Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Aretha Franklin

What are you up to this weekend? Our family is listening to Aretha Franklin, who was such a legend. We’re also heading up to Maine tonight. I’ve only been once, for a rainy weekend, many years ago, so I’m looking forward to exploring. We’ll be in Portland and Camden, and if you have any tips, I would love to hear. Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few links from around the web…

Issa Rae’s best advice: “Don’t be afraid to be a b*tch.”

Damn, Bon Appetit is always so good at titling. (And cooking shrimp.)

Those Swiss mountains.

This essay is intense, and some parts I didn’t agree with, but these lines hit home: “I had not been alone because I am a mother, and a mother is never alone. When she is washing, sleeping, raging, she is not alone. For a mother, this is the state of things. Children hang from your clothing. They pummel you with questions. Like a gunfight, like the most consuming love, like an apocalypse: they take up all of the available space.”

Laughed out loud at the Hulu documentary Too Funny to Fail. Baby Steve Carell!

Wow, this wallpaper.

Wishlisting this pretty dress.

What it’s like playing poker as a woman.

I just finished The Terrible, and it was beautiful and honest.

A great, important Twitter thread about race. Worth reading, rereading and sharing.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says SGC on single woman seeks role model: “There’s a scene in ‘Parks and Recreation’ where Leslie Knope is showing all the framed pictures of her heroes that she keeps in her office, which includes a picture of herself. ‘I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself,’ she says to the camera. Personally, I’m climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in December and every time I share the news with a friend, my heart swells with pride. WAY TO GO, ME.”

Says Jo on letting your kids walk around alone: “What I’m really taking away from it all is that parenting is just a never-ending slew of decision making. Every day, you’re trying to create a life full of joy, wonder and humility for these new little people. Sometimes in the morning I find myself thinking, ‘I’ve probably made 45 decisions already and it’s only 8 a.m.’ Maybe one day I’d let my sweet six-year-old walk to the deli and the next day I wouldn’t. I just hope he grows up knowing how much I cared, over and over and over.”

(Photo of the wonderful Aretha Franklin. Twitter thread via Erin.)

  1. Peg says...

    The essay. So much resonated with me. I’m not totally feeling the term mother as “death maker”, but definitely feeling deeply that no one talks about how death becomes a constant companion when you become a mother. Thoughts of me dying, them dying, everyone dying, the tragedy of it, and yet also the questions of why is it a tragedy when everyone has done it or will. And then eye rolling myself, wasting time thinking about it, being so dramatic. It’s a struggle. Painful, but also deeply joyful and fulfilling. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Anneka says...

    I love that reader’s comment about parenting. Feels so true and like something important to hold on to. Printing it out.

  3. Jessica Fracassini says...

    The essay was intense but some of it rang true. And it reminds me of the final lines of Jessi Klein’s essay “Get the Epidural” – “When you have a baby, there will be plenty more pain. The pain of recovery, no matter how you give birth. The pain of nursing. The pain of not fitting into any of your old clothes. The pain of not fitting into even your maternity jeans. The pain of hearing your baby cry and not knowing how to fix it. The pain of wondering whether your partner still finds you attractive. The pain of arguing with your husband while your child is in the other room. The pain of knowing that you witnessed the very first moment of this beautiful person’s life, and that one day, and you hope that it’s at least a hundred years from now, there will inevitably be a last moment.”

  4. Allegra LaViola says...

    since becoming a mother I have thought of death almost incessantly. it is the main reason i consider having another child. the thought of ever losing my 1 child makes me want to have another, as insurance. I am stalked by death all the time in my brain, and many other mothers I know say the same thing, but nobody talks about it. thank you for posting.

    • Ellie says...

      100% agreement. I thought I was the only one.

  5. Have fun in Maine! In Camden, be sure to have the lobster stew at the Waterfront Restaurant, take a spin on the Schooner Surprise, and check out the Camden library! Oh, and The Owl and Turtle Bookshop cafe for books and coffee.

  6. Dana says...

    “I just hope he grows up knowing how much I cared, over and over and over.” This made me tear up. I often feel stuck in a loop of trying so hard and failing often as a mother, that I discount the love and care that’s at the center of everything. Even the mistakes.

    • Ashley says...

      How devastating simple and true, “how much I cared, over and over and over.” Even the most mundane choices become little tender prayers to the ones we love. Every choice, no matter how seemingly innocuous, act as communion to those we cherish as we attempt to take care, rear, educate — love.

  7. Helen says...

    Watched Crazy Rich Asians in theaters twice this weekend. A fun yet important movie. Spread the word!

  8. Bailey says...

    I’ve actually made that Shrimp Scampi recipe before and can certify that it is killer. Something about the grated garlic…

  9. Yulia says...

    Thank you for sharing that Twitter thread. (I’m not on Twitter, so I always miss whatever’s trending.) It opened my eyes and made me think, and I hope I can say that my world view has changed.

    The sociologist who posted the tweets has since written a blog post collecting all of them together, for anyone who’d find an essay an easier read than a string of tweets. Here’s the link:
    https://egrollman.com/2018/08/18/you-are-racist/

    I’d love to see more content about racism on Cup of Jo; if you don’t write it yourselves, then just keep highlighting the good reads like this one to foster conversations about race in the comments section. (I would suggest creating actual COJ content, but it gets complicated because you’d need to be sensitive in choosing the creators of that content. As Dr. Grollman points out, POC aren’t responsible for educating privileged audiences. We are responsible for educating ourselves. Which is why, if white people don’t know what to say, we can at least start by championing and discussing the words of those who do.)

  10. Joi Caplen says...

    Good for you letting your son walk to the store. I had a real childhood where I spent time alone riding my bike, exploring and creating. So many parents today are trying to perfect childhood. Let them be.

    • Alexandra says...

