This past weekend I headed ‘downeast’ to Maine for my best friend’s wedding. It was pretty far north of the Boston area so we stopped part-way in Portland to enjoy the evening before. How cool is Portland, right? It reminds me of Burlington, VT alot because it’s a small city with a BIG personality, both are located on the ‘water’, and it has a hip, progressive vibe that I dig.  We landed first on the back porch of Flatbread overlooking the boats in the harbor for a cool brew.

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It was past lunchtime so we headed to Duck Fat for fries and, well, duck.  We played some word games siting at the counter.

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The man ate fries like a champ, washed down with a beer, while I had the house salad with duck confit on top and a house-made ginger & grapefruit soda.

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I snagged a fry or two and while they were definitely tasty, eh, I think it is a bit overhyped. I like the concept but for the offerings on the menu, they could perhaps be a bit more creative maybe? Duckfat crepes w/nutella maybe? Duck eggs fried in duckfat? I don’t know. Call me, DF, we’ll brainstorm. After a short hiatus/seista at our hotel, we headed back downtown to Portland (I booked about the furthest away hotel from dwtw Portland, HoJo Plaza; it was ‘ok’), for dinner. We really struggled to pick a dinner option. At first, I had wanted to try Street & Co., hearing great reviews, but thought maybe it was a bit pricey/fancy for our mood that evening, and we wanted to be near the water. We picked 51 Wharf but after hearing a review about the place turning into a dance club mid-meal (and sadly, this has actually happened to us before!), I had my doubts. We parked and then hoofed around a bit, passing 51 Wharf, where the poor employees were literally begging for business off the street. And it was completely empty and sad looking. We kept walking and ended up at our second choice option, Portland Lobster Company.

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This place ROCKED. It is definitely the local scene-y spot but with a cute cafeteria-style dining area, live (awesome) music, and great, great prices on legit Maine-caught and fresh, local seafood, we knew we made the right choice!

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cute lobster lights

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We sat with a brew, anxiously awaiting our lobster pager to go off.

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So good! I ordered lobster bisque in a bread bowl, something I NEVER get, and Maine fried baby shrimp while the gentleman had fish & chips.

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We housed it. If you are in Portland, GO HERE. A wicked fun time; I even had a great time waiting in (the long) line for the ladies restroom. There were some hilarious, fun people there on a Friday. I would go again for sure.

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View from the ‘cafe’ back towards the pick-up window and the historic Old Port

We sauntered around Portland a bit after dinner but called it an early night knowing we had a long drive early the next morning. After getting up and a quick run to Panera, I made full use of my HoJo reservation by running some speedy miles on the hotel gym treadmill. I would have preferred running outside but we were in the middle of industrial parks and I didn’t want to figure out where to go. Easy, peasy. I ran between 6.0-6.8 pace for 3 miles; fast for me! We had to hit the road though, with a three hour drive north to Castine. It was a beautiful drive on some parts.

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Fort Knox Narrows Bridge

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We finally made the journey, changed quick in our adorable bunkhouse (thanks L.T.), and made our way to the harbor for the outdoor ceremony at Fort Madison.

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The couple had a very special ceremony; perched right above the water, with schooners and sailboats cruising by, the untraditional ceremony was beautiful and touching.

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Under the pews were bottles of Moet Chandon for toasting the nuptials!

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Loved that and so, so THEM.

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Folks sauntered around the lawn, with imposing cloudy skies, for a while and then everyone headed across town to the reception site, the golf club. They even had a mini-putting green!

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Her overly talented sister made this funky, cool farmhouse banner with the types of foods served on-site. Also, LOVED this.

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We danced our faces off, dodged massive T-storms under the tent (eek!), and then made it to a fun after-party but it was all over so quick! Next morning, we soaked up the views from our bunkhouse cabin and had to pack it up to join brunch at her family’s new GORGEOUS sea-side home across town.

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Our accommodations

The views from ‘back shore’ beach were absolutely incredible. The entire ‘island’ of Castine was so charming and gorgeous but we were hardly there very long 😦 We already have plans to go back and camp.

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Can you see the most iconic farm across the bay here?Image

Congrats to the newly married couple & cheers to many great times ahead! 143