Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Snow



I realize you all are tired of me talking about the crazy weather we have had over the Winter but when I said last Blog that Spring was finally here I was so wrong. Yesterday ( 4/26) we had 4in of snow. It was twice the amount they predicted. It was a wet, heavy and messy snow. Most people had put away their Winter tools, including car snow brushes. I saw a lady at the Grocery Store brushing her car off with an umbrella. It was also Terrence's first base ball game which was canceled due to snow. The first time the Rec has canceled due to snow. Only bonus to it was the flower beds were covered and I didn't have to see the weeds!. I  saw the room guests making snow angels on their deck.

The Pool Company is coming to uncover the pool for the Season next week. Not that anyone would be brave enough to go in yet. I was thinking it would make a funny picture if it snowed as they were uncovering the pool.
Life is beginning to take shape around the Islands. The Cribstone Grill is now open every day. The Island Candy Shop is open every day.  The new and improved Cooks Restaurant is open every day. I happen to go to Cooks last weekend. They did a marvelous job with the renovations, with still more to come. I had the Calamari appetizer which was very good. They have an extensive drink menu and about a Dozen Craft Beers on Draft. There is lots of work being done on the Bailey Island Motel. I am eager to get a look at that when they are done. The Store on Orrs Island has been Sold and the new people will be opening  as the Red Barn Store and Cafe.

Some of our new Gift Shop items are starting to arrive. I am quite fond of  the new Chart Bags we got . There is a great one that has a zipper on the top and the inside liner is a type of nylon that you can easily clean. We have new travel mugs, new blue pint glasses with  an etched lobster on it. Guess you should just come up and see it all. We have a few rooms left for the July 1st weekend. July 2nd will be the Fireworks at Cooks. Give us

a call before someone else does!

Blessings,

Alicia

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Time Lapse Sunset



Today is an Amazing Day. Spring might finally be here. The traffic going by has doubled. The motorcycles are out in full force. At one point I saw a pack of about 12 of them go by. Lots of people are out walking and a few of the daffodils have blossomed. After 20 years at the Inn I am taking on a task I have never done before. I am going to help Victoria in the Gardens. Last Fall I did some clean up with her and apparently I didn't drive her nuts because I am back at it. Either that or she doesn't want to spread the mulch and soil by herself. We still can have a frost at night until about Mid May so we are safe ( maybe) til then with Sue buying her Annuals . The photo on the bottom is the new Toy we have at the Log Cabin. I am going for driving lessons tomorrow to make lugging the soil all over the property a bit easier.
  Cooks opened today after Major renovations this Winter. I haven't been down yet but on this glorious day I heard they already had a waiting line. I did go to the Dolphin Marina for lunch last Friday. They have such a nice,clean Dining room with a 360deg View and good food. They have also added a patio onto the West  side of the Building where they can serve food.

I found a nice trip to take about an hour from here in Augusta , the Maine State Museum. They  currently have an added Exhibit on the Gunsmiths in Maine in the 1800's. The Museum has three floors and loaded with very interesting facts. It is such a bargain too. I believe $2 for Adults and $1 for Seniors and Children. You can't go wrong. My son is a budding Docent and he drags me to Museum's all over. A few random thoughts I have; the Fast Ferry will be running again this Summer from Portland to Nova Scotia every day at 2:30. It is a different company from last year. Our  Maryland/DC Visitors will be happy to know that the JetPort has added several extra flight to BWI. We also have an additional Airline, Elite that has scheduled flights to Florida. We also have the Amtrak DownEaster Train that not only stops in Portland but comes all the way to Brunswick. So there is no excuse not to visit. Plane, Boat,Train,Car, Bus,Bike you can get to Harpswell.

We have two new Employees this Season. Please Welcome Pauline and Kim on your next visit. Lastly I am not that Tech savy but will attempt to post Matts recent Sunset Video. If it doesn't work you can go to You Tube and search "Bailey Island time lapse sunset"

Blessings,

Alicia



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Maple Weekend


A Tradition in Maine going back generations is Maine Maple Sunday .This event is always held the 4th Sunday in March. This year it was a little messed up with Eater on the 4th Sunday. So instead of
Maine Maple Sunday it was Maine Maple Weekend. There are many farms in Maine that "tap" their Maple Trees , boil it down and make syrup, along with a few other treats. If you have ever bought real Maine syrup you know that it is slightly expensive but this is why. It takes 40 gallons of sap from a tree to make 1 gallon of syrup. They can  tap a tree 2-4 times. This year was a little different because of our crazy warm/ cold weather. Most of the time I am not here for Maple Sunday but I do remember taking the hot syrup out on the snow and rolling it in the snow to make a lollypop type candy.
I know Matt and Aimee have tapped a tree on their property and made about a quart. Hatts off to the Maine Maple Syrup Industry. It's a product I would rather buy than try and produce myself. I feel the same way about clamming.

