Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot Blacktop

Now Playing -
The Day The World Went Away
by Nine Inch Nails

Life - 
 Belfast, seen from the bridge.

Ahh, Belfast. Not as wonderful as it could have been, but not as bad as I'd feared. We started the day out bright and early, getting on the road by 9-ish (Which isn't really that early for us, but for a road trip it was early - we always seem to have myriad little tasks those mornings that keep us late) Linz still had a few paychecks we hadn't deposited, so we ran past there and deposited them. I also made the decision that my shirts I have out here were designed for a much drier, windier climate, so we swung by the Goodwill to see if they had any lighter-weight shirts. Turns out the only shirts people take to goodwill in Maine that are for dudes my size are gaudy Hawaiian shirts. Perfect! I chose one in yellow with some faded flowers on it. 
Properly equipped, we headed out. Beyond Bath, we realized why we liked that area so much and vowed to return on a day that we can spend a bit of time - Bath and it's nearby towns are really cute. Not overly touristy, a little run down and goofy, with fruit and veg stands littered along the way. And lots of antique stores, though most fell into the realm of junk stores, rather than antiques. There have been a few shops here that sell legit, old, gorgeous pieces, but for the most part, the shops look like pawn shops back home - full of weird old crap that someone might want... eventually. I only stopped for three things. A hilariously tiny beach, probably about 250 square feet total, that was littered with desperate sunbathers, we wandered around Moody's Diner a bit and I stopped at some person's house that was selling Peas! $2.50 a pound for hand picked, home grown peas is a steal in my book, so even when she announced that they were in 5 pound bags, all I could ask was if they took debit cards. Mmmmm. Peas.
Tiny Beach!
One note about the trip - We should have remembered to get cash. It's essential when doing this kind of thing. Especially when our favorite places to eat consist of trailers and stands that barely have electricity, let alone a credit card machine.

Carved Faces In Belfast
For the most part, we breezed through the little towns. Stopping every now and then to look at a particularly nice house, but generally just getting the feel for the area. Most of it had a nice, rural feel, with little touches of the beach. Camden, which Lindsay had wanted to visit since watching Casper and learning that it was filmed there was cute, but very tourist clogged. 
Gorgeous Buildings In Downtown Belfast.

Belfast itself was a pretty town. Built along the water, like 3/4 of Maine seems to be, their roads are hilly and winding and they have a really interesting but small downtown. Here's where we made or realized our real mistakes of the trip. Taking the dogs with us in the middle of summer was not a good move.
 Pooped Puppies.

It was too hot to leave them in the car, ever. SO any time we wanted to see something, we had to take them along, which dramatically limited where we could go. We did decide to take them for a walk around Belfast's downtown and they enjoyed it, but the heat and hilly roads soon got to them and we had to head back. 

Carved Squirrel Outside Of Perry's Nut House

Just beyond Belfast, on the other side of the bay, we found my favorite business in Maine so far. Perry's Nut House. I didn't buy anything, and there are a few things they could do to get it up to my high code of awesome, but they've made the best attempt of any beach/tourist establishment in Maine that we've found. If you couldn't guess, Perry's sells nuts. But they also have a crazy hodgepodge of other things like fudge, pirate flags and Maine souvenirs. More importantly, they also have a taxedermied albatross and gorilla, the skin of a giant alligator on the roof and a mummy.
A Gorilla. Possibly Named Gorilla.

It's this kind of goofy attraction that most joints around here are missing. folks like us don't just want to shop, we want to b entertained by your shop! I just wish they'd been smarter about it. None of the animals or mummies had names or cool stories attached. I need a bumper sticker that says I WENT NUTS FOR BILLABONG THE GORILLA AT PERRY'S NUT HOUSE!
The Unknown Mummy.

We ate lunch at a winnebego off the bay in Searsport, ME, a town I liked the look of a lot. The Wiener Wagon only took cash though, so a trip to the ATM was needed. Worth it though. The food was pretty good, just barely above average, but you got to eat it facing the ocean, a humid breeze stealing your napkins. 
Our Lunch Spot.

After lunch, we discovered our bad news of the day. Unnoticed, while we were strolling around the streets of Belfast, the hot pavement had burned and blistered poor Ludo's paws! On the way to walk along the beach, he started limping badly and after examining his pads, we had to turn right back around. Pooka seemed fine, but Ludo has lost a layer of skin off of 4 of his pads and is currently swaddled in gauze and socks. I have to lift him off the porch to go to the bathroom, much to his shame.
John's. Home Of The Toe-Shoe Boy.

Most of the rest of the day was derailed after that. We'd planned to cruise around Bangor and a few little places, but Ludo needed to get home, so apart from a stop for ice cream, we went straight back to Topsham.
I just remembered something about the ice cream place. The kid that waited on us was skinny, tall, very goofy looking, and he was wearing a pair of aviator shades with lenses so huge that one half would have sufficed for both his sun guarding needs and the person standing next to him. He was also wearing those horribly ugly shoes they make where each of your toes is separated. Like toe socks made of rubber. He walked silly in them too, like they hurt his feet badly, but he couldn't take them off or the goofiness of the shades would not adequately be balanced on his lower half.

Ludo... Poor Guy.
All in all, an okay day. I'd hoped to do a bit more in depth exploring, and next time we'll probably leave the boys home so we can, but Northern Maine is starting to look like an area that we'll really enjoy getting to know.


Sherry said...

Poor Ludo. I feel bad for the guy. I'm sure he'll be up and running around in no time though.

Other than Ludo, I'm glad to hear the trip was a good one. I hope the next one is much better!

The Grows said...

It sounds like a great place. I would love to explore the East coast some day. I hope Ludo get better quickly...poor guy. Thanks for sharing all the pictures. I love them!

Steve at Random said...

I would like to see a picture of the "bald-headed Hawaiian." Sounds like Belfast was an interesting place to visit...too bad about Ludo.