Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pinoy in Maine - Relaxing trip to Portland, South Coast, Bangor and Lake Pushaw

Maine - Welcome signOur friends B&B inherited a lake house in Maine and we got an invite from them to check it out. Mijo and I didn't waste any time and booked a roundtrip ticket for two to Portland, Maine.

Follow me on my tour of Maine and see why Maine is the epitome of relaxing vacation.

We arrived in Portland, Maine on Wednesday. We had a couple of days to ourselves because our friends B&B's lake house is in the Bangor area and we were not going to see them until Friday.
Mijo and I spent those two days to explore Portland and the areas nearby.

On our first day, Mijo and I walked around Portland downtown, saw the iconic Portland Head Light light house and then had lobster for dinner. It was our Maine 101 and it was a great introduction.

After walking around downtown Portland, we quickly checked in at our hotel and dropped off our luggages. We headed to the Portland Head Light right after that. It was absolutely pretty! It is located in Cape Elizabeth which is only minutes away from Portland downtown. The coast and the weather provided great background for the light house. The entire setting is stunning!
 Maine - Portland Head Light

I learned that it is the oldest light house in Maine. It was completed in 1791 when Maine was still part of Massachusetts. It is just one of the many light houses that dot this state. Looking at the map of Maine with its jagged coast line, I can see why there are lots of light houses in this state.
Maine - Portland Head Light view 5

Everywhere I looked, the view of the the light house is picturesque. This is the view from the parking lot.
  Maine - Portland Head Light view 1  

There is a museum at the back of the light house which provides more information, history and hands on activities regarding Maine's light houses. I truly enjoyed the miniature 3D versions of select light houses because it gave me an idea about the timeline when the light houses were built. Since we were not going to see all the Maine light houses in this trip, it also gave me an idea what the others look like and how their sizes compared with the others.
Maine - Portland Head Light view 3
  Maine - Portland Head Light museum Maine - Portland Head Light museum 1
  Maine - Portland Head Light Fort Williams Park Maine - Portland Head Light bulb

Here is my favorite view of Portland from the airplane.

  Maine - Portland from above

We got to Portland in the morning. After having breakfast at the Portland Regency Hotel (no, we didn't stay there), we walked around Portland downtown to get a feel of Portland. We started walking from Milk St. to Market St. and then up to Congress St. We saw lots of cute shops, cafes and restaurants. Lots of red bricked buildings which kind of reminded my of Boston. We were going to learn later in the trip that Maine was once part of Massachusetts.Maine - Portland view 9 Maine - Portland view 8
 Maine - Portland walking 1

We continued walking on Congress St. and saw what looked like their financial district. We passed by a farmers market and stopped by a cafe called Others. 
Maine - Portland view 3 Maine - Portland walking 2

From Congress St., we continued walking on Free St. where we saw the Portland Museum of Art and the Maine College of Art.
Maine - Portland view 4 Maine - Portland view 5 
Maine - Portland view 7 Maine - Portland view 6

Later that day, we went to check out the area near Portland Fish Pier  where we had our first Maine lobster in this trip.
Maine - Portland pier

 Maine - Portland view 2 Maine - Portland Standard Baking Co Maine - Portland sculptures 
Maine - Portland views 

We found this place called Boone's. It was packed so we decided it must be good and it was good. Mijo ordered a stuffed lobster while I ordered a mini lobster bake. The lobster was small but it filled me up right away. I usually see other Filipinos in a city setting but so far, I haven't seen anyone that looks like Filipino in Portland. 
Maine - Portland Boone's Maine - Boone's Lobster bake

The following day, we decided to drive south of Portland to explore another lighthouse called the Nubble Light House in Cape Neddick and the nearby towns of York and Kittery. Our drive was less than an hour south and it was an easy drive. We passed through two toll gates and we got to the Nubble Lighthouse before the noon time sunlight casts harsh shadows on the beautiful structures.   Maine - Nubble Light house 

The thing about landscape photography is that I would rather take pictures either mid morning or mid afternoon. The noon time shadows do not give justice to beautiful scenes such as this. Unlike the Portland Headlight, the Nubble Lighthouse does not have a museum. At least, I didn't find one nearby. What it has is a cute souvenir shop with a local artist selling his lighthouse oil paintings on canvas.    
Maine - Nubble Lighthouse Maine - Nubble Point Nubble Light
  Maine - Nubble Point 

 The towns of York and Kittery are nearby Cape Neddick so we decided we'll have lunch in either town. Both towns are quiet villages with lots of trees and colonial houses. The leafy green colors made me happy.
  Maine - York Old York Historical Society

