#AtoZChallenge | I is for Islands and a perfect summer day on Monhegan.

There is something magical about a perfect summer day. It stays in our memory with such a force that we can easily return to it and relive the moments to brighten more dreary ones. Our trip to Monhegan Island was one of those days.

After a foggy boat ride out of New Harbor, we reached Monhegan Island where the sky was bright and clear. We immediately set off on the 4.4 mile Cliff Trail, which circles the outer edge of the island and opens onto one amazing ocean view after another. It is the embodiment of the rugged Maine coastline. Below is a slide show of images from our trip:

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#AtoZChallenge | C is for Craft Beer and five sours that bring a smile to my puckered lips.

Watching a video the first time a baby tries a lemon always makes me smile. That  immediate, reflexive pucker and confused expression not quite sure if they like this new mysterious taste or not.  For me, there’s no confusion. I love lemons and anything sour. I’ll still pucker up on occasion if the flavor is extremely sour but it’s one of my favorites.

While my go to movie candy is milk duds, sour patch kids is a close second. I can finish off the whole bag during the opening credits of the movie. I’m not proud of that fact. It’s why I only buy them occasionally.

So, it’s no surprise that my favorite craft beer is sour. Fortunately, there is an abundance of amazing options available in Maine for sour loving girls like me.

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Our travels along the Maine Beer Trail for 2018.

How did we do with year two of our attempt to visit all the craft breweries on the Maine Beer Trail? I’d love to say we finally made it to them all, but since there are over 80 unique breweries in Maine, and new ones continue to open, I’m afraid the finish line still eludes us, at least for now.

While we’re not quite finished, we did have a great time again trying to get to as many craft breweries as we could this past year. For each stop, we usually tried to make a day of it. We’d search out an interesting hike, and look for other fun things in the area as we explored different parts of Maine.

Below is an overview of the craft breweries we visited in 2018.

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10 Maine Adventures on My Bucket List for 2019

For the last few years I have been putting together an annual bucket list of things I want to do in Maine for the upcoming year. It’s a fun exercise that gets me thinking about the adventures that we want to have and the places we want to visit.

This past year was especially challenging and we actually got through only a couple of things on the list which does make me wonder if perhaps a bucket list is not the best approach but I’m going to give it one more shot.

Below is a list of ten things on my bucket list for the coming year. Many are ones we didn’t get to last year although I’ve added a few new ones into the mix. Here’s hoping we have better results this time around.

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Looking for free things to do? Here’s a monthly breakdown of free events in Maine for 2019.

A few years ago, my family and I did the Living Well Spending Zero challenge from Ruth Soukup. As part of the challenge, we spent minimal money for the entire month. No groceries, no entertainment, no take-out. We allowed ourselves a small amount of cash at the start of the month for minor necessities, and activities that had already been planned, but that was it. We ate through the food in our refrigerator and pantry, learned to ration our seltzer, and went to some free events like the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Overall, we did a great job, or at least until the last day of the month when our cat came down with a UTI, and we had to do an emergency visit to the vet complete with x-rays, anesthesia, and multiple antibiotics, all of which negated most of our savings from our zero spend month. Still it was a fun, creative experiment and one we are about to embark on again.

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