adventures. This past weekend marked a first for me… A couple of weeks ago I bought a 2021 Coleman Mini Bike. It was listed on Facebook marketplace for a very good deal! The guy who I bought it from was very kind. It’s always fun meeting people from different parts of the country. Here was what the mini bike looked like before.

I decided to add a little more me to the mini bike, so I picked up some paint and got to work. I had only painted a small part of the bumper on my car before, but no matter. I wanted to keep the Coleman logos visible, so I taped them over and got to work. It all came out very well. Since theres no stock color like this out there. I rely on the automotive aftermarket to make this stuff happen!

What a fun time! I do love getting to be creative and making things more my own. I put all the pieces back on and it was ready…

The next day, we loaded up the K10 and headed to Busco Beach!

Busco Beach, located in Goldsboro, NC is an awesome ATV Park with over 100 acres of trails to explore. Its vast, sandy, and beautiful. If off-roading, four-wheeling and overall having fun is your thing, then this is a place for you. We attended an event called Mini Mayhem, hosted by CarsandCameras on Youtube. CarsandCameras is run by three guys, Isaac, John and Charles. They partner with GoPowerSports.com go bring their fantastic machines to life. They were all there at the event and it was awesome to meet them in person. If you are familiar with their videos, they brought quite a few of the machines they built, a 4×4, coleman mini bike, go kart and trailmaster. Awesome to see in person as well. If you like seeing people build cool stuff in their backyard, check out their channel.  Saturday consisted of trail rides with the group, drag racing, hanging out and exploring. It was an excellent day.

Oooh that mini bike looks good in teal! What a great time. Here is some footage from the weekend. Can’t wait to come back and do it again next year.

Until the next adventure!

Motor on.

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The 26th Year

October 9th, 9:50AM

Hello my friends. Welcome back. It has been quite some time since I have been here. The past two years I was attempting to find peace in another person. It consumed me, all of me. I lost myself in the whirlwind of emotions and adventures. But all the while, I was trying to find something that was not there. I was trying to force something that was not meant to be mine. There were good times, and there were bad. In the end, I found the strength inside me to walk away from someone I loved. It was the right decision.

What I learned about myself after the choices I made is the truly empowering part. I found myself again. I found my smile. I rediscovered my glow. I had forgotten what it was like to do things on my own, without having to worry about another person bringing me down. The freedom to be was liberating. No one to judge me. No one to question me. No one to try and control how I should be. I went on drives by myself. Saw my friends more. Got back into crocheting. Became more creative. My weekends of tiptoeing on ice were over.

All of this new found freedom did not come easily. There were times when I was deeply sad. I would relive the past and the good times and wonder if I made the right decision. My mind would then bring me back to all the reasons I walked away. Day by day, the doubt faded and I knew I had made the right decision. As the days continue to pass, I continue to fall in love myself more and more. Accepting myself for all the beautiful chaos and flaws that make me who I am.

This is my 26th year. This is my time, I can feel it. In this past year, through the hardships that life brought my way, I managed to travel and experience new things with people I care about. I finished my Master’s Degree in Forensic Accounting. I started a new job in March that I am grateful for. I can work from home, or pretty much anywhere. That ability has given me the chance to travel and still work without having to compromise too much of my time. My business took off this summer, having one of the best seasons yet. I got my motorcycle license. I bought a motorcycle. And I love this bike. One of the best decisions I could have made.

Earlier this year, I traveled to Florida and Pennsylvania. Two of the best vacations I’ve had since Covid rocked our way of life.

In Florida, I ate at a restaurant called U And Me: Revolving Hot Pot. A cut robot named peanut sat you at your table. It was delicious and a great way to end a perfect day.

In Pennsylvania, I found the next car to add to my collection of vehicles.

Say hello to Carla. My 1992 Chevrolet Camaro RS. She needs some love, but she’s perfect to me. I sometimes think she is more trouble than she is worth. BUT, nothing that is worth it in the end is going to make things easy for you. I drover her 300 miles from Pennsylvania home to New Hampshire. She made it all the way with no problems. I’m grateful she fell in to my lap. With the price of cars on the rise, I am not sure I would have had another opportunity like this to own one. She is currently down in North Carolina with a friend, waiting for her restoration.

Other fun things I did this year included a Lindsey Stirling and Guns N Roses concert, my Best Friend’s Baby Shower, I bought a Mini Bike to take off roading. So many new and wonderful experiences presented themselves to me.

This year was filled with ups and downs. Some out of my control, and some fully caused by me. I said goodbye to people. I said hello. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. I grew closer to people that I didn’t think I would. There are yet more adventures and experiences that await me that I have planned, and some that have not yet been a thought in my mind.

