Monday, November 22, 2010

The Maiden Voyage: Part One

After a few repairs to make our new van truly roadworthy, we decided it was time to set sail. We headed north on a Friday night with our sights set on Portland, ME. Having not fully mastered the stick shift, I let Jeff do all of the driving while Parker and I did the navigating, although he was enjoying the comforts of the bench seat most of the time. With no real plan for the evening, we found a spot to park the van just past the Ferry Terminal on Commercial Street, conveniently just a few steps away from my favorite bakery in Portland, Standard Baking Co. and the waterfront bars of the Old Port.

We prepared the van for our eventual return "home": pulled the curtains, converted the rear bench seat into the bed, and laid out the sleeping bags to make a nest for Parker. While it wasn't quite freezing, the temps were dropping. We said our goodbyes to the beast and headed toward the cobblestone streets.

Our first and only stop was Bull Feeney's, where we stumbled upon an excellent guitar and fiddle duo, North of Nashville. After enjoying a few local brews and some dancing, we called it a night. As we approached our beautiful little home on wheels, we found Parker sitting up front in the passenger seat, patiently awaiting our arrival. He eventually settled down on his bed on the floor as we in our sleeping bags.

The only problem with going to the bars before sleeping in the van is the inevitability of needing a bathroom, if not in the middle of the night, then early the next morning. While this may not have been an issue if we had been parked somewhere remote, it became quite problematic in our urban locale. I was very happy to find that the Ferry Terminal (and their restroom) was open very early the next morning!

With coffees and ham and cheese croissants from the bakery, we hit the road again, our sights set on Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

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