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The Pragmatics Are Maineiacs..!
The Pragmatics Are Maineiacs..!
Every once in great while, I find myself with very little to do...and too much time to do it in.
Such is the case today, at work.
I've just finished a lengthy assignment...the weather is still miserable, precluding any trips out to field locations...and for once...and only once, in the past several months...my phone has been quiet...all day.
It's days like these that don't come along, too often...if at all. Thank God..!!!
So what to blog about..?
Future. 10 days hence...future.
Memorial Day weekend, Mrs. Prag and I will be heading Northeast, a few hours driving time, to where we've come to know from experience, we're going to have a great time.
Southern Maine's seacoast area is our destination.
For those of you that have never been up that way...or don't have a clue why we would spend a whole weekend up there...let me give you the quick and dirty.....
Not just seafood.....the absolute BEST seafood..!
Mrs. Prag and I are seafood lovers.....period.
And on the southern coast of Maine...we certainly don't eat anything else, but..!
Last time we were up there, Mrs. Prag even dared-to-go-where-she-had-never-gone-before, by including breakfast in our seafood eating experiences...she had a lobster omelette..!
Judging by the way her eyes rolled back into her head as she ate it...and the countless number of times she's recalled that pleasurable experience...she's going to be having lobster omelettes up there again...every morning, for breakfast, while we're up there.
Our favorite...without a doubt, or hesitation in saying so and ordering it, isn't lobster, though...we're both fried clam fanatics..!
Mrs. Prag is fried clam strips, and I'm whole-belly friend clams...!
* * *starts salivating* * *
I started going up to southern Maine, on business, 20 years ago. After the first year, I was able to arrange the schedule of that annual trip to occur on a Friday morning. We'd travel up on Thursday afternoon...stay overnight...and have our business first thing Friday morning. That left the rest of Friday, and all of Saturday to enjoy the weekend up there...driving back home on Sunday.
Over the course of many years...many restaurants up and down the coast were tried. Seafood is king up there, and with a very few exceptions, all of the restaurants up and down and around Route 1...from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, cater to those of us who have seafood-itis..!
The second year I went up there, I found what became the indisputable crowning jewel in my lifelong search for the best whole-belly fried clam-serving restaurant.
It was a quest I inherited from my father.
From the time I can remember, I heard the stories about his love of whole-belly fried clams and the little shack of a seafood place where he used to go to satisfy his craving, that was better than any other place in the world could be. I never got to experience clams from that little place, as it had closed down by the time I was born...and the little guy who owned it...who would never divulge his "secret" to my father, while he salivated over his shoulder, as he fried up basket after basket of clams over the years...disappeared.
No matter how good I thought the clams were, growing up...my Dad would always tell me the same stories about the clams he used to get from that little shack...and the words that I heard a million times to describe how good they were... "they melted in your mouth..!"
Even after I found Nirvana, I continued to try other places up there, over the years. I'll never close my mind completely to the possibility of finding another restaurant, snack bar, or hole-in-the-wall clam shack that may be just as good, or better...but I haven't even tried another place up there in over 7 years..! Those clams DO...melt in my mouth.
Shortly after we were married, I introduced my wife to southern Maine and my favorite seafood restaurant, with the absolute best, fried clams in the world. I'm sure she was a bit skeptical as she sat down and ordered her fried clam strips that first time...but when our plates arrived on our table...mounded high and heaping full of clams...and she tasted the first one...let's just say that she'll never doubt me, again.
Of course, we just don't go up there for the food...well, maybe..!
There's plenty to do...and we both enjoy doing the same things.
Kittery has enough factory outlet stores to satisfy ANYONE..! Shop 'til ya drop..? That's the place to go.
Mrs. Prag loves it up there because...well...she IS a woman..! And what woman doesn't enjoy shopping? She usually spends a lot of time in the book outlet...the clothes and..of course, the SHOE outlet stores.
I can't really complain...she does let me go into the Black & Decker outlet...we both love spending time looking at all of the kitchen gadgets in that outlet store...and once in awhile, we'll even spend time in the expanded, and yuppie-fied Kittery Trading Post. If you're looking for ANYTHING to do with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, etc...that's the place for it...along with full-sized, stuffed, moose, bear, deer, fish, etc...!
I guess it's like anyplace else with "sale" prices...some day's you'll hit it good, and find a lot of things...and other times, you'll look and look, and won't find anything or will wonder how they can call themselves "factory outlet" stores with the prices they're charging.
I'm not going to even try listing and talking about all of the factory outlet stores that are there and the ones that we always hit...but food comes into play here, too.
Pepperidge Farms has an outlet store with cookies, crackers, Goldfish, etc. There's a little coffee-sandwiches-ice cream place tucked away in the middle of the biggest group of stores that has something for everyone...and right next to the Trading Post is Bob's Clam Shack. Try the clam chowder and lobster rolls for lunch..! Nothing fancy...just a few picnic tables inside and out. Window service...and the clam chowder comes in a styrofoam coffee cup with a plastic spoon...but it's great. And if you do...yes, that's melted butter on the top when you take off the top to eat it..!
We always end our shopping day by stopping at a little candy store just north of the outlet "strip..!"
It's just a hole-in-the-wall sized place...BUT, they have every kind of candy you could possibly imagine...from the floor to the ceiling, and, on a few tight aisle racks. It's not gourmet candy, but when we come out of there, I always marvel at how we've spent TOO DAMN MUCH..!!!!
Driving north, on Route 1, you'll occasionally pass what I call "crip-crap" places. Stores, or just somebody's yard, with all kind's of stuff for sale. You could easily spend a month looking at every place in just the 20 or so miles between Kittery and Wells.
Cape Neddick...York Beach...and York don't hold too much fascination for us...so no comments.