No on is coming to save you. You have to be your own person. Love yourself and do what makes you happy. Motor on my friends.

Here’s to my 26th year.

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Girls Trip 2019

What’s happening everyone!

I just returned home from our Florida vacation and what a blast it was. Myself and three of my girl friends took a trip to Disney to celebrate our birthdays (and one half birthday 😁). The idea was planted way back in the spring and it’s hard to believe that it has come and gone already. So let’s relive the adventure.

Thursday October 24th 4:00AM

I thankfully got a good night’s sleep the night before, so my 4AM wake up call wasn’t as brutal as it could have been. Bags were packed and I was out the door. My mom drove myself and my friend to the airport for our departure. Bye Mom, thank you, you’re the best. We checked our big suitcases and stood in line for dreaded security. It was not bad though. We were on our way as the sun was rising.

The flight took a little more than three hours and I was happy when we finally touched down. The air was warm and humid compared to the crisp air of fall here in New England. Our luggage was thankfully taken care of , so we could head straight to the resort.We hopped on Disney’s Magical Express, and soon we were there. The bus driver’s name was “Mickey,” which I thought was fitting.

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We arrived on property t around 11AM, our room wasn’t ready yet, so we took off to Hollywood Studios first to visit Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed area. Before that, we had a Fastpass+ to Toy Story Mania, super fun shooting game. The objective is to hit as many targets as you can and earn the highest score. The inside where you wait in line was awesome, everything was made to look bigger so that you would feel like a toy.

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To infinity and beyond! Off to Galaxies Edge.

While I have never seen Star Wars (I know, I can hear you all gasping), the park was beautiful. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but I can appreciate the recreation of it.

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If you’re planning a trip to Disney anytime soon and love Star Wars, this is must for you. We did several activities here. First up was Oga’s Cantina where a mix of intergalactic drinks and some small eats are available.

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Here is the Cliff Dweller, a tasty beverage served in a Perf cup. A reservation is highly recommend and you can only reserve a 40 minute window to leave room for other travelers who did not make one. From there we went on the Millennium Falcon ride. Everyone is assigned a position, we got the engineers. Our function was to repair the ship from damage from enemies. This consisted of pushing flashing buttons and switches. An interactive 4D ride.

We then headed to Droid Depot to build our droids. Again, it is highly recommended you reserve a time slot. We were somehow able to get in early for ours though. Very grateful to the cast members who let us do that!

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You grab you pieces off a conveyer belt, either your BB type or R2 type. I selected BB-8, original colors. There are other colors like black and blue and purple to choose from as well. The assembly is relatively simple, then they activate your droid companion and send you on your way. A fun little experience.

Star Tours was up next, which is another 4D ride with C3PO. A “fugitive” is discovered aboard our ship and we have to escape to safety. The ride shifts and shakes to make you feel like you are actually flying through space. And for someone who doesn’t care for real rollercoasters, these rides are great. I was then able to witness my friend assemble a lightsaber. Without knowing any of the lore of the franchise, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Again, reserve a time slot. I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan. By this time our other friends should be arriving, so we head back to the hotel to relax for a bit, then it was off to Disney Springs!

We ate at one of our favorite spots from the previous trip, The Polite Pig. A delicious array of smoked meat. I had the cheddar filled sausage and brisket. The best part was leftovers for the next day.

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Time to head back to the resort. Four more fun-filled days were ahead of us.

Friday October 25th, 7:00AM

My internal clock prevents me from sleeping in. But that’s okay. I was super excited for day two. We were hitting up Animal Kingdom.

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The Tree of Life was blocked off a bit by some construction that was going on, but it is still pretty wild looking. There are various animals carved in to it. What can you spot?

We ventured to Pandora the world of Avatar. It was awesome! The structures were amazing. A truly wonderful recreation.

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I stopped for a drink, the Night Blossom.

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It was a fruity drink with a light up flower floating on top and fruity mango boba.

We were then off to Navi’s River Journey. You’re taken into the water and journey down the river. There are an array of characters from the world of Avatar. Below is a short clip from outside in the park.

We then were lucky enough to score a Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage. That was one of the best rides. You’re paired with an avatar who is taking their Rite of Passage and bonding with a Banshee. You mount a “Banshee” with your 3D glasses and are flown around the beautiful world of Pandora. One of the small details I enjoyed was the mimic of the Banshee breathing as your were flying.

It was time to depart… for some lunch! Because we were all celebrating our Birthday’s we were wearing Birthday pins. I was lucky enough to score a free little cake!

