The Complicated Traveler

Travel for me means planning for all of life’s unknown

Tag: green

The Helpful Little Lighthouse

Shop Amazon – Receive a $200 credit with a select camera purchase this article has been published! http://www.travelpostmonthly.com/2017/07/helpful-little-lighthouse/ 

Skyline and bug light

Skyline and bug light

For centuries lighthouses have stood guard over the rocky shores the world over. Providing safe passage to mariners and their ships traveling far and wide for industry and commerce. Portland Maine’s Breakwater “Bug” Light is no exception. For 141 years Bug light has been a small, yet mighty, protector for Portland’s rocky coast. Surrounded by a park filled with picnic tables it is a literal breath of fresh sea air. You can easily walk to Bug light and walk around it to see Casco Bay and all the islands off the coast. Not to mention a full skyline of Portland, Maine’s largest city.

Bug light, and part of the Portland sky line

Bug light, and part of the Portland sky line

Being a desert rat from the southern most parts of New Mexico, where the air is as dry as the sand, the sight of the Atlantic and surrounding battlements of old, not to mention the small but mighty Bug light took my breath away.

Picnic area at Bug Light

Picnic area at Bug Light

The sun was high, the grass a color of green I had only ever seen in a crayon box, and the water so blue and inviting I had a hard time keeping my shoes on my feet and my body out of the water (just wanting to make sure it was real since mirages look deceptively real where I’m from).

I kept reminding myself that I wasn’t 10 and throwing my shoes off and running like a maniac, who had never seen water before, into the bay was not lady-like for someone of my – not so advanced – age.  But it was so tempting.  Decorum won out in the end, after all it is a must when strangers are around.

(My husband is rolling his eyes and snorting as he reads this.)

So pretty, and what a view to enjoy your lunch.

So pretty, and what a view to enjoy your lunch.

However, if I would have had a kite on hand I just might have thrown caution to the wind and made the delicate fabric and stick ensemble fly with its ribbon tail dancing in its wake. The winds were perfect for it. (I’m sorry if “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” is now stuck in your head. It’s still stuck in mine.)

Breakwater "Bug" Lighthouse

Breakwater “Bug” Lighthouse

The walk to Bug Light is an easy stroll from the parking area, though the walkway to the lighthouse is made of granite boulders as is much of the area bordering the sea, they were easily traversed.

Closeup of Buglight and it's steps. See the door to the right of the screen? That's the helpful door.

Closeup of Buglight and it’s steps. See the door to the right of the screen? That’s the helpful door.

Walking up to the lighthouse I was taken a back by the ornate architecture of the light house.  As a minor collector of lighthouse figurines, I was expecting something…larger…and more basic.  A cylindrical post with a light and mirrors atop with a charming keepers cottaged attached. (Don’t you worry Maine’s got those too.)  Bug light is none of those, but still incredibly helpful.

closeup of architecture of Bug light

closeup of architecture of Bug light

It’s ornate columns decorated at the top with Grecian style leaves, and molding all done in cast iron make it an oxymoron in the world – as I know it – of lighthouses.

As I walked around Bug light I had to laugh out loud at just how helpful this little lighthouse really was for the tourists.  As you walk around the lighthouse, admiring it’s architecture, the sea and land surrounding it, you come to a door which tells you in bold black letters against the bright white of the body of the lighthouse, “You Are Here”.

Bug light is so helpful, this is on the door of the lighthouse.

Bug light is so helpful, this is on the door of the lighthouse.

I was so glad to see that note of help.  Living in Colorado, where you figure out your North from your South based on your proximity to the mountains, it was nice to know where I was there out on the coast of Maine. “Here”.

From the shore if you look right, while facing the sea, you’ll see Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.

Water and skyline, so pretty and restful.

Water and skyline, so pretty and restful.

To the left you see Portland’s skyline.  Church steeples dot the sky, as the ferries bob along the horizon.  Old and new architecture meld together for a quiet and serene view, perfect for picnics and kite flying.  Benches dedicated to people who loved their time in the park dot the coastline, as people sit enjoying the quiet while eating their lunch, or chatting with acquaintances who walked past.  The entire area is so friendly and welcoming, yet understanding when you want time to yourself.  People would call out a hello, ask if I needed help finding something, and then let me be.

Bridge, and skyline of Portland Maine.

Bridge, and skyline of Portland Maine.

As I stood there admiring the ‘new of the area, and witnessing the ’old’ world contraptions still in use – granted updated with solar panels and powerful light bulbs instead of wicks and mirrors – I couldn’t help but wonder about the area’s history. The lives saved or lost. The ships the lighthouses were not able to save. History, the vessel we use to ensure we survive and have better lives than our ancestors. Oh what stories that little lighthouse could tell.

In my quest to be as yeast free and dairy free as possible, I have found one flaw…Hatch green chile grilled cheese. (No I didn’t misspell chile.)

Oh. My. Word.

If you love the flavor of hatch green chile, and you love grilled cheese...this is the combo for you!

If you love the flavor of hatch green chile, and you love grilled cheese…this is the combo for you!

I am originally from New Mexico, and there is nothing that marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall more distinctly than the smell of roasting green chiles.  If they could put that smell into a candle I would be one happy woman.

And while I can find them in Colorado (they are nice enough to truck them up here), in New Mexico every Walmart, grocery store chain, and even some of the auto parts stores, have a station set up to sell and roast Hatch green chile.

However, if you love chile, and have never tried Hatch green chile, click the link above and look at their products.   If you like a lot of heat with your chile, don’t get your hopes up where this cheese is concerned. However, this cheese is packed with the most flavorful – if heat lacking – chile ever.

When we first found the Hatch green chile cheese at  Whole Foods we couldn’t help but buy it. From there it was a small jump to grilled cheese. Perfectly golden brown bread and melted cheddar cheese infused with real hatch green chile… It is an ooey gooey  bite straight out of what I imagine food will be like in heaven.

They are so good, and so worth the side effects…stuffy nose from the dairy, which means I have to be uber conscious of my surrounds for a few days since it makes my anaphylaxis reactions more severe; and the possible stomach upset from the yeast.

As for the yeast, I’m so glad I found organic sourdough bread (I prefer Rudi’s or 365 brands). The basic reason as to why I can have sourdough over, say, white bread is simple; as far as I’m able to deduce.

Dry yeast vs. Yeast culture.

While I’m still working through the whole dry yeast theory, I’ve found that when it comes to yeast cultures I do a lot better when I eat breads made from the cultures as opposed to most dry yeast products. It’s a work in progress because sometimes I can eat breads made from dry yeast without a problem. From what I’ve experienced thus far, organic is the key word for dry yeast.

Though I still have more testing to do before I can claim this theory, something I’m not working to hard to disprove, I’m sticking with eating what I don’t react to right now.

So when it comes to my yearly vice, yearly because the cheese is only available late summer – till its gone – I feel no guilt. (I’ve only ever found it at Whole Foods Market – FYI.)

I’ll take a Sudafed for the stuffy nose, and be more vigilant where my anaphylaxis is concerned. Believe me if you love chile, and grilled cheese, this is the best of both worlds.

The morale of this story is…sometimes it’s OK to eat what isn’t good for you so long as you are smart about it.

Cheers!!!