Kennebunk, Kennebunkport + Portland
48 HOURS-June 2013
Photographs + stories by Maine magazine staff:
Susan Grisanti, Kevin Thomas, Sophie Nelson +Karen Bowe
I’ve caught myself in a wide-toothed grin as I drive toward the Kennebunks, a place I know quite well from having spent a week here during the Kennebunkport Festival for each of the past two summers. And yet there’s still so much undiscovered territory for me since I’m rarely here with a wide-open agenda. I have the added bonus of time to spend with friends who live in the area, which likely has something to do with the smile on my face.
4:30 p.m. @ Grand Hotel
There’s something about a spanking new hotel in fresh, neutral shades that immediately puts me into vacation mindset. The ease of it being right on Chase Hill in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, just steps from the bridge into Kennebunkport and walking distance from most anywhere in town, causes any stress I’m feeling to melt away. I make my way up to my room, admiring the design choices deftly made by local designer Louise Hurlbutt along the way. It’s not long before I’m summoned for Friday afternoon happy hour.
5:00 p.m. @ Pedro’s
I set out to meet my buddies Johnny, Geoff, Krista, and Nicki for margaritas, chips, guacamole, and some of the best conversation around. Others have joined our table and dinner plans are forming. I peel away to meet a friend who is in town for dinner, but I know I haven’t seen the last of this crew.
7:00 p.m. @ The Ramp Bar and Grill
My friend Dan is in town and we cross paths in Cape Porpoise at the Ramp. We grab seats at the well-worn bar and sink into the coziness of the place accented by colorful local chatter. We linger over beers and deliciously prepared seafood before discovering that we’re the last ones in the place. We settle up and head back into town.
9:45 p.m. @ Old Vines Wine Bar
We grab a table just apart from the lively bar and several friends come over to say hello. Sitting in the rustic warmth of the place, Dan admits that our experiences here and at the Ramp have caused him to form a new sense of the area, quite different from his impression before this eveningthis place is much less formal and certainly less stuffy than he had expected. I can relate, remembering my own preconceived notion before spending time here and having the camaraderie of the Kennebunks utterly win me over.
7:45 a.m. @ Grand Hotel, Kitchen Chicks Cafe
Krista is here for breakfast and a walk. First we ooh and ahh over the luxurious room before heading downstairs, where we split a yummy egg, veggie, and cheese sandwich on a homemade English muffin and an order of fruit salad. We eat perched on high barstools looking out to town while I fill her in on the rest of my evening.
8:45 a.m. @ Kennebunk Bridle Path
We load Krista’s dog, Sid, into the car and head toward Sea Road in Kennebunk for a walk along this 3.1-mile path on an old trolley train bed. I stop every few minutes to take pictures and Krista urges me along, sending the message that I haven’t seen anything yet. At last we reach a spot with a stunning view of the zigzagging Mousam River that she knew I would recognize from the works of many Maine painters and photographersit’s easy to see how artists are inspired by this place.
9:30 a.m. @ Snug Harbor Farm
On our way back to town we lose ourselves in this virtual wonderland of gardens with several cages of exotic fowl, greenhouses filled with uncommon plants, and a fantastic gift shop. This place is one of my favorite spots around.
10:30 a.m. @ Kennebunk Beach + Kennebunkport
I’ve made a plan to meet my friend, builder Kevin Lord, to see a few of his latest projects. We’re on a scouting mission for Maine Home+Design features but this really doesn’t feel like work. We spend the next couple of hours touring while I geek out on both the beauty of the craftsmanship and the livability of the designs. At one point we’re standing on a rooftop deck overlooking the beach, and he asks me, “How would you like to sit up here with a glass of wine?” Clearly a rhetorical question.
1:00 p.m. @ Dock Square
I meet Krista and our friend Jessica Jenkins who, with her husband Andy West, is the creative force behind the fabulous shops Daytrip Society and Daytrip Junior. We decide to have chowder and lobster rolls at Alisson’s before making our way around the shops that line the square. We make stops at area favorites Beach Grass, Coastal Jewelers, Good Earth, and Daytrip Society before we take a break at Dock Square Coffee House. At Daytrip Junior I buy a precious baby dress for my coworker and friend Rebecca’s new baby girl. In Minka we fawn over the original necklaces and handbags. I decide on a necklace that I’ve had my eye on for some time and at Carla’s I find a great dress. On our way back we find Scott Lee working to ready Bandaloop for its spring reopening. He shows us the interior renovations they’ve done during their hiatus. We’ll most definitely be back for dinner many times this summer.
