Picnic By The Sea

Yesterday we met up with some new friends for a picnic lunch on a public beach in Bernard, Maine.  We sat on the smooth rocks, ate sandwiches, macaroni salad, and excellent raspberry pie, drank iced tea and lemonade, and watched the tide roll in.

It’s the first picnic I’ve been on in years, and it made me remember how much fun picnics can be.  Eating outside also is good for the appetite.  Everything seems to taste better in the sunshine and salty air.

Real Seaside

IMG_4559We’re now in Portland, Maine, enduring some rainy weather but enjoying the “old port” section of town.

Portland has a well-preserved dockside area, where many old buildings are still standing.  Some of the huge brick warehouses have  been refurbished and house upscale shops, taverns, and ice cream emporiums, but some buildings, like the wooden fish market, appear to be pretty much like they have been for time immemorial.  Walking past the ramshackle structure, you can almost feel and smell the tons of haddock, cod, smelt, and other sea delicacies that have passed through its doors and the generations of salt-crusted fishermen who have hauled them in.

The refurbished buildings are pretty, but I prefer the unadorned — and presumably more authentic — fish market.

An American Scene

The rocky coastline and the special appearance of the homes and buildings make seaside New England villages instantly recognizable.  Those towns, with their gray-shingled structures and buoys bobbing off the coastline, have a kind of brand that Midwestern communities can never hope to attain.  You see a picture and you can almost feel the cool breeze and smell the salt and marsh at the water’s edge.

This picture was taken from the fishermen’s dock, looking back at downtown Stonington, Maine.

An American Scene