Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Maine - IV - Lots Of Dead Folks Out Here

Saturday. A bit warmer, though not much and we spent the day tooling around in our rental, getting lost again, checking out the city.

Portland boasts a good sized area out by the airport dominated by the Maine Mall, a mall that is actually alive and thriving, shockingly. Most of the malls we've visited in the West are half empty edifices, filled with faked in walls and empty promises about what's coming soon but never will show up. You usually find a few food places, a couple of teen centric clothing stores and the parasitic temporary booths that lock into the middles of the aisles, selling nonsense like head massagers and jewelry made of rice.

Here, it was thriving. Apple stores, Tea stores, game shops, gift places, clothes, decor, furniture. Pretty impressive! It took a bit longer than expected to explore the shops, but it was a kick to see so many people doing things that we used to see back home. It's more embarrassing to shop at the mall back in Idaho than fun.

There is also a complex nearby with a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, a craft store, among others, and we finally decided to bite the bullet and pick up something we've probably needed for a while. Especially as often as we get "wrong state lost" on road trips. Our little GPS has been dubbed ThomThom, just to be special and until the update recently, had a woefully out of date map that happily led us into creepy dead ends that even we would have never chosen. Thanks, ThomThom! One trip, while looking for a Hannafords, a grocery chain, it led us into the dark, mysterious depths of a suburb. We figured it was gonna get to something eventually, but, though it tried, all it could find was a Hannaford Distribution Center in the middle of nowhere.

After a few minutes back in the room with our little square navigator though, we now have vaguely more accurate maps and ThomThom can now speak with the accent of a lovely Irish lass and in the comforting tones of a confused Homer Simpson. He gets outrageously excited when he actually gets us to where we wanted to go, so he fits in well with us.

There was still the matter of transportation and lodging, so we hit up any car lots and motels we passed. The Honda dealer was very nice and helpful, and we left with promises of a call about a car on Monday.

The highlight of the day? Not Macaroni Grill, which we had for lunch. Our waitress was blah and rude and maybe it's a East coast thing, but the sauces were so watery that they wouldn't stick to the noodles. Dinner was better, we ate at the impressive and low key Jan Mee a few blocks from our hotel.

But for us, the highlight, without a doubt were the abundant and stunning cemetaries. We didn't stop at any, it was too cold and we wanted to have time to really enjoy it, but we saw three that day. Including one, tiny, crazy, utterly shockingly located one right next to the light before Target. That's right, they have so many dead people that they shove 'em into the ground in a ten foot square of soil in the middle of no where. I assume it used to be some small family plot before they built the stores. I can't wait to find out!


Steve at Random said...

Okay, Kris and Linz, I shall not put up with this any longer. The spelling is "cemetery." I've seen this spelled wrong on your FB and now your blog. Your curmudgeonly Uncle Steve.

randymeiss said...

Steve, you should talk. You're the guy who keeps spellchecker companies in business.

Kris, I love the descriptions of Maine, I've never been there. TomTom is on my wishlist, especially after your review.

Keep the blogs coming.

Steve at Random said...

I was waiting for that Randy. Finally a found a word that I know how to spell.

Philip said...

I am very interested in how the coping with Winter is affecting your arm. Also...Are you generating local interest in you that you are seeing in them?

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