Lost with Beers at 10AM

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, December 12, 2009

After all the excitement at Rhode Island, my friends and I decide to venture out to Maine! I've never really been there and I heard it was a nice little area. The original plan was to hit up a mountain and go snowboarding. We left bright and early and even had my friend pack his snowboard into the infinity (which was borrowed from another friend).

Of course, no one wanted to drive, so I volunteered to drive a borrowed car. We were on the road about an hour away from our destination when it occurs to me that we should probably call the ski place to see if it was opened. After a few rings, an answering machine starts babbling about how they are not yet opened for the season.
Now what?? We're already too far to turn back around! Being me, we decide to whip out the GPS and wing it. After numerous hone calls and internet surfing, we decide to go to Portland!

The website made Portland sound like loads of fun with lots of activities. So I took the Portland exit and followed signs towards the visitors center in town. Strange because we are now near a harbor and parking is plentiful.

At this rate all the confusion and last minute planning gave me the urgency to really go pee. Good thing we are at the information center- they always have a bathroom there. We all hop out the car, walk up to the door, pull the handle and..... it's locked. What?!?!?!? How can a visitor center be closed at 9AM!! At this rate, I really really had to go pee.

Our new plan: find a place that's opened in Portland so that I can go pee. So we venture out about 2 blocks and my friend Rob spots the Marriott Hotel. As we walk up to the hotel it turns out to be closed down and under construction. Just my luck right? Seems as though nothing in Maine is opened! Good thing for my eye sight, I spot another hotel right next this the run down place.

But you know, its always strange to ask the front desk if we can use their bathroom even though we are not staying their hotel. My strategy? I know that every hotel has a "public" bathroom on the first floor- usually next to the pool area. So we were to walk in the hotel, casually, and pretend that we rented rooms there and then investigate the pool area for a bathroom. Lo and Behold I found the bathroom and good thing it wasn't locked!

So now that we had our head on straight, Rob, the courageous one, decides to talk to the front desk about things to do in Portland. And this is where we find out whats wrong with the place. We traveled to Maine in the middle of winter and there is never anything to do during winter season so all stores, including the information center, closes. Now it makes sense as to why this place is like a ghost town.

Fine, we all grab maps and a bunch of flyers of things to do. Walk two blocks back to the car, sit in the car for 10 minutes deciding what to do. Lets go eat then, I'm sure there are places around the area to eat. Since we are already here, lets walk around this ghost town.

Left the car and walked 4 blocks and we discover Shipyards Brewery! I look at my watch, it's 10 AM, look at the store and it's opened. Why not? It will be fun to learn about Beer and try some samples. It's a cute little place with a shop area. Of course, there was no one there so we were the first group to go on tour. We watched a 10 minute video about the history of Shipyards and I learned that Magic Hat is now owned by shipyards. Walk to the back room and got to see the actual work in progress. All the bottling of the beer and it being processed and packaged in boxes. It was a neat experience- a lot different than Boston's Samuel Adams brewery. Then the fun part was tasting all the different flavors that  Shipyards had. I still think it's an OK beer....

After our 10 AM drinks, we all feel kind of giddy. Our plan was to walk back to the car and hang out by the harbor but as soon as we get to the car we spot a women standing with a policeman. Trying to ignore them, especially the policeman because we just got done drinking, the cop walks up to us and asks if this was our car. I thought we were in trouble or something! But turns out that a passerby managed to see a hit and run. The car that got hit was ours... the borrowed car from a friend. (Sorry Mabel) Great, now Vera panics because she was the one that borrowed the car. I ask the cop what the procedure is and he ends up finding the lady and having us both fill out paperwork. You see??? This is why old people should not drive. How do you manage to scrape a parked car while driving normally in a road that is not even narrow??? She must have been drunk too.

After the completion of paperwork, we venture onto our next destination (Because a scrape on the car is not going to ruin our day).
Next stop? Freeport, Maine!
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