Very early on in the trip, I became thankful that I did not over-plan the entire thing. By our second stop–in Boothbay Harbor–I was doing something I’d never done before: going with the flow.
We were given a tip about a lobster pound from the couple we’d sailed with in Ogunquit. Happily, we arrived in Boothbay to find that this very lobster pound was located two doors down from our motel. And, as it happened, we were hungry. So we ate there, and it was fabulous. It seems that it is a rather famous lobster pound–Bobby Flay challenged the owner to a crab cake ‘Throwdown’…and I think the lobster dock won. And anyway, if it didn’t, it should have.
After lunch we went for a walk over the little pedestrian bridge into the touristy part of the town. We wanted to plan out our one day in town, so we went to the center of it to see what was going on. Having read about a day trip to Monhegan Island, we wandered down to the dock area to figure out how the ferry worked, and we ended up buying tickets for the next day.
I stared at the little brochure about the island that came with our tickets, and wondered how it came to be that I was actually learning about something we were going to do by reading about it not only after it was paid for, but mere hours before it began. It was so not like me.
And then it started to rain. So we stumbled into what looked like a bar and sat down. Fortunately, this bar happened to have amazing sangria–and even more amazing food. We weren’t hungry yet–as we’d just eaten at the awesome lobster pound–but the food coming out made our mouths water. We returned the next day–after our trip to Monhegan–and had an amazing dinner. I don’t even know what the name of the place was!
I do, however, recall the name of the place we ended up in on our first night–it
was a family restaurant slash bar called McSeagulls. Would I ever willingly enter a place called McSeagulls? Probably not. But it was the only thing open–and still hopping–by the time we had dinner. And do you know what? We had a lovely meal served by a somewhat scattered waitress whilst listening to live music (and an absolutely hysterical family argument that was going on at the next table–more on that later!)
So–did we regret our last-minute decision to visit Monhegan Island? Not even a little bit. Not even considering the slight queasiness from the ferry ride (I didn’t eat all day, so that was my fault!) It was amazing.
We did two of the hikes recommended for day visitors and had plenty of time to wander about the little shops and studios that dotted the main ‘road’–road in quotes because nothing is paved and there are no vehicles on the entire island. Monhegan island was one of the highlights of our trip–unplanned as it may have been.
Imagine that. Me, becoming laid back while traveling. And on day three of the trip! I’m still shocked–but so very, very glad I finally got that big stick out of my…ahem…ear?
Note: I just looked up Boothbay Harbor on Google earth, and the name of the restaurant is The Boathouse Bistro Tapas Bar and Restaurant. No wonder I didn’t remember–that’s a really long name!