Maine Diaries 2016

Rockport at Dusk
Enjoying Rockport at Dusk

This year Joseph and I were a little more organized with our pre-vacation prep and packing. We woke up, stripped the bed and made it up with clean sheets. I know it’a a little much for some people, but after a couple weeks away, I look forward to getting into my bed with fresh sheets. I’m the same way with the house. Nothing annoys me more than coming home to a mess…especially after being away for a while. Sometimes my penchant for “clean and fresh” everything sets us back, time-wise. And then we have our pre-vacation argument where Joseph complains a thousand times about us being behind schedule and, after the 515th time, I scream that I don’t care.

None of that happened this year. We were surprised! I don’t know why, but I’m happy for it. And, as a result, we left home closer to 8am. Then, after a couple quick errands and our perfunctory Wawa run for tea and breakfast sandwiches, we were on our way.

Our first vacation stop was Rockport Massachusetts. We’ve been to Rockport before, first for a few days on our honeymoon in 1988 and again for a week in 1997 – during the week when Princess Diana died. We were looking forward to seeing it again.20160825_180715

The drive was happily uneventful. We didn’t even get stuck in the usual traffic jams, probably because it’s Thursday (vs. our usual Friday travel day). We weren’t fighting Friday-in-the-summer shore traffic.

We stopped for lunch in Marblehead at a neat little market/restaurant called Shubies. We had a lite lunch and I bought a slice of a fabulous fig cake. It’s as heavy as all get out and something I think we’ll eat in tiny chunks, but it’s a real taste treat.

From Marblehead, Joseph and I took a backroad into Rockport where, around 5pm, we checked into the Linden Tree Inn, and interesting bed and breakfast. I’m not much for B&B’s, but since we waited until the last minute to book a room, we found this one on Trip Advisor and it was fine.

We walked around the town before dinner. I was expecting to find memories around every corner. But I didn’t. I recognized almost nothing! I don’t know if it was because so much of the town’s streets were being torn up or what. But it was weird, mostly because it’s so unlike me.

We finally stopped for dinner in town at the Fish Shack. We got a great window seat just in time for sunset. Very pretty! Our server was a woman who said I was a doppelganger for her best friend. She said she had to do a double take when I came it in – same height, weight, hairstyle and dressed the way she would. Feeling like she knew me opened up an interesting conversation between us. Turns out she’s artist by trade. A divorce five years ago and the need to make money immediately forced the closing of her art-related shop and put a hold on her artwork. And, in a snap, she became a waitress. Then she started seeing someone but two years ago he died (cancer).

For the past five years she has been putting her life back together. And, as many mid-life women can appreciate, she was “done” with struggle and taking crap from anyone. By this time next year, she’ll be back on her feet financially, won’t be waiting tables and will be immersed in creating art again. However, she told me, she won’t be opening up another shop because, during her years waiting tables, she got used to leaving work and being done. Instead her next chapter will be about creating her own art and being joyful.

I enjoyed the conversation…and the scallops I ordered and the sunset.

Before going back to the B&B, we walked to a little café outside of town where our B&B hosts said there was an open mic night. We stayed through a glass of wine and a couple bad performances and one really good one. Then we called it a night.

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What are the Maine Diaries?

The Maine Diaries is a fun look at my annual adventure to New England where I unwind from normal life and reconnect with myself.

I was captivated by the Maine Coast on my first trip there in the late 90’s. In the years since, I’ve traveled up and down the coast from Kittery to Calais but I spend most of my Maine time Downeast. I love the adventures I have and the chance to unwind from the world and restore my inner clarity. I chronicle my experiences in The Maine Diaries.

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