Where we stayed
The Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine. Oh my goodness, this hotel was like a dream
Where we ate
Coffee and a chocolate/pumpkin scone from Rock City in Rockland – a great coffee shop!
La Bella Vista at Samoset for dinner. I had chicken and pesto pizza which had an AMAZING crust, followed by wild Maine blueberry pie. Husband did the full three courses, with calamari to start, chicken fettuccini for main and a ridiculously massive portion of tiramisu for desert.
We woke up minutes before sunrise and watched it from our balcony at Brown’s Wharf Inn. It was a really magical start to what was probably one of my favourite days of the trip. We trotted down to breakfast, where I was excited to find a waffle station – hell yeah! As I walked back to our table, hot waffle in hand, I noticed we were the youngest people in the room by far, which led Husband and I to the conclusion that we are way old before our time. But who cares about that when there are waffles!
All checked out and with a packed car, we drove up (then down) to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. We explored the grounds, the rocks, and the beach that lay in the shadow of this gorgeous lighthouse and museum, and were a little disappointed to discover the lighthouse itself was closed to tours (damn you, off season!) but we still spent a good couple of hours there.
We then drove to Thomaston, ME, and found the extraordinary Maine State Prison Showroom (parking is at the back of the building). Filled with “over 600 crafted products”, we spent ages in here buying gifts and stuff for our house. It sounds weird, and it’s quite difficult to picture, but the quality of work being sold here was phenomenal. Toys, furniture, jewellery boxes, bird houses – all made by prisoners at the Maine State prison. I could honestly have spent hundreds of dollars in here, but I really don’t think I could have fit a massive wooden coffee table in my suitcase. I think it’s nice that the inmates are taught new skills and given the opportunity to earn a wage.
A couple of miles down the road, we stopped at Rockland, ME. We conveniently stopped next to the Maine Lighthouse Museum so thought we’d give it a visit. It was a lovely way to spend an hour or two. Urgently needing coffee, we walked around the corner on to Main Street to discover a HUGE queue outside the local theater for Wizard of Oz. Pretty much every shop in town had an adorable Wizard of Oz window drawing and there was an exhibition of Oz at the Farnsworth Art Museum – all coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the film. It was great to sit in the Rock City coffee shop watching everyone happily queue, many people in costume. I really loved Rockland.
Our last stop of the day, and the location of our hotel, the Samoset Resort which was HEAVEN. A balcony overlooking the Rockland Harbor Light and breakwater, huge bed, huge bath which was more like a soaking tub, and fancy toiletries. My kind of place. After furiously photographing the view, we decided to actually look at the subject of the view close-up, and walked down to the breakwater. I got really nervous as it was literally just a bunch of rocks into the middle of the bay – gorgeous, but I was convinced I was going to trip over and fall into the sea. It was totally worth it though and I would have regretted not doing it. 0.8 miles into the bay, with a lighthouse on the end (which again was closed – bum!) and largely quite peaceful.
On the way back to our room, we booked a table for dinner at La Bella Vista restaurant and got chatting to one of the waiters who had spent some time in the UK. When we came down to dinner (after a glorious soak in the bath) we were sat in his section, and we chatted away all night about why he prefers the UK, what we love about the USA, and the differences between the two countries. After an incredible meal, he thanked us for making his night (awww!) and we shuffled back up to our amazing room.
I managed to catch Revenge (my guilty pleasure show) and made myself comfortable as I watched the tribulations of Emily Thorne. American TV always seems much better when I watch it in America, goodness knows why as the bloody programmes are 75% adverts!!