Widgets Boston to Portland - A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care

Boston to Portland

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A long and eventful "first" day. We skipped Boston proper, instead making our way to Cambridge, where we grabbed a burger at the world's most political burger joint. (Mr. Bartley's burgers are named after local luminaries and national politicians) right outside Harvard Yard. We wandered around campus, which served as a great way to kill an hour, but I didn't find it as impressive or interesting from an architectural perspective as PG's alma mater, the University of Virginia.

The rest of the day was spent meeting people we knew, including one of PG's college friends in Chelsea, who told us to leave Boston before 3:30 when the traffic would hit. This good advice prevented us from being too delayed on the way to Portland, Maine. Highlights of Portland:

  • The Inn at St. John. A very price-competitive bed and breakfast, whose cheapest rooms are less expensive than a chain hotel. True, we have a European-style across-the-hall shared bathroom and an in-window AC unit that may date from the Eisenhower administration, and some of the furniture and wallpaper shows its age. Nonetheless, the rooms are charming, if slightly dusty, with plenty of colonial trimmings.

  • Local 188 (warning: link has sound). I don't know about the food here, but the bar serves very potent cocktails. If you order the sazerac, they'll happily substitute absinthe for pernod, and PG found the "margarichio" strong enough to knock her for a loop. The bar was recommended by blogger Sherry and her husband. I had not seen her since she acted as my unofficial mentor in law school, and this was her first introduction to PG. Still a great mentor!

Which brings us to a big travel lesson: local friends are invaluable when exploring a place quickly. We'd planned to spend tomorrow in Portland proper, perhaps doing some sailing, before heading on up to Prince Edward Island. They recommended better places to sail, other places to see, and which campground would be the best to get to by tomorrow night. I'm sure we would have had fun without the advice, but having heard their tales, we're really looking forward to tomorrow.

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