Friday, December 23, 2016
I am not even going to pretend that I have an excuse for not writing a Blog for the last two months. Out of sight out of mind. I could say that I am working around the clock on some Big project but that's not true either. I have been doing a lot of Volunteer work at School. Then Terrence was in a Community Theater Production of Beauty and the Beast which had practice for 3 months and 5 Shows last weekend. I also Volunteered Cooking for the Harpswell Aging at Home Cooking Class, where they also get to eat lunch and take home a meal.
Matt, Aimee the boys and my family went to Boothbay Botanical Gardens for the Gardens Aglow Event. It was a great event last year so we chose to go again. Last year they had 36,000 attend and this year they have already had over 50,000. They went from 180,000 LED lights to 360,000. It has really been a major boost for the Boothbay Community which is typically a Summer Tourist Town. Sue went to see the lights on a package with a local Inn that also had a shuttle service. The Town itself has added quite a light show. If you decide to make a trip to Maine before the New Year the Lights are on Thursday-Sunday with Shows at 4,6 &8 you can buy tickets on line.
I did make a trip to Bailey Island ( mainly to return dishes at the Inn) but decided to do a little shopping at Lands End. Cooks Restaurant is still open. They just did a fabulous fundraiser for the Harpswell Heating Assistance and raised over $10,000. Melinda at the Candy Store has been open on the weekends and you can also find her candy at the Indoor Winters Farmers Market in Brunswick. We have had some snow and ice on and off. One day of school has been canceled so far. Right now the snow is melting but tomorrow looks like more rain/ice and Christmas Day back up to 35-40.
Matt has been busy scrubbing the Kitchen. Frankly I am glad it is him, as it is cold in there and no water. The screen doors have been painted. The contractor is putting in some new doors and siding.
There will be some changes to the Casco Bay and Bluefin Rooms with new paint, carpet and counters. If you haven't stayed in either of these rooms give them a try! Sue, Aimee and I are doing a very boring Food Service Sanitation and Safety Class in January. Not that we weren't clean before but now you can feel safe with 3 Certified Food Handlers on Staff.
We are all home for Christmas this year. New Years we will be spending up North in Kingfield with Aimee, Matt and the Boys. We wish all our
Guests a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year !!
Friday, October 28, 2016
I realize you thought I disappeared along with Sue but really it is not the case. Every time I think I have a minute to do the Blog something happens and the task never gets completed. We have had a splendid October. There were many warm days followed by some chilly nights and lately some cold morning temperatures. On Bailey Island we have yet to have a frost which is nice because we still have many Dahlia's still in bloom. We even had some rain the last two weeks. I am sure this happened because I finally found someone to finish painting the outside of my house. He has yet to get a few days in a row because of rain, next thing you know it will be because of snow. I just walked around the property looking at what has to be done to put the Gardens to bed for the Season. Victoria has already started in on the project and we just need the weather to cooperate so we can finish. Looks like a rainy weekend on and off.
As you know I have the Museum addict son. Last week I took him to the Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. What in the World is that you ask? It is a Museum for creatures that are considered otherwise extinct or beings from folklore. Most of the exhibits rely on anecdotal evidence, stories and alleged sightings. This was right up Terrence's ally and natural I just nodded my head often and said that is really cool. They had items like Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, etc. The only redeeming factor is that they are located between a Distillery and Cellar Door Winery. All this and more right behind the train/ bus station in Portland, who knew!!!
We have a quiet weekend coming up which will give us a chance to get started on closing up duties which in the Inn should only take most of Sunday and then an additional few days in the garden. I am sure Matt has some projects lined up that I will keep you posted on.
Until then have a spooky Halloween and Check out our new coffee mugs.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
It seems like I was just saying how fast the Summer seems to have gone by. Now I am complaining about how fast September went by. One day it was the first day of School and now we are into October and have only 28 more days we are open as we close this year on October 30th. There is still time to get in on a couple weekends. Room Occupancy in September was Outstanding. I think it was just as busy as July. So many people ate Dinner and the Desserts were flying off the shelves. The Dahlia's couldn't be any more colorful this year. We have some different colors that we haven't had in the past. It is so fun to see what color is going to bloom next. Before you know it Victoria and I will be out there digging up the Dahlia's for the Winter.
