Friday, July 6, 2012

All American

The little region of New Harbor is about as festive as you can get for a 4th of July celebration. We had a great day mingling with the locals and enjoying all the food and activities of the day.

On Wednesday morning, we woke up early and headed the few miles down to Pemaquid Point to spend a few hours. The Point is the southern most tip of this region of Maine and is surrounded by water, complete with a lighthouse and tiny restaurant called The Sea Gull which is famous for its wild Maine blueberry pancakes. Guess what we had for breakfast?

Can you spot Riker shoving his fingers into the stack? Ha!

Matt ordered the famous 'cakes and I ordered an omelet stuffed with lobster and sea scallops, and we shared everything. 

I actually only had a few bites of the pancakes; they were delicious and lived up to their reputation, but I don't like eating carby sweets for breakfast as it makes me sluggish for the rest of the day. I did, however, gobble up my half of the omelet. It was so perfect.

Check out all that seafood! It was seriously packed to the brim with fresh lobster and huge scallops. The view from our table was beautiful as well. Nothin' but wide open ocean.

After breakfast and a leisurely rainy morning back at home - Matt and I reading our books and Riker napping - we got ready for the famous Round Pond Parade. We were told by all the locals that this parade was not to be missed, so we couldn't wait to check it out. 

Round Pond is a very small harbor town a few miles from where we're staying, with only two main roads. We had to park pretty far away and walk a ways with the crowd down to the parade street, which did our bodies good after our big breakfast. The vibe was awesome and everyone was so friendly and hospitable. Round Pond is a tiny place with a true small town feel, and it felt like everyone in town was there. 

The parade itself was the most interesting I've ever been to. The event is known for being edgy with large helpings of dry New England humor and outright sarcasm pointed at tourists, various politicians, and current news issues (picture old ladies dressed in crazy outfits throwing bath salts at the crowd telling the "kids" how to do it "right") and it was hilarious. With nearly every float that went by, Matt and I looked at each other with shocked faces and laughing eyes - "did they seriously just do that?!" We were really glad we got to experience this.

Back at the dock, the people we're renting from, Becky and Earle, were busy setting up for their annual 4th of July lobster bake, which we were invited to. More lobster? Yes please!

Becky and Earle had decorated the property to the nines and invited all their friends for the party. Apparently they've been throwing this annual event for nearly 20 years, and it's about as classic a 4th of  July celebration you can imagine. The party started out with yummy snacks, typical BBQ fare (burgers, dogs, homemade baked beans, etc.) and drinks that were resting in an old claw foot bathtub filled with ice. I only nibbled on a few snacks to save room for dinner, but it was really nice chatting with all the other party-goers and enjoying the outdoors.

We also had fun watching Earle and his friends set up the main event - the lobster bake. When the tide went out, they hiked down to the bottom of the dock and hauled up baskets of seaweed to cook the food in. Then they layered everything up - the potatoes, onions, corns, lobsters, clams and eggs - and used a giant torch to set the wood on fire beneath the bin.

And I finally figured out what the hard boiled eggs are for! They actually use the eggs as the top layer, and once the eggs are fully cooked through, they know that everything else is done to perfection. Pretty cool, huh?

Once everything is cooked, Earle and his buddies shoved giant rods through the top of the bin and lifted it off the fire. Then Earle, with very thick gloves, pulled everything out and put the cooked food in baskets.

Despite the large group of people, the lobsters were plentiful and we were told to eat as many as we wanted. Although I've turned into quite the lobster addict this week, I contained myself to one lobster, one small red potato and a piece of corn.

Becky had really festive lobster plates with matching butter cups, which were so cute. The meal was delicious, and we happened to be seated with a few lobstermen, so it was fun learning about their trade while we ate our seafood.

The night ended with homemade pies (nine to choose from!) and fireworks on the dock. Matt and I shared a piece of raspberry pie, and I have to say it was the best I ever had. The fireworks were amazing as well - even better than the ones our town throws!

I can't think of a more perfect end to the night than sitting on a dock full of people, smelling the ocean breeze, eating a piece of homemade pie, watching fireworks, and listening to all the other fireworks watchers on their boats cheering.

Talk about an All American day. :)

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