Every year we camp up at the Winslow Park & Campground for Labor Day Weekend, but this year being 37 weeks pregnant made us think twice! Instead we just went up for the day to enjoy some time with friends and enjoy the scenery. We spent the day at the campground with our friends and did make a trip to Mainely Custard and Maine Beer Co. which are just down the street. Usually when we are there for the whole weekend, we go into the Freeport shopping area for a day and visit LLBean and such, BUT we didn’t want to deal with the crowds just being up there for a day.
We played with our new camera a little bit and tried to get some shots of scenery and of me and my beautifully large baby bump to have for posterity’s sake. I didn’t want a full maternity shoot, but these few photos that my husband took in one of our favorite places are so simple and I don’t know…quiet? I really like how they came out 🙂
The house on Pound of Tea Island is one of my favorite landmarks that you can see from the park. I go check it out every year. It was just one bedroom, has its own little dock, and its just so cute. Well, I went to check it out this year and it is getting some work down!! Looks like they redid the shingling on the outside (it used to be blue) and added a second floor! Now, why is it called Pound of Tea Island? Story goes that early settlers paid the American Indians a pound of tea in exchange for the island! In 2015, it was sold for around a half a million sooooo the value of this island has really increased over the years, ha!
When we were planning the day, I was holding out for a trip into town to go to Ben and Jerry’s but I was convinced to try Mainely Custard. What they serve is very similar to ice cream, but it does contain egg. It gives it more of a smooth/creamy texture and it was a little less sweet than ice cream. I loooooved it! They typically have chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and then one or two special flavors that they make daily. When I went, the special flavor was butterscotch, so I got a scoop of butterscotch and a scoop of chocolate. It was delicious, I am a convert! I guess there is a location in Kennebunkport too! From there we met up with friends at the Maine Beer Co. which btw is undergoing a big expansion. Very exciting for a great brewery!
By the time this posts, I might have a baby! He is really enjoying life on the inside, but we shall see what the next days bring. I have cleaned literally everything in the house, we have a month of freezer meals stored, I made cookies, hospital bags are packed, and the nursery is set up- all we need now is our little man!
Send me some of those good-breezy-easy going-sneezed and he popped out-makes all the other women jealous-healthy baby boy at the end-birth story vibes k? 🙂
Growing up in New England, you just know that Kennebunkport ME is a magical place. After all, it’s where the Bush family has a home right? So it has to be good! I have great memories of going to a family cookout or two up there, and driving by the beautiful wedding cake house! My mother, grandmother, and aunt all love Kennebunkport too. Day trips to walk around the shops, look out at the boats, get a lobster roll and ice cream…I mean what’s better than that?
My family has always been into genealogy and family history. On my mother’s side, the family history that I grew to be most familiar with was for the Milligans. My great great grandfather was Rev. Herbert Freeman Milligan. He married Effie Robbins in 1898 in MA and had 9 children with Effie over 21 years. Being a clergyman, the family moved a lot as Rev. Milligan got different appointments in different churches. From 1912 on, their travels took them through various towns in Maine. My great grandmother, Alice, was the third born child in 1902 and she graduated high school when the family was in Waldoboro Maine. Sometime between the mid 1920s and 1930s, the family moved to Kennebunk. The last son, Jonathan, was born in 1920 and went to Kennebunk’s high school. Effie passed away in 1940, and Rev. Milligan remarried in 1941 believing that a church man ought to be married. His new wife, Florence “Foddie” Weeks and him retired and lived for 19 years on Cat Mousam Road in Kennebunk.
Jonathan Milligan is where my family’s continued link to the area and some fun history lies. He married his high school sweetheart, Liz Perkins, in 1940. If you know the area at all, the name Perkins should sound familiar- yes, Perkins as in Perkins Cove! Liz’s father, Silas Henry Perkins, is the namesake of a park in Kennebunk as well. He was a great poet known for a poem about Kennebunkport. Jon and Liz were very active in the goings on in the Kennebunkport area. The couple bought the Sagamore Inn at Gooch’s Beach and ran it as the Sea Spray Motor Inn, which was sadly torn down in the 80s to become a private home. They had many business and real estate ventures together, including the Lands End Cottage community.
