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Published: March 27th 2008
Packed like sardines in a large tin can, the airport shuttle carried us to the Amsterdam airport, where we attempted to check in at the airline kiosk. To our surprise, we were not assigned seats next to one another. The prospect of sitting apart for over 8 hours was not very appealing, so we made inquiries at the luggage drop. We explained that we had around the world tickets on a single reservation number and couldn’t understand why did not have seats next to one another. The lady was quite friendly and said she would note this on the computer and that we should speak to the person at the gate. When we finally arrived at the gate, we were prepared to explain all of this, but the lady had already taken care of the tickets and we were seated next to each other. Sweet!
Thanks to a good tail wind, we landed early in Boston, where our good friends Rick and Esther met us. We jumped in their car and headed for Friendship, Maine.
It’s great to be back in the U.S. We know that our sabbatical is almost up, but we’re ready to be back in this
great country of ours. Being able to spend time with Rick and Esther is a fabulous bonus.
If you pull out your U.S. atlas and locate Friendship, you’ll find it tucked on the coast (look east of Augusta on the map) in the center coastal region of the state. It is an incredibly beautiful part of this state. Even though apologies were made for the lack of leaves on the trees and some blackened snow by the side of the road, it’s clear that this area is a sight to behold to a pair of native flatlanders like ourselves. There are a myriad of towns tucked into the many coves and inlets along the coast, each unique and boasting its own story and history.
Rick and Esther let us know we were fortunate to have arrived before the “mud” season starts in the spring and the thaws begin in earnest along with the rains. We couldn’t have agreed more. The days were cold, but the skies were blue with not a raindrop in sight.
The first day there we were treated to a turkey dinner, which was an epicurean delight and long overdue, as we had missed
both Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we typically indulge in the ingestion of this bird. We also had the opportunity to meet both their families, as it was Easter Sunday and we were able to visit the gatherings. We didn’t last long that night, partially due to the triptophan in the turkey and also due to the fact that we had changed time zones for the third time in two weeks.
The next day, we awoke freshened and ready for exploration. We headed out and took in the towns of Camden, Rockland and Rockport. While driving, we saw many lakes. We discovered that in Maine, they call them ponds. We are fairly certain the rest of the country would call them lakes. They were miles long and sometimes up to a mile wide.
We also paid a visit to the docks in Friendship and met Rick’s old friend Phillip, whose main occupation is to trap those tasty crustaceans that we are mad about….the lobster. Yes, here we were, not only in Maine, but we had a lobster connection as well!! We went down to the dock and took possession of 8 of the tasty shellfish and made for home.
Rick and Esther
Our most gracious hosts!!
To put it simply, dinner was a dream come true. We each had two incredibly fresh lobsters to go along with cold beer and fresh bread. To coin a phrase; “it don’t get no better than this.”
Could it get any better? Yes it could! The following day we set off for Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The sun was shining, and we have come to realize that you can’t spend all the time in warm countries as we have and be able to stay warm in Maine in late March. If the breeze was blowing, it was damn cold! Nonetheless, we headed for Bar Harbor, which was quiet this time of year, but you could see people starting to prepare for the upcoming season. We walked along the bay for a few minutes, taking in the views of the harbor. We continued driving and headed for Acadia National Park where we stopped at Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, which was quiet due to the calm conditions on the water. We continued driving and took in the many exquisite vistas around almost every corner. It is amazing to think how much more beautiful it will look when spring
Rick and Esther's house
This is one great 5 star hotel!!
arrives as it was already quite beautiful already.
Another great seafood dinner awaited us that night as we had haddock, shrimp, and scallops. After eating so many meals in restaurants, we found ourselves in nirvana thanks to Rick and Esther. We joked that we loved this “hotel” and would give it a 5 star rating.
The HL (Hendrickson-Linscott) Hotel gave us great company, great food, and a warm and comfortable bed to sleep in. Let’s face it, what else would we need?
Our time in Maine was far too short, but it was wonderful. It is definitely a place we’re coming back to visit. We had to leave for Boston the next morning, but had many more wonderful memories to take along with us……..
Things you may not have know about Maine:
It was once a part of Massachusetts. The first English settlement in Maine, the short-lived Popham Colony, was established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate, deprivations, and Indian attacks wiped out many of them over the years.
As Maine entered the 18th century only
Richard and Elizabeth's cabin
Cabin behind their house. Uniquely Maine.
a half dozen settlements still survived. American and British forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Because it was physically separated from the rest of Massachusetts (properly speaking, the Department of Maine was an exclave of Massachusetts) and because it was growing in population at a rapid rate, Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820 as a component of the Missouri Compromise.
The state produces 25% of all blueberries in North America, making it the largest blueberry producer in the world.
The state’s largest city, Portland has less than 70,000 people.
Maine has 62 lighthouses, of which more than 50 are still in use.
Maine is the only U.S. state to have a name one syllable long; all other 49 states have at least two syllables.
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