Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Postcards from Maine: On the Road

We love driving up to Maine, especially along Route 1 after Brunswick. I suppose that everyone who drives regularly to a beloved vacation spot develops goofy traditions and rituals that must be observed along the way, and we are no exception.

We saw dramatic light and clouds on our drive through Maine last week. 

For instance, we always make a point of exclaiming, "Alfalfa Farm! Alfalfa Farm!" when we pass the Alfalfa Farm Winery in Topsfield (I just found out it's a winery! I thought they grew alfalfa.). Surely we are not the only people who do this.

We often stop in Freeport for a break and visit to the British imports store, Bridgham & Cook, where we might pick up a tube of McVities digestive biscuits or a bag of licorice all-sorts. We recently we discovered Frosty's Donuts at 45 Maine Street. (Try a glazed twist. They are perfect, gigantic, and worth both the trip from Boston and the guilt trip you'll take later after you calculate how much sugar you just ate... but you're on vacation.)

We always stop in Wiscasset for lunch at Sprague's Lobster, where we prefer the hot dogs. Wiscasset has lots of little shops and an antiques coop I like to browse, before or after the hot dogs.

We sometimes stop to visit friends in Thomaston. They have four cats and a spotless house. And the cats get to sit on the kitchen table whenever they want, which is just fine with us.

Passing through Camden, we admire the gloomy-looking and impressive Norumbega Inn and say we should stop in and have a look sometime. Camden is another great place to take a break and do a little shopping or order one of the deadly dessert bars (they have about a dozen kinds, each deadlier than the next) at the little deli on Main Street.

Yes, sugar is always a theme when we're on the road. I'm much better about it than I used to be. Believe it or not.

There are special houses we always like to see, including a cluster of splendid Second Empire Victorians in Searsport. Then there's everyone's beloved Victorian mess further along:

This photo is from a few years back. It looks much worse now, with huge holes in the roof.
I LOVE this place. If it's ever torn down I will be devastated.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge means we're on the home stretch — usually we've been in the road for about seven hours at that point. 

The bridge is like a much smaller, shorter, and narrower variation on Boston's Zakim bridge.  

Maine highways have plenty of signs warning drivers about moose and deer on the roads. We have rarely seen a deer on these trips, which provides a lot of sarcastic fodder for conversation: "I guess all the deer are at a stress-management workshop again." "Yes, they always schedule that for this weekend. As you well know...."

In Ellsworth, we pass the Sunset Motor Court, which has a row of tiny cottages painted in a rainbow of colors. There's also the Big Chicken Barn Books and Antiques. We've gone in and been simultaneously under- and overwhelmed a few times. It is BIG; I'll say that for it. And if you have a penchant for creepy old dolls or Life magazines from the '60s and '70s, you'll be in chicken heaven.

Then we'll pass Rooster Brother, an excellent coffee, gourmet, and kitchen shop that we will visit on the return trip, to console ourselves. It's always nice to see their stacks of Le Creuset Dutch ovens, also in a rainbow of colors, in the windows.

We stopped for gas in Ellsworth last week, and saw the sun setting over the river:

Soon we'll be on Mount Desert Island (surely everyone exclaims, "We're on the island!"), and following signs for Southwest Harbor signs to "home."

1 comment:

  1. On our drive home from Acadia this summer we referred to that bridge as the convenient travel-sized version of the Zakim.


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