Monday, September 24, 2018

Home Again!

The two of us returned home close to 6 pm on Saturday evening. We had a wonderful trip. Our final evening in Maine was spent in Portland, with a great view of the waterfront. But, due to my overly exuberant enjoyment of the rest of the vacation, I crashed and burned after we arrived, and was far too exhausted to go out for a night visiting the shops and restaurants in the Old Port as we had planned. Ken ordered us sub sandwiches, and while Ken watched tv, I fell deeply asleep.

But what a trip! I so enjoyed visiting Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that three nights and two days there did not do justice to the fun to be had. I am ordinarily not a shopper. In fact, I am known as a person who hates to shop. That's because I live in a place where there's no decent shopping. I was so over-the-top thrilled by the shops in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was as if I were a starving person who hadn't seen food in years. You see, at home I wear L.L. Bean and Land's End mail order. Very limited. So---I went just a little bit wild in the stores in Portsmouth. I confess I had a lot of fun.

The seafood in Portsmouth was good, but nowhere near the perfection to be found on the Maine coast. OMG.

And finally, Monhegan Island in Maine, to a hiker and naturalist, is a paradise. There's much to interest people who are not naturalists and hikers on the island, yet the dozens of hiking trails, many of them hugging the coastline, provide such dramatic land and seascapes. The bluffs, or headlands, along the very rugged, wild, rocky coastline provided such overwhelmingly beautiful views of land and ocean, cliffs and rocks and crashing waves, that I was in bliss continuously. The trails are very, very rugged and challenging, yet I loved the exhilaration of the views and the experiences provided. More than worth the effort and strained muscles afterwards.

We had late afternoon reading hours. Ken has been entranced by The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. He keeps wanting to tell me about it, to talk about it, but I keep hushing him because I want to read it. Poor Ken!

I read The Body in the Birches on the vacation and have been enjoying it. I think Katherine Hall Page's characterizations and the way in which her characters' dialogue delineates her characters are very well done. I'm a little more than halfway through. (I read only half a book on this vacation--so little.)

Because we only had one rainy day on this trip, and because we were constantly sight-seeing, I did not read anywhere near as much as I might have. We were having too many adventures.

I highly recommend Monhegan Island as a destination. I did not have a chance to visit all the artists' studios that I wanted to. I couldn't! Not enough time! So, I want to visit again and again.
If you decide to stay on Monhegan, you can't go wrong if you stay at The Island Inn. And make sure that you eat your dinners there, too. Best restaurant by far on the island, according to everyone. Best clam chowder, best lobsters, best breakfasts (which come with lodging), etc.  I'm going back in late May or early June, I think. If not, then, I'll go in mid-September.
Oh, and by the way, no ticks on Monhegan!  An exhaustive study by a Maine university found no ticks. 

Right now, as I'm still catching up with everything at home, I need to devote some time to organizing my upcoming reading. I'm not sure at all in what direction I'm heading for the final three months of 2018. Fairly clueless for the moment.


  1. I'm so glad that you and Ken had a great trip. The photos look lovely. I'm not that keen on shopping, just for the sake of it. I need to be looking for something specific, but so many shops are closing down here, the choices get narrower all the time.

    1. I, too, need to be searching for something specific. I desperately needed an outfit that I could wear to an event (or, god forbid, a funeral) that was not jumping out of a LL Bean catalog. Too darn casual by far! So I accomplished that goal, and feel good about it. I had been nervous about this for several months. What would I do, if at a moment's notice, I needed an outfit that wasn't t-shirts and jeans and shorts? So that much is settled, thank goodness. And cool clothes they are, too.
      I know what you mean about choices getting narrower all the time. I feel that keenly. Especially here. And anyhow, I don't like to spend money on clothes, not to mention underwear or socks!!

  2. Welcome back... glad you had such good trip. The photos are just gorgeous!

    1. Monhegan Island was a peak experience for me. Still on a high, and hard to settle down to reading! The news is distracting as well.

  3. It sounds like Ken enjoyed The President is Missing ... I am glad to hear that. Your trip sounds like lots of fun. And relaxation.

    1. Tracy,
      Ken certainly did love The President Is Missing. He's had trouble digging into another book since then. This morning I nudged him into a WWII crime novel set in Dresden during the final days of the war. There's a serial killer afoot amidst the black-out and all the bombings. He's now engrossed once again. I'll get the title, once I get a hold of his Kindle.
      While hiking today, I kept remembering what was so outstanding about the hiking on Monhegan. I can't wait to go back. I really want to toward the end of May--early June. Just to see it when it's bursting into spring. Spring comes very late on an island far out in the Atlantic.

    2. Is it The Air Raid Killer? My husband read that one in August. I usually don't like serial killer novels, but I think I will read that one anyway.

  4. Your Maine and Portsmouth trip sounded wonderful. I love Portsmouth and Portland areas.

  5. Wonderful reading about your trip to Maine.
    Maine is heaven.

    I went to Mount Desert Island on three vacations, loved it. Stayed away from Bar Harbor, except to look at it from a mountain top while eating green apple pie (homemade).

    So many mountains, roads, lakes, ocean views, great restaurants. I have a lithograph called "Behind Beal's," which is of a famous lobster eatery on a pier in SW Harbor. And I look at a lithograph of the harbor with sail boats of Bar Harbor every day.

    Glad to hear of the Dresden book. I know that Kurt Vonnegut wrote "Slaughterhouse Five," about Dresden during the WWII fire bombing. He was a POW at the time there.

  6. Yes, Kathy, I really went deep into Slaughterhouse Five, a truly great anti-war novel. The fire-bombing of Dresden is also something I've researched in nonfiction.

    Mount Desert is an area we've explored years ago. We really enjoyed our trips there, though none have been recent. We have also wished to go to Campobello Island, which is nearby, but in Canadian waters, so a passport is required.