I think it's appropriate to give you a bit of a history regarding my love affair with the Northeast. My Mom is from Vermont and her siblings and mother still live there. We first came to Vermont when I was four and we've visited every few years since then, so much so that this part of the country is very dear to me. Even though I was born in California and spent twelve years there, I would rather bring my husband and my kids to New England, because I have such a strong family identity there.
So, let's begin. Maine.
I do not remember the first time I came to Maine (a visit to Maine usually accompanied our visits to Vermont), but I do remember the first time we visited York, Maine. I was in high school and wore a faded green Boondogs shirt (my favorite garage band at the time). There is a picture of me, somewhere, stuffing lobster in my mouth while wearing that shirt. I fell in love with York in that short visit.
Since then, we've made it a point to come back, whenever we fly to New England. This year was no different. My parents and I flew into Boston, rented our car, hopped on the freeway, and headed straight to York. Our first stop? Fox's Lobster House. Our favorite.
The bibs are so catchy.
I ate all of my lobster, a bowl of clam chowder, more than a few bites of my Dad's haddock, and the homemade coleslaw. Needless to say, after a day of flying and a fair share of driving, the baby was NOT happy to see all of that richness slide into my tummy, and I promptly lost it when we got to our hotel room. But, was it worth it? Yes. Yes it was.
The next morning we drove to the seaport side of the town and ate breakfast at the place we always eat breakfast whilst in York: The Purple Palace. The fig waffles alone are worth the flight.
We ventured around downtown, picking up some classy souvenirs along the way (no, I did not buy this hat, although I do find it to be quite fetching, don't you?).
One of our favorite stops is Goldenrod Kisses, an old-fashioned candy store and diner. They make their own taffy and fudge, so we felt compelled to stock up. You know, support the local economy and such. Their sea pebbles, which are chocolate candies, are delicious. They also carry Stonewall Kitchen delicacies. Their pepper jelly is quite wonderful. Stonewall Kitchens is actually located in York, which makes me love York all the more, since I am a huge Stonewall fan here in Oklahoma. Do y'all ever do that cream cheese party hors d'oeuvre where you dump a jar of jelly/jam/etc. on a cube of cream cheese and eat it with crackers? Maybe? Anyway, Stonewall is my favorite brand of "fancy" jelly for my version of "poor man's caviar"!
Then, it was beach time.
(Aren't my parents cute?)
One of my favorite things about Maine is its wild beauty. And that wild beauty runs straight to the sea. Spending my childhood in SoCal where the desert meets the sea, it was always amazing to me to see fields of wildflowers brush right up against the beaches in Maine. Its untamed wilds are gorgeous, really.
We walked the beach and drank in that strong, salty smell of the Atlantic. With the sun on my face, I closed my eyes and imagined the day I will bring my kids here. I can see it--sandy swimsuits, fingers sticky from saltwater taffy. I can't wait.
With the parking meter running low, we loaded up the car, blew a kiss to our favorite vacation state, and started the three hour trek to Vermont.
Have a lovely day.