Monday, July 7, 2008

Three Maine Things

We took our first road trip during the long 4th of July weekend. The destination? Portland, Maine.

Paul especially wanted to visit because of the quantity and quality of microbrews. (His favorite, Shipyard, is brewed there.) He wasn't disappointed. We sampled something like 25+ beers. Two of the bars we visited offered $1 samples. At 5 oz. apiece, these tasters were an even better deal than buying a pint!

With it's location along the ocean, Portland obviously also is known for its seafood. I tried lobster for the first time (yummy), and Paul went on a successful mission to have something from the sea at every meal. Lobster roll, clam roll, crab salad and avocado wrap, fish and chips-- he had 'em all.

Portland is a city of only about 65,000, but the bar scene is amazing. I'm not talking about nightlife-- just the number of beer bars. One acclaimed bar in Portland has something like 60 taps. Another that just opened will eventually have 100. Not to mention the brew pubs that serve the beers they make.

This was truly the first vacation in which I really had planned nothing. We took it easy- slept in, dropped into some shops and mostly just ate and tried the beers. It was relaxing, but I probably couldn't have done it for an entire week.

The weather was perfect- sunny and even cold at night (I was freezing at the fireworks Friday). And the trip was educational, in a sense. I learned three main things:

1. Maine seems to have strong ties to Canada. Obviously, I knew they bordered each other. But I wasn't expecting the mile signs on the highway to be in kilometers as well as miles.

2. Everyone there is a Red Sox fan. Boston's AA team is located in Portland, and I'd never seen so much Red Sox gear for sale. Everyone there seemed to own (and wear) a shirt.

3. Maine has moose. If a store wasn't selling Red Sox souvenirs, it was selling something with a picture of a moose. I thought they were exaggerating a little until Paul saw a Moose Crossing sign on the interstate on the way home.


  1. Sounds like it was a fun trip. I am so jealous!!! I spent a day in Portland on my roadtrip through Maine in 2004, and I absolutely loved it. I spent six hours just wandering around the city.

    I, too, was amused by all the Moose Crossing signs. In fact, the first time I saw one, I slammed on the brakes and turned to the side of the road and ran out of the car to take a picture of it. It's framed and sitting on my bookcase right here in Japan. :) It says

    BRAKE for Moose
    It could save your life
    Hundreds of Colissions

  2. Fun!

    I've never been to New England, and I would love to go ... as long as it's not during the winter.



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