Portland, Maine

September 7, 2018

Johnny and I spent our holiday weekend in the beautiful state of Maine. We've had this quick trip planned for quite some time and were very eager for Labor day weekend to finally arrive. Neither one of us had ever been anywhere in the East coast and have always wanted to visit Portland in particular. We've heard that it was a lot like Austin in the sense of having an amazing food and drink scene and was just an all around fun, beautiful place with plenty of 'east coast' culture and things to do. We had an amazing time and I am super excited to share our adventures with you!

 

We started our venture early morning Saturday and touched down in Maine late afternoon.  We quickly learned that our air b n b was located in what is known as "Old Port" which is exactly what it sounds like...the much older part of Portland. Still fairly close to some great food and drink options, just a tad farther outside of the main parts of town that I think we had originally hoped for. All in all, the walking did us some good and everything worked out!  

 

After settling, we spent our first night down by the port and had dinner overlooking the bay at a popular pizza joint called Flatbread Company. I'm just now learning that it's a chain with multiple locations across the states, however, it really was some of the best flatbread pizza I've ever had. Their Veggie pizza was the special and we couldn't pass it up! The crust was perfectly crispy and doughy all at the same time, and all the ingredients on top tasted so fresh! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone! 

As the sun fell, it turned in to perfect "sweater-weather" temperature. Which was honestly such a pleasant change from the miserable weather we have been dealing with back at home! We wrapped our evening up fairly early our first night so we could be well rested for a day of exploring on Sunday. 

 

And what better way to start Sunday off than with coffee and brunch! We went to an apparently super popular spot for breakfast called Hot Suppa. I, unsurprisingly, got a classic eggs Benedict while Johnny got the biscuits and gravy. Both were amazing and I couldn't decided which one I liked best, although, I really think the hash browns were the star of the show on both our plates! 

 

Going into this trip, we had known that a goal of ours was to hopefully rent bikes for a day and explore the city. I really think its just a great/fun way to get around and see all the sights, especially in a place you've never been to. We chose to opt out on a rental car for this exact reason. A place called Gorham Bike Shop was a convenient 3 doors down from breakfast and obtaining bikes was a easy, painless experience! The employee that helped us offered us a map of the" lighthouse tour" along the coast of Portland which was an easy 12 mile ride. It was perfect for allowing us to see different areas of the city and famous lighthouses which I had already wanted to do that day. He also turned us on to hidden gems and local favorites. 

We started our ride with the most perfect sunny, 75 degree weather with a breeze from the coast.

 

Portland is full of old red brick sidewalks and buildings in every direction!

 

We crossed the bridge out of the city and were constantly surrounded by greenery. Have a mentioned how beautiful Maine is?!

 

 

Our first (and smallest) lighthouse on our tour was the Bug Light at Bug Light Park. 

 

 

Only missing a few wrong turns here and there, we proceeded on our path through beautiful residential streets along the coastline and stopped to see more lighthouses in the distance! The employee at the bike shop mentioned that we should stop at a "secret beach" that was on our way.. so that's exactly what we did.

I wouldn't call it secret but it was definitely a small local's beach tucked back behind houses. I think we were the only tourists there with shoes and pants on ;) We rolled up our pants and made our way in to the ocean to cool off and put our feet in some North Atlantic water. It only made me wish we would have been more prepared and brought our swimsuits!

  

Although, I was sad to leave the ocean I was also happy to get back on the bikes and continue our tour. At this point we were almost to the lighthouse I was anxious to see! Apparently, the Porthead lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the United States! But I mean,.. how could it not be?! It's your picture-perfect lighthouse and the one you probably think of when you think "MAINE". And the gorgeous landscape that surrounds it in all directions can't be topped!

I was determined to have a "mini photoshoot" here with Johnny and snag some awesome pictures of us together. Before you arrive to the the famous lighthouse, though, you come to a beautiful park on the cliffs that look out over the water. It was lush and green and lined with all kinds of flowers.

 

 and after you walk through these gardens, you take a turn around a bend, and there it is.

