Acadia, Maine

Although Kai and I have been together for two years, he only managed to come visit Maine for the first time about six months ago. Two summers ago a trek across the Atlantic together seemed a bit too soon, and I really wanted the sun to be shining on his first visit – so we waited until the summer of 2017 for his first trip to Maine (yay). I had a Maine bucket list for him that was about a mile long (you can read one of my favorite Maine bucket lists here) which was a bit ambitious since we only had about 10 days together on the east coast. However, we did our best to tick our way down the list, which included going for a ride in my dad’s Firebird, playing ski ball at Old Orchard Beach, watching fireworks, getting an ice cream at the Diary Corner, spending a day at the lake with my family, eating lobster, going to a Red Sox game, basking in the sun at the beach, having a camp fire with s’mores and sparklers at night, and visiting LL Bean at an ungodly late hour – just to name a few! While he was visiting we also wanted to do something that was new for the both of us, and so we booked a three night adventure in Acadia, Maine, with plans to hike, eat, and swim!While all of Maine is referred to as Vacationland (my parent’s little slice is especially pretty) even those who already live in the state often have a favorite seaside town or lake district they like to escape to in the summer. Before my family moved to Maine, we used to vacation in Scarborough (where my parents now live!) and then once we moved to Scarborough, we would drive up the coast to go camping in Damariscotta. However, despite spending the majority of my adolescent years in Maine, I never made it all the way up to Bar Harbor, the blue seaside town right next to Acadia National park. And so Kai landed on this destination together, one we were very excited to visit! Continue reading

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Summer in Maine, USA

As I’ve blogged about visiting Maine many, many times before (see here, here, here, and here – just to name a few!) I was less vigilant about whipping out my camera for the sole purpose of blogging this time around. I snapped a few photos here and there, but mainly to remember the moment or capture a smile – as most photographers would :) And so while I don’t have specific reviews or recommendations to post, I do have a great collection of Maine memories to share from this summer. IMG_8126From a photographic perspective, the highlight of the trip was getting to spend lots of time in Portland, Maine, which is a quick 15 minute drive from my parent’s country house. Portland is the biggest city in Maine, and (although I’m totally biased) it’s also one of the most beautiful. The small, harbor city is set on a hill and boasts of cobblestone streets, long wharfs, red brick buildings, and deep-blue ocean views. Continue reading

East Ender in Portland, Maine

While in Maine I tend to live on oysters and lobster. Social gatherings almost always involve wine, a terrace, and a platter of icy cold saltwater clams. And while oysters are a social treat, I find lobster to be a very comforting food. Lobster tastes like childhood, like summertime, and like home. If given a choice, I would happily dine at a seaside lobster shack every single night of the week. For this reason, rarely do I step it up in the culinary department while in Maine. I can get hearty meals with delightful flavors in Amsterdam, so I tend to stick with the seasonal Maine delicacies you can only find in New England – lobster by the bucket, sweet corn on the cob, oysters, wild Maine blueberries . . . yum!

However, when the lovely Amie invited me to the East Ender in Portland for her birthday, I was excited to give it a go. The East Ender is slightly more fancy than the dinning experiences I’m used to in Maine (think picnic benches and ketchup packets) but they still have that fresh farm to table Maine flavor I love. Amie is an excellent friend, and I have to say, she has excellent taste as well!

IMG_1973The space at the East Ender is adorable. It captures Portland’s historic seaside charm, with bright pops of blue, exposed brick walls, nautical menus, and twinkling fairy lights.    Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

My Summer Bucket List

Have I mentioned that I’m a list freak? One of the reasons I’m an excellent Account Manager is because I’m addicted to lists. I list groceries, things I want to achieve over the weekend, chores to be done in the house, tasks I need to accomplish during the work day, deadlines, teams, dates, blog ideas, priorities . . . the list goes on ;) When Ben called off our wedding, the first thing I did was start a new list. It didn’t have a title, and I couldn’t really categorize the contents – it was a pool of thoughts and dreams and things I wanted to accomplish as new, single Ali. Make my coffee table into a fabric-covered ottoman. Drive a car through southern Italy. Swim in a tropical ocean. Perfect the drip brew. Sell my Lumix camera. Learn about the universe. Pull out my sewing machine. Ride a roller coaster. Camp and bike. Every day I look at this list, and I add to it. I might not be embracing a future with Ben, but there’s so much more in life I am looking forward to holding.

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