We pull up to the border guard's station, roll down the windows and a skinny little man with a moustache asks us a few questions.
"Where you are you off to tonight?"
"To visit a friend."
"How do you know this friend?"
"I don't know."
"What does this friend do?"
"He owns a blueberry farm."
"It's not the right time of year for blueberries. Are you folks pickin' blueberries?"
We burst out laughing. "No! Hahahaha!"
"Do you pick blueberries a lot? When's the last time you picked blueberries?"
"Um, I think I picked them in New York, when I was five"
"Oh, so you were illegally picking blueberries, then?!"
"Nooooo.... hahahaha! It was a pick-your-own place, you know what I mean."
"It's not funny. Please get out of the car, we have some questions for you."
The border guard proceeds to question us on what exactly we are doing in the Land of the Free, and when exactly we plan on going back home. I am traveling with three unemployed hippies (one of whom is from the UK), so this takes a while.
While waiting for everything to be searched and inspected I spy a patriotic poster that makes me smirk. It declares these hometown heroes are "Keeping our Borders Open and Our Nation Secure". Right... borders apparently, are not so open for four kids going around and spending their hard earned dollars in small northeastern towns that desperately need it.
After going through our personal history and scouring the car and our belongings with a fine-tooth comb, they let us go. This takes about an hour and a half. One of them even counts my money, to make sure it's less than $10,000, and also, presumably, to determine whether we will be spending any money in the faltering economy once they do let us through. Phew.
OK, enough of that. We continue driving through the pitch dark and eventually make it to Maine. Everything is shrouded in mist and Andy says it's "everything I hoped it would be"... haha!
We finally get to Ben's house, located in the middle of a blueberry field. I kind of want to sleep, but Nate says he's ready to go to the ocean. Seriously?! OK, yeah let's do this! Haha... it's about 8 a.m. and we are off! Keith stays behind to sleep for a bit.
Andy and I jump around on some slippery rocks while Nate explores the pier and watches some lobster fishermen throwing traps into the ocean.
We go and get a $5 breakfast at the only restaurant in town, Neighbourhood Cafe. It's delicious and there is way too much food. We bring some back for Keith.
After Keith wakes up, Ben offers to take us up to the top of a big hill on his property so we can see all around. There is a little bit of snow on the way up, but it just gets progressively worse and worse until there is ice accumulating in my socks and shoes and it melts and gets everything hopelessly wet.
It's beautiful up there though, we (literally, haha!) soak in the view, take a few pictures and go back down. My pants are too long so I have to keep rolling them up. I still get soaked up to the knees anyways... oh well.
After we get down, Ben shows us how to get to another beach, one with more waves this time, so we drive out there. I try and fly my Elmo kite, but it's not windy enough. The sun is just warm enough to allow us to lie down on the beach and catch some rays. However, it's not warm enough to take off my jacket...
Nate gets cold and goes back in the car. When I notice he is gone, I go back to the car, only to break out into hysterical laughter again, all our shoes and socks are spread out on the roof on the car, in an effort to dry them out, I suppose.
When we get back to Ben's house, he shows the boys around and I hang out with his son, Rowan, probably the cutest four year old on the face of the planet. We have some intimate discussion about what hippies are like...
"They have long hair!"
"And what else?"
Ben has a bucketful of lobsters waiting for us. We will boil them up and eat them barefoot outside on his deck in the freezing cold. It's pretty hilarious. There's nowhere near enough room for us to do the lobster boil inside.
My hands are freezing and lobster juice gets all over the inside of my jacket. Awesome. Where else can you get an experience like this for $6 per pound?
Early morning on the Atlantic
Slippery rocks in Maine
Hard at work
Up on the mountain
Maine is all around
Up on top
Nate, Andy, Keith, Ben, Rowan
Andy in the water
Keith and Nate
Nate doing Kurt Cobain
Me in the water
Andy trying to fly a kite
Our stuff drying out on the car
Wild Blueberry town
The lobster we will eat
Me vs. Maine lobster