Vacation: Part the Third

Posted: May 19, 2007 in best things, booze, Calvin, Food, Journal, Maine, photography, vacation


Let’s see. Just a week since we’ve been home and things are already starting to get fuzzy in my memory. Wednesday morning I ordered us some fruit, pastry, and coffee from room service and spent the morning reading, photoshopping, and relaxing while Calvin did the same with the paper and the TV. Around noon we took the car to get some gas, then drove to Dimillo’s (a short walk from our hotel but we didn’t want to put the car in valet again) to have lunch with my uncle, his girlfriend, my cousin and her husband. We were there for over two hours, enjoying fillet (Calvin) and baked stuffed haddock (me), drinks, and conversation.

My uncle presented me with my mother’s class ring, which had been lost at one point and then rediscovered and kept for me. I got caught up with my cousin, whom I hadn’t seen since my Grandmother passed away. I don’t know why, but it continues to startle me how well I get along with my uncle, when I was so fearful of him (out of respect and the threat of his righteous anger to get me to behave) when I was little. My sister doesn’t get along with him at all – she has a different history with him than I do. But more on all of that in a different entry.

Anyway, we all parted company at a little after 3:00, and secured an invitation for lunch at my uncle’s (my Grandmother’s, where I grew up) on Friday.

Calvin was out of clean jeans, so we looked up the nearest laundromat and spent an hour or so futzing around with the more mundane aspects of living out of a suitcase. We may or may not have taken a nap after getting back to the hotel, I don’t really recall.

What I DO recall is the BEST evening spent with my favorite person (that’d be Calvin), doing a pub crawl all over the Old Port. We went back to Bull Feeney’s for a quick beer, then wandered down toward the wharf so I could show Calvin the spot that I took pictures from Sunday evening, while he was napping.

the wharf in the evening, photo by Calvin
After rave recommendations from my uncle, we had dinner at J’s Oyster Bar (the link is to another blogger who reviewed the place and took the pictures of the outside that I did not). The place is, like, three square feet and when I say it’s an Old Port “institution”, I mean that in the truest and most respectful sense. We went there more than once in our short stay. They had the best crab legs Calvin and I have ever experienced. Plus I got my much-craved steamed clams (and my yearly recommended allowance of sand). It’s dim and crowded and shabby and fantastic. Real food with real people running the place, and the most unpretentious sort of clientele.

a blurry shot inside J's Oyster Bar
God, we loved that place.

Breathing deeply of the crisp night air, we set out with no particular destination in mind, and no plans other than to crawl our way through some pubs. We hit Gritty’s and sampled some of their great house brew. I just have to say that I love the bars in the Old Port – all housed in old, old buildings with exposed brickwork and wooden beams, funny crannies and architecture that screams “converted”.

Next stop was a bar on Wharf Street called “Cake” (can’t find a link to it). It’s newly opened and the bar tender (and part owner?) was eager to please. We sat on the whiskey bar side – the dance club side was empty in early evening awaiting clientele. We grabbed a couple of beers and ordered steak tartar and some crackers with cheese and caviar (very fancy schmancy are we on vacation!).

steak tartar at Cake
From Cake we crossed Wharf Street and went to 51 Wharf, a contemporary bar that was offering salsa classes that night, of all things. We declined the lessons and had a couple of Jamesons at the bar (after he tried to serve us SOCO. Yeesh.). The bartender was fantastically inattentive but we’re low maintenance customers so after we got our drinks straightened around it wasn’t much of a problem.

the view from inside 51 Wharf, looking across the street at Cake
By the time we stumbled out of 51 Wharf it was quite late, and I honestly don’t remember us getting back to the hotel room. Which means we had a GOOD night.

Calvin at 51 Wharf


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