Today is the 3 month anniversary of our dueling liver surgeries, or as Rebecca coined it: Livernalia! How did 3 months go by so quickly?
This weekend was summer in New England at its finest. Sunny days, not too hot, and cool at night. We decided to push ourselves a bit on Saturday and went for a two-hour walk in the woods. Only after we were done did Derek tell me that he was planning on Saturday being his rest day. Whoops! Sunday we headed north and took an eating tour of Portland, ME. We took a lot of photos all weekend, which I will now share with all of you!
I waffled a bit on our activity for Saturday at first–I was considering a trek to Somerville for the Harvard Book Store warehouse sale–but decided that visiting another state park and getting lots of steps in was a good plan. We made our way east to Pawtuckaway State Park. You may remember last weekend’s adventure took us to Bear Brook. We’re apparently doing an unofficial tour of New Hampshire’s State Parks.
The bugs were super annoying. We loaded up on the deet when we set out, but still had to swat away bugs. At one point we had to stop so we could spray each other’s backs. The number of bugs might have been the reason we appeared to be the only people enjoying the woods on Saturday.
We managed to both beat our all time step records, and since we are currently addicted to tracking our every step with a device, that made us feel good.
Neither Derek nor I have spent much time in Portland, ME. We always seem to stop there on the way to somewhere else. But it’s only an hour and a half from the house, so we decided what the hey, let’s head north to Maine.
We found a marvy parking spot right next to a federal building with a lovely door.
We ate. A lot. And had delicious beverages.
First we stopped at The Holy Donut. Real Maine potatoes are the secret ingredient. Derek said he liked it better than a non-potato donut, but wasn’t sure he like liked it. He is a hard man to please. Then we wandered a bit, trying to find the shade, and found the bar of my dreams: they specialize in mocktails. Vena’s Fizz House was started by our friend Zach’s aunt! Belly up to the bar and you can try any one of a number of delicious non-alcoholic beverages that are crafted right before your very eyes. I got the “Dim & Stormy”, Derek got the “Tootsie Pop Fizz” which really tasted exactly like an orange tootsie pop. They also stock an enormous selection of bitters, syrups and other elixirs for all your cocktail/mocktail making needs.
Our friend’s Greta & Zach both recommended we stop at Eventide for lobster rolls and man are we glad we did. The lobster rolls come prepared three different ways: brown butter vinaigrette, ginger scallion or house mayo. Derek picked brown butter and I picked ginger scallion. The waitress kindly warned us that the lobster rolls are rather small, but we assured her that we had a LOT more eating to do elsewhere! They were positively delicious and I can safely say I will never want a mayo laden lobster roll ever again.
On our way again, we poked our heads into a couple of shops and then hung out on a shady bench for a while. Greta met up with us for about an hour and acted as tour guide which we were in dire need of by that point. We stopped in a few shops and then went to Local Sprouts Cooperative so I could get a cold drink. I’ve eaten there before and it is delicious, but I was not hungry, just thirsty and Derek had his eye on the pizza place Greta told us was the best in town. Greta needed to run and do a photo shoot, so we said our goodbyes and made a bee-line for pizza.
Otto Pizza is unique in that it started in Portland, ME and then moved down to Boston. Greta said it’s a great source of local pride. They have a sit down restaurant, but they also have a separate slice counter which was perfect for Derek’s mid-afternoon snack. I was sad that I wasn’t hungry because I really wanted to try the mashed potato, bacon and scallion pizza. Derek does not share my love of potato on pizza so he went with sausage and vidalia onion. I tried a bit of the crust and it was divine.
We planned to go to Duckfat to supplement our lunch but it was packed, so we went for a late afternoon snack. Our friend Ryan always talks about the poutine at Duckfat, and also highly recommends the shakes. With neither of us possessing a gallbladder we decided against the poutine and went for a small order of fries and a salted caramel shake to go. I have never had belgian style fries, and while I don’t plan to make a habit of eating food fried in duck fat, man, were they good. The shake was ridiculous, but I let Derek drink most of it. Unlike Derek, I did not lose 25 lbs while I was in the hospital and while it is important for Derek to get back to his fighting weight, it is equally important that I not mimic his current eating habits.
After Duckfat we headed to Mackworth Island for a little walk, another suggestion from Greta. It’s a very sweet little spot with a teeny tiny parking lot. We wedged the Fit in and headed down a little path.
The path continued for about a mile, we decided to head back and check out the shore.
Crud. Derek just reminded me that we actually stopped one other place for food, after Eventide and before Local Sprouts. Standard Baking Company is a pretty spectacular bakery. They make the best pain au chocolat I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
That about wraps it up. It was a great weekend, with lots of exercise and LOTS of eating. I’ll leave you with a few more photos from Sunday.