September 15, 2018 Old Orchard Beach, ME (Day 4)

(Sorry for the delay in my blog.  I seemed to be having some technical difficulty and had to contact Tech Support from my blog website.)
We seem to get up the same time every day without an alarm clock.  It’s hard to break those old habits.  It was foggy as they predicted, so we decided to wait until later in the morning to leave for our drive to Portland.  We wanted to be able to see what we were going to see.  We left around 11:00 for our last day in the area. We took Highway 1 to Scarborough and across the salt marshes.
There was a restaurant that we wanted to check out for lobster rolls.  We found it and decided to stop for a bite to eat on the way back.  We continued on Highway 1 to South Portland in search of the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse at the entrance to Casco Bay.
It is more commonly known as the Bug Lighthouse.  We came close to it the other day when we were near the Spring Point Ledge Light.  Just a little farther and we would have found it. Anyway, we entered Bug Light Park and parked.
There were many Gold Wing motorcycles parked there as well as a tour bus full of people.  It was a popular place.
As we walked around the park, we got our first glimpse of Portland’s Harbor.  It was hard to see through the fog.
We could hardly see a huge sailboat and a cruise ship at the dock across the harbor.
There were lots of boats running around the harbor.  We saw a lobster cruise boat and a ferry boat returning from a trip to the Calendar Islands. (The Calendar Islands were named because they thought there were  365 of them.  But actually, there are about 220 island east of Casco Bay.)  We wished that it would have been clearer to see better.

We saw a few pleasure boats that were traveling around in the harbor in the fog.  
We walked to the seawall and noticed that the tide was really out exposing this unusual-looking seaweed.  
We stood and watched all the action until the fog engulfed everything and it all disappeared from view.   We walked along the seawall where there were headstones commemorating people who had died.  It seemed an unusual place to find them.
We walked along the breakwater until we finally came upon the lighthouse.  
The fog was clearing a little so I waited for a clearer moment to take my picture.
The Bug Lighthouse was built in 1875 and is the only lighthouse in the world shaped like a 4th century Greek monument.  It was built on a 1,990 ft. long breakwater which protected Portland’s inner harbor from ocean storms.  The area was filled in and is now Bug Light Park. It is referred to as the Bug Light due to its small stature.
I walked out on the platform around the lighthouse and could barely see Bob when I looked back towards the shore due to the fog.  That’s me on the lighthouse platform.
Unfortunately, I got no view of the ocean either.  Darn that fog!  We left there and plotted our course to downtown Portland and the Portland Harbor.  We took the Casco Bay Bridge across the Fore River to Commercial St. and the business hub of downtown Portland.  From the bridge we could see the hundreds of boats moored in the river.
That gray cloud in the picture is the fog bank.
We slowly made our way down Commercial St. which ran parallel to the harbor, looking at all the people.  Many of the old red brick warehouses, ship chandleries, and merchant exchanges are now boutiques, restaurants, bars, and shops.

There was just too much to take in while driving, so we decided to park and walk around.  We ended up parking in the lot in front of Dimillo’s Restaurant–a converted ferry.
We planned on spending about an hour getting a feel of downtown and Old Port.  There were tour boats docked along Chandler’s Wharf nearby.  At the end of the dock was that huge sailboat that we had seen from across the harbor.  It was so foggy that we couldn’t see the top of the mast.
From there, we walked along Commercial St. to Portland Pier to look at more boats.

We walked down one side of Commercial St. and up the other as far as the stately looking United States Custom House.
We walked up a block to Fore St. and into Old Port.  Old Port was the heart of Portland’s 19th century commercial activities.  After it was leveled by fire in 1866, the area was reconstructed in Victorian style.  The cobblestone streets, old street lamps, and architecture remain.

We stopped in a few shops and this was my favorite–Ports of Call–where I bought my 2 Maine souvenir Christmas ornaments.  I try and buy one from every state and National Park I visit.
There were food vendors on the street, selling everything from lobster rolls to hot dogs.  I especially liked this guys sign.  
This mural on the side of one building spoke of everything “Portland”.
This guy had a unique idea for a vending cart.
We stopped at one restaurant–J’s Oysters–to check out the price of oysters.  They had 2 kinds –Virginia oysters at $23/baker’s dozen and Maine oysters at $28/a baker’s dozen.  They were expensive compared to Florida’s Apalachicola/Cedar Key oysters.
We would have had a beer at the Porthole Pub.  It looked like it was a great place by the water, but we were running out of time.
Bob did notice these fish tails nailed to the pilings along these commercial working piers.  That was very interesting!

We headed back to the truck and upon leaving the parking lot we saw this sign.  What a nice sendoff.
From there, we drove down Commercial St. to the cruise ship dock.
There were two ships in port.  One was a German cruise liner–Mein Schiff–and the other was an Oceania cruise ship.  
No wonder there were so many people in town.  
We drove out of town through Old Port and got another look at the streets and the architecture of the buildings.
This Victorian Mansion is a historical landmark, known as the Morse-Libby Mansion, and was built in 1858-1860.
We took the same route home with plans to stop at Scarborough Fish and Lobster.
It was a hole-in-the-wall place with roadside chic decor.

On our plate, we had directions on “How to eat a lobster in 8 easy steps.”
This was the outdoor kitchen where the seafood was steamed.

Since it was our last day in Maine, we had it all–a lobster roll, steamed mussels, and lobstah chowda’.  

Bob also treated us to a Whoopie Pie which we would eat later.  We were having the full Maine experience.  

It was yummy!  All of it!  We left there feeling full and ready for some quiet and relaxation. Auggie and I did, but Bob had other ideas.  He wanted to wash the truck because he said most campgrounds don’t allow it and this one did, so he took the opportunity to do it.  He’s such a hard worker!  (He had washed the trailer this morning while we were waiting for the fog to lift.)
Looking at the clear blue sky at the campground, you wouldn’t think there was that much fog near the water.  Bob discovered this pretty yellow caterpillar walking under the camper.  We had been told about a certain kind of caterpillar that had stingers on it and could be painful if touched.  It looked like this one might, so we didn’t take any chances.  Bob relocated it to the empty campsite behind us.  
We had leftover chili for dinner and ate our Whoopie Pie.  It tasted as good as it looked!
Auggie and I took our evening walk.  Many people left the campground today and it was emptier than when we left this morning.  We watched some TV and prepped the camper for our departure tomorrow.  We had a great time in Old Orchard Beach and would enjoy coming back again.




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