We arrived in Cape Porpoise with 7 days to fill. So be warned, this is kind of a long post....and not very well written as I have been struggling to find time to finish it. But here it is since I want to record our very first family vacation before I forget it all. But not sure anyone but me and maybe Grandparents will find it interesting.
Now that I've gotten you all stoked...
As I stated before, our house was great. Had a spectacular view of the harbor, pier and lighthouse. Sunrises over the water were beautiful.
I wish I had known it had such a HUGE yard and I would have brought some games.
Luckily, we found a croquet set and a soccer ball. If we return, I may finally invest in a Bocci set. I could have spent a majority of the time in that yard just lazing around, but Sam would not be down with that scenario. So here's a little taste of good nap inducing activities if you ever find yourself in the area.
First day, Sunday, we stuck close to home. Cape Porpoise is a nice little bay/harbor/inlet....not sure what it is technically. We were on the southwest side across from the pier. With the pier as our ultimate destination, Sunday morning we woke up and walked down to our first meal of many at The Wayfarer.
It's a great litter diner in the center of the village. Cape Porpoise isn't much more than an intersection, but at that intersection there is all you need. The Wayfarer Restaurant, The Cape Porpoise Kitchen (great little gourmet market with yummy take out sandwiches and prepared foods), Bradbury Brother's Grocery (which also serves as the Post Office), Cape Porpoise Pizza, Nunan's Lobster, a little art gallery and The Library. After a great breakfast (the blueberry pancakes were appreciated by all) we set out to a walk around the harbor.
Cape Porpoise is a working lobster port, so at the pier there is a boathouse, lots of lobster pots and all sorts of equipment I imagine you would need in order to perform that sort of work. There are a few restaurants, all which Yelp and Trip Advisor had warned were best for the view rather than the food. So we didn't eat up there, but we did enjoy a closer view of the Goat Island Lighthouse.
There is a little outcropping of rocks and a placard honoring the seafarers of the habor and, wish I had taken a picture of it, in memory of the standoff that took place against the British during the Revolutionary War, resulting in the death of 4 Cape Porpoise residents. Sam enjoyed a climb down the rocky shore to the waters edge where he poked at snails and threw rocks.
Monday - Cape Porpoise is about 10 minutes from the beautiful white sand of Goose Rocks Beach.
Jay and I had been there once before about 10 years ago, in November. I remember it being pretty, but I also remember it being cold and windy (go figure, Maine in November). Anyway, though it was much warmer, it was still REALLY windy. We had issues with the powdery sand being blown around.
Not good when you have a little man so enthralled to be at the beach that all he does is want to toss it around. But it was gorgeous and sunny. And we all got the treat of Joe's first crawl out onto beachy sand.
Tuesday they were calling for rain and clouds, so we figured that would be a good day to head into Portland. Jay found out there was a Children's Museum, so that was our destination. After a quick lunch we headed in and man, if we were closer to Portland, I'm sure we would have gone back. If I lived in Portland, I KNOW we would get a season pass. The place was pretty awesome. Perfect for the 3/4 year old set. Fire Truck with working siren, Space Shuttle, BIG Tree house. Sam finally got to drive a car (we had had a tempter tantrum the day before about it...tears and all), and filled it up with gas. He milked a cow, threw lots of balls and the big hit? Besides the drinking fountain,
was the DINER.
Man, we must have spent an hour here. He made us pie and ice cream cones. He used the blender repeatedly.
Tuesday night was Movie Night! And of the DVDs I bought before our trip Sam chose Wubzy's Big Movie. The longest 77 minutes of my life. But he loved it. And there was lots of cuddleing and popcorn eating, so who can really complain.
The next day my parents were to arrive, so we decided on a short morning hike.
The Rachel Carson Wildlife refuge is only about 15 minutes away, and they had a really great trail.
About a mile and nice and flat. Perfect for Sam. My only complaint would have been the scenic overlooks. The railings gave me heart attacks.
Ok this one doesn't look that bad, but some of those perches had 100 foot drops. And Sam is really not known for his caution. He would keep turning around I just imagined him taking a step backwards and...ok, happy thoughts.
And the lack of actual wildlife was disappointing. Except for chipmunks. Maine, it seems, is overrun with chipmunks. They were everywhere.
