If you need a refresher on where the music took us at the beginning of our trip, take a minute to read Wherever the Music Takes Us, Kitten…
OK….now that we’re on the same page…
We left off with Jeff, Nate and I on the way to the Embassy Suites in South Portland for showers. And oh, what an amazing shower it was! So good, in fact, that I posted this on FB:
“I just had one of the top 3 showers of me ENTIRE life and Clairsonic I’ve never been so happy to see you!!!!!!”
While Nate and I each took a shower, Jeff took a quick trip back to Bissell Brothers to see if any beers were still available for the day – the folks at Bissell Brothers are genius….they’ve created a huge demand to go with the limited supply…..they’ve got to be making a fortune! And he also stopped at Foundation Brewing to get some beers to share with his buddy Craig, who appreciates craft beers as much as (or more than) Jeff does. In case you missed it, I had the opportunity to spend a day learning about the brewing process from Craig – it’s hard to believe that was nearly a year ago!
After we were all clean again we realized how hungry we were! We had told earlier in the day that he should decide what kind of food he wanted for dinner and that Jeff would find a restaurant. He decided on Italian and Jeff hopped to and made a reservation; but while he was down in the lobby Jeff asked the front desk staff about local Italian places – they made him a reservation at Espo’s. When we arrived at Espo’s, we decided it looked like THE place for dinner so Jeff cancelled his first reservation.
Nate went into the restaurant thinking about spaghetti and meatballs, but after perusing the menu and listening to what we were thinking about getting he changed his mind. He and I both ordered lasagna and Jeff ordered a seafood pasta special.
While we were waiting for our food, we did what nearly everyone does in a restaurant – we gawked at what other people were eating and it was then that we saw something so amazing it almost took our collective breath away. We saw the biggest meatball EVER. A woman near us ordered the meatball appetizer, which seems like it will be skimpy as it includes only one meatball – but then when you see the meatball your eyes practically roll out of your head.
I know, I know – at this point you likely think I am exaggerating. But when we asked our waitress about he meatballs we found out that each one is 16 oz. (yes, you read that right – 1 lb.) before cooking and approximately 14 oz. when it is served. And to top that – the spaghetti and meatballS comes with two meatballs – we saw it delivered to someone’s table!
Suffice it to say, we ended up taking leftovers with us. One portion of the lasagna could have fed Nate, me and a small African nation. I swear to you the bag of leftovers had to weigh at least three pounds! And not only was the food plentiful, it was delicious. The lasagna had three kinds of meat in it – including pepperoni – and Jeff’s pasta had a generous portion of lobster chunks, among the other seafood. Our waitress was not only very knowledgeable about the menu and friendly; she also had (I know this is going to sound weird) the most beautiful eyebrows!
While we ate we recapped the kayak trip and laughed until we nearly cried – I’m talking about the kind of laughing that has you uncontrollably making noises you never knew you could make! It was great! And on the way out we had to laugh some more when we saw the back of the t-shirt one of the kitchen staff was wearing – it read “the largest balls around.”
The dinner was just what we wanted, but left no room for dessert. And we were so full when we left that we needed a walk. So we drove back to Freeport to LLBean – and the beauty of it is that they’re open 24/7 so it didn’t matter that is was nearly 9:00 pm by the time we arrived! We went through all the shops on the LLBean “campus” and then were so tired from a day of kayaking, yummy pasta, and a shop-a-thon that we quietly drove back to the hotel and practically fell into bed!!!!!
- I was grateful for a little grace in the morning. Although I had been a trooper – getting up early each day until this one, I needed some extra sleep and time to putz around the room before heading out! Thanks Jeff and Nate for getting breakfast from downstairs and for patiently waiting for me!!!
- The first stop of the day was, of course, Starbuck’s for a REAL cup of coffee.
- Next, Freeport FD. Nate and Jeff went inside to check out the FD and came out with big smiles and a t-shirt for Nate – a successful stop!
- Then we traipsed over hill and dale, enjoying the scenery on the way to Wiscasset. Of course, there was a long line at our GO-TO stop whenever we’re in Maine, Red’s Eats. So while Jeff waited in line and caught up on emails and FB, Nate was gracious enough to browse the downtown shops with me. We met up with Jeff when he was nearly at the front of the line and we had to decide what we wanted. For me there was no real decision to be made – I wanted the lobster roll – so I went out back and snagged a table. While I was waiting for Jeff and Nate I got splashed by a flying milkshake – no, I wasn’t angry, I was so sad for the guy who lost his milkshake though! Jeff and Nate joined me at the table and while we waited for our number to be called I learned that Nate had ordered a burger. A BURGER! At Red’s! But after we got our food I quickly changed my tune – his burger looked terrific and he said it was. In near silence we ate – Nate his burger and Jeff and I our lobster rolls – and we shared an order of the fried clams, which was a first for Nate. I’m not quite sure he liked them, but I sure give him credit for trying all kinds of new things – lobster, mussels and clams – on this trip. If you’re going to be adventurous with seafood, Maine is certainly the place to do it!
