I’m an avid blog reader and one of my favorites is Eat This Poem. It features literary city guides that highlight different cities’ good reads and good eats. A lovely idea that’s beautifully executed and so up my alley. I recently read their Portland, Maine guide and was reminded of the time we went for Russell’s 29th birthday. I came to my blog to reminisce on the details and pictures of our trip, and was surprised to find that lo and behold, no such post existed because it had happened before I had a blog. So I’m taking it back to 2011 and I hope you’ll indulge my trip down memory lane.
We flew from New York to Portland International for $80 round-trip. The flight took about the same time as the bus from our apartment to La Guardia airport. Our first order of business was sea food. We went to a hole-in-the-wall called Fisherman’s Grill for the most delicious scallops, fried clams and shrimp, and lobster rolls. Their motto- “Seafood so fresh you wannah slap it.”
After lunch we explored the East End of Portland. I bought an old used copy of My Love Affair with the State of Maine from Carlson & Turner Bookstore. I wish we had also checked out Rabelais Book Store, which is recommended in Eat This Poem. But I was very happy with this purchase, which I spent some time reading in the oversized jetted hot tub bath at Morrill Mansion Bed & Breakfast where we stayed. The proprietor there left out home-made desserts every day, including whoopie pies (the official state treat of Maine; the official dessert is blueberry pie). And in the mornings he served lobster egg souffles. That evening we had drinks at Grace, an old church converted to a restaurant. The church was built in the 1850s and still has its stained glass windows and original architecture. For dinner we went to the famous Fore Street Restaurant where they serve fresh, local fare. We had a black sea bass served in a cast iron grill. I can’t tell you how much that dish has influenced our way of cooking at home now. Shortly after this trip I bought Russell his own cast iron for Christmas. He uses it religiously and boasts it’ll be a family heirloom one day. The next day we woke up early and drove 3 hours out to Acadia National Park. We came at the end of the season so most of the resorts and attractions were closed, and it was freezing out, but I’m so glad we made the trip. Russell bought these L.L. Bean boots the night before from the 24-hour L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine. His Pendleton cardigan is vintage and perfect for this backdrop, no? We got back late that night and I remember trying to get into a few different restaurants without reservations and failing. We ended up eating sushi at a very local joint. The next morning we were more successful at securing good food at Three Sons. A wholesale lobster company – they used to sell retail too, but I just learned their store closed. Too bad because it was quite the experience. You simply ordered by size, they pulled a live lobster out from one of the boxes pictured below, steamed it on the spot, then served it with butter. Then you just sat outside on their picnic benches and ate sans utensils (though you could borrow a cracker). I watched in horror and fascination while Russell ripped apart the lobster. We also visited Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park. On top of all the seafood and fall foliage, seeing this lighthouse really completed our picture perfect East Coast vacation.
I wish we’d had a chance to go back to Maine one more time before we left New York. There are so many more shorelines to explore.
Also p.s. 2011 doesn’t seem like that long ago, but looking back at these pictures, I can see that I’ve really aged in the last 3 years! My skin hasn’t been the same since turning 30 😦