Time to Exhale….

Oh my gosh, what a week! I flew to Maine for work and packed every non-working moment spending time with friends and family. I drove to Brunswick, ME to see my brother and sister-in law. We had lunch at a lovely place called Frontier. It was so nice to catch up with the pair; we gabbed for almost two hours. These two just got a new rescue dog and it was adorable to hear about him and see pictures. They both lit up when talking about their new addition!

I was able to also catch up with some of my girlfriends, in one of my favorite places: Kennebunkport. We ate a Bandaloop, which was a real treat—the food was obscenely good. I felt some much joy seeing my friends and getting udpated on their lives. Being so far away can take a toll on relationships, but I try to make seeing my friends a top priority when I come home.
We had our work holiday party at the picturesque Cellar Door Winery. This venue just opened and it is stunning! Located on Thompson’s Point in Portland, this is Maine’s newest hot spot. The interior is divinely decorated, the walls are lined with their signatures wines. During the party they offered wine tasting, although I did not partake, I heard the selections were delicious.

I saw my Dad too, we decided to head to Boston for the night. Faneuil Hall was lit up and decorated to the hilt; complete with a carefully choreographed musical light show, featuring the tallest Christmas tree I have ever seen. After walking around, we headed to the North End for some pizza. We decided on Benevento’s. Oh my word, the best pizza and our server was the cutest! After, we headed to Modern Pastry and I got a cream puff that tasted like heaven!
Maine had a bit of a blizzard while I was back. I upgraded my rental to an AWD SUV, to make sure I could make it to the office without incident. The sky dumped three inches or so in Portland, making me grateful I don’t have to deal with those storms in the Peach State.

It was great to be back home; my time with family was wonderful and I am very thankful I can go back each month and see them. Of course, I missed my wonderful husband, who knows my love for flowers and surprised me with a half-dozen in a pale peach color. Oh, life is good!

You Can Go Home Again…

This week I flew to Maine for a work trip, I stayed in the state for a mere 48 hours. I was so busy with meetings and dinner dates, I barely had time to snap any photos—all I got was this measly window shot from 40,000 feet. Cliché I know! I have to say, being somewhere else for a while makes me really appreciate home. I didn’t waste one single minute of being back; I saw family and friends when I could. I packed every minute full!

New England truly has my heart. Living in Georgia makes me appreciate how much I love the north. Yes, the weather here is nice but the people in ME/NH have my sweet little heart in their hands. I have a good feeling I will be back in Maine soon, even if just for another little visit!
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Rattlesnake Pool at Blueberry Mountain

Blueberry Mountain sits in Stoneham, Maine adjacent to the beautiful Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire. In July of 2015, I had the pleasure of finding this beautiful mountain and among it was Rattlesnake Pool.

The entrance to the trail was actually located in New Hampshire (not Maine) and I recall having a very hard time finding it, even with the help of a FAQ from the All Trails website. The entrance looked almost like a driveway, which I later learned was a driveway. The area is privately owned, however they grant access to hikers and wanderers like myself (thank goodness).
rattlesnake-pool-1After driving down a long dirt road I saw a small iron gate which was open. I parked my car in the small lot and set off. I walked down another long dirt road and soon found the entrance to the Stone House Trail for Blueberry Mountain. Everything was well-marked and easy to spot.

The hiking trail split off and quickly gave way to Rattlesnake Pool. Thankfully, after careful inspection, there were no snakes in sight, however there was a pool so clear you could see the bottom. The water ran downstream and funneled into a small waterfall before collecting. Everything was incredibly green and lush, it looked like a movie scene!
IMG_2876In true doggie fashion, Miss Elle immediately took a swim and was drenched from snout to tail. I took in the scene and ouldnt believe this lovely hidden gem. I had heard of visitors swimming in the pool, but it one of those unseasonal New England days which was not ideal for a dip. Brrr!

I went on to hike the mountain which had some spectacular views and yes, there were quite a few blueberries to be had! Yet nothing compared to the hidden pool…a sight I will remember forever.

I’d also like to take a moment to mourn the Canon lens cap which was lost to a large waterfall plume that day. She was a brave soul and was taken way before her time.

You Can Go Home Again…

Yes you can! I am fortunate my work allows me to travel back to the beautiful state of Maine periodically. With the sweltering heat of the south, I couldn’t get on the plane quick enough! My precious Maine was booming with the sweet smells of summer and full of tourists hungrily taking in the sights, sounds, and delicious cuisine.
As I landed, a strong sense of familiar cradled me. I was happy to be where things are known. As much as I love exploring the south – nothing compares to the stunning place in which I called home for the last eight years. I yearned for a lobster roll, the smell of the ocean, and the cool temps. She did not disappoint.
Although time was limited, I was able to briefly enjoy some grub at the Portland Lobster Company, take in the town of Kennebunkport and sit my bum in the sand at Cape Elizabeth State Park. Most importantly, I got to see my favorite person, whom I left in Maine. FaceTime has been a handy tool to stay in touch, but nothing beats seeing my best friend Beth live and in person.We caught up like two old biddies. I yapped on about my recent streak of bad luck and she told me how her graduate classes were going. It was like we never missed a beat. I was re-charged. Nothing can fuel the soul quite like quality time with your best friend.
After leaving Maine, and heading back to the hot south… I realized my true love for Maine. I will go back. Matt yearns for home too, and I think one day, we will go back and never leave. For now, Georgia it is!

Taking the Wheel: Making My Dream Wedding Happen

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I met the love of my life in April of 2015. Matt was the missing piece to my puzzle (cliché, I know). When he asked me to marry him, I was 110% certain of my answer. I don’t take marriage lightly, coming from a divorced family, hence why I waited much longer than the normal person to wed in holy matrimony (ahem, 32, ahem).

