First things first – I want to get some feedback regarding doing a GIVEAWAY! I am coming up on 1 Year of Blogging in January and wanted to giveaway a Target Gift Card. So I ask my fellow bloggers, anyone willing to do it with me? I will be posting something on Twitter too but wanted to ask my regular peeps first!
Okay onto some news – I am going to Christmas By The Sea in Maine!! I am so excited! We leave on Friday morning and get back Sunday afternoon. I lose cell reception halfway into Maine (sometimes Sprint sucks) but I will have WiFi at the hotel so I will still be around a little bit I just may be slower to respond.
What is Christmas By The Sea?? It is a girls only trip to Camden Maine for a weekend of laughs, memories, shopping and getting in the Christmas spirit.
We head up on Friday with a pit stop at Stonewall Kitchen in York ME. Even though there is a store in Camden Maine the one in York is much bigger! It also has a cafe in case we are hungry for lunch. The have all the latest gadgets and samples. For a baker like me it is a little slice of heaven! I have to try really hard not to buy anything for myself!
We head back on the road and stop at a place called Big Al’s. It is a dollar type store and you can find lots of stocking stuffers or kitchen appliances. It’s also great for stocking up on gift bags, tissue paper, and wrapping paper. We usually reach the store around noon and are ready for lunch! There is the cutest little diner called Moody’s Diner that we have stopped at but it can vary from year to year. Sometimes we wait till we get to the hotel and then go somewhere around there.
We relax for a bit before planning out the activities that we really want to go to and the optional ones we will go to if we have time. Mind you it is just a game plan and we play it by ear. Sometimes the shopping takes a lot out of us! 😉 We do head to the center of town for a little more shopping and to get our places for the parade.
A lot of the local shops have a float in the parade. There is a big lobster and even some riding mowers that get in on the action. Kids participate, candy is thrown, glow sticks are passed out to some of the kids. The street lights are decked out in wreaths and the high school kids are selling baked goods to raise money for some club.
After the parade we head over to the church for the Walk Through Bethlehem. While waiting for our number to be called the choir leads us in singing Christmas carols. It is a little bit of a wait, but it is SO. WORTH. IT. The church is decked out in painted walls, curtained rooms to make it feel and look like the time period of Christ. There are people at different stops telling the story of the Christ and his birth. It ends at the stables where they have live animals, a marketplace of tradespeople. They hand out juice, fudge and oranges. I am not a really religious person but it really is put together so well and it really puts us in the spirit.
The library accepts donations of mittens for the kids doing without, the bank has a band who sings Carols and passes out cookies and Apple Cider. We stick around the town center for more shopping. They have discounts of 20-50% off so it is so worth it. We head to dinner once we have shopped till we dropped. We get a little drinks is us and the gigglefest begins. We have been known to keep the waitstaff entertained with our shenanigans!
Saturday is made up of more shopping a possible stop at the Three Dogs Cafe for breakfast or for an evening pastry. They have a fireplace and lots of dog artwork.
We head off to the local high school for a craft fair. They have horse-drawn carriage rides through town and free pictures with Santa for kids. After a little more shopping we find a place to get warm and eat lunch because at noon Santa and Mrs. Clause comes over the water in a tugboat.
Once off the tugboat they walk around the town and say hello to all the kids and people waiting around. Once we are shopped out, we head back to the hotel for a nap or just to relax a bit. We may watch a Christmas movie on t.v or just sit around and talk. I usually leave this trip with all my Christmas shopping done if not 90% done.
Some other great attractions – a great wine place called the Cellardoor Winery Villa has wine tastings. They have a bonfire and carols on the beach. There really is so much to do and something for everyone. For a complete schedule of events click here.
Can you see why I am excited? If you are in New England you must visit Maine on this weekend and experience it at least once in your life, you won’t be disappointed. Let the countdown begin…
What has been your favorite vacation?
Do you plan an annual trip?