April 08, 2018

Family Vacation Photos, Part 5: Portland, Maine

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4...

To recap:

We had quite a whirlwind trip! I have a trillion pictures, so rather than bombard you all with them in one post, I'll just post over the next few days with them. Since I haven't felt like writing much lately anyways, this will be a good way to ease back into (trying to) write regularly.

In a nutshell: Jerry, the kids, and I flew into Boston on Wednesday, and spent three nights there; we drove to Salem and spent one night there; then made a road trip south and back north and then south again, winding up in Portland, Maine. We flew out of Boston on Tuesday and are home now.

I have a ton of pictures from the trip, so I'll try to narrow it down to my favorites. I have to say, I'm very self-conscious about posting these pictures. It could be the depression making me feel bad about myself, but I feel fat and "exposed" in them, if that makes sense. I almost didn't post most of these for that reason, but one thing that I regret about being 250+ pounds was that I avoided pictures like the plague.

So, even though I'm not thrilled with how my body looks right now (I was up to 143--10 pounds over my goal weight--when we left for the trip. Today, I was up another 5 pounds from vacation weight. I'm hoping to take that off over the next week, since vacation weight is usually temporary water fluctuations, but it still makes me feel bad.)

We arrived in Portland, Maine on Sunday evening. The hotel I chose ended up being really nice--the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Portland. When I checked in, I asked the woman at the front desk if she happened to have any rooms that faced the ocean--she ended up putting us on the top floor with an ocean view! It was awesome. The lights were glistening off the water, and I immediately fell in love with it.  

Since it was dark outside, we stayed in the hotel room and watched a movie before going to bed. In the morning, we got ready to get some breakfast and head out. Here was the daytime view from our room:

Several people on Instagram told me that we should try The Holy Donut for breakfast, so I made it a point to do that before our plans for the day. We walked a couple of blocks to The Holy Donut, and we each ordered a doughnut for breakfast. They looked amazing, and tasted even better!

I got the dark chocolate sea salt doughnut; the kids each got the dark chocolate glazed; and Jerry ordered the maple bacon. We all LOVED them. (Thank you for the suggestion that we go there, Friends!)

In the morning, we walked across the street to catch the mailboat run at 10:00. The mailboat run is part of Casco Bay Line ferries--it's literally a boat that brings mail to and from the islands around Portland. Here is a map of the route:

While we waited for the departure, we took some photos. This was Jerry's way of getting us all into a picture, haha:

I love this photo of the four of us on the boat:

Despite the cold, we stayed in the bow pretty much the whole time. The views were amazing!

Noah took this photo of Jerry and me. Jerry wanted to do a "Titanic-style" pose, but I made him settle for a kiss instead ;) It was actually snowing!

At one of the stops, Jerry, Eli, and I got off of the boat. When we were walking back, we noticed Noah on the bow taking pictures of us, haha.

The mailboat was the PERFECT way to see some amazing views around Portland. I loved that it wasn't at all touristy (other than my family, there were only two other people that I believe were tourists). There were about 20 people total on the boat, and they appeared to be locals who used the boat as transportation.

Eli had been dying to fish in the ocean for years. When we went to Virginia Beach a couple of years ago, we planned to let him fish then... but of course, he couldn't fish in a tropical storm! So, for this trip, I told him that we would do whatever it took to get him to fish in the ocean.

We didn't have room in our bags to be able to get a fishing pole there with us, so we had to rent or buy one in Portland. After making about a thousand phone calls, I still couldn't find a shop that would rent a pole, and I only found one shop that sold them! I was so surprised. So, we walked several blocks to a supply shop, and Eli found a pole (we bought it).

We walked all over the city looking for live bait, until Jerry found a commercial fisherman who told us that Portland is all about commercial fishing and it's nearly impossible to find recreational fishing supplies. He was so kind to give us a couple of herring for Eli to tear off pieces of meat for bait.

I took Eli to the pier across from our hotel, and he was able to set up his pole and fish. FINALLY, he was fishing in the ocean! After about 15 minutes, he pulled up... something. We had no idea what it was! It was a blob-looking thing, and it was moving inside. We had never seen anything like it! We were pretty fascinated by it, but he put it back in the water and kept fishing.

He didn't have any luck catching more than that blob, but he said he was really excited about catching that--even more so than a fish--because it was so unusual. I didn't care what he caught, as long as he was able to finally fish in the ocean!

For our "Maine" event (ha) we had decided that we were going to eat lobster for dinner our last night in Portland. None of us had ever had lobster! I read a ton of reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor to pick a restaurant, and we settle on DiMillo's on the Water.

It ended up being a fun experience, just to say we did it, but Jerry, Noah, and I agreed that it was overrated and we wouldn't order it again. Eli really liked it, but said next time, he would get "lazy man's lobster" so that he wouldn't have to mess with the shells ;)

I actually ordered a seafood scampi, which had lobster, shrimp, and scallops. I wasn't impressed with the dish at all, unfortunately. (The service wasn't great, either--bummer.) But I had fun helping Eli with getting the meat out of his lobster.

The bill for the meal was insane--I could have bought two weeks worth of groceries for that amount! But I kept reminding myself that we were paying for the experience, and not so much the meal itself. We couldn't leave Portland, Maine without a lobster dinner.

We walked back to the hotel, each of us agreeing that we wished we had more time to spend in Portland. It was SUCH an amazing city--probably my second favorite out of the cities I've visited (after Portland, Oregon, of course!). I would most definitely like to go back in the summertime.

On Tuesday morning, we drove back down to Boston (about two hours) and returned our car at the airport, then had lunch before the flight home. My older brother, Brian, picked us up from the airport and drove us home, which was awesome; and my younger brother, Nathan, brought Joey to us! It was so nice not to have to go out anywhere after we got home.

Joey was completely wiped out after a whole week at Lucky Puppy, his doggy daycare. He slept from the second he got home, and the entire next day. I'm sure he had a blast playing with all the other dogs for a week.

It feels good to be home, and now I'm working on getting back to a routine in the hope that it helps me out of this depression. I'll try to write again soon!


  1. I’m from Maine and local opinion is that DiMillo’s is totally overrated and overpriced for what they serve for food. Besides that, I’m glad you enjoyed your visit! Portland is a nice little city with a lot of character. Great choice for those doing a New England road trip! :)

  2. Loved reading your trip recap! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Loved reading about your vacation! Sounds like such a great family time!!

  4. Reading about your trip was so much fun! I love Maine, my parents lived near Bangor for about 15 years. Portland is a fun city, but the whole state is so beautiful and there is so much to do. Seems like you guys had a really great vacation.

  5. This was so much fun to read! Thanks for sharing your family vacation with us!

  6. Loved reading this! I've never been to Maine, so this was all very interesting to me. Too bad the lobster dinner wasn't the best, but like you said, it was an experience! I would have preferred the "lazy man's" version, too, ha ha!


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