Buffalo to Kennebunkport

Spring is the time of plans and projects – Leo Tolstoy

Truer words…

I just left my job with Phantom of the Opera in Buffalo and took off on a road trip to Maine for a few days.  Weirdly, this trip is eerily similar to that time 3 years ago that I closed South Pacific and took a long epic road trip  at this same time of year and also from Buffalo.

It’s trying to be spring here in upstate New York. The snow is melting and the sun is out but it’s still in the 30s.

Upstate New York

Highlights from the last two days include breakfast with my friend Corey Polish on the last day of our third show together.

Spot coffee in Buffalo

SPoT coffee is an upstate New York chain ( I also like their Rochester location, which is in a converted auto show room). They do breakfast all day including excellent omelets and really spectacular coffee. If every local coffee chain was this good and this consistent, Starbucks would be out of business.

Super fresh spring rolls at a Thai food truck parked at a gas station in Brattleboro Vermont

Thai food truck in Vermont

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if it’s 30 degrees outside and people are braving the weather to order from a food truck parked at a highway intersection, you’re best off stopping and getting something to eat. It’ll be worth it.

And it totally was. That sauce was garlicy and a little bit sweet with ginger and chili. Almost anyone can make a decent spring roll but great sauce is a different story. If you happen to be driving through Vermont on Route 9, make a stop at Taste of Thai.

And then finally an arrival to Kennebunkport Maine. Happy hour with a great book and a Cormac McCarthy loving bartender (and a photo of Kennebunkport natives…)

Ramp's bar & grill

Followed by a quintessential Maine dinner of mini lobster roll and lobster bisque at Alisson’s Restaurant
Alisson's RestaurantThe lobster roll was only ok. That’s been my reaction to most lobster rolls I’ve eaten this year so maybe I’m just not a fan? I don’t get it because I love lobster and will put mayonnaise on anything but they always seem soggy and flavorless. By contrast, the lobster bisque was phenomenal, rich, lush, creamy, lobstery… Perhaps I’ll give up the roll and stick with the soup.

I’ve spent the last two driving days taking two lane roads and trying to shake off the weight of the show. I think in many ways I’m trying to capture the sense of freedom and completion that I felt on my last road trip and trying to realign myself to the rest of the world. Fortunately, the seasons are with me in my transitional space

Budding trees in Vermont

I love spring in the north where winter is giving it up but it’s not quite warm and there’s still snow everywhere. When I got out of the car to take pictures I could hear water rushing under the ice and snow. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow but there are fresh buds on the trees. It’s winter’s last gasp.

I saw a dear friend of mine, the Celt, in Saratoga Springs last night. We had drinks, gossiped about our friends and told stories and I was again most thankful for the friend choices I made in my 20s. When we parted ways he texted me and said “Normally this is a curse, but I don’t think it is for you… may your life be interesting.”

May he be right.

4 thoughts on “Buffalo to Kennebunkport

  1. Curiously, the best lobster roll I’ve found *anywhere* was served at a little hole in the wall called the Neon Deli, a little family-run mostly-Kosher deli adjacent to the campus of Weslayan University in Middletown, Connecticut… Cross St. at Vine St on the southern edge of campus, as I recall… I was there between tours, running a crew from Sapsis Rigging, re-rigging their theatre in the late summer/early fall of ’10 and the TD hipped us to the deli… The cold lobster roll was truly excellent, but the hot lobster roll… Oh. My. Dear. Sweet. Tacked-Up. Bleeding. Jesus.

    If you find yourself in the middle of CT with a hunger pang or two, it’s worth the detour. Or it once was, at any rate.

    • I did have a hot lobster roll in Boston and it was miles better than any of the cold ones I’ve ever had. I’m with you there! I’ll keep CT in mind if I’m ever up that way.

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