Friday, July 25, 2014

Harbor livin'

This past weekend and the first part of this week, I was in Maine enjoying some time with family and some cool coastal breezes far from the city. Our adorable harbor town of choice was Boothbay Harbor where my uncle and aunt have frequently gone in the summer (I don't think we're bourgeois enough to use "summer" as a verb). In fact, I was there as a kid once, although my only abiding memory is of petting a lobster to calm it before it was boiled for dinner. I guess I didn't get too attached. I do also remember seeing a photo of a little kid's train my grandparents apparently took me on. Twenty years later, the train is still there, although my sister and I had perhaps outgrown it. 

I know that many of my readers were on this very trip with me, but hopefully they will still appreciate the photos:

A family photo in front of the wildflowers at Stonewall Kitchen
On our drive up, we stopped in York, Maine as my uncle had recommended Stonewall Kitchen as a nice lunch spot. Stonewall Kitchen is the maker of a ton of jams and sauces, and most exciting they had their entire product line to sample. I made it a mission to try most things (excepting the chutneys), so I ended up not actually being able to eat much of my lunch. Nevertheless, if you're driving up through Maine, I highly recommend this stopover.  
The beauty of the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens
My aunt and uncle spoke highly of the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens (in fact, my aunt even appears in a photo from their official coffee table book!), and after going there, we could see why. Maine has an exceptional climate for flowers, but the gardens were also just really inventive. There was a wonderful children's garden and also a Five Senses Garden with elements to touch, smell, hear, see, and taste (well the taste was more theoretical, as they didn't really encourage eating anything).

Fairy house construction.
At the botanical gardens, there was also a 'Fairy House Village' with sticks and bark for building fairy houses. Some of our group partook. Others just watched and photographed the progress.

Some hardened sailors.
We chose our one very sunny day to go sailing. I had never been sailing before, and I'm not totally sure if what we did qualifies as we were not required to actually do anything other than not stand when the boom was occasionally coming across. There also wasn't a ton of wind so weren't going at too fast a clip. Still, it was a lot of fun to be out on the water and see a few of the islands in the area. And now I can cross sailing off the list of things I've never done. I still need to ride a motorcycle and try water skiing at some point though.

Our sailing captain. 
The town of Boothbay Harbor is quite cute and small enough that we quickly gained our bearings. There were plenty of fudge shops, galleries, and bookshops and one well placed popcorn shop with flavors like Coconut Curry and Bacon Chocolate. The per capita number of ice cream shops in Boothbay Harbor is also very high. Alas, we weren't there enough to try them all, but suffice is say, we didn't go hungry and were especially not wanting for sugar.

This adorable used book store seems to appropriately illustrate Boothbay.
 Naturally, in between fudge and ice cream gorging, we also managed to eat a few lobsters (or lobster rolls in my case, as I don't like the fuss involved).

Sam in his element. For the record, only one of those lobsters was his. 
 Now for some reason during the trip it became an important task to take photos of Sam with all of the bears we saw. It turns out there was a number of bears in Maine. The following is thus a selection of Sam and bear photos. Enjoy!
Sam and Smokey!
Sam at the botanical gardens
Sam at this great microbrewery in Boothbay. The bear is slightly less evident here, but he's back there.
That about wraps up our trip. It was a short one, but a truly lovely weekend with some wonderful hosts. I think I have some much clearer memories this time around. And if not, I'll at least have this blog post full of photos. 
'Til next time, Boothbay Harbor!


  1. This looks so nice! Maine is on my list of places to go. I want to hold a tray of lobsters like Sam, attend a clam bake, and enjoy really quiet small towns. That's how I imagine Maine anyway. And as Sara, Plain and Tall.

  2. You would love it! There are lobster and shellfish aplenty!

  3. The pictures of Sam are also helpful documentation of the progression of his new goatee :)

  4. Thanks for posting. I feel as if I had tagged along (at least a bit). hope to go there at some future east coast visit.