Wandering Through Coastal Maine: A Travel Itinerary

This long cold winter has me longing for hotter temperatures. Although, ironically last spring we jumped on a plane headed north in an effort to get AWAY from the hot South Carolina weather. Funny how we always seem to want what we don’t have. Whatever the case, last spring we found ourselves on a trip up the coast of Maine. And ever since  we returned, I have had friends ask the same two questions: What is the best time of year to visit Maine? And how did it go traveling with a baby? So I am happy to finally share our itinerary, some photos of our trip, and how we did it all with a 16 month old.  IMG_6252First Stop:  Portland

 What we did: 

  • walk around Old Port Area
  • Victoria Mansion (we just drove by and saw it. Decided not to take the tour).
  • walk around the Portland Fish Exchange and Harbor Fish Market
  • Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad tour and train ride along the Eastern Promenade trail (only $3 per adult and such a fun way to see the E. Promenade)
  • Portland Breakwater Lighthouse – outside of the city, need a rental car to get here.
  • Portland Head Lighthouse and Goddard Mansion at Fort Williams Park
  • side trip to Freeport – shopped at the LL Bean Flagship Store and Outlet

Where we ate:

  • the Lobster Shack at Two Lights State park
  • Holy Donuts for breakfast/snack
  • Bite into ME food truck – our favorite lobster rolls the entire trip was here!
  • Margaritas Mexican – typical Mexican cuisine but was open late and good comfort food after a late flight.

Where we stayed:  the Inn at St John. 933 Congress St. Beautiful rooms, free continental breakfast, and one of the few inns in town that allows children.IMG_6462IMG_6492Next Stop: Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor

What we did: 

  • Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse 
  • walked the Shore Path in Bar Harbor near Agamont Park
  • walked around downtown Bar Harbor for ice cream
  • Park Loop Road (27 mile drivable loop starting at Hull Visitor Center)
    • Beaver Dam Pond- a small, round pond accessible from a road pull-off.
    • Egg Rock Overlook
    • Sand Beach- easy parking area and quick walk to the beach
    • Hike the Ocean Path Trail – 3 mi round trip along the coast
    • Thunder Hole
    • Otter Cliff
    • Jordan’s Pond Nature Trail – we hiked about 1/3 of the way and then walked back.
    • Bubble Rock Trail – longer hike but beautiful view at the top
  • drive up to Cadillac Mountain summit, park and get out for beautiful views of Bar Harbor.

Where we ate:

  • lunch at Jordan Pond House in Acadia (soups, lobster rolls, popovers, tea)
  • Take-A-Break Cafe at the college for a fast and inexpensive breakfast
  • breakfast at Jordan’s Resturant in Bar Harbor (amazing blueberry pancakes)
  • Dinner at C Ray’s (casual picnic table style lobster rolls)

Where we stayed:  Edenbook Motel in Bar Harbor. No frill, no breakfast, but allows children, has a crib, and is budget friendly and very close to Acadia.  IMG_6194IMG_6218

Next Stop: Various Coastal Towns 

What we did: 

  • Ellsworth –  stopped at Big Chicken Barn Books. Will loves a used book store.
  • Blue Hill- played at the playground on the harbor on Water Street
  • Bucksport– stop and visit the Penobscot Narrows Bridge observatory tower
  • Searsport– drive through and see the small town
  • Belfast- drive through the downtown
  • Lincolnville – drive through or stop at the beach area near McGlaughlin’s
  • Camden- Camden Hills State Park, drove the “Prettiest Walk in the World,” and stopped to pet the belted Galloway cows at Aldermere Farm
  • Rockland- park and see the windjammer fleet on Samoset Rd
  • Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Where we ate:

  • Bagaduce Lunch in Penobscot on the river
  • McGlaughlin’s Lobster Shack in Lincolnville
  • Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast

(if you’re wondering why it looks like we ate lobster rolls three times in one day, its because we did.)IMG_6368

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Next Stop: Boothbay and Pemaquid Peninsulas

What we did:

  • Pemaquid Point Lighthouse – walking distance from our hotel
  • Boothbay Harbor- walk around downtown, toured the small but quaint aquarium
  • New Harbor – went on the Hardy Boat cruise out to Egg Rock to see the puffins! Book this in advance. So much fun despite a bit of sea sickness!

