Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer In Maine | A Vacation Post

I've lived in Pittsburgh for almost 6 years now, and I really and truly love it here. The people are friendly, the food scene is fantastic, and the city has so much to offer. All that being said, Maine will always be "home" to me.

Growing up there, I took it's beauty for granted. Living so close to the ocean was something I knew as the norm. It wasn't until I moved away that I realized just how beautiful Maine truly was. The ocean is something that gets inside of you, and when you are away from it for a period of time, you begin to long for it... The smell, the sound, the feel, the view.

Getting to see my children there for the first time overwhelmed me with emotions; first, shear joy... And then guilt. Guilt that my kids will never get to experience growing up at the beach like I did. Max fell so in love with the luxuries that Maine has to offer, watching him roll in the sand and swim in the ocean with his dad, just taking it all in, are memories I will treasure for a lifetime. It was exactly what I wanted this vacation to be all about.

I wanted my kids to see and enjoy all of the things I love about Maine, and even though I know they're a little too young to fully understand my affection for the state, I think Max was just old enough to get a taste.

The week entailed much time spent with family and friends, in addition to trips to the beach, the lake, Smiling Hill Farms, and complete overindulgence in some of my favorite foods as well as taste testing at some new popular local restaurants.

We had donuts from the Holy Donut, the sweet potato and ginger did not disappoint, and iced blueberry white chocolate mochas from one of Portland's great local coffee shops. We tested out the barbecue at Salvage BBQ while having dinner with my dad, enjoyed the wonderful fare at the Good Table with my mom, and tried the enormous and delicious Sicilian style pizza from Slab, as well as the thin crust style Butternut Squash and Mashed Potato flavored pies from Otto. We dined on the deck with my best girlfriends at the Porthole, and enjoyed some of our favorite local brews, Shipyard IPA and Allagash White, while watching a seal poke his head in and out of the water.

Oh... And the lobster rolls. I don't do seafood, (I know, I'm from Maine and I don't eat lobster, but my husband loves it). After eating 4 lobster rolls over the course of the week, he declared that the rolls from Bite into Maine were undoubtedly his favorite. I enjoyed an amazing TMB sandwich from there, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil with a balsamic glaze, and we indulged in some made in Maine root beer and blueberry flavored sodas... All while taking in the amazing views from Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park.  We capped all of this off with dessert from Gelato Fiasco, where the blueberry crisp gelato was delightful.  And of course, no trip to Maine would be complete without a visit to LL Bean.

Though there never seems to be enough time to quite fit in everything that I want to do when I return home, I think it's fair to say we fit quite a bit in with a toddler and an infant along for the ride.

If you have never gotten the chance to travel to Maine, I highly recommend it... Especially during the summer. It truly lives up to its nickname, "Vacationland" and stays true to its motto, "the way life should be".  I hope to try to make it a yearly destination for our family, but for now I'm going to savor the memories from this trip.

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