Monday, August 1, 2016
Jorgensen Road Trip // Day 6
The second half of our epic road trip started early on Tuesday morning. After spending four welcomed and refreshing days not in the car, we were ready to hop back in and continue our venture north. So refreshed, in fact, that I laughed when Beau chose the longer, more scenic route from Manchester to the Maine Points on our GPS. Realizing we lost a bit of pretty staying on the interstate for most of our trip out, we decided to take our time and stay in the mountains as long as possible on our way to Maine. Cruz giggled through Little Rascals, Mila reconnected with Grandma and her tackle box of snacks, and Beau and I gawked at one New England town after another from Vermont to New Hampshire and soon up to Kittery, Maine.
Mila catching up with Grandma...
The saying, "it gets better with age" absolutely holds true as you travel through New England. For all the modern day technologies and advancements in building and construction that have occurred over the past 300 years, we sure have lost some character. It seemed the older the "year established" sign on the buildings we passed, the neater in character they stood, and I couldn't help but think about all the history that revolved around these towns settled by the very first brave and courageous people that made their journey across the big sea for a new beginning for their family. My love for grays, blues, thick white trim, and reclaimed wood were made evident as I swooned over every house we passed, and I felt my heart swell in my chest as we passed the Maine signs and made our way into vacationland...
Our first stop was Kittery, Maine, a little sea town right on the coast, first inhabited in 1647 and known as the "gateway to Maine", and home to Chauncey Creek Lobster Shack, a perfect stop for our first lobster roll. Blessed with perfect sunshine and a cloudless sky, we ate lobster rolls and sipped lemonade on the deck, laughed at the silly bread/bun that came with the kids' hot dogs, and showed Cruz and Mila the tubs filled with live lobsters of all shapes and sizes. Mila was freaked out and we laughed when she fittingly referred to them as "monsters", a coined label that would hold true through the rest of our trip.
After exploring the marina and pointing out which sailboat we'd choose from the sea of anchored ships, we hopped back in the car and drove twenty minutes north to York to visit the famous Nubble Lighthouse on Cape Neddick.
I was not prepared for the beauty of this place. After driving on the coast past what seemed like miles of white sandy beach, we parked the car on the rocky shores of Sohier Park and immediately spotted the lighthouse in the distance. Located on a rocky island a few hundred feet off the coast, the view of this lighthouse against the backdrop of the sea is truly breathtaking. I felt like I was standing on the set of a Nicholas Sparks book, surrounded by rocky cliffs, deep blue sea water, and several coast-lined mansions that until that moment, I was sure only existed in my dreams. We hung out here for the longest time, making our way down to where the water crashed against the rocks, the kids screaming like crazy people as the cold saltwater found their toes.
This was the Maine I pictured and to see it come to life in front of me was pretty wonderful. To think that real people actually sat on those adirondack chairs on the edge of those monstrous cliffs, listened to the waves crash up against the rocks as they journaled, prayed, and contemplated life, was surreal to me. I asked Beau if we could retire there and unfortunately, he told me I'd have to keep dreaming. :)
After dragging me back to the car, the kids soaked and smiling, we made another half hour drive up the coast to Kennebunkport, our house for the remainder of the week. Tired and ready to hunker down and relax the rest of the night, our plans were to check into our lodge and stay put for the rest of our Tuesday. And little did we know, we could have been happy staying put here the rest of the week. Especially the kids!
If ever planning a family trip to Maine, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The Lodge on the Cove. Located in the woods just a mile or so away from downtown Kennebunkport, this little hideaway was perfect for families, especially those with little kids. Once again, I was lost in the small details that added such a character and charm to this place. From the big white porches that lined the bunk houses, the lime green doors, and shiplap walls, I could have camped out here all summer long. The kids loved the Clubhouse, a little building next to the lodge that was filled the board games, lawn games, and a projector screen and popcorn machine for nightly movie nights. Next to the clubhouse was a stone firepit for family bonfires (with s'mores), as well as a badmitten net and bean bag boards. It felt like we had traveled back in time to a 1950s inspired family summer camp!
And then there was the Dory. Right off the pool, this little restaurant/clubhouse became one of our favorite spots for the week. I loved it for its cozy family seating, fun burger toppings, blueberry mint lemonades, and crazy milkshake concoctions, Beau loved the local brews on tap and the ping pong table, Cruz loved the oreo milkshake and board games, and Mila loved exploring the pool, the water machine, and the bathroom! We wasted no time changing into our swimsuits and making ourselves a home in the pool, drinks ordered, and a milkshake for two to kickoff our week in Maine...
My favorite Maine drink that can just as easily be recreated at home. Muddle mint leaves, lemon slices, and blueberries in the bottom of a glass, then mix vodka and lemonade on ice. Refreshing, pretty, with just a little kick. :)
We ended the night with burgers by the pool, and a bonfire all to ourselves, with s'mores for dessert. It was the perfect way to recharge and gear up for our first full day in this storybook place.
This sweet woman asked to take our polaroid while we were out by the fire. Mila was fascinated when the picture popped out of the camera and magically appeared on the photo paper. That little picture became her most prized souvenir for the remainder of our trip and now sits on a little shelf in her room. Love love love mementos like this one.