Sierra decided letting us sleep in one day on our vacation was enough and we were the first ones awake, showered and dressed on Monday morning. Unfortunately Uncle Brian had to go back to work but the rest of us decided to head out to Hallowell & Portland. If you live in Maine or vacation there you NEED to visit this little town. Hallowell is a hidden gem full of independently owned book stores, record stores, antique stores, coffee shops, bars and restaurants all lined by brick sidewalks. We are sure to visit every time we go through Maine.


Hallowell Antique Mall - Awesome finds from jewelry to furniture and everything in between and best of all it's all priced very affordably. This place is HUGE, do not miss it.

Francesca's - My favorite italian place I have ever eaten, and I live in Boston home to "The North End" (look it up). Delicious food, affordable, fancy but not so fancy you can't bring your toddler and the cooks are more than happy to adjust the menu to suit your (vegan) needs.

Timmy & Sierra getting some kisses in while we loaded up the car.

A super cool antique shop on Water St. / Right: The main 'strip'

As you may know, we love owls, including this huge wooden one we found out side of a shop. Here is my father and (most of) his grand children.

Sierra and Cora waiting patiently while all the adults fueled up on some coffee at Slate's Restaurant & Bakery

Mama and Sierra outside the Hallowell Antique mall.

Some awesome hand planers & a vintage pram stroller.

Tim & Papa looking at the 'pricier' objects.

Braid Twins walking down Water Street.

Sierra showing Papa here pretty 'flower' she got at the Chinese restaurant.

Papa giving Sierra a little kiss. LOVE THIS PHOTO!

After we hit up just about every shop and filled our bellies on some Chinese food we rat packed my sister's Jeep once again and headed for Portland. My (generous) sister wanted to buy Sierra a Build-A-Bear and let her choose any outfits/accessories she wanted as a 2nd birthday gift. So back on the highway we went headed for the Maine Mall. Once at the Mall it was what you'd expect - a Mall. Nothing too exciting BUT the Build-A-Bear store was really neat. I had never been to one and it was fun watching Sierra pick an animal, get it stuffed, put a heart in it and choose clothes and accessories. The staff was super friendly and had this whole spiel about rubbing the heart on your cheek and kissing it so your animal would have love, sort of cheesy but super cute for Sierra. Awesome gift!

Some of the bears (and other animals) you can choose from! / Sierra picked a cat which she named "Kitty". Even though Kitty was brand new he needed a shower and a scrub of course!

Sierra searching for accessories + typing in Kitty's info for his birth certificate.

After the mall we headed to downtown Portland and explored some shops. I had only been to Portland once before and it was just to grab a quick bite so it was exciting to walk around and check it out a bit more slowly with some "Mainer" tour guides (a.k.a. my sister). 

Sierra and Mama cruising around Portland.

Love this shot of my newphew and Dad in Portland!

Everyone was getting pretty pooped / hungry for dinner at this point so we stopped to relax (and inspect the grass).

Once back at my sister's house it was time to chase the chickens around a bit more.

A little blurry but i LOVE this photo that Mama took right before we left.

So thats about it for our Maine 3-day vacation. The best part EASILY was watching Sierra play with her cousins. She's a whole year older than the last time we visited so she was able to play, keep up and talk to them (sort of). It was fun watching my nieces follow her around and want to help Lauren get her dressed and comb her hair, sort of like a big doll. The next time we visit can't come soon enough.