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28 June 2008

Skeeball meet-up update? [More:] What do people think of Saturday, August 9th, for the York Beach Skeeball Meet-up? Does it work for you?

Whatever the date, I thought I'd share a few transit links:

- The York Shoreline Explorer shuttle and a map of the area it serves, with additional links to smaller area shuttles and trolleys.

- The Amtrak Downeaster, which runs from Boston to Portland, with stops along the way. It can be less expensive to fly into Boston and take the train north.

If I'm reading the Shoreline Explorer route correctly, you can pick it up at the Wells train station and ride it down to either Long Sands or Short Sands beaches.

Miko, what's the name of the Skeeball arcade, and where would it be along that route? (Relevant parenthetical remark #1: You'd think I'd remember --- I spent every summer of my young life in Ogunquit.) (Relevant parenthetical remark #2: this thread is currently the #2 Google hit for skeeball "York Beach".)
Whoopsiedangit, here's the Shoreline Explorer link.

If we have it on the 9th, I WILL BE THERE. And I'll try to bring cake.
posted by Elsa 28 June | 17:46



posted by Elsa 28 June | 19:00
I am very interested in a meetup. I checked flights for this date and the lowest is around the 650 range. That's a little too much for me, but I'll keep looking.
posted by LoriFLA 28 June | 19:41

The Skee Ball arcade in question is at Fun-o-Rama, the old-school arcade, which is located right at Short Sands. The Explorer does indeed stop there. There's also ample parking, though it is metered, and until 10 PM. Carpooling, when possible, would be a good idea.

My thought was that we could meet early in the day, as people arrived, on Long Sands beach, which is, em, longer, and really a better swimming/sunning beach. Near Long Sands are plenty of french-fry shacks and ice cream stands and such, and side excursions include the beautiful lighthouse Nubble Light, where you can also grab a lobster roll and more ice cream. Then at some point in the afternoon we could mosey over to Short sands (few minutes' walk, nothing serious) for the Skee Ball, and finally wind up with drinks/dinner at Inn at the Blues, or perhaps the ritzy Blue Sky, providing anyone wants to buy Elsa and me an expensive birthday dinner. No? Oh, all right. Inn on the Blues, then. Also, there's fantastic ice cream and retro goodness at the Goldenrod.

There would be bonus activities for overnighters, as well.
posted by Miko 28 June | 20:49
Fun-O-RAMA! How could I forget?

LoriFLA, nooooooo! Need to meet you!

*composes self*

This suggestion usually strikes people as crazy, but: have you checked out the train as a possibility? It takes longer, so if time is tight, it's not a viable option, but it's generally a good deal cheaper* and I find it absurdly more comfortable than flying: bigger seats and no security theater, which means you can bring snacks, as well as plenty of books and entertainment to pass the time.

I took Amtrak overnight from Maine to Virginia (w/ a station change in Boston) last year, and even with my back injury, I was quite comfortable.

*I've been checking out flights for a possible domestic trip, and it turns out that taking the train would run us about 80% less than flying. I'll happily take the extra travel time, if it means I can stretch my legs.

There would be bonus activities for overnighters, as well.

posted by Elsa 28 June | 21:05
I'll keep trying. I'll search on I only checked Delta out of my city's airport and out of Orlando. Orlando is always the least expensive, and it's still expensive. I could get a ticket in the 350 range for the July date. I can't do 650. I think husband would lose his mind. :-)
posted by LoriFLA 28 June | 21:11
LoriFLA, when my out-of-state family visits Maine, they almost always save on fares by flying into Boston. It's worth taking a look, anyhow --- you're more likely to find a deal coming into Boston, just because the volume of flights is bigger.
posted by Elsa 28 June | 21:17
I will check Boston now. Thanks, elsa.
posted by LoriFLA 28 June | 21:24
I'm mistaken about the Amtrak savings, incidentally; those sneaky devils display the ticket price per one-way trip even when you're booking round-trip: e.g., $61 to destination and $61 back. It's still less expensive than flying, at least for us this time, but not by such a staggering margin.

posted by Elsa 28 June | 21:48
I know. I love Amtrak, too, and just got excited that maybe the fuel crisis had made them more competitive with airlines. I checked the fares for a West Coast trip I wanted to make: $301 one way, and $301 the OTHER way, which doesn't beat the $485 airfares that are still available.

It's too bad we don't subsidize the trains more. If only we could divert some of the highway and air-transport funding to the trains, we'd all use them more often, because they are hands down the most comfortable way to travel.
posted by Miko 28 June | 21:51
Maybe someday we should just book a traincar and have an onboard meet-up. MeCha Party Train!
posted by Elsa 28 June | 22:27
Pretty please can it be bumped up to the 10th? I can't travel up any sooner than the 9th, and I'd love to help celebrate the bunny b-days.
posted by brujita 29 June | 06:52
I would usually offer to ferry folks from Boston to Portland, but I don't have a car. I can check with the missus and see if she wants to come along, in which case we can use hers.

