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More to Maine than Moose

 

Did someone say road trip?  I had a trip to Mexico planned.  The fates were not with that idea so when our airline decided to not return us to our airport of origin and other more frightening recent events in locations that we were headed, I accepted my husband’s suggestion to move up our next year’s trip and see America first by car.  I hope you had the chance to visit Petersburg with us albeit vicariously in my last post.  Now it is time for Maine!

 

 

This metal moose sculpture was created by our Portland, Maine Airbnb artist host, Patty.

Lenny

 

Lenny, the world’s only life size milk chocolate moose at Len Libby’s, Scarborough, Maine.  Click on the title for fun facts about Lenny and moose in general.

 

 

 

A few weeks before our 2 week road trip I read a pretty crazy Kindle book called Champ and a Bit of Sunshine A Cryptozoology and Craft Beer Adventure.  I found it in a search for travel books about Maine.  I don’t want to spoil the story for you but I will share that the author and his buddies traveled from Maine to Burlington, Vermont trying to prove the existence of a creature from the folklore record such as Bigfoot or Chupacabras.  Along the way, they drink an awful lot of good craft beer.  I couldn’t help but store notes on my phone to not miss out on sites or brews particular to each area that we also planned to visit.  The author was the first to tell me about Lenny.

Since I said More than Moose, I guess I better move on–at least it was a chocolate moose.  Portland was great fun.  Our first evening we walked out to Lone Pine Brewery.  We met a young couple both with roots in Florida.  I don’t know if Florida people like beer more than other people but every brewery we went to, someone had a Florida connection.  It was always a great opportunity to pass out my Blog and CENTURY 21 cards..  They had me taking more notes about things to see and places to visit while in Maine.

Two summers ago we went to Nova Scotia.  It was my plan to eat lobster every day.  Something went wrong and I only saw it on menus a couple of times and while I ordered it, both were a little disappointing.  But this summer we were in Maine, armed with recommendations.

Gilbert’s Chowder House

 

I decided that I really wasn’t interested in corn and boiled potatoes that seemed to accompany all lobster dinners so I went for lobster rolls.  High Roller was the young couple’s recommendation for the best lobster roll in Portland.  I didn’t get there but I had a loaded one at Gilberts, a recommendation from our Airbnb host.

 

Wiscasset

Have you heard of Wiscasset?  Well, if you ask anyone who has traveled to Maine where the best Lobster roll in all of Maine is, that is where they will tell you to go.  You have 2 choices once you arrive.  Red’s Eats has a line around the block and the roll costs $26.

Red’s Eats

Or, you can go across the street, order and sit down to wait for the $21 version across the road on the Sheepscot River.  This was the preferred roll of our friends whose family has had a summer home on Popham Beach a few miles away for three generations.  Both contain close to a lobster and a half of meat on a bread roll.  After one look at the line at Red’s, we chose to cross the street to Sprague’s and enjoy lunch at lunchtime without the up to an hour and a half wait to sample Red’s Eats.

Sprague’s Lobster

 

 

We were not disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

You can also buy your own fresh lobster off the pier in Old Port, Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

Or if you need some Kitsch, there are always a few places like this around!

 

The Holy Donut

 

“Holy schmoly” as one of my sons would have said.  A dark chocolate sea salt donut.  Now that is worth the trip if only to sample this recommended delight.  Worth every step around Old Port to find and devour.

 

 

Lots of flavors but of the ones that I tried, hands down, dark chocolate sea salted was the winner.

 

 

 

Oxbow Brewing Company

 

 

Oxbow Brewing Company on Washington Street along with Maine Craft Distilling were one block up the hill from our Airbnb.  We enjoyed an afternoon beer at Oxbow before heading down the road.

 

 

Maine Craft Distillery Maine Mule

 

 

At Maine Craft Distillery we purchased a 4 pack of Maine Mules made with rum and Maine Craft’s homemade Ginger Beer.  In hindsight, I should have bought a case.  It is almost too good.

 

 

Portland is second only to San Francisco for the number of restaurants.   I must show you my newest recipe discovered at Baharat, a middle eastern style restaurant walking distance from our East End Airbnb.

Beet Tahini

 

 

 

Puree:  1 large beet, boiled, peeled with 2 Tablespoons Tahini,  lemon juice, and salt to taste.  Top with Greek yogurt, chives, sumac, cumin or baharat spice.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with warm pita.

 

Beyond Portland

Time to see outside of restaurants and breweries, don’t you think?  You won’t need a car in Portland itself.  It was handy for getting out to Wiscasset, Freeport (LL Bean)and to see Kennebunkport and of course Lenny the 1700 lb milk chocolate moose.

George H W Bush’s summer home in Kennebunkport

I thought I would share our visit there with music, (at least that’s what some would call it).

Casco Bay Cruises

Before we left Maine we also hopped on the Casco Bay Peaks Island Run, “Portland’s Iconic Ferry Servicing the Islands of Casco Bay”.  The Moonlight Run had been recommended as you can take your own beer aboard and enjoy an evening of twinkling lights along with your favorite beverage.  We, however, being morning people, caught the first ferry over to Peaks Island.  It is a quiet island.  Best enjoyed by renting bicycles or a golf car.  I met with a couple of realtors who surprise, surprise were very familiar with Palm Coast and our Hammock.  I’m sure that Maine winters have something to do with that!

Enjoy the Scenery

Time to head out of Maine.  Just watch out for those moose and more, seriously!

 

 

 

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