We arrived in Portland, Maine, about 7am this morning. In case you are confused, the itinerary for this week is in exactly the reverse order of your itinerary next week. We have speculated about why this is so, and our best guess is that it is to catch more of the fall foliage. It was a chilly 37 degrees when we woke up, but warmed up to 60 by 2 pm. The sun was out all day. I was comfortable walking outside in just a warm sweater and jeans but Jan was cold wearing a sweatshirt and coat! The crazy locals were wearing shirt sleeves and shorts and thought it was a heat wave!
The tree leaves are amazing...brilliant hues of red, orange, and yellow. I am hoping that they stay this way for next week's trip. Jan and I decided to rent a car and take a scenic drive to capitalize on the foliage and the coastal villages. We stopped at a Pumpkin fest in Damariscotta, a tiny town that grows to ten times its normal population during the festival. Every business has a huge, decorated pumpkin in front of it. There are food kiosks everywhere with kettle corn, homemade whoopee pies, and anything you can possibly make out of pumpkin. The record this year for the biggest pumpkin was a whopping 1,695 pounds (I have pictures so remind me to show you.)
Craving Maine lobster, we drove on to Rockdale, Maine, about 80 miles north of Portland. The scenery along the way was breathtaking. We asked the locals where to eat and they recommended the Rockdale Cafe, a dive diner with great lobster. For $20.99, we got a huge whole lobster and two pounds of steamed clams.
All aboard was 5:30. We figured we could leave Rockdale by 2:30 and be on the ship by 4pm. Wrong! The traffic was stop and go for miles and we stressed all the way back. Now I know why I recommend that you book the ship's shore excursions...if you are on a ship excursion, they won't leave without you. We were literally the last two people onboard, getting back at exactly 5:29.
Here are a few tips for today:
- Forget about going to the Windjammer for breakfast. The Park Cafe is quick and has everything you could possibly want: bagel bar, fresh fruit, a variety of muffins, egg sandwiches, and yummy oatmeal.
- I know it's cool out so you probably aren't planning to bring a bathing suit. You might want to reconsider – the people in the Jacuzzi on the ship looked very happy.
- Bring plenty of $1 and $5 bills. Tipping the ship's personnel will make you happy when you see the surprised look on their faces. Their smiles will make you smile.
- Bring the port agent's information with you when you leave the ship (it is in the daily program). We wished we had it when we were sweating getting back to the ship in time.
- Think about bringing a Fitbit or a pedometer of some type. Challenge yourself to walk at least 10,000 steps a day on the ship.
Tomorrow we will be in Bar Harbor, ME. Stay tuned for a blog about our Trolly Car ride and visit to Acadia National Park!
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