#AtoZChallenge | E is for the Eastern Prom and Staying Active

The Eastern Prom in Portland is usually full of activity and the host to many community events but on a cold winter day I ventured down to this waterfront location and captured a few quieter winter moments. The park was empty and isolated but the views were still spectacular.

While the park was deserted, the snowman standing guard among the playground equipment and the many pairs of footprints frozen into the snow underneath the swing set showed that even in the winter the park still gets plenty of little visitors. According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, the Eastern Promenade is also a great spot for sledding that doesn’t seem to draw the crowds of some other locations, but offers a great hill with amazing views.1 Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | D is for a Determined Dog Chasing Snowballs

My dog was built for water. He’s a swimmer. During a few tentative minutes his first time in the lake where his head spent more time under water than above it,  I thought we may have gotten the only Labrador Retriever on the planet who was about to drown. Fortunately, he caught on and has never looked back.  He loves living on the lake and swims any chance he gets.

But, what does he do in the winter with the lake frozen over and temps hovering around zero? Fortunately, he’s also built for the cold so the temps don’t bother him but getting exercise in during the more limiting winter months can be more challenging. Continue reading

Love a good scavenger hunt? Try a digital version with Operation City Quest.

After a recent slip on the ice caused a mild concussion, I took a short break from hiking while I was recovering but it left me a little stir crazy. I was looking for a way to stay active but without the risk of another slip on the ice and snow that covers our hiking trails in the winter. Fortunately, we found something fun to do that kept us moving for the afternoon. We headed into Portland for Operation City Quest, a digital Scavenger Hunt. Scavenger hunts are a great way to have fun in an active, engaged way.

We loved participating in the Portland Beer Week Scavenger Hunt but they haven’t held it the last few years, so I was excited when I stumbled upon this digital scavenger hunt option with Operation City Quest. While this one didn’t involve any craft beer, or bar hopping, it was a nice, family friendly way to spend a Saturday in Portland.

Not close to Portland? No problem! They have digital scavenger hunts for cities all over the country and some in Canada too. You can pick your destination from their interactive map or the listing on their website. Continue reading

Six Family Friendly Winter Activities You Can’t Miss

I love all the seasons equally. I mean that sincerely. They all have something that makes them special but sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the challenges they can bring. Maybe it’s the mosquitoes in the spring, the humidity of summer, or the endless cold and snow of winter. The best approach is to embrace both the joys and challenges of each season fully.

Now that we’re in the midst of winter here in Maine, here are six can’t miss activities that will ensure you get the most from the season. There is much to embrace this time of year. Continue reading

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. Continue reading