Our Visit to Portland, Maine

18 10 2010

Our trip to Portland, Maine began at 4 AM September 23rd. For some reason, we thought the 6:50 AM flight out of RDU to LaGuardia was a good idea. When it’s 4 AM, it’s hard to come up with good reasons for flying so early. Especially when you’re on vacation.

Our flight brought us into New York City a little after 8 AM. Most folks at home were just arriving at work and we were already half way up the eastern seaboard. The sky was clear so the view coming into New York City was spectacular. You could see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.  During our trip, we stopped in NYC twice – coming and going. First by plane and second by train.

We arrived in Portland a little before noon. We were quite surprised to find warm sunny weather – 70 degrees. We had watched the temperature yo-yo up and down for weeks and were concerned we’d arrive when it was in the 50’s. We were surprised by the number of people running at lunch. It was a Thursday and you didn’t expect to see that many people out running or riding bikes. We assumed they were making the best of a nice fall day.

We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn. It’s located downtown on the waterfront. Our view was of the parking garage across the street but that’s OK. Behind the hotel, was a local brewery called the “Shipyard Brewery”. I wanted to get a picture of their flag staff but forgot. Instead of a flag, they flew a keg.

We ate lunch at “J’s Oyster Bar”. Like I said, the weather was so nice we ate outside on the water – Casco Bay. This is where I had that wonderful Lobster Roll.

After lunch, we jumped on the Portland Trolley Tour to see and learn about the area. We saw Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s house and learned why he wore a beard. His house had caught fire and his face was badly burned. He wore a beard to cover the scars. Sadly, his wife did not survive the fire.

During the trolley tour, we saw the USS Portland memorial, a cannon from the USS Maine, the Portland Head Light, the Portland Observatory, the narrow gauge railroad, and fantastic views across Casco Bay. We learned how indentured slaves were fed lobster. At the time, only poor folk ate lobster. How times have changed.

Our stay in Portland was wonderful but not long enough. Lucky for us, we took the early flight out of Raleigh. 🙂 The area is beautiful and the people are extremely friendly. The waterfront is lined with restaurants and shops. They have done a great job keeping chain restaurants out of the historic waterfront area.

I definitely want to come back and spend more time in Maine. I think a driving tour would be nice. Do some exploring of Acadia National Park. Take a cruise through the islands.

Visiting Portland was a nice start to our vacation.


Shingle Saturday

16 10 2010

Today we shingled the roof on the lean-to. I actually got up there and shingled the left side. The roof was a lot more stable this go around. The sheathing really solidified it.

The siding and vent are next.

Portland Head Light

15 10 2010

While we were in Portland, Maine, we took the Portland Trolley out to the Portland Head Light. The lighthouse was built during colonial times.

I love the rocky, jagged coastline. The view is stunning in person.

Forecast Says Rain

12 10 2010

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday. The lean-to roof needed protection. Larry had to lay roofing felt and install the flashing. All of this took place in the few hours of daylight remaining after work.

The Shed Project (continues)

11 10 2010

The shed project continues. You didn’t think it was finished, did you? Come on now. This project will never be finished.

So here was our dilemma. Look at this picture. Do you see the big wide open area to the right of the shed? That is unused space, my friend. It would have made a great compost area or small garden since it’s out of sight from the house but the shed casts some mean shade back there. So we settled on building an addition to the shed – a lean-to.

Here’s Larry using the post hole digger. As you’ll see coming up, we’ll be putting in (4) 4×4 support posts parallel to the shed. See the large shrubs behind him. They’re leyland cypresses. We had to chop them down for this project. I thought about moving them to another part of the yard but I couldn’t find a good place considering their height at maturity.

So the posts are in and the rafters are going up. The rafters are 14 ft long. The short end of the lean-to where the four posts are located is 12 ft long.

Here is Larry nailing the sheathing to the rafters. I had all good intentions of helping him with putting down the sheathing but the rafters shook too much when you hammered a nail. Gave me the willies. I had to get down.

Here’s the view from under the lean-to. Even though I loved my shrubs, it’s going to be nice moving some of the bigger garden gadgets like the tractor wagon and wheelbarrow out here instead of taking up floor space in the garage and shed. We plan to raise the ground in this area and put in a gravel base. We will be installing gutters connected to rain barrels.

From here he looks like he’s smiling but he was in pain. It’s hard to have a desk job 362 days a year then build a structure on the other 3 days.

We’re not done with the lean-to yet. We still have to add some side trim pieces, flashing, and then shingle it. I’ll try going up there again. Now that the sheathing is down, the roof should have a more solid feel to it (I hope).

As you can see in the pics, we don’t have any siding on this side of the shed. The other 3 sides are done but we’ve been waiting (on ourselves) to get this part of the project going so the ledger board, flashing, and siding come together well.

That was our Columbus Day Holiday weekend. What did you do?