Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Maine Event

Magnet # 355:  Maine Fishing Boat, Lobsters

Material:  Resin

Purchased By:  Me

The final state I visited during my Mid-Atlantic trip this year was Maine, which I had been looking forward to seeing again ever since I visited it about a decade earlier.  Apparently, I wasn't alone.  It was packed there - with the exception of Boston and the ride home from Newport, I hadn't seen any roads that were so crowded during the rest of my trip.  Of course, it was Friday when I got there, so I guess many throughout the region were headed on a weekend getaway.

After a brief stop in Kittery to see the Tanger Outlet Malls and the Kittery Trading Post, I headed up to Kennebunkport.  I had planned on getting out and shopping around, but there were so many people there that I just quickly parked to run in a souvenir shop I'd seen on the Internet plenty of times before.  I was able to pick up a few magnets and rush out of town.  I was staying in Maine's largest city, Portland.  That was the toughest place to book on my trip - the hotel rates were the highest, and even though I wasn't crazy about the one I stayed at, it was completely sold out.  For my first night there, I ventured downtown for dinner at Di'Millo's Floating Restaurant, which is one of the most famous eateries in the state and serves seafood onboard a converted car ferry docked at Portland's Long Wharf.  There, I had a delicious salad that came with two of the State's most beloved exports - lobster and blueberries.  It was a great meal and I had a fun time there, taking in the views of the wharf.

Early the next morning, I headed back down toward Kennebunkport, but stopped at the nearby town of Wells, where I was able to pick up some magnets at the Lighthouse Depot, which is said to be the largest lighthouse merchandise store in the world.  They had plenty of items, including some pretty large lighthouses outside, and I was able to pick up some nice magnets there.  I also checked out a couple of nearby souvenir shops before I returned to Portland.  I spent the rest of the day in the downtown area, first checking out all of the souvenir stores to have a look at the price and selection of magnets they had.  About midday, I walked over to a place I had found out about on the Roadside America website, the International Cryptozoology Museum.  This was perhaps the most unusual place I saw on my entire trip and it was really cool.  Cryptozoology is the study of animals that are legendary and have not yet been seen by the mainstream.  This includes creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and Chupacabra.  There were all sorts of items featuring these creatures and some that were said to have come from them.  If you like unusual, memorable attractions and are in Portland, check this site out.  On the way back to the shops, I visited a more traditional venue, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.  Not only is it the oldest structure on the Portland peninsula, it was also the childhood home of the famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  After the tour there, I went on a magnet buying spree, picking up the ones I had decided upon - including this one - before the stores closed.  I also had dinner in downtown, at a Japanese locale called Fuji Restaurant.  I was able to have my last meal of lobster on the trip, this time in a sushi roll.  While I might have had time to take one last trip to downtown Portland the next morning, I decided to play it safe and get to the Portland International Jetport early to head back home.

So there you have it, all the details of my New England trip.  I must admit, it's a great region to travel in - the distances between locations are hardly any time because it's such a small area in space.  In fact, it's about the size of Idaho.  So it's spoiled me a bit - in planning other trips, I'm a bit amazed as to how long the travel time can take.  Of course it's also a lovely area, filled with both beaches and mountains.  And it doesn't hurt that cheap lobster can be found all over it.  All in all, I think it's just a matter of time before I head back there again to check out some of the spots I couldn't hit on this trip.

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