Category Archives: Maine

One 2017 Bucket List Item

Before we jump to the fun plans of each of our bucket list items for 2017, I wanted to share something more personal. 2016 was a very difficult year for me in terms of heartbreak and loss and I have felt the grief and despair that I believe Anita experienced too. Without the care, friendships and love from friends and family, I feel certain that she and I would have shared a similar fate. Those around me knew how much I was hurting and really pulled me through the darkness. It is my hope that anyone who feels helpless seeks the help they need. Life isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon and there’s always lessons to live through and learn from.

In 2013, the travel blogging world lost Anita Mac, and many of us lost a friend. Anita inspired each of us in different ways with her huge, welcoming smile, eagerness to help, colorful fashion sense, as well as a shoulder to cry on and a willingness to comfort and listen. For many of us, Anita comes to mind almost daily, but most often during our travels, so each year since her death, our goal has been to honor her in some way. We want to pick up where she left off, as her blog focused on bucket list travel, so we are going to dedicate an item from our own bucket list to her during 2017.

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Beautiful Anita – you’re gone but not ever forgotten

We hope this reminds our readership of the wonderful world we live in, how we can all experience it, and how fragile life can be. For Anita, we pledge this for 2017:

Where in the World is Lola? (moi)

This past year I didn’t have a bucket list item for Anita but I guess my own personal yearly bucket list wish is to always travel somewhere new. I can happily say that did happen in 2016. I traveled to the Dominican Republic and was able to donate some of my time helping those in need there. Otherwise, 2016 was a pretty quiet year for me travel-wise. I’m hoping 2017 will be a bit more active.

Lola with Stay Adventurous and The World Wanderer on a cruise to the Dominican Republic

Lola with Stay Adventurous and The World Wanderer on a cruise to the Dominican Republic

I am starting off my year headed back to New Orleans and cannot wait. Other than that, I have no firm travel plans as of yet. I think I would like to prioritize traveling with some of my travel buddies somewhere – new or old! Some thoughts I have are Scotland and Vietnam but I’m open to anything so long as it is with people who are near and dear to me. Anita would love this. She loved us all being together as a group. Her last trip was, in fact, a group trip with several travel gals to Montreal. So, I hope you’ll consider planning an adventure together with me (you know who you are!).

Montreal shenanigans - miss you Anita

Montreal shenanigans – miss you Anita

Traveling Ted

In less than two months I will be traveling to Anita’s hometown. This is the second time I have visited since she passed away. When I met her at TBEX in Toronto, and I told her I might be skiing the Gatineau Loppet, she invited me to stay with her. When I finally did make it to Gatineau, which is right across the river from Ottawa, Ontario, Anita had already passed. I sadly spent most of my time alone. This year I will be returning to the region to ski in the Canadian Ski Marathon.

The fact that I am returning to Canada actually has nothing to do with my bucket list item for 2017.  I am psyched to return to Anita’s homeland, but that is not my 2017 bucket list item. The Canadian Ski Marathon is an endurance race where participants partake in two days of skiing totaling 100 miles. If the number one travel experience I was looking forward to in 2017 was to ski myself into complete exhaustion, then I would be insane. I just needed a hook to tie in travel and Anita. Now that you are honed in on my bucket list, and wondering what the hell it is, I am going to switch gears from cross-country skiing and Canada, but not too far away.

Me after skiing the Gatineau Loppet near Anita's home, but this photo has nothing to do with my 2017 bucket list item

Ted after skiing the Gatineau Loppet near Anita’s home, but this photo has nothing to do with his 2017 bucket list item

Since I am quite sane, my 2017 bucket list item is to visit Maine, and I am pretty sure it is going to happen. I have signed up to join Bullmoose Patrol on a wilderness canoe trip in October on the Allagash River. I have never been to Maine, so I hope to see some moose, breathtaking fall colors, catch and eat some fresh fish, canoe a beautiful river, and drink some Allagash beer near its source. I am quite certain Anita would approve of all the above.

Adventure on!