Jon and Liz started to develop this community on Lands End Road, which goes out to Cape Porpoise Harbor, in the 1950s, in the wake of the devastating fire of 1947. The community began as vacation cottages for rent, and now is a lovely residential neighborhood. In the 80s, plots of land were offered to the family- the price range was $15K to $25k. Some members of the family jumped on the opportunity, my parents did not 😦 They were just starting out then and didn’t want to risk the investment- can’t blame them there. Now of course, houses in that neighborhood are listed for $450K and up!!
Liz Milligan passed away on Valentine’s Day this past year at the age of 96!! Two of her daughters, Judy and Debbie are currently realtors for Andrews Milligan Real Estate Company. My mother was in town for my baby shower this past weekend and we spent a day visiting with one of my fabulous great aunts up at her house in the Lands End neighborhood. It is beautiful there- always a nice breeze from the ocean. They started with a cabin on their lot and have built it into a beautiful 3 bedroom home with an outdoor shower and a great screened in porch. She has watched Kennebunkport evolve over the years into really what some might call the Nantucket of the north. From Lands End, you can take a right down to the village of Cape Porpoise, which really just consists of Bradbury’s, Cape Porpoise Kitchen, a church, and a fire dept. You can keep driving to get to the pier on Bickford Island which is the home of Cape Pier Chowder House, Cape Porpoise Lobster Co., and Pier 77 Restaurant/The Ramp Bar & Grill. There are beautiful views of the harbor and you can see the light house on Goat Island from there too!
The Kennebunkport area has been flooded lately with social media influencers. I have seen bloggers/instagrammers working with Cape Arundel Inn, the Cabot Cove Cottages, Hidden Pond Cottages, Kennebunkport Inn, The Tides Beach Club, and most recently the new glamp sites at the Sandy Pines Campground. Now, when this subject came up with my great aunt, Tim Harrington’s name came up. I didn’t know this, but all of the accommodations listed above besides the campground are a part of his resort collection, and the locals joke that every time a piece of land in the area goes up for sale, Tim can’t be far. See more about the Kennebunkport Resort Collection and Tim Harrington here. Abby Capalbo has a nice travel guide on her blog with reviews of many of KRC lodging and dining locations as well as others here. Also following Jackie Greaney and PJ Havel will give you many images of the area to drool over 🙂
Anyways, I apologize, this post got a wee bit long. There are so many coastal vacation spots in New England, but definitely Kennebunkport is close to my heart. I hope that you all had a great weekend! Where are your family vacation spots?? Let me know in the comments!
Edit/Correction: While Sandy Pines is not listed on the KRC website as of now, it is actually a Tim Harrington property along with Debra Lennon!
Spring has finally begun! There might still be a half foot of snow on the ground, but according the calendar, it is spring! This past weekend a few girlfriends and I spent a night at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa right in the heart of the Old Port in Portland ME. We had such a great time catching up and spending time together.
I was the first to get there Saturday, so I walked around for a while to enjoy the daylight. I have been to Portland many times with friends & family, but I had never really had an opportunity to just wander around alone.
I popped into a few stores and just wandered through aisles. I wanted to get a snack and a drink so after all my wandering, so I walked into The Holy Donut. It was late afternoon so there were very few donuts, just got a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was AMAZING!! Thick, rich, chocolatey, creamy….all the good words. Their donuts….are made….with Maine mashed potatoes. I got a maple donut the next morning, so amazing. The dark chocolate donut with coconut was so good too….lets be honest, they are probably all fantastic.
