Saturday, June 25, 2005

Maine and the Plough...

So I was contacted by a local gallery to see if I could deliver a painting to Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island in Maine. Since Sylvia could get the time off and we'd already considered a bit of holiday time there, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
Mt. Desert is a good six hour drive from here... but, of course we had to pick up the painting, which was in Gloucester... adding at least an hour to our travel time. The artist was quite pleasant, had the painting all wrapped and ready... it fit nicely into the van (which I had cleared out) and we were on our way.
The drive up was fairly uneventful... a few road construction projects to slow us down. Just as we approached Augusta we were funneled into one lane for what we thought was more road work... turned out to be an articulated lorry off the road and on its side with a lot of big tow trucks and cops all scratching their heads about how to right the thing.
We arrived at our inn in Bar Harbor at six. Took a little while to find the innkeepers, but we were soon settled into a very pleasant room. Using Syl's phone (mine had "no network") I made arrangements to deliver and install the painting. We walked into town, look around and found a place for a pint (Bar Harbor Real Ale... not bad) and some dinner. A bit more walking around and back to the room for some TV and to bed.
A very nice breakfast and we were off to look for the house where I was to install the painting. Nobody knew where the address that we had was, but we found it easy enough. The caretaker was very friendly and I had the piece on the wall in about ten minutes... job done. A short tour of the rather grand house with wonderful ocean views and we were back to Bar Harbor to get tickets for a whale watch. Warm in town but freezing out at sea... I spent the whole time inside. Syl had a hood on her sweatshirt and spent more time outside. Even those who were better prepared than us (crew included) were cold. We went twent-five miles out, to a rock with a lighthouse and seal colony. Supposedly, someone got a glimpse of a whale, but there wasn't a real sighting (because of this we got vouchers for a future try). Back to the warmth of town... more Bar Harbor Real Ale and dinner. Eventually, to the room and bed.
Raining in the morning and after breakfast we head to a very small museum of Native American artifacts... and continue on a drive around the island, stopping at a small Oceanarium, which was very cool. At first I thought it was going to be a rip off as the entrance fee was $8 and it seemed really small... but the displays were terrific and the hands on look at sea creatures was brilliant (see Syl's pics). Back to town where Syl had her first lobster in the shell.
In the morning we checked out and went to the top of Cadillac Mountain for the great views (again, see Syl's pics). Then heading home... stopping at the really expensive "Big Chicken House" full of antiques/junk/books, that had been recommended. Lots of good stuff, but way too pricey.
We were keeping a log of license plates from the begining of the trip... collected 43 states and 5 Canadian provinces. I guess that we're not really having a problem with the price of petrol.
Today I received notice of a tribute show for Bern Porter at the Belfast Free Library... we passed through Belfast Maine two days ago... pity, that.

I walked into the Plough last week to be told that they'd be closing as of last Sunday. At first I thought I was being told they'd be closed Sundays (upsetting enough). But I soon realised that they were closing, full stop. Sure enough, on my return from Maine the curtains are closed, the lights are out and the door is locked. Rumors abound and I'm sure that the room will reopen reasonably soon. It's enough to drive one to drink... but where?


Blogger michael said...

Nice holiday memories. I was abit alarmed though that you managed to tickle some sea creatures one minute and ate them the next!
Shame about the Plough. I was hoping to buy you a Guinness there one day! Hope you find another hostelry soon.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Syl said...

now I feel quilty! I can eat fish and lobster...just can't cook them!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Yes, Michael... It is a shame about the Plough... didn't know what to do with myself yesterday. The People's Republik didn't open early enough, so I tried a pint at the Field... empty, that. Back to the People's where the Plough folks trickled in...

7:46 PM  
Blogger swapatorium said...

Sounds like you had a lovely trip. Sorry your pub closed. Bummer.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Roger Stevens said...

Sorry about the pub, too. It's not as if you're awash with pubs in your neck of the woods is it?

I had my first lobster last year. We had a couple of friends over, bought four lobsters from the local fishshop (caught locally) and... well... it was a feast.

Meanwhile - I'll sort you out some questions. It'll be early next week I guess.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Roger... you'd be surprised at the number of pubs here... but the Plough and Stars is special... just the right room and just the right crowd. We're making do in the People's Republik, just down the street. It's a bigger room and they've alloted us a corner.
We must be increasing the payday by a third... but we still get some grief from the regulars, there...
Look forward to yer questions,

8:11 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sorry to hear about your pub closing. I guess they just couldn't survive your being gone.
Guess you won't be able to take any more vacations.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Roger Stevens said...

Here are your five questions, Jonathon.

1.Your work involves hanging artwork in people’s homes. What’s the worst assignment you’ve ever had?

2.You like a pint. What’s your favourite drink? And where in the world would be your favourite place to drink it?

3.Are you a frustrated artist?

4.If you weren’t an artist what would you like to be?

5.This is a boring question, I know. But what three things could you not do without if you were shipwrecked on a desert island?

6:33 PM  

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