 

 

 

 We found the perfect spot on these rocks to get the "picture perfect" shots. We just had to hop the fence to do it, but no biggie ;) For quite a while, we were the only ones on these rocks and it was so serene and peaceful.

 

Our next stop was FOOD. By this time it was about 2:30 and we were decently far away from the city. We were set on finding a great place to have a lobster roll this trip. And me doing a little research going into it, I had made up my mind that I wanted to go to a place called The Lobster Shack, which was famous for its rolls and views. The shack was located in Cape Elizabeth which is technically where the Porthead Lighthouse is. Our maps said The Lobster Shack was about 6ish miles away from the lighthouse and we figuired.. why not?! We were already in Cape Elizabeth..there wasn't going to be another way for us to get back out there and ultimately thought..."When in MAINE! Lets do it!" Even though it was going to put us even FURTHER away from the city and we were already a little exhausted. CONFESSION- WE GOT WAY IN OVER OUR HEADS. Making our trek to The Lobster Shack was probably the silliest idea we had and it almost all wasn't even worth it....ALMOST

As you get farther into Cape Elizabeth you will find that Maine actually has a lot of hills. The Lobster Shack ended up being MUCH farther away than we thought with included going up massive hills every 10 min. At one point, when we were still 2 miles away, we thought about giving up. My legs were starting to tighten and I really didn't know if my body would let me go farther. But we pushed on and long story short we DID make it to the Lobster Shack! ....only to find a very,very long line out the door ha! We were in over our heads and there was nothing we could do besides wait in line at this point. We were hungry, and exhausted and really just wanted a freakin lobster roll! This picture of Johnny is a perfect representation of how we both felt waiting for our food ;)

 

 

But, guys...it all ended up being worth it, I promise! We got to experience one of the top places to get a Lobster roll in Maine and had an amazing view while we were there AND we lived to now tell the tale that we actually did it. And we really did feel A LOT better after finally having some food. We racked our brains a lot while we were there trying to figure out how we were going to ride another 12 miles home..."would an uber fit our bikes?!" "i don't think i'll make it" "should we become friends with someone who has a truck here?!" But again...we did it. The ride home turned out to be a straight shot with almost  all down hill! I honestly think that was the only thing that saved us haha 

 

 

We got home at around 6:30ish, were extremely sunburned, and didn't get out of bed except for when our uber eats thai food arrived...and then we ate that in bed also ;) 

 

Monday was a new day! and our LAST day in Maine. We were unfortunately extremely tired but we couldn't let that stop us. After returning our bikes in the morning, we made our way to another hot spot on our list, The Holy Donut. There was of course, another line, but we got our donuts pretty quickly. I decided on a fresh lemon glaze, while Johnny got the dark chocolate glaze. Both were amazing, but the chocolate was the winner!

 

 Monday was all about staying OUT of the sun and giving our bodies a break from walking. We ubered around the city on our own brewery tour stopping at some of the best, most well known breweries in Portland and Maine. 

 

 

 I was so set on having some wicked good east coast CHOWDAH before we left. A few of the places we wanted to go for lunch had ridiculous waits and we ultimately decided on a restaurant called Gilbert's Chowder House. It had no wait, award winning chowder, and was right on the water and we couldn't have asked for a better lunch. We also got another lobster roll because...Maine. It seriously was amazing and we were so happy that we hadn't struck out on ANY bad or mediocre food since we've been in Portland.  

 

 

 We ended our tour with a cheers at Rising Tide and headed back to our place. We walked to a burger joint called Nosh that night for our last meal and walked back 'home' with perfect weather and an awesome sunset in the distance. Even through all the exhaustion, we had such an amazing time in Portland and thinking back, I still wouldn't have done the trip any other way. 

 

At this point in our lives, I'm really just soaking up all the time, travel, and adventures I get with Johnny. When people ask and wonder about when we are having kids, this is our response ;)... we are enjoying every moment of this life we have together and the opportunity we have to see and experience new places. And here's to many more adventures together! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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