      It’s not so easy, unfortunately. While I would love to let my kids be more advantageous, it’s not possible everywhere. We live in a not very pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in San Jose, CA, where roads are wide, and crossing them, as well as biking outside the immediate neighborhood are kind of treacherous, even for adults. While I am not trying to be a perfect parent, I am trying to not get my kids run over. We also have two registered sex offenders in the neighborhood, whose offense was child pornography (they moved here after we did …) It was easier in Kauai and on vacation in Germany to let the kids run freely.

  11. I definitely spent some time listening to Aretha this weekend :( She’s always been one of my favorite singers so my soul needed some soothing…

  12. Olivia says...

    Thank you so much for posting the Twitter thread about race. It is SO important and clearly written and I highly encourage anyone who passed by it to read it in full. We (white people) all have personal responsibility here.

    • Sasha L says...

      Same, heartily agree.

  13. “When I became a mom, no one ever said, ‘Hey, you made a death. You made your children’s deaths.’ Meanwhile, I could think of little else. It’s scary to think of mothers as makers of death, but it sure gives them more power and complexity than one usually finds.”

    This resonates with me so much. I never wanted children, in part because I didn’t want to give birth to something that was going to die. Morbid, I know, but I truly felt that way. After my first child was born, a friend reminded me that I had said that and it was like a knife straight to the heart. Nothing makes you more aware of fragility of life than holding a precious, tiny newborn. To hold something that you love an incomprehensible amount, and be the protector of something so important and so vulnerable is so profound and terrifying. I find a great deal of joy in motherhood, much more than I had imagined possible, and I understand much more now that life is meant to be an arc and that is what makes it beautiful, but death is always there. Always watching. No wonder I’m exhausted.

    • Em says...

      Me, too. All this. I became a mother nine months ago at 37. I thought maybe it was my age and this sudden strange realization of the brevity of life, the depressing situations my great-grandparents were going through. But it isn’t just that. This article and past are the first time I have read anyone else articulate these heavy and utterly unexpected thoughts. Thankfully, so thankfully, they are enmeshed in a multitude of shifting, fleeting, breathtaking joys.

    • Amanda says...

      I feel the same. This quote and the quote posted on here a few weeks ago from Ru by Kim Thúy (“I never had any questions except the one about the moment when I could die. I should have chosen the moment before the arrival of my children, for since then I’ve lost the option of dying.”) have really hit me hard. My son is 2.5 and since having him I cannot stop thinking about death. I think about him dying. I think about me dying before he will ever be able to remember me. He is the greatest joy, but it’s like this impending loss is always with me.

  14. I just walked by that very dress this week! It’s on my Wishlist too

  15. Sarah says...

    We LOVE Camden. Getting to this late so possibly too late but the Hartstone Inn has great dinners and are open Monday nights unlike a lot of places (it’s fairly fancy). There is a nice cheese and wine shop where you can get picnic supplies or if you want pre made go to 3 dog bakery. If you have a kitchen you should definitely stop by aldamere farm for some meat, it’s amazing!

    Project puffin is a fun spot in Rockland (there’s also a cute local artist’s gift shop in Rockland).

    In wicassett there’s a toy museum which may be of interest and across the street is a diner that serves blueberry floats which consist of soda, and soft serve ice cream with blueberries floating in them. Somewhere between there is the most random shop stocked with wooden items made by convicts. The money made pays for restitution to victims or commissary and you can get anything from Adirondack chairs to baby pull toys.

    Portland has great food too we like the blue rooster (gourmet hot dogs and tatertots), the thirsty pig where you can get a flight of sausages and beer and duckfat which has unreal fries, Silly’s is fun with kids. Honestly you can’t miss with the food there.
    I hope you have/had a great trip!

  16. Cant wait to check out the documentary! Thanks for the suggestions!

  17. Madi says...

    For the Twitter thread:
    Someone mentioned that he is also a Sociologist by profession and by writing that VERY extensive thread he was contributing not only emotional labor, but also free professional work – they then asked how they could send support financially as a thank you for his work.
    His answer:
    “Very kind of you to ask and offer. If you want to support me, feel free to put in a good word with @urichmond, @racrutcher, & @spiderworldwide. My tenure file is due in a couple of weeks! If you want to put your money toward racial justice, donate to @ignitekindred on my behalf?”

    Support can mean that we actually took the spirit of the article and took action.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for this.

  18. Megan says...

    If possible, a day trip to Monhegan Island is highly recomended. A fun ferry ride, 10 miles off shore to a cozy island with neat hiking trails, no cars but for the few locals, and an artist colony that captures the islands unique vibe and amazing coastal views.

  19. Sara says...

    https://www.wendellgilleymuseum.org

    About 15 years ago I went to the Gilley Museum. In these years I have thought of it occasionally, so deceptively simple and real, way down deep. I would love to go back. I would love to take my kids there.

  20. I wish I had seen this post earlier! I was just in Portland Maine last weekend and it’s my home away from home! Have the best time and DEF go to Honeypaw for their fried chicken and soft serve (TO DIE FOR) Eventide for oysters (just walk in and stand in waiting room, don’t make a rez!), Coffee at Tandem (get the biscuits for breakfasts there too – it’s a secret you have to ask for them!) and if you have a hankering for a Lobstah Roll head up to Cape Elizabeth to the Lobster Shack at Two Points! OMG and get donuts from Holy Donut – they are life changing. ALSO – Bon Appetit just rated The Drifters Wife as one of their top new spots in the USA so I’d try that too! Have fun! Jump in the ocean as much as possible! HAVE FUN JOANNA!!

  21. Cat says...

    For another perspective on “Racism”, read Candace Owens work. She is a remarkable young woman and not a “victim.” #tryanotherperspective

    • Cara M says...

      Respectfully, can you point me to an article or some quotes about Candace Owens that you admire? I’ve done some research, but all I can seem to find are quotes like calling Black Lives Matter, “whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention” and acknowledging Donald Trump as, “not just the leader of the free world, but the Savior of it as well.” She has also gone on record as calling women of a certain age that are not married or have not had children as having something “bio-chemically wrong.” Perhaps I’m missing something redeeming here about her opinions?