Though if bunnies really need it, I might be willing to rent a car and drive up. If you're having trouble getting transport from Boston to Maine, please e-mail me (and comment in this thread so others who are in the same boat see it and speak up) so I can look into making arrangements.

I live ~3 blocks from this train station. From Boston's Logan Airport, you can take the "Silver Line" (the bus that thinks it's a subway) to South Station, where you pick up the Framingham/Worcester line to West Newton. To bunnies unaccustomed to Mass Transit, it may seem daunting to have to transfer, but if it means the difference between you making it or not making to the event, let me know. I will make sure you get there.

(quick math show's it's ~150 miles, r/t. @ 30mpg, that's ~5 gallons, or $20. Plus car rental ($50, max?) split n ways; eh, it's not so bad. So if you can't afford the train on top of airfare, we can definitely work something out.)
posted by Eideteker 29 June | 08:34
I will be in Ohio at my niece's wedding. Go ahead, have fun without me. I won't mind, no not at all. it's fine, really. I just have something in my eye.
posted by theora55 29 June | 10:34
Pretty please can it be bumped up to the 10th?

If it is bumped up to the 10th, I'll send my happiest wishes, but I won't be able to make it. I have family arriving, and I have to scoot home Saturday night or (more likely) Sunday noon to meet them.

Go ahead, have fun without me.

Oh, Theora55, that stinks.

Not, uh, your niece's wedding. That sounds swell. But the prospect of not seeing you at York Beach --- that stinks.

Eideteker! I was just about to MeFi mail you a link to this thread! YAY!
posted by Elsa 29 June | 12:28
A few ideas for the long-distance people:

• Megabus can get you up to Boston from points south/west for cheeeeap and is non-skeezy.
• Southwest flies to Manchester, NH, which might be an option for some people looking to save money; not sure if you'd have to rent a car to get up to the meetup though.
• ITA Software ( is a really great research tool for finding airfares; you can't buy tickets on the site, though they tell you how to do it.

I'd love to go, but I'm saving for my tickets to Poland! Sorry!
posted by mdonley 29 June | 15:19
My god, the Megabus fares are amazing. $9 from Boston to NY? How is that possible?
posted by Miko 29 June | 15:23
Oh oh oh, one more thing:

Some airlines, like Southwest, Jetblue, and a few others, price each flight as its own, uh, unit, so a one-way on one airline and a one-way back home on another might save money, as one-ways are not always insanely more expensive than a round-trip. If you're flexible on airports that can save you too: maybe you fly out of your local airport on one airline and return to another airport sort of nearby on another airline.
posted by mdonley 29 June | 15:24
Wow, that's amazing: I'm seeing NYC to Boston on August 9th for six dollars. Some of the overnight NYC-Boston trips are one dollar. Can that be right?
posted by Elsa 29 June | 16:00
Yup, it's right. Megabus charges more for tickets if you buy them, like, a day in advance: I booked a ticket from Chicago to Milwaukee a few months in advance and it was FREE plus a 50-cent booking fee, but a ticket a week in advance was around $10. They also usually just set up a little bus stop or something, so no formalities with things inside the station. They only sell tickets online, and you don't even need the ticket itself to board, only the big-ass code number they give you, which, if you so chose, you could just write on your arm or something.

But yeah, they're awesome.
posted by mdonley 29 June | 16:53
*sniff* If it doesn't run past Saturday I won't be able to make it.
posted by brujita 29 June | 17:00
Megabus also takes you to South Station, so you can get to my place with just one train. Super easy.

My girlfriend said she is definitely in, so we'll have two seats if folks need a ride. Same rules apply as above.
posted by Eideteker 29 June | 17:02
Brujita, what time would you expect to hit Maine? Saturday afternoon? Evening? Sunday morning?

Miko's original plan suggested overnighters meet for breakfast at The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth on Sunday morning. As a former regular at FT, I heartily second this plan. And by heartily second, I mean I already know what I'm ordering.

So, even if you're too late to get your money's worth of skeeball, maybe breakfast meetup? I have to head home after breakfast, but surely some of those coming from away will be sticking around, right, folks?
posted by Elsa 29 June | 17:16
I'd come in Saturday night, but now it looks best if I took the bus directly to Portsmouth.
posted by brujita 29 June | 18:01
I MeFi-mailed a couple of other people who were present at Portland's "King of Kong" meet-up where the Skeeball meet-up was conceived. I thought they'd like to see this thread.

At what point to we call this a done deal and post it to MetaTalk? Is the date still up in the air?
posted by Elsa 29 June | 19:27
Ooooo yes! I will be there.

I'll be driving down from Portland, so could fit a few more in my car, though I MIGHT stay overnight with my sister, who lives in the area.

I can't wait!
posted by suki 30 June | 15:02
I'm in Boston and tentatively planning to attend! I don't want to commit to rides right now since I'm not totally sure of my plans yet, but I'd be willing to take a few people and I'll post back if I'm definitely in. Not sure if I'll be joining the overnight festivities.

(Thanks for the heads(up)date, Elsa!)
posted by initapplette 30 June | 15:42
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