Day 1: Reach Portland; collapse in bed at the Marriott.
Day 2: Glorious day. Test-drove the rented Red Mustang (SO glad we went the Nissan way in our Real life). Had breakfast at Mesa Verde, where I discovered extra protein in the form of human hair in my lemonade. Thank God it wasn't curly. The pineapple salsa was good, though. Walked in the lovely Old Port area, browsing through pretty shops. Bought a 16 year old bottle of balsamic vinegar. It tasted of heaven. Took the Casco Bay Ferry to Peaks Island. Then, a long hike around the rocky shore. Had dinner at the lovely Cock-Eyed Gull at the landing, watching ships sail away in the night. The seaweed salad and the hummus were Good.
Day 3: Spent the day shopping in Freeport. Its a huddle of about a hundred stores lined up in picturesque village fashion. There isn't much 'outlet' about it, though, but you do get all the latest stuff. Things I bought? Ankle boots at Bass, khakis at Gap, a tee at Ralph Lauren, jeans, denim skirt and a coat at Anne Klein. Had lunch at the Azure Cafe; the bruschetta was to die for. The tomato-vodka soup and the ravioli were so good, we had to give up on dessert. Yumm. Went to the L. L. Bean flagship store; its apparently The Thing to Do in Freeport. Ended up in the Bean outlet down the road, where I bought a white linen shirt and a purple turtleneck. Whew.
Drove down to Old Orchard Beach to spend the night at their oldest inn, OOB inn aka the Ye Olde Staples Inn, est. 1730s. The whole town was shut down at 9 pm, and we had to create a make-do dinner of nuts and chips in our gorgeous room.
Day 4: Sunshine. Went to Cape Elizabeth to see the Portland Head Light, learnt about Fresnel Lenses in the tiny museum attached, hiked around the rocky shore, and wrapped up visiting the Two Lights State Park. Tidal pools and rock formations! Amazing scenery all around.
Day 5: Took a quick walk down to the Old Orchard Beach amusement park, then drove up to Portland to spend the day in the Portland Museum of Art. Got to see a smaller version of The Thinker. Had lunch at O'Naturals, and drove up to Camden. We stayed at Glenmoor by the Sea, which is highly recommended. Ours was a regular king-sized room with a good view of the sea, but they have cottages right by the shore and a complimentary muffins-and-coffee breakfast delivered to your room every morning!
Day 6: Cloudy and windy. Had brunch at the Camden Deli; again, excellent food. Spent an hour in a bookshop; ended up buying the Latest Terry Pratchett, The Dangerous Book For Boys for hubby, and a beautifully illustrated Through the Looking Glass. Then we took ourselves aboard the schooner Olad and into Penobscot Bay.The best part was getting to raise the sails! It was colder and windier by the time we got back. After warming up with a hot turtle latte, we went up Mount Battie to see gorgeous fall views of the Camden harbor.
Day 7: Full blown rain, all day long. After much arguing back n forth, we decided to go west to see more color. And so we went to Bethel and the Grafton Notch State Park.Trees in bright yellow, red, purple, orange, pink; it was like being in a dream. Warmed up with hot tea at a chinese restaurant, we drove back to Portland and creature comforts at the Holiday Inn. Room delivered pizza from Ricetta, a ppv movie on TV, and a warm bed. Nice.