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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Year in Maine

via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine
A year ago today Spencer, Kai, Theo, and I moved to Maine. Before we moved here we were living in Vero Beach, Florida, which I have a serious love-hate relationship with. Spencer and I talked about getting married in Maine and moving there eventually, but we decided "not anytime soon." The next thing I knew, we were booking a trip to Maine to tour some rentals. Apparently "not anytime soon" meant "let's stay in Florida till our lease ends."

Spencer grew up in Camden and went to college in Castine, so he obviously has strong ties to Maine. I, however, simply started looking at photos of Maine on Flickr and Instagram before Spencer and I even started dating and decided this was the place for me.

I was discussing (well, complaining about) living in a house with no air conditioning with someone a while back, then they asked me a question that caught me off guard:

"What's the draw of Maine?"

I didn't really know how to answer. I always forget that not everyone views Maine as the dreamy escape from reality that I do. I mean, Maine isn't perfect, but it's Maine, right?! The person who asked me has also heard me complain about the mud in the spring, the inconvenience of having to get my driveway snow plowed, my back pain after lugging in loads of firewood, and the lack of Target and IKEA stores. I responded with, "because it's pretty and awesome," and moved on to the next subject. But I should give Maine the defense it deserves.

What's the draw of Maine? I'll tell ya:

north conway new hampshire

1) The beautiful, diverse landscape
This had to be the first thing I listed. I've already lived in two places in Maine-- the White Mountains of western Maine and now I'm in the Midcoast region, 200 feet from the ocean. These two areas are so different and both so beautiful. I've seen quite a bit of the state, but I still have so much more to see, like the Katahdin Woods & Water National Monument (thanks Obama!) and Acadia National Park. It's no wonder it's called "Vacationland!"

portland head light highthouse
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

2) The weather
I won't deny that I have muttered something like "I hate snow" about a million times, usually while trying to dig my car out, but I love the snow. Florida didn't really have seasons so seeing all the leaves turn red and orange and then that first's great! And it's so cool in the summer here, compared to the places I've lived before. I don't think I could ever go back to living in a place without four seasons.

maine blueberries
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

3) The food
Since I am a vegetarian, obviously I don't indulge in Maine's most famous export: lobster. However, I will gladly eat my weight in some Maine blueberries. Everywhere I go in Maine, I find such amazing food, and most of these places do their very best to source the ingredients as locally as possible. Whether you come to Maine for a lobster festival or to find some creative vegan food, you will be a happy camper.

camden maine
My favorite Mainer.

4) The people
Maine has some of the nicest people I've ever met. Every time I go to the post office to check my PO box, I am greeted with lots of smiles, friendly chit-chat, and someone always offers to help me carry things since 9 out of 10 times I'm leaving with a ginormous box. I just never experienced that sort of friendly community feeling in Florida. And Maine has such cool and talented people. Artists, farmers, chefs, fisherman, small business owners...they're just all so inspiring and interesting! And you gotta love the Maine accent.

camden maine
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

5) The Maine-iness 
This is probably the cheesiest thing I have ever said, but every day here is like a postcard. Ugh. But it's true! Everywhere I look I see lobster boats, blueberries, moose paraphernalia, get it. Daily life is like an advertisement for the Maine tourism bureau.

Looking back, moving here when we did may have been a bit of a snap decision but I am so happy that we planted ourselves here. Maine just suits us better.
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