Saturday, July 07, 2007


Ottawa to Bar Harbor Part 6: Pirate Golf and a bloggy playdate

Despite appearances which may be to the contrary through my rather extroverted blog personality, I'm actually rather shy. And the idea of meeting up with a total stranger, even one I admire as much as I admire Phantom Scribbler - one of my oldest and best bloggy friends, and someone I admire immensely - is enough to cause me a considerable amount of anxiety. The idea of meeting up with her far from home, with my entire family in tow, even more so. How will I know her? Will my kids behave? Will I clam up like a dufus, or run on inanely at the mouth like an insecure idiot? Will she like me?

I needn't have worried. We rolled into the parking lot of Pirate Golf, and right away I caught the smile and wave of a familiar face. Our kids took to each other like old friends, at least the five-year-old boys did. Baby Blue, newly three years old on her very birthday that day, and Simon seemed to tolerate each other in that way that toddlers-going-on-preschoolers do... fine as long as nobody actually makes eye contact with them. Phantom and Mr Blue are a hundred times nicer than even their online personas reflect. (At first, it was hard for me to call them by their real names, so accustomed am I to their bloggy pseudonyms. Now, I struggle to slip their pseudonyms back in place - I want to use the names I came to truly know them by.)

Pirate Golf, for those of you who haven't had the experience, is high-end putt-putt with a pirate theme. One golfs up and down hills, under a waterfall and right on to a fairly cool pirate ship. Myself, I love putt putt, but I'd been thinking that the boys were too young to enjoy it. I was wrong. Tristan and LG, Phantom's son, took off to play together, leaving the doddering adults and 3-year-old set trailing behind. Simon soon lost interest in actually hitting the ball with the "stick" and just followed happily along behind the big boys. After maybe five holes, Phantom and I gave up any pretense of actually playing golf and just wandered along with our pack, but Beloved and Mr Blue doggedly played every hole - Mr Blue most often with a handicap of an armload of Baby Blue to contend with. Twice it rained hard enough for me to stash the camera away and trickled to a stop, leaving us frizzy in the humid afternoon.


After Pirate Golf, freshly adorned with paper pirate hats, pirate flags and eye patches, we unanimously decided we needed an ice cream break and stood for three weeks in the world's slowest lineup. Finally, sated on ice-cream, lemonade and milkshakes, we compared notes and decided to meet up after dinner the next day.

Conveniently, Pirate Golf was half way between the KOA and Bar Harbor, so we each went our separate directions late in the afternoon. We puttered around the cabin for a bit, then decided that rather than actually try to make anything for dinner, we'd make our way back into town for a bite to eat. I had heard good things about Poorboy's Restaurant, and they had an early-bird special that ended at six. With a little luck, we'd be able to make it. We hustled the boys into the car and made the 10 mile trek back into town, arriving at Poorboy's at 5:45, only to find out they had a 45 minute wait. Not ready or willing to tolerate that, Beloved suggested we trek back to another restaurant we'd noted earlier in the day called Route 66. If you've seen the movie Cars, which my boys have seen at least 300 times, you know that Route 66 plays a big role in the movie. Good enough to sell me.

It was a funky roadhousey kind of place with the usual pizza and burgers menu, an old jukebox, and tonnes of memorabilia on the walls - a sort of automotive Hardrock Café. We were about half way through our mediocre dinner when to my absolute delight, in walked Phantom and her family, who managed to sit at the table right next to us. I mean, Bar Harbor is not a huge town, but it has more than its share of restaurants. What are the odds? It was that Bar Harbor serendipity at work again.

We retired back to the KOA for our last night in the cabin, and had an oceanside campfire with the most spectactular pink into purple into indigo sunset. A fitting end for a nearly perfect day.


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