Other than the trip home from New York City, the first "real" trip I decided to take in the cab was a jaunt to the Atlantic Ocean along the seacoast of Maine. The trip was not new to me, as I had been going to the seacoast since I was an infant, but it was just long enough and far enough away, that it most definitely would classify as a trip, since the total mileage after cruising around would be roughly 500 miles or so. I also thought that it would be nice to cruise up the coastal route and give a little dash of color to old Gray Maine with my cab. Maine is one of the finest states one could ever visit - first of all it is huge in area, and I mean really big. Most of it is rural if not state forest. It is clean, diverse in it's topography and just a great place to visit. Whether it is the Appalachian Trail, a tall mountain, a farm, small towns, large cities or the quintessential port towns - it has everything. However, since I already live in the sticks, such things did not interest me, but rather - it was the ocean I needed to see.
Prior to the trip, it had dawned on me that 8D69 had already sniffed sea air before. Coney Island in Brooklyn is the beach community for NYC. From my perspective, Coney Island is not what I imagine it once was. The beach is disgusting - and so aren't most of the individuals who choose to go there. But the Atlantic Ocean in Maine? Just beautiful. And so aren't the beaches and the homes and the stores and the restaurants. I rolled into Maine via Interstate 95 after crossing the Piscataqua Bridge in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
From there, I cruised around the towns of Wells, Ogunquit and York, making a stop at the famous Nubble Light House.
The homes in this area are unbelievable; seriously, I mean they are really something else. What always strikes me the most unusual about so many of these homes, is that no one lives in them. Clearly, the homes are summer homes and owned by people whose bank accounts are not for the faint of heart. Kind of sad really - the homes and the grounds and the views are top notch. The southern Maine coastal towns in the late fall and early winter months are GHOST towns by the way. When I cruised through York, everything was boarded up. Roads that are usually one way traffic are now opened up to two way traffic. Speed limit signs that usually say 35 are now covered over with bolt on signs that say 50. It is rather surreal, and it is such that I often cannot decide if I like the loneliness of it, or if I miss the summer laughter, or the family cars with bikes tied to the roof, or the people walking in flip flops unshaven and relaxed. I suppose I am reading to much into it, because despite the relative low population of people in the off season months, there are still many a person who clearly enjoy the occasional day trip to Maine if only to wet the appetite for warmer months and summer vacations.
After a short rumble north on Route 1, I cruised into the Town of Kennebunkport. Kennebunkport is also a town that is predominately wealthy - or at least it seems that way. It's most famous resident is former President George W. Bush, who has a home that arrogantly sets on a large natural stone jetty. Secret Service is stationed there for obvious reasons, but there is a pull off for knuckleheads like me to pull over, take out the binoculars and see what George and Barbara are up to.
I have read before that George does not like his privacy compromised and has expressed disdain towards the reality that his home is a tourist trap. Unfortunately, there isn't a thing he can really do about it. I parked my cab in the little pull off and sat on a bench for awhile just to watch the waves crash against the rocks, only occasionally looking up with a hopeful stare that George might walk the dog or something; I've never seen him in all my years of going to Maine. I got back in the cab and took a tour of the homes in this area, cruising into neighborhoods that have probably never even SEEN a Crown Victoria, much less a yellow one. I even pulled into Bush's driveway to turn around just so I could say 8D69 has been to Geroge Bush's house. The Secret Service Agent in the booth just waved to me. The homes and neighborhoods I cruised through were unbelievable - and I mean jaw dropping butt clenching beautiful. What a great cruise through these neighborhoods. Before I left, I drove to the docks and sat for awhile listening to the boats in the harbor rock away - their ropes and buckles clanging against masts while there crusted keels lapped the cold blue-green water. As the sun started to make it's voyage from high in the sky to the west, I decided to make the roll home. As is becoming standard fare in this car, many people whether on the road or at occasional stops, would smile and wave at me. This is especially true for New Yorkers. I have noticed that no matter where I am, when a New Yorker sees the car, they get all bubbly about it. The thought occurred to me one day as ski traffic in Vermont was heading home and while trying to break into traffic, I waited and watched so many New York cars wave, take pictures or do double takes as they sped by. It is amazing how New Yorkers love a New York cab when it is far away from New York. Kind of strange.
Anyhow - the cab ran great with no troubles at all and doing the trip after I had made some repairs made me feel more confident with it. Many more trips to come with this awesome car.