Day Ten: Portland, Maine

 

Blueberry Pancakes

This morning we had breakfast at the iconic Becky’s Diner, once featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (although we didn’t know that
when we made plans to go there).

Peaks Island Ferry

After breakfast, we had just enough time to walk to the other end of town to catch a ferry to Peaks Island, an inhabited island just three miles from downtown Portland. It is one of the dozen or so “large” islands and several dozen “small” islands in Casco Bay. It is accessible by a 15 minute ferryride.  Although there are about 850 year round residents, the population more than doubles in the summer with vacationers.

 It is possible to walk the perimeter if the island to take in the beautiful views of the Casco Bay and the distant islands and lighthouse. But where’s the fun in that? Instead, we rented one of the many golf carts that can be seen crisscrossing the island.

We were able to visit all of the “top spots” recommended by the golf cart guy, including:

 

Jeff playong Cairn Jenga

 

a beach filled with cairns (piled up rock sculptures) and views of three different lighthouses,

 a trail through a swamp to a beaver pond/dam,

 a scenic road along the bay and a sandy beach dotted with sea glass (though not as fantastic as we can find at home) and mussel shells.

 

Building a cairn

 

Cairn Beach

Kiki LOVED riding around in the cart so much that I suggested that she take up golfing so that she can ride in a golf cart on a regular basis. When our time ran out, we extended another hour.  After turning in the cart, we had just enough time to use the restroom, fill up on (more) ice cream and then get back on the ferry (with 200 other people) back to downtown Portland. It was an interesting little place that reminded me very much of the little islands that I have visited near home (Blake, Lopez, Orcas, Vashon). Thanks for the recommendation, Vaughn Family.
When we got back to Portland, Jeff went back to the hotel to give he girls some pool time, while I set out to do some window shopping (alone time).

We reunited again for dinner in the hotel restaurant.

 

We found some whoopie pies!

 

Chocolate for Kiki

 

Chocolate Chip for Kai

After dinner, the girls and I decided that we needed to get ahold of one of the famous “whoopie pies” that we had heard were a “Maine treat.” The front desk suggested a take-out Italian restaurant for us to try just a few blocks from the hotel. Sweet success! We scored two traditional (chocolate cake with cream filling) and a chocolate chip whoopie pie for Kai.

We could sleep easy now for tomorrow we were off to New Hampshire and Vermont.

 Goodbye sweet salty ocean air. 😢

Day 9: Ogunquit to Portland, Maine

 

Marginal Way Footpath

After a quick continental breakfast at the hotel, we set out on foot to explore the Marginal Way Oceanview Path. The 1.25 mile footpath skirts the edge of the cliff between tiny Perkins Cove and the larger (yet still small) town of Ogunquit to the north. Although it was hot and humid, we really to enjoyed the expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Ogunquit Beach

 

The big black clouds that were looming ahead released a downpour as soon as we reached Ogunquit, forcing us into another hasty restaurant choice. Caffe Prego, a little Italian restaurant, hit the spot and gave us reprieve from the rain. After the rain cleared up, we walked looped back around to our hotel and started our drive toward Portland, Maine.

I was curious about Kennebunkport knowing that the Bush family had a summer home there, so we meandered up the coast until we arrived in Kennebunkport. When I consulted TripAdvisor for points of interest, it suggested we take a scenic drive on Ocean Drive. As we were taking in the views, I remembered that I had read that the Bush Compound was viewable from the road somewhere in Kennebunkport. I suggested that Jeff pull over so I could look it up on the map. We just happened to pull over at the lookout point overlooking Walker Point where generations of the Bush family have spent their summers. It was pretty cool to get a peek into their lives.

Way Way Store

From Kennebunkport, we went further north to meet up with a colleague of Jeff’s that lives in Saco, Maine. We had a little time to spare, so we stopped by the Way Way Store to load up on “penny” candy (actually $6.95/lb.). The Way Way Store has been in Saco since 1927. It sells candy, ice cream and slightly used canoes. Cray cray.
In Saco we met up with Jeff’s work pal, Randy, and his lovely family. Jeff enjoyed catching up and we both enjoyed hearing about their recent trip to Europe. We got some great tips for things to around Portland. (Thanks to the Vaughn family!)

 

Portland waterfront

 

After arriving in Portland, we checked into the hotel. The kids and Jeff had some pool time while I tried to catch up on my blog. (I didn’t.)

 

Steamed lobster dinner

 

Clam chowder AND clam strips

In the evening, we walked into town to find Kai some “chowdah!”  Portland is the largest most populous city in Maine. It is said to have the most restaurants per capita of any city in the United States. For that reason, it was not difficult to stumble upon a restaurant with “chowder” in the title for yet another fantastic dinner. No dinner is complete without ice cream, so we went to the variety store for homemade ice cream to cap the night. I had “Maine Blueberry.” So good! *sigh*
Once we made it back to the hotel, we carried on with my children’s new HGTV addiction and watched several real estate flipping shows before finally pulling the plug on the TV around midnight to get a bit of rest.

Zzzzzzzzzz……