Sept 29-30, 2021 Birthday!

The day dawned lovely and bright and we were going to try to visit Acadia National Park again and hopefully enjoy the sights of the park in good weather.  We drove into the park and found it jammed pack with cars and other tourists.  All the overlooks were mostly full of cars.  The few available parking spots were either too small for our RV or the road was too busy for us to safely make the turn.  We drove along the park loop and found we could not go to the summit Cadillac Mountain because they required reservations to enter and they did not allow large vehicles.  We continued to Jordan Pond but was unable to find parking despite circling the parking lot several times.  Finally, the parts of the road were narrow and the increased traffic made even just driving around a stressful experience.  The trees and rugged coastline was pretty but much the same as we had seen in Nova Scotia and along the California coast.  This all led us to decide to cut short our visit and leave.

We drove to the outskirts of Portland where we found a nice playground for Olivia to burn off some energy before heading to a Walmart for the night.

The next day was Holly’s birthday so Olivia made up a Happy Birthday sign using her Legos and we went out early to buy a birthday cake at the Walmart where we had spent the night.  It turned out the Walmart was a smaller one and didn’t have a grocery or bakery section so we ended up having to buy a pack of cupcakes and candles.  Next, we went to a nearby restaurant and got a takeout breakfast of omelet, pancake, and sausage for Holly. When we returned we gave Holly a nice breakfast and a little birthday party.  Olivia learned to play Happy Birthday on her harmonica and she even made a piñata out of a couple of paper plates.

Olivia made a Happy Birthday sign out of legos for Holly’s birthday

Afterwards we drove into the City of Portland, Maine.  Holly wanted to go to a place the Holy Donut which had special potato doughnuts and we got there just before they closed.  The doughnuts were good but not too much different than a regular doughnut except they were a bit heavier.  We did a little window shopping, stopping by a store called Sea Bags which made bags from sail material but the bags were quite expensive.  Eventually we got to a restaurant called Duckfat, who’s claim to fame is that they make French Fries using duck fat instead of oil.  The $9 order of fries were tasty and a little more fluffy, less crisp than regular French Fries and came with pretentious dipping sauces such as Truffle Catsup and horseradish.

We walked around a bit more before going to J’s Oyster restaurant for Holly’s birthday dinner.  J’s Oyster is very popular but small restaurant so we had to wait over an hour to get a table.  The restaurant is much less touristy than the other restaurants on the waterfront and the food was less expensive.  While some places charged up to $28 for a lobster roll it was only $18 at J’s.  There was a nice outside waiting area though and we met some locals also waiting for a table who said that the food was worth the wait so we knew we were in the right place. 

Since it was a special meal we went all out ordering three appetizers.

Oyster Sampler plate that had one each of raw oyster, baked stuffed oyster with lobster stuffing, Oysters Rockefeller and Oyster Mornay, which is a baked oyster with Swiss cheese.

Salmon Skewer

A bucket of steamed clams

Holly got a Seafood Casserole for her main, I got Broiled Haddock and Olivia, who hates seafood ordered a Pastrami and Swiss sandwich.

The food was all quite excellent and the steamed clams were a bit unusual in that it came with a cup of clam juice along with separate cups of melted butter, horseradish and cocktail sauce.  To eat the steamed clams we had to first remove the gills and a sleeve from the clam, then swirl the clam in the clam juice to remove sand before dipping it the butter, horseradish and cocktail sauce.  It was a lot of work but the clams were plump and delicious.  The Salmon Skewer was also especially good with flaky, juicy salmon that at the same time managed to stay on the wooden skewer.  Holly also really enjoyed her Seafood Casserole that was chock full of fish, shrimp, scallops and even some lobster, all in a heavy, cream and butter sauce.   Overall, it was an excellent meal and we felt that we got the full New England seafood experience.

We have a cool video of Holly’s Birthday that you can check out:

With full bellies, we returned to Rover and drove back to the Walmart we had stayed at the night before and had a birthday cupcake for dessert before settling in to bed.

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