We placed a bid for work with the US Navy in Bath, Maine. We got the contract.
We drove to Bath. Yes, we drove. We wanted to experience parts of this Country firsthand as opposed to several thousands of feet above the ground.
Our Silver Wedding Anniversary was the day before the first day of training. We started our road trip several days early not only to have our celebration but also experience America at our own pace.
We traveled the green pastures and farmlands of Pennsylvania. Bounced along the rugged and rough roads of New Jersey. Followed the coast line of New York seeing all the boats in the Hudson River. We wondered if any of these boats and their owners were the people who recused half a million people on foot on 9 / 11.
Traffic changed in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Truckers stayed in the right lane. Other drivers kept consistent speeds and the appropriate distance between vehicles. These cars had working turn signals.
New Hampshire barely has a full page in my Rand McNally Road Atlas, sharing a page with Nevada. It is a pretty state deserving of its own page.
Then we hit Maine where the depth of green foliage reminded us of Christmas. Our Bath experience was immediate and breath taking. It is a beautiful city. Once we unloaded the SUV it stayed parked until it was time to reload. We walked every day to somewhere.
We discovered fried parsnips at the Kennebec Tavern and, as his desire, Richard tried the local wings. We felt welcomed by the locals at the bar. We met C. Ford who gave us her business card. She’s a local artist and on one of our daily walks, we passed her studio. She welcomed us with a personal tour of her bright and meaningful creations.
The hottest wings were definitely at Bath Brewing Company. It is a new establishment selling local beers while awaiting their own brewery capabilities.
We found ourselves going back repeatedly to JR Maxwells. “Someone” overheard us say that we had not been to the Maritime Museum and he gave us two free passes to the museum; a sizable gift. I have got to figure out how to write that thank you note.
We shopped spending carefree hours walking the streets and selecting made in Maine gifts at Lisa Marie’s. I think we finally got some great spatulas at Now You’re Cooking because the salesman took the time to explain why nylon holds up better.
Bath has a no waste policy pertaining to shopping bags. If we wanted a bag, we paid a nickel for a paper bag, no plastics. Merchants were happy to fill the bags we brought with us. I gave our empty IGA grocery sacks to the hotel housekeeper who was grateful.
We did make it to the Maritime Museum. We asked the hotel’s front desk person for directions because we planned to walk. She looked at us kindly and as if we were nuts. She politely shared that it would be a hike. It was a hike. Up and down for a little under two miles on the hottest day in Maine we had encountered. It was worth every step. We saw first hand much of the older architecture and what seemed to be miles of Bath Iron Works. The Lighthouse Tour on the Kennebec was the highlight of our visit. Richard said it was all he really wanted to do. The guide shared so much history and filled the gaps from our independent study.
The museum’s volunteers helped us with catching the Red Trolley back to our hotel. They were overly helpful when we shared we had walked from our hotel. Again, we got polite and are-you-nuts looks.
People were nice. I am writing about genuine niceness not here’s a tourist niceness. If we were looking for something and it was not available where we were shopping, immediately another local store was recommended. I left all my flippies at home and wanted a pair. The first shop we stopped at had “dress flippies.” The sales clerk recommended Reny’s Department Store. You can get anything at Reny’s. If it is not at Reny’s, you probably don’t need it.
There is a real sense of community in Bath. We could feel it. Maybe we felt it because for once we took time to savor the moments and enjoy.