This has been the summer of weekend getaways, and each one has made me appreciate how much New England has to offer. I was thrilled to find out I had Labor Day weekend off, and was easily convinced by friends to go on an impromptu retreat to Maine. We visited last year with another couple, and couldn’t wait to explore more.
The first day we went on a “lobster luncheon” kayak trip run by a local pair. We were the only 4 that signed up and got a little private tour. I’ve kayaked leisurely up and down the Charles river in Boston and thus, ambitiously signed up for this half-day ocean kayaking tour thinking it’d be a breeze (even considered doing full-day…gasp), and will just say Nick was not pleased with his tandem paddling partner.
All the “luncheon” consisted of was us rowing to an open restaurant with a dock and buying our own lunch. Despite this, I don’t think I’ve paddled harder in my life than when the food came into sight.
The next day we drove ~20 minutes to Perkins Cove, ME to get our lobster fix. There’s a number of places to choose from, but my heart was set on the Lobster Shack which had the best reviews. We were surprised to find a lunch special that was much more reasonably priced than the previous day’s fare. Two of us gorged on twin lobsters, and the other two had rolls and chowda. Each meal was just $15, plus they sold local beers and wine in solo cups – what’s not to love?
We had dinner in Ogunquit, ME which is a very quaint beach-side town with a whole street of restaurants and bars. We originally wanted to stay there, but realized that was wishful thinking for last-minute travelers on Ogunquit’s busiest weekend of the year. The Yelp app helped us pick Frills, which was a great little outdoor spot with delicious seafood entrees and cheap cocktails.
I had sworn off seafood after the double lobster showdown, but am too much of a sucker for seafood pasta. This one did not disappoint – generous portions of sea scallops, lobster, and shrimp tossed with grated cheese and local-made pasta. Nick had crabcakes topped with lobster w/ mashed potatoes, and licked his plate clean. And you can’t leave Maine without some blueberry pie.
There’s not much to do around York at night…saw some women “working” the streets outside which made us go running back inside. We considered late-night dips in the ocean but the waters there are FRIGID…ended up settling for boardgames and “airplanes” at the motel.
On the last day, we drove an hour north to Portland, ME which is foodie and craft beer lovers’ haven. First stop, Novare Res “Bier Cafe”. I just about finished my drink before the guys were done poring over the vast selection.
Next up, the Thristy Pig. What a great concept. For $10 you can get a cold brew + hand-crafted fat sausage link w/ toppings ($2 more for a bun). My kielbasa was juicy and flavorful.
Top left: After beers, we treated ourselves to hot stone couples massages. I’ve never splurged on treatments before and think I might prefer a hot shower. My companion probably had trouble relaxing with my giggles and snapshots invading his privacy.
For dinner, we had a tough time getting reservations (seems like a Portland thing) but eventually made one at Local 188. We smelled the smoker outside and told the waitress we wanted what was inside (turned out to be chorizo). Ingredients are supposedly local and quantities were limited…they were running out of things left and right, and Nick hailed someone down to reserve one of the last few ice cream sandwiches before we even ordered appetizers.
From top left: grilled flatbread with hummus; hit-the-spot meatballs; scallop ceviche with sriracha mayo; chicken & chorizo paella; braised brisket, and last but not least an ice cream sammy. Everything we tried was fantastic, and I cried a little inside as my friend removed the “fat” from the brisket (the best part!).
On our way home, I was pleased to find a Savers thrift store in NH stocked with quality materials. I half expected to run into NH blogger Kerry who introduced me to the chain in the first place, but no such luck! They were having a 50% off sale, so needless to say, my thrifting addiction kicked into full swing there and will be responsible for many additional outfits over the coming months.
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