I headed back to the hotel and my friends arrived! We had a fruit/cheese/cracker plate and champagne at the hotel and caught up. Maybe we watched School of Rock, maybe that happened too, the final scene at the battle of the bands? Loved it haha. Then we headed out to dinner at Five Fifty-Five on Congress St. The building was really unique. The second floor where we were seated was completely open in the middle looking down on the first floor. Top recommendation would be the truffle mac and cheese with lobster. It was amazing, a little pricey, but the cheese/truffle sauce was delicious, and of course, Maine lobster meat is the best. I also got the side of roasted brussel sprouts, and we got chicken liver pate for the table. For dessert, we got the chocolate parfait, key lime pie, and creamsicle. The desserts were a little…artistic (read not a slice of key lime pie but a plate with 3 blobs of key lime filling on graham cracker crumbs with three little piles of whipped cream arranged around it), but they tasted great.
Metallic patterned wall at the restaurant
Wallpaper in the Armory
From dinner, we went to Bull Feeney’s to listen to live music and hang out, and then The Armory Lounge at the hotel for a nightcap before heading upstairs to bed. I had been to both these bars in the summer, and man what a huge difference in the off season! Both of these bars this past weekend were very relaxed, not empty, but quieter and relaxed. Seats were available, bartenders were attentive, and while the atmosphere was not as lively as in the summer, it wasn’t dead either.
Next day my friend and I headed to The Holy Donut to get fresh donuts. It was so busy! The two of us are the ones who need to eat first thing after we wake up. Thankfully we have each other so we don’t have to wake our other friends that prefer to sleep in a bit! Then we all went to brunch around 11 at the hotel restaurant, Twenty Milk Street Restaurant. We packed up our room, checked out, and went downstairs to the spa! I got a facial and my friends got massages. I love getting facials because with my pale complexion, I worry about environmental damage from the sun in the summer, and the wind/complete lack of moisture in the winter. It was such a nice way to end the weekend and we are definitely planning to go back this summer and see the area in full swing!
The Piscataqua River is a tidal river that separates NH from ME, forms Portsmouth Harbor, and empties into the Gulf of Maine. Recently I ventured out into New Castle, NH, which is an island. Driving around the island I found a nice spot to see the Portsmouth Harbor Light and was so happy to see that from the same park, you can see the Whaleback Light just over the border in Kittery ME. Another site worth checking out in New Castle is Wentworth by the Sea, but I made the decision that visiting that historic beauty would need more time than I had…probably a nicer outfit too.
Portsmouth Harbor Light is actually at Fort Constitution. You can drive toward the Coast Guard Base and then follow the signs for the Fort Constitution Historic Site. From May to mid-October they actually do tours of the lighthouse! I am definitely going this coming summer. You can actually climb all the way up to the lantern room! Fort Constitution was originally Fort William and Mary. In 1791, NH gave the site to the US, and the fort was renovated and renamed something a little more American : )
I viewed the light houses from Great Island Commons, which is a pay to enter park in the summer, but is free right now! I also got a closer look at the Portsmouth Harbor Light from the end of Ocean St…..like I was one step away from trespassing on US Government property haha. The original wooden lighthouse was built in 1771. It was rebuilt in 1804, shortened in 1851, and then rebuilt again in 1878 lined with cast-iron bricks. There is an oil house built in 1903 and a keeper’s house from 1872 that is being used as US Coast Guard offices.
The Portsmouth Harbor Light is a fixed green beacon that can be seen 12 nautical miles out. Part of the reason for the steady fixed beacon and for the shortening of the light house was the construction of Whaleback Light, a little farther out in the harbor. Whaleback Light is actually just over the border in Kittery Maine off the coast of Wood Island. The original Whaleback was built in 1820, rebuilt in 1872 after a bad storm caused cracks to the foundation. The lighthouse is made of granite blocks and sits on a rocky outcrop in the harbor. There is a keeper’s living area and a storage area within the house. Whaleback has a bright white LED light (new in 2009) every 10 seconds. It originally had a fog bell, but at some point it was changed to a horn. The light was automated in 1963, so the last keeper to live there was James Pope, USCG in the early 1960s.
