Isn’t it amazing that we can get on a plane and within just hours arrive somewhere on the opposite side of the country? Even the world? Going from Tampa, Florida to Portland, Maine might as well have been the opposite side of the world. Stepping off the plane, it was grey and misty and at least half the temperature it had been that morning in Tampa. I had been looking forward to the cooler weather for months. Finally we were there, jackets and boots at the ready, and it was fantastic.
(Speaking of jackets and boots, I made my first attempt at carry-on packing for this trip. I’ll be doing a separate post on this later.)
We flew in to Portland on a Friday just around time for dinner. Luggage pick-up was first, then rental car, and a quick drive to the hotel for the evening. We were fortunate enough to stay right down by the port within walking distance of everything we wanted to see the next day. Friday evening was a little walking and the first of many delicious meals. It didn’t take long to realize we had stepped into a very unique city.
On Saturday the sun smiled on us as we explored the city. Portland isn’t very big, so it was nice to be able to walk everywhere. All of the brick buildings, cobblestone streets, and alleyways were reminiscent of an older time. That morning we took a tour of Victoria Mansion and saw some amazing restoration efforts in process. Historic building tours are one of our favorite things to do and it always provokes an emotional feeling for me. There is a lost craftsmanship within the walls of those homes that blows me away and puts us to shame.
After lunch we strolled through some shops along Fore Street. My favorite was a pottery shop, filled with local artists’ work. I decided to get a small piece which looked to me like a little lighthouse. It has the most beautiful colors and it felt right to be supporting a local vendor and artist. The neatest thing was that after our time in Bar Harbor, we came back through Portland, stopped back in the pottery shop, and I got to meet the artist of the piece I purchased.
One of our evenings there, we ate dinner at a very “foodie” spot called Fore Street. For once, I felt like the price of the food was worth the entire package of the evening and saying the phrase “farm to table” was actually a true label for the meal. Not only was the food amazing, the experience and environment was extremely memorable. The restaurant featured an open kitchen; we watched a chicken turn on the spit, heard the head chef calling out orders, and could smell our meal even before it hit the table. Also, I had a local soda made with local honey and we left the restaurant smelling like a warm campfire.
Sunday morning, we drove to Bangor for services. After worshipping with the brethren there and grabbing a quick lunch at Chipotle (yes, even in Maine), we made our way to Bar Harbor.