My husband, Will, and dogs Milo and Gracie and I recently visited some friends up in Maine for the first time. This trip was my farthest trip up North and it exceeded my expectations. The drive through Connecticut and Massachusetts was gorgeous, and when we arrived in Portland, we could see right away what are friends, Nathaniel, Teresa and little Axel love about it. There is art, culture, great restaurants and little shops, all surrounded by harbors with local lobster boats and fisherman bringing home aquatic delicacies calling my name.

We took a ferry out to Chebeague Island, an island about an hour off of the coast of Portland. Home to about 300 residents year-round, Chebeague has a small-town island feel and is surrounded by gorgeous rocky beaches.

One of the best parts of the trip was the house we stayed in, a family home that has been in Nathaniel’s family for six generations. Dark wood with a fresh white kitchen, black and white family photos spanning generations, three outdoor decks, and the most refreshing outdoor shower in the world, this house was New England perfection. We ate fried clams and steamed our own lobster and enjoyed a nice fire in the cool evening.

Days were filled with trips to the beach with the mutts and little Axel, exploring the island, collecting shells, seeing deer, seals, and foxes.

In the next week or two, Etsy will post a video where I make some really rad wall art using found objects from our trip. Until then, enjoy the gorgeous seaside escape.