Friday, September 7, 2012

Portland, Maine

One of my goals for 2012 was to explore more of my own country. I, sadly, haven't done much of this yet. When plans for going to a friends wedding in Minneapolis fell through at the last minute, I knew I could call on my friend in Portland, Maine.

We had a fabulous weekend exploring Portland, eating our way through the city, and having a grand time in general.

First off, my friend managed to win tickets to the Portland Brew Festival! Score! Isn't my friend completely awesome? Now, I'm not a beer drinker, but who am I to turn down free tickets? Included in the ticket was a small glass and 24 tickets for a 2 oz. sampling. We had a fabulous time trying out all the many different breweries from around New England. It wasn't just beer either, there was plenty of cider and mead as well. It was a great start to our weekend!
My friend and I enjoying some local brews
This T-shirt made me laugh! It was for the volunteers.

A tiny "staff" member, the back says I Chug From Jugs! Lol

What festival isn't complete without hula hooping?
Next on the agenda was to explore the Portland Flea-for-all Saturday morning. Local vendors come and sell anything from vintage clothing, records, jewelry, and furniture, covering an extensive 3 floors. We spent hours browsing the various booths and goods. I walked away with a small world map and antlers. An odd combination, I know.
I could have walked away with a unicycle!

Why, hello Mr. Pig!
We decided to continue our shopping meandering and headed down to downtown Portland. I mentioned that I had heard from a friend about this place called Duckfat. We walked over for lunch and oh my goooooodddnessssss! I'm not even remotely kidding when I say one of the best meals I've ever had! For realz kids.

Duckfat is a small sandwich shop that is known for their Belgian-style french fries, but are uniquely fried in duck fat. Oh. My. Goodness. I don't know what the duck fat does to simple french fries, but they are amazing! My friend doesn't even really like french fries and even she couldn't get enough of them! The shop itself is super cute with some outside seating for the nicer days and bar-style tables lining the small interior. Lining all the walls are magnetic boards that are full of word magnets, giving waiting customers plenty to occupy themselves with, while waiting. I didn't even notice the wait for the food because I was so enthralled with making sentences and adding to other sentences! The idea is genius!

Most importantly, what did you eat Clarissa??? The menu was as follows:
Duckfat Salted Caramel Milkshake
Poutine, a Canadian dish that consists of fries, gravy, and squeaky cheese curds

Goat cheese, bacon, and tomato panini

Duckfat fries with 2 dipping sauces

Holy moly mother of god! The fries were so flavorful, the gravy for the poutine was full of spicy pepper and squeaky cheese, the panini crisp yet oozing with goat cheese. I'm telling you, if you are in Portland, Maine and you don't go to Duckfat you are seriously missing out!

After that we needed a nap!

On the way to Duckfat a couple had asked up directions to Duckfat. We told them to follow us, we were heading that way! We, naturally, got to talking. They were recently married, from Seattle, and had spent the last 4 months road tripping across the Canadian-American border. How cool is that? Next on their list was 3 months in India, Nepal, and Thailand. Of course traveling was all we talked about, swamping stories about previous trips, highlights, and recommendations. I love meeting other random travelers, especially Americans, because it makes me feel like less of a freak for my wandering traveling ways. My friend afterwards was making fun of me, because while I was talking to the couple about traveling I was all excited. I can't help it! Traveling is awesome!

Saturday night was spent hitting the downtown Portland bar scene, which is definitely worth taking a look at. My favorite was Brian Boru, it had the most laid back atmosphere. My quote from the night: "The sidewalks are moving and I must move with them!" It was that kinda night guys! Oh and I can apparently pick out the Aussie's from a mile away. I can't seem to escape them!

Sunday morning dawned gray and rainy, which was perfect! It was the perfect excuse to nurse my hangover on the couch with movies and enormous amounts of Thai food. My friend and I literally did nothing all day. It was glorious! 6 movies, half a berry pie, and an order of drunken fried rice, pineapple chicken, and spring rolls. That was my Sunday. Don't be jealous!

Portland was super fun and I'm looking forward to my next visit (whenever that will be)!

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