    • Sasha L says...

      Racism exists. It’s not hypothetical.
      Eric, the writer of the Twitter feed isn’t a “victim” and it’s demeaning to refer to him in that manner. The quotes Cara posted from Candace Owens speak for themselves.

      More on white supremacy, racism and resources to help white people tear it all down please COJ. We have a long way to go and it’s our work to do.

  22. Kelsey says...

    Woohoo for Maine. I grew up in Old Orchard Beach. It’s fun and touristy and full of speedo’s… If you want a more laid back beach experience, drive towards Ocean Park or Kinney Shores and park your butt in the sand. This is where I take my kids. Super safe and very friendly. At some point in the afternoon the Ice Cream Truck will make it’s appearance for over an over priced, but required summer staple :)

  23. Tammy says...

    Thank you for the Twitter article by Eric Anthony Grollman – it really opened my eyes and made me aware that as a white person, I have so much to still learn and change.

  24. Jo says...

    I highly recommend Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay (Midcoast, approx 1hr from Camden) They have a children’s garden which ended up being my husband and I’s favorite on the site. The installations / services are great and there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. Even non-gardeners will have a great time. I basically dragged my husband there and he raved about it.

  25. My friends from high school and I just celebrated our 25th year of being besties in Portland earlier this month. We stayed in South Portland. Our favorites were Willard Beach, the Portland Head Light and all the gorgeous homes in Cape Elizabeth. We ate at Duckfat(we got there at 4:00-no wait), Central Provisions, Empire, Scratch Bakery, and Bam Bam bakery. We also took a sunset lighthouse cruise. It is jaw-dropping beautiful up there! Enjoy!

  26. Lisa M says...

    We went to Portland last weekend! The brown butter lobster roll at Eventide is worth the wait and our wait was only 1/3 of the very long 90 minutes we were quoted!

  27. Lily says...

    My family took a vacation to Acadia every year of my childhood, and my favorite stop on the 16-hour (each way) drive was Camden. Childhood me begged to go to the Smiling Cow every time. It’s just a gift shop, but the whole trip felt incomplete if I didn’t go into the store and walk to the very back, where you can go out on a balcony that overlooks the river that runs under the store and down a waterfall, into the harbor.

    • Kathleen Copeland says...

      Yes! I’ve only been once as a child but your comment brought the memory flooding back. Awesome place!

  28. Silvia says...

    Camden Tips: (a few off the beaten path)
    — Cellardoor winery (the barn, not the Rockport location)
    — Lincolnville General Store
    — Glendarragh Lavender Farm, Appleton (a bit of Provence in mid coast Maine)
    — Pick your own wild blueberry farms

  29. OMG! Every rec on here is perfect. Just being in Portland and Camden will take your breath away. Street & Co. and Gilato Fiasco remain our faves. In Camden…Rockland…or is it Rockport? actually…Primo’s and their gardens are amazing! The library in Camden…love love love! You will love everything! And the Andrew Wyeth Museum! And Linconville and Belfast…Chase & Co. is astounding!

  30. jessica beaudet says...

    while in maine you should stop by pemaquid mercantile, located in the lovely town of pemaquid falls~ farm stand and great shop~

    • Julie Schoelzel says...

      Yes! Such a wonderful place!

  31. Keryn says...

    Joanna, what fun! The Camden area has been my home for many years. I am happy to share my very favorite haunts with you. Enjoy!

    A DAY IN ROCKLAND
    – breakfast at Home Kitchen Cafe. The best breakfast in midcoast Maine, bar none. Do not leave without a couple of their pecan sticky buns for the road.
    – pick up lunch fixings downtown at Main Street Market. Peek in Archipelago for beautiful Maine-made items, and stop at Atlantic Baking Company for an extra cup of coffee.
    – make the short drive to the Owls Head Transportation Museum to view (and ride in) vintage airplanes and cars.
    – take your picnic to the beach at Birch Point State Park, or to the Marshall Point Lighthouse (made famous by Forest Gump’s run). Play in the freezing cold water. Skip stones.
    – meander back to Camden via Rockport’s Aldemere Farm, home of the area’s beautiful herd of Belted Galloways.
    – pick up lobsters and corn at Graffam Bros in Rockport for dinner at home.

    CAMDEN
    – breakfast at Boynton McKay
    – hike (there’s a little-known trail that you can take from downtown at the end of Megunticook Street) or drive up Mt. Battie for its beautiful views and the thrilling stone tower at its summit. For extra credit, bring a huge piece of paper and a thick crayon or charcoal to make a rubbing of the bronzed stanza of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Renascence inspired by the very same view. Bring snacks!
    – lunch at the Waterfront – a Camden institution. Sit on the deck.
    – make your way to the harborfront for a 2-hour schooner sail. Being on the water changes everything! On the way, stop at Sugar Tools for beautiful objects, and the Owl and the Turtle for a few minutes spent gazing at books and refueling with coffee.
    – roll down hills and splash in the bay at the Camden Public Library, Amphitheater and Habor Park.
    – dinner at Long Grain (Asian street food), if you’ve made reservations (make them NOW) or Drouthy Bear (Scottish pub food). Both are kid friendly and delicious.

    NOT TO MISS
    – Beth’s Farm market. You’ll see signs for it as you drive from Portland to Camden. Take the 10-minute detour, buy the apple cider donuts and a strawberry or blueberry shortcake to share. Pick up a jar of grape juice for later and try to keep yourself from purchasing all of the amazing produce.
    – the Lincolnville Center General Store is worth the 10-minute drive from Camden. Located at a sweet country crossroads, it has the absolute best breakfast sandwiches (try the egg, cheese and garlic-fried greens on a biscuit and then dream about it every day for the rest of your life) and coffee in the area. They also carry lots of local goods and produce. Tell Ladleah and Briar I sent you.
    – swimming in Megunticook lake. If you’re not staying at a lakeside ‘camp’ be sure to swing by Barrett’s Cove for a beachy dip, or the corner of Molyneaux and Beaucaire Ave for a woodsy entrance to the lake.
    – dinner at Nebo Lodge on North Haven Island. You’ll catch a lobster boat ride in Rockland at 4pm, enjoy a stunning meal at Nebo (or delicious pizza at Nebo’s sister restaurant Calderwood Hall) and then hop back on the boat for a glorious, starry jaunt through the Fox Islands back to the mainland. Reserve online.
    – Primo restaurant in Rockland. Go to one of the upstairs lounges for more casual, reservation-free dining.

    LOVELY IF YOU HAVE TIME
    – Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.
    – Cafe Miranda in Rockland. Their menu is extensive and fun and their Elvis bathroom is not to be missed.
    – McLoon’s Lobster Shack in Spruce Head. The St. George Penninsula is beautiful.
    – walk the 1-mile Rockland Breakwater to the lighthouse at the end. See boats galore!

    • Anne says...

      This sounds amazing! I’m about to pack my car and leave Maryland now! 🙀🚗

  32. Chris S says...

    When in Camden try Harbor Dogs – in the heart of the Camden at the public landing. Great fish tacos and hot dogs any way you like them.
    The Beauchamp Point walk is a scenic 3 mile loop near outer Rockport Harbor.
    Camden Hills State Park has great hiking trails or you can drive up the auto road to see the great views of Penobscot Bay.
    Camden Library is always worth a visit. Great kids room with a boat and a lighthouse. There is a beautiful amphitheater behind the library with lovely views of Camden Harbor.

  33. M says...

    A fun ferry boat ride to Diamond Cove (40min, $10) is awesome and like riding the free ferry to Ikea in Brooklyn. The restaurant there is Crown Jewel and is like Miami South Beach meets Maine stripes and lobsters. It’s very good, very kid friendly and 95% compostible.

    https://www.crownjewelportland.com

    (You can also private water taxi for $65 – worth it)

    • ab says...

      I second this!! Such a special place.

  34. Gretchen says...

    A Maine tip – If you must have a lobster roll, do, but also get a crab roll. In my opinion the Maine crab roll made with local peekytoe crab is the hidden gem of Maine.

  35. Colleen says...

    Please visit Jo Ellen Designs in Camden. Alone. For as long as you can. And be sure to find their lovely library just around the corner, the outside benches are adorable and there is a fantastic park/ amphitheater the boys will love. You and your hubs will love the view into the harbor. Enjoy!

  36. Christine Goyette says...

    Street & Co. is a must! Enjoy!

  37. Viet says...

    Thanks for posting that twitter thread on race. White people need to be more comfortable with talking about race.

  38. I highly recommend The Honey Paw in Portland. The loaded biscuit at tandem coffee is freaking to die for. Judith is inspirational(clothing store). Vena Fizz has the best cocktails. I have a guide I wrote for Portland here: https://www.weekendsaround.com/maine

    Camden is fantastic. I love the shop Jo Ellen Designs. Boynton-Mckay for breakfast is delicious and the staff are so sweet. Rockport isn’t far and is a little more laid back.

    Lie Nielson tool shop is interesting too. I love Maine. Enjoy!

  39. Kristine says...

    You are getting a ton of food suggestions but you should also check out Peyote Moon for new and vintage clothing, Flea for All for mid-century/vintage treasures, and Rough & Tumble for the most gorgeous leather goods! All located right downtown. Hope you have such fun in our city! It’s magical here -K

  40. adrianne says...

    One of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life was the bolognaise at Piccolo in Portland, ME. The menu changes frequently and everything is delicious, but if it’s on there… get it!

  41. Hope you have the best time in Maine! The last time I was there my boyfriend and I stopped in this tiny spot, Ohno! Café. Here’s the Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ohno-caf%C3%A9-portland-3. I had the crispy crab cake sandwich. It was SO delicious. Still dreaming about it!

  42. Jill says...

    Walk through the old port for shopping, and be sure to visit Little (www.boutiquelittle.com) the ultimate children’s shop for all things special and fun. After that, take the ferry to Diamond Cove for dinner at The Crown Jewel! The ferry ride itself is amazing enough, but a beautiful dinner on an island afterward? Magic.

  43. Jessie Laurita-Spanglet says...

    Check out Long grain in Camden for the best Thai food! Also Swans Island has incredible woven and hand dyed scarves, and a gorgeous store right in the heart of Camden.

  44. Reading through @grollman’s Twitter thread made me think of how white people living overseas tend to call themselves “expats”, whereas those same people tend to refer to people of color, or another minority race, living in a new country as “immigrants”.

    On the same subject, reading ‘Small Great Things’ by Jodi Picoult, I felt very white and very privileged. It made me uncomfortable – in a good way. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to dig deep and further examine the messy issues of race and prejudice.

    • Roberta says...

      Hi, as someone who grew up in an expat family: an “expat” is someone who is living in another country solely as a result of their/their close relative’s job (often the job contract remains based in the “home” country – i.e. you are a lawyer on a UK contract living in [x] – or your contract is a specific “expat” contract that reflects the fact that you have been moved away from your home – I.e. certain additioal items are included, such as a hardship allowance or a family relocation allowance). An expat is only in that country for the duration of that specific role: once if comes to an end, the company is required to relocate the individual/family back to the home destination. You have not emigrated from your home, nor are you an immigrant to your host country. Often you have no residency rights outside of those associated with your employment. For those reasons, you are an expatriate. Hope that clarifies!

    • t says...

      Hi Roberta, I actually don’t think that is the definition of expat.

  45. Sara says...

    Mt Desert Island Icecream in Portland! Delicious!!

  46. Laura C. says...

    I just moved to Portland this year, it’s wonderful. You absolutely have to go to Bellville for croissants then eat them a few blocks away at the Eastern Promenade.

  47. Bri says...

    Take a ride out to Portland Headlight, the oldest lighthouse in the states and commissioned by George Washington. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who’s boyhood home is in Portland, used to go out there a lot for inspiration for his poems. There are great food trucks too, forts to climb around in and the lighthouse is just spectacular. Photo ops galore. Also, check out the ferry for a sunset cruise among a few of our many islands in Casio Bay. You can take adult bev’s, snacks and drinks for your boys on the ferry. Enjoy our city and happy travels💕

  48. Andrea says...

    Eek! We live in Camden! Heaven in the summer–and year round, I think! I hope you get out on the bay-would be glad to take you for a toot in our boat!

  49. Jen says...

    Spend some time inland if you can! I just returned home from a month of WWOOFing on a farm outside of Augusta and the farm land, and the lakes are all magical. Enjoy! And thanks for posting that thread about race, it was a new perspective for me.

    • That is so cool! Do you write about your wwoof experience anywhere?

  50. J. says...

    Some places that were not on Bon Appetit’s list! Central Provisions, Taco Escobarr for their crispy tacos, Holy Donut, the secret room in the back at Blyth and Burrows for cocktails, Droba Tea Room, Toastbar in South Portland for bagels and Local 188 for brunch. Also agree about Eventide and Standard Baking (chocolate rye cookies are great). Prouts Neck also has a great cliff walk!

  51. Kathleen says...

    Belfast is not far from Camden and totally worth the visit – off the beaten path, great food (Chase’s Daily, Marshall’s Wharf Brewery), Front Street Shipyard (a working shipyard where you can watch boats being lifted out of the water), and a great city park with both playground and (rocky) beach. And Young’s Lobster Pound is an experience you can’t miss. My mom lives in Belfast so we go every summer, it’s amazing!

  52. Erika Scott says...

    I’m going to Portland for the first time next month! I’ve wanted to visit Maine for so long and am so excited!

  53. Tara says...

    FYI: Too Funny to Fail is a Hulu Documentary, not Netflix :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, yes, thank you!

  54. APaige says...

    Just following up on Jenifer’s great recs to say that you and the boys should also try a Sicilian slab from Micucci’s grocery store. It’s on India St. just a few steps away from the restaurants on Middle St. she mentions. You go in and get the pizza at the back counter. I’ve never met anyone who tried it (especially a kid) who didn’t have love at first bite. Also, you should head up to Munjoy Hill to the playground on the Eastern prom. It’s a great place for the boys to play and has a lovely view of Casco Bay. On the weekends, there are usually food trucks there as well (Salt Box Cafe is great for breakfast sandwiches, Urban Sugar for donuts) to make it more of a picnic. Have a wonderful time in my little city!

  55. Hannah says...

    “Too Funny to Fail” is on Hulu!

  56. Mackie says...

    Portland = so great! We just spent a week there. Our favorite thing is to walk along Willard Beach in South Portland in the morning between 7-9 am or evening 7-9 pm – the dogs are allowed and there are tons of them! Then walk over to Scratch Bakery for a bagel. You can drive further south to the Kettle Cove Beach in Cape Elizabeth – it’s smaller and great for kids. Eventide is expensive but fun and delicious and they’re nice to kids (“It’s important to start them young” said the hostess when she sat ours at the bar.) The sunset kayak tour with Portland Paddle. Stand in line for Holy Donut with everyone else. Stand in the very longggg line at Tandem Bakery for the rosemary-plum scones. Take the ferry over to Peak’s Island but only if you can rent a golf cart from Mike’s (make reservation in advance). You can drive around the island and bring a picnic. Or you could take the ferry back and forth just for fun. Enjoy!

  57. Lily says...

    Joanna, would you share what parts of the Paris Review essay you didn’t agree with? It really resonated with me, albeit in a dark way.

    PS, Drifter’s Wife, Piccolo, and Little Giant!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh the only part was this one really: “In her recent and essential novel Motherhood, Sheila Heti debates whether she should become a mother. She hurls nearly every possible question at the question. In the last third of the book, she asks: “Could I ever hope to be a good enough writer—to capture on the page what being human felt like—if I had not experienced motherhood? If I had no experience of what I increasingly took to be the central experience of life?” For me, the answer is bent to the shape of my life, and so the answer is no. Children bring with them dark gifts, new information. With my sons came all of my most settled and unsettled feelings. I gave birth naturally because I wanted to know what birth was—so that I could write about it having survived it. Like Heti but from the opposite shore, I, too, was operating within the service of my profession.”

      i don’t agree when people say “you only experience life’s deepest emotions when you have children” or “you only know what love is when you have children.” you can absolutely know and write about and portray, deeply and intensely and magically, what being human is like, whether you have kids or not.

    • Isabel says...

      I, too, agree that one doesn’t need to become a mother (or anything, for that matter), to understand the human experience. Indeed, this what art and literature do: they allow us to feel other experiences.

      I found much solace (and grief) in the essay, particularly the following passage: “The private actions of the mother’s mind—her scholarship, perversions, miscellany, narcissism—are swamped by the bureaucracy of parenting. A ticker tape hurtles across the mother’s brain listing all of the things she must remember: spoon, bathing suit, milk, booster shot, sign-up, pickup, 3:15. These lists are a form of paying attention, which is a form of love. Love, a wise woman once told me, is how you make the other person feel. Love is how you make your child feel. You accomplish the list. And then the list, indomitable, grows anew.”

      This is my daily battle. I wake up remembering all the items on the list, making decisions, adding new ones. I can’t stop. And it takes over my brain in ways that cramp my thinking and my ability to focus on my work. I make time to be away and focus, but my mind is still there, with the list, and my children. Except that now I feel guilty for not being there with them, and a terrible person for not getting my work done as well or in time.

