June 8, 2012

the other portland

Yesterday, we took off for on a slightly mad, 8-hour round trip to Maine, all in the name of wool. Ok, not just wool. Wool and lobster rolls and ocean cravings and the need for a few more cool summer duds since I underpacked for the weather here. But it started with wool.

The day that we found out we were moving to Vermont, a used spinning wheel just like the one I  had been wanting came up for sale in Portland Maine. It seemed like fate because, while Maine isn't exactly a short jog down the road, it's close enough, and the only wheel anywhere near that had been listed since I started looking. It's been waiting for me patiently while we panicked and packed and moved and unpacked and finally, finally (two weeks can feel like a long time when you really really want your spinning wheel) yesterday we picked her up.

We could have met the seller halfway between here and there, which would have made the day a whole lot shorter, but Will and I have been wanting to see the other Portland, so it was a good excuse for a mini-trip. Plus, as I mentioned before, we were in need of several non-shorts and short sleeve shirt kid duds. And some birthday gifts for a certain little girl who turns 6 next week. But I'm not quite ready to wrap my head around that one.

Portland, not my Portland but this Portland, is a pretty city. We drove through blocks of beautiful old houses, some of them enormous, sprawling mansions that perhaps, once upon a time, were owned by sea captains and shipping magnates. The downtown slopes toward the seaport, which still looks like a seaport (because it still is). We sat on a dock and ate our first lobster roll and watched the seagulls and the boats and decided that, while the bisque was good and the roll was delicious, Briton's fried shrimp basket was amazing. We might have all "shared" them with him.

For some reason I expected Portland to look like Portland, but it doesn't really. It reminded me more of Savannah mixed with Seattle with a little Ashland thrown into the mix.

We drove out to the Portland Head Light and watched the ocean roll in and out. Lighthouses are one of my favorite things in the world. I secretly want to retire to a lighthouse keepers cottage one day. Ok, maybe it's not that secret. After all, Will did ask me to marry him at a lighthouse. I can't resist visiting them if I'm anywhere near one, even if I've been a million times before (hello Heceta Head!) and then, when we'd had our fill of salty air, we did our shopping and drove home. It was a long day. But worth it to see the ocean from up here, to explore a new town and to wake up this morning with this sweet little lady in my living room.

Three guesses what I'll be doing this weekend!