Where we ate: 

  • breakfast at the SeaGull Restaurant next to the Pemaquid lighthouse.
  • lunch at Red Eats in Wiscasset for lobster rolls- cash only and expect a long wait time. Good lobster rolls but not the best we had this trip. 
  • Dinner at Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Warf next to Hardy Boat cruise boat landing

Where we stayed: Hotel Pemaquid: 3098 Bristol Rd, New Harbor, ME. Allowed children, but did not have a crib or pack-n-play so this night was a little rough sharing the bed. But your options on Pemaquid Peninsula are very limited. IMG_5497Tips on Traveling to Maine with a baby:

  • Call ahead far in advance to reserve lodging as many of the hotels and bed and breakfasts that I called did not allow children.
  • There is so much sight seeing that can be done via car. Take advance of babies who nap in the car seat and plan for that to be your driving time.
  • We also ate a lot of our meals (lobster rolls to-go!) in the car (or sitting on the hood of the car in the sun) while the baby slept. Don’t waste your time trying to plan nice dining at indoors restaurants. So much of Maine’s best dining is casual, laid back, and order at the counter.
  • There are many great hikes in Acadia that are short and not too strenuous. Consider doing these if you will be hiking with a 20+ lb baby on your back. We liked the Ocean Path Trail and the Jordan Pond Nature Trail.
  • As much fun as sight seeing and hiking can be for adults, remember that it can be equally boring for a baby or toddler. Take breaks at parks, playgrounds, or aquariums. Also look for a local library for a fun and familiar wind down moment for baby. We found a great local library in Boothbay Harbor to rest and read a few books before we ventured on.
  • For more tips and tricks on flying with a baby, check out this post I did here: skirtmagazine.com

When to travel to Coastal Maine: We decided to travel in the month of June and I am so glad we did. Maine is at peak wildflower season and I could not get over all the beautiful colors along the side of the road, in fields, and along the water’s edge. (The lupins were my favorite.) We had friends travel in August and they informed us that the wildflowers were pretty much gone by then. And for being the middle of June, we had not a single issue with too-many-tourists, as we have in other places we’ve traveled.  So if seeing wildflowers and perfect temperatures (highs in the 70s) is what you are seeking, I would shoot for May or June.  As for the winter months, we are not snow bunnies, nor do I think any of the famous skiing and snow actives take place along Coastal Maine (you’ll want to head Northwest towards Sugarloaf for that), so November-March was pretty much out for us. Fall would also be beautiful to see the leaves change, I predict somewhere between Sept- October but I have never experienced this in Maine myself. Maybe we will try that on our next trip up to Maine!

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For more scenes from our trip, check out the video I put together on Youtube. This has become one of Liam’s favorite “family” Youtube Videos to watch and he asks to watch “home” all the time. I have to correct him that “home” is South Carolina and not Maine. He’s not even two yet so cut him some slack. But thanks to my little music editor, I’ll have to choose a better song on my next travel video!

Message me or comment if you have any questions about our trip! xoxo Priscilla

 

 

 

 

Baby’s first college Football Game

When I think about my many past college football tailgates, I have such fond memories of dancing on the tailgate of a truck with my girlfriends singing Nelly at the top of our lungs, eating one too many orange jello shots, and preparing for endless games of flip cup. But that was many moons ago. Before the days of iPhones, hashtags, husbands, and babies. Those were the good ole days. These days I swap out Solo cups for sippy cups and jello shots with goldfish crackers. Continue reading

The best lobster rolls in Maine

I always thought it would be the coolest thing to just wake up in the morning, pick a random place on the map, and then just go. I would have a passport full of stamps and live out of a suitcase wearing the same pair of cut up jean shorts and long unwashed curly hair. Half my family would think I was crazy and the other half would say, wow that girl really knows how to live. But then reality hits me and I decide that there are these things called obligations. You know… jobs, family, two dogs and a cat. Oh yeah and money. Or should I say, lack there of. Because last I checked, Spanish moss is about all that grows on trees around here.