3:30 p.m. @ The Lodge on the Cove
Jess and I want to see the Kennebunk Resort Collection’s newest inn and the dazzling design work of Krista Stokes and her partner on this project, Christy Reid. We’re totally wowed by the transformation underway.
4:30 p.m. @ The Best of Everything + Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture + Fleurant
On my way back to the hotel I stop to get my daughters each a pair of silver stud earrings at the Best of Everything. I then drop into Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture to say hello to manager Amy Lewia and see several works that will be displayed at this year’s Choice Art Show. I have already made my picks online, so it’s fun to view the pieces in person to see how my selections stand up. Despite running a bit late, I drop in to another shop that I am partial to, Fleurant, to close up a super day of shopping that has yielded a few key pieces to freshen my summer wardrobe.
6:00 p.m. @ One Dock + Old Vines Wine Bar
A group has gathered for dinner and drinks. We start the evening with cocktails and live music at One Dock and then make our way over to Old Vines for dinner. The evening turns out to be one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a long timea winning mixture of wonderfully delicious food and wine around a long table of some of my favorite people.
6:15 a.m. @ H.B. Provisions + Goose Rocks Beach
I’m up early and while most everything is still closed, this spot is already buzzing with locals having their morning coffee. Soon I’m getting texts from Krista helping to plan my next stop. We decide to walk the long and lovely smooth white sands of Goose Rocks Beach.
10:00 a.m. @ Dock Square
Clothiers + Benoits
Our friend Johnny heroically deals with a flat tire on my car outside of Krista’s house, while I jet through two more shops before brunch. My son has been asking me for a new pair of flip-flops and I’ve spied the perfect pair in the window of Dock Square Clothiers. Amazingly I’m not shopped out yet, wanting to get a closer look at a striped Alternative Apparel sweatshirt in the window at Benoits.
10:30 a.m. @ Federal Jack’s
Several friends come out for brunch at this popular spot that is one of Maine’s original brewpubs and the birthplace of Shipyard Brewing Company. I enjoy a tasty bloody mary and perfectly poached eggs while enjoying the great view overlooking the Kennebunk River.
12:00 p.m. @ Kennebunkport
At the end of brunch, I climb into Geoff Bowley’s truck to see several of the houses that he’s building around the area. We wind around the coast, passing iconic Saint Ann’s stone church and Walker Point. I marvel at the amount of construction happening in the area. We pass the River Club and the Yachtsman Marina. And some time later we pass the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association, between Mother’s Beach and the Cove at Lord’s Point where kids learn to swim, sail, and kayak and where families gather for beachside barbecues and weekly movie nights. It’s not hard to see why so many are building homes here, ingraining themselves into this charismatic community.
Kevin Thomas Publisher
The Kennebunks are transforming at a stunning pace. Visitors from away, attracted by proximity to Boston and the Portland Jetport, numerous dining options, and multiple beaches, are coming here to vacation and to buy homes. Residential and commercial construction has been on the upswing for months. We’re visiting early in the season, so many establishments remain closed, but I’m happy to have the chance to breathe in the positive energy.
2:30 p.m. @ Breakwater Inn and Spa
While Lisa heads to the spa for a manicure and pedicure, I settle into the Savannah Room, the center suite on the third floor. An elevated living room offers a sweeping view up the Kennebunk River and out toward the Atlantic. I spot surfers bobbing in the waves of Gooch’s Beach and Mount Agamenticus on the horizon. Several pickup trucks are parked at the government wharf, and I’m anticipating watching lobster boats pull out in the morning.
5:00 p.m. @ Old Vines Wine Bar
Every trip to the Kennebunks should include at least one stop here to say hi to bartender Scott Doherty and to sample his wine recommendations. We ask Scott to select some cheeses for us to try and the tastes launch us into the weekend.
6:00 p.m. @ The White Barn Inn
Jonathan Cartwright has invited us to a guest chef reception for Dale Talde of Talde in New York City and a Bravo Top Chef contestant. The drinks and appetizers are, as anticipated, superb, and we end up staying longer than we’d anticipated to enjoy the pianist, great conversation, and special ambience of this remarkable place, which is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year.
7:15 p.m. @ 50 Local
We’ve always loved this restaurant’s local flavor. Unfortunately we discover that they’re closedone of the hazards of visiting in April. We’ll come back during the Kennebunkport Festival.
