A few days ago March 23, was my friend Sarina’s birthday. She lives in the big city, Portland, Maine. We made plans to spend the day together. I don’t do well driving into the city without supervision but I ventured out anyway! For years, the only place I could get to comfortably when I went to the city, was her house. For some reason I have never ventured too far away from home if I am the driver. That got a bit worse in 1991 when I was in a terrible accident….but I digress. I headed out at around 9:00 a.m. Driving along Tukey’s Bridge I daringly snapped a photo while driving…stupid I know! The water was rough looking and it was a really cold day. Once I got there (without getting lost I might add!)…she greeted me in the driveway….probably thinking (whew! she made it!) She lives in the heart of the city….owns a three story apartment building and lives on the second story of it. It is a house she grew up in, a house that I have been going to since I was 16 years old. She inherited her parents home. Her parents were adorable and were immigrants, who spoke broken English in the cutest way….I loved listening to them speak. They met in Israel I believe. My friend Sarina was born there. Her folks were the cutest little Jewish couple you could ever meet. Maybe with her permission I will someday write a story about my experience with these wonderful people.
Up to the second floor with my gifts for her we went. Greeting me, inside, were her two wonderful cats Callie and Grace! My friend Sarina LOVES animals…..particularly cats! She has been volunteering at a refuge/shelter for cats for years. If there is ANYONE that is an advocate for cats, more so than her, I’ve never met them. So, of course, I had to get lots of photos of these very special, sweet, loving cats that she owns. These are her children…truly. Callie is a kind of Calico cat who loves people & showing her belly is very inquisitive…. and doesn’t mind posing for the camera! Now Grace is a bit more shy it would seem. She has an adorable stubby little tail and when she sits looks like a Mack truck…..watching her walk is hilarious…………..She’s a manx. It’s like she is talking to you all the time. She has that look in her eye. “What was that down the hall? Do you have to take my picture now!? I really don’t know you that well. Are you deaf??? Is someone here? It’s just that Callie! I need some desk time….I’m exhausted! Ahhhh……that’s the ticket….right up my alley….no not Callie!….I said Alley! Ok.. I’m good.” Isn’t she cute? So….I wandered around Sarina’s house and got some nice shots. They’ve done a redo in a lot of the rooms and it looks great. New Tuscany style walls. That chandelier is original….nice huh? On to the study…..she wants to change out the color… I actually love it! A really nice window in the dining room…. off onto the porch for a view of the street from the second floor, they’re redoing all 3 porches….need repairs…. to the left….. out front…. this is a big tree that comes right to the porch! Callie and Grace go out here and sun themselves in wicker chairs two stories up! I think I figured out why Grace had that spooked look on her face at one point. Look what was lurking in a corner of the dining room!…………………………….
It’s like that geico eyes on the dollar bills commercial staring at you! Can you imagine how Callie and Grace feel with this watching their every move!? Time for lunch and we decided to go to a place called Saltwater Grille in South Portland. Good food…a little pricey for lunch. We each had an absolutely delicious haddock sandwich fried in garlic dill crumbs on a Focaccia bread roll. I’ve been on a diet for some time (slow progress) and I had not had bread in a long time. This was the softest bread!! Ouuuulala….was it ever good. I savored each bite….and the haddock was divine. The grille is nestled in next to the ocean. Here are some photos. Typical Maine restaurant on the ocean. That’s the South Portland bridge….we had to cross to get here. And a little to the right some lobster traps on Casco Bay.Then inside the grille is a lovely tall fireplace that was aglow on this chilly day. Sarina said I should have gotten up and taken pictures….I know….she was right! Hate that! As you walk in, there is a little aquarium that seems to be set up for children to sit and look at, with chairs made to look like sparkly lobsters.
Cute huh? As we were leaving the grille, we noticed these two medium sized white poodles (I think) and they were walking all around the parking lot, almost getting hit. Well….my friend Sarina, the animal lover, didn’t think that was right….frankly neither did I. We stopped at a couple buildings to ask about these twin dogs to no avail. Finally, we spun around and went back to the restaurant….dogs following us….spiraling in and around the parking lot. I tried to get photos of them but they were fast. Sarina got out and asked a couple going into the grille to inquire about them. She headed out herself to investigate. The couple met her at the door and simply said they belong to someone who lives right here….where?…they didn’t know. We left but were both upset at the ignorance of people letting their dogs roam around in traffic like that. It was out of our hands….poor pups….hope they don’t get hit. Sarina wanted to show me Bug Light Park down the road. While entering we saw many things. One was a Russian ship poised in the harbor. To my right was a steel monument in the form of a ships bow. It was huge and reminded me of our bath shipyards. Further down the road we saw something that made Sarina screech! Oh my God! They moved that building! I can’t believe it! This, according to her, was down the road a bit and was moved up here by Bug light park. It is an historical old building that I knew nothing about so I did some research on Google. It is truly amazing that they were able to move this 1800’s house. Some of the brick along the side was missing. There was a pile left on the lawn back where it used to be. Would you believe I got so carried away with this house I forgot to take photos of Bug Light Park! If you go to google and type that park in plus Portland, Maine, you will see it. I tried to link it here but it did not work! It was a fun day. We headed back to her place. I was thinking, it’s been a pretty good day. I got to spend the better part of a day with my good friend Sarina. We get inside and I feel the urgent need to use her restroom. Maybe the fish was not such a great idea? I must say at this point I avoid at all costs using someone else’s bathroom. Kind of a phobia with me but this was serious business. Everything goes fine at first. Then….a glitch. The john doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. Luckily the plunger is handy….right next to the toilet. It’s just a little bit of TP showing but it won’t go down. Oh please God help me get out of this one. Sarina is hollering to me and talking about something……”yes I’m coming”…..she wants me to try a tapenade her husband made for her birthday. I come out….I go back in….that water still looks pretty high to me. I flush and I plunge….water still high. I finally alert Sarina. As she is coming closer, I flush, and unleash the flood gates of hell!! Oh my freaking God NO!!!!!!!!!! The two of us are grabbing fresh beautifully folded large bath towels off the shelf to soak up the water on the floor. Swishing and slopping and skidding around we went as fast as we could because she lives on the second floor and the first floor may very well be getting some of that flood any minute if we don’t!! Oh God I hope not. Her dryer just died and until she purchases one she is going to the Laundromat! It was just water but still it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. There is one that is worse but you won’t catch me writing about it here! We both decided it would be funny to add this to my blog. (Isn’t she sweet?)……but I deleted the pictures of me plunging the toilet and the bucket of wet towels…..I just couldn’t do it……sorry Sarina! I finally left….with my face very red and dropped her off to pick up her car at Sullivan’s Tire in town….she was having work done. She directed me to leave Sullivan’s, go to the light, take a left, and when I saw the sign that said Falmouth North, take that right. I left….she was getting her car so I was without supervision which is not good. I took the right before the sign….(nervous still from the bathroom caper) and realizing I was lost, I came back out to the main drag….noticing the sign up the road. Duh! Meanwhile this vehicle comes by to my left….tooting and waving and putting their right blinker on several times. You guessed it……it was her and I already knew where I went wrong but it was nice of her to escort me to the sign….20 feet or so away from where I was….especially after all I had put her through! I got turned around once more at another intersection in the city and figured it all out…..same scenario…..turned around….took the right route. When I finally reached my little town I had a HUGE sigh of relief! I will probably not go to the city again soon without adult supervision or at least a map or borrowed GPS system!! I think it is her turn to come out here. Yah….that’s a much better idea….don’t you think?