We drove down to Portland, Maine, and stayed at an okay RV park called the Duck Pond RV Campground. It was crowded with rigs so you felt as though you were right on top of each other. The people there were nice but it wasn't my favorite place to stay.
|The RV park was appropriately named.|
|There must have been 40 ducks or geese around all the time. They barely moved for the vehicles.|
The RV park sat alongside a salt marsh south of Portland. There were canals all over the area where the tide flows in and out each day. Many people use these canals to kayak.
Our first trip was to Old Orchard Beach not far from where we were staying to walk the beach area.
|The beach was cool but the pups still enjoyed the water and getting some exercise.|
|The brave of heart were on the water in wet suits doing their thing.|
|This fisherman caught a large fish while we were there.They said it was a sea bass.|
|Afterward we drove down to Portland to check out a local restaurant that advertised 72 types of beer.|
|We decided to eat there and the Captain tried something new on the menu called the BBQ Hot Mess. It's mac & cheese, pulled pork, coleslaw, baked beans, and jalapeno popper in a mason jar.|
|It sounded strange but the Captain said it was quite good.|
|I took it a little easier with a portobello mushroom sandwich.|
Downtown Portland is a typical large, older city with a major waterfront area. Since the water is very deep in the harbor, cruise ships can come in and dock right at the port allowing the tourists easy access to the city. The waterfront has trails for biking and walking and is a nice area to visit.
The large building in the center of the water is Fort Gorges on Hog Island in Portland Harbor. It was built to protect the city but it took so long to get it built that it was never used as a fort. During WWII they stored submarine ammo in it.
|There were two cruise ships in port this day and we got to see them up close.|
|It always amazes me how large these vessels are.|
|The waterfront is full of local touring boats, restaurants, and shops of all types.|
|You could also tour the city in this old fire truck.|
|We saw large sections of downtown Portland that were still paved in cobblestones.|
|Portland has a large artist community covering many blocks. Some of the old buildings were colorfully painted.|
|The Portland Museum of Art.|
|This triangular building was built in 1826 and is a rare local example of a Federal-style commercial building. It is one of the oldest commercial buildings in the city.|
|Many of the older buildings were well maintained.|
|First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church was built in 1825. It is Portland's oldest place of worship.|
|It was definitely a tourist trap but there was much to see.|
|The homes in the area were expansive and beautiful.|
|The beaches allowed dogs this time of year so we took the pups out for a run before we explored the town.|
|People were in the ocean surfing even though it was cloudy and chilly.|
|This woman was wading in wearing a wet suit.|
|Many of the town shops are right on the water.|
|It was a neat town to explore and the shops carried some wonderful items.|
|The changing of the season brought out the fall decorations.|
|But there were still many summer flowers and plants in bloom.|
|Local artwork at one of the shops.|
|This is the Bush compound, the closest any of us could get.|
|The Bush home is to the far right but the other homes you can see in the background are also part of the compound enclosed and protected by a guard station.|
|We also saw St Anns Episcopal Church near the Bush home. It was built of large sea washed stones that were hoisted and dragged to the church site during the winter of 1886-1887.|
During our stay in the Portland area we visited the Tate House which was constructed for Captain George Tate (1700-1794) and his family (wife Mary and four sons) who had arrived in the Colonies around 1750 from London. Tate served as the Senior Mast Agent for the British Royal Navy, overseeing the cutting and shipping of white pines from Maine to England. The mast industry was important to ensure England's supremacy on the seas and Tate's home and furnishings reflected his wealth in the area.
|The house was in built in 1755 of white pine and it has never been painted. I'm not sure why the wood is still preserved after all these years and no one could give us an answer.|
|The main dining area for the Tates.|
|The kitchen table where the children and the servants dined. Children were not allowed in the main dining room.|
|The main entry floor is made of wood painted black and white.|
|Fancy molding to make the rooms seem taller.|
|The entryway and staircase. Although this home was considered elegant we were really surprised at how small it was.|
|The Tate's bedroom.|
|Mary Tate had to entertain her lady friends in the bedroom.|
|This large tablet, The Chronological Tables of English History, listed all the kings and queens of England and was used to educate the Tate children.|
|The children had their own tutor who had a small room in the house.|
|His bed flipped up to the wall to give the room space when he wasn't sleeping.|
The other interesting story about the Tates was that Mary thought someone was stealing food from their pantry so she came up with the brilliant idea to have one of her sons rig a gun so anyone who entered the pantry would be shot. He did as she requested and that night Mary Tate asked the maid to get her something from the pantry. For some reason the maid refused so Mary went in there herself and was shot and killed. Turns out someone was stealing from the pantry but they were tunneling in from the outside in order to steal.
|Although the section of the city where the Tate Museum sits is filled with many newer homes in modern subdivisions, the street the house is on still has private residences that date back hundreds of years. This home was built in 1814.|
|And this one dates back to 1867.|
|This well preserved and beautiful home is circa 1795.|
|Lobster, corn on the cob, and clams.|
|After eating several clams he started on the lobster.|
|The concentration showing on his face as he cracked the shell.|
|The meal is over and this is not a look of contentment.|
The person who recommended the place wasn't lying when he called it a 'hole in the wall'. The place has been there 35 years and it looked as though it hadn't been cleaned in all that time. I ordered a haddock filet and it was disappointing, at best. We should have walked out as soon as we saw the inside of the restaurant. Now don't get me wrong, they do a booming business and one of their specialties is clams. The Captain had a bunch on his plate with the lobster and he tried those, too. I even tried a couple but didn't like them much. That night the Captain felt poorly and slept little and even the next day his stomach was in a dither. Either it was the food or his palate wasn't up to the challenge. Needless to say, I know he will not try these delicacies again.
|We should have opted for this truck vendor on the street in downtown Portland. It states they sell Darn Good Sandwiches.|
|The name alone would have been worth the stop!|
Our next stop is Cape Cod on the Massachusetts coast. The weather has been wonderful this summer and we look forward to more idyllic days on the beach. Peace !