Ports Of Italy

When we journey to Maine…we dine at Ports of Italy…twice. During our first year staying at Ocean Point Inn at Boothbay Harbor, we went to Ports and had a dining experience that was heavenly. Our waiter who was originally from London made the experience special. Lobster lovers need not fear as there are dishes with Lobster at the Restaurant. After dinner, we inquired as to what was the best dessert and Tony told us…Grappa. I was reminded of our great experience in Rome where we had dinner on two occasions and the manager made us a special dish. The food was delicious and our spirits were high as the next morning we would disembark from the Port of Civitavecchia for a Mediterranean Cruise. So…when our feast was complete I left our customary 20% tip and we walked out of the restaurant to go back to our hotel which was just a few blocks from the Ristorante. Out came the manager and exclaimed that we must come back to see him and to not let our visit be only once. I assured him that we would indeed come back as we had booked our hotel for a week after our return to Rome from our cruise.

While we were on our Mediterranean Cruise we learned that the typical gratuity in Europe was a few Euros and not the 20% that we had been leaving. And so we returned to Rome and to our favorite ristorante and our friendly manager and he made us a special dish again. I asked him if he had Grappa…and he replied that he had only the best Grappa for me. Our gratuity was less…as was the custom…and he did not follow us out into the street.

Maine is a happy place. It is an artist’s haven. When I am there I feel somewhat removed from the political and religious struggles that our country is plagued with. Maine is Yankee grit and determination and lobstermen and rocky shores and fresh salt air. Maine is a love for books and vintage architecture and a less frenetic pace of life.

LL Bean is headquartered in Freeport, Maine. For several Christmas my mother-in-law and father-in-law would buy me a pair of slippers from LL Bean…and they were the most comfortable slippers that I ever wore. We enjoy going to Maine in September as it is already turning cool. It gets cold in Maine…hence the popularity of LL Bean. I am wearing a pair of flannel pajamas that MJ got me for this past Christmas…from LL Bean. Hiking and canoeing and kayaking are popular in Maine.

We love exploring the little towns and hamlets. Bath has a wonderful Brewery. Wiscasset has some fascinating little shops. I purchased a little porcelain bulldog from one of the emporiums last year. When the TSA lady searched my bags before our return flight she pulled the little porcelain dog out of his box and commented how cute he was.

Our first trip to Maine was in 2009. We felt so at home and had such a sense of place…that we returned in 2010. Then for several years, we traveled to Europe and the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean…but Maine was calling our name…

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