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24-Hours in Maine

13 Apr

IMG_7114When I booked an overnight in Maine, it was on the heels of weeks of early AM wakeups, refusing naps, and lots of “NO, MAMA’s!” We were spent, Brian and I, and desperately in need of some time to ourselves to just breathe. If money were no object, I’d have booked a babymoon in Sanibel Island like we did for my first pregnancy, so when a Groupon deal for one of my favorite spots in York, Maine fell into my lap thanks to my wonderful younger brother, I accepted it as a sign.

IMG_7201I had the brilliant idea to plan an end-of-week “kidnapping” with some coordination from my mother-in-law who was in on it to watch Emilia for us during this sneak away.  The plan was to catch Brian totally unaware so it was a complete surprise, so I built up this multi-week, bogus toothache story that ultimately ended with him taking a day off so I could get in to the dentist. Perfection!

IMG_7352Then Storm Nemo hit. The jig was up and I had to fess up to the true plan since travel was impossible. Nevertheless, we rescheduled for a month later and had a lovely, relaxing, 24-hour getaway in early March.

IMG_7116Our suite at the York Harbor Inn was spectacular with a deep, jacuzzi tub, a separate sitting area with a fireplace, and luxurious bed linens and pillows I just wanted to dive into — and did. And it was all I could do not to snap 10,000 pictures of all the decor. Everything was beautifully coordinated but still comfortable.

IMG_7173The whole point of this getaway was to relax and unwind, not sightsee or dine out at all the must-try restaurants which is often how we travel, so I specifically chose a cozy spot we would’t want to leave and packed an excessive number of books. The in-room fireplace was a huge win too. There’s nothing cozier to me than snuggling under some blankets and reading by the fire on a cold winter day.

IMG_7147After checking in, we settled into our suite in the Yorkshire House building and I promptly threw myself on the bed for a quick nap. I wish I could bottle the feeling that the sunlight, striping in through the blinds onto the bedspread gave me because it was so peaceful, calm and serene and totally nap-inducing. I woke just in time to catch the sunset over York Harbor. Then we zipped to a really early dinner and managed to time it perfectly for a random, mid-winter special prix-fixe menu that was to d-i-e for delicious.

IMG_7322I had something beef with Bernaise sauce on it and garlic and chive mashed potatoes that all tasted heavenly. Since I’m categorically unable to pass up any kind of salad that features strawberries, nuts, cheese, and a sweet dressing (this one was poppy seed), I started with the spinach salad. I’m already planning to recreate that one at home. Just imagine me licking the plate and you have an idea of how delicious it was. I should probably mention that in lieu of lunch, we’d grabbed coffee and car bagels for the trip up, so we were ravenous by the time we arrived in York.

IMG_7055I was so full I almost passed on the included hot fudge sundae dessert, but I persevered. It’s no wonder that once we returned to hang out in our sitting area, by the time Brian got the logs lit in the fireplace, I was asleep on the couch, my book on my face and ready to call it a night.

I rallied hours later after a wonderful fireside nap and drew myself a bath. Since I’d not planned to use the jacuzzi since it’s not recommended during pregnancy, I didn’t pack any of my lovely Lush bath bombs or bubbly potions, but it was still wonderful to soak in a warm tub with candles lit and get through a bit of my book. I’d envisioned us cozied up in bed watching movies and snuggling, but I think we were both at a point of exhaustion that we’d have immediately fallen asleep if we’d attempted a Netflix marathon. As it was, while I steeped in my bath, Brian had fallen asleep sitting up in a chair by the fire.

IMG_7361The rest of the trip was a lazy combination of brunching, poking into my favorite thrift shops along Rt. 1, seeking out a roadside cafe that boasts the rare “CT-style” lobster roll (warm with butter), visiting Nubble Light, documenting the baby bump with pictures, and a stop at Stonewall Kitchen to sample just about everything that wasn’t nailed down.

IMG_7061My favorites were the jams, in particular the Organic Strawberry Vanilla, the Black Raspberry jam, and the Strawberry Apple Rhubarb. It was an incredibly restorative, albeit quick, trip but it was exactly what we needed to make it through the last leg of winter.

Here are a few more of my favorite shots:IMG_7272IMG_7209IMG_7178IMG_7165IMG_7253IMG_7286IMG_7332IMG_7230IMG_7107IMG_7198

Tips + Tricks: Maximizing Vacation Excitement

20 Feb

Hawaii beach reads
It’s not the destination but the journey.

One of my favorite things to do ahead of a vacation is to read up on my destination. But not just factual stuff about sites to see and the best places to eat. I certainly do that legwork too, but that’s really the provenance of my husband, the information-gatherer and map-lover. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love reading fiction based in favorite vacation spots. I think it’s a remnant from childhood when I loved reading historical fiction; I loved learning about the world without realizing it.

Before my honeymoon in Hawaii, I read two amazing books set in Maui, very close to where we stayed actually in Lahaina. Soon, I’ll dive into some set in the Palm Beach area. Not only does this give me a sense of the place before traveling, but it encourages a sort of deja-vu-like feeling once I’ve arrived. The shock of suddenly entering a new place is lessened and replaced with a friendlier, oh, it’s you, I-kind-of-already-know-you feeling that is awesome. And I can’t even express how wonderful it is to later re-read these books after a vacation. I’m always immediately brought back. It’s almost like I’ve extended the vacation and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t appreciate that?!

1. Haole Wood by Dee DeTarsio

2. The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

Finally explored the Boston Harbor Islands

2 Nov


Err… island I suppose I should say. This has been on our to-do list for ages but it was very much a spur of the moment decision to finally go. We left a little late so after a quick pit-stop on Spectacle for lunch, we caught the last ferry over to Georges Island, home of Fort Warren.  It’s a really quick ride out to and between the islands, but sitting there in the sun, facing the harbor, Boston felt worlds away. It was incredibly peaceful. Georges is similar to Castle Island in South Boston in that the “castle” takes up most of the land; you can walk around both. Once Brian pried me from my gorgeous seaside spot in the sun, we invited ourselves onto a small free tour given by the rangers on the island. I recommend taking the tour if you go because the guides will take you into different areas of the fort, often behind locked doors, and usually have lots of interesting and fun little tidbits of info or lore. I could have done without the one about the haunted spots while we were in them though! All in all, it was a fun way to spend a day somewhere new without traveling too far. If you’re interested in going, here is where we found our planning information: