Did you know that people from Maine are actually called "Mainiacs"? Further, did you know that the word for state nicknames is called a "demonym"? Me either, until last week when we visited Portland, Maine, for the first time (and if you don't believe me, check it out here).
Seriously, we must be maniacs (or Mainiacs) to go somewhere that's easily 20 degrees in November, but it was actually a super trip. Everyone we met was SO friendly and welcoming and eager to tell us the best places to eat and things to do. We took a three-hour ride on the mail ferry to the islands in Casco Bay. Seafood, of course, was plentiful, especially lobster and clams. We had some seriously amazing seafood dinners. And the coffee was phenomenal. Of course, given their winter temperatures, I didn't really expect much less, but it was nice regardless. And we visited the LL Bean flagship "store" in Freeport (which is actually 5 stores on a huge "campus"), and B purchased a pair of boots and a 3-in-one winter coat. And we visited three different breweries: Shipyard, Allagash, and Rising Tide.
Portland passes my official travel "test" - I could definitely live there. It's not a particularly high-radar travel destination, especially for those of us in the south, but if you ever get the chance to visit Portland I HIGHLY suggest you go for it. Take a look at the pictures below - you know you wanna go to Portland. And I know I want to go back!