7:30 p.m. @ Pedro’s
This restaurant has been hugely popular since it opened its doors over two years ago, which is no surprise given owners Kate and Pete Morency’s success at Pier 77 and The Ramp Bar and Grill. We walk in to see a full table of several of our friends who are headed to Mekhong Thai but stay long enough to share a drink with us.
8:00 p.m. @ Abbondante
Kevin Harrington of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection offers an early peek at the renovation of the former Grissini that will now be operated by David Ross and Merilee Paul of 50 Local. With local interior decorator Krista Stokes, we dart through a line of shrubs at the back of Pedro’s, skip over some mud puddles, and are at the back doorin the dark. Kevin proudly shows off the new bar that fills one end of the main level. I loved Grissini, but I’m happy to see the place taking on a new look.
9:00 p.m. @ Pedro’s
Chef/owner Pete Morency has stopped in. He hugs several of his staff and sits at the edge of the bar to catch up on the night’s activities. It’s clear to me that his success is in no small part related to his nurturing of team camaraderie.
8:00 a.m. Kennebunk Beach Run Lisa leaves for her morning run. She’ll head toward Dock Square, cross the bridge to Lower Village, and then to Kennebunk Beach. Sitting this run out, I head downstairs for coffee in the inn’s cozy dining room.
9:00 a.m. @ Dannah + Spaces + Chris Becker Gallery + Details Event Staging Several retail businesses are close by, and I walk to Dannah, Spaces (check out The Ropes, bracelets by Shana Aldrich Ready), Chris Becker Gallery, and Rick Taranto’s new event business offering high-quality furniture and accessories.
10:00 a.m. @ Breakwater Spa Lisa returns from her run just in time for our scheduled massage. The locker rooms are well appointed with wood lockers, lush bathrobes, and steam rooms.
12:00 p.m. @ Hurricane
Restaurant We pull into the public parking lot in Dock Square for lunch at Hurricane, the restaurant and bar owned by Brooks MacDonald. Hurricane can always be counted on to have a lively group of diners and drinkers and today is no exception.
1:00 p.m. @ Emporium + Coastal Jewelers + Dock Square Clothiers
People come from near and far to experience summer in the Kennebunks, and special-occasion shops like these fit the mood. Emporium offers collectibles, Coastal Jewelers fine custom jewelry, and Dock Square Clothiers is a great place to go for quality clothing.
1:30 p.m. @ Galleries at Morning Walk
Before visiting this cluster of artisan cottages at the edge of Lower Village, we drive into the new neighborhood that is Morning Walk. My friend Kevin Lord of Thomas & Lord is building these housesa perfect example of the building boom in the Kennebunks. One home is complete (featured in the May 2012 issue of Maine Home+Design magazine) and five more are in various stages of build. At the galleries, we check out work by Holly Ross of Fish House Designs, Sarah Canning of Castle Cottage, and Donna Kabay of PhosArt, and others. They’re all busy at work and looking forward to the impending summer.
2:30 p.m. @ Mabel’s Lobster Claw
We skipped dessert at Hurricane so that we could order a peanut butter pie and a pecan pie at Mabel’s, a Kennebunkport staple known for their lobster rolls and other comfort foods. They proudly display a photo of local celebrities George and Barbara Bush on their wall. I’m excited to learn that Mabel’s will take part in Dine Around the Kennebunks on Friday of festival week.
3:15 p.m. @ Americana Workshop
My colleague Jeffrey D’Amico has recommended I go to Americana Workshop. Before I get out of the car, I’m impressed. Antiques and collectibles are hanging off and situated around the building on Route One. Inside we find a treasure trove of cool old stuff. It’s the type of place that forces you to stand still for ten minutes to take it all in. I leave with Chronicles of Kennebunk, published in 1926 by Wm E. Barry, illustrated by the author redrawn by Rockwell Kent.
5:00 p.m. @ Federal Jack’s
My son Sean and his girlfriend Abbie have been in town shooting for the magazine. We meet at Federal Jack’s for some food and to learn how it went. Sean reminds me that Fed Jack’s was an early Thomas family favorite with him and his brothers when we visited and lived here from 2001 through 2004.
