Sunday, October 19, 2008


m and i are so lucky to celebrate our wedding anniversary this time of year (as well as our birthdays). we usually have a beautiful fall day to enjoy right around october 19th. we had big plans involving a mini-maine coast road trip which we scaled down a bit, due to time constraints, into a mini-mini-maine coast road trip. our first stop, with a hungry boy, was hallowell (no, it's not on the coast, i know).

despite the sign outside claiming that this was a coffee house (it had a picture of a coffee mug. and the word "lattes."), it really was more of a tavern. a smoky, empty bar. with nothing to eat. so we got a cup of tea to go and procured a bagel elsewhere. shopkeepers in hallowell seemed down in the dumps, to be honest.

we specifically drove to belfast to eat at chase's daily, only to arrive and be told that they stop serving food at 1:00 (but...i called first and they said 2:30!). we got a chocolate-banana muffin and a cheddar-scallion biscuit to go, and they were quite tasty. we'll definitely be back, before 1:00.

so we wandered over to the belfast co-op and had really delicious melty portobello sandwiches on crusty 7-grain bread and vegetable soup.

and it's a good thing we did, because then we hiked up mt. megunticook. it takes about an hour to hike the mile to the top, and it's pretty hard work. this photo is utterly deceptive -- most of the way it's like climbing an endless flight of stairs.

but the view at the top, especially today with the trees all show-offy, is breathtaking. it might make a person like me cry, actually, if she weren't steeling herself against unnecessary weeping. you can see miles around, out over the ocean, across the tops of the hills and just the picturesque church steeples of camden poking up out of the trees. that's mt. battie to the right.

edna st. vincent millay lived in camden and wrote renascence there, inspired by the view from mt. battie:

"The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through."

as a lovely coda to this story, i obtained a delicious latte, finally, at rock city books and coffee in rockland. i really love rockland, which is kind of like the slightly homely little sister to the more beautiful towns of camden and rockport. the people i've met there are extremely friendly, and cheerful... sort of the direct opposites of the ones i met today in hallowell (nothing against hallowell, i've spent a total of ten minutes there, but still...).

and here, maybe you'd enjoy an illustrative map to accompany this tale:

View Larger Map

happy happy anniversary, m!!!


jen j-m said...

i'm sorry you didn't get to eat a proper meal at chase's - it's my favorite. everything you did sounded lovely + fun anyway, and i laughed out loud that you're steeling yourself against unnecessary weeping. i try to do that, but it seldom works. :)
happy anniversary/birthdays/fall!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! This explains why your car wasn't in your driveway when I drove past yesterday...You do the best job of exploring Maine of any family I know--my kids have yet to see anything north of the Brunswick TJ Maxx! Not really, but we've missed quite a few spots.

Liz Woodbury said...

thank you!! and also i wanted to add another note on hallowell: when we found a bagel for sale (at a bakery), i approached the counter and said, "is it possible to get this toasted?" and the counterboy pointed at a toaster i hadn't noticed and said, "you're capable of toasting it yourself."

Anonymous said...

OOOOH! Maybe Hallowell is going for the title of "Rudest Town in Maine"! I think they can ill afford to alienate people from away....