New England Vacation time Part II - Portland Boogaloo!
posted August 14, 2014 10:41 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Fri August 22 at 5:00 PM, Great Lost Bear
540 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME, USA (Map & Directions)
I'm going to try and get to Maine on the last day of my New England Vacation trip with my grandson. Any meetup takers? I suggesting next Thursday or Friday the 21st or 22nd of August. Ideas? I've updated it to the Great Lost Bear on Friday. Changes are still possible, but I'll be on the road after tomorrow.
posted by pjern to Meetup (14 comments total)

Have you been to Maine before? Are there any particular things you want to do/eat?

My schedule for next week is in flux, but I'll keep an eye on what develops here and drop in if possible!
posted by mikepop at 5:56 AM on August 15, 2014

I'll be working, but I'll keep an eye on the thread to see what's planned in case I can make it.
posted by selfnoise at 7:08 AM on August 15, 2014

Have you been to Maine before? Are there any particular things you want to do/eat?

Nope: I've been to all the other 50 states, so this is a bit like checking off that box. My grandson would like to eat a fresh lobster; I'm allergic to shellfish but will settle for a good fish n chips anytime.

I'd really like to visit one or two photogenic spots; meetup with Mefites, and then we need to head back to Indiana.
posted by pjern at 11:53 AM on August 15, 2014

I am going to suggest The Lobster Shack for your grandson, and for you to see the rocky coast of Maine. You could also go to Two Lights State Park, which is very near the Lobster Shack, but you have to pay a fee and bring your own picnic lunch. It's very accessible and basically you are overlooking the rocks (younger or more agile people may climb down).

Portland Head Light is not to be missed. You can drive right up to to the light house and park there, and get out and walk around and take pics. It's about 15 minutes from Portland.

Then onward, to Portland, and Commercial Street, and the Eastern Prom, which is a hill that overlooks Casco Bay. It's about a five minute drive, depending on traffic, but the Eastern Prom is really a great view. There is a park, and a small beach down below.

For a meet-up, Great Lost Bear is a restaurant and beer place, so your grandson could eat there and you could get good food. It's away from the bay, down the hill, but the food is good and there are lots of selections.

We are about an hour and a half north of Portland, so Friday is better for us. And also, Friday night is Art Walk night in Portland, so that's another reason to go to Great Lost Bear to get away from the crowds in the Old Port.

If you are only in Maine for a day, I recommend: Lobster Shack, Portland Head Light, and the Old Port in Portland, cruising around Commercial Street and going to the Eastern Prom to take pics, and then to Great Lost Bear for food and camaraderie.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:32 PM on August 15, 2014

Also, when you first drive into Portland Head Light, there is a lower parking lot on the left, with a cove, and if you park there, you can sit on a picnic bench and watch the waves while your grandson goes up to the left and explores the old fort on the bluff. If you keep driving, and then go to the left, you will see the light house and hopefully find a parking spot there. To the right and back of that parking area are more old fort things that a 19 year old would love to explore.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:49 PM on August 15, 2014

I second Marie Mon Dieu's agenda for a box-checking daytrip in the Portland area. If you have a second day and like museums you could go just a bit north of Portland to Bath and visit the Maine Maritime Museum. If you like LL Bean stuff, or just want to take a picture of yourself with a giant boot, you can stop in Freeport on your way back south. Alternately, there is a giant rotating globe just off the highway there at DeLorme headquarters. There's also a distillery tour in that area if you like vodka/gin.
posted by mikepop at 7:30 AM on August 19, 2014

Change of plans, pjern and arron are staying here forever.
posted by vrakatar at 10:37 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okay, I convinced them to carry on, though I miss them already.
posted by vrakatar at 11:16 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I talked to Pjern the other night, and we're going down during the day (sometime before noon) to help out with day tripping sightseeing, starting from SoPo.

Definitely on the list is Portland Head Light. The only reason I suggested the Lobster Shack is because of similar views to Two Lights State Park without the fee. If anyone knows of a better place to get a lobster roll, let me know.

I also suggested it might be better to snag a table at Great Lost Bear a little earlier than 7 p.m. on a Friday night but we'll just roll with it. We've had successful meetups there before, and possibly might have to wait for a table, but it's Friday night, so most places will have a wait.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2014

You might be able to get a lobster roll right at the Headlight. There is a food truck called Bite Into Maine that is often there for lunch these days with award-winner lobster rolls (traditional and otherwise). Lobster Shack is still the best choice if his son prefers to crack open his own lobster though.
posted by mikepop at 5:22 PM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks, mikepop! I admit, I was thinking lobster roll, due to my old lady tendencies. But you're right, the Lobster Shack is best for that. I can't see sitting in the Old Port at some restaurant, when you could be sitting at a place overlooking the open ocean, cracking a lobster. The closest I could get to that was a trip we made to Five Islands, which is too far away for a day trip to Maine.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:03 PM on August 20, 2014

The Lobster Shack is also picture-esque, and pjern takes terrific pictures.

Wish I could be there for meeting up and beers. Have fun!
posted by theora55 at 7:54 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have had to move the time up. I apologize for the short notice.
posted by pjern at 1:47 PM on August 22, 2014

Yeah, my evil plan of sitting in the sun on the Eastern Prom was thwarted by 65 degree weather and a stiff damp breeze off the ocean.

We did do Portland Head Light, Lobster Shack (whereby my husband taught Pjern's grandson how to crack a lobster), then Bug Light.

Pjern did not appreciate the traffic on Commercial Street, but I talked him down until we got through it and up to the Eastern Prom. I was dismayed to learn that the cannon was gone, what happened there?

We then went and looked over the cove, which was at low tide. Then onward to DeLorme, and 295 South was backed up. So after DeLorme, we took Route 1 down back to Portland and up onto the Western Prom. The weather was still chilly, so that is why we went to the Great Lost Bear early. My original plan was to hang on the Eastern Prom for a while, but it was so chilly and damp and the breeze was not friendly so we headed up to Yarmouth and then back down and it was just like, well, let's go sit inside somewhere. Thankfully, we got parking at GLB and the guy who waited on us was top notch. Food galore. I had cake in a jar for dessert.

Sure Pjern has lots of photos to share, I heard he just got back home a little while ago.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:36 PM on August 23, 2014

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