8:30 p.m. @ The White Barn Inn
The highlight of our weekend is this multi-course, wine-paired dinner at The White Barn Inn. Chef Jonathan Cartwright stands alone in Maine with his global reach through Relais & Châteaux. He’s the unofficial local host of the Kennebunkport Festival and I have an immense respect and appreciation for his work and statesmanship. The restaurant is bustling tonight, which is remarkable given the price point and how early in the season it is. We completely enjoy this three-hour culinary extravaganza.
11:15 p.m. @ Federal Jack’s
We hope to connect with a group of our friends at Old Vines but by the time we arrive most have left. As we shrug back to our car, Nicki yells out that they have left for Fed Jack’s. Sure enough, Kevin, Ben, Tommy, and Garon are all at the bar and the live music forces us to move in closer and talk louder. Ben is a carpenter at Thomas & Lord, Tommy is a fabricator at Maine Granite & Marble, and Garon is a sport fisherman who operates Hooked Up Fishing Charters in Saco. Garon was recently selected to crew on a tuna boat for the National Geographic Channel show Wicked Tuna. He tells us big fish tales that include rough seas off Georges Bank that were so bad the cameraman quit while at sea. A colorful bunch, these are the people who make up the real heart and soul of this town.
Lands End + Goose Rocks Beach
We finish the weekend with a drive north of Dock Square, my favorite part of the Kennebunks. First, we travel to Lands End, where a quiet dirt road leads down to the Atlantic. Views across the water are of Goat Island Light and Cape Porpoise. I have memories of kayaking through these waters and even bringing my kayak to land one day after getting caught at low tide. We continue up Route 9, Mills Road, to Goose Rocks Beach. Again, summer memories with my boys come flooding back as I drive down Dyke Road toward the water. Goose Rocks continues to transform as houses are renovated, and are occasionally razed and rebuilt new, but the character of the beach stays the same and today we see dozens of people walking the long expanse of sand, all of us longing for the soon-to-arrive days of summer.
It’s a gray day streaked with rain, but I walk from our Old Port office to the nearby Portland Harbor Hotel with a spring in my step. This weekend I’m going to explore some places in my little city that I’ve never been to before.
5:00 p.m. @ Portland Harbor Hotel
After receiving a warm welcome I make my way to my elegant, colorful room on the second floor, overlooking the courtyard I will most definitely be spending time in this summerEve’s at the Garden, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, is awesome discovery number one of this 48 Hours trip. Because it’s impossible not to sprawl out on a bed as big and comfy as this one, I take a moment to relax before heading downstairs to meet my friend David.
6:15 p.m. @ Katahdin Restaurant
Tonight will be a perfect introduction to the Portland Stage Company, because we’re seeing the play Love/Sick written by David’s friend and colleague, John Cariani. My boyfriend Max meets us at Katahdin, the “place to go before a show.” Right off the bat we’re asked if we have anywhere to be. When we explain we have plans to see a show, the hostess points to a door near the bar that leads straight to the box office. Our server promises to keep an eye on the clock. While we enjoy a delicious dinner the restaurant fills with people and pre-show excitement.
7:30 p.m. @ Portland Stage Company
On the way to our seats, we run into the playwright. David is a producer on the movie version of Cariani’s incredibly popular play Almost, Maine, inspired by his hometown, Presque Isle. I’ve seen Cariani act in another movie project David’s worked on so I’m thrown for a little loop meeting him in person, but this Tony-award nominated actor is as earnest and gracious as they come. It’s impossible to get a bad seat at the intimate Portland Stage Company. Tonight, like most nights, the place is packed. From our perch in the back we watch Love/Sick unfold in a series of hilarious and poignant vignettes.
10:00 p.m. @ Fore Street
I’ve never been to what is probably Maine’s most famous restaurant. We’ve already eaten, but Max and I order refreshing, practically effervescent unfiltered IPAs at the gorgeous concrete bar before joining David, John, and John’s kind friends Heidi and Matt in the dining room. With an open kitchen and dining room filled with natural materials and buttery light, Fore Street is extraordinary not only for the food.
9:00 a.m. @ Artemisia Cafe
Max has a date with an electric guitar in Brunswick that he will inevitably buy, so David keeps me company at this breakfast and lunch spot that has long intrigued me. We tuck into a sun-bathed booth and are met with the sort of delectable menu that makes ordering a challenge. The food exceeds my high hopes and the coffee is nice and strong.
