While I created a whole bucket list and TBR for the summer, the goal I was most excited for was about FOOD. I made it a goal to eat 10 lobster rolls in the summer of 2019. I initially planned to literally just eat 10+ of them without caring where they came from, but I ended up with so many suggestions on where to go from people! Chris and I both love seafood and trying new places to eat, so I turned my general goal into an actual Lobster Roll Bucket List with 10+ different restaurants or seafood shacks to try this summer. I’ll go through the delicious list and photos, then recap on my TBR progress and how I did on the rest of my bucket list afterwards.
1. Jessica’s Garden
We kicked off the list with Jessica’s Garden, a place I’ve been meaning to try since I saw it in a few articles in the past couple of years. It was an adorable place with ice cream, smoothies, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and lobster rolls (of course!). As you’ll see when we go through the list, I’m a bigger fan of cold lobster rolls (lobster salad with mayo) than hot with butter.
2. The Blue Oar
There’s this gorgeous restaurant by a boat launch, right on the water of the Connecticut River, that we enjoyed early in the summer. I took some time off for Fourth of July because Chris gets that week off, and we made sure to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and knock another roll off the list. They only offered a hot buttered option so that’s clearly what we went with.
3. Stew Leonard’s
If you’re not familiar, Stew Leonard’s is this amazing grocery store with amazing cider donuts, dairy products, prepared foods, and anything else you could want. (They even have Dole Whip in their ice cream shop area!) We got a two-pack of lobster rolls when we went (also over the Fourth’s long weekend) and enjoyed them a lot.
4. Charlie’s Fresh Catch
My best friend from high school’s family own this place (Charlie is her father). They sell deli meats, seafood, and other prepared foods. They have a popular lunchy menu as well, including – obviously – lobster rolls! I picked these up for lunch for Chris and me when I had some time to stop by during his lunch break.
5. Cousins Maine Lobster
Cousins is a popular lobster-based food truck in our local area. They were stopping at one of my favorite breweries and my boss let me leave early, so I picked up lobster rolls for my mom and me for dinner one night! She likes them hot and buttered but I got the cold one. It was a little weird because they just put mayo on the bun under the cold lobster, so this wasn’t my favorite.
6. Main Street Grill
We took a day trip down to Niantic to check this one off the list. Their lobster roll was very much like a lobster salad (a little too salad-ish for us), but we enjoyed soups (clam chowder for Chris and lobster bisque for me) and oysters before splitting this roll. As you can probably tell, the french fries were amazing.
7. Go Fish
My birthday was on a Monday this year, so we treated the previous weekend as my birthday weekend. We went down to my favorite place in Connecticut (Mystic) for the day and enjoyed a lot of great food and wonderful weather! Go Fish is a restaurant in Ole Mystick Village, so we sat on the patio and split a similar meal to Main Street Grill with our seafood soups and oysters before sharing the roll.
8. The Main Moose
On our anniversary / the night we got engaged, we didn’t have real dinner plans, because we hate doing things on Mondays. We also had a weekend away AND a prior week full of eating out for my birthday, so we wanted to keep it low key. We went to a new random restaurant 10 minutes away from us that happened to have lobster rolls on the menu! We split that along with chili cheese fries and sweet potato fries. I ended up taking the pictured salad for lunch the next day.
9. The Big E – Maine Building
At the Big E (Eastern States Exposition) fair, they have State buildings for each of the New England states. They each have products and food from that specific state. So, of course, the Maine building had lobster rolls! A few others did too because New England has all the best seafood, but this one had little ones for half the price of any others found at the fair. I took advantage of it since we were nearing the end of September and my deadline was almost up! This hit the spot.
10. Stop & Shop
And finally – my last lobster roll of the “summer!” I did want to keep it within the actual summer months or dates, but I figured the end of September would be fine 😉 I had hoped to make my last one from Maine but we ended up having a much quicker/busier trip than expected, so I finished my list with one from the local grocery store. Hey, could be worse for $8! (Also could have been much better… aka a lot more meat, please.)
1. Read 10 summer books/romances – Mostly pass
I read five books from my summer TBR list specifically, which is OKAY. Without bothering to get into specifics, I did read quite a few more books that took place in the summer and/or were located in a tropical climate of some kind. Most didn’t FEEL summer summery, like the books above did, but it still technically counts. I can count about five, so that’s technically ten total.
2. Plan challenge-specific TBRs for later this year – Pass
I decided to kind of do this for a few different posts (like my fall bingo and midpoint check-in) but I ended up also drafting a post for early October, where I make my final “holy shit there are three months left in the year and one of them is for holiday books” push of reading for the year.
3. Explore a new local bookstore – Mostly pass
I didn’t explore a LOCAL bookstore, but we did go up to Woodstock, VT, where I explored a bookstore on their main street! I can’t remember if I went to any other bookstores over the summer, to be completely honest, but this should kind of count as a pass. Not a day trip, but a weekend trip, and not really local, but still an indie bookstore.
4. Read on the porch 2-3 times per week – Mostly pass
This isn’t a full pass because I could have continued doing this through September mornings if they were nice enough, but I kind of shifted away from my fun patio life for some reason. During July and August though? I was definitely out there a few times a week, I’d think!
5. Take 2-3 bookstagram photos per week – Mostly fail
I think I’ll call a spade a spade here and let you know I kindaaaa failed this one. Looking back on my summer period on Instagram, I posted a LOT during June and July, which was awesome! I probably did meet this challenge and posted every few days for stretches of time during those months. I posted four times in August, which is technically once a week, so that’s not the best. Not terrible though! Better than usual!
6. Go to the damn beach – Fail?
I didn’t pop on a bathing suit and lay on the beach. I did technically put my feet in the sand, walk around or near a beach, etc… but I didn’t really ~go to the beach~ in the traditional sense of the word. Not sure why I bothered. We were supposed to go during the bachelorette but didn’t make it.
7. Eat 10 lobster rolls – Pass
Take a look at the photos above and you can see it – definitely passed this one!
8. Take a weekend trip somewhere – Pass
Even though we didn’t go during July like I had hoped, we made a trip happen for our anniversary weekend. This is technically still the summer (September 13-15) so it counts. We didn’t take a beachy, summery trip, but whatever – Vermont is gorgeous in September. We did a bunch of day trips toward Mystic and the CT shoreline too, so I’m counting those as well.
9. Host a party at the house – Fail
I honestly think the time got away from us this summer. It ended up being a bit more packed than expected, especially on the weekend when we could host a party. We may have some kind of engagement party but I don’t think that’ll be at our house (?) and it definitely isn’t summer anymore. Shrug.
10. Make a specific bucket list for day trips – Pass
So, technically, I talked about making a bucket list for day trips. Did we go ANYWHERE on my bucket list that I DID create? Yes. We went to three places. However… we definitely didn’t do a lot of the activities I really wanted to do lol. I wanted to go flower picking and fruit picking, visit a few beach towns we hadn’t seen, and explore a couple of CT towns. The good thing is that many of the places and ideas on this list can 100% be done in the fall time. FYI: the three things we did complete included Jessica’s Garden, Gillette Castle, and Chester, CT.