Another thing I have been wanting to do for years and finally did this Winter was  go to the Art Museum at Bowdoin College. The Building has a lot of history both old and new. The exhibits of course change all the time which makes it great any season. The best part is it is Free! The same day I also went to the Perry- MacMillan Arctic Museum, located on campus close to the Art  Museum. It isn't a very large Museum but interesting all the same. This is Free as well.

I was saying last blog about our random snow day at the end of March. The next morning the phone rang at 5:30AM from the School saying it was canceled. I looked out the window and not a flake of snow. Looking a little closer it wasn't snow but an Ice Storm. We only had 1 snow day all Winter and the last week in March we had 2, go figure.

Today Victoria and I spent several hours in the gardens getting ready for the opening. There isn't to much to do except for cleaning up all the dead stuff from the Winter. The ground is still partially frozen and we can still have frost and now they predict snow on Sunday. We were both nearly in tears when we saw that a deer ( or several) had eaten about half of the 200 tulip bulbs we planted last Fall. I want Matt to set up the Game Camera so I can catch them in the act.

I look forward to a Joyful 2016 Season and can't wait to see all of you.

Blessings,

Alicia

Thursday, March 24, 2016

New Website


Sorry if it took a while for you to locate us. We haven't physically moved only our website has.
It has been a Winter work in progress and we hope to get all the kinks out and running smoothly shortly.

It was Ironic I wrote in the last blog about the crazy Winter weather we have had. This week we had a snow storm and our second No School day of the Season. Who would have thought on the 2nd day of Spring we would be plagued with a No School day. Today has been spitting snow all day and we are in for another mixed bag

Aimee, Sue and I attended the Gift Shop Show in Portland on that crazy snowy day. I was supposed to take a picture of us looking at cool things at the show but between sampling the chocolates and the other snacks I never got a chance. That is why you have this not so interesting picture of us in a van.
Stay tuned for some new items in the new Gift Shop.

Aimee and I participated in the Chili/ Chowder Cook off at our local Elementary School. They had an outstanding turnout and between the tickets sold and the Silent Auction ( of which I know own a 4 man LL Bean tent) it was the most amount of money raised for this event which will benefit the incoming 5th grade class ( Josh) and their week long outdoor wilderness trip to Chewonki in the Fall.
Around Town the Dolphin Marina is set to Open April 7th. The Giant Stairs Restaurant is open on the weekends. I believe Cooks is shooting for about the 3rd week in April. The School house Café has been open year round for breakfast and lunch. The Vegetable Corner has also been open year round and have been having some appealing lunch specials.  I know we have several guests interested in Quilting. There will be a new fabric and quilt shop opening soon on Maine Street in Brunswick. I have also found a hidden gem on a side street off Maine called the Union St Bakery. It is open for Breakfast and Lunch and has some amazing pastries. It is also conveniently located near Terrence's school :)

We will be opening in 8 more days! Which crazy enough Aimee and I have decided to go away overnight. Nothing like waiting to the last minute. Next blog I promise to have a few photos of the Inn.

Happy Easter                                Of course this photo is from the archives.

Blessing,

Alicia

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lots Going On




You may have thought I disappeared somewhere in Florida never to be seen again. Well unfortunately that isn't the case. I did have a nice 2 1/2 week stay and missed some real frigid temperatures back in Maine. This has been a very strange Winter. We have had snow storms but then the next few days it could be 40-50 and then the following week snow again. After last Winter no one is complaining but just after you think about putting your boots away the snow hits again. We had snow yesterday for about 5 hours but didn't accumulate to anything and tomorrow is going to be 58 degrees. The kids have only had 1 snow day which they are not happy about now but will be in June when they may get out before the end of the month.

I finally took a ride to Bailey Island today. It has been months since I ventured the 5 miles South. I drove to Lands End and then stopped at the Inn. Matt was working on the Gift Shop project and I checked out the plants that are poking their nose out of the ground. I then went to check out the Renovations at Cooks Lobster House. My it looks like we are going to be in for a treat this Summer. They ripped the bar area out as well as most of the Kitchen. The Big Picture windows facing West will open up the great view they have. I have heard they are going to do a Sunday Jazz Brunch as well as an extensive Brew Pub and Wine Bar. They also plan to have some live music and move the outside deck to the other side of the building which will give much more room and a better view. Jenn and Nick Charboneau  that bought Cooks last Summer have some great plans for this Season. Jenn's parents Paul and Rita Dube have just purchased the Bailey Island Motel from Chip Black. I saw a dumpster there today and looks like renovations are under way.
My news from Brunswick is a new Café has opened up at Brunswick Landing ( the former Navy Base) along with a call center for Wayfair, a home furnishings catalog which will employ 500 people starting this Summer. A new Restaurant,  Portland Pie has opened on Maine St. next to my favorite store "Hatch". It's Pizza Pie and Pub style food along with many beer choices. The atmosphere is nice and food is good.