10:15 a.m. @ Pleasant Street
This street is one of my favorites because it’s off the beaten path and home not only to Artemisia Cafe but also to shops like Corey and Co., South Street Linen, Fiachre, Chart Metalworks, and Tsunami Tattoo that emanate creativity. I also love the murals covering the walls around the nearby park and the faded signage on the old brick buildings. Never having been to Art House Picture Frames, I stop by to visit a pastel landscape by my friend’s talented mother Anne Gable Allaire.
10:45 a.m. @ Congress Street
David lived in Maine for four years without experiencing Renys, so we have to make a stop. I leave with a jar of Maine-made Raye’s mustard, alyssum seeds, and a yellow pot to plant them in. At nearby Z Fabrics I pick out some great modern prints to add to my collection.
11:30 a.m. @ Foley’s Cakes + Longfellow Books
Well, I’ve never entered Longfellow via sweet-smelling, cake-filled Foley’s beforedoes that count? This bookstore is one of my favorite places in Portland. I leave with the novel Everything Matters by Waterville-based writer Ron Currie, Jr.
12:00 p.m. @ Homegrown Herb and Tea
Munjoy Hill’s Portland Observatory is closed until Memorial Day but our failed attempt to gain a heightened perspective on Portland puts us in the vicinity of the incredible Homegrown Herb and Tea. Owner Sarah Richards makes me an energizing springtime concoction from her homegrown herbs, dyed a cloudy purple color from hibiscus. David is a connoisseur and talks tea with Sarah while I flip through the lovingly illustrated Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants that first inspired her.
1:30 p.m. @ Micucci’s Grocery Co.
My friends Courtney and Bree have ventured south to join me for the rest of the weekend. They’re hungry and they’ve never had a Sicilian slab (it’s pizza) from Micucci’s, so. Enough said. We say goodbye to David and tackle their never-have-I-ever-in-Portland lists.
2:30 p.m. @ Free Street
Bree has heard about but never seen the postcard-inspired Portland mural. On our way, we run into our friends Sarah and Sam at Arabica Coffee, fresh from their meeting at nearby Papier to discuss wedding invitations. We peruse the collection of retro household goods, art prints, and jewelry at Pinecone and Chickadee and the clothes, shoes, and accessories at second-hand store Find. Courtney looks like a princess in a blue satin Banana Republic dress on sale for $10.
3:30 p.m. @ Exchange Street
Folly 101 is a la-la land of household goodscandlesticks, soaps, paper straws, linen towels, plush blankets. Bree tries on a pair of Frye boots at Wyler’s before we slip into 2 Note, a botanical perfumery brought to you by Carolyn Mix and Darcy Doniger. The scents, like the space, are earthy and heavenly at once. On the way to Commercial Street we stop by the European-esque cafe Mornings in Paris.
5:00 p.m. @ In’finiti
Fermentation and Distillation
The newest Commercial Street bar and restaurant offers a harbor view and beer brewed on the premises. We admire the space and sip beer from beakers.
6:00 p.m. @ Exchange Street
We stop by bohemian mainstay Mexicali Blues, Bree’s go-to shop for gifts, and ogle the sterling jewelry collection at Se Vende Imports on our way back to the hotel where we’ll freshen up before dinner.
7:30 p.m. @ Vignola Cinque Terre
I’m reminded yet again of what a prime location the Portland Harbor Hotel occupieswe’re just a short cobblestone street away from dinner. Once seated inside ivy-coated Vignola Cinque Terre, Courtney and Bree give a wave to their former high-school student, chef de cuisine Kyle Birkinbine. He stops by our table for a visit and it’s immediately clear that he’s a sweet soul in his element. What teacher wouldn’t love to see that? He tells us about his recent trips to Italy and time spent on executive chef and owner Lee Skawinski’s farm, where produce is grown for the restaurant. Our server recommends a wonderfully smooth red, and the cheese plate Kyle brings along makes our mouths giddy. The meal unfolds in a series of shared plates; the gnocchirolled out earlier that dayand the swordfish are standouts.
10:30 p.m. @ Gelato Fiasco
We have no room for gelato, but tea sounds nice. The temperature has dropped, and I appreciate the warmth and chamomile as we wander around the Old Port, past bars filled to the brim and restaurant windows framing the waning late-night dinner crowds. We walk along the water for a dose of salty air before heading back to the hotel.
