Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maine State House

Bonjour from Quebec. We made the drive up from Freeport yesterday and arrived here late afternoon. On our ride up, we stopped in Augusta. It was my first time there, and the last of the New England state capitals I've visited.

As opposed to some state capitals that seem to be under lockdown, the Maine State House was very open and inviting, even down to the rocking chairs on the large portico on the front of the building. We were able to walk in, sign the guest book, and wander the halls of the building. We were able to explore the House and the Senate chambers. It's a very democratic building. When the Senate is in session, some visitors are able to sit right on the floor along the back wall rather than being relegated only to the gallery upstairs. The governor's office is a little tough to spot since the doorway is understated. The little sign outside the open door that says "Room 236 Office of the Governor" is the only clue you get as to the occupant. Downstairs are dioramas depicting Maine wildlife such as moose, deer, beavers, and bears. And each of the animals have names. Gus and Mabel are the bears and Butch and Gladys are the beavers. The attached picture is a view from below the lofty dome of the State House.

Off to explore Quebec today while pondering why Internet is always free at low-budget motels and always costs money at the most expensive hotels.

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