Yeah, in Maine, they have a whole phrase for us non-Mainers… People from Away. This post will be about my time in Maine for my father’s wedding. I will do a separate post covering our little mini-bachelor party in Vermont…
Well, Karen grew up going to Maine a good bit, so it was natural to host the wedding up there. I had spent some time up north back in 2012 with my friend Stephen, so I was no rookie to lobster rolls and cool evenings. But the temperature would prove to be highly different for me, now that I have been living in Saudi Arabia.
We left Boston driving up the Coast. I had looked at map and knew that this meant we would be passing a couple pretty cool spots: Novare Res being one of them. Novare Res is located in Portland. Perfect… a couple hours north and we would reach a little beer haven. Just what I needed. It is hailed as one of the best beer bars in the country. Of course we had to stop. We lucked out and had an awesome waitress. Jesse helped walked me back into the beer world. It had been awhile.
After a liquid snack, we got back on the road.The drive from Portland was a lot more windy and much longer than I had imagined. The roads slow down and it gets pitch dark. We finally made it to the Rose Cottage. It was too dark to really see what it looked like. All I was focused on was getting into bed and falling asleep… for a longgggg time.
I woke up earlier than I had hoped, but this was first real experience with long distance jet lag… great. I found the packages that my friend Ari had sent to me and that I had ordered. Ari knew I would want a care package from Wiseacre, and she delivered! Tiny Bomb, Adjective Animal… Delicious. I cracked open one of those scrumptious yellow cans and instantly remembered one of my favorite things about Memphis. I realized that I should save some to share with the Mainers, so I switched to some of the Trillium beers.
I had heard great things about this place on the island called The Whale’s Rib, with extra good notes about the amazing bartender who worked there. She sounded cool, so I headed that way to see what the fuss was all about. Walking in, my first thought was how low the ceiling was. I felt like Gandalf walking into a hobbit house. I finally met Traci. I now understand. I think I will go back to this place whenever I can.
I spent the next couple days hanging out with my dad and checking out the island. The cottage is situated on a quiet road. It was the perfect place to unwind. Sunday we went back to the Rib with Julie, her son Tyler and his friend Zack. It was cool to start meeting my future family members. The food is spot on, in addition to the impeccable service. It is also hard to beat the views from the porch.
I was in town for the Lobster Boat Races. I ended up at a big party for the whole town it seemed. It was nice to blend in with some of the locals. Who am I kidding… I stood out like a sore thumb. I saw Traci, and I tried to act cool and chat with her, but I guess I wasn’t cool enough yet. Oh well. The town of Deer Isle is quite amazing. I enjoyed the relaxed nature and beautiful scenery
One thing I missed in Saudi was cooking for people. When I lived with the Anthonys, I made it a common practice to make (gluten free) dinners a couple times a week. I was able to cook for a group again. My dad and I put together a pretty good meal… granted I was rusty. But Jim and his wife Carrie joined us. Jim is another beer nerd like me. So that made me happy.
My dad and I had finally returned from our adventure in Vermont and New Hampshire, and we were ready to get things ready. My grandmother, Nana, and uncle, Kent, had arrived, so this thing we getting real. The wedding was to be held at a cute little church in town and the reception in this beautiful farmhouse. That night we hosted the rehearsal dinner at Rose Cottage. It was perfect weather for a cookout. The tables were surrounded with lights and love. Toasts were made. Some tears shed. Laughs were had. It was truly a good time.
The next day the whole town seemed to come to the service. Karen clearly has deep roots with these people. It was good to see that this was the type of lady my father would marry. I approve… I know it doesn’t really matter what the adult son thinks, but whatever. It is all good in my book.
The service was quite beautiful. After pictures, it was time to head to the reception. Heck yes… bring on the whole hog roast (pork is banned in Saudi Arabia in case you don’t know… so is beer). I think we had done well in the beer category. Normally at weddings, the beer selection is limited to domestics… Not my father’s nuptials party… I stocked it with some of the most desirable brews in the whole country.
We ate, and toasted and danced. This place was quite awesome. From the cupola you could see nearly the whole town. It was a great event for the whole town.
One thing Saudi has cultivated in me is a need to recharge every now and again. Sometimes I need to unplug from people and hide for a little while. I had 8 days packed with family and friends. It was time to get away for a bit. I headed up to Ellsworth to the Union River Lobster Pot. I figured I needed to consumed a giant lobster while I was in town….
After I was finally able to relax. Julie, Tyler, Zach and I decided it was a great time to watch Pet Sematary (it was filmed in Bangor just up the road). We felt it was good to then take them to an actual cemetery down the road… yeah adults can be cruel sometimes. But whatever it was fun.
Sunday was my last day on the island. Karen’s friends, Herbie and Katy, hosted a party out at their new house. They had homemade clam fritters and other New England delicacies. I was happy because there were a couple other beer nerds showing up. I could bust out the rest of the stash for everybody. We partook and enjoyed. It was an awesome night. The fog began to roll in and my New England time was officially complete.
Shippin’ up (down) to Boston
Monday came, and I knew that meant it was time to head back to the Kingdom. Ava wanted to tour some schools in Boston, so I took the time to run a few errands (bought a GoPro). We then hit up Faneuil Hall for a cup of warm nostalgia. Growing up my mother and father would take me to Boston a lot. We always at the clam chowder in a bread bowl. It was just how I remembered it: perfect.
I got back on the Lufthansa plane, and headed to the desert. This time I got to ride in the upper deck of the 747. It was cool, but I was far too tired to fully enjoy it.
It was a magical week in New England. I doubt I could have asked for a better sampling of the hospitality, food, beverage, culture, etc. I met some amazing people, and I hope to visit again soon.
Until next time.