But luckily for me, I have husband who likes to indulge me and in June took the family to Maine.  And it was wonderful.  Wildflowers for as far as you can see, hiking for miles up cliffs, boat tours to see puffins and seals, and lobster rolls for days. So I decided to give a quick review of the lobster rolls we ate along the way:

6. C Ray’s – Bar Harbor – off Route 3:
This spot has good customer service and it was fun to watch the cooks out back. There are plenty of picnic tables out front but not a view. The rolls are tasty rolls but was just not our favorite. We both thought it could use some extra flavor. Comes with chips and a pickle for around $17.

5. Red’s Eats – Wiscasset – off Route 1:
This would be rated last for me but Will ranked it one spot higher because he liked that it had an abundance of lobster meat piled on (to the point that you couldn’t even see the bread!) It’s prepared simply with melted butter with no frills or extra ingredients. The wait for this place was soooooo long. Customer service was pretty lousy too. Not worth the wait, trouble finding parking, and crotchety lady who takes your order. Especially when there are better rolls right up the road. Does not come with any sides and is around $18.

4. Bagaduce’s Lunch – Brooksville (Penobscot area):
This was off the beaten path but not too far of a detour from Route 1. Nice views of the Bagaduce river with just a handful of picnic tables. Not sure if it was the fact that it was a week day or because its not directly off the hwy, but we were the only one there, So we got our food really quick and had the place to ourselves! Served on a basic, untoasted long hot dog style roll but the lobster meat had great flavor. Could of had more lobster on the roll for the price that we paid but otherwise we felt this was worth the detour through fields of wildflowers for this little gem. Served with chips for around $19

3. McGaughlin’s – Lincolnville – Route 1:
This roll was a bit more pricey at $21 but came with fries and coleslaw. It’s mayo based and has a great flavor! This one had the meat from the lobster legs also in the roll which was different but I didn’t mind it. Served on a simple hot dog style bun. Picnic tables with a good view or just a short 5 minute drive to Camden to enjoy your roll at the State Park like we did.

2. Bite into ME – Fort Williams Park in Portland:
This place is awesome! Actually a food truck but it takes permanent residence at Fort Williams Park, which is home to Portland Head Lighthouse. So you can eat your roll and do some sightseeing at the same time. They prepare their lobster rolls 5 different ways including the original Maine style (mayo and chives), curry style, and even a wasabi style. Served on a lightly buttered and toasted roll, which was the only place we ate at that put some time into the bun too and made the roll extra tasty! One roll is $18 and does not come with any sides.

1. Young’s Lobster Pound – Belfast – on Route 1:
Voted favorite by both of us. Perfect flavoring with a nice heaping portion of lobster. Served with lettuce on a sesame seed hamburger style bun (the only roll we had served like this). The spot is really nice, on the water and you can watch the lobster boats come in and unload/sort the live lobster! Comes with chips and a pickle for around $18. The staff was friendly and tons of outdoor/indoor seating.

Can’t wait to go back and try some more spots. Anyone else have any good spots in coastal Maine to find a lobster roll??

| Song: Grizzly Bear by Angus & Julia Stone |

| Locations: Portland ME, Bar Harbor ME, Acadia National Park, Rockland ME, Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast MD, Camden ME, Pemaquid Point ME, Boothbay Harbor ME  |

xoxo Priscilla

 

our little mountain baby

img_2853img_4660img_4636 After surviving the most recent hurricane season and witnessing my husband obsessing over a very long and tumultuous election season that ended in one very stressful evening of him yelling at Wolf Biltzer on the television, I can at least give a sigh of relief that its over.  The best part of our most recent family vacation was getting away from it all. We didn’t have to worry about work, the presidential election, what was going on back at home, and all the other to-do list details that constantly fill our brains.  Instead it was nine days of hiking up mountains, crisp dry air, and endless elk and bison sightings. Our camera work was a little shaky and we were having so much fun that we didn’t capture nearly half of the amazing views. But nonetheless, here is a quick video below that summarizes our Colorado vacation which included Denver, Boulder, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Liam was once again a perfect travel companion! As long as he can ride in the baby carrier and read his books with daddy, he is happy where ever he goes! Enjoy the video!