(on a side note, Portland was not overrun with chipmunks, but rather JAYWALKERS. I can't tell you how many times we idled waiting for some shmo to finish his stroll across 4 lanes of traffic.)
My parents arrived shortly before nap-time, so after hugs (and tours of the minivan) Sam went down for a snooze and my parents and I walked Joe around the harbor so they could see the place. We did the same walk as we did on our first day there, only this time we stopped at The Ramp for a drink. The Ramp is the little downstairs bar under Pier 77, the fancy restaurant, and true to the name, stroller friendly! They have a few Adirondack chairs set up looking over the water and we took a seat and had a cocktail while Joe munched on Cheerios.
If you look close at this picture (click it and I think it will get bigger...I think), between the blue and white buildings you will see string of lights and little yellow chairs. That's where we sat. (This picture was taken from our backyard).
When we got back, we picked up sandwiches from Cape Porpoise Kitchen, ate al fresco on a blanket and with a day of travel and afternoon cocktails behind them, my folks took quick naps themselves.
That night we headed to Nunans. Hands down the most legit and recommended lobster place around. They have their own boats and you can be assured that your dinner, until JUST recently, had been enjoying the chilly Atlantic waters off Cape Porpoise. And it was about a half a mile from our house. Bonus! It's not a fancy place. You sit and they bring you a bag of potato chips, two slices of pickle and a roll. The menu is 90% lobster, so if you don't dig it, I would stay home like my crustacean adverse husband. My mom and I both go the special of two 1 1/8 lb lobsters and my dad got the one big 1 1/2 lobster. Yum. No picture. And how I regretted not bringing my camera once my folks faithfully tied on their lobster bibs before digging in.
Thursday we headed to another beach. Gooch's Beach. We went at low tide, which was pretty awesome, leaving a large expanse of sand to play on. The tides in Maine are quite extreme. Low tide REALLY pulls out, exposing all sorts of sand and rocks and mud.
(photo credit Kay Unger!)
Sam had a great time picking up rocks and digging holes with Grandma.
Thursday night, we left the boys with the Grandparents and headed out for a date in Kennebunkport. We ate at Bandaloop, a trendy localvore (ish) , organic restaurant. It was pretty good. I had Mussels and a steak, and Jay had some sort of sweet potatoe croquets and a pork chop. And wine. And more wine. And a yummy blueberry/apple bake dessert. YUM. Only cost $100...well, we don't do it very often, so....And when we got home, we laid down with Sam in the Living Room to watch the rest of WALL-E. Everybody fell asleep. I have never seen the end to this movie, and I've seen it 4 times.
Friday morning we were debating on what to do, but it became clear that it needed to be something. Sam was a mess (I'm sure because of the late night) and needed to be exercised. So I hopped online to find the nearest playground and what a score this place was.
Sam ran and jumped and slid.
Well, until the youth center next door unleashed it's charges and the whole place was overrun by 5 year olds in yellow shirts. Our cue to leave.
On the way home we decided to go by the Trolley Museum we had seen while driving to Portland. I don't remember how much it cost but ugh, what a debacle. Apparently there was a dedication of some historically significant addition and they were expecting some political big wigs. The place was a mess with preparations. And the people who work at a Trolley Museum? Trolley and Train enthusiasts. Like 50 year old men who want to dress up like conductors and talk to people about trains all day. Not to stereotype, but seriously? The entire staff ranged from the slightly socially awkward to staring at the sky, seemingly alarmed to be asked a question, and rattling off the trolley ride schedule like Rain Man. I think it's awesome that they can find jobs where their obsessive love of trains is an asset, but maybe they should have someone else dealing with the public.
But the trains were cool. i didn't bring my camera, which bummed me out. If we ever head back that way for vacation, I plan to go again and walk around that place. The rust, the grease, the old shiny wood...would make for some really great photos.
The last night we headed to The Wayfarer again for our last meal. I had lobster Ravioli which was yummy. It was a little pricey, considering their breakfasts are so reasonable, but definitely good.
The next morning it was a scramble to get everything and everyone packed up and out the door. It was sad to say goodbye. Sam missed Grandpa and Grandma terribly the next few days.
But he has some wonderful memories. I hope we make it back someday.