In 2015, the one year anniversary of giving part of my liver to my husband snuck up on us. We didn’t plan for it, we both went to work and we both felt angry. Mostly because neither of us had really properly processed what we’d gone through the year before. We did a very good job of convincing people it was no big deal and in the process, forgot to acknowledge that it was in fact, a very big deal. Lesson learned. The following year we went away for the weekend, to make sure we were outside, breathing fresh air and celebrating not being in a hospital. And we’ve done it every year since.
This year we went to Portland, Maine to eat food and walk and then eat more food. Because if there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that hospital food is terrible, and walking is better than being trapped in a hospital bed.
Our trip started with a walk around the Eastern Prom and we wound up at a Maine Craft Distillery. Derek doesn’t drink and I don’t drink much, so we played darts and ate hardboiled eggs instead.
I lost the game of darts, but it was a surprisingly close game. We ventured back to our hotel and then wandered downtown for pizza at Otto. We ordered the mashed potato and the mushroom and cauliflower and they were both delicious.
The next morning was a picture perfect, bluebird day.
We started off with a trip to the lobby for free coffee and then headed to Dutch’s for breakfast. They have potatoes that will make you weep.
I didn’t need a coat for our traipse around town and I found loads of beautiful doorways to photograph.
We stopped by the Portland Museum of Art and found a very sparkly stag and discovered that Ulysses S. Grant didn’t know how to button his coat.
For dinner, we met some friends at Honey Paw and ordered everything family style so we could try as much as possible. Then, we snuck into a conference room at our hotel for an impromptu photo shoot to commemorate our 4 Year Transplantiversary.
When we rolled into town on Thursday, Derek saw a sign for a 5 mile race on Saturday, and so he signed up for it. It seems fitting that on the day we were celebrating not being in a hospital on April 14th, he managed to get 11th place in a race he signed up for on a whim. I was the woman walking from the start line to the finish line crying and laughing at the absurdity and wonder of life. How he could go from nearly dying, to running 5 miles on a lark was delightful and astounding to me. To be fair, I cry every time I wait for him to finish a race. I composed myself and then proceeded to eat the cheddar chive scone I bought from The Standard Bakery and saved the chocolate croissants I bought for later.
They had Eli’s root beer on tap at the finish which was amazing because root beer is Derek’s favorite drink and usually races have beer at the finish line which he does not drink. The finish line was 2 blocks from our hotel and he showered and we walked to Tandem Coffee Bakery for 2nd breakfast.
Then we walked for about 10 miles all around the Western Prom and looked at some amazing houses.
I was also happy to stumble upon 3 window cats in the course of about 10 minutes. They all seemed very happy to see me and the feeling was 100% mutual.
We wandered into a little clothing shop and the woman who owned it suggested we eat lunch at Bao Bao because that’s where she and her husband, the architect who worked upstairs, were eating. When he returned with their lunches, he showed us what they ordered and we were immediately convinced and it was everything I’ve ever wanted in a dumpling lunch and more.
After walking about 10 miles–tack on a 5 mile run to that for Derek–we were pretty tired. The temperature had plummeted and so we walked to Highroller right near our hotel for a quick dinner. It was an ok dinner, but I think it’s because we were spoiled by all the other places we’d eaten. Afterwards, we stumbled across The Marshmallow Cart and shared a caramel marshmallow s’more and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
We took our time getting up on Sunday, ate the chocolate croissants I bought the day before, and then wandered down to the hotel gym for a Peloton class. I wish all hotel gyms had Peloton bikes, it was so fun to do a class together!
I wanted to see a lighthouse before we left so we headed to one nearby and braved 30 degree temperatures and sideways sleet in order to check it out.
That was pretty miserable and cold, so we were both thrilled to stumble upon the Scratch Bakery Toast Bar for second breakfast.
Finally, our adventure ended with a quick side trip to Biddeford and the Palace Diner for a side order of Palace Potatoes and bacon. I suppose that was our third breakfast? The potatoes were amazing and we definitely need to go back because the chicken sandwich and the burger look like food we are meant to eat.
It was a lovely weekend with weird weather and loads of food and walking. Just the way we like it.