two parents, one baby, and the Zika virus take on Miami Beach

For my birthday this year I told Will, no parties, no surprises, no presents, and no orchestrated get together with friends. Because frankly, August wore me out! And I didn’t have the energy for fake smiles! I wanted a simple, relaxing getaway with no itinerary, a pool, and lots of sunshine. So when we found plane tickets to Miami that were round trip $120 after taxes, we could not pass up the deal. So two mid-thirty year olds, our 6 month old, and the zika virus, spent a relaxing weekend in Miami Beach. We stayed at the Fontainebleau hotel and although I didn’t find our rooms to be anything spectacular to write home about, the pools and the service were impeccable. At night the hotel bar (and the entire city for that matter) turns into a wild party, but during the day the pools are quiet and there were other families there enjoying the beautiful weather. Other than being in the ocean and poolside, we only left the hotel to go eat in South Beach and Little Havana. But enough typing from me. I will let this video I made do the rest of the talking. Enjoy!

Three Years + Chicago

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I wear a lot of different hats these days. I’m a speech pathologist who works both a full-time job and a part-time job. I’m a “mother” in a sense to my pets and anyone who has pets knows that having a dog is a responsibility all on its own. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a daughter-in-law. A sister. A sister-in-law. I’m a sewer. I’m a blogger. And I’m a candlestick maker (ok that last one was a joke).  Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. I wish that 16-year-old Priscilla could see me now. How very popular I have become in my 20s and 30s.  I haven’t had a single weekend this year that someone hasn’t come into town to visit or we haven’t gone out of town to visit someone, or had a wedding, a baby shower, or a birthday party. But I absolutely love it.  I love having a calendar that is packed full with things to do to keep my mind busy and my heart full. But with all the go, go, go, I have to stop and remember that the most important hat that I wear is being a wife. And I have a co-pilot in this flight that I take through life. A husband who does not always want to be going and going. And with all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget that even though I live with him and he is the last thing I see before I close my eyes at night, the time I spend with my husband is just as important as all the other things on my calendar. It’s easy to forget to make a moment that is just for the two of us. But luckily once a year an anniversary comes around. And reminds us to fall in love all over again. So this year we celebrated in the Windy City with a quick but much needed side trip to Iowa to see my sister and her boyfriend. And  this week I celebrated the fact that despite my constantly moving, annoyingly loud, irrationally opinionated, sometimes clueless, cry-baby self, that this man (despite his better judgement and despite what I can only imagine were warnings from others) has put up with me for three years and still lets me have the honor of being his wife. What a lucky girl I am and I thank God, the universe, and anyone else that is listening that he stumbled into my life and swept me off my feet. And that three years later he still looks across a crowded room at me and smiles. IMG_6322 Its funny how my husband and the Cubs mascot make me look so short. You would never know that I am 5’10 but I promise that I am!IMG_2123IMG_6351It was so cold the first few nights in Chicago and all I packed were a few headbands. So I made a make shift ear muff and ending up looking like Tupac accidentally. IMG_6375 The flowers in Chicago were amazing!!! The city must of spent millions on tulips and that is no exaggeration. IMG_6392 IMG_6412 IMG_6390 Standing on a glass floor that was 1,353 feet high was probably one of the scarier parts of the trip. But you don’t ride the elevator to the top and then chicken out.

IMG_6396 More tulips in Hyde Park.IMG_6404 The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. Very touristy but you know. When it Rome.