Follow Ted’s travels on his blog Traveling Ted

The World Wanderer

In 2016, my bucket list plan was to hike Patagonia. At the time, I had only made tentative plans with friends, and those plans eventually fell through. Since I lived most of the year off of my savings, it wasn’t an ideal time to make the trek to South America, so last year’s bucket list item didn’t happen, although I did made it to Colombia in December.
Erin road tripping the USA

Erin road tripping the USA

This year, I am going to try to be a little more realistic with my goal, so my plan is to finish off my states in the United States. If I take two road trips or one major one, I will be able to check off 13 states in the contiguous United States. That will leave me with Alaska, which could be a more difficult one to finish up in 2017, but I am going to try. I think Anita would love this goal of seeing my home country, and she’d sure love the adventures to be had in Alaska. I think it’s the perfect way to honor her.
Follow Erin’s wanderings on her blog The World Wanderer

Stay Adventurous

Craig fly fishing in the Florida Keys

Craig fly fishing in the Florida Keys

With a singular fly cast out into the flats of the upper Florida Keys backcountry, I smiled, not solely because I realized a dream, a bucket list item, but because I also completed my 2016 dedication to Anita. I really owe a lot to my friend Scott,  who not only helped make it happen and also snapped the image I shared on Instagram (which has captured the most likes of the year for me).  Next year he promised we will catch one.
Beaches of Central America

Beaches of Central America

So now as I look towards 2017, I am staring at the snow falling in Lake Wallenpaupack and I am debating a winter adventure. Yet my recent trip Belize reminds me how much of the Americas I have still yet to explore. So for 2017, I plan to visit a NEW destination and a NEW place somewhere on one of the American continents. Maybe I’ll return south of the border, find my way to a winter adventure, or both. Wherever it takes me, this year I plan to discover (more of) the Americas.
Follow Craig’s adventures on his blog StayAdventurous

Closure:

We encourage you to join us in this quest and take on at least one Bucket List item in 2017, but more importantly, we also hope you take the opportunity to (re)connect with friends and loved ones during this holiday season and throughout the year.

The purpose for writing this post is not only to inspire others to travel the world and explore, but as a way for us to remind all of you who are reading this post to look around you, see who you can reach out to and possibly help reach their goals and feel supported and loved. Our friend and fellow traveler, Anita took her life because she didn’t see any other options, we don’t want anyone else to feel that way.

Please share the momentum.

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Filed under bucket list, dominican republic, florida, Maine, travel, USA

The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine

Turning “welcome into welcome back”

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Kennebunkport, being a short 1.5 hour drive north of Boston, is a wonderful place for a quick getaway. I had the pleasure of visiting in the off-season and recently returned at the beginning of the high season to have a peek at the contrast. While I believe Kennebunkport is a fantastic place to go in any season, summer is the BEST season. Even better is discovering one of the town’s nicest resorts, The Nonantum Resort, which is perfectly matched with the casual elegance of this great town.

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I was thrilled to be invited by The Nonantum Resort to come check out their beautiful property in June and enjoy a bit more of the Maine coast. One of the largest of resorts in Kennebunkport, The Nonantum has 110 rooms ranging from the classic & historical in the Carriage House to the recently added more modern rooms in the Portside Lodge. The Nonantum’s atmosphere is hip yet relaxed and is an ideal place to stay for couples, families or even a getaway with friends. With a range of activities from swimming pool fun to sailing & sport fishing to stand up paddle boarding & kayaking, there is plenty to keep you busy at The Nonantum. Also a short walk from the property are the popular shops and restaurants all around Dock Square in Kennebunkport.

Portside Lodge (2)

The Nonantum Resort is open from mid-April to mid-December but just because the doors are closed doesn’t mean work isn’t getting done. This is a historical property that’s 128 years old which means upkeep and also bringing new life to the place. For example, to celebrate the 125th anniversary, the resort added Heckman’s Pub, named after the original family that opened the Inn back in 1884. Continuously operated as an Inn, the Ginn family took over ownership in 1996. Today, The Nonantum is still family owned and run. It is everything you could hope for in an ideal family operation. The care and compassion that ownership has for the property, staff & guests is immediately felt as soon as you enter through the doors. There is a warmth about The Nonantum that is seen in the smiles, welcomes and enthusiastic interest in making sure you are having the kind of stay you planned.

