So close and yet so far, only two stops left on the Maine Beer Trail.

We were in the home stretch almost ready to claim our prize and revel in our bragging rights. Our tattered, well-worn beer trail map held together with generous amounts of packaging tape, has only TWO blank spaces left. We planned to finish our visits in the spring but then the world paused.

No stamps from Penobscot Bay Brewery or Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company to add an air of finality to our three year adventure. Both breweries are in the mid-coast. Both are just out of reach for now.

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#AtoZChallenge | S is for State Theatre and other places to enjoy live music in Maine.

Portland is having a moment. Actually, it’s more like a decade. The craft beer scene continues to expand, our food choices are varied and delicious, and music venues are keeping pace as this Rolling Stone article highlights in “Inside Portland, Maine’s Wildly Ambitious Music Scene“.

I have been passionate about Bruce Springsteen’s music since my college days. We got tickets to his Tunnel of Love Tour at the Worcester Centrum. This was back in the day when you had to call for tickets. Redialing again and again until that magic moment when you heard ringing instead of the fast buzz of the busy signal. We got our tickets. They did happen to be in the very last row at the back of the 38,000 seat arena. While Springsteen always puts on a great show, we watched that one on the large video monitors setup throughout the concert space.

I have seldom returned to stadium shows since that one. It’s not an enjoyable musical experience. I prefer a more intimate one. Fortunately, I live in the right state.

Goldilocks would have loved Portland. It’s the perfect size city: not too big, not too small, but just right. It has everything you need, but it’s not so big as to be overwhelming. Our music scene is the same, with intimate venues that allow you be a part of the musical experience instead of an observer.

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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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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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Top 10 List | Maine Memories from 2017

Looking back on 2017, my second year of blogging, I continue to be excited with the direction of my blog, and motivated to expand and grow my content. There is a never-ending selection of adventures available in Maine. But, before I jump into 2018, here are ten of my favorite activities from this past year, and links to the blog posts I wrote about them.

(1) Getting to Know Me | 30 Odd Questions #Blogfest . I was a blog hop newbie, but this year I participated in one hosted by Emily’s World and The Doglady’s Den. I met Debbie from The Doglady’s Den during the annual A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed learning more about other bloggers during this blog hop as well as sharing a little bit  about myself too.

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