Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rewarding Ourselves

[Before I start, I have added a little something so that I don't have to join twitter. I am calling them nopropos so I don't have to write "apropos of nothing." If a posting is tagged with nopropos, it means I added a non sequitur that wasn't deserving of it's own separate post. I would like to have the tags visible at the top of the posting, but so far blogger is being wildly uncooperative vis a vis the amount of format editing I can do without actually digging into the code (which I don't want to do).]

Yes, we still live in the dark, but until you lamp designers out there provide us with something we like, the dark it shall be. Notwithstanding our cave-like existence, in the four weeks since moving in we have accomplished enough that we would not be embarrassed to have you over. We finally assembled the dining room table (having discovered the hardware for it at long last) and, as of yesterday, framed Ed's art, refinished 90% of the lawn furniture - I ran out of paint, - and put down the rug pad in the living room. So Friday, as crazy people do, devoted partner said, "let's drive to Maine," and in a move that I think highlights our suitability for one another, I said, "cool."

So at 8:30pm Friday night, I was asleep, and at 2:30am, I was awake; at 3:00am we were on the road. Nota bene: my engine break-in period is over, I will now be experimenting with revs. Devoted partner had not gone to bed at 8:30pm, though he did do a fair bit of packing, so I took the wheel. He took over at the first Maine rest stop at 6:45am - I made good time without being felonious (misdemeanorish, yes).

Why, one might reasonably ask, did we do this at all. After all, originally we had planned on spending the weekend at the beach. Yeah, but, see, Maine beckoned. It had a lot going for it. We spent four days there in July and had a really really good time. So we thought we might like to use the beautiful Saturday weather promised us on a boat on Sebago Lake. This was worth being kinda sleep deprived and kinda crazy. Furthermore, we got to have breakfast at Chute's.

I know people of the non-slender variety shouldn't spend a lot of time waxing rhapsodic about fattening food, but I can't help it from time to time. Devoted partner took me to Chute's for the first time in 1998. At that time Chute's was in a woman's house. She lived upstairs and served people food downstairs. Regulars had mugs inscribed with their names. There was a single item on the menu that drew us there: the Egg Nate. I will be honest, it is nothing more than an egg mcmuffin, but it's made with real ingredients and they make the english muffin. I only had two Egg Nates on that first trip to Maine, but they made an indelible impression on me - the kind of indelible impression that lasted the 11 years until my subsequent Egg Nate, in July of this year. Original Chute's was gone, burned down intentionally by a very very bad person for no apparent reason. In it's place is slightly less homey Chute's but with all the same Egg Nate. It was our first stop on this impromptu getaway and we were there by 8:00am. I am a Bacon Nate kinda girl, devoted partner inexplicably opts for the Ham Nate. We both enjoy the hot chocolate.

The next stop was the pontoon boat rental. Yes, I suppose people of the non-slender variety should probably not rent boats that accentuate the non-slender human's similarity to the walrus, but I like to think of the pontoon boat less like a boat and more like a floating tanning deck - the motor for me is purely optional. And so, by 9:00am, we were in Brandy Pond heading towards the Songo Locks. If you have never been in a large motor boat and herded into locks before, I highly recommend it. It's really funny and, in my experience, other boats frequently have dogs in them that you can play with while the water changes levels.

Please note dog in the far boat. After this, my memory gets fuzzy. I recall it being a breathtakingly gorgeous day, and I recall napping in the sun. I also recall being blissfully blissfully content. Devoted partner shares similar memories. Sadly, the "tubing" section of the day, while photographed, has been censored by devoted partner - we have differing opinions on the laughter of others. I don't care if you laugh at me or with me, I think it's nice you're laughing. Devoted partner disagrees. Ergo, no photographs of tubing.

But the fun was just beginning. After checking into the very reasonable bed and breakfast I found at approximately 6:30pm Friday, we turned right back around, got some Dairy Bar (ok, I see what you're thinking about the non-slender people and perhaps some of the reasons behind their being non-slender, but it's vacation and if it cheers you up, I am eating grapes and bananas today) where I got an inspired banana ice cream with butterscotch syrup. You might notice there are no pictures of any of the food. There's a good reason for this: I always mean to photograph my food, but then forget and remember about two fork/spoonfuls before the food is gone (please see previous parenthetical remark).

And then it was off to the Bridgton Drive-In.

Maine has drive-ins and they rock! Other people at the drive-in were pros with station wagons and sleeping bags, whereas we had to content ourselves with the dizzying array of seat configurations offered by the nice volks at Volkswagen. It was a triple feature special for Labor Day Weekend, but we only intended to see the first two movies: Inglorious Basterds and District 9. I'd like to say we watched the films, and I'd like you to get your heads out of the collective gutters when you read that. I made it through most of the Basterds before falling asleep prior to finding out what happened in the end, and saw the closing credits of District 9, but what I did see made me happy - especially as I was seeing it from my car while listening to the sound through the radio. Drive-ins are awesome!

Sunday was bizarrely cold and slightly less fun because of it. We tried the beach but it was far more suited for walking than lying down. But while tootling along local roads we found ourselves witness to Lenny, the 1700 pound chocolate moose.

After that, and taking advantage of a brief window of warmth, it was off to Old Orchard Beach, the Coney Island of Maine, but less diverse (unless you consider Quebecois diverse), for a nap on the beach. Old Orchard Beach has a special distinction for me in that it is the only place in the world in which I have ever written my initials in a bathroom stall. And I have done that twice. Because when we were there in July, I discovered, with horror, that the doors in the ladies room were new and that my old signing was therefore lost to history. I resigned. In pink pen.

So the Maine season is probably over for 2009 (since it's about to get really really cold there), but it was a great sendoff for the summer and we got home at an eminently reasonable time on Sunday night leading to a most productive Monday (lawn chairs, framed art, rug pads, not to mention I made strawberry vanilla preserves). I am now actively in the mode whereby I determine how best to extend my tan throughout the winter - New Year's in Bonnaire is looking mighty good!

Nopropos: Now that summer is over, I need to re-learn how to drive in shoes. I have been driving barefoot for so long that I'm having serious difficulty in shoes of any kind (though less difficulty paradoxically in spiky heeled shoes). The cowboy boots I wore today in honor of the unofficial start of fall just weren't cutting it, but winter is hardly the time to drive barefoot. It's just that the shoes create an unbreachable barrier between me and the feel of the pedals. I can feel when the clutch engages barefoot; I can't when wearing shoes. Sigh.

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