I’ve been a little out of the loop in the blogging world lately: my a cappella group held auditions this past week, I’ve been applying for some fellowships, and general senior year responsibilities have meant that I’ve been all over the place since school started at the beginning of the month. Excuses aside, I have a car with me at school this year and have used that to explore so much of Maine that was previously inaccessible to me. So today, I present a roundup of recent adventures in Midcoast Maine.
Maine for Guests- About a month ago now, one of my high school friends drove up to visit for the day, and I made it my mission to share a great sampling of what my state has to offer. To start out, we got lunch at famous drive-in Fat Boy in Brunswick. To be honest, I was disappointed this time around with the slow service and less than spectacular food. We continued our drive, though, and made it to Giant Stairs in Harpswell on Bailey’s Island. We walked around, got to dip our feet in the water to cool off, and enjoy the ocean view. After some time there, we headed back to Brunswick, did a beer tasting at Sea Dog (not the best tasting I’ve done, but the view over the Androscoggin there is good) and got a gelato at the one and only Gelato Fiasco.
Portland Afternoon–A recent afternoon, two Bowdoin friends and I went into Portland for a day off campus. We started out in the Old Port and explored shops like Pinecone & Chickadee and Longfellow Books. The coffee at Arabica was incredible. I’ve been recently disappointed by the coffee options in Brunswick since working at Coastal Roasters this summer, but Arabica thoroughly wowed me. Their Milky Way latte was smooth and bold, the espresso properly showcased and perfectly blended with the sweeter chocolate and milk. Though I’ve tried their popular potato doughnuts before, I’d never actually been to the Holy Donut, another Portland landmark. We waited in line for a couple of minutes, and the doughnuts were good, filling, and uniquely flavored, but I think I still prefer Brunswick’s Frosty’s when it comes down to it. We topped off our day with a beer tasting at Allagash, which you definitely need a car to access from downtown Portland. Tours and tasting are free, and the vibe inside is great. People cram in next to each other with flights of beer, games of cornhole in their outside beer garden welcome you as you walk inside, and the staff is friendly and accessible. Not to mention the beers which were great. We topped off our day with dinner at Otto’s, a pizza chain, but a great one at that.
On another recent foray into Portland, some friends and I walked down to the Eastern Promenade, watched a free concert and got some shawarma from CN Shawarma. The food was tasty and the vibe at the Eastern Prom was relaxed and a perfect summer night.
Morse Mountain–Before summer had more apparently waned, Bailey and I went for a hike at Morse Mountain, a mountain and beach owned by Bates College in Phippsburg. We hiked up for about twenty minutes to the top to get beautiful views of the water and then walked down the other side to reach the beach. New England beaches are so often rocky and can be painful for your feet, but the beach here had some of the softest sand I’ve seen, yet it wasn’t too crowded either. It’s definitely worth a day trip if you’re in the area.
Tourist Nightmare–Though I’m a New Englander, I only started getting into seafood in the past year or two. This year I more comfortably ate lobster at Bowdoin’s annual fall lobster bake, and I’ve begun to embrace, or at least explore, the craze. Two weeks ago, a friend and I drove up to Wiscasset to get a lobster roll from the famous Red’s Eats. Famous is the most important word in that sentence. The lobster roll was good, mainly for its toasted bun, but the hour and a half line to get one of those lobster rolls, which set you back almost twenty dollars, makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Next time around, I’ll be trying Libby’s in Brunswick.
Yarmouth Spots–Finally, Yarmouth, about twenty minutes from Bowdoin, has offered a couple attractions lately. Bruce’s Burritos continues to amaze me with their burritos, cheaper and better than cult restaurant Chipotle. Plus, the children’s crayon drawings of burritos plastered all over the walls are hilarious. Another roadside stop I made once was to Eartha. I’d always seen the world’s biggest rotating globe driving to and from school, but now that I have I wish I’d saved my time and foregone a visit. To be fair, I visited on a quiet, cloudy Sunday in August when nothing else was going on, but the globe is rather unimpressive. I browsed around the Delorme Map Store afterwards, which could be right up my alley, but I’ve preferred map and tourism shops elsewhere like the Wide World Travel Store in Seattle as Delorme just seems to pander to rubberneckers who stop during their drive elsewhere.