My Sun Journal blog editor must be ripping his hair out. I haven’t written a blog post since April.
It’s not that I haven’t traveled anywhere. It’s just that I haven’t traveled ALONE.
The Lady Alone Traveler has a chauffeur.
Like an anachronism or something from an old black and white Bette Davis movie, I have a gentleman friend we’ll call “Handy” who loves to drive. Sometimes, when he’s got a little free time I jangle my keys in front of him and ask “will you drive me to the dry cleaners?” Or “got a minute to trot me up to Food City?”
From the passenger seat, every place we go is like some new Shangri-La I’ve never seen before and I’m not traveling at all. We went to the Rockland Lobster Festival, the Yarmouth Clam Festival, Portland, and Portsmouth. Reid State Park, Old Orchard Beach, and Hampton Beach. Next week, we’re going to Boston.
The only problem? I’m less often the “Lady Alone Traveler.”
Last week, I had an appointment in Yarmouth and Handy was busy. I mustered up my strength and fastened my seat belt, driving safely and securely to my destination. Business done with some spare time on my watch, I took Route 1 home instead of the interstate. Was there any fodder for a blog post along this often bypassed stretch of road?
I’ll leave the history of Freeport’s iconic totem of travel to other writers. For me, the fifty foot gent serves as the marker for more than a few interesting local businesses. I grabbed a cup of coffee at The Old World Café and slipped into Pillars Antiques. Clutching my pocketbook tightly at my side for safety, I was “just looking.” Back in the car and onward to Maine Wicked Goods Mercantile, offering a diverse selection of new and old, plus some Moxie-themed paraphernalia.
There are more places to visit than I realized on this stretch of road; I couldn’t stop at them all so I told myself “just one more stop” and stepped on the gas to the reconstituted Freeport Emporium. I remember visiting here when I was just a little Lady Alone Traveler, sitting in the backseat of my father’s Plymouth Fury. I can hear my mother’s voice in my mind’s ear telling my father to “slow down, there’s an antique shop up ahead.” The barn has been tastefully restored and is full of repurposed, vintage, and antique treasures. They’re even selling a reprinted vintage Maine travel poster, which says Maine is “the state of better living.”
And since I tell myself “better living” and Royal River Natural Foods is the real reason I hopped off the interstate, I stop and pick up a few groceries and a bottle of Green Bee soda, keeping it all healthy and local.
I’ve only scratched the surface on this travel destination which barely requires any travel at all. The next time you’re zipping down the highway south of Freeport, tell your chauffer to pull off on the stretch of Route 1 between the Delorme Map “Eartha” and Desert Road.
You won’t regret it.