Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Maine 2012 - Spring Road Trip Wednesday
Day Three, Spring 2012 Road Trip
Well let me just say, when you’re tired and you’re trying to type the day’s blog in too much of a hurry, it’s very easy to hit some mysterious key located at the bottom of the keyboard which deletes everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you’ve just written. And of course, when you’re in a fast typing groove and the words are rapidly appearing on the page as if by magic, you often forget to occasionally stop and save the work you’ve already created. How many times has this happened to me and why haven’t I yet learned my lesson???
But then again, it does go with the theme of the day. Lily and I overslept this morning. I know. Hard to believe. But we did. Neither one of us woke up until near 8:30 am. We were very tired when we went to bed the night before. And then when we did wake up this morning, we futzed around doing stuff and didn’t get our tushes down to breakfast until 11:05 am . . . 5, five, FIVE minutes too late for breakfast. And the staff had already cleared the food from the buffet line with the exception of a bowl of fresh fruit. I took a banana; Lily took a Granny Smith apple. The fruit was okay, healthy, but it’s not a substantial, hearty Maine breakfast to get us through the day. So we hit the road looking for a place to eat a real breakfast.
The Egg and I. I and the Egg. Eggs, eggs, eggs. Right down the street from our hotel. Seems we weren’t the only ones partaking of a late breakfast. There were maybe a dozen people who were also having breakfast at the same time. The food was very good. Nothing overly spectacular with the exception of the breakfast hash. I opted for hash to go with my over easy eggs. I love hash, and this is The Egg and I’s own homemade hash consisting of shredded corn beef. I asked for it crisp and I got it with a nice crisp outer skin on it. Add a dab of ketchup here and there and it was wonderful. So if you’re a fan of hash for breakfast, this is the Maine breakfast restaurant where you should order it. Check out the entire menu at http://www.eggandibreakfast.com/ and see what else they have to offer. The restaurant got lots of great reviews on the web. One site said it was the best breakfast place in all of Maine.
Fortified, our next stop was the Simon Pearce store in York. Simon Pearce makes the most extraordinary handblown glass and handmade pottery. The flagship store is located at The Mill in Quechee, Vermont; but, the store in Ogunquit has a beautiful display of their pieces. There are no glass-blowing demonstrations in Ogunquit, but if you’re curious about who and what this Simon Pearce is, you can check it out at http://www.simonpearce.com/ where there is all kind of information about the history of glassblowing along with videos showing how it’s done.
Next it was on to the Wiggly Bridge. Located in York, the Wiggly Bridge is the world’s shortest suspension bridge and is located over the inlet/outlet of Barrel Mill Pond, a tidal pond created in 1726 (primarily used back then to cut ice). The bridge itself was built in the 1930s and it really does wiggle. Lily went first. She gave it what I would consider a very tentative wiggle. And it did, maybe, jiggle a little. I went second and I jumped up and down which gave it quite a good wiggle. And then I rocked side to side by switching my weight from my left to my right foot and back and forth again several times. The Wiggly Bridge wiggles side to side too!
After we got through playing with the bridge, we continued on into the Steedman Wood Preserve and hiked around the perimeter of the preserve. We came across a variety of wildflowers and also one quite nice surprise that we took more than a few photos of. I’m sure Lily will include at least one photo of our “surprise” wildflower. You can find information about the Wiggly Bridge and the Steedman Woods Preserve on several different sites on the web – the best site being http://www.seacoastnh.com/ where there’s information about the creation of the tidal pool, the construction of the Wiggly Bridge, the Steedman Woods Preserve, as well as some photographs of the area and the bridge.
After we came out of the woods, Lily wanted to check out Sayward-Wheeler House located on the opposite side of the main road from the Wiggly Bridge. She thought the house might have photo potential. So we started off down Fisherman’s Walk, a short walking path that meanders along the edge of York River and passes right by the Sayward-Wheeler House, an early eighteenth-century building overlooking a once-bustling waterfront. The home belonged to prosperous merchant, judge, and leading citizen Jonathan Sayward. You can visit http://www.historicnewengland.org/ to learn more about the house (more history for you to research) which is open from June 1 – October 15th, the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.
Okay, enough of this history stuff. Now it’s time to hit the road and travel all the back roads up the coast from York north to Wells. We had studied our map really well and knew where we wanted to depart from the main roads down the side streets to the dirt roads that hardly anyone ever travels as a tourist. And so we meandered up the coast, stopped at all the beaches we found along the way, stopped to checkout and savor all the little coves and inlets, and decided that the southern coast of Maine has very dark, almost grey/black sand. And in most places where the public can access a beach, the wrack line of high tide almost always reaches the very upper reaches of the beach where the sand ends at a stone wall or a rock outcropping. We don’t know where the poor people visiting this area go to sit on the sand when it’s high tide. Perhaps they float around in inflatable chairs!
An unexpected but ever so grand surprise was finding Hartley Mason Park. It was one of the most beautiful small parks I think I’ve ever visited. The park is located where in the past three different large summer homes blocked a view of the sea. Mr. Mason had an early vision for a park for the area, and he purchased the land and homes as a site for his park. The park is beautifully landscaped, has several benches for contemplative viewing of the ocean, and also a monument for sailors lost at sea. A recent addition to the park, which is located on York Harbor across the street from the York Harbor Inn, is the most intriguing sculpture by Sumner Weinbaum titled “people enjoying the park”. I will let Lily’s photos speak for themselves.
As morning turned into afternoon, and afternoon turned into very late afternoon, breakfast was wearing off and it was getting to be time to think about dinner. We made a stop at a small gift shop we had visited earlier in the week, and the kind ladies at the counter, when queried about a good local Italian restaurant, highly recommended Varano’s down on Mile Road. So here’s my last dinner foodie part of the blog.
I had no trouble picking out my entrée. I ordered Braciole Al Saltimbocca. Translated that is a double-cut all natural bone-in pork loin, stuffed with fresh sage, Italian prosciutto and mozzarella cheese. Topped with sweet onion brandy glaze served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. I opted to substitute linguine for the mashed potatoes. Excellent! Lily’s choice was Gamberi ‘Stile Scampi’. Translation: Jumbo shrimp sautéed in olive oil, garlic and white wine over linguine with vine ripe tomatoes and baby spinach. Lily was very, very happy with her entrée choice. Of course, I must admit, we both left with garlic breath strong enough to easily knock over The Hulk should he have walked up to us to introduce himself. We’ve both already brushed and brushed and brushed our teeth and tongues and mouths and will assuredly brush again before we go to bed. Lily had ideas of ice cream for dessert, so we left the restaurant and headed out to look for an ice cream place.
And boy did we ever find THE ice cream place. Within a stone’s throw of Varano’s, we found the most delicious, delectable, divine ice cream parlor called “Scoop Deck”. Lily’s photo are more than description enough. You must click on her photo to enlarge it and read the lengthy selection of ice cream flavors. Dream your little heart out!
Now we’re back at our hotel finishing up yesterday’s and today’s blog. Tomorrow morning we pack up to leave for home. But since we do not need to be home until supper time (we have tickets for an 8 pm Dar Williams concert at The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River), we are going to take time in the morning to walk The Marginal Way, a cliff walk that starts in Perkins Cove and runs along the shore. TripAdvisor says it’s the #1 attraction in Ogunquit and we figure we would like to see what all the attraction is about.
Perhaps one more blog about tomorrow which we will post when we have returned home and it will likely not be up until at least Friday. Maybe Saturday. But it will be up. We promise.