May 29, 2016
Day 4 greeted us with dramatically different weather in the largest town in Maine – Portland. Today was overcast (and some spritzing) and about 53 degrees. But, none the less, that was not going to stop everyone from having a great day!
We awoke this morning to the rocky coastline of Maine in the lovely Port of Portland. This morning everyone had some free time to do as they pleased, as we did not have to leave for our excursion until noon. One of our families spent the day visiting their daughter and “boyfriend-in-law” who happen to live right here in Portland! So not only were they able to get away for a vacation, but they are also able to visit family! Some of the group stayed on board and took in a late breakfast while a small group ventured off the ship to stroll around the town.
We were greeted with friendly street vendors, cobble stoned streets, locally-owned businesses, horse drawn carriages, vintage fire truck tours, and lots of history. Whether we were strolling through the various shops, or getting a cup of coffee and pastry from The Standard Baking Company, everyone was having a great time.
By mid-morning we re-boarded the ship to grab a quick bite and then meet at the pre-determined location for our groups’ excursion – Tour of Portland and Kennebunkport aboard a chartered coach. Judy was our very knowledgeable tour guide and Mike was our fearless driver who was able to maneuver our huge bus through the tiny streets that twisted and turned in every which direction seamlessly. We were lucky enough to have front row seats on the bus and learned all about Maine from how it is the US’s number one destination for wild blueberries (the itty bitty ones), and how there are more trees than people in the entire state – by A LOT!
Once we got to Kennebunkport, we saw the beautiful homes in the area, the rocky coastline, and the quaint villages. Upon arriving, the group split up and some people wanted to dive headfirst into the famous Maine Lobstah Rolls, while others wanted to take in the scenery, and some others wanted to shop till they dropped! It was the census of the group that the $28 Lobstah Rolls were worth every single penny! You just cannot get them to taste as good anywhere else!
After about an hour and a half of taking in the Kennebunkport experience, we re-boarded the coach where Judy and Mike took us past Walker Point where - as he was continually referred to as “41” throughout the trip - George Herbert Bush resides at the Bush Compound. We were in for a treat because 41 was in residence. We were able to see this because there were secret service vehicles everywhere and the three signature flags were flying – United States, Maine and Texas.
As we got back to the Port, we literally were the last people to board the ship! Joel was the last person checked in and as he crossed the gangway and has his Set Sail Card scanned, they were pulling in the ramp and closing the doors to disembark from the port. Within moments, engines were revving and we were pulling away from the shore.
Today’s theme was eat, eat, and eat some more. As soon as we got back to the ship, we had about thirty minutes before we headed to dinner. Today was also a special day as we celebrated Tanya’s birthday – complete with singing Happy Birthday and a cake. After dinner some folks hit the show in the theater, others played cards, and others retired early from what was an eventful day!
We also had the opportunity to get to talk to some more of the Royal Caribbean staff today. It really is amazing how hard these people work to make our experience the best it can be and to get to know them a little better.
Tomorrow is Maine, part 2 – Bar Harbor. We are anticipating a full day of rain tomorrow as the captain said we are headed into a storm. The boat is swaying tonight, but we are hopeful it will not impact our day! A little rain never hurt anyone (so they say!)
The overcast skies didn’t keep us from exploring Portland!
Enjoying a stroll.
Stoping for a sweet morning treat!
Getting a tour of Portland!
And a few smiles for the camera.
Vintage fire truck!
Warming up on the bus!
We learned a lot about all the sights!
We made our way to Kennebunkport!
A quick group shot!
And one more for good measure!
Beautiful homes along the way.
Happy Birthday Tanya!