An original Continental Type R! Dripping on the floor, of course.

I’ll be writing up this 5 day road trip in a series of 4 posts for the rest of the week because there’s way too much for one post. Many more pictures from both museums after the jump!

Day 1: Portland. One of the first things I noticed was that they have very unusual taxis. This company has an entire fleet of old RLs! As a local explained to us, this strategy is meant to combat Uber through having more interesting/luxurious cars. I’m not sure an RL is the best choice, but hey, this is the USA where most of us are used to riding in smelly old Crown Vics with 500,000 miles on them when we hail a cab. An old Acura is definitely an upgrade.

The Portland Museum of Art was pretty cool. I’d give it a 7/10; not mind blowing enough to warrant traveling a long distance just to see the museum, but a must if you’re in the area. Like many New England museums, it is partially ultramodern and partially vintage colonial because it was built off of an old industrialist’s or merchant’s house. Check out the insane moldings on display here. Pure opulence! Here are the pieces that got me going:

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A Wassily Kandinsky! Totally unexpected. I almost ordered a print of this once so seeing the real thing blew my mind a little.
A Monet! Beautiful, as always. Like most impressionism it’s best viewed from a distance.
Picasso. This may look strange and ugly to some, but I love his work. it was groundbreaking and his ability to deconstruct reality is incredible.

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Day 2: The Owl’s Head Transportation Museum. A big theme throughout this vacation was dragging my friends to my favorite childhood vacation spots, all of which I hadn’t seen for over a decade. I remember going to this museum with my dad as a kid, way before I could drive. I distinctly remember seeing my first Ferrari in the parking lot, a 360 Modena, which was brand new at the time.

This is a 28 cylinder Pratt and Whitney engine, the very same motor that propelled the Spruce Goose:

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_%26_Whitney_R-4360_Wasp_Major

Vintage Indy cars! I’ve always loved the shape of these things.
The sheer size of these old Bentleys is impressive. You can see why Bugatti referred to them as “the fastest trucks in the world.”

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Classy!
I love the headlights and hood ornament on this one.
Ancient V12 goodness.

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I have a bit of a WW1 obsession so checking out all of these period fighters was pretty epic.
Missing: wing canvas (I think?).

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Without a doubt, the coolest thing in the Museum. Look at the propeller placement! Before the interrupter gear was invented (a mechanism that prevents the forward facing machine gun from firing when the propeller is in the way) pilots would regularly shoot their own props off. Metal sheaths were used as a stopgap, but those weren’t really bulletproof either and also threw shrapnel into the pilot’s face. A rear engine configuration was another temporary solution to this problem.

More ammo, two of these per side.
Closeup of the business end.

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It’s a Lewis Gun! Legendary.

The day ended in Camden, ME at another one of my childhood haunts: “The Waterfront” restaurant. I used to go here with my parents every summer, just for one particular dessert: Profitarole. It’s essentially a fancy ice cream sandwich made with a with a pastry ball:

Not my photo. I demolished it before I remembered to take a picture.

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This dessert is deeply out of style. It’s a miracle that they were still serving it at this restaurant when I was a kid and I wondered if it would even still be on the menu 10 years later.

AND IT WAS!!! I was so happy. This was the one thing I was most looking forward to on this trip. I know that sounds silly, but hear me out. My parents are getting quite old and soon they’ll be gone. I’ll have a lot less time with them than most people because they had me at such an old age. That stupid dessert represents the glory days of blissful childhood ignorance when I thought they’d live forever. It was oh so sweet. The perfect end to a long day. And just like when I was a kid, I was already totally stuffed by the time I got to dessert, but force fed it to myself anyway.

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Look out for a write up of day 3 tomorrow!