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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Every once in awhile, on a spectacular summer weeknight, our family will act like tourists and visit a relaxed, beachside destination for dinner. Shade, a restaurant located inside the Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough, is such a place. The casual restaurant features a bar with cherry red chairs. There is table seating on the cozy sun porch or on the spacious screened porch. On the day we arrived, we were unusually early, so the hostess invited our family to choose a non-alcoholic drink at the bar and walk to the beach while we waited.

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For the kids’ first trip to the Katahdin region, MP planned an overnight stay at New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket. The family-friendly, lakeside resort offers a variety of fun adventures, including moose tours, rafting, canoeing and hiking. For accommodations, guests can choose from rustic cabins to modern lodges.

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Our home for the night – the Eagle lodge.

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School is out in less than a month, and our summer is going to be busier than ever. MP has a special project she is working on, the kids are going to day camps, and we have family visiting from California for a few weeks. Still, there is always room for a few new adventures! Here’s what is on our list:

Maine Huts & Trails

We’ve heard so many good things about Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit organization in Kingfield that provides lodging and outdoor activities for all ages and levels of expertise. When a local Mom suggested CP #2’s third grade class take a year-end trip to Maine Huts & Trails, we were all in! Our plan is to take a short hike in with the kids to our hut, explore the grounds and enjoy a big, family-style meal together. We can’t think of a better way to kick off summer!

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Photo courtesy John Orcutt Photogrpahy

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For CP#1’s 10th birthday, our family decided to venture into Portland for the afternoon and treat ourselves to homemade sodas at Vena’s Fizz House. The cozy corner soda bar, which is located on Fore Street, is open to all ages. And while Vena’s specializes in mocktails and cocktails (served only from 7-11 p.m.), the menu has craft sodas and lemonades for the younger set.

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When we arrived, a group of tourists and friends were enjoying drinks, and a young couple at a high hat table sat beside us. MP and the kids scanned the menu and decided on a Blackberry Coconut Fruit Fizz, a Raspberry Lime Rickey made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, and a chocolate cream soda naturally sweetened with honey. (more…)

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MP and the kids traveled to Camden Winterfest in late January, and had the good fortune to stay at the Hawthorn Inn Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1894, the charming, 10-room inn is located in Camden’s High Street historic district and is within walking distance to Main Street. The visit marked the kids’ first bed and breakfast experience.

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“This is where we’re staying?” CP#2 asked when we arrived. “It’s not a hotel. It’s a mansion!” he announced. MP told the kids that B&B’s are often large, historic houses with multiple rooms for guests. “And in the morning,” she explained, “we get to meet other guests and enjoy a special homemade breakfast.” Delighted by the news, the kids grabbed their luggage from the car and hurried to the front porch. When we reached the door, we were greeted by Lisa Weiss, who co-owns the Hawthorn Inn with her husband, Ted. The couple moved to Maine from Pennsylvania in 2014, and have owned the inn for nearly two years.

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Welcome to our newest travel series, designed for moms and dads who need to get their parenting mojo back!

September and October are tough transition months, not only for kids, but for adults as well. There are new school, sports and work schedules to follow, longer grocery lists, more wash and more paperwork. MP feels like she is playing catch up from the start of school until Christmas.

To save everyone in the household from a grumpy mama, MP arranged an overnight trip to Oxbow Brewing Company in Newcastle. In June, the brewery opened its farmhouse—which was originally home to brewery co-owners, Geoff and Dash Masland—on Airbnb. Located next to the tasting room and nestled between 18 acres of woods and logging trails, a farmhouse visit seemed ideal for an overnight getaway.

When DP and MP arrived at Oxbow, a couple and their one-year-old son were seated at picnic tables in front of the tasting room. The father looked at DP and said, “Where do I know you from?” As it turns out, DP and this man realized they were childhood friends. Once the connection was established, we agreed to get a few beers and join them back outside.

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Inside the warm, wood-paneled tasting room, we met Celeste Parke Merrill, a sweet, thirty-something who would be our bartender and farmhouse tour guide. When we told Celeste about our chance meeting with old friends, she said, “I love when that happens!” She encouraged us to take our time and enjoy. We could bring our bags to the farmhouse a little later. (more…)

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When our travel plans changed in Canada, we decided to return to Maine and explore Moosehead Lake. DP and MP had never been to the area before. Little did we know how much we were about to discover!

During our first night in Moosehead, we decided to take a camping hiatus and found ourselves an affordable place to stay in Greenville Junction. After a day of driving all of us needed a hot shower and a good night’s rest. This simple, lakefront motel fit the bill.

We were treated this lake view come morning.

We were treated to this lake view come morning.

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