      Have fun in Maine!

    • Ramsey says...

      I totally agree with what Joanna wrote below, but can I also add that I have a problem with the author saying that she “gave birth naturally” so that she could “know what birth was”. There is so much judgement in that sentence, and it presumes that women who had to have a C-section, or who could not endure the pain of labor (some labors are truly horrific in duration and intensity – believe me, I know, I have attended hundreds of them in the past 25 years as a pediatrician) did not experience birth. Trust me, they experienced it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, that part, too, ramsey! agreed xoxo

    • Jessica says...

      Lily, I felt the same way. No one writes about the daily darkness of ordinary thoughts…of motherhood…in the way this writer captured. I agree with her throughout; I’ve also found my experience be similar, and I feel like I finally exhaled knowing someone else feels this way. It’s not postpartum depression – it’s just a way your brain seems to rearrange itself after having a child.

    • Gretchen says...

      Yes, that was my question too. Thanks for beating me to it.

    • Nathalie says...

      Thanks for sharing this essay, it resonated a lot with me as well.
      Concerning the constant list of things to do, I read this a while ago about the “mental load”, I thought it was enlightening:

      https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/

  58. Lynn says...

    Camden is my heart. Camden cone for ice cream since they carry round top ice cream – absolutely the best! Right on the same st as Camden cone is a beautiful gift shop; forgot the name; down the street is red barn bakery – BEST expresso cookies; chicken pot pie etc etc; and across the st is a cute bookshop your kids will adore. Long grain for a meal; need reservations; if you can’t get a res; order takeout and bring it down to the harbor. Rhumb line for drink/appetizers- right on the water. I could go on and on and on. I just started a new job in my 30s and I’ve already thought about my retirement in Camden! Enjoy!!!

    • Erin says...

      Oh, what a great idea to get Long Grain takeout and bring it down to the harbor — we’ve eaten there before and this summer kept unsuccessfully trying to get weekday reservations (albeit only a day or so before) so just gave up. Thanks for the suggestion, Lynn! If we can’t squeeze in again next year I now have that clever idea in my back pocket.

    • Andrea says...

      I bet you are thinking of Sugar Tools?!

  59. Naudia says...

    Appreciate the article about Aretha Franklin. She made big changes.

  60. Michele says...

    My family went to Camden for the first time this summer and had a great time! Camden Hills State Park has an amazing view and the hiking trails are great for all levels. Afterwards we grabbed lunch at a roadside grill called the Mt. Battie Take Out and it was so good we went back the next day. I hope you have a great time!

  61. Leah says...

    As a Portlander of nearly 20 years, while I am sad that Bon Appetit revealed so many of our foodie secrets in their latest piece on our fair city (so many lines now!), I have to admit they got a lot of things right. So just consult that and you won’t go wrong … except for the suggestion at the end to go to DiMillo’s. Otto Pizza and El Rayo are fine spots to take hungry kids for pizza or quesadillas. If it’s rainy, check out the Portland Museum of Art — lots of small works by big artists and some fun shows up right now. Pretty kid-friendly too! The boys might enjoy the Portland Observatory on Munjoy Hill — on a clear day you can see the White Mountains in one direction and 20 miles out into the Atlantic in the other. We have two great independent bookstores downtown, Longfellow Books and Print, and they both deserve your cash. Grab a copy of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems for the Camden leg of your trip! It was Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems plus the many charms of my Mainer boyfriend that lured me here years ago :)

    • Mackie says...

      I forgot about the bookstores – totally, go there. And I forgot about Ottos! Especially fun to take Otto to the beach for a supper picnic.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these tips are all amazing, thank you!

  62. melissa says...

    You are headed my way! So many restaurants in Portland. Flatbread pizza is a fun place to go with kids. Holy donut is worth the line. I hear that riding the mailboat is fun. For stores, check out Suger and Rough and Tumble. The ampitheater outside of the Camden library is a great spot. Definitely drive up Mt. Battie. The view is breathtaking.

  63. Lil says...

    Whatever you do, eat a biscuit sandwich at Tandem Bakery in Portland!!

  64. Mt Desert Island for ice cream in Portland – I love Green Elephant too!

    Maine in the summer is the absolute best.

  65. Leah says...

    Just got back from a trip back east that included two days in Portland. Eventide Oyster company is wonderful as is their sister restaurant the Honey Paw (amazing Asian fusion). Duckfat is a classic Portland stop and if the wait is too long you can walk down the block to Oxbow brewing company where there’s a Duckfat frites stand! Don’t forget to stop at Gelato Fiasco which rivals some of the best gelato I ever had in Italy (Sweet Resurgam is a must try flavor and is named after Portland’s motto). You guys will have so much fun!

  66. Tandem Bakery! SO DELICIOUS. Great coffee and oh so great baked goods (at their larger location, not the small roasting spot) made by wonderful people. Their everything scone with cream cheese baked into it is just… ugh, SO GOOD. The cookies. Everything! And if ya’ll are looking for a beer, Oxbow makes some seriously delicious kinda experimental stuff and has a taproom in Portland where you can try a bunch of different brews. If you’re in the mood for wine, Drifter’s Wife has a lovely, unique selection with a lot of natural options. Have fun!!

  67. Emm says...

    Oh my gosh. I do care about my daughter, “over and over and over”. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. So true.

  68. Cherie says...

    Moody’s Diner, (Route one, Waldoboro) on your way between PORTLAND and Camden for blueberry pie and ice cream and wicked good diner food.

    • C-Ann says...

      Another vote for Moody’s, real local’s place esp during early bird dinner. We always get three slices of pie: blueberry, chocolate cream & lemon meringue! They’re huge slices!

      Also, Pemaquid Lighthouse is gorgeous.

  69. Heather says...

    Portland is a very special place; a mix of salty air and scintillating foodie smells. My husband & I spent 36 hours there as a part of our first wedding anniversary and we’re eager to return!

