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Real People. Real Advice.

Smilin' Bridge to Maine
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It's time for our annual 3-week trip south. We pack our trusty family car, a.k.a. our 4-wheel drive truck, with some cooler clothes, plenty of Poland Spring water for the trip, a few audio action books, and some of our jams and condiments. We grow our own rhubarb, peaches and blueberries, so late summer is a busy canning time for us.

This was an especially good season. Summer was glorious in Maine. The Maine Windjammer Association fleet carried lots of happy passengers and the Captain Lindsey House Inn and the rest of the Maine inns were busy for the season, which now lasts until the end of October. All in all - good times.

We like to start our trip mid-morning so that we can stop at Moody's Diner for lunch on the way down. This is the time of year when we, who live here, can actually walk in and get a wonderful meal without waiting too long. I can still taste that lemon meringue pie.

We headed south and eventually said good-bye a bit sadly to our adopted state of Maine as we crossed over the Kittery bridge. We traveled between friends and relatives dropping presents and jams, laughing a lot, crying sometimes and eventually invited all to visit us in Maine this summer.

After two weeks we were longing to turn the truck north again. After all, the snow was waiting for us, and we were anxious to get home where the grandchildren were ice skating and skiing.

As we drove north, our spirits rose and finally coming through Portsmouth, NH, we saw it - the "Smilin' Bridge." We were about to enter our great state of Maine. We started across and midway we both broke out in big, wide, joyful smiles.

As we came through the first toll booth, the attendant asked, "Well, did ya have fun, deah?" We were home again.

A Couple of Captains

Ken & Ellen Barnes

They are captains who know firsthand the effect nature can have on you. Arriving in 1978 to start their own business, the couple has been living and breathing everything Maine ever since. There are plenty of waterways and coastlines waiting to be explored and it’s not the current, but the sights and sounds that will pull you in.

Editor's Notes:

Let your curiosity guide you. Uncover quaint towns and small villages full of one-of-a-kind experiences and treasures. Start your search for more Maine adventures.

Surround yourself by seaworthy dreams at the Captain Lindsay House Inn. Built in 1835 by a Maine sea captain, the rich interior and luxurious accommodations bring out Maine's opulent side.

Leave everything behind and step aboard a schooner. The Maine Windjammer Association offers a variety of all-inclusive cruises that include food, incredible scenery and unforgettable sailing experiences.

When searching for authentic local grub, look no further than Moody's Diner. A Maine icon and recently recognized by Food&Wine.com as one of America's top diners, they cook up savory meals perfect for the entire family. Pop in to Stonewall Kitchen in York for a one-of-a-kind foodie shopping venture. From specialty foods to kitchen gadgets, this destination will inspire your inner chef.

Scoot over to Kittery where you'll find shopping deals on brand names at the Kittery Outlets and outdoor goodies at the Kittery Trading Post. Enjoy an authentic lobster roll at Bob's Clam Hut or treat yourself to an upscale dining experience at Robert's Maine Grill to add some decadence to your trip.