In Kittery, we found this restaurant serving lobsters. As if the lobsters we gobbled up the night before were not enough, we wanted to sample some more. The place is called Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier. We enjoyed a small steamed whole lobster, a lobster roll, clam chowder and french fries.
  Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier sign

The place is on Chauncey Creek Rd. and it is next to a quiet creek with a relaxing view of the foliage.
Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier view Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier sign 2 
Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier menu Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier tank 
Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier lobster Maine - Kittery Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier Lobster roll 

From there, we drove back to Portland and then decided we dropby the famous L.L. Beans Inc.'s giant boot at the Freeport Factory Outlet.
Maine - Portland LL Bean 

The next morning, we dropped by The Standard Baking Co. in downtown Portland to get some breads to bring to our friends Bob and Bren.
Maine - Portland Standard Baking Co breads

Augusta is the state capital and it is on the way to Bangor on highway 95. The drive to Augusta was smooth. We had time to snap some pictures around the capitol building before continuing our drive to Bangor and still make it to our lunch in Bangor with our friends.
Maine - Augusta views 5 

The capitol building dominates the skyline of Augusta. We could see it from the highway exit. Again, it is so refreshing to see a lot of greenery around us.
Maine - Augusta views 4 Maine - Augusta views 3 
Maine - Augusta views 2 Maine - Augusta views 1 

 We finally made it to Bangor. We met our friends at a restaurant called Old Town Governor's Restaurant and Bakery. I forgot to ask if this is unique in Maine. We ordered Poutine, which is french fries topped with cheese and gravy. I also sample their Lobster Bisque. Delicious!
Maine - Old Town Governor's Restaurant and Bakery Poutine Maine - Old Town Governor's Restaurant and Bakery Lobster bisque  

Lake Pushaw is a short drive from downtown Bangor. We were going to spend our next three days by the lake and have a relaxing time with our friends.
Maine - Lake Pushaw cabin 

Here's a pano shot of the lake view. I wish I could also capture the  sounds, smells and climate to give you an overall impression. To describe it using one word, relaxing!
Maine - Lake Pushaw  

The sunset was lovely!
  Maine - Lake Pushaw beauty sunset Maine - Lake Pushaw sunset 

We didn't do a lot while in Bangor other than eat, relax, eat, sleep, take a boat ride on the lake, eat, relax, and then take another boat ride. I didn't realize until later in our trip that the lake is huge. Lots of birds taking residence around the lake. It must be pretty out here during the winter?
Maine - Lake Pushaw boat ride view 3 Maine - Lake Pushaw boat ride view 2 Maine - Lake Pushaw boat ride view 1 

We brought a bottle of Pinot Noir from Navarro Vineyards and we shared it with our friends during one of our quiet evenings.
 Maine - Lake Pushaw Navarro Vineyard Pinot Noir

It was great to see Bren and Bob in this setting and for a few days. We enjoyed it a lot and it was great to get to know them even more. We like them even more!
Maine - Rainy day in Bangor Maine - Lake Pushaw peaceful time

Here are more views of Bangor and a nearby town of Orono. We went to Pat's to order pizza one time and I loved it how homey and how local it felt like.
Maine - Orono Mill St 
Maine - Pat's Maine - Bangor Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse 

 Here are the goodies I sampled while in Portland and Bangor.

Here's an aunthentic blue berry waffle. I was told that blueberries grow wild in the area.
Maine - Blueberry pancake 

We also brought these chocolate candies that look like seashells and beach stones from Stonewall Kitchen. They taste like M&Ms.
Maine - Stonewall kitchen candies Maine - Stonewall Kitchen Chocolates   

Here are the rest of the goodies we got from The Standard Baking Co. in downtown Portland.
Maine - Portland Standard Baking Co bread box Maine - Lake Pushaw Board coffee pastries

Here are the rest of the goodies we got from Pat's in Orono. Strawberry and Blueberry cakes and Maine style margherita pizza.
Maine - Pat's Strawberry cake Maine - Pat's Blueberry 
Maine - Pat's Magherita pizza 

Here's another one I enjoyed from Captain Sam's ice cream.
Maine - Captain Sam's Ice Cream Salty Caramel

I loved how JetBlue gives you freebies to make our red eye flight more comfortable. Thanks, JetBlue! 
  Maine - Jetblue redeye flight

Here's a miscellaneous shot of NYC during our connecting flight back to SFO.
Maine - JFK to PWM

Thank you Bren and Bob for such a relaxing and memorable travel experience.


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