I took a bit of a break from blogging this past week since I was completely focused on turning in my application for New Zealand residency. Residency apps can take several months to process, so now it’s just a waiting game. After all the effort I put into it, I’m anxiously awaiting the eventual email from Immigration New Zealand. Fingers crossed!
On an entirely separate note, let’s get back to the USA! A couple days before Andy and I were set to depart for San Diego, my parents arranged for us to all go up to Portland, Maine for a night. Portland is only a couple hours north of Bolton on the coast of southern Maine, but it has a completely different atmosphere to it. When we crossed the state line into Maine, we made a quick pit stop and happened to meet this moose.
After checking into our Air B&B in downtown Portland, we had a delicious lunch of steamed clams and lobster rolls before taking a tour of Allagash Brewery to sample local beer. Maine culinary delights at their finest!
That night, we went out for an amazing Greek meal in town. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs, and we ended up with so much more food than we’d planned. Isn’t life hard? Needless to say, we went to bed fat and happy.
The next morning, we got some bagels from a local (hipster) cafe before bidding Portland farewell. We planned to make some stops on the way back to Bolton, the first of which was Portland Head Light. Completed in 1791, it’s the oldest lighthouse in the state. Maine has a LOT of lighthouses (57, according to Wikipedia), so that’s saying something! With such an extensive rocky coastline, it’s easy to see why so many were built.
It was a cloudy day, but it only added to the already moody atmosphere of the rugged coast, which is what I’ve come to associate with Maine. It’s easy to imagine the fear of those aboard ships who’ve met with disaster on these rocks, like the Annie C Maguire.
On Christmas Eve in 1886, the Annie C Maguire was dashed upon these rocks. A true Christmas miracle, all her crew managed to scramble to safety thanks to the lighthouse keeper’s ingenuity. The keeper, Joshua Strout, and his family rigged up a ladder as a gangplank between the shore and the ship, allowing all 14 on board to make it to the safety of land.
Portland Head Light was automated in 1989, so there’s no longer a need for a keeper. I imagine it would be a lonely life in this spot.
Bright bursts of seaside flowers created some unexpected color agains the grays and browns of the wind-battered, wave-lashed rocks.
When I think of Maine, this next picture is exactly what I see in my mind’s eye. Ideally, I’d also have a lobster roll in hand.
I’ve always thought Maine could be a wonderful place to live, but if you go back for a visit in the winter, you’ll see why it would be a struggle during the colder months, which seem to stretch on forever in northern New England. Only hardy folk tend to inhabit the far upper reaches of the state, which makes a significant dent into Canada. As you’ll see, Portland is located in the very southern tip of the state.
After getting our fill of the wonderful Portland Head Light, we made our way further south to the popular tourist destination of Ogunquit. Like a lot of places in New England, its name is Native American. It’s more than a little ironic that the first European settlers nearly annihilated the native North Americans, yet eventually named so many things after them. Massachusetts and Connecticut are both Native American words, as was my high school, Nashoba, and the nearby ski resort of Wachusett. The list could go on and on.
We specifically wanted to visit Ogunquit to walk the Marginal Way, a seaside path with wonderful views both out to sea and of seaside mansions.
The path was very crowded with all varieties of pedestrian, but I did my best to avoid photos of the crowds. Of course, I had to get some pictures of certain select pedestrians. My dad missed out on the red/orange memo.
It’s easy to see why this is a popular walk.
Having worked up an appetite, we headed into central Ogunquit for some seafood. You can tell a place is good when there’s a line out the door!
And zoomed in…
Oh, Andy! My mom got photobombed by Old Glory there. Lady on the right is no relation, and she isn’t impressed by what the others are looking at. Maybe she’s just hangry waiting for her lobster roll.
I can’t think of a better way to say farewell to New England for now than with a hearty cup of chowdah and a fresh, bursting lobstah roll.
Take me back!
I hope you enjoyed this photographic journey through the northeast of America. Tune back in for a glimpse of the west coast next as Andy and I take on San Diego. Then, we’ll be back to New Zealand photos soon enough!