Wood Island is home to the Wood Island Life Saving Station. It was built in 1907 in Kittery, and before the USCG was around, this station had rowboats for the US Life Saving Service to help mariners in distress. The station is actually in the midst of a restoration to be used as a maritime museum! See the progress and more history of the station here.
There is something about exploring the coastal areas of New England during the off season. Great Island Commons is probably packed in the summer with walkers, families, picnic-ers, and so on. I bet there are days when the parking lot gets full and they have to turn people away! It is definitely cold, but for me its rejuvenating! Getting out of the car to this beautiful scenery and that raw wind blowing in your face- talk about all the shivers! In the winter, these coastal areas are so quiet, and still.
Maine is home to many lighthouses; 65 to be exact. Maine along with being called Vacationland is also called the Lighthouse State! The closest Maine lighthouse to me is in York Maine on Cape Neddick. The lighthouse is on Nubble Island with a house and a couple other buildings. The lighthouse was built in 1879 and became automated in 1987. I believe the official name for the lighthouse is the Cape Neddick Light, but many call it the Nubble Light. The Sohier Park has a gift shop and parking area so you can see the island. You can see the cable contraption to send packages from the park over to the island. It’s a pretty cool spot to visit.
The official lighting for the Nubble was the weekend after Thanksgiving. They had carolers and cookies and Santa; its quite an event. The lights will be on from dusk to midnight until New Year’s Eve. I went the weekend after to see it so I could have a little privacy with the Nubble. Here she is.
Oh and if seeing a lighthouse in Maine light up for Christmas isn’t enough, on the way in and out of the park, you can see this lovely lobster trap tree!
It’s Wednesday but my Labor Day weekend is still fresh in my mind. We camp up in Freeport ME every Labor Day weekend right on Casco Bay. It is my favorite weekend of the year! The scenery is beautiful, and there are trails to walk on along the water at the campground. In the past we have done the LLBean discovery classes (stand up paddle boarding & clay shooting), but this year we decided to do some kayaking. My husband and some of the other guys went mountain biking, and I went for a great run in beautiful Freeport. LLBean was busy this past weekend with back to school shopping. It is the time right now to snag some great LLBean items for the fall and winter!!!
This is the time to buy LLBean boots BEFORE the rush at the holidays. Bean boots were backordered for months last year. I have these and these, but I am always keeping my eye out for the boots featured in the photo below. I love these and haven’t seen them in a while. Remember to order down a size from what you normally wear unless you want to wear super thick socks with your boots!
LLBean has some great fisherman sweaters. The one I have is here and I love it. This one is a tunic sweater so a little longer with a slightly bigger neck. I would really love the tunic in green. These are from the signature line and so are more true to size than regular shirts/sweaters.
A great item to have during the colder months is the LLBean sweater fleece pullover. This year they added some new colors! I really like the kelp green one. I have the pewter one and it washes well, but I do line dry it. I love the retro label on these!
Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirts, Slightly Fitted
These sold out last year, so grab them now while they in stock! They are a nice weight flannel, not too thin like a lot of brands. See them here for $44.95. I have the black watch and just got the stewart victoria. They are great flannel shirts- warm and not too boxy. For both the sweater fleece and this shirt, I sized down from my normal size.
LLBean has great slippers. They are well known for their wicked good moccasins, but the daybreak scuffs are worth a shoutout too! I got the ones with the moose on them, but I am going to guess that the lobster will be VERY popular. The chocolate lab was popular last year. There is a cat and owl pair too! I ordered my normal size for these. I wear mine barefoot or with light socks, so you might want to go up a size if you want to wear thick socks.
Labor Day has come and gone BUT summer isn’t over yet. We have some seriously warm weather coming our way! Summer isn’t over until September 22 🙂 Hopefully this post has given you some fall fashion inspiration!