10:00 a.m. @ Cantina El Rayo
After a seamless check-out, we arrive at the colorful Cantina for brunch. My curiosity was piqued by the great Eat feature in our May issue, and we decide to lean right in to the experience with $5 bloody marys and bellinis made by a bartender who knows what he’s doing. I order Huevos Divorciadosperfectly crisp (not too crisp!) tortillas covered in over-easy eggs and the freshest tomatillo and chipotle sauces.
11:30 a.m. @ Home
Bree and Courtney drop me off in the West End. Max has left on an East Coast music tour, and the apartment is quiet and filled with morning light. I gear up for a pretty typical Sunday morning activitya jog around townbut I’m still in 48 Hours mode, which alters the experience. I can’t help but think of all the places missed this time around. I jog past some architectural wonders of the West End, past the fantastic collection of restaurants in Longfellow Square, down to the wharves near Becky’s Diner and the path wrapping around the Eastern Promenade toward the boulevard and awesome off-peninsula Portland. There is just too much of this little city to stuff in a single weekend. And that’s a wonderful thing.
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Wow, what a year it’s been! Last year at this time I was pregnant and on bed rest awaiting the birth of my now eight-month-old healthy twin girls. My husband Scott and I haven’t been out alone in over a year. Although we’ve lived in or near Portland for most of our lives, we’ve never been so excited to reacquaint ourselves!
5:00 p.m. @ Portland Regency Hotel and Spa
Our room is stunning. We can’t wait for a full night’s sleepthe babies are safe and sound at my parents’ house and the terrycloth robes and plush king-size bed are calling our names. After a very busy week, it’s tempting to order room service and stay in, but our plans for the night include exceptional food and awesome atmosphere and we can’t pass them up.
6:00 p.m. @ The North Point
We head across the street to the newest hot spot in town. Noah, the owner, is at the door to invite us in. The place is dimly lit with the golden hue of candles topping tables in quaint little nooks. On the way to the bar I notice my good friends and co-workers from the art department. We enjoy a few drinks and a delicious cheese platter.
8:00 p.m. @ Bar Lola
We eagerly await what is sure to be a phenomenal mealwe’ve heard a lot of great things about this East End establishment. Stella, the owner, shows us to our table. As we ponder the menu, I mention that I think we should try the “Feed Me” tasting menu. A few tables away some visitors from France overhear us and highly recommend it. Sounds great! We each get a unique plate that the chef prepares especially for us. Seven surprise courses with wine pairings. Truly scrumptious!
10:00 p.m. @ Portland Regency Hotel and Spa
We head back to the Regency looking forward to a full night’s sleep. Maybe, just maybe, even sleeping in.
8:00 a.m. @ Portland Regency Hotel and Spa Yes, this is sleeping in for us. We awake and remember that we ordered coffee to be delivered. Scott checks the door and finds a pot of coffee and two mini muffins awaiting us. What precious time for us to quietly drink our coffee, catch up, and yes, look at a video of our babies that my mother sent to us. We have to pinch ourselves. This is our life; we couldn’t be happier!
10:30 a.m. @ Local 188
We head over to our favorite brunch spot. It used to be our normal weekend ritual to go every Saturday morning, and we look forward to our favorite dish: the smoked salmon scramble with cream cheese, capers, and onions. Yum!
12:00 p.m. @ Commercial Street
I have to take Scott down the wharf to Sea Bags. I already have a collection of them, but I want Scott to see where they’re made. Everyone is working diligently at his or her sewing machine. I notice Scott eyeing a shaving kit made of a sail. So cool! I’m dying for fresh lobster for dinner Sunday evening and make a note to myself to stop by Harbor Fish Market before we head home. For now, we pop in to peek at all of the fresh fish. On the other side of Commercial Street, Company C is a must. My mother-in-law is decorating a room in her coastal Freeport home for our babies, and I can picture it in all these primary colors that are so vibrant and striking. Next, we stop at Leroux Kitchen. I have dreams of being the kind of mom of whom my children will someday say, “nobody cooks like my mom.” Okay, I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there, so I need to check out a few staple pieces for our kitchen. Suzie is kind enough to give us the grand tour. As a new mom I could use a little TLC, so I stop at Fabu Salon and Day Spa to book an appointment for a mani-pedi. This is greatI can come back with the babies since they offer child care, too!
1:00 p.m. @ Port Bean
Coffee break! We pop in for our favorite cup of coffee from Coffee By Design. We need to recharge, since we have lots more shopping to do.
