At the end of July, my husband Jim and I packed the car with bikes, kayaks, and Brewski, and headed east for our Maine summer vacation. Thus began a two-week period of indulging in the summertime tradition of being able to do whatever we pleased, which as often as not amounted to doing nothing at all.
The first few days, when Brewski spent time at what we affectionately refer to as “Uncle Brian’s boot camp,” were filled with all the things that are not quite dog-friendly. Our first stop was down to Kennebunkport to find out if the lobster rolls at the Clam Shack live up to their reputation and should be added to my favorite Maine lobster roll list.
I double-clutched on my order and walked away with a steaming box of fried clams, but Jim tried the roll and confirmed that it is indeed excellent. Fully sated, we got back on the road and drove on to the cottage on Annabessacook Lake in Monmouth, Maine, that would be our vacation home for the next fourteen days.
We filled the beginning of our week with biking and kayaking – not always in the most favorable conditions – and even took a nostalgic trip back to summer camp. We poked around quaint coastal towns, and when we spent a day in Boothbay Harbor, we couldn’t resist making a not-so-quick stop at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset to sample their most famous menu item.
Another candidate for my list? Possibly, although it doesn’t seem fair to lump their lobster roll into the same category as the others you find all over the coast of Maine. If anything, it has more in common with a lazy man’s lobster, as it comes served with drawn butter and yields more than a full lobster’s worth of meat. Label it how you will, it’s absolutely delicious.
Once we welcomed Brewski back to the fold, our days of field trips were over, and that was just fine with us. The pace slowed as we turned our attention to lakeshore activities. Friends rotated in and out and our evenings were filled with the traditional summer activities of the lake – sunsets viewed from the dock, toasted marshmallows, and lively rounds of card games.
For his part, Brewski, who’s not a big fan of riding on the water in a kayak, swam. And swam. And swam. Practically a summertime tradition at the lake himself, he kept the neighbors entertained with his dock-diving antics. No need to attend a DockDogs competition when Brewski’s there to perform in your own backyard, or front dock as the case may be.
Weather in New England can be fickle, but the weather for our Maine summer vacation was better than we could have hoped for, with only one day of outdoor activity interrupted by a severe thunderstorm. As hail pounded down on the roof, we settled in with our books to wait it out. By the time the gentle patter of the rain signaled the storm was moving, we had eased into a full day of lounging.
Like all wonderful vacations, we were unprepared when this one came to an end. And while reentry back into the real world has been a tad bumpy, the memories we made on our luxurious two-week Maine summer vacation will have to get me through until we do it all again next year.