Maine Lighthouses

Turns out this is as close as I got to Maine Maple Sunday

1802 House pancakes

Blueberry pancakes with Maine syrup at my b&b . Pretty solid breakfast so I’m ok with not seeing more sugar shacks.

Crazy cold today. The thermometer said 28. And this is the second day of spring! So… what to do in March when it’s 28 degrees out? If it had been cloudy, I’d have felt completely justified staying in watching movies, reading books, napping… You know, vacationing. But it was sunny and beautiful and I just didn’t think I could be inside all day. Plus, I didn’t really believe the weather could be that cold because the sun looked so great from a warm vantage point in the house while eating pancakes and sausage.

Note to self: in the future, believe the weather forecast.

I decided to get out and see Maine lighthouses, figuring that the drive along the shore would be gorgeous and I’d be in the car for most of the trip. This was all true until I reached Portland Head Light and realized that lighthouses, by their very nature, are not easily accessible by car so I’d have to climb up to them, which means being outside. Outside where the 28 degrees enhanced by 26mph winds actually feels like 9 degrees.

In a word, freezing and very windy.

Portland Head Light

It is lovely, though. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a native of Portland, thought so too because he spent a lot of time here and even wrote his poem “The Lighthouse” about this particular light. This is Maine’s most photographed lighthouse. Now you don’t have to brave the 9 degree temps to see it. You’re welcome.

The advantage to freezing weather is I had no trouble parking but it didn’t make me want to stay long. So I wandered about until I couldn’t feel my fingers and then hopped in the car and headed off to the next lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth.

Lobster Shack lighthouse

This lighthouse is on private property but allegedly is visible from the public Two Lights Park. I didn’t find that to be true and instead stumbled upon it looking for The Lobster Shack. The Lobster Shack wasn’t open so I’m calling this the Lobster Shack Lighthouse. I don’t know what it’s really called.

The next lighthouse was the most brutal experience and all my pictures are crappy and out of focus because the wind was blowing so hard I couldn’t keep my phone steady.

Spring Point Ledge Light

Spring Point Ledge Light down a very cool granite rock way but this is as close as I got. I simply couldn’t stay warm or focus my camera so it seemed like a waste of time. In summer, this is probably amazing because that rock causeway is all giant pieces of granite with big spaces in between requiring a bit of good jumping judgement to get down there.

The final lighthouse of the day was the smallest cutest most petite lighthouse I’ve ever seen in my life.

Bug Light

And it’s called Bug Light! Adorable! I wanted to just scoop it up and put it in my pocket. The winds weren’t quite as fierce here, even though it’s just on the other side of the bay from Spring Point, so I walked up and around and stayed awhile with the bug. Seriously, so cute.

After a freezing lighthouse expedition, a beer and a dog sounded like heaven.

The Thirsty Pig

The Thirsty Pig in Portland specializes in local Shipyard brews and hot dogs of all flavors and compositions including a vegan dog, probably filled with flowers and berries. Mine was a hot Italian dog with Thai chili sauce to mix all my ethnicities and I washed it down with a porter. Warmed me right up. I highly recommend this place. Their bar is a tiny place full of copper and wood tables as well as bartenders that know their business.

If you happen to be in Maine looking for lighthouses in warmer weather, head down the coast to Kittery and see the Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble LighthouseYou can’t get close but the view is pretty, as is the drive down highway 1.

Let’s see if the third day of spring ends up any warmer, shall we?

Coney Island Dogs in Detroit

Somehow Coney Island Dogs have nothing to with actual Coney Island in New York City. How strange is that?

But they’re an institution in Detroit so I felt I should give them a chance because I love local fast food whether it’s a banh mi in Saigon


or a garbage plate in Rochester, NY


And clearly, the Coney Island Dog falls much closer to one end of that spectrum than the other…


Tah-dah! It’s a chili dog with mustard and onions. Super exciting, yes? So exciting, in fact, that I had two, although that was more for story than the actual dog.

It seems that in 1917 two Greek brothers opened a Coney Island hot dog stand and then decided they couldn’t work together but neither one wanted to get out of the Coney Island Dog business. So they parted ways and one bought the next storefront over and opened his own store, resulting in two Coney Island Dog restaurants next door to each other.


Such is the Detroit desire for Coney Island Dogs that these two places are both open and thriving almost 100 years later, run by descendants of the warring brothers and serving identical product.


This is Lafayette’s Coney Island Dog and the one above is the American Coney Island Dog, a fact I only know because I captured the American Coney Island logo in the picture… I had to try them both to see if there was any difference and (sorry Detroit!) I can’t tell the difference.

But I will say that American Coney Island has a clean, up-beat sparkly tourist vibe and Lafayette has more of a dive diner for locals-only “no soup for you!” sort of situation going on.

Either way, rock on Detroit! I saw more people in these two restaurants than I saw on the streets the whole week I was in town so they’re doing something right.

I’ve gone to look for America

America is:

Uncle Sam

(Be careful his bow tie is really a camera!)

America is beer on a hot summer day

Trader jose beer

America is: yellow beer + blue water = green beer.

green beer

(Very America, but for a different holiday…)

America is: face stuffing

hot dog eating contest

The hot dog eating winner (Gus) took the crown by consuming 8 foot long hot dogs with a minimum of “excessive bun debris.”

America is: people who put their hands in the air to catch any free thing flung at them

Gimme a T-shirt!!

Even when it’s a T-shirt with a picture of this guy…

Mr. hot dog

American is: free “airbrush tattoos” composed of glue and glittter

"Airbrush tattoos"

America is: singularly compelling signs

Fried Treats and Things

I believe this deep fried twinkie (definitely a “thing”) is part of a long running quest that began in Scotland over a decade ago.

Deep fried twinkie

What’s more America than deep frying a twinkie and topping it with whipped cream AND powdered sugar?? Nothing. That’s what.

Anticipation in lawn chairs. Very America.

And the moon rose over an open field…

FireworksAll this America? I’ll take it. Any day.

Happy 4th, ya’ll!

Me and Noelle