Maine – Day 7: Break out of Jail then Eat Ice Cream

At the beginning of the week I had planned to go to the Museums of Old York. I got the closing times confused and left later than I meant to so I decided to move that trip to the end of the week. Apparently the Museums of Old York and I were just not meant to Tango. It took me FOREVER to get my pictures off my phone and onto my computer to clear up space to take new ones. Of course, on top of that traffic was atrocious. So, once again, I was arriving at the Museums of Old York later than I meant to. After the long drive out of the way though, I was going to check them out regardless of how little time I had.

When I got there, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was supposed to go. Google Maps said I had arrived at my destination, but I didn’t see a Visitor Center or parking lot or anything to denote I was where I wanted to be. I found a place to park and got out to wander and see if I could find the Museums. Across the street from where I parked was the Old Gaol (pronounced jail). I decided to start there.

Picture of gallows in front of Old Gaol in York, ME.

What I wouldn’t have given for someone else to be around to take my picture in here…

When I walked in there was one of those donation boxes you see at museums, but it had a sign that said the amount you were supposed to pay. No one was there, so I poked around to see if it was even going to be worth paying for. I saw another lady around, but didn’t say anything to her. I continued wandering around; it was a very strange museum. It was super dark. I’m assuming this was to give it an authentic feel since they didn’t have electricity back in the day, but I just found it annoying. A good lighting designer could make low light work effectively in this kind of space. Whoever designed the lights here was either not a professional, or completely sucked at their job.

I mean, seriously, my photography skills are not usually this terrible, but the lighting is atrocious.

I mean, seriously, my photography skills are not usually this bad, but the lighting is atrocious.

Since I was the only one in the museum besides the lady in the teal shirt, I considered that maybe the museum wasn’t open and I’d just wandered in… Oh, well, they could just ask me to leave, if I wasn’t supposed to be there. I feel like that’s starting to become a theme of this trip.

Anyway, there was this crazy steep stairway to the second floor, it had a rope, like a do not enter rope, but it wasn’t up, so I figured I could go up there. Upstairs I read about debtor prisoners: Did you know they got to bring their own furniture to jail?! They could also leave during the day if they paid bail…basically they were under house arrest except they had to spend the night at jail. Weird. I was reading about this famous debtor, Alexander McIntyre, who actually got elected to some public office while in jail and who ran office hours from his jail cell, when the lights turned off.

I paused for a second, and went, is this actually happening? Am I really about to get locked in jail overnight?!

In quick succession, I heard a BEEP BEEP. Then I heard the door SLAM and the lock CLICK. I froze. Then I bolted to the door and yelled, “HEY….WAIT! I’M IN HERE!” and started flying down the stairs. I really didn’t want to have to break out of prison, no matter how cool the story would’ve been. This place was super creepy. What would I even say to the cops if they showed up as I was breaking out? “Sorry guys, I didn’t realize the museum was closed when all the lights went off… and the door slammed shut…” That’s totally believable. Spending a night in a functioning jail didn’t seem like a good idea either.

Thankfully the door opened and there stood the lady in the teal shirt. She saw me and SCREAMED! I just sort of looked at her and said, “sorry.” She ran past me to deactivate the alarm, came back, apologized for screaming and explained that she didn’t know I was in there. I told her I thought she saw me, which I did. I saw her like four times. How did she not see me at all? Then I apologized again and said I thought the museums were open until 5:00 p.m. and she explained that the Gaol closed at 4:00 p.m. I looked at my clock. It was 4:10 p.m. Needless to say I was all sorts of flustered. I still didn’t really know where the rest of the museums were, but I didn’t want to ask the lady now that I’d scared her half to death, so I wandered up the hill, which was the wrong way, and then back down. I noticed the building across the street had a sign pointing to the entrance on the other side. I went to the entrance and pushed, but the door didn’t budge. I figured I’d done enough breaking and entering, or rather being where I probably wasn’t supposed to be, for one day, so I decided to call this the end of my adventure to the Museums of Old York.

Exasperated face in front of Old Gaol in York, ME.

I survived being locked in the Old Gaol, one of the oldest prisons in the country!

Fortunately, my next stop was getting ice cream and I desperately needed a sweet treat. I forget who, but someone recommended this ice cream place to me. They didn’t know the name, just that the place had some crazy flavors and that the Bush family frequents it since they live in the area. I did a little Google search and found out the place was called Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME. According to their website Rococo was ranked number six on a top ten ice cream list from TripAdvisor, though I couldn’t find the actual TripAdvisor list, so there’s that.

Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

I taste tested a couple of the more adventurous flavors:

Goat Cheese Honey Whiskey Fig – a lot happening all at once in my mouth. Sweet and savory. Rich and creamy. Within a second or two the fig overpowered everything else and I’m not much of a fan of figs…

Sweet Onion Fig Balsamic Jam – Onions in an ice cream…not something I would’ve chosen to put in there, yet somehow it kinda worked. I wouldn’t eat a whole cone full, but I enjoyed the bite I had. It was creamy and had a little kick. It’s hard to describe…sorry.

Then I paid $6.00 for a flight of ice cream where I got to choose a bowl of four different flavors.

Clockwise from the top - Maine Maple, Nutella Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, from Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

Clockwise from the top – Maine Maple Walnut, Nutella Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, from Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

My flavors were:

Maine Maple Walnut – The first couple bites I didn’t particularly like, but it grew on me. It was very thick and melted in my mouth nicely. I think it was just the combination of maple syrup and ice cream that I wasn’t in to. Maple syrup is sweet and delicious and so is ice cream, but I just didn’t like them together.

Dark Chocolate – Kinda hurt. It was SO RICH. And thick. It just sort of lingered on my tongue even after I’d swallowed. It was fantastic. If I’d only had two spoonfuls instead of a whole fourth of a bowl it probably would’ve been perfect.

Pumpkin Spice – Pretty much like you’d imagine. Tasted like pie, but with a bit more cardamon, or was it nutmeg? Either way, it was creamy and delicious, if a bit spicy.

Nutella Cranberry – By far my favorite, despite the cranberries. I love Nutella. Rococo’s ice cream is heavenly, so creamy and rich, as I’ve said like eight times now. I just really didn’t appreciate the texture of having cold craisins in my ice cream. In the end, I ate around them and it was delicious.

For the perfect spoonful, I combined the Dark Chocolate and the Nutella Cranberry sans any cranberries. It was delightful. If I go back to Rococo, I’d definitely do the flight again. You get the most for your money that way. Instead of eating the whole thing myself though, I’d share it with someone. I finished mine because I paid for it, but I would’ve been perfectly satisfied with half the ice cream.

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