Portland the Third: Fun Activities and Eats, Old and New

I've discussed kid friendly activities/eating in Portland, ME, before, so instead of rehashing I'll just give a quick update on our experience this time. We also tried two new eating establishments, so I'll talk a little more about those places. Bottom line - Portland still rules. Activities for Kids Portland Children's Museum and Theatre - Proof that "rope dropping" works everywhere. We got there right when the museum opened at 10 AM and pretty much had the place to ourselves for a good hour and a half. Still a lot of fun things to do, but I think this is the kind of place you want to go to with other families - lots of parallel/joint play opportunities! Maine Narrow Gauge - It's still fun to ride trains, still fun to [...]

Portland the Third: Travel with Four

As I mentioned in my parking post (thanks for all the feedback calling me crazy after I said so myself, btw!), we were back in Portland, Maine, our favorite local vacation spot, to test out traveling with four. Things were definitely different with a 2.5 year and 2.5 month old, but the trip went well and we're ready for more. Here are some things I observed about traveling with four. Packing All credit goes to my wife for this one. I'm just recently back at work so I literally gave her a pile of my clothes and she did everything else. With two kids, it's double the diapers (potty training only half complete), wipes, eating stuff, clothes, baby carrier - all the stuff adds up. Jess, being a miracle worker, [...]

Portland Part Deux: Activities for Families

Contrary to popular belief, we do more than just eat on vacation. Slightly more. I'd say this is one of the first trips where we really tailored our plans to Baby M - in the past we've worked around her, but this time we were trying to plan activities for her (and for our friends' kids too). Here are some of the things we did. Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum In exchange for a short fifteen minute walk from town you can get a pretty neat experience - the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. Narrow gauge railroads don't operate anymore, but their main difference from regular railroads is that their tracks are thinner. You might even say that their tracks are narrower than regular gauge railroads. Anyway, the Museum [...]

Portland Part Deux: Eating in Portland

Like over Columbus Day, our main goal for our visit in Portland was to enjoy the many comestibles available. Portland has a great food/bar scene, and once again this trip did not disappoint. From breakfast to dessert, Portland has something for everyone! Breakfast - Donuts and other carb-loaded delights If you can only visit one place for breakfast in Portland, it's gotta be Standard Baking Company. Jess says they only have third best chocolate croissant (that she's had) in New England, but that it is still quite solid. Standard Baking is very useful though for buying snack, bread for picnics, or whatever you need. You can smell it in the air when you walk nearby and the bread is great - French style, cool on the inside. We went both [...]

Portland Part Deux: Hyatt Place Old Port Suite Review

  The beauty of having points and miles is the ability to take trips last minute, even on holidays - and get a room for a decent rate. Four days before Memorial Day weekend, Jess and I decided to take Baby M up to Portland, Maine for the weekend. I found award space at the Hyatt Place Old Port in downtown Portland. Rooms were going for $280/night, but it only cost us (and our friends who joined us a day later) 8000 points/night. I just transferred 16,000 points from Ultimate Rewards for the two nights and got a value of ~3 cents/point. Not a bad deal. The Room When we got to the hotel, we were in for another surprise. I'm currently in the midst of a Hyatt Diamond challenge (which [...]

24 Hours in Portland

After a hiatus of a few months, I've decided to try to revive the blog a bit. So we'll see how that goes! Anyway, last Columbus Day, we took a trip with my parents to Martha's Vineyard. We didn't have that kind of time this year, but since I had some leftover Hilton points lying around, I booked us one night at the Hampton Inn in downtown Portland, Maine for 40,000 points. It turned out to be a great trip! The Hotel 40,000 points felt pretty steep for a Hampton Inn, but the nice thing about Hampton Inn Portland Downtown is it's very centrally located so we can walk everywhere. The nightly rate was actually $279, so I got 0.7 cents per point of value, which isn't too bad for [...]