Day 3:  New York-Mystic-Kennebunk Beach
Day 4:  Rockport-Camden
Day 6:  Port Clyde-Rockport
Day 7: Rockland, Tenant Harbor
Day 8:  Campobello
Day 11:  Augusta
At some point, Sally, Darryl and I decided we wanted to go someplace cool in the
summer.  After considering Iceland and some other unlikely places, we decided on
Maine. so that I could finally get around to visiting my cousin Shelby in Southport, and so
that Darryl could visit Ron Rordam, a childhood friend who now lives in Virginia but
whose mom and sister live in Tenant Harbor.

I had to go to New York for an AAMC meeting.  Sally and Darryl came along and did their
thing while I was in meetings.  (Unfortunately, I think "Sally's thing" was sitting in the
hotel room and working on her computer.)  But they did have time shop for pink
sneakers for the daughter of their dogs' caregiver in Baton Rouge.

In the evenings, we got to go out and have fun.  On the first night, we went to a dinner for
the AAMC-GIA Steering Committee at the Boathouse in Central Park.  It's an amazing
place, and Sally and Darryl got to meet some of my AAMC pals, including Mary Sue
Cheeseman from Cincinnati.
          Day 9:  Bar Harbor
Day 5:  Southport-Freeport
Day 10:  Lake Millinocket

JULY 2010
So who are we kidding.  In Maine, it's
all about the lobsters.  Right?

While Sally, Darryl and I were there,
I think we got to see almost all the
components of the lobster industry.
OK, so maybe we didn't actually see
any lobsters in traps, but I'm guessing
it looked something like this.
Every day, lobster fishermen like these
guys would go out and check their
traps.  They sorted the lobsters into
four categories:  1) too old (throw them
back); 2) too young (throw them back);
3) adults (keepers!) and 4) shedders.  A
shedder is a lobster that has recently
set its old shell and is in the process of
hardening the new shell.  Since these
lobsters don't require hammers and
other hardware to open, they're the
ones that are most valuable.
After a retail experience or two, the
lobster becomes the guest of honor at
an outdoor activity called a lobster bake.

Ours (at the home of former
Congressman David Emery and Judge
Carol Emery) looked like this.  (Dave
was especially proud of the "lobster
lights" he strung on the trees.)
I don't want to accuse anyone of false
advertising, but no baking goes on at a
lobster bake.  As you can see, these
lobsters are being boiled by Dave and
Carol's son,  Bert, who, by the time you
read this, will be a first-year medical
student at the University of Vermont
School of Medicine.  The only
seasoning in the pot is seaweed.  Go
If your baker/boiler has done his job
correctly (as Bert has), you'll have a
tasty dinner of shedders and corn on
the cob.  Thanks, Bert!

So while the trip was "Mainely" about
friendship and visiting people we like a
lot, there were a few things that I (and
most people) associate with Maine that
I'd like to discuss in this column.
They are
lobsters, blueberries and
Stephen King.
Maine is also very proud of its
blueberries. Perhaps, inordinately so.

But they do dress them up nicely.  My
favorite "blueberry experience" was
having breakfast at Just Barb's Diner
(see above).  The blueberry  pancakes
were awesome.  Thanks, Just Barb!

At one point in our travels, we came
across Wild Blueberry Land, a
shopping experience like no other.

I'm not really sure where they were
going with the idea.  It looked as if they
were trying to do for blueberries what
Willie Wonka had done for chocolate.

They definitely had some interesting
ideas about retailing.  Despite two
rather conspicuous pies sitting in a
display case, the lady at the counter
said they didn't sell pies.

If you're looking for ways to
embarrass me, ask Sally to show you
the photo she took of me sitting on the
throne of the Wild Blueberry King.

I just thought it was strange that a
place called Wild Blueberry Land
would have a Drive Thru--especially if
they don't sell pie.
When we were doing what little
planning we did for the trip, Sally put on
her "bucket list" taking a picture of
ourselves at the gates of Stephen
King's house in Bangor.  My cousin
Shelby, after looking at the list, asked,
"Why would anyone want to do that?"

Oh, Shelby.  Have you NEVER met me
One of the cool things we did together in
New York was go on a walking tour in the
area between Chelsea and Midtown that
was conducted by the director of New
York's Skyscraper Museum.  (That's her
in the photo, facing Darryl.)  it wasn't a
long tour, but we did get to see a variety
of styles of skyscrapers and hear explain
what made them unique and different.  It
was terrific.

That night we went to see
with Kristin Chenowith and
Sean Hayes.
Friday was all about food as we drove from
Manhattan to Rockland, via Mystic, Connecticut,
and Kennebunk Beach, Maine.  In Mystic, we
ate pizza at the legendary Mystic Pizza (see
Sally and Darryl leaving above.)  We drove on to Kennebunk Beach, where we checked off one
of the items on Sally's bucket list by having dinner at the White Barn Inn.  It was terrific.  Since it
was our first meal in Maine, Darryl and I had lobsters for our appetizer AND entree courses.  
Dessert (at right) was so wonderful that I felt compelled to take a picture of it.  The round thing
sticking up is chocolate covered ice cream.
Sally had never been on a sailboat before, so we took a
two-hour cruise on one from the harbor at Camden.  As
you can see from the smiles, there are probably more
cruises ahead in her future.  (I kept trying to get a
surreptitious picture of the captain of the boat with
noodles caught in his beard.)
After the cruise, we had dinner at a place
in Camden called "Cappy's" (right) that
Barbara Austin had recommended.