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During my visit I was greeted by the friendly reception, of course, but had been invited up by the Director of Marketing, Kyle, to enjoy the grand opening of their restaurant, 95 Ocean. Not only was I welcomed by Kyle but also Owner & Innkeeper, Jean, as well as Tina, General Manager of The Nonantum Resort. I honestly couldn’t imagine nicer hospitality. All made sure to introduce me to the Executive Chef of 95 Ocean, Steve, as well as other invited guests. During the grand opening party of 95 Ocean, the hors d’ourves were spectacular but, to me, the gracious welcome extended from the staff is something I will never forget. Once the party ended, all three wanted to show me a newly opened hotspot in Kennebunkport. It was like meeting old friends so I can see how they turn “welcome into welcome back”. The next morning, I had a brief meeting Jean who greeted & said goodbye to me with a hug. WOW! This endearment definitely makes me want to return to The Nonantum Resort.

chairs and lighthouse photo

A big notable aspect is The Nonantum Resort’s concerted effort toward being environmentally friendly and going more green over the past 2 years. This project is still being continued as they have a long-term plan and their efforts can be seen all over the property. Also noteworthy is the resort’s participation with ‘Clean the World’ who takes bath amenities and sends them to 3rd world nations in need. I really enjoyed learning about the property’s commitment to their community as well by having several fundraisers throughout the year to support various initiatives and charities.

View From Portside Lodge

Some of the events you can look for are the weekly wine dinners offered throughout the season. The Nonantum Resort’s Executive Chef customizes every menu on a weekly basis taking into consideration the freshest and most creative ingredients and wine parings all at a tremendous value. This year, The Nonantum put on their first annual Paddle Battle, an outdoor paddle festival done by kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board or any vessel without a motor, that races down the Kennebunk River. Look for this to be a summer highlight in Kennebunkport from here on out! And, in the off-season, the very popular fundraiser, Fire & Ice is hosted by The Nonantum. 2013 dates are December 13-14th. Held the second weekend of Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude, Fire & Ice is a holiday celebration featuring themed ice bars, a huge bonfire (thus Fire & Ice), several live bands and delicious food from 95 Ocean and other local food vendors with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Who couldn’t love a fun party for a good cause?!

If you haven’t discovered The Nonantum Resort for yourself, consider making a quick trip up to Kennebunkport, Maine for a wine dinner, special event or a long weekend stay. I think you’ll be as impressed by this fabulous family run property as I am. I look forward to my “welcome back” to The Nonantum and hope it’s sooner rather than later!

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kickin’ off summertime with seaside mini-escapes!

summertime – my favorite time of year

lighthouse

WHY? well, in the Northern Hemisphere it is when things warm up and the sun shines the most. i’m a sunshine girl all the way and am happiest when by a pool or the ocean. so, nothing pleases me more than to return to some of my favorite summertime spots to kick off the season. it’s time for me to get footloose and fancy free because we’re knocking on summer’s door.

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this week i’m excited to be heading back up to Kennebunkport, Maine. i’ve been invited to come check out the stunning Nonantum Resort. with a history in Kennebunkport since 1883, Nonantum Resort is close to the shops, galleries and restaurants of Dock Square as well as some of the most pristine beaches on the East Coast. i’m super excited AND it just so happens they are having a little fete the evening i’m there. Nonantum Resort is opening their new waterfront restaurant. did someone say waterfront? um, yes please! 95 Ocean has been highlighted on The TV Diner and received the show’s “Platinum Plate Award.” some specials highlight Maine’s local farm produce as well as fresh herbs from The Nonantum’s garden and local seafood. sign. me. up!

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THEN, over the weekend, my dear friend Mrs. O Around the World is coming to visit and we plan to have a fun overnight in Boston, sampling the best that Beantown can offer in 24 hours. it’s been 7 years since Ana visited Boston so i’m excited to show her some new things around town. Boston is definitely one fantastic city that gets better all the time!

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AND after a quick ‘Best of Boston’ tour, Ana and i are off for a lovely drive down to Newport, Rhode Island. i was in both Newport and Kennebunkport over the wintertime. both have amazing things to offer in the off-season but truly the BEST season is the summertime. Mrs. O has never been to Newport so i’m thrilled to show her the ‘City by the Sea’ and all of its splendor. some of what is on deck for us there? i don’t want to make you jealous but a grand tour of the mansions from the sky! that’s right, a VIP helicopter tour because how else would you see the mansions of Newport if you are Lola and Mrs. O?! oh, AND a sailing cruise aboard an America’s Cup yacht with 12 Meter Charters. Ana and i are excited to have a special visit in Newport discovering its roots as the ‘Queen of Summer Resorts’ and the ‘Sailing Capital of the World’.

you can follow our tweets for both cities by searching the hash tag #TwoPlayBoston and #TwoPlayNewport.

