Day 2 - The Maine Coast

Trip Start Apr 05, 2007
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Trip End Apr 08, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, April 7, 2007

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready for our trip up the coast.  We decided to head first for Salem, Massachusetts (famous for the witch trials).  On our way, we had our first taste of a rotary (TomTom calls it a roundabout).  I entered the rotary okay, but I had trouble synchronizing with the TomTom on when to exit the rotary.  Cars were merging in and out from every direction on that thing.  I think I took every exit before finding one that the TomTom was happy with.  Each time I got off he'd say make a u-turn and enter the roundabout.  Finally, I circled the rotary two times for good measure and then took the only exit I hadn't tried yet.  TomTom approved this time and I was able to start breathing again.  It turns out that these rotarys are all over the place here.  By the end of our trip I got pretty good at them.

We really liked Salem.  We parked and walked around town.  It's a neat little town that really makes the most of there history.  They have a red line painted on the roads and sidewalks like Boston and we followed it around town.  We found a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery on a broomstick on the corner.  The plaque said it was donated to the city in her memory by TVLand.

After leaving Salem we headed up the coast again and stopped at The Clam Shack, a little roadside fast food place that looks like a giant fried clam box.  Instead of fried clams we had another cup of clam chowder wich was good, but not as good as the chowder we had the night before.  We continued north along the coast into New Hampshire.  By now the ground was covered in snow.  It was really cold here.  New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die!", but I think maybe it should be "Live, Freeze and Die!"  

After passing through New Hampshire, we came to Kennebunkport, Maine which was full of beautiful old houses.  It's rare in New England to see a house that isn't two or three stories high.  We made it as far north as Portland, Maine, which is about midway up the Maine coast.  We spent the first half hour in Portland trying to find a restroom.  We finally found an Arby's that looked promising and stopped there.  We didn't stop for food.  We stopped for the restroom.  After getting that matter of business taken care of  we asked TomTom to direct us to the Portland Head Light. 

I had been wanting to see a tall white lighthouse like you always think of when you imagine the New England coast.  We were hoping the Portland Head Light would fit the bill.  When we pulled into the park surrounding it and got our first glimpse of the lighthouse we knew we'd hit pay dirt!  This particular lighthouse was commisioned by George Washington and was completed in 1790.  I don't think we could have found a more scenic lighthouse anywhere.  We got out and took tons of pictures and walked along a neat little trail that goes along cliffs above the ocean.  With each turn on the trail it seemed like we had found a better spot for a picture of the lighthouse. 

If it wasn't so cold, I could have stayed there until dark.  But it was cold, and we had one more bit of business to take care of.  Our last item on our list of things to eat in New England was Maine lobster.  As we were leaving Cape Elizabeth (where the lighthouse is located) we passed a little roadside stand advertising lobster rolls.  We decided this was probably close enough to meet our Maine lobster requirement and stopped.  We asked the lady at the stand just exactly what a lobster roll was and she told us, but I can't remember exactly how she described it.  She made it sound good.  I said we'd take two.  As she was preparing our lobster rolls she asked where are you folks from.  I told her Texas and she said she figured it was somewhere around there since we didn't know what a lobster roll was.    The lady gave us a bag with the lobster rolls in it and said "enjoy!"  There were some plastic chairs outside, but it was two cold to sit outside and eat so we got in the car.  A lobster roll is apparently a long roll about the size of a hot dog bun that is split open lengthwise and then filled with chopped up lobster.  Anita took one bite and said YUCK and started wiping her toungue with her napkin.  I took three bites before putting mine back in the bag.  Lobster rolls are served cold and taste very fishy. 

The sun was starting to go down and we decided that it was probably time to start heading back to Boston.  We'd taken the scenic route up the coast and stopped many times, but now we were going to take the Turnpike back to Boston which would only take about two hours.  As we left Portland I felt a sense of relief that we had checked all of our "have to eats" off our list.  Now we could eat whatever we wanted!

It turned out that we wanted Italian food so we decided to head back to Paul Revere's neighborhood.  It was dark by the time we got back to Boston.  We found a place to park for $20 and then walked to the North Church.  This is the church where Paul Revere arranged to have lanterns hung in the steeple to alert the people of Charlestown across the Charles river that the British were coming "One if by land, two if by sea".  I think it was appropriate that we saw it at night, since it would have been night when the lanterns were hung.  Next we walked along the streets looking for a place to have our anniversary dinner.  We looked at menus in the windows of Italian restaurants until we found one that look good and reasonable.  I ordered lasagna and mom ordered fettucini alfredo.  We were both starving and happy that what we were eating didn't come from the sea. After dinner we headed back to the hotel, but this time we took the Massachusetts Turnpike.
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