The second bit of my summer vacation was a visit to Chantal and Jeremy. I was all excited when I saw that the most direct route from my parents’ house to Chantal and Jeremy’s included a long stretch of US2, because I like driving on two-lane highways. What I hadn’t recalled was that rte. 2 has lots of towns and town traffic, and I hadn’t thought about the effects of road work on two-lane roads. So it was a nice drive, but not as nice as I’d hoped.

My first conscious thoughts about Maine: Maine is huge (you know, compared to the ~2h to cross Vermont, and the seemingly ~30′ to cross northern New Hampshire; it’s big for New England). And it’s gorgeous. Even during the stops for road work, where there was only one lane for a while and the other direction was moving, the scenery off the road was nice enough to distract me.

Later on: You know, there are an awful lot of conifers in Maine. There are still birches and, um, other deciduous trees that aren’t as easily recognizable/some of my favorite trees/as memorable, but there’s a higher percentage of conifers than in the Burlington area. Also, that’s a lot of lupines along the sides of the roads. Mmm, lupines. Seeing them was especially nice since I’d found my old copy of Miss Rumphius while sorting through books at my parents’ house.

So, after a few more hours of driving through Maine, and after learning that Mainers drive really, really fast, I made it to Machias and Chantal’s house.

On Wednesday, Jeremy went off to work for a while and Chantal and I slept in and then went to beaches at Roque Bluffs and Jonesport/Beals Island. I don’t have any pictures of Roque Bluffs yet, since I took those with my real (film) camera and have yet to develop them. Here are a few pictures from the Jonesport area:

periwinkles at the dock

there are roses along lots and lots of beaches, and they smell lovely

one of the amusing parts of taking pictures out the car window

Later, after a bit of a nap, the three of us drove up to Lubec for a free concert of Baroque music. I was disappointed that the woman who was supposed to have been playing baroque flute wasn’t there, but harpsichord and viola da gamba are also quite nice. The performance was good, and they gave some nice bits of historical background information. I knew some of it already, but more context is always nice. (I sometimes miss having people discuss music history at the dinner table.) And, hey, the concert was a great place to knit on the toe of my sock, since I couldn’t see the performers anyway.

Thursday also started slowly, as is appropriate for vacation. Once we’d gotten moving, we went to Chantal and Jeremy’s favorite local diner. The cook called in from the kitchen area that she had fresh strawberries (it was really just strawberry season! in July!), so I had strawberry crepes. Mmmm, strawberries. In the theme of berries, since Maine is such a blueberry-ish place, there’s a store near Machias that’s shaped like a giant blueberry:

me and Chantal in front of the blueberry

After visiting the blueberry, we went on something of a yarn crawl. We started with a store called Shirley’s, which has lots and lots of stuff other than yarn; I bought a spool of dark purple copper wire for knitting. Then, after running some errands in Ellsworth, we set out to try to find Tess’s Yarns. Note the word “try”. We had a general idea of where there’d been signs from the road. Before we got to where they’d been seen, we found signs for “Shaw’s Place, Handknits”, so we headed over that way to investigate. No yarn for sale, but some interesting antiques (including a blue parasol covered in black lace that I would’ve liked for a costume) and some cute kid clothing, and the owner was a very friendly elderly woman who tried to give us directions to Tess’s. Again, the operative word is “tried”–she knows the way, but as a route, not to give directions. We drove around a bit, and we found another sign (a couple of miles off the main road) that said “yarn that way”, but no luck.

We went back to the house to cook some dinner and collect Hartley (the cocker spaniel), and then we went out to another beach.

Chantal and Hartley at Jasper Beach

I blame the poor picture quality on the swarms of mosquitoes and black flies

So, Maine was great. I want weather like that in July! Lows in the 50’s and highs in the 60’s-70’s! (Um, something like 10-20ÂșC.) But, really, blanket weather without air conditioning! And ocean! Okay, that’s probably enough exclamation points for one paragraph, but I can totally see myself living in Maine sometime. Although I’d probably prefer someplace a smidgen less remote than Machias for anything other than an escape.

I just realized that I hadn’t set the post status to draft when I saved this halfway through. Sorry if you saw a half-written post and got confused…