So with the cake done, "Happy Birthday" sung, breakfast eaten and gifts given, we decided to embark upon our road trip. Ogunquit is a beautiful little vacation town in southern Maine, close to York. In other words, almost in New Hampshire. Sar and I hadn't been since summer, 2001. The key being, then we only had one child, and we left him with his grandparents. This time we had four, and they were coming with us.
Ha. They weren't exactly thrilled about "an hour or so" drive up the coast to Maine just for lunch, but we told them we'd pack their swimsuits in case we got a chance to hit the beach. This seemed to placate them (at least until 20 minutes into the drive!) so after an hour of packing snacks, changes of clothes, baby support items and getting everyone to go pee, we piled into the car and away we went.
First mistake - believing it would only be "an hour or so" drive to a small resort town in southern Maine on a gorgeous (probably the MOST gorgeous) Saturday in summer. Maybe we were on crack. It was well after noon when we got to York, and pulled out the Garmin and asked it to find us a restaurant.
We chose Barnacle Billy's which, we found out, had a wonderful view of Perkins' Cove. Oh, and there's a lobstah on the sign, we were pretty sure that there'd be lobstah on the inside. Which was good, because I really wanted a lobstah roll. So I ordered one, and a cup of lobstah stew.
The stew was basic - and excellent. Lobstah in a cream base, and the cup was chock-full. You literally tasted the lobstah, the base, and that was it.
I was surprised and happy at how much lobstah was in the cup. When I was done with the lobstah, I had very little broth left. I left it. I was ready for the lobstah roll, which came a few minutes later.
I remember sitting in the lobby at the dental clinic at Naval Air Station Brunswick, waiting for the "Tooth Fairy" (Navy slang for a Dental Technician) to give me my annual checkup, and picking up a magazine about life on the south coast of Maine. There was an article in it about lobstah rolls. I think it was entitled "Lobster Rolls - It's All About the Lobster!". It's main thesis was that there are several ways to make a lobstah roll, but the centerpiece should be the lobstah, not the mayo, or the butter, or whatever.
Duh. Most. Dumbest. Lobstah. Remark. Evar. But it is true, and this lobstah roll held to that standard. It was lightly dressed and seasoned, not buried in mayo. And the lobstah was amazingly sweet. I don't care what anyone says, the sweetest lobstah I have ever had comes from Maine in the summer. Particularly the young, molting ones whose shells are still soft.
I washed it down with two Shipyard Export Ales. I drank a lot of Shipyard when I lived in Maine. Sar washed hers down with rum punch. It was awesome - strong and fruity, and I shoulda' got one of those, too.
The kids ate great, too. Our son enjoyed his cheeseburger, and our daughters split an order of fish and chips. The thing that turns me off about a lot of fish and chips is that it tastes like you're eating a breaded sponge saturated with vegetable oil. This was nothing like that. The fish was firm, tasted clean, and the breading was crisp.
Following our meal, we set out walking around Ogunquit, to find the shops and the beach. We remember the beach was close by.
Second mistake - we, uhhh, mis-remembered. We were miles from the beach. Warm weather, uphill walks, groaning kids and the advancing hour put an end to the foray after about an hour, and we returned to our car and drove home. I was fading pretty hard from being up late making the cake, and a big-ass Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee got me through.
Rough road trip, interesting time with the kids, and awesome lobstah from Maine. One out of three is a rough record, and not perfect for a birthday, but we had better things to return to. Namely, cake and barbecue.
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