Friday, November 22, 2013

Week 11, Part 2; Week 12, Part 1: Maine

Larry and I were both especially excited to go to Maine. Larry lived there during first grade and his father grew up there. I'd been to Portland in 2004 or 2005 and loved it. Portland, ME is on my Craigslist-search loop. That's when I stay up late at night searching for jobs and places to live that are far away and wherever I'm not. We spent four nights at the Howard Johnson's on the outskirts of Portland, and though it wasn't the best of accommodations, it was cheap and clean with easy access to the places we wanted to see.

We drove up the Maine coast on a small highway. The sign welcoming us to Maine read:

Most of the coastal businesses were closed for the summer, and as has been the trend across the country, many of these summer homes were for sale. We stopped at a small beach that seemed to be a dog beach. Then we stopped at a beautiful lighthouse, where we saw cars with license plates from all over--as far away as Texas.

Then we continued up to Portland. I honestly can't remember what we did that first night. We may have stayed in, watched "You've Got Mail" and I may have written the Massachusetts blog. Things are starting to get a little blurry. Travel is taking its toll and I need a lot more rest than the average person. We're starting to talk back to the voice on our phone GPS when we travel and even have small conflicts about "her." We normally use my phone for GPS and I've taken to getting a little protective of her. Every now and then, she gets a little bit behind which is frustrating, but she's doing the best she can, I say.

On that note, I'm sure a question many of you have is how Larry and I are getting along. We got a lot of comments about that before we left town--what will you do when you have an argument, wow, that will be a big test of your relationship, etc. We weren't worried because we get along so well--and we've continued to. But the thing I didn't count on was how much being witnessed all day every day would start to get a bit on my nerves. There is no where to hide my glaring character defects, which are ample. When I'm alone, I don't have to see them as closely because no one is there to see them. That's the hardest part of being around someone all the time. Having to look at myself so closely. It's also a privilege, getting to see and work on these areas of my life, and getting to know Larry so close up. I can safely say I like him even more than when we started the trip, which was plenty.

For some reason, in Portland, there's pieces from the Berlin Wall
Portland, ME
Waterfront, Portland, ME
A woman went around town feeding feral cats
Portland, ME
The first day in Maine, we simply went into Portland, walked around the downtown waterfront area--pretty touristy but down to earth, full of brick lined streets and walkways. We spent each morning at Standard Baking Company, in a big brick building, a place that's been written up in the New York Times, sitting and watching the many employees interact and having coffee and a pastry, talking about how this might be our last pastry. Any day now, we're going off flour and sugar again.

I did most of my Christmas shopping in Portland, which was fun. There's a great bookstore, Longfellow's, which I remember from when I was there before. Though it rained one day we were there, the weather was again unseasonably warm. We usually ended our days with a meal from the salad bar at Whole Foods (our antidote to morning pastries), eavesdropping on people sitting next to us--talking about contact improv dance or the play at Southern Maine University we would see while we were there.

Guilford, ME
Guildford, ME
Guilford, ME
Since we've gotten an addiction to seeing theater and the only thing going in town was "The Cripple of Innishmaan" at Southern Maine University, in Gorham. The play was by Academy Award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh (he wrote "In Bruges") and well-acted by the young students.

The second day we were in town we went to Guilford, where Larry's dad was born. It was a gray rainy day and the drive was gorgeous. Larry was delighted to find a plaque in town honoring all the veterans of war that included his dad's name.

Veteran's Plaque

Guilford, ME
Guilford, ME
Guilford, ME
Guilford, ME
Guilford, ME
Then we went to Bangor, where Larry went to first grade. Larry thinks this might've been the church school where he went to first grade:

We had lunch in Bangor before going to take fan photos in front of Stephen King's house at the top of the town. I loved Bangor, smaller and--like much of New England, full of lots of pointy old steeple churches.

Stephen King's House
Back in our hotel, we watched a movie.

The next day, we went and did a bit more shopping in Portland--and then drove to Freeport, to see the giant boot at the LL Bean and to shop a bit for winter clothes.

One more morning at Standard Baking Company and soaking up the beautiful waterfront town of Portland, buying t-shirts for my sister and me that say, I "heart" ME, and t-shirts Sweetie Pie the baker (my alter-ego) can't do without from the bakery:

Now, we head onward, to Vermont.

No comments:

Post a Comment