One of our end of the year traditions has been taking a long weekend to go to Portland. While down there we soak up the sun, eat some amazing vegan food, and unwind from the school year. This can come in many different forms – from biking, to walking around the city or a park, or even taking a nap in a place outside the County. Last year we didn’t go down due to Covid-19 so we were super excited that we felt safe enough to go this year. We each took a personal day and enjoyed a long relaxing weekend. It was SO worth it!
Maine is a big state. It takes awhile to drive across it so we left bright and early to make the six hour trek. With a few stops (like for a bagel of course) and sharing the driving we arrived in Portland just about lunch time with the energy to enjoy some time on the Eastern Prom. The Eastern Prom is a wide open recreational area that overlooks the ocean. The weather was perfect to sit and take in some sea breeze and sun. Fortunately for us the food trucks were also at the Eastern Prom at that time… funny how that worked out! We got some Falafel Mafia (one of our favorite food trucks) and had a lovely outdoor lunch.
After checking into the hotel, taking a swim, and a small rest it was time for dinner. We decided to try a new (to us) highly recommended Indian restaurant called Taj. We got the recommendation from a Facebook group called Vegan Maine and we are happy we tried something new! The food was warm, aromatic, and super tasty! It was also really reasonably priced and the staff was super helpful. We didn’t realize they were only open for pick up but they still took our order and even walked it out to our car when it was ready! Jenna had a dish called Aloo Mutter and she says she could eat it weekly – that’s how good it was!
The next morning we woke up refreshed and ready for the big activity we had planned for the day – biking around the city. Now Portland is surely a city compared to what we are used to but it’s not really that big of a city. We like to park at a spot called Back Cove and from there we can bike all over the city quite easily. We put about 14 miles on our bikes that morning and if not for the heat probably could have done quite a bit more! The sights, the friendly people, and the ability to get to most places makes biking around Portland super enjoyable. We even stopped on a bench to read and people-watch. It was just the most enjoyable experience!
Since the city is fairly small we were even able to bike to lunch at another food truck we really like – the Totally Awesome Vegan Food Truck. As the name implies, brunch was totally awesome! After a long hot morning of biking around, having a bite to eat was just what we needed. We also felt really proud that we were able to bike around to everything navigating side streets and traffic.
For safety we decided to end our bike outing at this point (it was around 90 and sunny). We packed up and went back to the hotel for a rinse and rest. Our last meal stop was to a Roman pizza place called Monte’s Fine Food. On a hot day it was nice to be able to sit outside on their shaded patio and eat some vegan pizza. Certainly worth the stop!
At this point it was about 7 PM and we decided to stay in at the hotel and have a swim and read by the pool. We stopped by the pool our first day at the hotel and there was a ton of people enjoying the water. However our second trip to the pool was just us in the water! It was a great way to wrap up our hotel stay.
Our last morning in Portland didn’t have us rushing to leave – we could have stayed even longer! Our last breakfast was at a fun little place The Holy Donut which serves potato flour donuts and has a few vegan options. We split a margarita, a lemon, and a toasted coconut donut that we ate on the waterfront. I think I could do that every day! Sadly, it was time to start the trek home after picking up a few groceries at Whole Foods and Trader Joes to get our week started. We once again split the driving and had a quick stop in Bangor for a salad before getting home. With our batteries recharged we are ready to finish off one of the most interesting and challenging school years.
As for our cats… I’d like to think they missed us but really they missed their normal feeding schedule. Once we gave them some food they forgave us. Or at least, decided to tolerate us again.