From there, two of us went off to Mt Everest, and then myself and one off the girls went off to Up! A Great Bird Adventure. This was pretty cool. There were a bunch of exotic birds that were brought out. Here were two of my favorites. An owl and a Bald Eagle. Doug and Russel from Up! made an appearance as well, and will certainly make one later…

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Next on our list was the Safari. It is still one of the best experiences in Animal Kingdom. There are tons of animals that are hanging around in the vast fields.

Back behind the dinoland for kids, there is one of the BEST rides in Animal Kingdom. It may seem silly to some, but was one of our favorites that we rode twice. The ride is dinosaur themed and you are put on a time machine and sent back in time. Our objective is to bring back one of the dinos. It’s not quite a rollercoaster but is definitely fun. A T-Rex is ‘chasing’ you throughout the ride, and they snap your photo as it almost snaps up the cart that you’re riding in. If a T-Rex chasing you isn’t enough, the meteor shower that wiped out the dinos is about to hit as well. But, well all make it back to our own time period before it strikes.

In between all of this chaos, I met one of my favorite characters. Kevin from UP!

I’m not sure how the actor was able to see where I was taking a selfie, but this is damn near perfection.

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Okay, after my little freakout session, we head over to It’s Tough to be a Bug starring favorites from a timeless classic, A Bug’s Life. This is a 3D show, where you are taught how all of the strange little insects help out our environment. Hopper makes an appearance as well to try and scare us off. In the end, he gets scared off by a chameleon. The seats poke at you as the bugs are “leaving the theatre.” We then ended the day with meeting Doug and Russel from UP!

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It was back to the hotel room for some rest now. We had reservations for Morimoto in Disney Springs that night.

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A gorgeous restaurant with a delicious array of food to choose from. I got wings and shrimp tempura. Sooo good! A highly recommended spot, and not too pricey if you don’t want it to be. We also visited Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATM, open 24/7 for your sweet tooth.

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Saturday October 26th 8:00AM

Wakey wakey! On today’s adventure, Magic Kingdom.

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This is the biggest all the parks and definitely the most exhausting. It is a good idea to plan your day accordingly. Or if you like to live on the edge, wing it. That’s what we did on our first trip.

In the morning we had a reservation at Be Our Guest which took place at the Beast’s castle.

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Very pretty on the inside. And also very pricey! You order your own food from a kiosk and then the servers bring it out to the table of your choosing. An experience for sure, but likely not one I would do again. If this is one of your favorite movies though, definitely go for it.

After dining in the West Wing, we had a Fastpass+ for Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain back to back. Oh joy… Thunder Mountain isn’t that bad, kind of fun actually. But the big drop on Splash Mountain is just terrifying.. to me anyways. Comical to others. But hey, I faced my fears and put my hands up. #proudfriendmoment

After that we went on a hunt for the Arandelle Aqua ears. Spoiler alert, they eluded us the whole trip, but that’s okay. I got a picture with a bunch of balloons, so it’s all good to me.

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We were lucky enough to score a Fastpass+ for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. This one is relatively new still, and had a ridiculous wait time. Totally worth it though. SO much fun. It’s a relatively faster rollercoaster, but the bits in the mines with the seven dwarfs were really fun and adorable. Here is the Seven Dwarf’s house from the line!

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Next up was another favorite (YEAH RIGHT) of mine, Space Mountain. We had a good hour wait for this one since there were no more Fastpasses available. So we passed the time with the Heads Up app. A super fun game that definitely passes the time. I recommend it if you find yourself waiting in long lines with funny friends. The ride was a lot faster than I remember it being last year, and there was a lot of yelling and laughter going on. There was laughing and even some crying.

In that same area we did the Carousel of Progress. This one is really cool. You sit in a rotating theater and go through the decades. Our progress is shown and our roots and where we came from is appreciated. Since the ride is continuous, the ride never has a long line, and its a nice way to cool off for a little bit. Our next stop was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Another shooting game where you have to hit the targets and earn as many points as possible to defeat Zurg. For whatever reason, theses games are ones I excel at. Soo, I guess you’ll want me around when the Zombie Apocalypse happens ;).

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Giant view master from the ride, and Buzz Lightyear!

Nigh started to settle in, but there was one more ride we had to do before the fireworks show on the castle started. Here is the village square from Tangled below, one my all time favorites.

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We hit up the Haunted Mansion Ride before the show. This is slow ride. Sit back, relax and enjoy all the ghosts… wait what? Yea, you read that right. It’s a little spooky. And we got stuck on the ride, AGAIN, in the exact same spot as we did last year! Talk about creepy.