The Town of Harpswell has started an Area on Aging Program. They have many different programs and one of them is called " Cooking With Friends ". They asked if I would be the Guest Chef. I did a cooking class for a group of 15. They ate what I prepared and I then made enough so they all could take a meal home. This was so well accepted that they plan on doing it every other month.
Today was Harpswell Day. From 12-4 in Harpswell Center there were all kinds of festivities going on. What I thought was going to be a 10 minute visit turned into about 2 hours. I had never been into the Old Meeting Hall and Church which was built in 1757. That's some old stuff in there. The Curator gave a great tour of that building as well as the adjacent cemetery. The Historical Society also had an Open House. We learned to make butter, press apples into cider, loom a rug, felt wool, and machine work with some old tools. This building had many old fishing items and a couple Stage Coach's. There were so many interesting things right here in my own backyard. I suggest visiting some of these buildings in Harpswell Center the next time you are here.
Sue has recovered nicely from her Rotator Cuff Surgery. She has her sling off and is busy shopping once again. I keep reminding her that we close in 4 weeks. Then the pumpkins, hay and cornstalks arrived. I should have known better.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Even though the Calendar says it is September I have a hard time believing it. Where did the Summer go? Why do the Winters drag on by and the Summer goes with a blink of an eye. One way I did know that it is September is the School Bus' are back on the road. Yeah for School! The Inn on the other hand hasn't slowed down. We are as full in September as we are in July. We did have a cancellation for a time frame in October in the Merriconeag Room. This is the only room we have that can sleep 4 people with 2 Queen Size beds. It is a Second Floor corner room and has a Spectacular View.
Often guests ask where to buy lobsters. I try and spread the business around but this time I want to give a Big Shout Out to Hay
The 610ft Zumwalt Navy Destroyer first in its class was built nearby at Bath Iron Works. It is set to depart for Baltimore, MD today. It will be Christened in Baltimore and then sailed to the West Coast and docked in San Diego. There are 2 more of the Zumwalt Class already in the works at BIW. Matt and I took the boys to see the Zumwalt this Spring when it was on Sea Trail. The Zumwalt has cutting edge technology and features an all electric propulsion system. It certainly is a stealth modern day marvel. I suggest if you are in the area to visit the Maritime Museum in Bath located next to BIW. They have trolley and boat tours that will take you right past the Zumwalt.
Without any street lights or major intersection's in Harpswell it is tough to have a true traffic jam but we did yesterday Harpswell style. On RT 123 near Skolfield Farms there has been a group of free range, actually they are penned in black pigs grazing. Yesterday they decided to escape and see how things were on the other side of the street. As pigs go they were not so fast about it. They stopped traffic for about 20 minutes, which got quite backed up. Police Officers had to come down from Brunswick along with the Sheriff to direct traffic and try and get the pigs to cross the street. This actually made the Bangor Daily News photo's and all. Ironically I would rather read about this than our Governor.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Our regular guests are used to our Dinner policy and seem to work around our seating times and having to order Dinner by 3:00. There is actually a reason we do this. One is staffing but the other is food prep and waste. Take today for example, the lobster that you order at 3:00 is actually picked up from the lobster man that caught it at 4:00 and brought by one of us to the Inn. You can't get much fresher than that. The salad and vegetables that you eat are most likely picked from our own garden on property or the farm share that we belong to. We grow our own herbs and flowers and take pride in being a Certified Green Business.
Maine has made National News on two accounts this week. One Good and one Bad. I will start with the good. President Obama named another National Park to our Beautiful State. The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Katahdin is in the Northern Maine Woods near the Town of Millinocket and adjacent to Baxter State Park. The 87,500 acres was donated by Roxanne Quimby (Burt's Bees fame). The tough part now is going to be implementing a ground plan for property that is twice the size of our other National park, Acadia. This property has plenty of rivers, mountains and moose but little roads or infrastructure. It is a long way up there but Beautiful once you arrive.
I am not one to get into a Political debate by any means. But the bad news from our State came from our out of control Governor LePage. I know some of you have been following his antics but for those of you newcomers. He is just a Big Playground Bully that lashes out verbally every time he doesn't get his way. This time he was caught by every Media Outlet for his obscenity and threating filled remarks made to a fellow lawmaker on their voice mail. We have two more years with this Hot Headed erratic and reckless Governor. Many hope he will resign but that will not happen because he wants to torture us. So don't let what you see on the National News, Today Show, CNN etc. about this Bully s
top you from coming to see our Beautiful State. He is just one part of it and we hope to keep him Augusta.
