Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
- TITLE: Mainly Maine
By Pat Small
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Pack your tennis shoes, sweat shirts and long pants for evenings. Weather may vary between 50 and 80 degrees, all in the same day. You’re leaving from Augusta, but first you must visit the State Capitol and wander through the museum. Exhibits are rotated; you may see bear, moose, and possibly a skunk. But don’t worry. The taxidermists have greatly reduced the risk factor. You’ll see them displayed in their typical habitat, and if you see a moose you will be awed by his size. This is one museum where I can guarantee the children will not be groaning and pleading for a quick exit. You can also visit Fort Western, just across the Kennebec River.
By now you should have worked up an appetite. As you head out of town, stop at Sam’s on Civic Center Drive and order an Italian Sandwich. The buns are unlike any I’ve had at any hoagie or sub shop to date. They will be filled to overflowing with ham or salami and that indispensable cheese. Then add raw onions, green peppers, tomatoes, pickles and their own special oil. You can eat a whole one, and you won’t be hungry for awhile. Add chips and a drink and you will be stuffed!
OK., you’ve filled your tummies, visited the bathroom, and you are all back in the car. Count the noses, make sure everyone has their purses, phones and anything else they entered with. Hit Route 3 headed east towards Belfast. In about 30 minutes you’ll be in Liberty. If you can manage to find an empty corner in your stomach, stop at Lori’s Restaurant. You’ll think I am steering you wrong when you view the unimpressive little joint. But when you get a slice of her homemade pie in front of you, you will thank me. I am bonkers for raspberries, so if you also like them, the raspberry pie is to die for. So is the strawberry-rhubard which you won’t find in many areas of the country. If you like simple, authentic fare with no frills, you will love this place. I never ate anything bad there.
Drag your heavier selves back to the car, and continue east. Past Belfast, watch for Perry’s Nut House. When I first heard of it, I wasn’t sure if it was an insane asylum, a place where they sell nuts, or something else. It has been there since 1927, and still has some items from Commodore Perry. They also have dozens of silly trinkets, Maine themed items, and delicious fudge to enjoy later. A fun tourist trap.
There are myriad antique shops, restaurants and beautiful views as you continue the journey. You still have some miles to cover though so you may want to just gaze longingly as you fly by, depending on your time schedule and how antsy the kids are.
You must stop at the beautiful new bridge over the Penobscot River in Prospect, just this side of Bucksport. The views from the Penobscot Narrows Observatory are breathtaking. The children will get more excited exploring Fort Knox which is right there. You might think a quick pass through will be sufficient, but there is always another nook or cranny to check out. You may need to drag everyone out if you plan to get to Bar Harbor before supper.
Speaking of Bar Harbor, this place has it all! Ocean, swimming (if you can handle the 50-60 degree water), Acadia National Park with its views and hiking trails, seafood and even a ferry to New Brunswick. Your biggest problem will be deciding what to do, unless you plan to spend several days. Then you can take a more leisurely, in-depth approach. The main dining dilemma you will face will be how to choose. The options are endless.
Before you leave Maine, you will no doubt want lobster, the famed lobster roll, fried clams and whoopee pies. You should also sample the unique ice cream flavors. One that I have never found anywhere but Maine is grapenut ice cream. This is my idea of health food: dairy, eggs and grapenut cereal. It could probably pass for breakfast. There’s also moose tracks, deer tracks, muddy boots, wild blueberry and even lobster ice cream; no lobster involved.
To sum it all up, the main thing is to enjoy Maine, from the rugged coastline to the spring-fed lakes where you can see almost to the bottom. Turn on the GPS and get on with it.
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