Hello all! My humblest apologies for being missing so long on here. My husband and I bought a house in an adorable town in southeastern New Hampshire and have been crazy people unpacking and setting up and doing work on the house and yard. Every time I thought about sitting down to blog, I almost felt guilty because I knew there were like, ten other things I should have been doing. Anyone else out there ever feel like that?
Anyway, our house is a small split level, two bedrooms upstairs but a third one will end up in the finished lower level when we need it. Its on a great piece of land, almost 2 acres, that we are in the process of fencing ourselves for our little pup Mizpah. It also has a huge three car garage which is amazing for us because between hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and fishing, we have a lot of gear to store!
Top left is one of our rock walls! I love the rock walls left behind from colonial farm boundaries in New England. We have one to the front of our house, in the back , and to the right as boundaries between us and neighbor lots. Bottom left is our very own graveyard!! The graveyard is for a family that dates back to 1788 and then into the mid 1800s. On the right is a pic from some trails at the end of our road. Yes…we have off leash trails to run on with Mizpah just down the street! High five!
We are off a main road in a very country setting, but many stores and restaurants are just 5 minutes away. Above are some pics from my lovely rural neighborhood 🙂 There is a horse farm just across the street that I have to check out for riding and we are close to some nice rowing clubs which I might check out for next summer.
There is a lot to do- we are ripping up carpets to do hardwoods, finishing the lower level and adding a bathroom down there, painting walls- the list is never-ending. The town we are in is great and we are just a half hour from Portsmouth NH, Kittery ME, and the beaches in Hampton/Rye NH. We are also much closer to some of the mountains that we love so much, so hopefully we will get out there to hike as some of the bigger projects finish up.
My sister came up to visit for a couple days last week and we went out into Portsmouth and Kittery. It felt like a jailbreak after being in doing house stuff for so long. Both places are along the Piscataqua River which opens up to the Atlantic. So beautiful. We hit up Portsmouth Brewery for a little snack and a drink and then made our way down to Lazy Jacks to check out the beautiful waterscape on the decks, and then grabbed something sweet at Izzy’s on our way out. I got a cappuccino shake with chocolate syrup- so good.
The lobster roll on the right with those amazing curly fries is from Rudder’s in Kittery Foreside. Kittery ME has amazing outlets- all the ones you normally think of, but definitely try When Pigs Fly. There are restaurants right there amidst the outlets, but we wanted to get out of the crowded areas and go somewhere new. That is the small lobster roll and it was mostly claw meat which is my favorite, and the dressing was light and flavorful. So good. It was a smaller place, and the staff was awesome. Watching Gevvie Stone kill her semifinal in Rio was nice too that afternoon! Who has been bingewatching the Olympics!? Rowing, equestrian, swimming, gymnastics….so many exciting finishes and competition!!
It’s Monday and Christmas has come and gone. We had an awesomely busy weekend, family Christmas gatherings from Christmas Eve straight through yesterday. Yesterday we got my mother’s family together at our family restaurant, Kitty’s in North Reading. My great-uncle was the head chef there from the beginning and they still use his recipe for many things, including their amazing pizza.
As far as gifts go, of course being with my family, having my parents up from Florida and my sister having some time off were the best gifts! For the gifts that you have to unwrap though, I got some great stuff from LLBean!!!
One of my aunt’s got me this amazing LLBean back pack. Its smaller than my backpacking pack, and will be perfect for small hikes where I want to pack light. I can’t wait to use it, probably not until this summer though. Winter hikes require the bigger backpack to bring my sleeping bag in case of emergencies.
My sister gave me the two pack of cotton ragg camp socks . I have these socks in the boot length as well. They are great socks, very soft and comfortable. They are definitely my second favorite socks only to smart wool. The thing that they do have over smart wool though is they come in more classic solid colors.
