Maine Trip Report

This was the most nervous I have been anticipating travel in a long time.  The main reason was because my little baby boy Pappy was having to undergo surgery for the second time to remove a mast cell tumor and it would be happening while we were three thousand miles away in Maine.  We had no choice, time was of the essence and we didn’t discover the tumor until a week before we were to leave.

We found out that he was okay towards the end of our first day in Maine so all was right with the world but I’ll tell you I was a wreck all day Wednesday at work just knowing he was going under the knife and having to recover without me there.

Any-who,  We flew out on a full Jetblue flight on Wednesday night around nine pacific time.  It was a fairly smooth flight and I managed to doze in and out of sleep.  It didn’t feel like I had slept that much but I must have because the five and a half hour flight managed to feel like just a couple of hours to me.

We landed in Boston and schlept to our gate to wait out the three and a half hour layover.   With the help of a little Dunkin of course.

The layover was probably harder than the flight, and I am NOT a good flier.

Finally we were allowed to board this tiny little nine seater plane and make our way to Augusta, Maine.

So far that was the easiest part of the traveling. Rarely are those flights smooth, but this one was. I managed to snooze most of the one hour flight.

We touched down painlessly at the tiny Augusta airport and called a cab.  In less than ten minutes we were deposited at my mom’s assisted living apartments.

We relaxed there for a little bit but we didn’t want to get too comfy.  We had to make a couple of stops before we could settle in.


The first stop was to the music shop next to Damon’s sandwich place to get Rob a guitar for the trip.  While he shopped I got us some lunch next door and from there we hit Hannaford’s to get some supplies for the week.  My mom’s fridge was pretty bare.

Once we were finally done we settled in at mom’s, showered and waited to go to bed.

That last bit sounds funny but after being awake the better part of  34 hours we just had to stay up a couple more hours to be able to turn a potential nap into a full nights sleep.

We made big salads for dinner.  As a side note, there was an interesting conversation with Rob about the differences between Dinner and Supper in Maine as apposed to Lunch and Dinner on the West Coast.  It took a little bit for Rob to understand that Lunch is Dinner and Dinner is Supper here but I think he finally got it.

When it was finally time, we blew up the air mattress and hit the sack.

Friday was shopping day.  We woke up and puttered around a bit before heading out to Mom’s credit union so she could get some money. Then it was a quick visit to a very run down and crappy looking Kmart, to get a chest of drawers that mom wanted that was on sale.  After that we hit up Walmart to do our usual shopping for the stuff we didn’t bring with us.  I had anticipated it being more like last year time where I was able to pick up some shorts and tank tops to get me through the rest of this trip in this horrid heat, but I didn’t find much of a plus section.  Which for Maine is really odd.

I did find a HUGE selection of plus sized sports bras which is about right for Maine.  I bought a crap load because I can’t find them in California, and got a few night clothes.

Side note: Once I got the night clothes home and tried them on, I am under the impression that the plus sized clothes in Walmart might be hiding in the regular sections under the disguise of XL.  Normally XL does not mean 2X or 3X which is what I now sport.  After getting finally trying on a pair of 3 X sleep shorts I bought there I discovered that I was swimming in them.  They are more a 4 or 5X easy.  This knowledge came in handy on our second round of Walmart shopping later in the trip.

Once the shopping was done we headed over to our absolute favorite food place in Maine: The Red Barn.

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I got a Haddock basket with onion rings and a dinner roll and Rob got the 1/4 pound Lobster Roll and we split a chocolate shake.  It was heaven!!!!  It’s a good thing I don’t have an equivalent of Red Barn where I live or I WILL be sporting those 5X shorts.

With full bellies we headed back to Mom’s and got ready for our date night.

Showered and still sweating(Damn this humidity!) we headed out to Hallowell to see a play.

We discovered the Gaslight theater two years ago on our last trip.  In all the years I lived in Maine, I had no idea it even existed.  It is also the only theater I could find locally that was actually putting up a play in the time frame that we were going to be in town.


We saw “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” written by Steve Martin.   It was cute and funny.  The acting was solid right up until the title character Picasso came on.  His acting was wooden at best.  His lines were rushed and he was void of any emotion in his performance.  It was REALLY distracting from the rest of the otherwise great performances.

After the show we headed back up to Mom’s and ate leftovers before going to sleep.

