At the end of June, I flew up to Boston to visit Isabel. It was her last night in Boston. The next day, we took a bus to Portland. I was really looking forward to spending time with her parents and also explore her hometown, Cape Elizabeth.

Isabel's mom picked us up from the bus station Friday afternoon. Our first night in Maine, we wandered around the Old Port and First Friday - an event held on the first Friday of every month in Portland. We met up with Ali, a good family friend, for dinner at a restaurant called Boda. After dinner, we walked back toward our car and stopped for gelato where I had one of the best cups of gelato I've ever had (I ended up getting ripe mango and blood orange - one scoop of each). We stopped by nana's house on the way to Isabel's so I could meet her. When we got to Isabel's house, I met Lola - their family dog, and we began packing for our planned hiking trip on Saturday.

The next morning we woke up and grabbed breakfast from a place called 158. We each had delicious bagel sandwiches. After breakfast, we stopped at Holy Donut for a few treats for our road trip. Their wild Maine blueberry doughnut was one of the best donuts I've ever had. We were on the road later than expected and ended up getting to Tumbledown Mountain early afternoon. It was fun seeing the Maine countryside, small roadside produce stands, farms, and other abandoned buildings along the way to our destination. We hiked a trail that was the most direct route to the top of Tumbledown. At the top, there is a lake that exists because of the melted ice and snow from the winter months. The water was a little too chilly to swim in, but we brought our bathing suits just in case we wanted to swim. Unfortunately, I dropped Isabel's phone into the water and it stopped working. We each got a leg and foot soaked trying to grab the phone from the water so we had to wear mismatched socks and shoes (luckily we had an extra pair of socks and an extra pair of shoes and we each got different feet wet) while we hiked down. It was definitely a fun adventure but I still feel bad about breaking her phone.

After our hike, we drove toward a town called Bridgeton. They have a drive in movie and we had planned on me having my first drive in experience during this trip since Maine is one of the few states that still has drive in move theaters. My stomach wasn't feeling too great so we went home instead and stopped at a place called Yosaku in Portland for dinner on our way back to Cape Elizabeth.

The next day, we sailed to Chebeague Island to spend the night and celebrate the Fourth early with Isabel's grandparents. I previously met them during a trip they took to Charleston back in February and was looking forward to seeing them again. The sailing trip, my first, was magical. It was so much fun getting to see all of the different islands that are off the coast of Portland. And it was nice getting to spend some quality time with Isabel's parents. When we got to Chebeague we were greeted by her grandfather who picked us up and drove us to the house. It's such a charming and magical place. And their house was also so special. There's a cherry tree in the front yard that is as old as Isabel (it was planted after she was born). I caught fireflies for the first time. Her family made a lobster dinner, also my first time eating lobster. It was such an experience! I'm really thankful for her family's kindness and warmth.

The next day, we got up and took a bike ride around part of Chebeague Island. They have a lot of Fourth of July festivities including a 5K run, a parade, and a picnic. We watched the parade go by and went to the picnic for a little while before we left. We went into Freeport that day to stop by a party hosted by Isabel's parent's friends. Isabel and I ended up walking into town and explored the LL Bean store. It's huge. Isabel's parents picked us up and we went into Portland. We left a car in town and it ended up getting towed. We had to go get the car from the tow place. Once that was taken care of, we went back into Portland, parked, and made our way to the Eastern Promenade to set up for the fireworks show. We met up with Natalie and Brette, a couple of Isabel's friends from high school. It was a nice way to spend the Fourth.

The next day, we grabbed lunch with another one of Isabel's friends before meeting up with Brette again to pick strawberries. After strawberry picking, we grabbed ice cream from a place called Kettle Cove Creamery. The three of us went to Portland to meet up with Natalie. We grabbed lunch at the Public Market House. That night, Isabel and I decided to go see a movie since we weren't able to go to the drive in.

Wednesday was my last day in Maine. That morning, we took Lola to Fort Williams Park. It was a fun getting to walk around, see the Portland Head Light, throw around the frisbee, and just spend some time with Isabel. We had lunch with her parents and then I packed up my bag and Isabel took me to the airport. My flight leaving Portland was delayed two hours so I would have missed my connecting flight in Atlanta. I didn't realize any of this until we were at the airport. I decided to rebook a flight for the following morning so I ended up getting a last night in Maine.

We went to dinner at a place called Bao Bao that night and ate delicious dumplings. We stopped for ice cream at Willard Scoops. We took a walk to Willard Beach and then went home for the night. Isabel and I had to get up at 5:00 AM the next morning so tried to sleep as early as possible.

Overall I had a really amazing trip to Maine. I'm definitely looking forward to going back. Here are a few photographs from my trip.