Usually, Barbara's taste is impeccable,
but Cappy's kind of stunk.  Maybe it was
just a bad night.  (But at least we had the
best seat in the window!)
On Sunday, we drove down to Southport to visit
my cousin Shelby, and her husband, Al Keider.  
(Yes, that's his real name.)  They have a lovely
home (below left) that looks out over Love's
Cove.  Shelby and Al say that sometimes they
can't get out of their driveway because some
artist has decided to park there while painting
the cove.

After a gourmet lunch, they gave us a tour of the
neighborhood, highlighted by Sue and Mike Pitt's
house in nearby East Boothbay Harbor.  It was a
wonderful day.
The wonderful day continued into the evening as we drove into Freeport and spent three
hours shopping at L. L. Bean.  We didn't buy much, but I do now have a pair of orange walking
shorts that I'm very proud of.  (Note to L. L.:  Get some spatulas!)
Recognize this lighthouse?  Yep, it's the one in Forrest Gump,
where Forrest completes one of his cross-country runs.

On Monday, Miss Betty Rordam (I assume her first name is
"Miss".  Everyone called her "Miss Betty".  She's at the far left,
below.) arranged a picnic lunch for us at the Port Clyde
lighthouse.  Miss Betty is the mother of Rordam, a childhood
friend of Darryl's, who is currently the mayor of Blacksburg,
Virginia.  Ron's sister, Carol, is a judge in Maine, and is married
to former Congressman David Emery.
The book on which the movie and
television show
M*A*S*H was based
by a Rockport resident named Richard
Hooker.  (Not surprisingly, the original
character of Hawkeye Pierce was much more conservative than he would be portrayed on
screen.  Maybe Alan Alda just isn't that
good an actor.)

Anyway, Mr. Hooker passed away recently,and some
of his effects were put up for auction by his family on
Rockland.  So we went.  I understand that the family
kept all the "nice" pieces before the auctioneers got
hold of them.  I'm glad to know that because the stuff
at the auction was pretty trashy.  (Right.)
Tuesday started ominously as
Sally said, "Hey, Matt, let's go for
a walk.  Outside the hotel was a
lighthouse at the end of a jetty. It
looked like a pleasant walk, but
from the hotel, we really couldn't
tell that the jetty was made of
rocks that we'd have to
negotiate. Nor could we tell that it
was FREAKING LONG!  The two
photos at left were taken from
the same place.  That sucker had
to be a mile long.  When we
finally got to the lighthouse, the
only people there were a family
who were speaking French.  I told
Sally, "I think we've walked to
After we finally staggered back to the hotel room, things picked up considerably.  That evening
Dave and Carol Emery hosted a lobster bake at the beautiful home in Tenant Harbor.  (See
details at left.)  It was a magical evening.  
Thanks to all the Emerys and Rordams!
Wednesday was a day for driving
around Maine as we traveled from
Rockland to Campobello Island
and back to Bar Harbor.  We had
breakfast at Just Barb's Diner
(above left) and stopped on the
way back at Wild Blueberry
World.  In between, we saw FDR's
home on Campobello Island.  What
fascinated me the most (I'm
almost sorry to say) was the
ginormous megaphone (below)
that Eleanor used to call the kids
to come into the house (right).
Even the souvenirs at Wild Blueberry World are creepy.
As far as tourist traps go, Bar
Harbor is probably one of the
nicer ones.  We spent three
nights there, and on Thursday,
we went to the top of Cadillac
Mountain. (That's Bar Harbor, as
seen from the top of the
mountain at right.)

Later, Sally decided we needed
to walk again.  You'd think that I
would have learned my lesson
after the jetty fiasco, but no, we
decided to walk--I mean "hike" to
see Bubble Rock.  (BTW, it's
listed as an "intermediate" hike,
so it was definitely a hike.  I was
feeling pretty good about myself
until I saw a young lady headed
up the mountains in high heels.
To get a taste of the North
Woods of Maine, we drove
three hours to a place called
Lake Millinocket, and were
taken on a guided tour by Ray
(His granddaughter Danielle
runs the gift shop.)  Ray's a
former Navy Seal whose been
around the lake practically his
entire life.  He's probably a
pretty good guide, but he
couldn't find any moose on the
trip we took with him.

The photo at left is the last one I
took before my batteries went
dead.  (It sort of made not
seeing a moose more bearable.)

Lots and lots of rocks.

Apparently there is no real soil in Maine,
so there's just rocks.  Lots and lots of
If you're going to travel with political
people like Sally and Darryl, YOU'RE

In Maine, the State Capitol in Augusta was
practically the last thing we saw as we
headed to the airport in Portland.

In a final to salute to Maine, Darryl is
wearing his lobster claw hat.

Final Note to the People of Maine:

We liked your state, but would it kill you to
open the State House on Saturdays?
I'm sure you're wondering what was
on the CD compilation for the trip.  
Generally speaking, I stuck to songs
about places we'd been
before--Argentina, California, etc.

But for a change of pace, I added
some "bonus tracks" from the
original cast recording of
that we saw.