It’s been about 2 months, but I wanted to reflect on the vacation we took to Portland Maine. The first question we get is why Portland? My answer is something like why not Portland? For a while I’ve gone to big cities to get away, but I wanted to escape the big city feel for a bit. Portland had Uber and Lyft, and I figured Abby and I could get around it fine. I never expected to love it so much. The people we met plus all the things we did still leave me missing it.
We got there Tuesday evening. It was cold and Rainy, and the first thing I noticed was the smell of the ocean in the air. Also how clean it felt to breathe. We got to the hotel and Abby took Bancroft out to use the bathroom and eat. It was raining and I looked at my GPS app to see what was close. I found an Italian restaurant with in walking distance. Even though it was raining we decided to walk. When we got to the place I ordered and so did Abby. We moved down to pay, and I asked where the tables were and that’s when I realized this was more like a local market rather than a sit-down diner. We ended up getting an Uber back to the room, so walking there was really pointless, but regardless I loved it. The people weren’t that friendly, at the restaurant, but we made do. Abby also found a brownie just by feeling things and it was good.
The next day we went out to a place called the Lobster Shack. It was about 10 miles outside of Portland. We took an Uber. We got out and I looked at my phone realizing I had no data coverage. I was a bit nervous, because to get an Uber back of course I needed data. I played it cool, because I didn’t want Abby to worry and said we will be fine. We went in and I had 2 lobsters. I gave Abby a peace of mine and she had a lobster salad. She discovered she didn’t like lobster. After we ate we decided to figure out how to get back. I checked WiFi and of course I found 2, but they were both secure. We walked back outside and I found a spot where I found a bar of LTE. I called the Uber, and it was about 12 minutes out. We walked towards what I thought was a parking lot, but it ended up being the waves of the ocean we heard. It was so beautiful to hear the water moving so fast. We were standing listening when a gentleman approached us and said his mom was blind and he grew up with descriptive video. He asked us would you like me to describe the scenery to you guys? While describing he went and got us some rock to show what the landscape was made of. Looking back on it later I found myself being so grateful he approached us. When we travel scenery really doesn’t mean much to us, because being blind being told the sun is setting or something really isn’t going to stick with me the rest of my life. That guys description and the feel of the rock and the sounds of the waves of the ocean always will. If he hadn’t been there it wouldn’t have meant as much I don’t think. I will tell you are island story and I think this one will make sense of that.
Abby and I caught our Uber back to Portland and got some Ice-cream. We then met Abby’s friend Gabe who she had meant through a guide dog group and we went to a Portland Seadog game. Oh my gosh the elevator at the park was older than the Boston Redsox I’m sure. It couldn’t hold all 3 of us, so I sent Gabe his dog Abby and Bancroft up then I came up next. The radio broadcast was right on point with the game, and they had wonderful crowd interaction. Please Louisville send folks to see how it’s done Bats games are so boring now. Also Iheart needs to get the radio broadcast from being 20 seconds behind. Anyway we got to see a double header, but during the second game we all got cold. Nights in Maine are cold once that sun goes down you’ll need a jacket.
The next day Abby and I went down to the main dock and caught a water taxy over to Peaks Island. We could of gotten on a fairy, but I wanted to see what a water taxy felt like. We got to go pretty fast which I enjoyed. It was about a 15 minute ride over to the island and it was relaxing. When we got there we were just left on the dock so we went exploring. I love this kind of thing. I found a giftshop and people weren’t at first eager to help us meaning the folks working. Abby and I started feeling things. Most of it was shirts so of course we didn’t get to much info. I found the back of the line and waited. Finally one of the workers came out and described some shirts to us as well as other merchandise. I then got a $8.00 shake which was good, but I was shocked it was $8. When did shakes start costing so much? Anyway I’ll stop being an old man. Neither of us were hungry so I called and got the water taxy to pick us back up. Abby and I both reflected on it later in that it was fun going over to it, but not being able to see anything sort of made it feel like any other place. I talked with the lady as she walked with us around the store and got a sense of how small it was, but not being able to see it really didn’t mean much. I did like the fact we saw no cars only what sounded like golf carts was pretty neat. Also everywhere we walked I felt like we were going up or down a incline.
One of the best things we did was the lobster expedition. We got on the boat and they took are picture holding a lobster. I thought it was fake at first and mentioned it to Abby. She grabbed it’s claw first and it moved and she let out a surprised startle it was adorable. Captain Dave was great about describing things to us as we navigated. In one of the traps we had a crab and we felt it’s shell. That was really neat. We caught a few baby lobsters but none we could eat. It takes a lobster 7 years to be big enough to eat. We also learned how to tell male lobsters from female. I ate 2 males later by the way. It was really neat. When we go back to Maine we are going to do the paddleboat experience. Where you just peddle and drink lol and cruse around on a boat.
We also visited a candy store with this really sweet lady who we saw twice but both times she assisted us and let us sample things and was just so friendly. Abby and I both comment that we miss the friendliness. I go in to stores here in Louisville, and I think folks wish I wasn’t there. We’ve ordered from the store online because we miss it.
On the trip we decided to go to Boston for a day to visit Abby’s friend Cory plus just to do something different. We took a bus Boston was about an hour and a half from Portland. It cost Abby and I $80 total to go to put that in comparison to go to Lexington it cost us $180 from Louisville so I really like the transportation. We had so much fun in Boston. We toured the first school for the Blind, and then we had lunch quickly looked at the aquarium, and did the duck tour. One event happened though that has made me sort of reflect and try to figure out a way to convey blindness to the public in a different light. We got out of the Uber at the bus station and we were in a parking garage, so we were searching for the door to the inside of the station and this homeless man I am just assuming he smelled of alcohol says shit and I thought I had problems. Now listen I know being blind is scary to some of you but if having to pick between my life and his I’d take mine any day of the week. Being blind isn’t that bad I have a house an Xbox different blog for a different time, and a good life. I’m tired of feeling like blindness is the worst thing that could ever happen to someone people really need to stop thinking like that. Yeah will it be depressing sure, but can you still enjoy things? Of course you can. It’s all about attitude and prospective. This event though did really impact me I don’t fully know how to handle it yet but I am thinking.
The other topic I want to quickly mention is when I got back sighted and blind folks both asked me if someone went with us? That answer is no. I never travel with a sighted person unless I was dating them or they were a friend, but I want to experience things the way I want not the way some sighted bloke thinks I should. This amazes folks people who I was surprised it did. My message to blind folks is this don’t be afraid to go on your own what’s the worst that can happen? Obviously don’t do anything stupid like me in my 20’s, but you never know what you’ll find just trying. Not all adventures were successful like are Italian restaurant adventure but we still got food and it still worked out. After we got home I was pretty tired and glad to be back for the fact it does take a lot of concentration but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Portland was really walkable and so friendly without any knowledge or much research I think we did pretty good! We will be back for sure Maine it’s my happy place and the humidity here in KY really does suck.
One other quick story Abby brought her guide dog of course and we did some walking on the ocean. now they had this boardwalk feeling thing but little gaps in them every 10 feet or so. She was moving quickly with Bandcroft and I’m back behind a little nervous so I don’t fall in because also I could stick my cane out and hit water no rails. i was a little nervous so she was harassing me a bit and so I said do you want to trade? She just laughed!