After our encounter with the spirits, we found a spot to park our butts for the Show on the Castle. We waited a little bit before it started, but it was completely worth the wait. For whatever reason, I was really emotional. I was here, I was alive. I was finding myself more and more everyday. I was in a position to make this happen for myself. Magical did not even begin to describe the display of lights and fireworks that they put on. A truly great ending to the day.

Sunday October 27th, 8:30AM

It became increasingly more difficult to wake up each day. We stayed out later and later. But hey, it was a Girls Trip! Today’s schedule included Epcot! My personal favorite park, and not only because the Food and Wine festival was going on, but because of Test Track. Yet Track is my absolute favorite ride ever! But we had a stop to make before we hit up that.

First on our Fastpass+ list was Frozen Ever After. I missed this one last time I was here and only remembered when I was back home. It was well worth the wait. You are taken in yet another boat to see Olaf, Sven, Anna, Kristoff and finally Elsa. As you work your way around, you see her magic castle come to life. It was truly magical.

We circled back around towards the front of the park to go to Test Track! Why is the ride so expertly fantastic you might ask? Well, first you get to build your own car. There are four categories in which you are tested. Responsiveness, Efficiency, Capability and finally Power. On our first visit to the park, we didn’t really know what we were doing. But what we realized this time around was that the overall speed of the ride was based on how powerful you could get your car..

So off we went. It takes you through various courses for the response, efficiency and capability portions, and then finally, you test your power… I think we reached a speed of about 67 MPH outside, or at least that’s what the overheard monitor said as we rode past it. Here’s a fun little collection of Test Track.

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(It may not be pretty, but it was fast.)

From there we were going to head back to the food… but I got distracted because we were going to have a chance to meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out and Baymax from Big Hero Six. The Experience was just as great as it sounds…

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As I captioned this photo on social media, I’ll caption it here. “Find someone who looks at you the way I look at Baymax.”

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The whole gang!

The rest of day consisted of visiting the countries and eating food. Like this giant donut!

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“No donuts were eaten in the making of this photo”

When we circled back around to Norway, we got to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen.

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Our last ride of the day was the Gran Fiesta Tour. You are taken on a leisurely boat ride through Mexico. It was a nice ending to Epcot.

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It was our last day and our last park. It was time to say goodbye. A bittersweet feeling.

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After we had our fill of food we head back to the hotel to relax on our last day. We took our final shuttle ride over to Disney Springs for dinner. One more final walk around. One more time to soak in the sites, until next time.

Being able to go on these adventures makes me incredibly grateful to be here. I have great friends I can take them with, and great friends and family to return home to.

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Until the next adventure… Motor on.

 

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Driving

The 24th Year

Afternoon everyone!

This post will be brief, but full of love.

Two days ago, (October 8th) was my birthday! Hooray!

This year, I could not be any more grateful for the family and friends that are in my life. I had been down for most of this past year, but with some changes and a different outlook, I feel like I have reached my best self that I can so far. I celebrated my birthday this year like I have every year, with the people who mean the most to me.

The day started with a delicious breakfast made by my boyfriend, steak and eggs. Followed by a half day at work, because my work ethic is strong. The rest of the day was filled with heartfelt wishes from friends and time spent with my family. We ventured to the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, MA. I had been going to this fair since I was in a baby carriage. Here are some photos!

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This beautiful pink sunset20191008_183437.jpg

A carousel full of lights and wonder

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Bacon on a stick!

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And the big pumpkin! Weighing 2,294lbs!

The smells and sites are all very familiar. Everything is always in he same place, and although only seen once a year, is like a second home. Traditions like this are built from a place of love and celebration. A celebration of the day someone important to us was brought in to this world. For my family, this celebration was about me. I won’t go in to details, but I brought them a lot of joy.

I’ve been a bit materialistic, but that has gone away over time. I now know the value of time well spent with people that matter, than an object that will be forgotten about in years to come. Memories are much more important. No matter what happens, I know my family will be by my side, and I couldn’t ask for much more than that.

As I travel in to this next chapter of my life I look forward to the adventures and memories I will make a long the way.

Until next time.

Motor on.

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Driving, Interviews, Uncategorized

Horsepower Farm

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. Today we are going to do something a little different. I’d like to start interviewing people that I know and that I come across along the way and share their stories. I will be sharing what they do, how they got in to cars, where it all started and what exciting things they are working on now and will be in the future.

For my first one, I interviewed my friend Rick Serino. Rick has been a car enthusiast since he was a child. For him, it started with Matchbox Cars. He had “all” of them, and they were all categorized. I asked if he had any pictures, but cameras were a luxury when he was a kid.

