Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am a slave to technology. And, O.M.F.G.!

And... scene: We open on a rustic [No -- like, seriously rustic] log cabin, nestled amongst the pines on a Maine pond. A big stone chimney juts out of the rooftop, hinting at the grand hearth below. A screen porch overhangs the water, giving a panoramic view of [the tree branches that occlude] the water. Spiders [who escaped from the movie 8-LEGGED FREAKS] spin their webs under the eaves, angling for unwary mosquitos and deerflies and small children and moose. Eagles are flying. Songbirds are singing. Squirrels are haranguing everyone from their treetop perches. Bullfrogs are... um, bullfrogging.

Suddenly, the peaceful landscape is shattered by a blood-curdling scream: "I HAVE NO WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS!!!!!!!!"

So, yeah. That was my week-long vacation. In a cabin. In Washington County, Maine. With no TV (and y'all KNOW how I feel about THAT) and no internet. Then what is there to do in Washington County, Maine, you might ask? Nothing, that's what.

It took around 4 to 4 1/2 hours to get there -- once we stopped three times along the way to pick up things we had forgotten at the house; we were also following Route 1 and the bulk of the summer tourist influx, the bulk that wanted to putter along at 35 mph. Seriously, people, I know you're from Utah or some shit, but really, just how fascinating is a clump of trees? You see that long, skinny pedal on the right hand side? Please feel free to use it.

Once we arrived and started unpacking the cooler, I realized that I'd forgotten the chicken thighs for the dogs' breakfasts. Back out to the car and the GPS unit to locate the nearest grocery store. That would be the one 12 miles away in Eastport, thankyouverymuch.

Still, you gotta love the GPS unit. It can get you anywhere. Provided you don't mind going down narrow, winding dirt roads (and I use the term road very liberally here) to get there.

Which is just exactly what it sent us down on Monday in our attempt to see the Reversing Falls in Pembroke. I was pretty sure the Magellan had finally snapped and was sending us to our doom at the hands of some backwoods redneck pirates or something, when a red Caravan happened upon us. The van did NOT contain a serial killer or tragic inbred demonic clown firestarter (suck it, Stephen King), but a helpful gentleman who got us to where we wanted to be. Turns out there were very respectable paved roads we could have taken to get there if the GPS hadn't been intent on our demise.

On Tuesday, we went to tour the town of Lubec. After that five minutes was overwith... Unfortunately, that was the only day it rained, so there were no harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocks in the harbor. I went into a Yarn Store/Dog boutique (yeah, I don't know either) and discovered that the proprietor was an exhibitor of Bernese Mountain Dogs. Hey! I found one of my people! Lunch and then visits to two handmade chocolate stores. Bad for our figures, and bad for our checkbooks, but our tastebuds were very happy, hedonists that they are.

On Wednesday, we set out for the thriving Metropolis of Machias, Maine. Hey, don't laugh. After several days in the woods it SEEMED like a thriving metropolis. I mean, there was a McDonald's and everything!! That's cool, right? To which I must answer:


OMG WTF, Machias?!!!

First, there was the big hole in the middle of Route 1 that necessitated a flagger to direct traffic to the detour. This is not a tough job, right? Send them down one road, turn them away from another...? Yeah, not so much. We turned down a little side street to visit some shops (again: term... loosely...), only to be told by the flagger that we could not turn right (which was the direction of the big hole, so... duh). He also said that we could not turn left, we had to go back the way we came. So, he was at THAT end of the street why, exactly? We were, however, able to pull into a parking place and walk to the shops. Hit a thrift store and picked up a Nora Roberts book I hadn't read yet for $1, so yay!

Once we pulled out of there and went back up the street by the flagger again, we went through town to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. Cue clueless, drifting fellow shoppers who walk in front of you and then stop in your path as they stare vacantly off into the distance. And the cashier who can't make change, despite the register that, um, makes change. "Here's your sign..."

THEN there was the little used book... well, it's in the guy's garage, so "store" doesn't really apply. But it looked pleasant and not axe murdery or anything, so we pulled in.

Oh. My. Effing. God.

"Hi welcome don't mind the laundry I can move it can I get you a glass of iced tea where are you from oh Warren do you know my cousin so-and-so she lives down the road past the bridge came here to visit her seven years ago and had to move to Maine I'm from Ohio ever been to Ohio hey I have all these Maine books books about Maine books by Maine authors the labels are all there but the books are all over I taught Special Ed in Ohio have you ever been to Ohio oh I sent a copy of that book to my church I'm Lutheran I have religion books here the floor is really sloping from the weight of these books..."

You get the drift. I don't think I have ever been so dangerously close to completely losing my filter altogether. I mean, dude! First of all, calm the eff down. Second of all, you don't get out much, or live with people, or talk to anyone anywhere except on the internet, do you? Third, we just told you we're from Maine. We don't give a shit where the Maine books are. Fourth, don't tell me how the book in my hand, which I'm planning on purchasing, ends. Fifth, no, I've never been to Ohio, as I told you five times. Sixth, I don't know everyone and every street in Warren. And seventh, calm the holy effing eff down! You are like a ferret crossed with a meerkat crossed with a Jack Russell Terrier who drank 27 red bulls and snorted an entire busload of coke.

I finally grabbed two books, threw some money at him, and got the hell out of Dodge, him trying to direct me in backing my car up the whole time. Jeebus H. Mother-loving tap-dancing Christ!

After that we decided no more "shops." Just Quizno's for lunch and back to the sticks. But wait!! There's not actually a Quizno's there anymore, they just left the big sign up and the letters on the building. Puttin' the "No' in Quizno's. Back into town, playing dodge the flagger, to a little restaurant. Which at least turned out to have good food. Even if the lobster tank we were sitting next to continued to make, uh, shall we say digestive noises all through our meal.

Wow, Machias. Just... wow.

We did end up coming home Thursday night instead of Friday like we had planned. I think I would have cried if we'd had to stay any longer.

I WILL say, though, that the fireplace was really, really nice, as was making s'mores and taking the dogs for walks and canoeing around and playing badminton and spending lots of one-on-one time with my long-suffering hubby.

But next vacation? I hope it's at a dog show.


  1. I had no idea you were in Machias! My family's summer house is there; I know that Quizno's all too well. Hey, at least they upgraded the A&P to a Hannafords. But even now, nothing stays open past 8 o'clock.

    My kids were in Machias two weeks ago; my parents are there right now. Agghhh, my two worlds colliding! The engines canna handle it!

  2. Hahahahaha, that was a hilarious story. I mean for me, the reader. Not you the actually-had-to-live-this-nightmare, the writer. For you, I am very very sorry.