|Murphy loves vacation|
|Visiting the New York Capitol Building|
|The cottage we rented in Maine|
|How's this for a view?|
|First stop - Gilmore's|
|Excited for lobster rolls|
|First delicious food of the trip|
Before heading to the Capitol we stopped at The Red Barn for lunch. The Red Barn is a larger eatery with ample outdoor space. I had fried clams and fries - amazing. The food was incredible, and all the positive reviews we'd read were dead on. I'd totally recommend.
|Relaxing on the porch at the Maine Capitol|
|Jumping in front of the Maine Capitol in a skirt and wedges = talent.|
|Posing at LL Bean in Freeport|
|A gorgeous day|
|Not holding the lobster|
Wednesday morning, the 4th of July, we got up early to head to Freeport (about 20 minutes) for the 10k. We found parking easily, and made our way to the start. It was raining a little before the race, but it was much better than the oppressive heat of my last few races. As I was waiting for the race to start I heard someone say Joan Benoit Samuelson was there. Joan is an Olympic champion (winner of the first women's Olympic Marathon in 1984). She still holds the fastest time for an American woman in the Olympic Marathon and in the Chicago Marathon. She's truly a running legend, and I was completely star struck to be in the same race.
|Joan Benoit Samuelson at the start (in the gray in the right side)|
|Me at the start (in argyle...shocking)|
|Joan Benoit Samuelson finishing|
|19 minutes later, me blasting between two people|
After the race we headed back to Bath to watch the Bath 4th of July parade. Without intending to we were there during Bath's annual Heritage Days - a celebration with a carnival, live music, and people everywhere. Downtown Bath is ADORABLE. It's a city with a population of less than 10,000 people, and I'm not sure there was a single empty storefront. It is a recipient of a 2012 Great American Main Street award, and it's well deserved. In the small downtown there are 2 (yes 2!!) grocery stores. There are tons of restaurants and local shops. It was incredible. The downtown was filled with people, and Heritage Days turned out to be a great display of community pride.
We headed back to the cottage to rest for a bit, but not before stopping at Plant's Seafood for lobster roll #2 of the trip. I liked Plant's WAY better than Gilmore's. It had less dressing on it, and the lobster tasted fresher and less chewy. Two thumbs up. The only downside is that Plant's serves their lobster rolls with chips instead of fries. I did miss the delicious fries we got at Gilmore's.
That evening we came back to downtown Bath to ride some carnival rides. I admit - I am a sucker for carnie rides. We rode the ferris wheel, the Tilt-a-Whirl, and my favorite, the Scrambler, twice. I was laughing so hard that my stomach was sore and my face hurt from smiling. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun.
|This is my face on the Scrambler. Classic.|
|Some shots from downtown Portland|
For years I've held Chicago on a pedestal as my all-time favorite city, and after only a few hours, Portland unceremoniously knocked it right off. This city has placemaking down. There are blocks upon blocks of stores, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops. I'd say 95 percent of the businesses we saw were local. The streets were narrow and walkable (and cobblestone!), and there were shops EVERYWHERE. I was delightfully overwhelmed at what to go see next. Even the alleys had shops and restaurants in them. It was just unbelievable. We went in dozens of stores, and I could not get enough.
|More from downtown Portland|
|A chalkboard for public use! Wonder who wrote this?|
|Exposed brick, great atmosphere|
After our visit to Portland we headed back to the cottage where we could look for jobs in Portland. I was assured by the bartender at The Thirsty Pig that Portland winters were brutal, but I figured they couldn't be much worse than Michigan's, right? (Please no one burst my bubble.) Okay so we're not moving to Portland. But it's fun to pretend.
Friday morning we started our last day in Maine. My husband and I went for a short run and relaxed a bit. We decided to head up to Boothbay Harbor, an area about an hour north of us. We'd heard it was gorgeous spot, and we thought it would be fun. First was lunch at Kaler's, a place hailed by the locals. Then we just walked around and enjoyed the shops and harbor views.
|Gorgeous Boothbay Harbor|
We drove around a bit and got lost, but then we discovered we'd arrived at this peninsula (honestly I don't even know where we were). We went to a town pier and it felt like the world had ended. The ocean views were sweeping and just incredible. We walked around a bit and took some photos.
|Amazing, amazing views.|
|Enjoying the sunset on our last night in Maine|