We sat bathed in luscious darkness, Casco Bay’s thousand islands spread out before us like a diamond quilt. ‘I don’t get enough of this,’ she said.
– Mike Bond, novelist, environmental activist, poet, war and human rights correspondent, and international energy expert
Every summer, I am treated to a week in Maine, thanks to the fact that my company is based in Portland, Maine. Every summer, I fly into Portland, and I immediately fall in love all over again. The bay, the islands with the homes dotting the shore, the billowy clouds floating across a brilliant blue sky, the fresh air, the fantastic restaurants, the cute shops. I gush about moving to Maine. Or at least summer in Maine.
This year, the out-of-towners at my company got to stay at the Press Hotel, which is a boutique hotel that was once home to the Portland Press-Herald newspaper. But not only is the building an historic building, but the owners got it right by decorating the interior of the hotel with a newspaper theme. The sales team at my company, who are just great to work with and for, thanked me for my service to them in a very sweet call-out before my boss’s presentation on our department. And they presented me with two Press Hotel mugs and ceramic tray, which now sit on my desk to remind me of my stay there and the wonderful memories from this year.
My picture of the building didn’t turn out because the sun wasn’t on my back. But here’s info on the history of the newspaper and building.
In the lobby, one of the walls displays typewriters from all eras.
In the lobby, an old-fashioned typewriter and complimentary stationery.
Mod carpeting and tables with enlarged old newspaper clippings.
In the hallways, the wall paper is taken from actual headlines found in old microfiche (yes, look up that word).
The room across the hall from me. I love the detail of the room number being illuminated.
The chair and its quote in my room.
My last night at the Press Hotel: lobster rolls and homemade potato chips.
My Press Hotel gifts and souvenirs….
Meals for the week! Portland is well known for its great restaurants. And I was lucky to hit a number of places. Some new, some welcomed me back.
Marcy’s Diner, if you want a hearty meal, with my colleague Julie.
Boats pointing to Casco Bay.
DeMillo’s on the Bay, Portland.
Branzino at Scales, with a great view of the Bay.
The tradition for dinner the last evening of our summer sales summit is taking the ferry to Peak’s Island and having a lobster dinner. Fun was had by all. And, of course, my colleague and partner in crime, Deb, accompanied me as we shopped in Old Port, the old part of town.
One of my favorite shops in Maine. From jewelry to unique clocks and other furniture to whimsy decorations like these bookish birdhouses.
I read about Flea-for-All in the local magazine in my hotel room. What a fun place to browse. This is where I discovered Michelle Estell jewelry.
Beautifully curated Flea-for-All on Congress Street.
The interior of Flea-for-All.
Maine Potters Market in Old Port has beautiful pottery made by artists from Maine.
Selfies on the ferry ride to Peak’s Island – with Erin and Claretha.
A mix of sales and editorial staff – with Jane, Kelly, Gus, Julie, and Deb.
Claretha and I bonded last summer with our love for big earrings. The pair that I’m wearing was given to me by Claretha on the first day of summer summit.
Peak’s Island lobster – a tradition.
On the way back to the ferry – a familiar sight of colorful hanging lobster floats.
Farewell, Peak’s Island!
After the summer sales summit concluded for me, I spent the weekend with my good friend Jack and his wife, Fay, and their daughter, Camille. But first, we walked around Portland, as I discovered for the first time since I’ve been coming here, that Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow lived here and his home is an historic landmark. We walked around the gardens.
Longfellow’s statue in Portland.
The lush Longfellow’s Garden.
At the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club for drinks with Eric and Jack. Love the simple green bouquets on the table. This place is all scarred wood, clear glass, greenery, and old-time maps. And good drinks!
Still bad at doing selfies, but I guess that’s a good thing. With Eric and Jack.
First time at Empire – one of the favorites, Peking duck buns. To. Die. For. If you ever go to Portland, you must eat here. The hour wait is worth every second.
Jack and his family moved to Brunswick in 2015, but since we went directly from Portland to Stonington Island, where they have a home there, I never spent time in their new abode until this year. Brunswick is lovely, and I had a relaxing time exploring the historic town.
The picturesque Brunswick Inn, in the main street of town.
This is a great shop, though pricey and questionable customer service. But still a great place to browse.
Wyler’s of Brunswick, a charming shop with jewelry, clothes, housewares, toys, locally crafted gifts, and accessories. You can spend a lot of time browsing here.
Hatch on Maine is a cute vintage and antique shop. There are a few vintage/antique shops on the main street. This one was a favorite of mine.
The shores of Brunswick.
The Frank J. Wood Bridge, which spans the Androscoggin River between Topsham and Brunswick, at twilight.
Contemplating life, Fay and Jack overlook the Androscoggin River.
Can’t get enough of the clouds here.
Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, a lovely private liberal arts college established in 1794 when Maine was still part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Bowdoin College Chapel.
Inside the chapel.
Lovely white hydrangeas all over the campus.
The second majestic lion.
Along the way, we walked through the local cemetery, in which Joseph Chamberlain, hometown hero of the Civil War, is laid to rest.
Walking through the Brunswick cemetery.
Something about headstones in a cemetery that draws me, especially when the cemetery is an old one.
Joseph Chamberlain’s headstone.
A row of headstones.
A family of headstones like rows of old teeth.
Knowing that I love gardens, Jack took me to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where I took upwards of 200 photos at least. Here are just a few, though it was tough to narrow them down.
Adirondack chairs await visitors at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
A view of the Back River.
A field of daisies with monarch butterflies, if you look more closely.
One of the more inventive interpretations from a visitor to the Fairy House Village.
Rabbit sculpture by Lisa Becu.
Lush lime green greenery.
Slater Forest Pond.
Vayo Meditation Garden pool.
Close-up of the Basin sculpture by David Holmes.
Wind Orchard by George Sherwood.
Windsound by Val Bertoia from Bertoia Studios.
I had another great time in Portland and Brunswick. Thanks to my great friends and hosts, Jack and Fay. Looking forward to next year!
It looks like I’m wrestling with Holly, the Beaudoin Family dog, but I’m really awkwardly trying to do a selfie with her.
Last meal in Maine in Portland at, of course, Empire.
Fay and me at Empire.
Brunswick architecture. Love the homes here in Brunswick, in Maine.
My last attempt at a selfie with Jack and Fay in front of their lovely Brunswick home.