TRAVEL with pat and lew

* Maine … one week each in Camden & Portland

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 31, 2013

We finally got our car from Hertz in Boston and set off north to Maine. Our purpose for our two weeks in Maine was to find a place where we might, in a later year, stay for a month or more. Spoiler alert … although we found things to enjoy in both cities, we agreed that one week was enough for either.

Our travel day had begun with a 6:00 am taxi to Penn Station in New York, then a 4 hour train ride to Boston, and finally a confrontation with Hertz regarding their non-existent South Station office. Already tired and aggravated, we set off on the 200 mile drive from Boston to Camden, Maine.

ben & jerry's

Leaving Massachusetts and passing through a little corner of New Hampshire, we came into Maine and passed Portland. It was time to take a break. The signs said Freeport was up ahead. We had been there years before. LL Bean-land. Only a few miles off the interstate. And what a break it was.

We have no photos. Blame Ben or Jerry.

We each got double decker cones with caramel and were innocently slurping away when we looked at each other – covered with drippings, too sloppy to hold a camera. Laughing at each other like two 3 year olds. Perhaps this happens often, since there was a washroom readily available. We cleaned up and continued to Camden.

Camden, ME


DSCN0710-Camden tall ships

Tall ships in Camden harbor

Camden ME is a delightful town located on a picturesque harbor in Penobscot Bay. We had been here before, many years ago on one of our first trips together and more recently for two different windjammer voyages on the tall ships which are based here.

Our rental apartment was a 5 minute walk from the harbor, restaurants and shops. And it is a beautiful place, spotless and convenient. Whenever we needed something, it seemed to be just at hand. If you visit Camden, you couldn’t do better than …

Marigold Cottage at

a place to read

Our main need, wherever we go, is a comfortable, beautiful place to read (and for me, to write). So need #1 was quite well satisfied, especially when we found the NYT at the local supermarket.

The WIFI, another crucial requirement for us, worked perfectly. The only negative was the TV. It worked fine, but the only baseball games it received were the Red Sox.

A sunset sail is a high priority in Camden. And the ship to take was the Appledore, which had just relocated from Key West, where it spends the winter. We met the crew, signed up, and enjoyed a sail in quite cool weather.

camden sunset sail

The other principal attraction of Maine is the lobster. Both in Camden and the next week in Portland, we took every opportunity to indulge.

DSCN0816-pat's lobster


Portland, ME


The ride from Camden to Portland was uneventful, except for the fact that the a/c conked out on a 90 degree day. Our first stop in Portland was the Maine Mall. Pat needed to sign in for the next day’s Color Run, and we made our obligatory visit to the local Apple store, this time to learn how to do some things on Pat’s new iPod touch. With both tasks accomplished, we found a restaurant and, during lunch, called Hertz to arrange for a car swap at the Portland airport. This went smoothly, and we headed to our apartment on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, about a mile from downtown.

The apartment, part of a really upscale condo group which we think serves mainly corporate clients, was spectacular, including the view of the water from our small terrace. Portland Maine Rentals …

DSCN0819-5 o'clock in Portland

wine & cheese on the terrace


Color Run


The next day was the Color Run. Thousands of runners do an untimed 5k run while being pelted with colors from cannons and bags and who knows what else. Can’t explain. Just look at the photos …

color run composite


Edward the watchmaker


One morning Pat’s watch stopped. It was a new battery in her favorite Mickey Mouse Seiko watch, a gift from her son Christopher in honor of her graduation from law school. So it’s important. She called several jewelers from the Portland Yellow Pages. One said he didn’t work on Seikos. Another said he didn’t have any batteries. Then there was Edward.

“Come right over! Do you know where I am?”

“I have your address.”

“But you won’t find me. It’s hidden. Do you know where they have the fireworks?”


“It’s not there. Go to Washington Street. Look for a yellow sign on a red building. Or maybe it’s a red sign on a yellow building. But you’ll see it. If you get lost, call me.

So … we found Edward, actually quite easily. There was another customer being serviced. We looked around the shop. It seemed as if every job Edward had worked on for the past several decades was still displayed on some counter or shelf.

“Are you the one who called me?”


To the other customer, “You wait. I need to serve this lady first.”

He looked at the watch. “It’s not the battery. Whoever put the battery in knocked off the connection. They tried glue but it didn’t work. You’re lucky you came to a real watchmaker this time. There aren’t many watchmakers left. But I can’t fix it right away. Can you come back tomorrow?”

As we were leaving, I saw a display of watchbands. I needed a watchband. “Can I see those?”

“No, you can’t have those. They’re antiques.”

The following day, we returned. The watch was ready. Edward proceeded in great detail to explain what the problem had been and what he had done to solve it. He drew a diagram and gave us detailed instructions to use the next time the battery needed to be changed.

“Are you going to come back to change the battery here?”

“No, we don’t live here.”

“You can’t fly back?”

Maybe we should. It’s worth a trip to Portland just to have Edward fix your watch.

edward the watchmaker

Edward the watchmaker


the MOMA in Portland


A selection of the William S. Paley collection from the MOMA was at the Portland Museum of Art while we were in Portland. Lucky us.

portland art museum composite


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