Thursday, July 26, 2007

we're back and I'm a little cranky about it


Some of it is the usual vacation-is-over malaise; some of it is the sense that but for oppressive student loan debt, I'd like to live on the island for at least a year or two. I've lived in the east village for nearly ten years now and, particularly during this third visit to Vinalhaven, I've come to suspect I could be really, really happy there. I also strongly suspect that whatever bacon I would be able to bring home there would fail to satisfy The Student Loan People's voracious maw.

But! Of course the preceding two weeks were not marred by gloom.

We sniffed at pine-scented breezes.


We ate superlative clam chowder, fried clams, blueberry pie.

clam chowder

fried clams

blueberry pie

The chowder, clams and pie above were from the Harbor Gawker, which happens to be for sale (scroll down). Any fantastically generous readers want to buy me a restaurant? I am smart enough not to tinker with their menu, nor alienate their super-friendly employees. And I'm a lawyer, which might come in handy if Rebecca Charles ever drops by.

We also ate plenty of fearsome creatures from the deep.

big bully

It's a bad season for lobstermen so far, and I understand last year was bad too, but the industry seems to be a sustainable one.

blue Maine lobster

steamed Maine lobsters

lobster rolls

We found a SPOOKY hidden graveyard in the woods.

hidden graveyard

We admired spindly, celadon green mosses and pearly seaweed.

spindly moss

Geary Beach park

It rained A LOT.

it rained a lot

Lane's Island on a cloudy morning

And it was foggy A LOT.

Geary Beach park

foggy Mill Creek

On the sunnier days, we drove around with all the windows open.

driving to town

Or we sat on the deck and watched for the birds: osprey, herons, the occasional bald eagle.

Mill Creek on a sunny afternoon

yes, that's Mill Creek again

I fell in love with moths and yellow spiders.

fuzzy moth

hairy moth

another yellow spider

luna moth

This preposterous fuzzy-headed creature in the faux bois style — a luna moth — alit on our door the morning of my birthday. He seemed determined to stay for a while so we moved him to a rock nearby, for fear that he'd be trampled by the guys coming to work on the hot water heater. He didn't move for a very long time, even after a breeze knocked him off the rock and onto the deck, and my mind rattled with plans for his florid little corpse: I didn't have a shoe box but I had a plastic container about the right size to transport him to Manhattan, and then he'd probably need to be sprayed with some sort of preserving tincture, wouldn't he, and maybe I ought to see about having a professional mount him in a little glass case, and wouldn't that be the most memorable birthday gift to myself? The little beast did not expire after all; he was only resting, and flew away before the morning was over.

Another one came by the next morning, and stayed until his impressive antennae were dry.

luna moth trying to dry after the rain

I'm still unpacking but hope to be posting recipes for lobster rolls and whatnot soon.

Carver's Harbor


  1. Those moths are gorgeous! I officially have vacation envy.

  2. It all looks wonderfully New England and perfect -- a beautiful place and delicious food. Nice to have a vacation spot you return to year after year.

  3. Michelle - Yes, I could not get over them, especially the luna moth! My dog, on the other hand, wanted to eat them (and did succeed in eating one of the little fuzzy white ones). Apparently he needs to get out of the city more often.

    Julie - It is, and I really almost want to keep it a secret, but it is SUCH a pain to get there that I don't think it's in danger of turning into the Hamptons/Martha's Vineyard/etc. anytime soon. At least, that's what I told a friend who accused me of "outing" Vinalhaven!

  4. BEAUTIFUL! It looks like a peaceful, extraordinarily gorgeous vacation. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. oh man. those fried clams... god. Why is Maine so far away?
    Oh, and the look on the Fuzzy Committee Member's face is just too priceless. Thanks for the piccies.

  6. Ellen6:00 PM

    great pictures

  7. GORGEOUS! Those photos! Amazing. I love Maine with all my heart and couldn't go this year, due to moving and other constraints. Next year, though. That pie! That crust! Fantastic.

  8. Thanks for the gorgeous display of vacation porn! And I also thank you for the real estate link--yes, now I, too, am dreaming of owning that cute little cafe.

  9. Christina - Thanks! I enjoyed the photos on your blog very much too, especially the redwoods, and the gardening. Those little melon training bras are so clever!

    Ann - I, too, wish it were closer. Or that I was there more often. We may go back in September, if not to Vinalhaven then to somewhere a little easier to get to.

    Ellen, thanks.

    Luisa, thank you! Maybe you will be in your spacious new kitchen in time to make a blueberry pie there this summer? I am a bit fussy about only eating lobster rolls in Maine but I think blueberry pie can be just as nice within the five boroughs.

    Lisa, I usually try to stay out of real estate porn but lately I can't help it! If only you knew the elaborate schemes we attempted to concoct, sitting on the deck every afternoon.

  10. Welcome back, TBC,
    Bring on the recipes! Oh, and I've started a Save the Harbor Gawker fund up here on the Committee's behalf. It's small at the moment, but it's something. Can't help you with the student loans, though. Sorry.

  11. Thanks AJ! I have been hoping to post some recipes for WEEKS now but have been drowning in work, totally boring work.
    I don't know whether the Harbor Gawker is necessarily in danger of closing; pretty much all the businesses on Main Street there are for sale, because the cost of electricity on the island is so high, and some of them close but others keep going. Thus my fantasy of being a lobster roll proprietess also includes some lovely hippie-ish small-scale hydroelectric contraption underneath the restaurant.

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  13. an excellent, excellent post - food and travel in perfect context. makes me seriously jealous of all the food you had as well...great stuff.

  14. Awesome photos and blog. Thankyou!