Portland Head Light

Between our week in Vermont and our lengthy stay in Bar Harbor, we had a ten day transitional period which we spent in Fryeburg and Boothbay, Maine.

Hanging with the Fam….

My brother and sister-in-law take their kids up to New Hampshire for a week every summer, so we scheduled our travels to meet up with them for a couple days.

They rented a beautiful lake house and we spent some time over there, making food and hanging out on the beach between rainstorms….

Lake house near Fryeburg, Maine
The gorgeous lake house my brother and his family rented for the week….

Family photo
Getting 5 people to look in the general direction of the camera at the same time can be surprisingly difficult…..

The following day, we all went to Portland for seafood…

Seafood in Portland, Maine

before visiting the popular beach town of Old Orchard Beach…

Ocean pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine
The pier at Old Orchard Beach….

Crowded beach at Old Orchard Beach in Maine

We finished the day at Portland Head Light trying our hand at photographing the most photographed lighthouse in the country.

Portland Head Light, Portland, Maine
Not that this beautiful lighthouse needed a rainbow to truly stand out, but, why not??

Our last full day in the area, we planned to do a bunch of random stuff around the RV before heading out on the popular Kancamagus Highway for some fun stuff for the dog, only to be hampered by crappy weather and a doggy seizure. Dammit! So before we knew it, it was time to go.

The Ghosts of Disasters Past…

There is nothing wrong with Boothbay. Most people love it. I mean, look at it!

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

It’s all “quintessential New England” and everything….

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

but the fact is, our subconscious can influence how we feel about a place, and that was not a good thing for us when it came to this coastal New England town.

Boothbay was where we were headed last year when I got hurt, and it left a really bad taste when, over two weeks before our scheduled arrival date,Β I e-mailed the campground we’d booked to tell them I’d broken my leg and needed to cancel our reservations, only to be told: “Sorry about what happened to you…. but we’re keeping your deposit anyway.” It wasn’t a tremendous amount of money ($50.00) and it was, apparently, in keeping with their policy (which is a ridiculous policy to begin with; most campgrounds let you cancel without penalty up to 48 hours before your reservation), but at the time, given everything else that had happened, it was just a cup of salt in a large open wound.

Even worse, when I offered the alternative arrangement of rescheduling our stay for another time, they completely ignored me. It was only when I kept bugging them that they finally got back to me, and we rescheduled our stay for this year.

It probably bothered us more than it should have, but it was just one more thing piled on. Through no fault of our own, we’d found ourselves in a terrible situation, and one which left us with huge questions about how much my medical bills would set us back. It would have taken nothing for them to show a little compassion and say “sorry about what happened, we’ll void your check. Hope you feel better.” We had just sent the deposit in a week before, it’s not like they couldn’t re-rent the space with over two weeks of lead time, and even if they couldn’t, they could have just been decent and sympathetic rather than heartless and opportunistic. Other campgrounds went out of their way to help us out. This one? Not so much. The bottom line is, we very much subscribe to the Golden Rule, and we were not on the receiving end of it in this instance.

“Shore Hills Campground: The bird on our emblem can fly, and you can’t even walk, but we don’t give a shit about you and we’re taking your money anyway. Have a nice day!!!”

In any case, almost a year later, we thought we were over it but when we got there, they still were not friendly or helpful, and we wondered why on earth we didn’t just let them keep their deposit and take our business elsewhere.

So perhaps it was the campground. Perhaps it was because we were kind of sick of eating at overpriced seafood shacks and trying to get excited about coastal tourist towns.

Tourist shops at Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Meh….

Perhaps it was because when we tried to go for a hike in one of the local parks, we ran into a fellow dog owner who couldn’t manage to keep her dog on a freaken leash (seriously, it’s not that hard.)

Boothbay, Maine

Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was just us… Whatever it was, we were not into Boothbay and we were ready to go almost as soon as we arrived.

In fact, when given the opportunity, we opted to drive all the way back down to Portland just to get beers….

Allagash Brewing beer flight

Ok, we actually had to run a different errand, but Allagash Brewing is one of our favorites and since the brewery was near our other errand (kindof, not really…) we just made a day of it.

Allagash Brewing sign

The rest of our time in Boothbay was spent taking care of our to-do list and random odds and ends. Β Of course we bought a bunch of seafood since that’s kind of required around here…

We grilled…

seafood on the grill

We lit stuff on fire with a blowtorch

Kevin cooking lobster tails with a blowtorch

and we made Cioppino….

Cioppino

Oh, and remember all that maple syrup we bought in Vermont? Β It makes some damn good maple bacon ice cream….

maple bacon ice cream

Anyway, eventually, our time in Boothbay was over and we (happily) headed north to Bar Harbor where everything has been much more enjoyable.

Speaking of which, in real time, we’re having a blast exploring Acadia National Park. The park is gorgeous, the weather has been great, and we’re having an awesome time. More on that soon!

Where we stayed:

Woodland Acres, Brownfield, Maine

Shore Hills Campground, Boothbay, Maine

18 COMMENTS

  1. That first photo is absolutely stunning and ALMOST enticed me enough to want to visit the northeast…. almost. I’ve spent my fair share of time on the east coast. Sometimes bad memories leave such a sour taste that there’s no recovery. Glad you’ve moved on to finer pasture.

