On the Tuesday after Labor Day we drove up to Maine from Rhode Island. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and we weren’t expected at the house until the evening, so we stopped at several places along the way. At the Kittery Visitors’ Center, we picked up a number of leaflets about regional artists and a map of the state. We also staged a cute photo of me at the ‘Relax, you’re in Maine!’ sign, which was lost along with all the other vacation photos when I inadvertently reformatted the drives on the last day of the trip. (Which is to say: no illustrations, sorry.)
Our first off-highway detour was to the Maine Potters Market shop in Portland. I was hoping to find a piece or two to take back with us, however we didn’t find anything that fit into what I was looking for. We both really enjoyed Barbara Walch’s work, it was just more delicate that the general style of our house and art pieces. Of all of the pieces we saw, her set of three nesting bowls was the closest to something we’d use, for nibbly bits and the like.
The next jaunt was to Lisbon, for a visit to the Stained Glass (and Insect) Museum. The gallery is housed in a converted church, so there’s lots of space and light to be able to get a good look at the works on display. The basement is an active studio, and we saw several artists working on various pieces. The insect museum was a bit disappointing—I was expecting more of a Smithsonian-style live insect zoo or Harvard-style entomological collection—but probably more interesting if you visit the live tarantulas in the annex (which we did not). After the museum, we had lunch at Dr. Mike’s Madness Café just down the road. The sandwiches (I had egg salad) and pie (I had mixed berry) were great, and just what we needed to keep on keeping on. The purple vinyl seats and the guy who had two creme brulées and a glass of milk for lunch alone made it worth the trip.
Just before joining the Maine turnpike at Augusta, we stopped in to a Visitors’ Center advertised as having a selection of Maine arts and crafts. We were planning to continue from there on to Brahms Mount Textiles; after seeing a selection of their absolutely beautiful blankets at the Visitors’ Center, we decided to save it for another trip since we were unlikely to buy one as a souvenir on this trip. However, one of their hand-loomed cotton basketweave throws would nicely complement the hand-loomed wool herringbone throw we brought back from Ireland (after getting to see Eddie at work at his loom, which is a story for a different time, about a different vacation). We saw several more examples of local pottery in the shop, and I found a bag made from recycled sails to covet. What can I say, I like bags!
From here we just carried on through to the house, which we settled into relatively well despite arriving after dark. We took a few moments to check for wayward spiders and then headed over to Bar Harbor for some dinner. After considering several options, we settled on the relatively new Finback Alehouse, which had both beer (the regionally local Voodoo Porter) and chicken sandwiches. It doesn’t appear that the pub has a website, but in searching for it I did learn that the manager who got us through the door from the street ran into trouble a week later (along with a whole slew of other folks, mostly drunkards; the Mount Desert Island police report gives our local one a run for its money for humor value).
After dinner we walked down to the Main Street, nipped into the Acadia Shop for a look at their blueberry-themed merchandise, and then headed back to the house, where we laid out our clothes and set the alarm for 5am.