There comes a time in each relationship when one must venture out of the norm and meet their partner's extended family. This was that trip. We packed the bags, loaded the 4Runner and headed off to the airport, because it was my turn to meet Michal's extended family in Augusta, Maine. Family would take up some of the trip, but there would be other opportunities to explore a lot of what Maine has to offer.
Arriving in Portland on a Thursday afternoon, we were greeted at the airport by Michal's two uncles and aunt. From there we were off to lunch, at the Panera around the corner-something Michal’s Maine family does as a tradition, and then to the cemetery to visit the plots of Michal's grandparents. Unfortunately Michal developed a migraine-sometimes happens after flying. So by the time we were done with family time and reached the AirBNB in Portland, she was ready for a nap and as she was not feeling her best. I set out solo to find the nearest CVS in order to get meds and a drink. Our AirBNB was the top floor in an old 1920sish New England style home. The space was in some need of renovation, but it was clean and fit the bill quite nicely, as it was walking distance from everything the town had to offer. Check it out Here. Once settled in, I walked to the nearest CVS to pick up some meds and stopped off at Little Tap House on the way back for a drink. This was an inviting tavern with very friendly staff. Gave me some time to get the lay of the land in Portland from these fine folks and get some very unique recommendations that would heavily influence the way our night went just a few hours later. After returning to the AirBNB to find Michal was still taking a nap, I head out once again. This time, I checked out Ruski's, a traditional pub opened in 1892, serving up local brews and some fantastic looking New England style fare.
I had a beer, then continued to walk around the neighborhood, killing an hour or so and then headed back to the room to meet Michal. She was up and getting ready. After she finished, we ventured out and headed to Downtown Portland and found ourselves walking down Fore St. and then Warf street. The town was beautiful.
Classic brick buildings lined the streets with tiny pubs, restaurants and boutiques littering the bottom floors of big buildings and many cobblestone streets. Old ivy chased up the corners of the buildings. It was everything you image a town in New England to be like and then some. We eventually found our way to Tomaso's Canteen, which was recommended by the bartender at Little Tap House.
We started out by getting two red hot dogs which is a Maine style hot dog and some beers. Before we knew it we were chatting with our bar neighbors, who were quite familiar with the area…friendly and so nice that they actually invited us to tag along for their evening. We did. Before a description of where we ended up… these two people were awesome, and I don’t fully remember getting back to the AirBNB. Sounds like a great night!
Now a group of four, we headed back down toward Warf Street, where we decided to try out Portland Mash Tun. An amazing craft beer bar in the heart of the city. We split an appetizer and shared a few drinks before we had the amazing idea to go to Amigo's Mexican Food across the street and down a block. So we did and all had jello shots, and now we are all best friends. C'est la vie. After way too long a night drinking with new friends and making more friends in the huge patio of Amigo's, we called it a night, and walked back towards our AirBNB but stopped at Street and Co. to get some late night food before heading home. It was a glorious first day in Maine. The people, the food, the scenery and the drinks are as memorable and as magical as the rumors you hear down south. We were charged and ready for what the remainder of our trip had to offer.