Sunday, August 10, 2008

Social Life

August already! This week was a social one, an educational one, and a rainy one.
Started to meet some of Michael's friends this week. Dinner out at a nice little Pub kind of place with good food and reasonable prices. Also went South past Kennybunkport (while the president was there) to a dinner club to hear more folk music. The musician was American, but lives in Buenas Aires. Then a dinner party of 11 people just out of town. I guess I've met 15 or 20 folks already.
I finally took the "Downeast Duck Tour", the amphibious tour vehicle. I learned Portland has the tallest building in Maine at a whole 16 stories! We splashed into Casco Bay to see a nesting family of Ospreys, the yacht club marina, and under the bow of the 3,000 passenger cruise ship that happened to be in port. Portland will see 48 cruise ships this summer and tourism has become the leading industry.
5 inches of rain already this week! We can get up to 3 inches in a 24 hour period. I understand this is unusual for this time of year, but I'm still enjoying it even if Mainers are complaining its cutting into their summer outdoor activities. Portland actually gets more rain (46") than Seattle (37") . The difference is it rains hard here, then the sun comes out. Summer temps are very similar to Seattle (mid 70's), but it's 20 degrees colder here in winter.
Will take my daily walk downtown after writing this to see today's ship (Holland America's Maasdam) with only 1,200 passengers. The town skyline changes when a ship is in because it towers over all the buildings in the old port area and can be seen from everywhere. Passengers are off on land tours to various locations including the L.L. Bean store just 30 minutes away. Some people roam the Old Port for shopping and I always see people staying on the ship looking out, or eating in tall glassed-in dining rooms.
I am making a conscious effort to refer to Visalia as "there" instead of "home" to get used to the fact I live here now. It still feels a bit strange and not "home" yet, but time and familiarity with the place and people helps.

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