I arrived on Monday.
I watched part of the Love Bug with Eddie Hackett. I don't know how they chose this particular film, but I watched part of it. Thankfully, there was a Starbuck's inside Logan and so I was armed with a Venti coffee and a banana.
I arrived in Portland, Maine, two hours later. Jean and Susan picked me up and Jean kept offering me bread or water. She said--we should have brought cheese, too. Immediately, I sensed that I would be enjoying Maine. Three hours later and a sugar cookie eaten, we arrived at her home. It was beautiful. She showed me to my living space and gave me a tour of the rest of the home. Jack, her late husband, and her built this house as their final living space. It is absolutely beautiful. The kitchen, alone, could have brought tears to my eyes. It was gorgeous and suitable for someone that loved to cook or enjoyed food as much as they did.
She made us salad and we drank sauvignon blanc. We were up later than I thought we would be, but it was nice to hear about her life with Jack. I wanted to know their stories and it was nice to just listen.
The following morning, I made myself coffee and went for a run. Her property is on the water, essentially, and so the entire run had amazing views of the coast. It was filled with rolling hills and the sky was this amazing shade of blue.
Afterwards, we had Prosecco on their "picnic rock" and triple brie cheese sandwiches with proscuitto. Jean is a wonderful hostess. She had thought of everything---what I would want before/after my run, wine for the afternoon, etc. We shared stories of our mutual loss. I remember being at that stage of grief, going through all of the firsts--dreading them, but in a sense, creating a new memory. Still honoring your loved one, you try to make the best of his birthday, your anniversary, Easter.
When they decided to retire in Maine, they considered a few other communitites, but settled for Surry. When they bought the property, they had Prosecco on Picnic Rock and toasted each other and that decision.
I truly understand why she loves it there. All of the memories, plus knowing they built the home together would make it extremely difficult to leave. I was thankful that she shared their space with me.
We ate at Table that night. I had chicken with mushrooms, Jean opted for the flat iron steak, and we ordered the lobster mac and cheese, too. I figured, why not? Anything we didn't eat could be taken back to her place.
Again, we stayed up and told stories of life, our families and Jack.
The next day, we lunched at Castine. I had a few german style beers and Jean had white wine. It was overcast, but still beautiful.
That night, we stopped at the Lobster Shack and she chose our lobsters. I have never had a full lobster before that evening. She had a lobster pail, candles and bibs. It was fun...super messy, but fun.
Maine was relaxing, pleasant and ideal for the 28th. It was the perfect way to ease into my anniversary with Brian this year. I loved being able to talk about him, to someone that understood some of my pain. Truly, Jean was fantastic, a great friend.
I hope to return one day, to explore more of the region. Supposedly, there are great restaurants in Portland. Not to mention, I felt so relaxed in their space. I remember going outside and being overwhelmed by all of the openess and stars. The waves crashed on the beach outside my window. It was true beauty.
I will update about Boston and restaurants later. I have 1000 thank you cards to write. I am such a slacker!