Kristen, Jillian, Zoey, and Paul Druan (left to right) of Hampden enjoy a walk along the Bangor waterfront on New Years Day with their American bulldogs Tasha, left, and Logan. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

In the year since the first case of coronavirus was detected in the state, Mainers have been forced to drastically change their lives to safely weather the pandemic.

But as vaccine distribution continues to ramp up across the state, including the news that all Maine adults will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning May 1, there is growing optimism that life may return to normal in the coming months.

So we asked you what you’re looking forward to most when that time comes. Some responses included things that feel like distant memories: attending sporting events, dining indoors at a restaurant, seeing live music. But the majority of responses reveal that more than anything, Mainers want to restore their personal interactions with others — from hugging friends and baking pancakes with their grandchildren, to even something as simple as smiling at a stranger on the street.

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Here’s what you had to say. Add your own responses to the comments section below.

Richard, Veazie: “Be able to travel to the south for some warmth, and in June travel to Canada to [sightsee] and use our camper.”

Kelly, Sanford: “Chinese food buffet!”

Marty, Lewiston: “Spending time with friends and family.”

Juanita, Hope: “Visiting friends; having organizations putting on their fundraising events, which help so many different things.”

Jeff, Portland: “First dates.”

Willis, Ashland: “Attending sporting events.”

Jordan, Brewer: “I’m looking forward to walking down the sidewalk and smiling at strangers again without a mask.”

Elly, Winthrop: “Going out for breakfast.”

Shannon, Belfast: “Making new friends! We moved here in August 2020 and I haven’t been able to meet people.”

Michele, Caribou: “HUGS! Seeing people’s smiling faces. Anything with friends: cocktails, meals, just visiting. Fairs, festivals, concerts. Going out to a restaurant with my mom.”

Lisa, Solon: “Spending time with my grandchildren at the Children’s Museum or at a hotel with a pool. Or having them sleep over and making blueberry pancakes together in the morning.”

Mary, Hampden: “Dinner at Fiddleheads in Bangor.”

Marianne, Greenville: “A road trip with my friends, having lunch out in our favorite cafe and just enjoying their company.”

Ben, Portland: “Spending an afternoon in a brewery tasting room with friends.”

Bill, Northport: “Contra Dances!”

Bob, Hampden: “Getting rid of my face masks, and going out for a burger and a beer.”

Linda, Waldoboro: “Live music and dancing.”

Karen, Biddeford: “Getting a massage.”

Bob, Orono: “Getting together again with friends and family both in homes and at restaurants.”

Renee, Holden: “Visiting with my grandkids and doing storytelling at local schools again.”

Paula, Trescott: “I’m anxiously looking forward to the Canadian/US boarder to open, so I can see my mother and hug her. She has been confined in a nursing home through this whole ordeal. My whole family lives in Canada and it would be nice to see them all. I’m also looking forward for masks to disappear, as a hard of hearing person, it’s been very challenging and stressful to communicate with the public.”

Brad, Brewer: “Live music! Bangor waterfront, Harvest Blues in Fredericton, New Brunswick, or just enjoying a few beers while listening in a local bar.”

Daniel, Ellsworth: “Playing my guitar live at music venues.”

Kiernan, Dedham: “Casual physical contact — handshakes, hugs. Being comfortable again to be in close proximity to people.”

Christy, Bangor: “Travel to Canada to see my family!”

Ed, South Portland: “Doing the things i had to give up: church choir, community orchestra, eating out with friends, having friends over.”

Harlan, Amherst: “Going to the movies.”

Linda, Old Town: “Gathering in person with friends and family.”

Steven, Caribou: “Family, being able to see and hug them all, being able to visit with our son in NY and family in Conn., RI and southern Maine. Being able to go for a ride and have lunch at a restaurant.”

Susan, Hampden: “Going out to a restaurant and dining inside.”

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...