1:30 p.m. @ Alex and Ani + Asia West
I find Alex and Ani bustling with people creating bracelets with their unique collection of beads and charms. Walking into Asia West makes us feel like world travelers. Scott says that it reminds him of his Semester at Sea days in college, when he sailed across the globe. We’re so lucky that he has safely kept unique pieces from his travels. Thanks to Asia West we can now build on his collection.
1:45 p.m. @ David Wood Clothiers
Scott can’t wait to get into David Wood. The quality of the clothing is second to none. David is there, folding clothes and putting together gorgeous displays. Scott shows me a navy sweater he’s eyeing. He wants me to feel the fabric. I think if he bought this, he’d never take it off. We head next door to their sister store, Barbour, which offers a more casual look and stylish women’s clothes too!
2:00 p.m. @ Maria Antonieta Couture
We make a beeline over to Free Street to visit my good friend Maria Antonieta. I just had to see the latest creations she’s been working on. Maria immediately makes you feel so special. I’m gathering ideas for the wedding of my future sister-in-law, Jen. I can’t wait to introduce her to Maria.
2:15 p.m. @ Joseph’s
Fore Street seems like the place to be. The street is loaded with shoppers. We pop into Joseph’s, one of Scott’s favorite shops, to check out his latest styles. Joe gives us the tour of all the newest lines. Scott notices a super comfy zip-up hooded sweatshirt. Two seconds after buying it, the tags are off and he’s wearing it.
2:30 p.m. @ Joe’s New York Pizza
We’re starved but decide we don’t want to eat too much since we have 6 o’clock reservations for dinner. The pizza is topped with sausage and cheese and deliciousnot greasy at all.
3:00 p.m. @ D. Cole Jewelers
This is my store. I’ve bought many special gifts here in the past for friends and family, but this weekend I treat myself to a beautiful silver necklace with our girls’ birthstone. It’s beautiful. I’m missing the babies and decide to give a quick call to my parents to hear their little voices in the background.
3:15 p.m. @ Folia
Edith’s jewelry is exquisiteI’m always amazed by the details. She kindly let me try several pieces, and I can tell Scott is paying attention to my favorites. Maybe I’ll get a surprise.
3:45 p.m. @ Furniturea
We love the clean lines and unique angles of all the furniture Lee shows us. In my mind I’m still outfitting the babies’ room. The colors are so much fun… I bet those lamps and picture frames would look perfect…
4:15 p.m. @ Swiss Time
Scott is addicted to watches, so we have to make a stop. Although he’d like to buy one more watch, he decides on a watch band to change up the look. Something tells me he’ll be back for that pocket watch.
5:00 p.m. @ Portland Regency Hotel and Spa
We head back to our room and freshen up for dinner.
6:00 p.m. @ Zapoteca Restaurant
We’ve never been to this restaurant before, but this location is far from foreign to uswe met here seven years ago when the space was home to a little wine bar. We’re thrilled to see the changes. It’s completely transformed but still very special. We try their signature margaritas and nachos with three types of fresh salsa and guacamole. We could make a meal of this alone! I’m dying to try the special which is a shrimp risotto. Scott gets a burrito and black beans. We are in love with this place!
9:45 a.m. @ Portland Regency Hotel and Spa
We venture to the lower level of the Regency to see the spa. If only we had more time, we could have made use of the spa services as guests. Oh well, luckily we live close by. We’ll have to plan a spa day down the road and make sure to book a massage, too!
10:30 a.m. @ Becky’s Diner
I’m starving, so we head to Becky’s Diner on the waterfront. I notice lots of families and realize that someday soon we can bring our girls here too! We enjoy the coffee and the Commercial Street breakfast sandwich with home fries. We love drinking coffee from the heavy diner mugs and decide to buy four of them to bring home.
12:00 p.m. @ Portland Museum of Art
One of the major highlights of this weekend is the Portland Museum of Art. I can’t believe we are so lucky to have works of art from the masters Renoir, Monet, and Picasso. My years of art history classes in college are coming back to me. Scott and I love looking at the pieces and discussing what life must have been like when they were created, or what the artist was thinking. We went on many museum visits when we first started dating.
2:00 p.m. @ PMA Cafe by Aurora Provisions
We decide on a Caesar salad and sparkling water. A nice light lunch feels refreshing.
3:45 p.m. @ Portland Pier
Before heading home we drive to the waterfront one last time. What a beautiful way to end our weekend. This is the location where we said, “I love you” for the first time. The water is calm. This was just the getaway we needed.