Portland International Jetport

Meteorites galore at Portland Int’l Jetport in Maine

Much of Maine will be in the path of the total solar eclipse on April 8.

But pieces of the Moon and Mars area landing at Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland, Maine on March 26th.

For the next five years, the airport will be home to a museum-level exhibit from the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum’s meteorite collection.

The 20-foot-long exhibit is located in the gate area and includes 18 meteorites.

Among them is the second-largest piece of the Moon on Earth and one of the largest pieces of Mars on Earth.

(Second largest piece of the Moon here on Earth)

The “Fly Me to the Moon” exhibit also includes an iconic Gibeon meteorite that looks a lot like Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

(“The Scream” is on loan from Macovich Collection through the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum)

“This exhibit will be full of beautiful examples of meteorite specimens from the Moon, Mars, and the asteroid 4 Vesta,” said Cari Corrigan, Curator of Meteorites at the Smithsonian Institution. “Having all of these samples on exhibit together in an airport, free of charge to the public, is an amazing educational and inspirational opportunity for those lucky enough to fly through Portland.”

Want to see more of the Moon? The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is in Bethel, less than 70 miles from Portland, Maine. The museum has 17 interactive exhibits and boasts that it has more of the Moon than all of the natural history museums in the world combined.

Airport pub crawl: sure path to jet-lag AND a hangover

Jet-lag (when you’re “internally desychronized”) is no fun. It’s vexing when you’ve arrived in a new city at 6 a.m. and can’t keep your eyes open.  It’s maddening when it jostles you awake at 3 in the morning.

There are plenty of jet-lag remedies floating around out there. Some work. Others work only if you say a special chant.   One way to insure jet-lag, as well as a hangover: an airport pub crawl that includes some – or all – of the spots in this Forbes Traveler article: America’s Best Airport Bars.

Recommended spots include:  Vino Volo wine bars in Washington, D.C, Seattle, Detroit and other cities;  Cibi Bistro and Wine Bar at PHL,  DEN’s New Belgium Hub Bar & Grill, the Woodford Reserve Bar & Grill at the Louisville, Kentucky Airport, re:vive at JFK’s Terminal 5,  Laurelwood Brewing Company pubs at PDX, and the Shipyard Brewing Company at Maine’s Portland Int’l Jetport.

Also on the list: the Sweetwater Draft House at ATL, the Heineken Lounge at EWR,  and Squatters Pub and the Wasatch Brew Pub, both at the Salt Lake City airport.

Drink up, but bring aspirin.


(More) greetings from the airport bathroom

My Well Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com last week was about some of the products and amenities I found at a recent airport conference.

Titled “Fresh Amenities for Pooped out Travelers,” the column mentions some nifty gadgets popping up in airport restrooms, including toilet seat covers that change automatically.

I was delighted to find two companies marketing these self-changing toilet seat covers. And pleased to learn that a dozen or so airports already had these electronic seat covers installed.

Then I got an angry e-mail message from David Jablow. I could tell he was mad because he wrote in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS. UNDERLINED.

Although his company hadn’t exhibited at the airport conference, Jablow wanted to make sure I knew that his company, Brill Hygienic Products, is “the largest sanitary toilet seat company in North America” and “the only company in the USA which manufactures their own seats and plastic in the USA.”

He especially wanted to make sure I let folks know that the company’s “hands-free high tech electronic sanitary toilet seats” are in restrooms at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and in Portland, Maine at the Portland International Jetport.

Happy to share the news. And happy to know there are even more airports where sitting around will be sanitary.