It was a pleasant New Year’s eve up in Maine at the Ballot Box, but the threat of snow kyboshed our New Year’s Eve celebration AND the planned New Year’s Day house-warming party. Audrey drove up on Thursday in the snow, so she was our only guest. She left the southern house around noon, didn’t get up here in Newcastle ME until 6:30pm – she got stuck on Rte 295 north of Portland because of a vehicular flambé at the height of the storm, so the plows and sanders were caught in traffic too, and sat for about 3 hours. Lynn had made reservations for three for 6:30 at the Damariscotta River Grill, a great restaurant just 10 minutes away in Damariscotta, but she called to cancel when we got word from Audrey that she was stuck in traffic and was going to be late. There was only 1-2 inches of snow up here (much more snow south of here), so it was no big deal to head out later if we wanted to.
Audrey arrived about 6:30, and was still game to go out to eat as long as she didn’t have to drive. We got to the restaurant about 7:15 pm, and sat in the “back room” (we had to walk through the kitchen to get to it) with a view of the harbor. They had a “table d’hôte” menu to pick from, with a choice of 5-6 appetizers, 6-8 main courses, 8 desserts, and a flute of champagne to start the meal. Audrey ordered a “Two-Textured Duck” (crispy leg and roasted breast) as her main meal, with a maple-crusted sweet-potato gnocchi appetizer and a Crème Brule dessert. Lynn got swordfish with a seafood hollandaise sauce, Tempura Oysters as an appetizer, and a lemon tart for dessert. I got rack of lamb, with Pemaquid Oysters on the half-shell for an appetizer and an apple tart for dessert. Everything was perfectly prepared and heavenly.
As would be expected, dinner took a while, so we got back to the Ballot Box around 10 pm and flipped through our slim pickings for TV channels looking for something to watch. We settled on a couple of episodes of the PBS series on the history of TV (Maine Public Broadcast Network – MPBN), and then as midnight approached we broke out a bottle of champagne and watched the ball drop while bemoaning the fact that they continue to revive Dick Clark from suspended animation every year and plop him in front of a TV camera with his stroke-induced slurred speech and awkward mannerisms. The three of us polished off the champagne and then went to bed!
We’ve had a great and relaxing week up in Maine, watching the snow, tinkering with TO-DO tasks – I made a cardboard template of the floor cutout where the hearth was going to be placed, then cut a matching plug from a 4×8 sheet of ½ inch plywood to drop in to level the floor before putting a rug over it while we spend the winter and maybe spring deciding how we REALLY want to finish it, and I also hung the Ballot Box sign and re-mortised a few door strike catches that weren’t catching the latch correctly. We’ve also been reading a lot, watching DVD movies (discovered REDBOX at the local grocery store – Blockbuster meets Netflix), and lounging around! Oh, and doing email too! We’ll be coming home Sunday, back to work Monday – BOO HOO!