From the Bus
Portland, Maine to Curve, Pa. – 578 miles (Travel time: 10 hours)
Team Movies Watched: 4 (The Town, Dumb & Dumber, Gladiator, Act of Valor)
Broadcaster Movies Watched: 1 (Wreck it Ralph)
Broadcaster Books Read: Inferno by Dan Brown
Hours Slept: 3 hours
Man oh man was that a bus ride from Hadlock Field into Peoples Natural Gas Field Sunday night and into Monday morning. We left at 5:30ish and arrived at home in Curve, Pa. sometime around 3:30. What do you ask do we do on a bus for 10 hours?
Watch movies is a big one, as you can see from above the team watched four different movies with some varying genres. The Town put Ben Affleck back on the map and is a solid choice and then it was followed up by a classic, great bus film in Dumb & Dumber. Those are as good as money, those are IOUs. Classic.
I did not really watch much of the last two movies on the bus as I started the highly-recommended Wreck It Ralph, which was as advertised: awesome. A good cast and a very funny, creative storyline that isn’t just for kids but I think adults and even the younger generation can relate if they played video games at all growing up. One of my favorite scenes in the film comes when Ralph goes to a Bad Guys Support Group meeting where he joins a session with Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog), M. Bison (Street Figher) and Zangief (Street Fighter) among others. I won’t ruin any more of it because it’s just so classic that it should be on your must-rent list.
It was also a pleasant bus ride after the explosion of offense that occurred in the final game with Portland. Alex Dickerson’s seven RBI set a new career-high for the Poway, Calif. native but did not set a team franchise high. That record is still held by Alex Presley, who drove in eight runs back in 2010. The five homers hit by the team in general are a season-high but also did not set a franchise mark, which was set with seven home runs on June 19, 2004 vs. Erie.
Places from the Road
This road trip I had a chance to hop in a rent a car and check out some of the awesome sights that I’d missed in Portland from years passed and I wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again. So, I jumped in my Toyota Camry and headed on out to the Portland Head Light, which is located in Cape Elizabeth and was about 20 minutes from where our hotel was in South Portland. It was a beautiful place to see at 9:30 a.m., especially when all the tourists had not yet shown up. It’s also part of the Fort Williams area and there are lots of trails, etc to walk around and explore along the cliffs.
Construction began on the lighthouse in 1787 and it stands 80′ tall and was opened in 1790.
After taking in the beauty of the lighthouse, it was then time to take a 30-minute drive north to Freeport, Maine to check out one of the more known businesses to come from that area in the company L.L. Bean. I mistakenly put the directions into my iPhone and ended up at the corporate headquarters, which is obviously not where I wanted to go.
I found out I was only one mile away from where I wanted to be, which was the L.L. Bean Village (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1000001706) in downtown Freeport and man oh man was it cool. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a piece of their clothing but I had no idea what I was in for when I arrived there. It is as it sounds, a village. It has its own car drop off area so that people can be dropped off and then can go park their cars. The “flagship” store, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (crazy, I know). It’s also not just one building but many. There is the main retail building but then there are separate stores for different things. Into hunting and fishing, there’s a separate store for that in a separate building! Same thing for housewares/home stuff, winter things. It’s crazy.
This is the main boot that sits in front of the flagship retail store (and also atop the bullpen at Hadlock Field where the Sea Dogs play).
It was not the only place to shop I found in Freeport as it is just the center of what is pretty much a shopping town. There are outlets, upon outlets upon outlets and, well, people can get into trouble with the pocketbook if they aren’t careful.. Also nestled into this town, I found a local donut shop that made a. fantastic donuts and b. an option to make-you-own donut. You choose your donut, the frosting and then the topping. I did not try but it’s a pretty sweet idea.
Last, but certainly not least, I ventured into Old Port, which is the touristy-part of downtown Portland where you can satisfy your seafood delight. Last season, we had a team dinner at DiMillo’s (http://www.dimillos.com/restaurant/), which is a super fancy place to grab some seafood. Without that kind of option this time around, I headed down to a local eatery on the water to get some clam chowder and, to fulfill my quota for lobster, got some lobster meat put on top of my salad (for an extra $12.95 of course).
The only thing that could have been better would have been if the bread bowl was of sourdough and not regular french, but hey, it was still awesome.
With that, I’ll leave you with a shot of the Maine Monster from below, which sits in left field at Hadlock Field and is the same height as the Green Monster in Boston, but shorter in width. It’s 315 down the line and (at least over the weekend) it seemed easier than previously thought to put one over the monster. Also of note, when Portland hits a home run, they have a lighthouse rise out of center field (behind the wall), much like the apple at Shea Stadium, and it shoots out fireworks. Pretty neat.
Well, that’s it for this edition of the road blog. We’re back at home starting today versus Reading at 6 p.m. for a nice six-game homestand. 12 of the next 15 games will be played here at home so we hope to see you soon!