- With full bellies and somewhat heavy eyelids (at least on my part) we got back in the car to explore the “fingers” of the Maine coast and to search for a little oyster shack Jeff wanted to see. We found the oyster shack and Jeff was going to try some oysters, but I think Nate and I shamed him out of it – we weren’t trying to, but neither of us could believe that he had room to eat another morsel. So he got some to go.
- We continued our exploration, stopping for a few photos and at Bath Fire and Rescue (with their 110 foot ladder) along the way. I was navigating and I thought we might see some pretty ocean views if we did the loop around Birch Point – but I could not have been more wrong. Not only did we not see any water, we left paved roads and thought we might be leaving civilization! However, all was not lost (even though we clearly were) because we did see an owl, a deer, several turkey (one fake, the rest live, including one baby), a dog and Wally the Frog Wizard. Our encounter with Wally was a strange one. I was looking at the map, Jeff was driving and Nate was in the back seat. All of a sudden Jeff started laughing and said “you’ve got to see this” and he started turning around. Nate was laughing too and they were both uttering things like “you’ll never believe it.” So I thought for sure I was going to see someone mooning us or some similar sight, but when we backtracked, it was Wally! And boy did we have some laughs about Wally!
- Next we went to Fort Popham. We explored the Fort, posted some pics on FB (and I learned about interactive pano photos) and took a walk on the beach to stretch our legs – only turning around after Nate saw lightning.
- Next we explored Orr’s and Bailey Islands and ended up at Basin Point in for dinner at Dolphin Marina. From Basin Point we could see Whaleboat Island – one of the islands we kayaked past on our trip. Although after Red’s I thought I might never eat again, I was hungry by the time we made it to Dolphin Marina, but my body was screaming for veggies so I ordered the roasted veggie wrap and sweet potato fries.
- We headed back to the hotel, played a few games of Sequence and called it a night.
- Sadly, this was the day we left Maine, but not before stopping in downtown Portland, at the Smiling Hill Farm, at Portland Head Light, the Maine Diner in Wells for lunch and in York at Stonewall Kitchen.
- Around noon we heard about the crane collapse on the Tappan Zee Bridge and began to plot alternate strategies for getting home. Jeff texted our new friend Lori to see if she had any suggestions – thanks for getting back to us Lori! Ultimately we decided to stay the course and hope for the best!
- We had a light dinner in the hotel bar – Nate and Jeff shared some wings and I ordered French Onion Soup – ultimately turning it over to Jeff to finish! Nate went to sleep early with a headache while Jeff and I quietly played a few games of Sequence, ultimately succumbing to fluttering eyelids and sleep!
- In order to avoid the Tappan Zee at rush hour and to give Nate some extra sleep to combat his headache, we decided to sleep late and get on the road around 10 or 10:30. No one was hungry for breakfast, but we did make a stop at Starbucks for some travelling fuel.
- We were leery as we neared the Tappan Zee; however I was driving and didn’t even have to tap the brakes once. It was smooth sailing. We did see the collapsed crane but it didn’t impede our progress.
- We thankfully remembered to pick up Jeff’s car in Nanuet (of course, two of the three of us had set reminders on their phones).
- Back on the road, we decided on pizza for lunch. We stopped for a quick bite in Jersey – Jeff and I had pizza and Nate had soup.
- The trip went surprisingly smoothly….Nate split his time between Jeff’s car and mine and it seemed like we were back in Palmyra to drop off Nate in no time. We spent a little time reliving the trip and catching up with Cathy (Nate’s mom/our sister-in-law) and Ben (Nate’s brother/our nephew).
- And then, the exhaustion of travelling starting to set in, Jeff and I began the last leg of the trip for home. We arrived to a wagging, crying Macy who was proud to show us the toy Ashley had given her while we were away.
- I had our suitcases unpacked and laundry started within 30 minutes while Jeff unloaded the car.
It was a wonderful trip and a great chance to get to know Nate in a way we otherwise would not have been able to get to know him. I hope he had as good a time as we did. He was a real trooper hanging out with the old folks for 8 straight days.
Day 9 (bonus):
For Jeff the trip continued into Thursday. He invited his friend Craig over to share the haul of oysters and microbrews we brought back with us from Maine. I hung out with them for a few minutes; but ultimately left them alone to have some boyz time!
It has been great fun reliving the trip today. I’m glad I waited to document the last half of the trip – it’s like I got to do it all over again. I’m so grateful that we were able to go on this journey.