We had an Amazing August. The Inn was more than Full. The weather was warmer than usual, sadly not much rain. As School started I am anxiously awaiting the cool Fall Days and the easy to sleep at night Air. We stay pretty busy until we close at the end of October but still have some dates available. You need to come check out some of our Dahlia's. The one below I call ''Bad Hair Day"
Trivia; Did you know Acadia National Park is the second most visited National Park?
Sunday, August 14, 2016
I must talk about the Weather. What is going on??? This is Maine, we don't have humidity. Go away humidity. I can not remember a Summer that was this Hot and Humid for so long. The AC Units are running more this Summer than ever before. We had an intense Thunder,wind storm yesterday. It blew down several Large trees on the Islands. It even blew the window off the hinges at Sue's house. It felt like we were in Oz.
It's not like me to talk about Shopping. But I have to tell you about my trip to LL Bean in Freeport. I had to return a headlamp that was broken and get a new one. LL Bean has the most lenient return policy of any store I have ever been to. The lady in front of me had a bunch of stuff to return. One of the items, ( I am not sure what it was)she returned the clerk told her was bought 13 years ago! They would give her the credit of the price that it sold at then. Good Lord, really... 13 years is a long time to use something and return it. I got my headlamp credit, which was less than a year old, got a new one and went to checkout. I got joking with the clerk about how Hot it was out and that I was going to get an Ice Coffee. He said I wish I had an Ice Coffee on my break. I left the store and got to thinking. What a great store with great employees. I went back in to the Café bought an Ice Coffee and took it to him. It was a small gesture but what that store represents is Maine and the way Life Should be.
The Inn has been crazy busy. There are not to many days in August with vacancies. Terrence starts School in less than two weeks and before you know it the leaves will be turning colors. It will be interesting to see what happens with the colors this year as we have had such a drought. Our Fall rates will start September 6 . There is still time to book for my favorite time of year in Maine. Yes, Sue is still alive and mostly well. She recently had rotator cuff surgery. It was successful and is on the mend. It also means she is taking a break from plant shopping..
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Here is a picture of our Beautiful Yucca Plant. It took awhile for us to figure out what it was. Sue doesn't remember planting it and as it was growing and taking shape we took a picture of it and sent it to our plant go to guy. He confirmed it was a Yucca Plant that apparently was transplanted several years ago to the road side and has finally decided to show its face.
Not to toot our own horn or anything but we just got back the AAA Report and got High Ratings on Landscaping and General Curb Appeal.
If you have been able to spend any time in Maine this Month you know that the weather has been amazing. A little bit warmer and more humidity than normal but great none the less. The only down side is that it has been so dry it takes a couple hours to water all the gardens. Speaking of Gardens the Vegetable Garden is going crazy. Before long we will have cucumbers and squashes like crazy. The many varieties of lettuce have kept the Dining Room in fresh salad for weeks now.
I had a great time last weekend with Aimee and the boys at the TailGate and Recreate Party at Mitchell Field,sponsored by Harpswell Rec. The boys even got their first lesson in Fly Fishing Casting. They had all kinds of lawn games set up, food, music, craft tables and fun times down by the beach. Mitchell Field is such an easy place to access the water. They always have picnic tables set up, a nice scenic walking trail, porta potty's, and also home to the Harpswell Community Gardens. Go check it out sometime, Rt 123 South about 6 miles past the Mountain Rd.
Last week the Town also Celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Ewing Narrow Bridge. This is the Bridge that connects Main Land Harpswell with Great Island on the Mountain Road by the Town Hall. Before 1976 the Town was really split in Two. You had to drive all the way from Bailey Island to Brunswick and then back down Rt 123 near Bowdoin College just to get over to the other side of Harpswell. I certainly am glad they built this bridge when it is Stovers Friday!
Next week, July 25th is the start of the Bailey Island Tuna and Small Fish Tournament. This Tournament has been held on BI for 78 years. It is a running joke that the Fog will start on Monday as it always does for Tournament Week. All kidding aside this is a fabulous time to come down and try and catch a glimpse of an 800lb Tuna or a 1lb Mackerel. You never know what may come in. The kids have great fun weighing all their catches and the Tournament does a fantastic job rewarding each and every child even if they don't catch anything. Tight Lines and Fish On..
The Future Innkeepers Circa 2016. Smallest to Tallest; Terrence 9, Josh 10, and Danny 13