A New England Weekend – Day 1

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Destinations, Food, General Musings, Photos, Travel

Man 5:20 came early! Yes, that means I got to sleep in a little. It was a hot and humid start to the morning; especially for 5am… hopefully the day wouldn’t get much hotter. I performed my usual pre-ride inspection checking my tire and shock pressures and guaranteed the luggage was secured.

We assumed a minimum of 5 hours saddle time and 2 hours break time to reach our first destination in Yarmouth, ME. With this in mind, our plan was to meet at the local Pride station, fill up and roll out at 7:30.  Truthfully, we didn’t roll out until 8:00, but we had extra time built in to our numbers. We didn’t want to ride highways, so we knew our times would be subject to traffic – we just didn’t expect to fall behind so early.

The first leg of the journey was easy. Cruise up 91 North into Brattleboro, VT and head east on 9 into New Hampshire. Our eyes were set on a stop in Keene for a quick breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts. Although uneventful, one Mass State Police Officer had us in his sights.  The problem with using the highway to chew up miles and destroy the asphalt on a trip like this is that you want it done sooner rather than later. And that’s where the cops come in to play.  Just don’t do 80 MPH like we were and you should be OK.

A mad case of the giggles was also in full force on this trip, starting early with 2 woman walking Weimaraners. And the dogs were cute too! I should have known this would set the pace for memorable moments/sayings that spark laughter memory.

We continued on RT9 east on what proved to be the most scenic riding all day (and practically the slowest too, at speed’s averaging 55MPH). From 9 we connected to 89 (highway), 93 (highway), and RT101 (may as well have been highway). We stopped at Seacoast Harley Davidson in North Hampton, NH, filled up the tanks and fought traffic up into Maine, eventually making it to Yarmouth for lunch at 3:00.

Day’s Crabmeat and Lobster (Yarmouth, ME)

“The best lobster roll I’ve ever eaten.” – Todd

Day’s was good. Heck, Day’s was really good. Even heck-er (?!?), Day’s was a great lobster roll. The rest of the food was good, but I can’t give it to many more accolades after that. Is it one of the most visited roadside spots because it’s the best? Or is it because Day’s is conveniently located right off of I295 next to a Tourist Information building? I mean, really, who wouldn’t stop to find out how far they are from destination X and say, “Ya know, we’re in Maine. Let’s do what all native Mainers do and get a lobster roll!” Day’s deserves a second chance and all the other lobster shacks in Maine deserve a first chance. I am thinking a new road trip is in the making. But I digress…

With 250 miles traveled, 8 hours of saddle time logged, and full stomachs, it was time to head back to Portland for the night. By the time we arrived at the hotel and hit the pool, it was time to fill our stomachs once again – only this time a few good drinks (yes, beer!) were an even greater need than food.  Happy hour found us at Sebastian’s on Fore St. where we enjoyed $5 Mojitos (it’s always fun drinking Mojitos and making Sam  Axe/Chuck Finley references) and local brewery Baxter Brewing Company’s Stowaway IPA.

A quick stop at Gritty McDuff’s, and it was off for chow. Dinner proved to be one of the worst, if not the worst, lobster dinners we have ever eaten.  Based on its excellent reviews and despite its tourist trap location, we chose to eat at the Portland Lobster Company. The wait was over an hour (after placing the order), the lobster was overcooked, the PEI mussels were mostly mussel-less, the corn was blah, and the seafood chowder was bland… furthermore, the beers were outrageously priced but at least we were able to leave with that good ‘ole drunken feeling.

Onward we moved to find more beer. Novare Res Bier Cafe was our destination. And it was there we remained until our night ended. With a long day of riding behind us, a long evening and night of drinking behind, and a full day of riding ahead of us, it was time to call things a night around 11 pm. Only the night didn’t end when we got back to the pool. The aquarium was once again open as we put our bathing suit bodies on display in the hotel pool for half of downtown Portland to see. And of course, after drinking and swimming it was time for bed finally, right? Nope.  We hit up the hotel restaurant for the day’s final meal… Most of us chose typical pub fare but Todd was feeling fancy as he first questioned why there was mushroom ravioli on the menu, but then proceeded to order it up… And fall asleep eating it. Unfortunately there are no pics floating around of this.

And as a special treat for reading about day one, please enjoy the following pics of our first day antics.

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Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

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