Since we spent Saturday night in Boston, we spent a good portion of Sunday driving. We woke up Sunday morning and did a little research on Chowhound for a good breakfast place near our hotel. We settled on Danny's Diner in Somerville. It was absolutely terrific. I had the bacon and cheese omelet, which came with home fries and toast, english muffin, or pancake. I chose wheat toast. The omelet was perfectly cooked, and we all know that bacon makes everything better, it was exactly what I wanted. You could tell everything was homemade. Tim had a corned beef hash omelet and chose a pancake as his side. The pancakes were fluffy and thick and very good. In all, a wonderful breakfast.
Danny's Diner is a little hole in the wall place, but everyone who was there was clearly a regular. As Rachael Ray says, you gotta eat where the locals eat. Speaking of locals - a quick funny story: There was a table of five older guys behind Tim and I was facing them while we were eating. They were obviously regulars and it sounded like they ate breakfast there every morning. At some point, they were talking about medications and side effects and the one mentioned some procedure or surgery he had been through four times. Judging by their breakfasts, I would guess heart surgery. :) Anyway, he said, in his perfect Massachusetts accent, "I figure I lived through four of those damn things, I must have nine lives. I'm paht pussy". I happened to be looking at them right when he said it and I started laughing and all five guys turned at once and looked at me and got up and left the table. It was hilarious.
After breakfast, we were walking back to the car and passed by a pie shop called Petsi Pies. I stood outside the building and I could smell a very strong apple and cinnamon smell so I grabbed Tim and walked inside. They had some hot cider going, which is what I was smelling. It turned out to be a cute little bakery with a few homemade pastries and pies to order and take home. I wanted a molasses ginger cookie and Tim got a lemon scone. We also got a little bag of Christmas cookies. The cookie was very soft and good, although I'm not a huge fan of candied ginger so I didn't like the little chunks in there. Tim said the lemon scone was also good, and the lemon glaze had a nice kick.
We arrived at our hotel in Brunswick, checked in, dumped our stuff and headed to his parent's house. His parents were there, as well as his sister, her husband their two kids (and the baby on the way!), and his brother Jon. They had prepared a feast for us - lobsters, fresh Maine shrimp, potatoes, peas, and coleslaw. Ahhhhh....... the best part about coming to Maine is definitely the seafood! I can never remember how to pick out the lobsters, so Tim had to show me again. One of these days, I'll learn! I had also never had Maine shrimp before, and I'd never had the ones with the heads still on them. That, too, was a learning experience. It was all so delicious.
Last time we were here (Thanksgiving 2006) Tim's brother had told us about a breakfast place he loved so we gave it a try and instantly fell in love with it. The Kopper Kettle is in Topsham, Maine, and it reminds us a lot of The Farmhouse in Gilbert, AZ. It's down-home cooking at its very finest. Tim really wanted to try the biscuits and gravy since his brother loved them, but unfortunately, they had run out. He ended up getting eggs, bacon, sausage, and home fries. I got basically the same thing, but no sausage. The best part of the meal is the homemade bread. They make their own breads, muffins, and pastries, and their bread is outstanding. Tim had cinnamon bread and I had just plain ol' wheat. I loved my breakfast, but Tim didn't really like his. He was very disappointed about the biscuits and gravy, so it kind of ruined the meal for him.
We spent the rest of Christmas Eve running around. First up was Christmas shopping. His sister Jen had just bought a Wii, so we got her and her husband a couple of accessories for it. His brother Jon has had a little bad luck lately, and he had mentioned to Tim that his DVD player had died, so we got him a new DVD player, and we got his parents a gift card for one of their favorite restaurants. For Tim's nephews, Charles and Noah, we got these. We got to try them out the day after Christmas when we went to his sister's house and they are a LOT of fun! I want to get one to take to work!!! Uncle Tim had a hard time letting the boys play with them!
After our shopping was done, we stopped over at Tim's friend Joe's house to visit him and his wife Deb. We only stayed a couple of hours as we had plans for dinner with his parents. We had dinner with his parents and his brother - leftover lobster and shrimp. Yum! While we were having dinner, we found out there was going to be a white elephant gift exchange on Christmas Day at his sister's house. Oh crap. We didn't know. So, it was off to L.L. Bean in Freeport, where they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We ended up getting one of these, and this, along with a coffee mug.
Just to give you a little background, L.L. Bean is an obsession out there. It's a HUGE store in Freeport, with several different stores all in one. Everyone out there gets gifts from there, or gift cards to there. In fact, we received a $100 gift card and a $25 gift card for the place.
On the drive from Joe & Deb's house to Tim's parent's house, I felt like my throat was a little dry and I was kind of thirsty. By the time we left his parent's house, my throat was really hurting and I was kind of feeling stuffed up. We tried to go to Walmart or Walgreens or anywhere to find some cold medicine, but on Christmas Eve at 8:00 in small-town Maine, apparently everything is closed. Bummer... Tim's brother had some extra Advil Cold & Sinus, though, which seemed to help for a couple of hours. By the time we went to bed Monday night, I was pretty miserable.
More to come...