The village of Ogunquit has a little bit of everything. The traffic through there will drive you nuts...Perkins Cove is a working, small-scale, fishing port, as well as a tourist trap with shops and restaurants. I would suggest that if you're able, and the weather is amenable, to park your car somewhere off the beaten path (Route 1) in Ogunquit...walk a short way up Shore Road, from the center of Ogunquit...and turn onto the Marginal Way. This rugged, but picturesque seaside walkway will take you to Perkins Cove faster than if you tried to drive there...even if you stop and rest on one of the many benches that are along the path. I'm always amazed when somebody driving a motorhome, actually drives in...and out of Perkin's Cove..! It's so tight driving in and out of there with all of the traffic and people walking, that walking on the Marginal Way is definitely the way to go.
Once you've traversed the Marginal Way...walked around Perkin's Cove and taken in the sights and smells...bumped and "excused me" in and out of the shops there... you can either hoof it back to Ogunquit Center on the Marginal Way again, or slow down your pace, and wait for one of the Trolleys to weave their way along Shore Road...with all of the other traffic. Yep...they look like trolleys, but have bus wheels...open sides (with drop-plastic windows, if it rains or is cold)...and they run up and down from Perkin's Cove to the center of Ogunquit...down to the beach...and all the way up to Wells, the next town, north on Route 1.
Of course, there are beaches all up and down the coast, but if you've ever been to a beach anywhere, then you really aren't missing anything if you don't go down to one of them.
You have to pay to park near the beaches, or get a ticket and be towed...and if you were dumb enough to park in a motel or restaurant parking lot, and try to sneak over to the beach...you probably had a big guy named Lester come out and politely ask you if you wanted your car washed in the ocean or the river..!
On the hottest day of the year in southern Maine...you may not want to even get your feet wet in the ocean. You are guaranteed to lose all feeling in however much of your feet / legs get wet, instantly. It's that cold up there..! I've often wondered if Mrs Prag's nipples would become mondo-hard, permanently...if she ever went skinny-dipping in the water up there..!
The center of Ogunquit has an abundance of little shops and stores that may tickle your fancy with the tourist junk that they have in them. It's also a mecca for artists and gays...so be prepared. (or as the locals say..."if you drop your wallet...don't bend over to pick it up...just kick it over the line to Wells..!")
As you drive north on Route 1...still in Ogunquit...you may notice a small diner-type restaurant on the left. That's the Egg and I. There's absolutely no parking spaces to ever be had...the place always has a long line waiting to get in on the weekends, and holidays...but it's one of the best little places to eat breakfast at, if you like good, wholesome food (but I don't think they have lobster omelettes on the menu).
Wells is a town that I've driven through...tried restaurants in...and stopped and looked in a few of the shops and stores. But I really don't know too much about what's there. This will be our first time staying in Wells.
When we get the junk mail with the brochures and prices from where we have stayed up there before, in the late winter...I look them over and usually stick them somewhere for reference, in case we do go up to southern Maine later on in the year. This year, I threw them all away. Seems that all of the places we've stayed at in the past are now "no smoking."
The place where we're going to be staying, I found quite by accident. It looks much nicer from the pictures on their web site and the pictures in the brochure that they sent us than any of the other places we had stayed...they're actually having a special rate-package for the weekend...and we don't have to worry about smoking in the room (one of the brochures from one of the old places even mentioned that smokers would be allowed to smoke out on their balconies, but an extra charge of $200. would be assessed if there was a smell of smoke in the suite, and it had to be cleaned..!!!!)
When I made the reservations, I asked several times..."it IS a smoking room, correct...we CAN smoke in the room..?" The answer was yes.
So...add a King-sized bed...and Mrs. Prag and her sexiest fuckerwear...to our luxuriously appointed suite, and the heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub...and a bunch of other perks...and I can safely say that we're going to have a GREAT time, come Memorial Day weekend..!
Let's see.....we're going to eat seafood...fuck...eat seafood...lay around in the hot tub...fuck...eat seafood...take a walk on the Marginal Way...fuck...eat seafood...go shopping...fuck...eat seafood.....I think you have the picture..!
5/16/2006 4:34 pm
The last time Mr. Fire and I were up in the Mass. area, we said that we were going to take a day trip to Maine just for the seafood. We never made it there. |
Sounds to me like you are going to have one hell of a time! Wish I could come.
5/16/2006 4:50 pm
I've never been to New England states at all...but it sounds wonderful! Now you two behave in that room.....no smoking!!!!! And that's going to be hard seeing how "hot" it's going to be in there. |
5/16/2006 5:57 pm
As you know.... this all is in my backyard! |
Let me know and we will try to get together for dinner or something!
5/16/2006 7:17 pm
I've always wanted to visit Maine. I took me a little trip around Vermont last fall at peek foliage and instantly fell in love. I'd try New Hampshire, but I hear most of it has recently floated away.|
BTW... I hate seafood... ick!!!
Ah, Its you again, Your Angel Feathers and your Blood Stains...
5/16/2006 9:08 pm
I have never been to maine ......|
and I would personally appreciate you guys stop rubbing the sex thing in , it's hard for a single girl out here
5/17/2006 5:51 am
I HATE seefood!!! However, there is this place that my seefood eating friends and family like to go in Martha's Vinyard, it's right on the beach in Menemsha. I can't recall the name, but if you're interested I'll find out for ya. Anyway, they have a sit down restaurant and a walk up window where you can order your food and sit on the beach and eat it. It's where all the locals go to eat seefood, so it must be good!|
Enjoy your weekend!!!!
5/17/2006 8:15 am
Have a great trip and eat enough for Mr.Bambi and myself.LOL|
5/17/2006 6:54 pm
LOL, oops for the typo, SEAFOOD!!!!|