    • Thanks!! The sun came out just as we were getting ready to leave the lighthouse and the lighting was just great. It helps to have such awesome subject matter too. Kindof hard to take a bad picture, really… Anyway, I can’t really give you too hard of a time about coming to the east coast now that I just blogged about how sick of Boothbay we were… πŸ™‚ but Acadia is really a whole different ballgame and we’re really enjoying it. I think you guys would love it!

    • I’ve got A LOT of photos of Acadia… It’s kind of ridiculous really. Everything is just beautiful here. And we really haven’t even spent any time in the town of Bar Harbor… that’s a whole other photogenic area to explore. Hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate and I can head down there one of these afternoons. It’s fun to have so many awesome places to photograph!

  2. Maine is on our bucket list so that’s for the heads up on your experience about Shore Mills.

    Your photos are stunning and rhat area looks picture perfect!

    • Maine really is an awesome state to travel around. We are just being a little crazy because of our bad luck last year, but I can’t imagine anyone not loving it. There really is something for everyone, and if you can get here in the summer, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have better weather than 95% of the rest of the country.

  3. As usual, your photos are amazing! LOVE your caption for Shore Hills! Ha! They’ll never get our business. It is a bummer that you had such a bad vibe in Boothbay, but I know how that goes. Things like that can through us off our stride. Hope your dog has recovered from the seizure.

    • Thanks! Yeah, it is pretty crazy how much control our sub-conscience can exert at times. But, the nice thing is, we’re not stuck anywhere and we do have the ability to move on when a place is just not working for us, so that’s a nice perk of this lifestyle. And yeah, Dixie has epilepsy, so this is par for the course for her. It just sucks because once she has a seizure (it happens a couple times a month), she is completely exhausted. It’s just a bummer cuz she gets all excited to go out and do fun stuff, and then we can’t. πŸ™

  4. I am drooling with all the seafood you are having especially Lobstahh! Yum
    If you don’t mind cooking freshly caught lobster, I would say that is the cheapest way to enjoy that crustacean. Im sure someone will point you where the lobsterman is.
    Give Springhill a really bad review in Compendium or RV Park review πŸ™‚

    • Yes, we would love to cook our own lobster… the problem is we don’t have a big enough pot to cook them in! We had one at our house, but got rid of it to travel! I think if we got away from the really popular/touristy areas, we could find lobster pounds with more reasonable prices. The problem is we keep ending up at popular places that charge a premium. We did well with our seafood purchases above by just going to a regular grocery store. The little roadside places were crazy expensive! We’ll have it all figured out right around the time we leave. πŸ™‚

  5. Maple bacon ice cream? Oh. My. God. My mouth literally started watering when I read those words!

    Gorgeous pictures. That lake house is beautiful too. I really like New Hampshire.

    • Yeah, the older I get, the more I love the sweet/salty combo. And I never would have thought to put something like bacon into ice cream, but Kevin finds these crazy combos and they weirdly work. Who knew? All I know is that stuff is delicious! And given that we have a couple more bottles of maple syrup, there’s probably more in our future!

      And yeah, the house was awesome. Those huge windows on the top had gorgeous views of the lake, and they had their own floating dock and sandy beach. It was great!

  6. Oh yummy! Cioppino! And lobster! And you are sooooo bad with that maple bacon ice cream. Oh yum! You guys are awesomely creative cooks. Make that chefs. So sorry you had such a bad experience with that RV park. We’ll boycott it, too, when we head that way. Your photos of the cloud filled skies are stunning!

    • Ha! Well, to be fair, the “cook” or “chef” of this operation is Kevin. I am more the “chef’s assistant.” Like, I peel shrimp… Really well though! Like, the way I peel the shrimp, is super complicated and awesome. Not everyone can peel shrimp like I can. Just sayin… πŸ™‚

      Yeah….so really… Kevin does the cooking and I try not to mess anything up. πŸ™‚

  7. Maine is on our bucket list! I know I won’t want to leave! And, we love seafood! We live on the CA coast and eat a fair amount now. Lobster is my favorite! Both our dogs have seizures! I hate them!! Continue to have fun!!

    • We are just about finished with our time in Bar Harbor and if we could, we would stay longer. It’s really gorgeous here and there’s just so much to see and do. Plus, you can’t beat the summer weather! So yeah, we highly recommend a visit. It’s a tough place not to love!

  8. Laura,

    This is Ray Smietanka’s brother, John. I remember traveling through Maine many years ago with my mother. We made Acadia our northernmost point. As we all have visual images that stick with us all of our life, you may understand that one of mine is at an overlook in Acadia that was absolutely spectacular, and there were no other people there at the time. We had had a so-so stop in Portland, and did a quick turn through Bar Harbor, so Acadia was a very welcome change. I admire your joint spunk in your travels, putting up with the stresses of travel (oh, yeah, it always has more than you can imagine coming at you from all angles) to see the world in slow motion, at your own pace. Your commentaries are welcome, as they are witty and gritty.

    John Smietanka

    • Hi John! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We are just finishing our time in Acadia now and I should have the first of a couple blog posts about it up soon. Maybe one of the photos we took will be from that overlook you remember. It’s a big park, but there are a couple places that come to mind that might be where you were. I can certainly believe that you remember it well. It’s such a gorgeous place. I know we won’t forget it anytime soon. And thanks for the kind words about our travels. There are definitely days we question our sanity for doing this, but the good days far outweigh the bad days and we really are having a great time! Thanks for following along….

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