Well, we’re home. As we were turning the corner into our little, park-like community, Jordan and I both decided that we were ready to be done driving/riding in the car, but we did not feel ready to be home. Ahh, vacations–no matter how short or long–just make me long for more vacation. I even say this in spite of my stiff legs, upset stomach (I did disregard the health-conscious train of thought while away), and smaller bank account.
Instead of giving a chronological description on the trip, I’ll just highlight some of our experiences.
Shopping: Oh, yes, I am honest and materialistic enough to say that shopping was at least part of our trip to Maine. You can hardly go to Maine without stopping in at L.L. Bean headquarters and pretending that you’re camping in the displays. I felt obligated/excited to at least buy one thing there, so we both picked out some pullover fleeces, which came in very handy during the ferry ride the next day. We also spent a little time browsing shops in Portland. Most of our shopping time here was spent in a used bookstore/art store. After an extensive elimination process, we left the store with a colorful Picasso print. While still in Portland, we also purchased a tiny lobster hanging on an anchor, which will hang on our tiny tree come December. And finally, we made a stop at the outlet malls along Route 1. Couldn’t help it…and we found some okay clothing at okay prices.
Lodging: Oh, we weren’t extremely adventurous, nor were we living a life of luxury. Since we’re currently tentless (but hopefully not for long!), we did not make this trip a camping trip. We stayed in a basic hotel one night, spent two nights in a small cottage, and one night in a(n) historic inn. By far, my favorite was the cottage. It felt one step closer to camping and was the most peaceful of the three places. The owners/staff at this place were so hospitable and excited to share Maine with visitors. It’s always nice to know that someone likes to share their home and isn’t just there to take your money. The inn, too, was very cute and quaint, but our room was right over Rte 1, so not exactly peaceful.
Geography: Of course travel always involves geography to some extent (navigating the roads, messing with the atlas, observing new places), but we did make an especially geographically-centered stop on this trip. We stopped in to visit Eartha, the world’s largest globe. It even spins! It was impossible to get all the globe in one shot from within the building. For more information: http://www.delorme.com/about/eartha.aspx.
Lighthouses: In total, we saw six lighthouses if my math and memory are correct. We really only spent time exploring a couple, though, but they were very picturesque. I think Jordan’s favorite was the first, which is Nubble Light, on Cape Neddick. I can’t pick a favorite between Nubble Light and the one on Cape Elizabeth. Well, actually I did think the one in Port Clyde was great, but we didn’t get a chance to get too close. We wondered if maybe G&G Graesser and G&G Waterhouse had seen any of these before, but bought postcards for them anyway. Still need to send those….better late than never?
Seafood: Neither of us ate shrimp. And neither of us ate mussels. But have no fear–Jordan tasted eight types of seafood, and I had seven. (He tells me that I wasn’t missing much by skipping the haddock sandwich for a Reuben). We had lobster, crab, clam, scallops, halibut, oysters, and calamari (along with the haddock sandwich). I was allowed to twist the tail of the lobster, and didn’t do too badly. I did get that excellent cup of clam chowder I was looking for. In fact, all the seafood I ate was delicious….except for the steamers (oysters). I learned that I prefer the grilled-and-covered-in-bacon-and-cheese kind of oysters. The best dining experience we had was at the Two Lights Lobster Shack. The restaurant is right next to the ocean, providing plenty of outdoor seating with wonderful views of the nearby lighthouse and waves. Jordan waited in line for at least half an hour to order, while I held our place at an oceanside table. Both the wait and the struggle to find a parking spot were worth it. After eating our lobster roll and crab roll, we played on the rocks, and examined the sea creatures in the small pools of water that gathered on them. In order to decrease our mercury poison risk, we opted for pizza twice and hotdogs once. A great, tasty change up.
Hike: We only did two hikes on this trip. The first was a very short trip by York around the top of a mountain. From the top, we were able to see the White Mountains in New Hampshire after climbing to the “Vulture’s Viewpoint” area. We saw some neat things on this hike, but mostly I was thankful that we had a chance to use our legs after the long drive up north.
Hike number two was more than we expected. We drove two hours north to hop an hour-long ferry ride to reach our hiking destination: Monhegan Island. Every minute of travel was worth it. After filling up on pizza and coke (excellent health food for hiking, I know), we left for a much more challenging three and a half hour hike. We climbed up and over rocks, through trees, and moseyed on through a storybook forest. There was a moment when we both got giddy. We felt spoiled–spoiled because the island exists at all and because we were able to get there. We took breaks to listen and watch the waves crash against the cliffs, and watched the birds bob up and down. Even though the island was quite full of tourists over the holiday weekend, there were many times when we were able to look around and see now other people at all. Other times, the only other people we could see were artists who had set up easels to try to capture the scenery with oil or watercolor. Of course paintings, pictures, or even videos, do not seem to do the experience justice. (Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy a few that I’ll add)
That pretty much sums up our weekend trip to Maine. I know we would both love to get back to Maine, since we still have so much to explore. After dreaming of returning to Maine, we took it a step farther. We each created a list of our top ten vacation destinations/excursions, and then compared the lists to see where they overlapped. Surprisingly (or maybe not), only four were matches, meaning we had a total of sixteen destinations. Looks like we need to start saving for more trips…