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Being from (or at least living in) the South, we belles know a thing or two about summer heat and humidity. While we have actually learned to embrace the sauna-like conditions…dewey skin, always…it’s often nice to escape it for a mid-summer break. Last year, that break came in the form of a relaxing (and cool) trip to the Northeast (mostly Maine) for petite belle and family.

What a delightful experience! Cool days, crisp nights, clams, lobster, clams, lobster…and did we mention the clams and lobster?? We feel compelled to share the highlights…just in case you belles need a cool break yourselves!

First…a quick visit to the Cape and Nantucket. Is there a better place to spend a day, week, month?? Cute shops, delicious, classic Atlantic fare, and home after home in that classic Cape Cod style…it’s a dreamland for belles of all sorts!  We stayed in Falmouth at the charming Coonamessett Inn and ferried over to Nantucket from Hyannis. We walked, we shopped, we rented mopeds (a big DON’T…more on this later) …

from milliesnantucket.com

and we had a delicious lunch at Millie’s out on Madeket Road.  The younger set among us decided that they would eat clams in some variation at every restaurant we visited…and Millie’s Bridge Po Boy did not disappoint!!  Fried whole-belly clams with slaw on a buttered and toasted roll…to…die…for!!!

Now, a quick note on those mopeds.  DO NOT rent these little monsters!  We learned the hard way and ended up here…

Locals see horrific accidents involving mopeds with shocking regularity…often ending with a frightening air-lift trip to an off-island hosipital.  We were lucky to have our road-rash victim treated at this cute little establishment, but we recommend that you not risk it!!

Our little mishap didn’t dampen our spirits too much. Those among us who were “of-age” turned to spirits of another sort and suddenly, things were just peachy!!  We will need a Nantucket re-do soon, however!!

Moving along, our primary destination for this summer adventure was still ahead…so we loaded up, set the GPS, and headed for Maine…first stop – Portland to enjoy the Old Port area…and it didn’t disappoint!  They have cool shops and cafes galore!  One of our favorite finds…Vena’s Fizz House!

Mixing creative bitters with seltzer water, the folks at Vena’s whip up the most amazing cocktails (sans alcohol). We tried many…and could not pick a favorite! They were all too good!

After our short stay in Portland, it was time to get to our “home away from home”…a rental on the shore, just north of charming Camden…

photos from camdenmainevacation.com

This dreamy little town is exactly what every belle imagines it should be!  The food is wonderful…the shopping ranges from tasteful souvenirs to chic boutiques…and the scenery can’t be beat!

Here are some of our favorite excursions (and meals)… 

Drinks and dinner around the fire at Samoset Resort in Rockport.

A hike out to Rockland’s Breakwater Lighthouse

A sail aboard the Cimarron with Captain Rick (he spends most of his year in Cruz Bay, St. John – another favorite place of ours – but contact him to see when he plans to return to Camden…it’s totally worth it!!)

On our sail, we had a quiet lunch in the tiny village of North Haven…

 Just perfect!!

A morning spent in Bar Harbour and a hike up Pemetic Peak in Acadia National Park…a little mother-son adventure in this case!

White water rafting the Kennebec River with North Country Rivers…the cookout on the riverbank was to die for!

Just relaxing in our little village of Lincolnville Beach…

And judging lobster roll after lobster roll!  Our favorite, hands-down, was at the tiny McLaughlin’s Lobster Shack at the end of our little lane right there in Lincolnville Beach!! (more on the lobster roll in a later post…we just might be able to recreate the magic!)

A memorable adventure for the young and the not-as-old-as-the-young-think-we-are!  We recommend you start planning your own adventure “down east” (which doesn’t make sense to those of us who are really from down and east…but we will go with it!)