Cheap Dates: Throw a tropical party during the cruelest month of the year
Yes, it's 40 degrees out and it is still snowing. We're almost upon mud season, yet it it is likely to snow some more. Welcome to March, the month when everyone in Maine is ready to go a little bonky. It doesn't help that your friends on vacation in Thailand or Hawaii or wherever are still finding time out of their sun-drenched days on the beach to post photos of themselves on a sun-drenched beach.
<sarcasm>I'm so happy for you guys! </endsarcasm>
Invite everyone by Facebook and Evite, but make sure you call to follow up because no one checks their Facebook or Evite request.
Cheer up, chickens, we have the will and the means to alleviate the symptoms of "the cruelest month." This Cheap Date just takes a little imagination and a list of the best places in the Midcoast to get your tropical fix. Find a partner, someone with just a little more enthusiasm and will-to-live than you, and plan a night of Tropical-Luau-Beach party at one of your houses. Invite everyone by Facebook and Evite, but make sure you call to follow up because no one checks their Facebook or Evite request.
Because I'm all about shopping local, we're going on a virtual tour of the Midcoast and where you can get everything you need for this beach blowout. Start with the decor, and go to Party Fundamentals: i.e. grass skirts, coconut bras, hanging palm trees, leis, etc. You can also get a ton of paper bags from the local supermarkets and strip them up to look like the thatching of a tiki hut. Reny's in Camden and Belfast also has cheap leis, fishing net, starfish, a limbo kit, tiki torches, bamboo skewers, cups, plates, tealights, an entire row of hot sauces and real sandals made in Hawaii. Lastly, if you're going whole hog (ha ha-luau joke) and want to dump real sand all over your floor, Plants Unlimited in Rockport has the kind of white play sand you need for only $5.99 for a 50 lb bag. Cost of cleanup, not included.
Oh, and because March is Exotic Winter Fruit & Leeks and Green Onions Month (like I'd lie about that) I'm told Hannaford Supermarket in Belfast is the best place for exotic fruits such as: coconuts, pineapples, star fruit, bread fruit, mangoes, papayas, cactus pears, kumquats and sugar cane. Use as centerpieces, parts of drinks or in dishes. For seafood in Rockland, check out Jess’s Market, which sells coconut shrimp, stuffed clams, macadamia nut Panko crumbs for lightly breaded island fish and will even special order conch for you if you want to make a sauce, salad or chowder. For a traditional pig roast, Curtis Custom Meats sells any size pig you want roasted (as well as the raw pig before roasting). Just call 207-273-2574.
And please, post all the photos you want of the fun you're having at your tropical party to our Facebook page and we'll make a gallery of it. Because you're still in Maine, nobody's going to be jealous.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.