Due to our upcoming relocation for Matt’s clinical rotations in Augusta, Georgia, we decided to get married before we left. This meant planning a wedding in as little as two weeks (cue heart failure). I always wanted something super small, or even to elope, the idea of a massive wedding was NOT for me. So small it was!

Matt’s required rotations for med school would have us leaving Maine on Sunday, June 5th. The next break he would have for a wedding, would be in two years. We talked about a small intimate beach wedding before we were to move, and it was settled. Yes, it would be quick, however we knew it was important to have our close family and friends there to support us. This meant getting married in Maine the first week of June.

Most of our friends and family where surprised, however most were extremely supportive and elated. Of course, there was the opposite too, one of my family members so nicely reminded me of the rate of  divorce in the US (50%). I wouldn’t let doubtful or negative comments into my emotional stratosphere, opinions don’t affect me when I know in my heart the decision is right.

It is true, when you get married, everyone wants to give their opinions and critiques. Due to the small nature of the wedding, I decided I was going to handle planning the ceremony myself. With the full blessing from my fiancé, I got going. As I know from working in the corporate world, too many “hands in the pie” can make things unnecessarily stressful. Since I was funding the ceremony myself, I was ready to do it my way. Jesus, take the wheel!

With blessings and support from a plethora of incredible people, we made it happen and it was executed with perfection. Besides one disappointing bouquet, everything went according to plan. Want to know how I planned a wedding ceremony for 30 people in just two weeks? Stay tuned!

My Top 3 Spots in Acadia, The Beautiful

This weekend, I made my second trek to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. My first trip was last year, my friend Beth and I hiked the South Ridge Trail up to Cadillac Mountain. The hike was awesome, and the summit was epic. There is a distinct reason travelers have a love affair with Bar Harbor/Acadia – it is stunning!

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Photographing beautiful Jordan Pond

This Saturday, Beth and I returned to Acadia and attended a Worldwide Insta-Meet. The Insta-Meet brings Instagram users together at a certain location – yes, camera nerds unite! This specific meet up was in Acadia, providing a bevy of options for those who love to photograph and enjoy nature.Though not an Acadia veteran, I would like to share a few of my favorite spots from my recent visits:

Sand Beach: We stumbled upon this beautiful spot by accident. Cruising Park Loop Road, I saw the yellow sand and rolling cliffs and knew this was a must-see. I quickly turned out and Beth and I walked back to discover the beach. The sand was crushed shells, rich yellow in color. I even found some cool sea glass! The water was so clear and the loveliest shade of green. Sand Beach took my breath away, I highly recommend it.

Jordan Pond: Since April is still out of the normal season, the park was quiet. Jordan Pond House was currently closed, however I have heard great things about the restaurant. The actual pond is lovely, nestled between a host of large looming mountains. The pond was crystal clear, I learned from the literature the water is utilized by the surrounding areas and is so clear, you can see down 45 feet. The trails around the pond’s perimeter are very well-kept, using wooden boards to raise hikers above the wetland.

Cadillac Mountain Summit: No words can even do this summit justice! Hikers and drivers alike can enjoy glorious views from the top, since there is a paved access road. Sunsets here are a must – get that camera and tri-pod ready. My favorite part of Acadia is Cadillac’s summit, definitely worth the hike!

For those who enjoy photography, please see my recent post Acadia For a Day: My Favorite Snapshots.

Follow my wandering° on Instragram @rhiannon_karynn to see more photos!

Acadia For a Day: My Favorite Snapshots

Below are a few of my favorite snaps from this weekend’s quick jaunt to Acadia National Park, which boasted free entry due to #parkweek:

Some captivating scenery at Sand Beach

Taking in the views

A gull getting in some flight time

The beautiful and rocky Maine coast

// Photo Details //  Equipment: Canon DSLR Rebel T3i, 18-250MM 1:3.5-6.3 Sigma lens

The Treehouse: A Fairy Tale Dining Experience

In desperate need of a date night, my best friend gifted me a certificate to eat at The Treehouse, a local restaurant in Portland. This little gem sits on Stevens Avenue, right on the outer limits of the city, hidden in suburbia. Most of the popular eateries are located downtown, but not this special spot!

On our first visit, my boyfriend and I waltzed in on a Saturday around 7:30pm, with no reservation (completely my fault). I had no idea the The Treehouse was so popular, until I walked into a jam-packed house. The restaurant sits on the second level, and you really do feel like you are among the trees, or even better, in a Mediterranean villa. The lighting was dim and very warm, giving off a romantic orange glow. The music played gleefully, and the servers moved quickly, attentively serving their tables.

We were greeted immediately, and although we did not have a reservation, we were told there might be an open spot in the bar/lounge. Luckily, there was small table vacant near the window, in an alcove off the bar area. The wicker chairs and table were very low, but we decided to give it a go. The setting was very intimate and cozy. The wood paneling and plants complimented the theme nicely. The round hanging lights were also a great touch!

Now, about the food. We ordered the Fresh Mozzarella and Vine Tomato to start, served with fresh basil, French bread and oil. The dish was extremely fresh and scrumptious! I went on to order the Mozzarella and Pesto Flatbread, and it was just as delicious. My boyfriend, Matt, ordered the Aegean Marinated Chicken salad – he couldn’t stop raving about it. We couldn’t manage dessert, however, we vowed to return again!

This weekend, equipped with a reservation, we made our second visit to The Treehouse with my boyfriend’s Mom. Without exception, it was another great experience! I highly recommend this spot, it is a true delight.

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Photo Credit: The Treehouse Facebook

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Photo Credit: The Treehouse Facebook

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Photo Credit: The Treehouse Facebook