Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 33/60: Sight-seeing around Portland

Okay, fans of spontaneity and serendipity! Today was unplanned. Our objective was "to enjoy the scenery around Portland." The sky was blue and bright. After yesterday's gloom, I could hardly wait to get outside. We hit the road about 10:30.

We decided to start with a run down Commercial Street, which took us past the port and the commercial fishing business. Near a sleek, modern ship, I spotted a coffee shop. I got a latte while Dan took a photo. Next we took a run around town to locate the art museum.

Then we started looking for views of lighthouses. First we went to Two Lights community and saw the Cape Elizabeth light. We had a fun walk on a rocky promontory opposite it. The ocean was a deep rich blue in the morning, very satisfying to observe. Then we went to a park where we could view Portland Head Light, and in the distance we could see Ram Island light as well.

Cape Elizabeth Light House
Dan's photo

Portland Head Light
Dan's photo

Dan and Jan at Portland Head
Photo by friendly tourist
At 1:30 it was time for lunch. As we passed by The Good Table we noticed a lot of cars, so we turned around and went back. From the amount of business they did while we were there, it must have been the only, or the best, place to eat in the area. Service seemed painfully slow, but we got out of there in about an hour. Dan had "apple pie salad" which means apples and candied walnuts, not many, with chicken in a bed of greens. It was okay. I had a pulled pork sandwich, open face. It was a change from so much seafood.

Then we started looking for Prout's Neck, famous as the home of Winslow Homer in his later years. Like Bush senior, we must assume, Homer enjoyed being at the extreme tip of a point of land where he could watch the storms. The ride out there was very pretty. We managed to find a tiny trail between two residences, with a small sign that said "Enjoy the trail at your own risk." We parked in a grassy plot big enough for a couple of cars. Just how Dan knew this was the right trail I cannot say, but after a lovely walk by the ocean, we came to a spot where 3 people were taking photos. "Is that Homer's studio?" They had been to the Portland Museum that morning and seen pictures of the place, so they were sure. The museum offers a tour of the newly restored studio but the price is very high (Dan thinks $100) and the other tourists said you had to make reservations a year in advance. Anyway, Dan was pleased to photograph Homer's studio, and I was pleased to photograph Homer's view.

Winslow Homer's Studio at Prouts Neck
Dan's photo
The house was quite a lot more substantial than I had imagined. The large porch would be a good place to watch the changing weather; Homer might even have set up his canvas out there. Afterward, he could go in and sit by the fire. Below is the type of painting he did while he lived here; Dan photographed it at the Met in New York. Of all Homer's styles, this is my favorite.

Northeaster at Prouts Neck by Winslow Homer, 1895
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Dan's photo

On the way back, we managed to find Walmart. Dan bought a windbreaker and I got an ear-warmer, plus the usual drinks and sundries.

When we got back, Dan did another load of laundry while I worked on this blog. Afterward, we had a functional meal at the motel's café. Dan fell asleep at the computer looking at his photos.

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