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Without writing an explanation that goes on forever, I want to explain why the greater Boston area is somewhere my husband and I visit as much as possible: 1) My paternal family is rooted in Massachusetts and every three years we have a family reunion in Maine on Cobbosseecante Lake. 2) Post-college I lived in Boston for about a year and met my now husband there which means his family is also mostly rooted in Massachusetts (and New Hampshire). 3) On top of that, the company I work for is also based out of Massachusetts.

Therefore, we have a lot of ties to back east and when we head back there we try to cram as much in as possible. This was a reunion summer for my family so off we went for a week and a half to enjoy the other coast we once called home. This recap is simply the pictures I snapped on my phone and uploaded to Instagram (follow me @alannaface) but offer a good summary.
My husband and I along with my sister took a red eye out to Boston’s Logan Airport. Yes, I have L.L. Bean luggage (another East Coast tie!?). When we arrived we met up with my parents and all headed up to Portsmouth, ME to have an early morning breakfast. That cloudy sky is deceiving, while it drizzled a little, it was warm and muggy.

After a big breakfast and a stop at the farmer’s market for produce (we were in charge of dinner the second night of our family reunion!) we were off to do some brief shopping in Maine. We headed to Portland, ME where we would be staying for the night around lunch time. The car was parked and bags checked and we walked around looking for a lunch place. While waiting at a local place for a table to eat seafood, it was unanimously decided that no one was especially hungry and ice cream would make a fine lunch.

We found a wonderful place for home made ice cream then went to the hotel and took a long nap. Once we were all revived, we ate dinner in Portland at Duckfat, a restaurant that features local spuds fried in…. yup… duck fat. It was awesome. Because it was still early according to our left coast clocks, it was time to explore the night life a little around Portland. There were a few outdoor bars with live music to enjoy.

And because my dad didn’t get his lobsta roll for dinner, while at the Portland Lobster Co. for live music and brews, we picked up a lobster roll as a late night snack. Sorry, no mobile phone picture of the roll, we inhaled it.

But the next morning on our way out of town we stopped for breakfast at Miss Portland Diner for a late meal. While lobster rolls are not available for breakfast, I was lucky that lunch was being prepped and ordered their very, very good lobster roll. I’m a fan of the lettuce in the roll and the lightly dressed lobster was sweet and perfect.

A little drive later we were already at the lake watching the clouds from the day before dissipate for the rest of the hot week. There was plenty of floating on the lake, eating good food, dragon flies, and mosquito bites.

And a little Maine humor every now and then to keep it real.

Fireworks are now legal in Maine so of course we had to pay a visit to the local outlet. That’s my cousin on the right standing next to a box of fireworks taller than she is. And she isn’t short. Oh, and the maniacal guy on the left is my husband.

My husband spent lots of time in the hammock reading, napping or looking out unto the lake (that blown out white in the above picture is the lake). We even went with my aunt one day to her house which is a short drive away to see her horses. She let us give them horse cookies. I love feeding horses.

Unfortunately mornings around a picnic table and Dunkin Donuts Box O’Joe had to come to an end eventually and my husband and I headed back south with his family– who came to the end of my family’s reunion– for a weekend at their home. That picture on the right above is not from my in-law’s house, it’s from a bathroom at a gas station on the way there. But you knew that.

We were able to spend some quality time with our little nephew who is turning four next week. I taught him how to drink from a water bottle with the top that you have to pull out and also how to hunt for four leaf clovers which is what he’s doing above. I know everyone thinks their little ones or nieces or nephews are the best, but really, this little guy is a cool kid. Again, we had to part ways eventually and headed into Cambridge, MA. My husband and I met in Boston and whenever we take trips out east we never really get to enjoy just “us” time in the city we fell in love in. This time we walked around, went on a date night and hung out with friends we don’t see enough of. While we were in the Boston Gardens someone even asked my husband for directions which made me a little excited that we still look like we know the place.

I worked out of my company’s office in Cambridge for two days which allowed me to try Redbones BBQ for lunch one day (AMAZING) and take in some great views of the Charles River. I could almost picture myself working from there every day. Almost. Until… we got crazy wacky stormy weather on the day we were leaving. Yes, a lightning storm is pretty cool. Unless you’re flying home.

While I worked my husband walked around his old stomping grounds in Boston and because he loves me he even stopped into the infamous Mike’s Pastry in the North End to get my favorite pastry: a lobster tail. And a black and white cookie because it’s my sister-in-law’s favorite despite us eating it. Seriously, the lobster tail pastry is a crunchy layered pastry exterior with a creamy, fluffy decadent interior. I know most people get cannolis at Mike’s, but this is my go-to.

There you have it. While it was storming we headed to the airport for our trip home which was delayed a few times. Eventually we made our way back to California and to our bed. It was a wonderful week and a half to see family and friends, see our old home and experience New England.