 

 

 

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Filed under boston, Kennebunkport, Maine, massachusetts, rhode island, travel, USA

One Day Stay: Kennebunkport, Maine

maine

With a state slogan like VACATIONLAND you know that Lola likes Maine. Kennebunkport is an hour and half north of Boston in Southern Maine. A perfect place to go for a ‘One Day Stay’. Here you will find arts & entertainment and pristine beaches plus fun places to shop, dine and drink.

Cape Porpoise harbor

DROP YOUR BAG

captain fairfield

Captain Fairfield Inn, a cool 9 guest room boutique bed and breakfast, is located in the heart of historic Kennebunkport, Maine. In a quiet neighborhood overlooking the river green and one block from the Kennebunk River and lively Kennebunkport harbor, this beautiful home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Captain Fairfield Inn was built in 1813 and will celebrate its 200th anniversary this year. One of the things I love most about this inn is its mindfulness to the historic charm of this Federal mansion yet breathing NEW LIFE into it with a modern twist in decor. Lark Hotels, the innovative hotel company that owns Captain Fairfield, also just launched a unique partnership with lifestyle brand, Vineyard Vines. They are collaborating together to create designer suites within the Lark Hotels group. Captain Fairfield has the very first of these suites now available. The idea is to infuse a mix of coastal preppy chic with modern & playful touches. I can’t wait to return so I can experience this one-of-a-kind VV beach vibe! Complete with deluxe amenities, a fantastic locally sourced gourmet breakfast & a wine tasting room, Captain Fairfield Inn would satisfy any discerning traveler. LOLA APPROVED all the way!

DO

Goose Rocks Beach

You can’t go to coastal Maine and not mention the beaches. The Southern Maine Coast is unique for having many long sandy beaches unlike the rest of Maine where the coast is mostly rocky. If you’d like some seclusion, Parson’s Beach is for you or perhaps you prefer to be in the middle of the action at Kennebunk Beach. No matter what, Kennebunkport has a perfect spot for you to spend a sunny summer day at the shore. This beach bunny likes that!

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During my quick visit I discovered a great little wine shop, Down East Wine, located in the lower village of Kennebunk – a short walk from downtown Kennebunkport. Dedicated to the discovery and enjoyment of unique wines, Down East Wine’s tagline is affordable quality. LOVE THIS! They were hosting a little wine tasting this particular Saturday and I’d like to think this a somewhat regular occurrence to help you discover delicious, well priced bottles.

DRINK

old vingroni

Always in search of a good local watering hole for yummy drink, my visit to Kennebunkport was no different. I was recommended a couple of spots, Bandaloop and Pilot House, but decided on Old Vines Wine Bar as I heard stories about their legendary bartenders. With a name like Old Vines you can be sure they offer many incredible wines by the glass. Coming from dinner where I was enjoying a Negroni cocktail, I just wanted to stick with the same. Ben made me their version ‘Old Vingroni’ which is made with gin, Aperol instead of Campari & dash of rhubarb bitters. OUTSTANDING!

DINE

50 Local Kennebunk Maine

Forever seeking out the hip & happening, Lola was recommended 50 Local to try for this One Day Stay. Located in buzzing Kennebunk, as soon as I walked in I knew I was going to like this spot. Using the best of the area’s resources working with local farms & fisheries, 50 Local is downtown Kennebunk’s newest neighborhood establishment. I enjoyed oysters from the Bagaduce River and a pork chop from local Breezy Hill Farm. UNBELIEVABLE! 50 Local offers traditional French Bistro dishes with an American twist, all served in a friendly atmosphere.

PS – Kennebunkport is SO GOOD I actually have three honorable mentions.

1) Alisson’s for its award-winning famous lobster roll and bacon bloody mary. Perfect for a lunch option. MMMM

2) Daytrip Society for its eclectic offerings in gifts & home decor. I could have literally spent hours in this store finding all kinds of treasures. It certainly inspires the adventure of travel.

3) Kennebunkport Inn for its fun renovation of their common rooms creating vibrant social spaces. You’ll wish to sit down and relax in this salty, sea captain environment inspired by Kennebunkport’s fishing & shipbuilding history. PLUS they offer a Big Girls’ Slumber Party package including cocktails, chick flicks and a four course dinner. All you need to add are your BFFs – adore it!

 

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Filed under Kennebunkport, Maine, one day stay, travel