IMG_6408 Do you have extra large bikes for rent? No, ok…

IMG_2100 IMG_2105 Fun at Millenium Park

IMG_2111 IMG_2120 IMG_2146 Don’t tell the Yankees but I was a Cubs fan on this evening!

IMG_2157 IMG_2159 The Art Institute of Chicago is actually kinda amazing. We were having some fun with the more popular pieces of art. IMG_2183 IMG_2196 IMG_2201 One of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ houses for my architecture enthusiast husband.

IMG_6255I love my sister so much. She keeps me young, active, in shape, and always laughing.

IMG_6259IMG_6262Hope you enjoyed these pictures from our trip. If you stopped by for some sewing project updates, have no fear. We are back in Charleston and I am about to dust off the sewing machine for some upcoming projects so stay tuned for that.

priscilla

What We Did This Summer

September has come to an end and gone is another hot and humid Charleston summer. Will and I had to remind ourselves the other day that even though summer 2014 was a rough one for us, it wasn’t all sadness and teardrops and we did have a lot of great adventures along the way. Here are just a few of our adventures from summer 2014 for you to enjoy.

photo 1My nephew came in town and we searched for dolphin in the harbor. Its like having a free zoo in your back yard. I mean seriously, I live here?!

photo 2Will didn’t get to go fishing that much but the times he did, he always came home smiling. Like he always says, even a bad day fishing is still better than any day at work.

photo 3  Gio practiced potty training and we got to be his witnesses. I promise if my godson ever runs for Senator I will remove this photo immediately 🙂

 photo 5 Charlie the dog met Charlie the baby for the first time. It was love at first sight.

 photo 1 Legolas celebrated his 11th birthday with a Low Country boil surrounded by family and friends. Yes my dog is a human.

 baby charlie beachWe went to the beach more times in one summer than I have ever been in my life. But taking a 10 month old and a 2 year old the beach gives you a much different perspective than the typical boozing and bocci that normally goes down at Folly.

We also did quiet a bit of traveling at the end of the summer. We visited with Will’s sister and her husband in Texas and traveled throughout New Mexico, parts of Utah, and parts of Arizona. We put 2000 miles on a rental car, ate more Mexican food then I care to admit, and took about 200 photos. Here are just a few of them. I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves.

 white sands texas deer hiking sheep goat san juan monumen valley UTAH 2 UTAH canyon de chilenmpeppershubbellwill white house ruins window rock az albq

Hope you all had a great summer! xxoo Priscilla

An Anniversary Getaway + the Tank Dress

the tank dress

This weekend we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have had two great years of marriage under my belt with this man. The man with more patience, kindness, love, and emotional understanding than any man I have ever known. And while year number one of marriage was all rainbows and butterflies, year number two was a long and at times a tough year with some big losses and a little bit of stress. But together we made it and everyday I thank God, I thank Will, and I thank anyone else that will listen to me, that I had that man by my side through this year. We made it. So bring on year number three!

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“I’ve Got That Summertime Sadness”

Holy moly, me oh my. Where has the summer gone? So sad that it is over. Will and I jumped full speed into our second year of marriage, which has proven to be harder than year one. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun summer. There was lots of sex ;), we celebrated more engagement parties and weddings then we can count, we were blessed with the arrival of our newest family member, Charlie the black lab puppy, and we had an amazing road trip to through the Pacific Northwest. On paper, you might be thinking this sounds like a worry free, low anxiety, super duper fun filled adventure.  And yes you would be partially correct.  And I’m not complaining. I am definitely blessed beyond belief. But while there was lots of time spent under the sheets (and on top of the washing machine…don’t judge,  we’re married!), my husband and I continued to struggle with not getting pregnant.  And with all the engagement parties and wedding gifts we bought AND new outfits for all the weddings, my credit card bill was piling up, leading to just a few arguments about money management. Which then led to a day long discussion on the meaning of life, materialism, Micheal Kors handbags, and feeding the starving children in Africa. You see where we were going with this. So we decided after the summer to be better with our finances.

