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We’ve started a little tradition around here; mom and dad take me away for a bit of shopping on my birthday (or as close as we can get to my birthday on a semi-decent day in Maine in February).  Daddy watches the boys while we are gone, for which I’m incredibly grateful; although it’s hard to leave the men in my life, it is easier to shop without having to watch a 2 and 4 year old.

Although my birthday isn’t until the 13th (yes, it lands on a Friday this year, and no, there is not a problem with that other than it’s the day that every horror movie tends to be released.  Why do they have to go and do that on my birthday?)  Anyway, we chose Saturday because the temps were supposed to break the freezing mark, and we struck out for South I-95.

First stop was amazing.  We visited Alan Claude in his wonderful barn-turned-studio, and he spent an hour with us while I went back and forth as to which print I wanted.  It was such a hard decision, but the company was delightful in the meantime!  Mr. Claude is not only an exceptional artist, but an exceptional, very down to earth person as well.  I finally decided on this print, because Camden holds such a special place in my heart.

My parents purchased this one:

The colors on my monitor, at least, don’t do these prints justice.  They are so rich and beautiful!  I’d have to say that this visit was the highlight of the day.

From there we made a quick stop at Maine Cottage (always a joy), then wandered down to Portsmouth, NH.  I love this little town; we all discovered it last year.  I realized that I never posted the pictures of some of my favorite things there; I’ll post a few in my next blog.

I also purchased some succulent plants; they were much less expensive at a wonderful little flower shop than they were during the summer.  I’m not at home right now and can’t post the pics, but they bring such a burst of spring to the house!  I picked up some baskets from the Crate and Barrel outlet in Kittery, also.

On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods in Portland.  I love going there and wish I could spend $500 every time we visit.  Oh, the experience!  I could spend hours wandering the aisles.

Came home to a group of guys worn out from their wrestle-fest.  As much as I love being gone, coming home to my men is a great feeling!  Couldn’t ask for a better gift 🙂