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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Maine Memories

Kennebunk Beach
To escape the cold and rain of the Boston area, we drove north.  Yes, north; bear with me here. The forecast for Maine promised sunshine.  It was also a chance for Mr. Wonderful to see Wells Beach and Kennebunk Beach, where he'd spent boyhood summers and remembered digging for clams and swimming in the Atlantic.  Fortunately, the weatherman was right and the day was exquisitely sunny if not altogether warm.
First stop:  Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where President Teddy Roosevelt prevailed upon the empires of Russia and Japan to sign the Treaty of Portsmouth formally ending the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. [Actually, most of the negotiations took place in Kittery, Maine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, but never mind.] All that history and walking around the red bricked old town required sustenance. A merchant we talked to recommended the River House, where we had simply excellent seafood chowder and lobster rolls in brioche. Mr. Wonderful enjoyed the fact that the lobster was from New Hampshire instead of Maine but he skipped the oyster crackers from Vermont ... local rivalries still simmer.
The beignets with jam were terrific too.
Second stop:  Kennebunkport and Beach.  We noticed that the trees were still bare, the grass was a dormant brown, and snow banks were not entirely melted.  The sun, sky and ocean were brilliant, and we braved the wind to walk on the beach at low tide.  It was a bit confusing to be walking along the beach in the afternoon with the sun in our eyes. I kept thinking that the beach ran north-south [instead of east-west] and had the illusion that the sun was setting in the wrong place .... Of course, we did the ultimate tourist stop and photo at Walker's Point:
Finally, after walking on the town's main street called "Maine" not "Main," we retired to Kennebunk's lovely White Barn Inn & Spa for a rest 

and a fine dinner.
White Barn Inn dining room

Beet dumpling and roulade
Roast cod and a seafood ravioli with fancy foam

Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate
All in all, the quick trip to Maine was a pleasant surprise for me and a happy trip down memory lane for Mr. Wonderful.  How good does it get?

1 comment:

  1. The Russo Japanese War and resulting Treaty of Portsmouth is an often overlooked, yet tremendously important piece of history which is fascinating to share with students when teaching the intricacies of the alliances in pre-WWI Europe. I love that you included the shout out to Teddy Roosevelt and the treaty. :)


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