During these unusual times, I’ve been looking for ways to get out of the house while following social distancing guidelines and adjusting to the “new normal” we’ve been creating these last few months. While international travel is still seeing strict guidelines, and domestic flying is highly discouraged; I’ve been longing for a new, and safe, excursion. Lucky for me, I was able to satisfy my travel itch over the Fourth of July weekend when I headed up north with my boyfriend and his family to Maine for a relaxing weekend getaway. We stayed in his family’s cozy little lake house located on Little Sebago Lake. The house is surrounded by acres of woods and dirt paths, giving it a real campground feeling.
We arrived at the house Friday evening, and after enjoying some take-out pizza, we indulged in some ice cream from The Dugout, an ice cream stand up the road. I’ve always found ice cream stands in Maine and New Hampshire to be consistently cheaper with larger portion sizes than those back in Massachusetts! The rest of the night was spent talking to family members and settling in at the lake house.
On Saturday July 4, which also happens to be my birthday, we started the morning off with a birthday brunch at Kelley’s Sebago Dinner. I had an omelette, stuffed with peppers, spinach, bacon, and cheese while my boyfriend enjoyed a stack of their Texas-style french toast. Both of our meals were delicious and we opted to enjoy the warm weather by sitting outside under the shade of a canopy tent. All staff members wore masks while interacting with customers and we felt comfortable eating outside with atleast 6 feet distance between every table!
We then took a quick trip to stock up on snacks. Most customers were good about wearing their masks and respected the social distancing guidelines, which was comforting! We then spent some time at Tassel Top Park, a beach situated on the east shore of Sebago Lake. After wading around the warm lake waters and spending some time in the sun, we headed back to the house for some canoeing and a late lunch.
In the evening we enjoyed s’mores by the fire, and watched fireworks launched over the lake. A perfect ending to a great July 4, surrounded by friends and family.
The following morning, we got ready to head up to Freeport for the afternoon to do some shopping. Every time we go up for a weekend in Maine, we try to set aside a day to visit Freeport, which is known for its numerous outlet stores and contains the L.L Bean flagship store. The setup was different than my visit two summers ago, when my boyfriend and I ended up seeing the Fray perform for free during L.L Bean’s annual summer concert series. The main street of Freeport was closed down to traffic, encouraging patrons to use the additional space to social distance, and stores had strict capacity limits to prevent overcrowding. Despite these restrictions, it never took too long to get in and out of stores and we felt that social distancing was taken seriously by most people.
The temperature had dropped to the mid 60’s with a misty rain, making it the perfect day to pop in and out of the stores. After browsing through some stores we stopped for lunch at the Broad Arrow Tavern, our favorite lunch spot in Freeport. Sitting outside had become a norm for us, and we were thankful to be able to sit down and have a nice lunch.
After enjoying our lunch, we browsed some more before heading back to the house to pack up. There we said our goodbyes before stopping by the Dugout for some more ice cream and making the trip back to Massachusetts.
After the weekend getaway, I found myself feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week. I tend to be super busy, and being able to take off the weekend and escape up to Maine was just the thing I needed to restore my energy! Don’t forget to take care of yourselves during these difficult times, as self-care can do wonders for your mental health.
It was great to be able to safely enjoy some of my favorite summer spots in Maine, and I'm looking forwards to returning to UMass Amherst and being able to safely visit some of my favorite off-campus spots!