Last month the hubs and I took a trip to Maine to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. It’s a place we’ve been before and have enjoyed, so it seemed perfect for a long weekend getaway.
And I always insist on a quick car selfie before we depart on a trip.
This trip was a big deal for me, because it was the first time I had left New York State since before Covid. In fact, I had not been more than a ninety-minute drive from my house since December of 2019. As much as I really didn’t enjoy our years living in Massachusetts, I was really glad to see this sign. The traveler in me woke up and stretched her legs and was ready to get to work again.
Our destination was Ogunquit, Maine, which is a very charming example of a quaint New England town. We stayed in a one-bedroom townhouse at the very comfortable Sea Rose Suites. We were there the third week in May, and the prices were extremely reasonable. Our townhouse had a living room with TV, an almost full kitchen (no stove), and a full bathroom downstairs, with two queen beds, a closet area, another TV, and half bath on the second level. The bedroom had a set of sliding glass doors that led out to a little balcony, which we did not get to take advantage of because it was chilly the entirety of our stay. Outside the front entrance to the unit was a small patio area with a table and chairs, which didn’t get used for the same reason.
We mostly just relaxed after getting settled into our townhouse, but we did take a stroll down the street to check out a little bit of the town. We stopped for dinner at Surf Point, the restaurant at Anchorage by the Sea, one of the oceanside hotels down the road from where we were staying.
The next morning was the start to a beautiful, sunny day, so we walked down to the Marginal Way to get a good look at the beautiful ocean views.
And then…there was yarn. On our first drive into town, I saw that there was a yarn store not too far from where we were staying. As an avid crocheter and general yarn hoarder, I knew this would be at the top of my list of places to visit. The Yarn Sellar in York, ME was Christmas and a trip to Disneyland all rolled up into one perfect store. The women who work there are super friendly and helpful, and I enjoyed chatting with them and picking their brains as I decided to try to teach myself to knit yet again (fourth time’s the charm?). Their selection of yarn is very impressive, and I got to play with some yarns by manufacturers I’d never heard of or had the chance to see in person. I bought a bunch of yarn that I just had to have (I may or may not have visited the store three times in the short time we were in Ogunquit), and spent some of our down time in the townhouse fumbling my way through the beginnings of a knitted scarf.
Since we had gotten such an early start on our day, we still had the whole afternoon ahead of us. We decided to take a trip up the coast to Freeport to check out the flagship store of LL Bean. The place is huge! And I was shocked to see that it’s open 24/7. I mean, I guess some people need outdoor gear and overpriced clothing at 2:ooAM on a random Tuesday? 🤷♀️ And of course we took the obligatory selfie in front of the giant boot. After wandering around and not buying anything (I just can’t justify those prices on things I don’t actually need), we stopped for a tasty lunch at Lobster Cooker which is pretty much right next door. I had a couple of appetizers (including fried cheese curds, because apparently I love my taste buds and hate my heart) and Vance had a lobster roll. A quick note to say that I committed an offense which is probably punishable by ten years hard labor in Maine – I didn’t have any lobster. Not that I didn’t want any, mind you. It’s just gotten ridiculously expensive and I wasn’t willing to spend thirty dollars on a sandwich. The last time we were in Maine, over twenty years ago, the price of lobster was pretty much equivalent to that of a Big Mac, so we had a lot of it. Ah, the good old days.
When we returned from Freeport we still had some time left in our day, so we decided to hit up our first lighthouse. Nubble Light is just a short drive down the road from Ogunquit, and it’s always been a favorite of mine. And though the sun was shining, it was cold and very windy along the coast (hence the hair in the middle pic).
And in case you think I was kidding about it being windy, here is a video snippet of me saying “it’s a little windy” but you can’t hear anything over the noise of the wind.
The next day was shopping day! We drove to Kittery to check out the outlet stores there. I remember them as being a fabulous haven of discount shopping the last time we were there, but now they just seem bland and boring. Only one store caught our interest, and it was Clark’s, because Vance was looking for a specific shoe and because I love all of their shoes. We both left disappointed, as they didn’t have the shoes Vance wanted, and nothing in particular struck my fancy.
With the outlets being a bust, I remembered one of the women at the yarn shop telling me about a big store just down the road from them called the Kittery Trading Post. Bingo! Now that’s my idea of shopping! They carry just about everything from outdoor gear to knickknacks, novelty t-shirts and homemade fudge to shoes and canoes. I was glad I hadn’t spent any money at the outlets or at LL Bean, because that left me with more money for the many fun things I picked up here.
After we returned to Ogunquit with our goodies from the Trading Post, we decided to go and walk the entirety of the Marginal Way. This oceanside cliff walk is little over a mile long, with a bunch of cute little shops and restaurants in Perkins Cove at the far end, which served as motivation for me and my bum knee to keep going. Fortunately there are many benches along the way, each with a gorgeous view of the ocean, and we took advantage of several of them. There is also an adorable mini lighthouse which I would have loved to find a way to climb up on. And we saw a gentleman camped out on a rock, painting the landscape. Wish I could have seen it when it was finished. My favorite shop in Perkins Cove was Perkins Cove Candies, and we spent a ridiculous amount of money there. In my defense, they have cashew turtles which are pretty much the most delicious thing I have ever eaten and I miss them dearly.
On our final full day in Maine, we drove up to Portland. Our first stop was our second lighthouse of the trip, Portland Head Light. It was early, so there was still a lot of fog blanketing the area, which served as a reminder of why lighthouses were necessary in the first place. Of course I took the same photos of this stunningly beautiful lighthouse as everyone else does. If you’re not familiar with a lot of different lighthouses, this is the picture that will probably pop into your head if someone talks about them. The fog gradually lifted as we explored the grounds and wandered along the adjoining path. I spent a lot of time just looking out at the ocean and watching the water break over the rocks near the shore. And of course there were selfies.
Leaving the lighthouse, we ventured into the city of Portland itself. There were a couple of shops that we wanted to check out, and we were getting kinda hungry, so finding a lunch spot became somewhat of a priority. Our first stop was yet another yarn shop (sorry, dear). This one was the smaller but equally lovely KnitWit Yarn Shop. I picked up a couple more skeins of pretty yarn, and a tote bag that I absolutely HAD to have.
The other store on our agenda was Longfellow Books, which offers the best of all worlds – it’s an independent bookstore (the only way to book shop) and they sell new AND used books! We didn’t find any titles that grabbed our attention, but I loved the atmosphere.
And then there was my favorite stop in Portland – El Rayo Taqueria. We were there a little ahead of the lunch crowd, so we mostly had the place to ourselves. The service was friendly and the food was so good. I had the carnitas rice & bean bowl and it was huge. The box of leftovers would have easily provided at least one more meal.
And that wraps up our little tour of southern Maine. I highly recommend a visit if you haven’t yet had the opportunity. And it was so good to get out and travel again. Where was the first place you traveled post-Covid?