Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Monday, June 27, 2011

New England Tour 2011: Portland, Maine

Last weekend we were in Newport, RI for D*'s cousin's wedding. This past weekend we headed north for a long-anticipated visit with old friends. They moved into their house nearly three years ago, and we still hadn't been to see it.

Mission accomplished! The day did not start out promising--it looked pretty much the way it had for almost a solid week.

We piled into the van and made our way out of the city. The baby was not happy about being trussed into her car seat practically as soon as she woke up, and made her annoyance known before finally falling asleep. It rained the entire way up. We arrived just around noon, which meant that after a rapid tour we piled back into the van (hooray for passenger space) and headed into Portland, a city D* and I hadn't been to in ages, and which the kids have never seen. Goal: Lunch.

It was Lobsterfest. Despite the rain and low-60s temperatures, there was something resembling a turnout for it, which meant that we had to search for parking. The first restaurant we tried had a half hour wait, so we went around the corner to The Dry Dock. I had the crab melt, and it was delicious. L ordered chicken fingers and fries, and proceeded to eat one bite of each, alarmed by the unpeeled potatoes. J had a graham cracker. The baby ate her cereal and jarred veggies enthusiastically, in between turning around to stare at everyone else in the place.

Since it wasn't actually raining, we poked along the pier.

Then we decided to check out the Lobersterfest, two piers down. Unfortunately, if you weren't going to eat lobster, there wasn't much to see, but we did encounter some mild drama. A bunch of men were fishing off the end of the pier. One of them cast, and managed to get his line wrapped around a seagull. We figured the bird was done for, flapping hopelessly about in the water as it was, but wait! A fellow in a small launch motored over and after a couple of attempts, herded the critter over to the gangway (a word it has taken me 24 hours to bring to mind). The fisherman and a friend waited there. With commendable dexterity (and nerve), one of them grabbed the gull by the neck, and they got it disentangled and sent it on its way.

I'm not sure if this speaks to the human capacity for empathy with even such a useless creature as a seagull, or if he just really liked that lure.

We strolled about a bit longer, then headed back toward the car.

L had taken immediate note of the number of ice cream opportunities available even on such a short journey through Portland, and her behavior had been acceptable. A stop at Beal's was in order.

Then back to the house for Wii, catching up on life, and a lovely pasta dinner.

On the way back... it rained.

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