I have a few minutes of downtime while Bill and I await the arrival of my cousin Laurel and her husband Eric, who are joining us for a touristy day of exploration. Here’s what’s been going on thus far:
Didn’t get to our hotel until 8:30 p.m., since our arrival in Boston coincided with rush-hour traffic. But, we are renting a Camaro, so the drive to Portland wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Made the inevitable stop at the State Line Liquor Store. We found our hotel with very little trouble – it’s one of the tallest buildings in the area and has a great big red lighted sign reading “Eastland” that’s a fixture of the skyline. We off-loaded our luggage in our room, then went back down to the hotel’s cafe for a late dinner. Then it was up to the “Top of the East”, the bar on the top floor of the hotel, that offers panoramic views of the city and the bay. After a quick beer, we went back to our room and crashed.
We got up early, determined to do some coastal exploring. We were in the car all day, heading down three different coastal “fingers” or “necks” that are unique to Maine. One finger lead down to Harpswell, one down to Bailey’s Island, and one down to Popham Beach. We had lunch at Cook’s Lobster House on Bailey’s Island (haddock, lobster roll, beer). We observed the rapidly encroaching tide at Popham and laughed at the beach-goers who kept having to inch up the beach to avoid the waves. Then we drove back to Portland, napped for an hour, then cabbed it down to the waterfront (it’s a fifteen minute walk from our hotel, but we didn’t want to have to walk back up buzzed, or try to find parking with our own car). We had dinner at Havana South, on Warf Street, then spent the rest of the evening at Gritty’s, knocking back local beers. We grabbed a cab back to the hotel, went up to the Top for a final cocktail, and went back to our room to crash.
Didn’t get up quite as early, and I was hungover fit to beat the band. We drove down to the waterfront and had breakfast at The Farmer’s Table, then drove Route One down to Kennebunkport. We then hooked the 95 up to Gray, drove over to Windham for some lunch, then met my sister and her family at Tripp Pond in Poland. We hung out for a few hours enjoying the company, the conversation, and the scenery. Lots of complaints that it was “wicked hot”, but I’ll take 90 degrees over 115 any day. Then Bill and I headed back to Portland, showered and changed, and took the hotel shuttle (that we didn’t know about until then) back down to the waterfront. We got a table at J’s Oyster, and I had a lobster roll while Bill had king crab legs. His plate came with steamers, which he offered to me, but then discovered that he really liked them as well, when I made him try one. Steamed clams are one of those delicacies that you don’t want to look too closely at, you just swish ‘em in brine, dip ‘em in butter, and pop ‘em in your mouth. After J’s we strolled up to Bull Feeney’s, and I decided I want to live there. GORGEOUS old bar, heavily Irish/Scottish, with the “largest selection of Scotch Whiskey outside of Scottland”. We enjoyed the inevitable troubadour, had far too much to drink, cabbed it back to the hotel, and (wait for it) crashed.
And now we’re headed out for another sight-filled day! Pictures of the Portland Head Light are in your near future, rest assured.