Category Archives: fun in maine

Blog challenge!

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I’ve found it to be very rewarding.  I use my blog to share about library life in Maine and post book reviews.  I have “documentation” (in the form of a write-up and pictures) of most of the programs I’ve coordinated at Ellsworth Public Library, so I also use my blog to search for information on past events.  For example, if I can remember doing a storytime about monsters, but can’t quite remember which crafts I used, a simple search on my blog will return the answer immediately.

That said, blogging can take a back seat for me when things get busy.  I am taking an online course this semester and this has taken a toll on blogging.  Fortunately, Nicole Ouellette from Breaking Even Communications is hosting a blogging challenge for the month of March.  Each day, I will (try to) complete one post based on her challenge.  I’m already a little behind, so I thought I would tackle a few of the challenges I missed in the same post!

Alright, so far, the challenges are as follows:

Day 1:  Introduction (Here’s my first post on the blog)

Day 2:  Photo Post

Day 3:  A “how-to” post

Day 4:  Food Post

Day 5:  Video Post

Ok, getting challenges 2-5 in the same post will certainly be a challenge, but here goes nothing.

How to eat well in Portland, Maine

(Disclaimer:  “eating well” is definitely a subjective thing, so let me clarify.  How to eat well (if you are vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) in Portland, Maine).

If you are vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free, Portland has got your back.  There are a lot of options for alternative diets in this city.  Here are the strategies I used to find the best food to refuel while wandering the streets of Portland.

1.  Do your research ahead of time

I’ve been vegan/vegetarian for a couple of years now and I’ve learned that it’s a lot easier to do your food research before you go on a trip.  I love eating this way, but it can be a challenge to find foods that I can eat.  Shawn, my boyfriend, was coming along for the trip, and he sticks to a gluten-free diet.  Trying to find vegan food or gluten-free food can be tricky, but both?  I thought it was a long shot.   A few days before the trip, I started looking for restaurants in Portland, Maine that would meet both of our needs.  I did this mostly by Googling “vegan and/or gluten-free restaurants in Portland, Maine).  The search returned more hits than I had expected.

2.  Look for menus online

Thankfully, many of the prospective restaurants featured full menus online.  That was a big help in narrowing down the choices.  Sure, a restaurant may claim to be “gluten-free friendly”, but after a little investigation, it turns out they have a couple of appetizers or a salad that fits the bill, not an actual entree.

3.  Have a couple of back-up options

I knew that if all else failed, Whole Foods has a vegan salad bar and Hannaford always has options for alternative diets.  I actually ended up getting a spring roll for a snack at Hannaford…delicious as usual.

4.  Even if it seems unlikely, check for vegan/gluten-free options

We went to the Nickelodeon to see Silver Linings Playbook and I thought it would be the last place I’d find gluten-free snacks.  Wrong!  We spent so much time trying to decide which cookies we wanted, we missed the first part of the movie.  (The cookies were worth it, though!)

5.  Don’t be afraid to try new places

We settled on a restaurant called Silly’s for dinner and it exceeded our expectations.  They had a variety of vegan/gluten-free dishes that all sounded amazing (and the meals we settled on were great).  We also enjoyed the funky vibe of the restaurant.  It’s definitely a fun place to eat.  We (sort of) joked that if they served breakfast, we would have slept in the booth and eaten there the next day, too.  Here’s their site, if you want to see for yourself:

The food on this trip was so good, I didn’t pause to take pictures before digging in.  Here’s a picture of Shawn and me at a wonderful tea place called Dobra Tea, suggested by our friend, Nissa.

Photo credit:  Nissa Marenius

Photo credit: Nissa Marenius

Do you have any favorite places to eat in Portland?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Maybe in the future I’ll post more about this trip (especially because I have pictures of Shawn next to Big Foot).  Now I just need a video.  Here’s one that has nothing to do with this post, libraries, or Maine, but is still awesome and something I think everyone should see (if you haven’t already).  If you need a pick-me-up, here’s the video for you!




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Skiing in a Winter Wonderland

The other benefit of living in Maine in the winter:  the day after snow days.





And now it’s time to make vegetable soup and read 🙂


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“One Morning in Maine” Day

Here are some pictures from our day in Brooksville, celebrating 60 years of One Morning in Maine as a fundraiser for the Brooksville Library.

Kids got a spark plug at Condon’s Garage and had the chance to look around inside.  Outside, there were plenty of old cars to examine:

Many of the illustrations from the book were displayed around town.  It was great to match up the picture with the locations–kind of like walking through the story!  Here’s one example:

The illustration from “One Morning in Maine”

Buck’s Harbor today.

Like Sal and Jane did in the story, we got an ice cream cone:

To top it all off, Jake had a loose tooth, just like Sal did in One Morning in Maine!

A good time was had by all!  Thanks to Jason, Cam, Cole and Jake for inviting and letting me tag along and congrats to the Brooksville Library on a successful event.


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Celebrate Robert McCloskey’s “One Morning in Maine” in Brooksville this weekend

Are you looking for a fun way to spend Sunday afternoon?  The Brooksville Free Public Library is hosting a day of fun events to celebrate Robert McCloskey’s One Morning in Maine.

This is a fundraiser for the Brooksville Free Public Library, so if you’re in the area, please stop by and show your support.

Here’s some more detailed information:

Hope to see you there!

This is a hard question, but what is your favorite book by Robert McCloskey?  I would have to say One Morning in Maine (or Blueberries for Sal, or Time of Wonder, or Make Way for Ducklings 🙂 )

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Summer Bucket List: Pick strawberries

1.  Pick strawberries

I remember going strawberry picking with my mom, cousin and grandfather when I was little (we would get there around six in the morning to avoid the crowds and the sun) but I haven’t had a chance to do it in several years.  This year I don’t want to miss out on any quintessential summer activities, so I’m making a list.  Here’s what picking your own strawberries in Maine looks like:

Cathy and Cam picking strawberries.

About halfway done!

These dogs have it made in the shade.

 I plan to freeze some of the berries to use in smoothies during the winter.  If anyone has a good suggestion for a strawberry recipe, I’d love to hear it in the comments.

Summer Bucket List count:  1 down, many more to go 🙂

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Happy Fourth of July!

This is the most ingenious use of watermelon I’ve ever seen:

Photo from:

Today, I plan to finish my book (The Age of Miracles), watch a movie, and hang out with the fam.  What is everyone else doing on their day off?


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The best Mexican food in Maine

Yesterday, to celebrate Father’s Day, Mom, Dad, and I went to El El Frijoles (anyone with a little Spanish knowledge will recognize the spin on a popular Maine outfitter).  Here are some pictures from my day:

Strawberries growing in a bathtub

A sweet dog named Henry

Vegan tacos.  Mmm, que rico!

Iced coffee+chorizo tacos+hot sauce=one happy padre

Mom’s crabmeat quesadillas

If you’re ever in Sargentville, Maine, check out El El Frijoles.  It’s the best Mexican food I’ve had in Maine!

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