Though I would never choose to go NORTH for a summer vacation, the opportunity presented itself when our dear friends invited us up to their summer home in Rockland, Maine. They've been "summering" for decades and now that we had the kiddies and Mr. P and I didn't have much in planned out in terms of "summer" we thought, why not? I'll keep the writing short because when you have gorgeous scenery about, who needs words. Maine is beautiful and the small surrounding towns of Rockport and Camden definitely give off that quaint, New England summer vibe that a lot of people love. The people were friendly, the weather so-so, and there was enough lobster consumed that it wasn't even funny. I mean..when in
She's starting to get into that age where she needs to keep occupied. I had bottle and ipad at hand with a few games that kept her entertained. for the most part, we tried to keep her up and awake before the flight so that she ended up falling asleep during it. Mind you, the flight was only an hour (smh).
she's graduated to the umbrella stroller so we finally rented a carseat rather than bring the "SUV" stroller.
Viv and Jules reunite with Winter
Our first morning: we had fresh homemade donuts baked daily at Willow Bake Shoppe. I say go for the glazed buttermilk!
It's like your neighbor invited you into their home to have a donut.
The kids' nighttime routine: a bedtime treat, playtime and Thomas the Engine. The adults: wine.
Our homebase was at the Samoset Resort. Beautiful grounds, golf, pool, restaurant/bar, tennis/bball courts. Rockland was nice because we could get to just about anything (walmart, shopping, sightseeing, neighboring towns, gas stations, chain restaurants like denny's,
starbucks dunkin donuts - you're in new england!) within 10-15 minutes or less.
Did I mention we were here in time for the annual lobster festival?? this is where lobster is caught!
pounds and pounds and pounds of lobster. $20 dinner or $10 lobster rolls. there was lobster ice cream, lobster stew, bisque, etc.. On the docks, you can get it from the local fisherman who sell the lobster for as cheap as $4.50 a pound.
The multi-day festival has events, rides, and your typical fair food. there's a lobster crate race that is really popular among the locals. we were leaving the day of the race so sadly we missed it.
We didn't miss a photo opp with King Neptune or Poseidon or whoever this sea king is.
Afterwards, we walked around Rockland - town's main street. There's beautiful shops and local eateries as well as the notable Farnsworth art museum that had we more time, I would have liked to browse through.
Gifford's is a Maine-based ice cream chain with very interesting flavors. You can find their ice cream in stores in the northeast like fairway
The next day morning we headed out to Camden to have breakfast and go on a kids harbor cruise. Unfortunately the boat was broken so we spent the morning walking around town. Apparently Camden is amazing gorgeous during Christmas holiday season.
My lobster omelet and Maine blueberry muffin at Marinner's Restaurant. If you go out back, there's an outdoor patio deck that overlooks the harbor and a mini waterfall. The kids loved looking at the ducks and fish in the pond.
I've seen Stonewall kitchen in whole foods but had no idea its based out of Maine. The flagship is in york, maine but you can still get special exclusive spreads and spices and home accessories in their other stores.
Really loved this store called Jo Ellen Designs. Very cute gifts and home goods and a small section of children's toys that were so adorable. How cute of a gift would this be?
We then drove to Rockport where we checked out this harbor. I actually really loved this area because you could chill out, picnic, and watch the boats come and go. not commercialized at all but great views and the kids could run around.
how cute are these two?!
On our way back, we drove by Hobby Farms to check out these apparently very famous Belted Galloway cows. Mooo.
Then one of our trip highlights was getting to sail around the harbor. We had the sailboat to ourselves for an hour. The kids were a little apprehensive starting out but after a while they really warmed up to the ride and the ocean air.
The rocking eventually put Winter to sleep soon after downing her bottle.
and soon we had some new captains steering the boat.
The captain's assistant.
The following morning was breakfast at The Brass Compass. Known for their extensive menu of benedict dishes and pancakes. I had a Penobscot Benedict which was crabcake and hollandaise sauce. This is a local spot - the waitresses are brisk but warm, the service quick, all with a hometown local vibe. If you're a food network/bobby flay fan - they were featured in a throwdown - winning over the judges with their lobster club sandwich.
We didnt know the parade was today and took place right outside the restaurant so we caught a bit of it.
Our trip was coming to a close so we hopped back into the car to drive back to Portland. We had passed this little shack on our way to Rockland and found out that this was supposedly the best lobster roll in Maine - if not the country. Sooooooo we had to try it.
I think there was enough lobster meat equivalent to 3 lobsters. it was insane. however taste wise i'm still partial to Luke's lobster here in NYC. you still have to try Red's Eats though. the line is like an hour long and clogs up Route 1. We did it and headed back to the airport. All in all a very good and surprisingly relaxing trip. We didn't plan things out - just went with the flow and how the kids were acting. We ate well, slept well, played, and still got to fit in enough sightseeing to say we saw and experienced these towns. If you ever get the chance to go, I say go for it.