October 18, 2010

Barbara Visits

My mom visited last week and interviewed for a job in Brunswick (she said it went well - fingers crossed!!) We also packed lots of activities into the 5 days while she was here. We spent a day in Portsmouth, where we saw a bunch of my Mom's friends, as well as my uncle, aunt and cousin.

It was a windy, but otherwise amazingly gorgeous day. After hanging out in Market Square for a bit, we walked around town, marveling at the eighty million or so coffee shops that seem to have sprung up over the past 10 years. We ate at my old high school stomping ground, the Friendly Toast, a dimly-lit campy 50's/60's romp that specializes in huge breakfasts and brunches. Eating there again would have made me all dewy-eyed over my lost youth if Alden hadn't sucked down a pint of whole milk in a little under 3 minutes, then puked it up all over the bathroom floor. Parental note number 543,347,699: children under 3 should not harness the awesome power of straw technology without strict supervision.It was lovely to see my family and walk around the town. When Alden went down for a nap, Kerstin developed this crowd-pleasing technique for blocking sun and wind. The backwards lean was an especially nice touch. On our way home, we stopped at L.L.Bean for some quick shopping. Alden really likes the elevators in that store. He calls it "L-On-Bean". That really cracks me up for some reason.Alden and my Mom at the state museum.
We also went to the Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta. The whole town (seriously!) grows giant pumpkins competitively, first for bragging rights, then for carving contests (including an underwater carving contest), demolition, and finally for building make-shift watercraft which are then raced in the harbor. The course takes boaters from the dock to a buoy in the middle of the harbor and back twice. There are paddle divisions, and motor divisions, relay and solo races. It's pretty insane, or so I hear. We couldn't see over the mob of people who lined the shoreline. We tried to let Alden watch by carrying him on our shoulders, but he got fidgety and cranky instead. We left before the real fun started, sadly. Interested parties can watch some random clips from this year's race on YouTube here and here. Pumpkin boat designs were quite varied. Here's a basic model from the one race we got to see:
As you can see from above, there were many casualties of poor balast and or balance. Below is a more colorful craft. It was outfitted with a horn that played "Dixieland" and had a turning radius of, oh, 12,000 ft -- awesome is the only word I have to describe it.It was really nice to have my Mom out for a visit. We saw lots of people, went to some great events and ate some great food!

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