parens binubus

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  • Tuesday, July 04, 2006
    More on Maine - the Trip Up
    We left here at approx 9 a.m. on Saturday, and headed north. We got onto Route 1 as soon as we could, and meandered along the pokey road until we reached Kennebunkport where we had some lunch in a hotel/restaurant over the water. We continued our meandering, making mental notes of places to stop in the future, and then had to hop back onto 95 so we could make it to our hotel to clean up and go get some dinner.

    In Portland, ME, we had dinner at a brew pub, Gritty McDuff's, where I had shrimp cocktail and then a very delicious amazing fantastic salad. We also had some of their very own beer - their Vacationland brew. We liked it so well, we brought a case to bring home. It was GREAT. We had been toying with going to a bit more formal of a restaurant, and I forced Beloved to break the tie between the two places. The other place had nothing to offer that was distinct to Portland, Maine, and this place did, in that it was a local micro brew. That was the tie breaker.

    Otherwise, I was NOT impressed with Portland. There were things I did like about it. But it seemed somewhat hollow. There was a very pretty espalande/park near the water where boats were congregating (private boats - sail boats, etc.), and they had a cute shopping district that reminded me so strongly of the west coast - and even, I think, the Other Portland. It just felt like once you left this ONE street with shopping and restaurants - the city was empty. It didn't seem so very vibrant.

    We had a very nice time, regardless. We enjoyed what was there, and got a lot out of being there. I just don't think it will be a place that we MUST return to. The vibe just felt "off."

    What we did do:

    1) The Portland Museum of Art. This was one of the destinations we had marked in our tourist book, but we had arrived on Saturday later than we expected, since we meandered up Route 1 instead of just flying up 95. On Sunday, however, we were up and out early, and after shopping in the L.L.Bean store, we went back to where we parked our car, and I saw a sculpture in the middle of a lawn that was very intriguing. [click the link ... i don't think i can copy the photo due to copyright issues -- but it's REALLY cool, in my opinion, and the link should be clicked upon - at least three of the next photos on this series is of the statue, before it was moved to the museum - check them out, too.) We checked our little touristy-guide book, and realized we were at the museum. We checked the clock and decided we had an hour to spare. So we went in. They did not allow us in the garden, and Beloved's camera didn't have a zoom, so we never got a better picture of the sculpture, but I bought a post card. There were some nice paintings, but we did have to whiz through. It was worth it though.

    2) Portland Observation Tower. Beloved had modified a camera so that it is a pinhole camera, and wanted to take some photos from the tower. We were surprised (at least I was) when we got there, and we could only go up with a tour, and our time at the top was limited. The wind was also INSANE, and even with a tripod, he doesn't think the camera was steady enough for the photos to come out. Apparently, with a pin hole camera, very long exposure time is required, and the camera must be held perfectly still. It was fun nonetheless.

    After Portland, we continued the meandering route, saw a few fun towns for future exploration, specifically Rockland, Camden, and Belfast. Rockland seemed like a fun place to call a "home base" of some sort .... whether it be a rental for a week with the kids, or a far-off-in-the-future summer home. But that opinion was formed before we made it to our north-most destination .... Bar Harbor, Maine. Which blew the rest away. Unfortunately, it's 287 miles from the Boston area, and takes 5 hours to get to with NO traffic and no stops (on 95, not Route 1).
    posted by Zuska @ 3:37 PM  
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