Yet again, we are back from a summer jaunt in Maine. This time around, we chose a fishing village in the southwesterly coast, just 90 miles north of Boston. We stayed in Kennebunk but every time we ventured out to eat or shop or swim in the ocean, the lines got blurred as to where Kennebunk ends and Kennebunkport begins.
As you see, the first photo welcomes us to Kennebunk, and right across the street it’s “Welcome to Kennebunkport”. We crossed town lines, y’all.
The summer home of Pres. George H.W. Bush, the place lives up to its name. Pretty as a picture in places, it has an air of well-maintained decorum. The beaches were nearby and plenty but we had time for just two – Scarborough and Crescent. And I can tell you right now, Scarborough is the one I would go back to.
Also, it reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel’s –
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine
Such lovely lyrics, am I right?
During high tide, the beach gets narrow but you are so far from the selfie-stick holding tourists that you don’t mind. What you have instead is Surf Camp, which is how I wish I spent my summers. We took long walks along the shore, had a quiet lunch with the waves crashing around us, and cooled off in the not-as-chilly-as-usual waters of the Atlantic.
Back in town, we had time to try a couple of restaurants – the Village Tavern and Duffy’s Tavern. Both had excellent service but if you have a toddler with you, I suggest skipping the former. Nicely pressed table cloths and place settings with two shiny forks are very attractive to a toddler, who will not want to sit in his high-chair the entire course of the meal. Buttered pasta saved the day – long enough for us to finish our dinner.
Duffy’s on the other hand, served above-mentioned toddler a glass of water with a taped lid and he had his very own crayons and coloring page. Both places did well when it came to seafood and cocktails and craft beers. But of course, when you are busy straggling a one-year old and a seven year old, you don’t take pictures, however “gram-worthy” they may be.
We paid a visit to the local supermarket, Hannaford, and I was pleasantly surprised to see most people opting for personal grocery bags. Yes, Maine charges a few extra cents for plastic bags and Gov. Janet Mills has very recently signed a bill into law that has made Maine the fourth state to ban single-use plastic bags. The new law won’t go into effect until April 22, 2020, giving businesses some time to make the necessary changes. The same can’t be said of Hampton Inn. They had no recycle bins and the amount of plastic waste produced each day, especially at breakfast, left me speechless.
The town itself was by the river and supremely walkable. It had coffee houses, gift stores, surf shops, pretty signs, antique lamps, restaurants around which queues of hungry people with phones in hands waited to be texted in, and bunches of flowers everywhere. A sweet summer evening by the coast and as expected, the place was hopping.
The chalk art spoke to me. Love the sentiment behind the words and the cutesy little light on the top right. I wish I had the time to go in.
I would love to have a coffee here someday.
How cool are these birdhouses?
Take a book or leave a book. Your choice. While I was there I saw a little boy arrange the books in a way so that they can be visible from the sidewalk. I am not entirely sure but I think he added Pomp and Circumstance by Fred Mustard Stewart in the mix. I cannot tell you how much this concept warms my book-loving heart.
If you want to Maine all to yourself, go during the winter months. But we didn’t want the quiet of winter. We liked the scent of sunscreen wafting in along with the salty sea breeze, the seagulls looking for careless lunchers and their open bag of chips, the kids learning to surf and the babies playing with warm sand. We wanted to feel the vibrant energy of coastal New England and embrace it fully. And that we did.