Then there is Charlie who is amazing and we have no regrets about bringing him home. However lets just call June “Doggy Diarrhea Month” and leave it at that. In July we conquered Seattle, Washington Peninsula including Olympic National Park, the Oregon coast, the California Redwoods, Crater Lake National Park, and Portland Oregon. What an adventure. I could blog about that for days.   I learned a lot about patience while traveling on vacation with your husband. Oh man I could write a book about that. I am a very go-go-go person. I lived and worked in Manhattan, I come from a large loud Italian family, and I move at the speed of a fire fighter racing to a fire. Will on the other hand comes from a slow paced background. His family vacations growing up involved a lot of sitting around and floating around a lake. So as the ever planner in the family I planned a packed trip with lots to do and little time to do it. But I had to learn to slow it down.  That Will needs his coffee daily and to use the bathroom every hour on the regular. And that it’s about the journey. Quality of the trip not quantity. And that the best moments where the ones not on the itinerary.

This is Will and I after we climbed the top of Hurricane Ridge. Mt Olympus in the background.

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Wedding number 1 out of 10 for this wedding season. Again here I am in my Erin Fetherstone dress that I have blogged about in the past. I swear I own more dresses than just this one but it is my favorite for this year! And Will is wearing the seer sucker tie from our wedding day.

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Our puppy Charlie when he was small enough to fit into a purse. Probably the only dog who has ever been inside an Oscar de la Renta handbag. He is now 35 pounds and I don’t allow him near any of my accessories.  But don’t you just melt over those blue eyes. PS- this was during the “Phasing out of the Bangs” Another highlight of Summer 2013

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” I said I think I’ll Go to Boston”

So what are the odds that my only friend who is Russian AND lives in Boston would decide to have her wedding festivities the same week that a supposed Russian terrorist was on the lose in Boston? These kinds of things only happen to me. Out of the 400 places on our bucket list of places to go, we might never make it to Boston again. And the one time…the ONE time…that we have a reason to go to Boston, our trip almost gets cancelled because a “bad guy” (Will gives me that look like “oh your so precious” whenever I call them bad guys but seriously, that’s what they are), but because a bad guy decides to set off two bombs on Boston during the annual Boston Marathon. But we did not let the terrorist win. Oh no my friend, we did not let fear stop us from our trip. And I am glad we went.

Overall it was a nice trip. See our trip review on Fodors for what all we did, the hotel, and places we visited.

Our first two days were amazing and I learned that traveling with just Will and I is an incredible experience. We both know when to go and when to crash. With our long ass legs we can cover a lot of ground on foot, we are both not picky with food and can eat anything from 5 star steak dinner to a falafel off the back of food truck, and because I usually pick out my outfits the night before, it takes us a combined 7 minutes from the time we wake up til the time it takes to walk out of the door. However on the flip side, traveling with more than just Will….oh lets say…with a group of 7 friends, during a city wide lock down, when there is an unprepared bride panicking about everything under the sun….well that can be just a tad bit stressful. And for anyone who has ever read a book on trying to get pregnant, not getting stressed out is Rule #1. So Will and I came up with code words <insert bad Boston accents>: fuckin chowda,’ lobsta’ and fuckin cah. We pre-planned to use these words/expressions with each other anytime things got stressful between the bride and our group of 7 friends. Needless to say, the whole group was using the code words by the end of the trip! But what fun would a vacation be without a little stress.

So overall, our trip to Boston was a success.  But what I was most impressed about this trip was how even in the mess of tragedy and mixed emotions, a city full of Bostonians could be so warm, friendly, and inviting. Four times we were standing on the street holding out a map and someone approached us, independently offering their help. Even with the Boston marathon bombing, the man hunt, and the eventual city wide lock down on Friday, the streets actually felt very safe due to the number of police on every corner, who were also all very friendly and helpful. Maybe we will go back one day, maybe we won’t. But in 10 years from now when we look back on this event in history, it will be interesting to say that we were there when it all happened.

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Will and I in Boston Public Gardens on our second day of the trip.

Blog Title Song:  Augustana- Boston