Saturday we slept in a bit, packed up our stuff and checked into the Hampton Inn in Augusta for our first of two nights.  Learning from our experience last trip, we planned out our sleeping arrangements a bit better this year.  We planned our first two nights with mom, the next two nights at a hotel, the next two at mom’s, the next two at a hotel and the last two at moms.  So that we had six nights with mom and four nights to ourselves, nicely spaced out.  It ended up working perfectly.


A few months ago I had stayed at a Hampton Inn in Salinas for a weekend getaway and I loved it so much I signed up for their rewards program.  In turn, I also signed up for their credit card to earn more rewards.  They had a promo that if you signed up for their card and spent a thousand dollars in four months, you earned 40,000 points.  So I just started using the card for buying all the stuff I normally would with my debit card.  Groceries and gas and so on and so forth.  I had those points in no time and it only cost 22,000 points for one night stay in Augusta.  Boom, two free nights.

After checking in I did a little shopping at TJ Maxx and Target and then headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night.

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We spent the night relaxing.  We ordered delicious sandwiches to be delivered from College Carryout and I spent some time at the pool.  It was wonderful.  A vacation in the middle of our vacation was just what the doctor ordered.

The next day was Sunday and if you can believe it, it was even more lazy.  We ate leftovers and never got out of our PJ’s.  For dinner we ordered Chinese to be delivered for dinner and I learned again about the HUGE difference between Maine Chinese food and Chinese food everywhere else..  Heh.

This is what you get in Maine when you ask for Chicken Chow Mien. No joke.

This is what you get in Maine when you ask for Chicken Chow Mien. No joke.

Monday morning we had to wake early and go pick up mom as she had a follow up appt with her eye doctor from her cataract surgery.   The appointment took about an hour just to be told everything looked good and they would see her soon for the surgery on her other eye.


We had been planning to go to the Windsor Fair that afternoon but we decided we needed to tend to Mom’s needs instead.  And what Mom needed was a new computer.  She had accidentally burnt out the fan on her laptop and since it was a six year old laptop, it was more cost effective to buy her a cheap new one than to fix the old one.  Especially since she only used the computer to use Facebook and play simple games.

We stopped at Best Buy (there is still one in Augusta) and found a laptop that would work under 300.00.  While there we decided it might be time to replace mom’s ancient TV that is barely functioning.  The last thing we threw in was a stand up fan to replace mom’s death trap of one that had no protective front cover.

With our good deed done we schlept everything back up to mom’s apartment and Rob set about putting everything together.  Mom was over the moon appreciative and that made it all worthwhile.  🙂

We dined on leftover Chinese food and hit the sack fairly early.

Tuesday morning we woke up and all got ready for the road trip to Bangor so mom could go visit the Hollywood Casino.  When I used to live in Maine, it took about an hour and a half to drive from Augusta to Bangor.  Now, thanks to some interstate improvements and a raise in the speed limit, it only took us an hour.  We arrived, parked and headed into the building.  The only snag we hit was when the security guard told Rob he had to check his man purse, no men were allowed to bring bags into the casino.  Rob contested this as he did when the same thing happened last trip at the Oxford Casino, because my mother and I were allowed to bring our purses in.  Rob finally relented when the security guard told him what he wanted to hear: “We treat the ladies a little differently.”  He just wanted to be justified that it was, in fact, discrimination.


Hollywood Casinos on that Tuesday morning had incredibly tight slots.  We played for a while, but eventually stopped because this trip was about Mom getting to play and not about us losing our shirts in the span of a couple hours.  When even Mom said: “I still have some money, but I can’t see wasting it.” we decided to pack it up and head home.  She got her fill of bells and whistles, but realized she can play the same games at home on facebook for free.

Since we didn’t as long as we expected to at the casino, after we got home Rob and I decided it was a perfect time to hit up the Windsor Fair.  I put out a call on facebook to see if anyone wanted to join us but as it was a last minute invitation, no one could.  No matter, we headed out anyway.

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We had a good time but it was so freaking hot and humid that day that I was glad to get back into the air conditioned car and head home.

On the way home we hit Whipper’s for some a sandwich and some salads and headed back to Mom’s where we ate and headed to bed, completely exhausted.

Wednesday morning we got up and headed over to Waterville to pick up my very favorite cousin Dot.  Dot had more than her fair share of raising me when I was a kid and my parents were divorcing, so it feels weird to call her a cousin.  An Aunt or Grandmother figure would be a much more accurate description of what she is to me.  She is 90 years old, looks about 60 and acts around 40.  She is sharp as a tack and still funny as all get out.  I love her so very much.  We picked her up and headed out to one of my favorite restaurants in Maine called Governor’s.

