Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Playing Tourist on our Anniversary...part two

Geez, things have been crazy. I fully intended to finish the posting about our anniversary the day after my last post and then came that blasted alien abduction. I really HATE when that happens.

Anyway, I'm back so here goes:

We decided to have lunch at one of Southern Maine's many tourist traps, Warren's.

One of the most fun things about living here is that every once in a while we get to act like a genuine camera-toting, bermuda shorts and logo t-shirt wearing person "from away." Warren's is made to order. We blended right in with the tour bus crowd looking for the ultimate seafood meal deal. Here's Brendan getting ready to "walk the plank" in search of steamed clams:

Ahoy, matey. Welcome aboard the good ship Pocketpicker. We have it all...the fake fish nets hanging on the wall, the gift shop you can't avoid passing going in AND coming out, the paper placemat that tells you how to eat a lobster and a menu that just says "Market price" next to lobster, clam and crabmeat dishes.

You don't come to a place like this and order a hamburger so we started with the steamers. They were delicious but we could have easily eaten four more servings.

Our main courses were also delicious but obviously designed for smaller appetites than ours. Brendan's seafood newburgh barely covered the bottom of a small bowl and my Coconut shrimp/fried Calamari plate featured three shrimp and a little bit of calamari barely detectable in the heavy coating of batter. Our waitress was a sweet young girl struggling to keep it together as the bus crowd pecked away at her by continually summoning her over to their tables for incredibly petty reasons. I really wanted her to dump the bowl of mussels over the head of the patron who sent them back "because they tasted strange." I would be willing to bet a gold dubloon that he didn't know the difference between mussels and clams and thought he was avoiding the higher price by ordering mussels. My heart went out to the poor kid. She handled him a lot better than I would have.

Despite the Lilliputian portions we did enjoy our lunch together. Hey a day off is a day off. And spending it together was such a treat.

After lunch we headed up to Kittery Point, just a few miles up the road. It is a very historic area, one of the first areas settled in Maine and we knew exactly where we wanted to go...the cemetery. We have become fascinated with the old colonial cemeteries and the stories they can tell about life in the early days of the colonies. This was a particularly beautiful one with old graves as well as some very recent ones.

This is a rock garden planted in honor of a woman who died in 2006. The rock in front is etched with her name, her birth and death years and "Beloved Mother." There is also a bench around the left side overlooking the ocean. What an amazing tribute.

Contrast that with this woman's grave.

No name, no dates. Just "Wife" and the words At Rest and the Pearly Gates to heaven. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say she probably really needed that rest and those gates looked mighty inviting at the time.

There were some glimpses into the local tragedies as well. This headstone spoke volumes of an event that must have been huge news when it happened.

Besides the significance of listing white and negro eleven years after the end of the civil war in a state full of abolitionists I have to wonder what was going through the stowaway's mind. "Oh, crap, I picked the wrong boat to sneak onto!!"

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

The cemetery is full of Victorian era cemetery art, something I find really fascinating. Here's one example.

It's a beautiful place in a gorgeous location.

And of course there were beautiful flowers everywhere

Across the Street were the First Congregational Church, one of the oldest churches in New England...

and the Lady Pepperell Mansion, an exquisite example of Georgian Architechure.

Our final stop of the day was Fort McClary, a Revolutionary War fort at the mouth of the Piscataquis River, the river that flows to the ocean from Portsmouth Harbor.

It was the end of a beautiful day trip. A short ride home, a refreshing nap and then it was off to a special dinner at Vignola, a wonderful Old Port restaurant in Portland. Happy 32nd, sweetie pie! Here's to 32 more!

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