There is absolutely nothing like being woken up to the faint peach color of the sky, the sound of croaking frogs and rippling waves, and the sweet whisper of God’s voice in the air, over the waters, giving you a tight hug.
Camping – it’s simple. It’s rustic. It’s completely gratifying.
Andy and I took off for a few days. Destination: Maine! We journeyed out completely unprepared. It was one of those things where we just packed up and left. No food, no flashlights, no pocket knife, barely any directions. We just… went. And it was a ridiculous amount of fun!
First up – we hit Portland. Since we didn’t bring any food, we decided to look for a bakery to grab some goods for the morning. Now, mind you… we only have our computer as a means for direction. We don’t own a GPS. We don’t own a phone that has nifty things like the internet on it. We are completely left to maps, our own eyesight, our inner compass, and our trusty computer. We literally stopped about 20 times to try and find WiFi. The words, “If I had an iPhone right now, I could…” came out of our mouths too many times to count. Oi. But we did finally find a bakery. And it was the absolute sweetest bakery! Enter: Scratch Baking Company. I want to work here. Maybe even live here. Yes – definitely live here.
Unfortunately, we got there an hour before they closed and they were out of almost everything. (Duh – who goes to a bakery at 5 o’clock? I do, that’s who. I will do anything for baked goods.) All they had were cookies – ridiculously delicious cookies. Not quite suitable for breakfast, but absolutely suitable for any other occasion. (Okay……. I cannot lie ……. I’ve had cookies for breakfast. Don’t judge me.) We wrapped up a giant Chocolate Chipper and a little rectangle of Sea Salt Shortbread – and there were smiles on our faces.
Portland is amazing. It’s full of art and style and fresh food. It smells like salt and wood burning stoves. There are cobblestone roads and people buzzing about.
It’s full of atmosphere and conversation, brick buildings and banana seat bikes. It will charm your socks off. (If you’re not wearing any socks, it may charm your pants off. Do not be alarmed when this happens. It’s purely natural. The people of Portland will understand.)
Andy and I were starved for some delicious grub. Listen – Andy and I have this horrible habit of going to amazing cities, getting hungry, searching for great food, and ending up sitting in a lame Irish Pub eating nachos. Please don’t ask me how this happens. I cannot explain it to you. I’ll get emotional. I need good food in my life. Not Irish Pubs.
We were determined to find excellent food. And guess what? We did! Point for us. After walking into a few restaurants and finding out almost every restaurant in Portland requires a reservation weeks in advance, we found our prized winner. Enter: Paciarino.
It’s warm. It’s Italian. And it’s got two seats left at the bar – just for us. This place offered just a few items on their menu. Bruschetta, Mozzarella, and Ravioli were about it. And I’m here to tell you – that they have it perfected. This was the best ravioli ever. Hands down. Andy had the classic ravioli and I had goat cheese, caramelized onion, and sage ravioli. The marinara was bright and tangy. The bruschetta was fresh and herby. This place was amazing. The staff was so friendly. They had the cutest colander lamps hanging from the ceiling that I want desperately. And the kitchen was right there – amidst the dining. It was like being at Grandma’s house. Era perfetto!
We strolled around Portland for a bit before heading out to camp. We listened to street performers, walked along the cobblestone, found a giant connect four board, tried to take pictures through windows without looking creepy (well, that’s what Andy did), and visited the Portland Trader Joe’s to gather goods for the morning.
On our drive out to the campground, it poured. Buckets. Buckets were being poured from the sky. It was insane. But fortunately, by the time we got to the grounds, it stopped. Our site was beautiful. It looked right out over Long Lake. It was dark when we arrived, but there was still a slight glow on the horizon.
The air was dewy and the grounds were rich with foliage. Our neighbor was listening to some banjo-thumping tunes and am pretty sure was smoking some marijuana. In the morning, we’ll find out he’s super friendly and loves The Grateful Dead. As per usual, we set up our small amount of gear by headlights – and danced around to the rhythms from next door.
We spent our time kayaking the lake, lounging in the sun, and kissing. Mmm. Kissing.
After a hearty breakfast of strawberries, nectarines, and granola – we head out to the coast. We were beach bound! We hit up Wells Beach where the air was warm, the water was cold, and there was life everywhere. I love seeing people bummin’ at the beach. Kiddos building castles, grandfathers that are way too tan. It’s lovely. I read a magazine and Andy played his guitar. We splashed in the waves and boogie-boarded till we could no longer.
The scorching sun demanded water, fresh clothes, and an ice cream cone. We journeyed onward – and found The Scoop Deck! Right when we pulled into the parking lot there was a massive, and I do mean massive, board with all their flavors listed. There must have been 60 flavors. I wanted to try them all.
Andy was stoked to find a flavored called Nancy’s Fancy. It was orange flavored with chocolate swirls running through it. He was embarrassed to order such a girly sounding treat. I went with some classic flavors – Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt. Vanilla. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. It was exactly what I wanted in that moment.
We sat on a bench beneath a crab-apple tree. We slurped up melty cream. I smushed ice cream into my lips and gave Andy a big messy smooch. He climbed trees.
Let’s play a little “Where’s Andy” game, shall we? Can you spot him in this photo?
That’s right. My man likes to climb to the top of trees. He usually tries to peek his head out the very top, but this one was lacking substantial branches. He still got pretty high. I’m always so impressed.
We licked and crunched our ice cream cones clean and headed home. We topped off our ventures with a quality visit to see a few good friends. Belly laughs ensued. The kind where you can’t breathe.
Ahh… what a relaxing two days. Have you ever been to Maine? I highly suggest visiting the beautiful state. You’ll need a cute dress (if you’re a lady), some sunblock, an empty stomach, and a best friend to enjoy it all with you. Because what good is all that if you can’t share it with someone? Grab a buddy. Go somewhere. You’ll be happy you did.
Happy Independence Day, friends. Have fun watching blasts of fire in the sky. I can hardly wait for the glittery ones.