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The food there is amazing!  I got a meatloaf that was put on top of a slice of homemade bread and topped with a giant scooped of red skinned mashed potatoes and drowned in homemade gravy.  Rob got Lobster Stew and Poutine and we both shared.  So freaking good!!!

After we dropped Dot back off at home as well as Mom at her apartment.  Rob and I grabbed our suitcases and headed out to the second and last hotel of the trip.

This hotel was a Best Western in Waterville.  We chose it specifically because we had signed up for a Paint Nite painting class that night that was being held at the bar that was attached to the hotel.

This was probably the hottest day of the entire trip.  It was well into the 90’s with a very high humidity rate.  After carting everything in from the car to the hotel room I was just spent.  I literally stripped off all my clothes, blasted the AC and laid on the bed for a good fifteen minutes.  It was almost unbearable.


After I recovered we got dressed and headed out to the painting class.  We had done a very similar class on our last trip to Vegas and we very much enjoyed it so we were quite happy when we found a groupon for one in Maine that lined up with our trip.

I turned out to not be in the actual bar itself but in a little event area offshoot of the bar that had it’s own little full bar and a bunch of tables.  We got our canvas’ and picked our spots before getting our drinks and waiting for the class to start.

I would say there were about fifty people there and Rob was the only guy.  Heh.  I told him I bet he wished he was still single!  🙂
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Our paintings

Our paintings


What it was supposed to look like

What it was supposed to look like

The class was a lot of fun, and while our paintings didn’t look exactly like they should have, we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Once we were back up in the room we realized that we didn’t have anything lined up for dinner, so Rob headed down to the bar and got us a club sandwich and fries that we devoured and headed to bed.

Thursday morning we went shopping across the street from our hotel at Walmart.  Now that I knew more about the way the items fit I was determined to get some cooler clothes for this hot climate.  I picked up a few things and then we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready.  That night we were supposed to have a get together at my friend Joleen’s house with some other people but everyone kind of bailed on us.  Not to be deterred, we rallied up with Joleen and decided to have lunch at Big G’s instead.  Big G’s is an amazing deli that serves sandwiches bigger than my head, and I have a pretty big noggin’.  I always get the same thing every time we go.  It’s called the Miles sandwich and it is turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo on their homemade white bread.  It is probably one of the best things I have ever eaten.

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We had a good chat with Joleen and had a fantastic lunch.  We told her of our plans to have dinner at my favorite pizza place Sonny’s, and I’m glad we did.  She informed us that it had recently changed hands and that we would be sorely disappointed.  I was really upset about it until she told us that there was another new place in Waterville that used the same dough as Sonny’s used to and was very comparable taste wise.  She gave us the name of Cappza’s Pizza and we laughed because there was a flier for that very pizzeria in our hotel room for delivery.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel for our last night of relaxation.  We ordered pizza from Cappza’s, watched TV and generally did a lot of nothing.  The pizza, by the way, tasted exactly like I remembered Sonny’s tasting so it was a huge win!

The next day was set to be a jam packed Friday of eating.  We had a breakfast Scheduled at the Purple Cow with my friend Kimmy in Fairfield, a lunch at Bolley’s Hot Dog’s in Augusta with my friend Mariah and dinner at Canton Village in Gardiner with my friend Naomi.  I wasn’t sure how we were going to fit all that food into our belly’s.  Just kidding!  Our stomachs were so stretched out at that point it wasn’t an issue.  😉

As we were getting ready for breakfast on Friday morning, I checked my Facebook to find a message from Kimmy saying she wasn’t feeling well and she was going to bail on breakfast.  No longer in any real hurry, we packed up leisurely and decided we would head back Mom’s house to unpack before our lunch at Bolley’s.

I don’t think we did a whole lot else before heading out to meet with Mariah and her family.  I “met” Mariah online many many years ago.  I’d say probably about 13 years or so, maybe more.  It was back when Livejournal was all the rage for online blogging.  I followed her blog for awhile and once that craze went by the wayside we ended up friends on Myspace and after THAT craze was over we had been friends on Facebook ever since.  I think I originally started following her because it was an active and interesting blog and she was from Maine.  Anyhoo, up until this trip we had never actually met in person.

We had a very pleasant visit.  We met her husband and her two children Ava and baby Emmett.  I got my baby fix for a little while and it was fun to finally connect in person with the person on the screen.

