A Taste of Home

I’m so behind on blogging. Like, embarrassingly behind. I have two more Maine posts, three London posts, a delicious Amsterdam restaurant recommendation, and a trip to the zoo to share. I am strongly determined to catch up. But at the same time, I appreciate the lag. Going through Maine summer photos in late September makes me smile. These memories are precious and I am glad to have cause to visit them again. I mean, just look at this dreamy lobster roll . . . . IMG_2258If that doesn’t make you lament summertime, I don’t know what will. Double drool. I’m going to try and wrap up the Maine posts in the next two days, so without further ado, here’s a very big and delicious taste of New England. The glorious adventure starts a short drive from my parent’s house at The Painted Turtle. I would link to their website, but they don’t have one! Their main marketing communication is a weekly ad in the town paper, where their their classic Maine dishes are listed for unbeatable prices. IMG_2244You can get a triple lobster dinner with steamers, corn, and salad for $24.95, or all-you-can-eat shrimp and fries for $11.95!! Their meals are huge, the drinks are delicious, and although the service is often known for being crappy, on this occasion, our waiter Jeremy was fantastic. IMG_2253I should tell you now that The Painted Turtle isn’t fancy. The restaurant is located in a plain looking clapboard house, the tables and chairs are a bit mismatched, and seating is usually tight as the space is cute but small. Inside there’s a quirky sense of country charm, and the food is always spot-on. Drinks are served in adorable mason jars, and lobsters are served in big plastic buckets. On this occasion, I went for the double lobster dinner with steamers . . .

IMG_2269My mom went for the lobster roll, which was ungodly big, and more like a lobster sub . . . IMG_2258And my Dad went for the seafood platter, which was a family-sized feast of deep fried haddock, shrimp, scallops, and clams.
IMG_2267Literally, it’s the biggest plate of seafood I have ever seen. If you’re in Maine and looking for delicious, reasonably priced local dishes, I highly recommend dinning at The Painted Turtle. As mentioned, they don’t have a website but you can find them at 89 County Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074, United States (207) 839-8880. And a helpful tip – if you’re looking for a particular dish, check out the local paper first, as some of their specials change from night to night. There’s nothing worse than showing up on wings night, expecting lobster. I am already looking forward to next summer and delicious Maine lobster.

Now do discuss another New England love of mine . . .

IMG_2181The Boston Red Sox!
IMG_2199Every year my Dad snags a bunch of Red Sox tickets, and always tries to book a game while I’m home. My Dad likes the center field bleacher seats, and I have to agree – from the bleachers you have a fantastic view of the stadium, and are at a great vantage point for calling fouls, balls, and strikes. I’m always a bit more engaged in center field, and love basking in the sun while I watch the game.IMG_2195That said, we bumped into some of my cousins who have season tickets, and they invited us to join them down by third base. Their seats are three rows back from the field, but years and years ago when they first bought the tickets, they used to be front row. In recent years, two additional rows were tacked on along the field, bumping them to a modest three rows back. IMG_2206IMG_2229IMG_2221I also like sitting up front . . . because the seats have cup holders! And there is ‘seat service’ – so instead of going inside to pick up a hot dog or a pretzel, an attendant will fetch your order for you, and you don’t have to miss a second of the game!
IMG_2216IMG_2208Although the Red Sox have been sucking this season, they won the night we joined them in Fenway, which I guess is all you can really ask for :) We had a nice dinner out in Boston afterwards, and were back in Maine by midnight.

Let’s finish with a boat ride, shall we?
IMG_2296My grandparents live on Little Sebago Lake, and often I think that their peaceful slice of Maine is one of the most beautiful paces on earth. Their house is nestled on a large rock cliff overlooking the lake, surrounded by tall pines and birch trees. Loons cry out at night and water can be heard lapping up against the rocks. In the summer we sit on the deck and watch the boats float by, and in the winter we ice skate and snow shoe across the lake. I prefer the summer – as mentioned previously, I love marshmallows, campfires, and going for a swim – but most of all, I love a long and relaxing sunset cruise around the lake.IMG_2330As the sun goes down, we take a tally. Who will go out on the boat, and who will stay at the house? We pack towels, drinks, sweatshirts, and bug spray, before clomping down the dock and hopping aboard the boat. IMG_2323The views from the boat are breathtaking, and in the middle of the lake, with reflective yellow waters and pastel skies in every direction, you could easily mistake your surroundings for heaven.IMG_2326v v And isn’t my Gramma just the cutest?!IMG_2297IMG_2301IMG_2307I love that this place exisits, and I find it very comforting to imagine the sun setting over the lake, and the seasons changing, even in my absence.

xo Ali

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