Even if today hadn’t been the summer solstice, it was still going to be a long one. We got up, packed our last-minute gear, said goodbye to the cats, heat, and humidity of Greenville, and headed for the cooler climes of Belfast, Maine.
The first leg of our flight was from Greenville to Philadelphia, and apart from being a bit bumpy, was uneventful and relatively quick. The second leg was a bit more exciting. While landing, our flight attendant stated that this was the third time she had landed with one blown out tire, and the smoothness of the landing (or lack thereof) reflected that.
Then there was the matter of our luggage. TSA had apparently seen fit to disassemble my brand-new tripod, which was in my checked baggage, but hadn’t bother to put it back together. For awhile I was worried that they had broken it. Eventually, though, we made it to Portland, got our rental car, and headed up the coast of Maine.
The weather was much cooler, and rainy. Since conditions weren’t great for coastal sightseeing, we decided to drop by Freeport and the home of L. L. Bean. The place was a zoo, with people from all over dropping to pay homage to the quintessential purveyors of monogrammed yuppiedom. We were not immune. We purchased two very nice windbreaker/rain slickers, and I got a great straw hat. We were now set for Maine weather.
L. L. Bean is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The last time we were here, many years ago, we came at 1:00 am, and the place was still hopping. I thought it odd as I watched a guy buying a canoe late at night. I think we’ll skip the late-night shopping this time around.
We left the madness of Freeport and continued northward. It was obvious that we were some place not Greenville, both from the vegetation and the topography. The lupine along the road was astounding, and we caught occasional glimpses of the waterways.
Along our route we passed several obvious tourist spots. These were obvious because they all carried the same sort of items that a visitor thinks of when they visit Maine. Sort of like all the vendors in Florida that feature oranges and at least one gator. Lobster rolls? Check. Stuffed mooses? Check.
Finally we reached Belfast and the place we would be staying – the Jeweled Turret Inn. This B&B is a restored Victorian with only a few guest rooms. After seeing how small our reserved room was, we opted for an upgrade. There are several commons rooms and large porches.
The places is covered in antiques of all kinds. The inn gets its name from a curved staircase that features distinctive stained glass windows. The original owner also built a unique fireplace, embedding his mineral collection in the stonework – tourmaline, fluorite, quartz, amethyst, lapiz, and other semi-precious stones.
The Inn features a cheese and sherry social at 5:30 every evening, and a gourmet breakfast every morning. What it lacks is air conditioning and televisions of any kind, but so far that has not been a problem.
After partaking of the sherry, cheese, and crackers, we walked a couple of blocks over to the main part of Belfast to find dinner. The Dockside Family Restaurant looked inviting, so we went in. The interior reminded me of the cafe in Bodega Bay in Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
Fortunately, we were not attached by an avian menace, but had a nice meal. Laura had a haddock sandwich. I tried to order a lobster roll, but they were out of lobster (how could this be?) Instead, I had a crab croissant, and it was still delicious.
We wandered back along the waterfront, then back to our room to collapse.