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After lunch we headed back to mom’s but as we parked the car we decided we wanted to walk downtown and see about the piercing place that was down there.  Rob wanted to match the gauge of his left ear piercing with his right ear and I had pretty much decided I was going to finally get the Monroe piercing I had wanted forever.

Even though it was around one in the afternoon on a Friday the shop was closed so we walked around a little more.  There was one more piercing shop around there but their sign said they had moved.  I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

We walked home and enjoyed the view of the bridge next to my mom’s apartment building.

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We putted around mom’s apartment for a bit before it was time to head out with mom to go meet Naomi for a Chinese food dinner.  I’ve known Nae since I was 17 so that makes it…24 years?  Holy crap!  How we met is a really long story, but she was the sister of a friend and I kind of adopted her as my little sister all those years ago.  I got to meet her husband this trip which was nice.  We chose Canton Village because that is where I used to take her and her sister for lunches on my paydays when I was in my very early 20’s.  It is also the first place that Rob met Naomi 14 years ago with her then baby girl Brianna.  We were hoping Bri would join us that night so we could try and recreate the picture we took back then.  It would have involved her getting into a high chair and throwing food on the ground, but if she is anything like Nae was at 15 years old, she would totally be down for it.  Unfortunately, it was just us grown ups.

We all had the buffet and talked for a very long time.  I hadn’t been able to see Nae last trip so it had been four years since I saw her and it was good to reconnect.  I also really liked her husband Dan.  He had a wicked sense of humor and they got along really well.

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After dinner we were just exhausted from all the socializing and food so we headed to bed too long after we got home.

Saturday Kimmy was feeling much better so we met up in the morning at AHOP for breakfast.  I got to see her daughter Emily who I had only met very briefly once before about four years ago at my mom’s yard sale.  It was a good visit and as always the food at AHOP was amazing.

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There is always a happiness and a sadness when I get to go home and meet up with old friends.  I’m so happy that I get to see them again and share another moment in time, but at the same time that I am so glad to reconnect and remember all the good times it makes me sad I can’t see them more often.  I admit, I am the worst person ever to get on the phone.  I talk on the phone for a living so the last thing I want to do is talk on it when I’m in my down time.  I know, it’s horrible, but I really do stay connected mainly through Facebook.  Sometimes though, it’s not the same.  When it comes to people I have known forever (Kimmy can you believe it’s been 27 years since we met??) and been really close to in my past, seeing them again just makes me miss them like crazy.  🙁

Anyways, back home after breakfast, Rob and I started to pack up all of our stuff.  We were due to fly out the next afternoon and we still had a lot of stuff we had bought and or had shipped to my mom’s house so we wouldn’t have to have extra luggage, and it all had to go back to California.

Once we had most of our stuff boxed up to ship back, I got a call from my cousin Tammy asking if she could come visit.  I was pleased she reached out and invited her over to mom’s.

I love my cousins, and I have a lot of them, but while most of them live in the state of Maine, it is rare to be able to meet up with many of them while I am visiting due to work/events/so on and so forth.  The last time that happened was my cousin’s wedding many years ago and the stars have not aligned since.

So the only cousin I got to see this trip was Tammy when she came over that afternoon.  She stayed a lot longer than I expected and we had a really nice chat.


The rest of Saturday was spent packing up our boxes and shipping them back to California.  I honestly don’t remember what else we did that day because I’m a slacker and it has taken me far too long to write this trip report and now everything is fuzzy.

Sunday we woke up and headed out to breakfast at Friendly’s with mom.  After we were done we headed up to visit my Auntie Donna for  a little bit.

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Then it was off to finish packing and catch a cab to the airport where it was absolutely deserted and deliciously freezing.  It was the best air conditioning we had experienced the entire trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it.


After getting on our puddle jumper and a small layover in Boston, I was delighted to find the plane back to San Jose had wifi!  And there was a Buffy marathon on the TV!  It was honestly one of the best flights I have ever taken and since I hate to fly, that says a lot.

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Once home and rested we decided that this was just the right amount of time for the trip.  It was enough time to do what we wanted to do but also have some downtime on our own to actually “vacation”.  The spacing between staying at my mom’s and hotels was also done perfectly.   Next trip will be planned out accordingly.

It was good to see everyone and catch up, but I was so happy to get home to my babies and sleep in my own bed.

Next time I’ll try to do a trip report as it happens instead of two months later.  I might remember more.

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About Me


I am a 50 something married woman living in California.
I enjoy music and traveling, watching crap movies, snuggling with my two adorable dogs and trying to be a good person.

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