Portland: Places to go during your Maine Journey

Portland: Places to go during your Maine Journey

I drove to Portland, Maine for the first time in August and it was fantastic! The city itself is so alive and colorful, but it was also fun to see it through the eyes of someone who has lived there her whole life. When I arrived, my friend Taylor drove us into the city and we walked around looking at all of the cute shops and I had my first potato donut which was so good! We saw the most beautiful fluffy black dog as we were debating whether or not to get our fortunes read, ultimately deciding $40 was too much to learn what we’d find out in time anyways. We then went back to her house and made pizza and played Wii sports (I know, so 2010) until our other friends arrived for the weekend.

The next day was a bit rainy, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. The group of us drove to this abandoned tower in the middle of a forest-y area and we climbed to the top. It was a dark climb, and at one point the stairs had fallen away so we had to climb on a crate leaning against the wall to get up another floor, but the view was worth it. At the top, we were level with the tops of the trees and with the rain it seemed as though we were in the middle of the rainforest. We could also slightly see the water in between some of the trees.

Afterwards, we headed out to lunch at The Lobster Shack. It is such a cute little place to eat, but because of its small size, it felt very crowded. We ordered our food (I got a lobster roll) and then headed out onto the rocks as we waited for our order to be announced over the speaker. The Lobster Shack is located right on the ocean, so there was a grouping of large rocks below the picnic tables. Although it was slightly drizzling, we ventured out onto the rocks and explored. By the time our food was ready, we had worked up an appetite. The lobster tasted so fresh and filling that I was thoroughly satisfied with my choice. After lunch, we went to the other side of the building where there were even more rocks to climb. We climbed out onto a rock ledge and looked out into the ocean as the lighthouse whirled on the shore next to us.

Later on in the day, we drove to a little river area and jumped off not-too-tall rocks and swung on rope swings into the water. The current was pretty strong, but we had fun swimming against it. It began to really rain after a couple of hours, so we decided to head back. That night, we went up onto the roof with lots of towels and blankets and a speaker. We set everything up and just looked at the stars while listening to quiet music. We didn’t talk much because the stars were brighter and more numerous than I’ve ever seen. Her house is in an area with very little light pollution so we got to see the sky in all its glory. I also saw my first shooting star… and second, and third, and fourth! There were so many and it was awesome in the literal sense of the word. At one point, I started to get annoyed because there was such a bright light off in the corner of my eye that I thought was a neighbor’s house light. It turned out to be the moon in such brilliant light as I’ve ever seen. It was the perfect night.

Our last day, Sunday, it was bright, sunny, and hot so we headed to Peaks Island. On our drive to the dock, we stopped by Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It was so beautiful and green! There was a gorgeous lighthouse that, according to my friend, is the most photographed lighthouse in the world, and I can see why. The flowers around the trails were stunningly bright and colorful. The water from the ocean was beautifully blue and clear. We only spent about half an hour there, but it was enough to see how absolutely incredible a place it is. I would love to go back and stay longer.

When we got off the ferry at Peaks Island amongst the hundreds of other people, we took a ride around the island on a golf cart so that we could see Peaks Island in all it’s glory. Everything was so green and beautiful and lush. By the time we returned to the dock, we were warm and ready to cool off. We got into our bathing suits and jumped off the pier along with everyone else around us. There were tall wooden structures sticking out of the water that we climbed to the top of and jumped off. Jumping into the Atlantic Ocean felt like diving straight into a bucket of ice water. But it was exhilarating! We had to stop once another ferry was arriving, so we walked a block and got ice cream.

When we finished, we hopped back on the golf cart and drove to a tiny beach on the other side of the island. The water was just as cold over there, except that there were random pockets of warmer water that we occasionally took refuge in. We stayed there and had a wonderful time at the beach for about an hour. On our drive back to the pier, we stopped on the side of the road and stacked some rocks together to add to the accumulation of cool rock towers and sculptures that littered the shore of the ocean. Once back at the pier, we hopped on the ferry with the hundreds of other people leaving and watched as Peaks Island faded into the distance.

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Some places to visit if you ever visit Portland include:

  • The Holy Donut
  • Shipwreck and Cargo souvenir shop
  • The Lobster Shack
  • Fort Williams National Park
  • Peaks Island

Ciao for now!

 

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Finding Federal Hill

Finding Federal Hill

If you’re one for hikes and history then try visiting Federal Hill in Baltimore. It’s not really a “hike” in the full sense, but you do have to make it up a hill. Luckily there are multiple entry points, and the back way is more accessible for people who have either difficulty walking or don’t want stairs. What I loved most about Federal Hill, though, was that it gives you a gorgeous view of the entire Harbor area from the top.

As for the history part of this little adventure, there are signs and posts around the top of the hill describing why Federal Hill is significant and what part it played in both the history of Baltimore and the history of the U.S. One interesting fact I found was that it was a kind of temporary camp for Union soldiers to pitch tents on during the nineteenth century.

There is also a little park in the middle if you want to bring your kids or if you are a kid at heart!

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Ciao for now!

A bit of Baltimore

A bit of Baltimore

Hello everyone! For the past few weeks I have relocated to the beautiful Baltimore, Maryland for my internship at Girl’s Life Magazine. Basically, it’s a magazine aimed at pre-teen and teenaged girls that discusses beauty, fashion, relationships, health, and confidence. I was lucky enough to land the internship for six weeks this summer, and it’s been great so far! I get to do book reviews, pitch article ideas, write articles, and pretty much learn the ins and outs. It’s pretty cool!

One of the main reasons I took the internship (besides the obvious experience part) is because my grandparents live in Baltimore. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to spend time with them. As an added bonus,I didn’t need to rent a place to stay. Needless to say, the past few weeks have been pretty great, and now I’m on my own (my grandparents split their time between Baltimore and Italy) learning how to be an independent adult.

This past week I’ve discovered that I am capable of cooking delicious meals all by myself, and that I can function on my own. Overall, it’s been a real eye opening experience. I’ve taken a few photos of my surroundings (not many), and I thought I’d share the beauty of this city with all of you. Most of my time is spent in the Harbor area, but hopefully I’ll expand my experiences further outside this soon enough. So, without further ado, enjoy!

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Fell’s Point

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The Marina
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View from the mall
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View of the mall
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Right outside Power Plant Live

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Don’t worry, they’ll be more. Ciao for now!

Spring is in Full Bloom

Spring is in Full Bloom

One of my favorite times of the year is when all the flowers start to bloom and everything is filled with color. From the green grass to the pink and purple flowers, everything just seems a bit brighter and happier. I can’t help but feel cheerful when I look around at the beauty of nature and see it coming to life. I know it’s cliche, but I feel like there is something hopeful about the emergence of new life sprouting all around me.

I recently went to a garden center with my mom so that we could buy some plants for our deck and add a bit of color to our backyard. While at browsing around, I was awed by the enormity of varieties that nature has to offer. There were so many kinds of flowers, herbs, vegetables, etc. And while I wasn’t exactly surprised by this assortment, I was astounded that they could all blend together so harmoniously to create a picture of beauty. It was an overcast day, but everything still looked amazing, so I took some photos to capture this loveliness.

As the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers.”

Ciao for now!