After leaving Burlington, we drove South-East to Portland, Maine. This was to be our "home" for the next two nights.
Specifically, our home was the Howard Johnson in South Portland. While it would have been nice to be right downtown, all of the rooms that were left were much more expensive than staying a 5 minute drive away. However, I may just suck it up next time, as the Hojo left a LOT to be desired. From needing a serious facelift (it was incredibly worn out and grungy), to having to pay an extra $5/night for a fridge that looked like it had been dragged behind a car for several miles and smelled like it was picked up from a swamp, I can't say I was impressed. They did offer free parking, free wifi & free continental breakfast, but the breakfast room was very cramped and not laid out in a very useful way, and breakfast ended far too early (9am on a weekend!). Needless to say, I wouldn't stay there again unless they got that overdue facelift.
On the first night, all we wanted to do was eat. We wandered the streets for a bit, taking in the sights and smells, and eventually decided on eating at Bull Feeney's Irish Pub (no website), because Mom saw batter fried lobster on the menu. It is as the name implies - an Irish pub. Aside from the obvious Irish-pub-fare, there is a rather large selection of whiskeys on the bar menu, and they even serve you Irish soda bread before your meal. To be honest - I was not a fan of the bread... it tasted like soap to me, but apparently everyone else loves it so what do I know? Either way, the service was fast and friendly and the food was tasty. I'd go back!
The next day, we decided to explore downtown Portland some more, which has enough to see and do that it's a reason in itself for visiting the city. Here is what we found:
1) A 24 hour liquor store, right in the heart of it all. They had an incredible selection of Belgian beers, and just about any kind of alcohol you could want. 24-heavenly-hours-a-day. This is very good to know if you find yourself in Portland at 3am.
2) I don't normally love popcorn, but holy Sweet Mother of Taste Buds, this place is AMAZING. We tried a few including Root Beer Float and Lemon something-or-other, but Key Lime Pie won us over. If you even sorta like popcorn, GO HERE. You will not regret.
3) Let's talk about bucket lists for a second here. Has anyone ever watched Man Vs. Food? No? So sorry to hear! Yes, you have? Wonderful, you get a gold sticker. Now, let's continue... One time, I saw Adam Richmond eat bacon dusted fries. Bacon. Dusted. Fries. I had an incredibly hard time trying NOT to lick the TV. Putting those very same bacon dusted fries into my mouth was immediately added to my bucket list. And then, I went to Portland. Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever find yourself in Portland and you do not go to Nosh Kitchen Bar, I will hunt you down and punch you right in your face. Plain and simple. The creation of bacon dust is second only to bacon itself. And then, when you add in the Apocalypse Now Burger... you better be prepared for death by awesome-induced heart attack. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. I dare you.
|The drink menu made me chuckle a smidge.|
|Behold: bacon dusted fries. Shitson.|
4) It was supposed to be cooler on Saturday, buuuut that didn't work out according to plan, so we hit up Maine Mall to beat the heat and locate some shorts. And a birthday present. And a flask. This mall was only about a mile from our hotel and had all of the stores you could want. And in it, I found the flask that I had been searching EVERYWHERE for. I actually did a little happy dance. Also, I may have been slightly inebriated at this point in my day, so that just made it even more exciting.
|Sounds about right... right???|
5) Later on Saturday evening/night, we wandered around the waterfront, taking photos of a few of their sailing vessels that had come into port. Something about that mix of canvas sails and wooden masts makes my heart happy and my brain a little nostalgic. *sigh*
6) In a never-ending effort to beat the heat, we searched for a place to have a beer or 5 on a patio. Before finding a suitable patio (not that there weren't any... there were actually too many for either of us to handle choosing) we stumbled across this place. It had great music playing very loud, not many people were inside (yet) and happy hour that included cheap vodka Redbull. Sold. If I ever go back with any girlfriends, this is the first place I will be headed to on a Saturday night.
....After all of this, I apologize, but everything was a bit fuzzy.
Verdict: I would go back to Portland in a heartbeat. It would really make a perfect stop on a BFF road trip (only the next time, I'd be sure to add Rockland to the itinerary so that we could sail on this beauty sloop).
*Part three of four to come tomorrow.