    Ok, here’s my recs:
    – Empire Kitchen (dimsum), my FAVORITE! Can’t miss: honey walnut shrimp, singapore rice noodles, some kind of bao
    – Holy Donut. Can’t miss: sweet potato donuts. Arrive early, flavors sell out.
    – Se Vende Imports (across from Holy Donut) for wonderful handmade & super affordable jewelry
    – Speckled Axe for coffee (record store across the street, didn’t have time to visit…regret that)
    – Duckfat (superrrr rich for your tummy but incredible Belgian fries & shakes)
    – For a great sweeping view: casual restaurant at the top of the Westin (locals call it the old Eastland hotel)
    – Wine Wise Events (wine sails on the harbor! Erica was an incredible host/teacher/entertainer)
    – Palace Diner (outside Portland) for the “diner car” experience. Can’t miss: Palace potatoes.

  70. Ellen says...

    Empire, on Congress, for dinner in Portland. Excellent Chinese food, in small plates, kid friendly. We went once last September and I wanted to go back every night we were there!

  71. Carrie says...

    Love Jo’s comment on parenting. Not a mom but that is exactly what I imagined it being like, she just said it so clearly.

  72. Brittany L Fallon says...

    Copying an awesome priorly typed list for Portland:
    1. Fore Street – cool space, arguably most popular restaurant in Portland, rustic with an industrial chic ambiance, expertly prepared local ingredient food. Open kitchen
    2. Street & Co. – New England Colonial cozy space, excellent food, old venerable been here a long time tried and true.
    3. Vinland – very innovative. 100% local food down to the butter. Really really good
    4. Miyake – authentic but modern Japanese
    5. Piccolo – really small, must reserve, modern Italian
    6. Scales – seafood

    Less fancy, less expensive, some take reservations, some don’t:
    1. Central Provisions – small plates, bustling with energy, so good
    2. Chez Jacquline – lovely French Bistro
    3. Cong Tu Bot – very casual, new Vietnamese Pho
    4. Terlingua – bar b q – also new
    5. Minato – new less fancy Japanese
    6. Lolita Bis – small plates, Spanish
    7. Chaval – also Spanish small plate
    8. Otto – artsy excellent pizza, casual
    9. Timber – steakhouse
    10. Jay’s Oyster – summer go to for paper tablecloth casual seafood, lobster
    11. Boda – innovative Thai
    12. Slab – Sicilian thick crust pizza and hearty street food.
    13. Eventide – soooo popular, oysters, seafood
    14. Duckfat – hearty fries, fried in duckfat, sandwiches, soups, excellent
    15. Bao Bao Dumpling House – my favorite casual food place
    16. Paciarino – fresh, simple pasta

    Fun coffee shops:
    1. Coffee By Design in East Bayside
    2. Bard
    3. Tandem on Congress

    Don’t miss Standard Bakery – amazing!!!!! Two Fat Cats Bakery is good too. Bam Bam Bakery for gluten free treats. Holy Donuts especially!!!

    Vena’s Fizz House – mixed drinks and non-alcoholic inventive drinks in a fun retro vi rage soda fountain themed space

    • Sandy S says...

      Fore Street and Scales (same owners)
      Portland Headlight (and lobster roll there at Maine Eats)

    • Marie says...

      I second Street & Co. — excellent seafood and a very classic Colonial / New England atmosphere. My husband and I went here for our (first!) anniversary and both loved it.

      Up the road is the L.L.Bean flagship store — they have summer concerts, plus it’s just fun to walk around. Good if the weather is rainy!

      I haven’t done it yet, but a good friend raves about the Casco Bay boat rides.

  73. Joan says...

    The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth. Twenty minutes from Portland. Beautiful views!

  74. Laurel says...

    Miyake for bento boxes at lunchtime! Schulte & Herr for German (also byob). Pool lobster/FO Goldthwaite’s in Biddeford Pool for lobster rolls. ❤️ Ahhhh Maine!

  75. Jessie Laurita-Spanglet says...

    My parents live in Camden and I have many fabulous recommendations—Long Grain is the best place to eat with incredible Thai dishes. Primo is a farm to table place nearby that will knock your socks off! Also in Camden is my Dad’s store called Swans Island—beautiful woven and hand dyed products! Enjoy!!

    • K says...

      Yes!! Long Grain is magnificent — absolutely the best Thai food I’ve had in the States, very authentic with housemade noodles. They recently moved into a gorgeous new space and it’s everything. You’ll need reservations, or you can get takeout at lunch or dinner. It’s’ so so good; my husband and I have changed travel plans in order to fit in a Long Grain visit when we’ve been up in Maine.

    • Erin says...

      Oops, sorry, I got your name wrong — JESSIE, not Jessica.

  76. Heather says...

    Ah, Portland! It has a piece of my heart. Strolling around to the soundtrack of seagulls & the scented salt air; Only wishing that you had more meal times to enjoy in the city. My favorite place in all of Portland is Empire Kitchen (dim sum). They have a crispy walnut shrimp that I randomly/often reimagine; like a wave the craving will hit me. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary there and I will never forget that meal. The Holy Donut (their sweet potato donuts are can’t miss, but get there early because flavors run out) & while you’re there stroll across the street to SeVende for super affordable & chic handmade jewelry (great for gifts!). I agree Duckfat has amazing Belgian french fries and milkshakes… It makes for a very rich meal/snack so beware.) if you have time and a car to venture out of the Portland proper area I would drive to palace diner, it’s an old diner car that makes for a great experience and such a hearty breakfast, be sure to get the palace potatoes they are the personification of crunchy and crispy and buttery. I would check the availability on wine wise events Erica hosts wine sails on the harbor ( when we went we were on a sailboat that was built by hand by its female captain, the only female captain in the harbor!) and it’s an incredible experience and education and scenic view. Speckled Axe is a great coffee shop/roasting company; There was a record store across the street from the Axe that I only wish we had time to browse before we had to catch our flight! For a great view of the city check out the (casual) restaurant on the top floor of the Westin hotel (Locals will call it the old Eastland hotel); they had great sliders as well as homemade chips and dips. We were only in Portland for 36 hours but we had an amazing time, and we know that fate will bring us back there. Enjoy! Enjoy! (Please excuse any typos as I dictated this) (PS-Been reading for seven years! Thank you for all of the memories and advice and tips and comfort and community.)

