Perhaps you're like me, and have a list of the folks back home for whom you shop. I always look for interesting local beverages, which tends to mean wines. But not in Maine -- though perhaps there is some decent viticulture there, and no doubt someone will write to tell us about it! In Maine, the libation of choice by far is (and has been for many years) COFFEE-FLAVORED BRANDY. It's even called the "champagne of Maine." Allen's is the top-selling brand. It is so popular that various bottle sizes rank first, second, sixth and ninth on the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations' list of the top twenty-five alcoholic items sold last year. Since I have never seen coffee-flavored brandy elsewhere in my travels, I am passing along this little nugget so that, should you visit Maine, you can be culturally correct -- at least in your choice of souvenir liquor purchases!
It does make me wonder about New England, though. Here's Maine with the coffee brandy, and Rhode Island with the coffee milk...I have to assume Massachusetts or Connecticut will opt for coffee ice cream, but I can't imagine what New Hampshire and Vermont might choose. Coffee-flavored maple syrup doesn't sound good at all.
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My wife and I were wandeing along Commercial Street when we came upon a fence on the waterfront with numerous locks affixed to it. These "Love Locks" are left here by couples to
profess their love. The locks have initials, names, dates and messages written on the padlocks. We have seen them before in Paris and a few other cities but it was a nice little thing to come across.
There is ample parking in Portland; both on the street at metered spots or in parking garages. We were fortunate to find a metered spot on the street which was right in the heart of the downtown waterfront area.
Portland has alot of breweries and microbreweries such as the Liquid Riot, D. L. Geary Brewing Company, Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, Casco Bay Brewing Co., and Allagash Brewing Company. My wife and I are not fans of most microbreweries but tried out the Liquid Riot which was not to our taste. The Allagash was a little better but not by much.
a few elements of traditional Maine lifestyle remain. Parents and children enjoy an afternoon at the park on the Eastern Promenade overloking historic Casco Bay
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Watch for odd birds "from away" lurking about. This particular character was seen attempting to disquise himself as a native. Note the obvious swim glasses a dead give away
The 'motto' in Maine on the back of the license plates is *Vacationland*
-this being, it seems that people are very helpful in local shops and restaurants and such.
At the Old Port in Portland, down at the waterfront is a piece of the 'Iron Curtain' The wall that seperated East and West Germany.
It is there to remind us what a war can do to its own people