Hiking Maine | Looking for something to do besides shop at Clarks Pond?

Black Friday is coming. The official and frenzied kick-off to the holiday shopping season. While I enjoy shopping, sometimes you just need a break from it all. Nestled amidst the retail stores, and shopping plazas, of the Clark’s Pond area in South Portland, is the Clark’s Pond Trail. An unexpected oasis and peaceful green space where you can unwind.

Until goggling trails in the area one recent Sunday morning,  I never realized it was there even though I had been to this shopping destination many times. The start of the trail is easily accessed by parking in the back of the Home Depot lot, and walking a short distance to the well-marked trail entrance. The trail immediately immerses you in forest quickly leaving the stores behind although the steady buzz of cars never quite goes away and remains as a ready reminder that you’re still in an urban space. Continue reading

Appetizer and Drinks at The Treehouse in Portland

We went to The Treehouse on a recent cool autumn night. Not the ideal time to venture to a restaurant known for its amazing deck that sits beneath twinkling tree branches. Even though it was too chilly to sit outside, we found The Treehouse on Stevens Avenue in Portland to be a magical destination for any time of the year.

As you enter the restaurant, you immediately head up a flight of stairs to reach the darkened dining area which is brightened by a seemingly endless number of hanging lights, both colored and white, throughout the space.

We made the decision to head there on a whim. Even though it recently won Portland’s Best Kept Secret award at the Portland Buy Local Indie Biz Awards, I knew it wasn’t that much of a secret. It’s a much buzzed about, well reviewed destination and we’d been wanting to try it for a while. Being on the fence about our plans until only an hour or so before heading out made making reservations a non-option. As we weren’t going for dinner, just a drinks and appetizers at the bar on this trip, we were hopeful we’d get a seat. Continue reading

Photographic Tour through the Western Cemetery in Portland Maine

I am not a photographer but I love to pretend that I am. I compensate from my lack of skills by taking copious amounts of pictures even for the shortest of outings. With this strategy, I’m usually able to find a few pictures that don’t disappoint. It works for me although it still pains my far more skilled at photography brother that I never take my camera off automatic mode. Maybe someday.

So, when I heard that Portland Trails was hosting a Discovery Trek | Fall Foliage Photography tour through the Western Cemetery in Portland, I was quick to sign up. I’d never explored that area of Portland and the promise of tips to help improve my photography skills was added incentive. Continue reading

Enjoying a Craft Beer Tasting Flight at Dirigo Brewing Company in Biddeford

My grandfather had nine fingers. He started with ten, but one day at work when his wedding band caught on the machinery that he was repairing, that changed. It’s why my dad never wore his wedding ring to work. It happened well before I was born so I only really know the lore, but it takes its place with other family stories of life in the mills. Growing up in Biddeford or Saco in those days, it was all about the textile mills.

By my own childhood, the textile mills were fading until they eventually were gone leaving behind empty buildings, brick and mortar reminders of a lost industry. These beautiful, cavernous mill spaces stayed dormant for so long it seemed they would never emerge. But, lately that’s been changing. Continue reading