  77. Karin Engel says...

    Be sure to take a schooner ride in Camden harbor. Dinner at the Hartstone Inn is wonderful; Fog in Rockland is also fun. The boys might enjoy seeing the “oreo” cows….Aldemere Farm, 70 Russell Ave, Rockport. Don’t miss the cars and planes at Owls Head Transportation Museum. And….the boys can have fun on the CedarWorks Playsets, 799 Commercial St, Rockport.

  78. Becky says...

    Holy donut – maple bacon donut
    Slab
    Muccis italian market unbelievable pizza
    Two fat cat bakery
    Portland flea shopping
    Peaks island ferry for a ride around all different islands
    Elevation great burgers and fries
    Flat bread pizza great fun for kids delicious old port
    Otto pizza
    These are fun spots I could keep going
    Also Cape Elizabeth is beautiful with old light houses
    Reds for ice cream
    Enjoy!!!

  79. Liz Abrams says...

    The Portland Head Light (lighthouse) is so beautiful! It’s one of my favorite places I’ve been to. Must see! <3

  80. Christa says...

    I love the comment by Jo on parenting. Parenting is hard and we all want to get it right.

  81. Gaby says...

    I’m also going to Portland this weekend! Hoping to get some inspiration there. Enjoy it!

  82. Becky says...

    Holy donut! Peaks island, rent a golf cart in advance. Love Portland!!!

  83. Julia W. says...

    I second all the places Jenifer mentioned for eating in Portland! Also, Cape Elizabeth is a beautiful town – check out Scratch Bakery for amazing everything as well as salt bagels; the Cookie Jar for tasty treats (like huge, delicious donuts!) for kids and adults alike; Fort Williams has incredible lobster rolls and views; Red’s is a local favorite for delicious soft serve; Pizza Joint for the best pepperoni pizza around. For the kids, there’s a great playground on the Eastern Promenade in Portland and Treehouse Toys right downtown. For some great boutiques, check out Abacus for neat locally-made jewelry and Judith for some beautiful and often eco-conscious clothes. So excited to hear about your trip!

  84. Ellie says...

    Take a short lobster boat tour in Camden — they will teach you about lobstering and even let you hold one! One of the funniest pictures of my daughter EVER happened this way. Also, eat at lobster pounds by the water. Casual, affordable, and the freshest tastiest lobster. Red’s in Wiscasset is on your way north from Portland, and Claws in Rockland is one of our favorites. Have fun!!

  85. Go to The Drouthy Bear in Camden! Great English/Scottish pub and food. :)

  86. Victoria says...

    I’m originally from Maine and went to college in Portland! I live in San Diego now but will be visiting Portland this weekend! Hope to run into you guys! Portland is the absolute best. My new favorite find is the urban farm fermentory where they brew beer and kombucha, it’s delicious!

  87. Susanne says...

    Oh you must stop for an Italian sandwich at Amoto’s! My husband is from the Portland area, we live in Michigan and when we go back to visit we eat them multiple times (for breakfast too ;)!
    https://newengland.com/today/living/new-england-environment/italian-sandwich-amatos/
    If you can find Grapenut ice cream, well I will just say, you must try it! Amazing!!! Have a fun trip, Maine is our favorite!!!

  88. Breanne says...

    I lived in Portland for 4 years, the restaurant scene has exploded since then, but every time we go back we always visit Duck Fat (paninis and fries and great local beer) and Eventide (fresh oysters and clams and interesting cocktails). We always loved taking the ferry from the Old Port to Peak’s Island to ride bikes around the island (it’s not far). Once you get off the ferry, walk straight up the hill and take a left. You’ll see Brad’s Bikes on the right. The only thing about Peak’s is it can get a bit crowded, but if you don’t mind, it’s the perfect place to bring a picnic to. Favorite Portland shops are Blanche and Mimi, Little, and Treehouse Toys. Also, if you have time stop into Arabica for a maple latte. So good!

    Also, across the bridge in South Portland is the Willard beach area. It’s our favorite beach and they have the best salted caramel ice cream you’ve had in your life at Willard Scoops in Willard Square. Scratch Baking Co. in Willard square is so so so good. Their sea salt bagels are amazing, as well as all their other baked goods. You won’t regret visiting!

    We love Camden, it’s so tiny I’m sure you’ll find everything, but we always loved breakfast at Boyton & McKay’s.

    Have so much fun!

  89. Teki says...

    Do stop in to Belleville bakery in Portland! Incredible pastries and pizzas but you don’t have to take my (biased) word for it! Bon Appetit magazine wrote them up too as a must try in their Portland city guide

  90. Teki says...

    Do stop in to Belleville bakery in Portland! Incredible pastries and pizzas but you don’t have to take my (biased (the owners are friends from college)) word for it! Bon Appetit magazine wrote them up as a must try in their Portland city guide too!

  91. Jenifer says...

    So many great places to eat in Portland where to start! Ah Duckfat, fabulous fries and milk shakes which your boys would love! Eventide which is just down the street from Duckfat for oysters and lobster roll! Standard Baking for pastries and sweets. Boda for Thai food. Bob’s Clam Hut just opened an outpost in Portland as well! Enjoy, I’ll be there next week! Can’t wait!

    • Amanda says...

      Duckfat Duckfat Duckfat!! So delicious. Also, Tandem coffee, which is housed in a converted gas station and makes delicious quiche.