We moved on to his first car, which was a 1976 Mercury Capri. For those who are unfamiliar, like I was, it was basically Mercury’s version of Ford’s Mustang. This was when Rick first started messing with Stereo Systems. His dad was an electronics teacher, so he got him into electronics at a very young age. He had access to tons of electronics that were broken when he was growing up, which allowed him to mess around a lot. He would take things apart and put them back together. “Like the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.” He would mess around with everything from speakers to lights. Hang them on his wall and wire them all together. Every ‘toy’ he had was taken apart and made his own. He attributes his talents and knowledge of how things work to his father. Without him, he wouldn’t know how to make the art he does today.

We chatted about Cruising Downtown 2019. For those unfamiliar with that event, just over a thousand car owners and a couple thousand car enthusiasts gather on Elm St. in Downtown Manchester, NH for one of the biggest car shows in the state. Rick set up shop with his welded art and collection of cars for the show.

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Mostly everything sold, except for just a few larger items. He went on to explain that the dismantling of electronics transferred to the dismantling of the electronics in cars. He always had an appreciation for the mechanics of them, but never quite knew what to do until his late twenties. At that point, he had the money to start buying stuff and messing around with them. After his first Mercury Capri, he owned a Subaru, and from there he got a Capri 5.0. This was his first muscle car, which he changed the exhaust, corroborator, wheels tires, and put his own big stereo in it. “Shit you can afford when you’re in your twenties. Rick then joined the military, sold the Capri 5.0 and bought a 1977 Camaro when he was out in Indiana. He pulled the motor, transmission, added nitrous, a new exhaust, wheels and tires, took out the back seats and put in a stereo. It had about 26 speakers from what he remembers.

One of the cars that Rick had bought was a Red and Black Chrysler 300

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The stereo was built by Traffic Jams, had Air ride and everything else. The car was unfortunately totaled when someone pulled out in front him while driving. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could have been done. One of his cars that I best remember him for is an old Ford Truck. He originally picked it up in 2001 and it was black with yellow and orange flames. It is now white with black and tan flames and looks bad. He built the transmission, drive train and rearend of that car, gutted the interior. Recently he blew the motor and put a whole new transmission and motor in, among a long list of other things. “Built from the ground up.”

He most recent project is his 1930 Ford

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Rick has about 6 spaces at his house for cars and then a few more at a shop up the road where someone helps him with his projects. I moved on to his MINI, as he did own one. Which was the reason that I had originally met him. I asked what made him get a MINI. His response was that he always wanted one, “car guy stuff.” He went on to say that every car guy wants one, and he doesn’t care who they are or what they say. In Rick’s opinion, the little compact British car is just missing 150HP, which is easily attained. From there, the little machines are unstoppable. His MINI had nothing too crazy done to it, exhaust, cold air intake, wheels, tires and of course, an updated stereo.

I asked Rick what was the most fun car he owned, and his response was the MINI Cooper. He raced it, met a bunch of people and went all kinds of places. The MINI community really is a force to be reckoned with. However, he followed with it’s not the most powerful or the most exhilarating, but definitely the most fun he’s had. The most powerful car he’s owned is his truck.

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I then asked what was the worst car he owned, and his response was his Subaru. They are fun, but the particular one he owned was nothing special.

He’s done a lot of car projects over the years, and the one that he has( and is) enjoying the most is his 1930 Ford. He just bought the body of that car and has been building it from the ground up. A “tin can.” He took the engine, transmission, tires and rims, brake system, and electronics from the Chrysler 300 (shown above) that he crashed and dropped the shell of the Ford right over it all. The challenges with this project now is just finding the time to work on it and the man power to help.

Rick has a full time job, along with the building of other people’s car that he does, and all the welding work that he does on the side.Welding art has always been something that he’s done, but he never really sold it. After his accident, he messed around with it and was posting stuff on Facebook. People were always asking how much his pieces were and they eventually grew in to people asking for custom orders. Before the Christmas of 2018, he had about 20 orders stacked up. It’s worked out though, and he has continued to create things. Here”s a few things that he has created.

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I asked him where he gets all the stuff for his creations and he said he’s been collecting stuff for 20 years. People drop off things here and there, but mostly it’s been collecting. Rick keeps himself busy, although sometimes he wants a break. Money is money, and you can’t say no to thousands of dollars. Plus, its still a lot of fun.

In the future, Rick would like to host an event at his place, which really would be attainable. He wants to be able to never leave his house and make money, which in a way, he’s already half way there. He’s living the dream.

So follow him on Instagram, @horsepower_n_goats and on Facebook, Horsepower Farm. And he also loves Tool, which was playing in the background of our interview.

Thanks Rick!

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