Day 3: Portland and traveling up the coast
Monday, September 1, 2014 (Labor Day)
I woke up early and decided to take a photo walk by myself around the West End neighborhood. One of the magazines I read the previous day, Old Port had an article, "West End: What to do in a day" which inspired me to explore the neighborhood as much as possible before leaving the city for the coast. Deb, one of the innkeepers at West End Inn also provided me with a self-guided walking tour article, "Guide to the Western Promenade" from Portland Landmarks which provides a map with descriptions of the historic homes in the area.
Around 7 AM, I returned to the B&B for coffee and breakfast with Scott. I could get used to starting my days with a walk and quality time with him. We both started with the vegetable juice (I couldn't get over the beautiful color from the beets!) and Scott had the blueberry pancakes with bacon and I had the omelet ingredients made into a one-egg scramble with toast and bacon.
After breakfast, we continued walking around West End neighborhood and made sure to stop by the oldest home in the city, 387 Danforth Street built in 1799 for homeowner, William Vaughn.
To enjoy the beautiful day on foot before getting in the car to drive up the coast, we went on a coffee walk to Tandem Coffee Shop. We chose a walking route that would allow us to walk through historic Deering Oaks Park, designed in 1879. We didn't spend much time in the park but it was beautiful and it seems like it'd be a great place for walking and watching the ducks who have their own home on the pond.
I now know why their website says "If you find yourself in the neighborhood" - it is definitely out of not in an area where you'd be for anything else unless you're a local artist working in a studio (several stopped in for their coffee while we were at the counter). The shop is extremely cute and we had bonus blueberry pie because again, when in Maine!
We continued our walk to Congress Street and stopped at Longfellow Books. I ended up buying "Lucky Us" by Amy Bloom, one of my favorite authors. I also purchased "The Long Walk" by Stephen King because it just seemed like the right thing to do since he was born in Portland, ME and many of his books are set in Maine. I was tempted to buy a few Robert McCloskey books but I knew I'd regret it when it came time to pack (I never leave enough room in our suitcase for souvenirs!)
After our walk, we started our journey north with a planned lunch stop in South Freeport for a fish sandwich at Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, thanks to the suggestion made by Lisa Telander Lukis (not to be confused with her sister-in-law, Lisa "from the Bus" Lukis, my weekly walking partner and friend of 10+ years).
We thought about having lobster or crab but in the end went with Lisa's suggestion of a fresh fish sandwich and she wasn't lying when she said it is the best (craving right now).
Our next adventure is one of the few things that both Scott and I wish we had skipped. Neither one of us likes shopping or crowds so I'm not sure why we thought going to the L.L. Bean flagship store on Labor Day would be a good idea. At least Scott bought a wallet while we were there and we took a photo of the giant boot.
After our lightning fast stop at L.L. Bean, we continued our journey north on U.S. 1to the Inn at Ocean's Edge in Lincolnville, ME. I knew I wanted to stay here before I booked the airline tickets. I originally learned about the Inn from my friend, Peter's Facebook posts in 2013.
The Inn at Ocean's Edge is stunning and exudes calm and relaxation. After our tour of the Inn, we opted to sit on the plush recliners near the vanishing pool and drink a local beer, Peak Organic Summer Session Ale.
Camden is a charming and quaint coastal village 5 miles south of the Inn at Ocean's Edge. We arrived during the "Golden Hour"; the sun casting a beautiful spotlight on the harbor's many sailboats.
We ate dinner at Fresh which is tucked away in an area called Bay View Landing. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the crisp cool evening. I had the Moroccan spiced lentil burger with cured olives, tomato, tzatziki, and pea shoots,on a grilled pita. Scott had the flat iron steak with sweet potatoes.
Day 4: Foggy day on the coast
We returned to the Inn for a nap - the dreariness was getting to us. We decided to go north for dinner and drove 20 minutes to Belfast, Maine which is located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Penobscot Bay. We walked along the river before deciding on dinner at Three Tides.
Scott and I both agree that we're glad we experienced a foggy day in Maine. It is a type of weather we never experience in Minnesota (not counting occasional foggy mornings or evenings). I found it especially beautiful in Belfast. I don't remember reading much about Belfast when I was researching coastal road trips from Lincolnville but it ended up being one of our favorite places on our vacation. We both loved Three Tides and independent of each other determined it to be our favorite restaurant on the vacation. The photos don't capture the ambiance created by the deck on the harbor, the lamp shades strung above the tables, and the fire glowing below. We had lobster mac and cheese and crab quesadillas with cheesecake for dessert.
The Nivens Family