The Big News is we Open Friday April 1!!st  We look forward to seeing all of you back again as well as new guests that will become long time friends. Everyone is doing good and anxious to get back to work. Sue said I always make fun of her in the blog so this time I am not. She is ready to get back to work to get away from the dogs.

Blessings,

Alicia

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Geo Cache




Have any of you ever done Geo Cache?  For a 9 year old boy it is like an ongoing Treasure Hunt and for adults well, its just about the same. This is a great activity that can be done all around the World for Free! I find the easiest thing to do is if you have a smart phone download the Geocaching App.  You can then either search for the location that you are in at the moment or a place you may be going to. The "Cache" or prize can be in a box or canister or just about anything. Some range from from little trinkets inside to just a scroll where you log that you have found the treasure and then replace it. You can bring a small treasure with you to put in the box and then you may take one out.  The App will give you clues to where the cache may be and hints from previous explorers. There is also a gadget called a tracker. If you find a tracker you can take it with you and replace it at a different Geo Cache site. Our tracker we placed has been to Arizona, Texas, Florida and Mexico and is now back in Maine. The people that have picked it up also comment on its voyage.
The reason I mention this is on a recent Sunday we did the 3 Geo Cache sites on the Devils Back Hiking Trail on Orrs Island. Finding the cache can be a little tricky in the snow but we did find all 3. There are many sites throughout the Town of Harpswell. If you come back and show me that you have conquered a Geo Cache site I may even have a prize for you.

Even though we only live 5 miles apart Sue and I rarely see each other in the Winter. I must admit I do not  think I have driven to Bailey Island more than twice since we closed. With that being said we took a Field Trip this week to the Old
Navy Base. We walked several miles on the Indoor Track that is now housed inside the Brunswick Recreation Building. After that we felt adventurous and made our way over to the new satellite branch of the YMCA. It doesn't have a pool like the one in Bath but does have just about everything else. I know many people that travel still like to keep in an exercise routine so these two places serve as a great choices. I was then going to take her past the new Retirement Community, Coastal Living but I thought I may be pushing my luck :)

Finally this was a crazy weather week. Thursday we had a record High of 56 deg. Most places had no snow and flower buds were popping up. The next thing you know Friday we get the 5:30AM phone call that there isn't any School and we end up with 8-9 in of snow. The photo above is of the Gang on our Friday Night Ski and lessons sponsored by the Harpswell Rec. The night was officially called off because of the lack of bus transportation. That didn't bother us though,we made the Hour + treck and all had a good time. Before you all make comments. A; I do not have a helmet or ski's because I am in charge inside the Lodge ( I am no dummy) handing out the Lift Tickets to our 65 skiers  B; I don't really like it!

I am headed to Florida on Tuesday for 2 weeks the same day our next storm is coming. I hope we get out.

Blessings,

Alicia

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Non Blizzard




While the rest of the East Coast and then some were getting hammered by the recent Blizzard we didn't get so much as a flake. We do have quite a bit of the snow on the ground still so no complaining here. The temperatures were cold last week 20 and below but this week will seem like a heat wave when tomorrow it could reach 40. I judge the Winter on how many snow plow bills I receive. At least this year I am here to use the driveway. It is tough getting the bill when I am in Florida.  The York Family and my Family are still doing the Ski Program with Harpswell Rec. Well I am not, I take care of the Lift Tickets from inside the nice warm lodge. Terrence graduated to the chair lift so now he is excited to make a few runs with Danny and Josh. Only 6 more days in January and I will spend 2 weeks of February in Florida so by the time I get back it will be almost March. I think I have a handle on this Winter thing.

Matt has demolished the Gift Shop area and has begun to reshape it per the ladies requests. It will be nice to have it more organized. Aimee has been painting and sanding down some of the TV stands to give them a second life. They have replaced some of the Vanities in the Bathroom. Some other items in the kitchen really are not exciting unless you have worked in that kitchen for over twenty years and then you would appreciate it. You can come in some time and I will show you.:)

Sue is still fighting with her puppy. I do not envy her on those cold dark mornings taking the dogs for a walk but I guess that is reason # 3,457 that I do not have a dog. No comments from the dog lovers . I like dogs, just having a 9 year old is enough. Sue and I are going to walk the Inside Track that Brunswick Recreation has  at the old Navy Base tomorrow. The Y was even opened up a Satellite Building there. I highly suggest driving around that area on your next visit, so much to see.


Blessings,

Alicia