Breaking in my crampons on the Mountain Division Trail in Freyburg

Some hikes are planned while others are more a matter of convenience. With our goal to say active each weekend, we always incorporate outdoor adventures into the agenda. With a trip to Saco River Brewing planned, we stopped at the Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg along the way for a quick hike.

It was also an opportunity to break in my newly purchased STABILicersTM. I’d already attempted a few too many winter hikes without the right gear and was excited to be finally properly equipped for the ice and snow. I was also especially happy that my new equipment came from a local company out of Biddeford. I bought them at Renys in Portland and this was my first opportunity to try them out.

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#AtoZChallenge | The Great And Powerful Theme Reveal… Made in Maine

I recently hit some milestones with my blog including passing the one year mark, and reaching my hundredth post.  While those were exciting moments for me, I want to continue to challenge myself and to grow my site while developing content that will connect with my readers.

Last year I participated in the A to Z Challenge for the first time and I am looking forward to taking part again this year. I love the creativity that comes from working with constraints such as those provided by the A-Z challenge.

Weekends in Maine is about optimizing life in Maine. Last year, my posts were all related to Maine but since my entire blog has that focus it seemed a bit like cheating when deciding on a theme again for this year. It didn’t really feel specific enough. So instead, I’m going to drill down and focus on one particular area of Maine.

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Lunch at Scratch Baking Company before hiking Willard Beach to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

It is a testament to the fact that we have so many amazing food places here in Maine that I had not yet made it to the Scratch Baking Company even though they have been around since 2004.  Of course, I had heard of them and knew that they got amazing reviews, but it was only this past month that I finally made my first visit.

My daughter was graciously standing in for my husband during a weekend hike as he was home sick with a cold and not up for it. The thing is my daughter does not like to hike. Not even a little bit. So, in order to convince her to join me I had to resort to the oldest of parenting strategies – bribery. I promised her a good meal if she came with me.

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Celebrating the Year of the Rooster with a stop into Empire Chinese Kitchen

I love award shows. Until we cut the cable cord recently, I watched them all. As part of my ritual a family tradition was born where we always get Chinese take-out to enjoy during the show. This tradition became a favorite with my girls even if they didn’t always watch the show with me. But, one thing that we have struggled with even as the tradition has persisted is finding good Chinese food.

When we lived in Massachusetts, we lived close to a Chinese restaurant with excellent take-out so we had fairly high standards. While we’ve circled through a variety of local places we still haven’t found the right one yet. After reading great reviews for Empire Chinese Kitchen, I was hopeful we would finally find a restaurant that matched our standards.

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Spring teaser at Popham Beach State Park and a visit to the Fort.

There are always those random days in the heart of winter that tease us with warmer temperatures and remind us that spring is not as far away as it sometimes seems after three consecutive snow storms. They’re always a special, happy occasion. When the temperatures jumped up to 55 degrees on a recent Sunday, we headed to Popham Beach State Park. For Maine in February, this was practically sunbathing weather.

We were struggling to find trails in the area that would be appropriate for winter hiking, so in the end decided to head to the beach and walk along the water which turned out to be the perfect decision. We arrived just after low tide which was ideal for exploring this popular destination. While there is a beautiful, sandy beach area there is also the rocky and interesting Fox Island just off the shore which can be accessed by foot only during low tide.

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