On Friday morning we woke up at our vacation rental, got ourselves together and made our way to Portland, Maine for our premier lunch experience at Eventide Oyster Co and our star tourist adventure - a lobster fishing cruise with Lucky Catch tours. These were both planned experiences that we expected a lot out of, luckily they both met our expectations and then some.
What we were not planning on was all of us becoming sick. This was day five and all but two of us were having full on cold symptoms - but I was already Zycamming because there was an unfortunately annoying tickle in the back of my throat that was going to become something bad. But for the time being we were just going to pretend that wasn't there and move on through with vacation like there is no possibility of illness.
It was more than a 10 minute drive from Old Orchard to Portland, but not really that much longer - so by the time we got there parked the car and figured out what direction to take it was time for lunch at Eventide Oyster Co. We were trend setters again and the entire world showed up right behind us immediately after we arrived.
I read about Eventide Oyster Company many moons back via Instagram - the lobster ceviche was highly recommended. It stuck with me so much that I insisted we go there on this trip from the moment it was determined. No one actually argued with me, and when we arrived there were many oysters ordered.
Then we had to have raw littleneck clams.
After that we could have the lobster ceviche - which was beyond amazing. I am at a loss for words as to how good it was. It was just really really good. You should got to Portland, Maine and order it, it is that good. Totally worth traveling for.
So indescribably good, I want to record the words that came of my mouth while eating it which involved..."omg! omg! omg! this is a mouth orgasm! so good, how could this even be the case." So wow. I wanted another but that was just ostentatious so we got a couple lobster rolls and the lobster stew just to round everything out.
Then it was time to find our way t0 our lobster fishing tour. I have to note though, that while we were eating lunch at the bar window we had the perfect view of the Friday delivery trucks. It was a parade of hipster men wearing their Friday best mustaches, shorts, and other hipster identifying characteristics driving every size and shape of delivery truck. It is as if there are thriving sets of jobs in the food and beverage industry for industrious young men who also happened to have a sense of fashion in Portland, Maine.
We headed down to the water and did a little photo op with the oddly placed section of the Berlin Wall on the waterfront.
We found Lucky Catch just down the dock from the piece of The Wall (which I always thought would be wider).They were very lovely people who told us to go wait by stall three for our boat. We watched the throngs of other boats filled with vacationing seniors go in and out for a while and then our little fishing boat pulled in.
Unfortunately, a whole bunch of other people got on with us. It is like the lobster fishing tour company is a tour company or something, trying to make money during the season like a normal business. Once everyone was on they had to do a group photo holding a live lobster (ours is at the top of this blog post) then sit down and put on gloves and a rubber bib to help with the fishing operations.
We put bait fish in bags and when they pulled up traps we took out the little crabs and replaced the bait fish for them.
There were nice views of the harbor and the islands found there - including this old civil war era fort that was never used for its intended purpose.
Our trap route brought us into the harbor fog which made for some fun photos, and finally - a lobster in one of the traps.
So we learned about size, sex, and breeding female's and lobster fishing licenses. Turns out you have to apprentice for two years before you can even get on a wait list to get a license, and someone has to give up a license for you to get one - so most lobster fishing stays in families and is passed down from generation to generation. Unrelated but interesting, breeding females are always taken out of the traps and put back into the water - you can tell they are breeding females because of the notch put in their tail.
Dan got to put the rubber band on the pinchers of the one lobster we kept from the trip - and I reached out a touched the toes that taste. If you didn't know lobsters taste and smell through their feet. I apparently didn't taste that good because his little claw just brushed me like a feather.
After everything it was time to return back to land way more educated about lobster fishing.
We did a brief amount of sightseeing then it was time for $1 oyster happy hour at Rhum food & grog - a hip tiki bar in the scene of new tiki bars in the United States.
Mai Tai's were had by all, and they were good, right down the original recipe from Trader Vic's in Oakland, California from back in the day. After 24 oysters and 2 drinks each it was time to move on to our dinner destination - a restaurant called Grace made out of a church.
We ordered fancy cocktails and a dinner of appetizers including meat, cheese and lobster quesadillas.
After our dinner of many little small things we were very ready to return back to our house in Old Orchard, Maine - where we found a classic car show had invaded during the day while we were gone. So we went to sleep to the sounds of engines revving in the evening air, and our own coughing and wheezing on the breeze.