I have always wanted to visit Maine - I have an idea of it being slightly foggy, cool, and crisp and full of wonderful fresh seafood.
Ever since we learned that we were moving West, I made sure the idea of an overnight in Maine stayed on our short-list of ideas for our remaining time in the East. Since Papa had to work in August and the first two days of August were weekend, we thought it this would be the perfect use for those homeless days.
We cleaned up our apartment on Friday afternoon and headed out after turning in our keys. We avoided the interstate and instead drove through Vermont and New Hampshire. It was a beautiful drive and we got to a motel in Portland around 10 PM.
Saturday was bright, sunny, and a nice warm temperature. We drove South to Ogunquit in order to walk along the Marginal Way.
We soon realized that Maine is also called Vacationland and that we were driving along the prime tourist stretch with lots of slow traffic whenever there was a beach turn off. Regardless, the drive and the walk were beautiful. A paved path led along the seashore with lots of benches for pausing and looking at the scenery.
We found a little patch of beach and decided to pause for a while instead of fighting the crowds to get to the main beach up the road as we had planned for the afternoon.
The kids were so excited to play in the waves. We saw a few tiny crab too! We took a scenic road back to Portland, taking us through tiny little coastal towns and less populated areas.
For supper on Saturday we tried lobster rolls at Becky's Diner in Portland. I should have taken a photo - but it was a bun with a quarter pound of lobster meat on it - yum! M2 gobbled it up.
We window shopped a bit in the cute downtown and then we spent a lovely evening playing at the Eastern Promenade Park. I found this park when I searched for kid friend activities using tripadvisor.com. The park is on the very Eastern edge of the city and has a playground on a hill overlooking the water. The kids had a great time playing and there was a beautiful breeze.
We stopped for birthday cake on the way back to the hotel and had a mini-party in our room for my birthday.
Sunday was overcast and cool, but we stuck with our plan to check out the beach after check-out.
We drove south again to Old Orchard Beach and were happy to see how the weather had kept the crowds at bay. While Saturday had traffic back-ups, on Sunday we were able to park just a few blocks from the beach. The water was so cold, but the kids couldn't get enough, even when they were to the point of visibly shivering.
Fog rolled in as we played. They had finally had enough of the cold water and played in the sand for a while.
We cleaned up and were headed for some lunch when M.G. spotted the carousel. She was so excited about riding and could hardly contain herself while we looked for the ticket booth. She was too young to ride alone, so I explained that she could safely ride on a horse because Papa would stand beside her. She and carousels have a long history. She talks a big game every time and then is too terrified to sit up that high. She panics, runs for the bench seat, and by the end of the ride is enjoying herself. It's the same every time and so we have a growing set of photos where she is smiling through tears.
On the boardwalk we grabbed pizza for M.G. and fried dough for all of us and then we started driving South along the shore. We made one more stop at a clam shack in Kennybunkport before fighting traffic on our way back to New York. The traffic combined with a rainstorm on the dark, winding back roads of Vermont slowed us down quite a bit. But overall it was a very relaxing weekend vacation.