The next stop on our Northeast trip was Maine. We drove up to Portland and through a lot of snow, however everyone there seemed to be accustomed to driving in it and dealing with it. The very next day the roads were clear and the parking lots had more snow lining the sides from the plows.
I had spent a summer in Maine, so I'm decently familiar with things and was very excited to be back. I really appreciate the calmness and nature that seems to be everywhere. Another thing that is difficult to forget is the lobster and blueberry that Maine is so well known for. Other beautiful parts of Portland are the nautical charm, art gallery flair, and brick architecture. I was really surprised to see seagulls flying the skies and squawking around town since it was so cold, but it made me happy.
We were happy to have brought a lobster tail from Mike's Pastry along for breakfast and to have crab rolls, lobster rolls, and chowder for lunch, followed by blueberry ice cream. It was fun to reorient myself with Portland and to remember all of the experiences - the first time I ever had sushi at Fuji six years ago, the dog friendly nature of the city, and the little independent boutique shops that line the streets. I was surprised to see international details, such as post boxes donated by Shinagawa, Japan, a sister city, and part of the Berlin wall near the Casco Bay.
Later in the day we ventured up to Freeport, a quaint little area with a lot of outlet stores in original buildings, which adds to the charm. I think they have one of the most unique and stunning McDonalds originally built in a Georgian style. Freeport is also home to L.L. Bean's flagship store that is open 24 hours, as well as specialty shops that don't typically have outlets.
After a long day of shopping we went to dinner at the Azure Cafe. I especially loved the Maine Seafood cakes, which had fresh Maine crab, salmon, shrimp & scallop topped with a toasted coriander cream over spicy carrot & parsnip ribbons. Everything we had was delicious and I loved seeing Stefan geared up in his bib cracking lobster.
The next day we ventured down the coast on our way back to the airport. We stopped at Old Orchard Beach, which is much more beautiful in the winter than in the summer. We had the beach to ourselves, with the exception of a few dog owners and dogs that were frolicking about between the snow, sand, and sea. It was really breathtaking and cold, but worth the visit.
Out next stop was Kennebunkport, where the Bush Family has a house at Walker's Point (the first picture). We arrived at dusk and it was very cold with the wind whipping around the coast. The homes in this area of Maine, particularly along Ocean Avenue are insanely huge and upscale. A lot of them have been converted into inns and resorts, however there still are many summer homes owned by families. We also saw The Wedding Cake house in Kennebunk, with all of the trimmings made by hand by George Washington Bourne for his wife.
Lastly are a few photos of the nature and the serenity that Maine is to me. It's such a beautiful state that definitely doesn't get enough credit. (All of the photos can be enlarged by clicking them).