I was given two LLBean scarves this Christmas. They have both sold out though on the website!! The one on the left is a wool blend scarf from my parents, and the one on the right is 100% Irish lambswool made by John Hanley of Ireland for LLBean from my sister. They are both awesome scarves, warm and stylish.
My parents gave me the heritage fair isle mittens and hat set from LLBean. The inside of the mittens is a nice soft fleece, and the hat is also lined with fleece so your forehead doesn’t itch. These are also sold out on the LLBean website!
Two lovely LLBean sweaters made their way to me this Christmas as well. My fiancé’s parents gave me a black double L cotton cable knit sweater. This is a great staple item in your wardrobe. Crew neck sweaters and button downs are basically my fall to winter uniform. Between my cousins and my other aunt, I got some LLBean gift cards, so I stopped by the LLBean in Burlington yesterday and picked up the cream fisherman sweater from the signature collection. I usually size down for most LLBean tops, but for this sweater, I got my true size. I wanted it to be a little more roomy on me, sort of like a boyfriend sweater.
Finally, with my gift cards, I was able to almost cover a pair of the LLBean Boots Rubber Mocs. I think I had to chip in like, $24 of my own money. I am in love. They are awesome because they are waterproof, comfortable, and they just slip on!!! So great for New England weather when you have to take your pup out all times of day.
Some other LLBean gifts in my family were these moccasins that my sister got and this awesome fleece lined flannel shirt that my fiancé got. Don’t fret about sold out items on LLBean.com. If it doesn’t come up as backordered, then it is just gone for the season and will come out again next year with some new tweaks usually. I have this week off so I had some day trips planned, but we will see if the weather cooperates. Tomorrow, southern New England will see its first snowflakes!!! I am so excited, but of course the weather will probably keep me from going to see friends in RI……typical New England problems. What were your favorite Christmas gifts!? I hope you all had a lovely Christmas weekend!!
As readers of my blog know, I love LLBean. I love their products, prices, quality, customer service, and I love Freeport ME. That being said, I will be watching closely to see what kind of changes will occur. The current CEO, Chris McCormick, took over in 2001, and has worked for LLBean since 1983. Mr. McCormick was the first leader of LLBean that wasn’t a member of the family, but he has a long history at the company, including serving the role of chief operating officer before he became CEO.
The man that has been chosen to replace McCormick is Stephen Smith, currently Walmart’s chief marketing and merchandising officer in China. Smith will start in January and McCormick will step down in February, so they will have a one month overlap. Smith did live in Portland ME with his family for 6 years, so its not like he is a total alien to the area. He is also involved in hiking in the White Mountains, cycling, kayaking, swimming, skiing/snowboarding at Sunday River & Sugarloaf, and says he wants to hike Katahdin. Despite all of that, he is the first CEO that is not a member of the family and didn’t come from working at LLBean.
I know that Smith has fantastic experience from working for Hannaford’s and Walmart, but when I heard that part of the reason why they hired him was to deal with the boot backlog AND that he has ties to retail in China, I couldn’t help but to have the worry that manufacturing Bean boots will end up being outsourced to China. I know, that is crazy talk. It won’t happen. He isn’t even involved in manufacturing, he’s a marketing guy. LLBean employs so many people in Maine, and Bean boots have always been handcrafted in Maine, and that’s the way it will always be, right? Right!? Look at these boots, made by human hands right in Maine. Love them.
Leon Gorman, before he recently passed away, gave his stamp of approval to Smith, saying that Smith was the real deal. I am all about LLBean becoming more and more successful, as long as quality stays the same or increases, prices stay lower than competitors, and customer service stays the same. Here’s the story from the Portland Press Herald.
I love this company & honestly see working at LLBean as a total retirement for fun job. I just sent off my LLBean wish list to family members that asked for Christmas gift ideas, can’t help but wonder how this changing of the guard will affect my beloved brand….I am going to choose to hope for the best though. Stephen Smith, I’m here if you ever need advice!