Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween and the dreaded Closing Day. Every year it seems like we say "Where did that season go". Today is about 63deg but very windy and lots of white caps on the water. We will cherish the daylight today before we change the clocks back tonight. I actually like the extra hr of sleep and dark morning. It was right up to the wire but this October occupancy came in just ahead of last year. We were full last night and 1 room open as of now for tonight but I am sure it will fill. We have also rented 390 rooms for next year, over 20% full already.

This week I went to Scarlett Begonia's Restaurant that opened up at the new Train Station on Maine St. in Brunswick. Bowdoin College has a bookstore in there now that it open to the public. An Irish Pub is scheduled to move in shortly as well. The Parking is ample and it is much easier to access than the old train station. So check it out next time you are in Town.

Most of the leaves have fallen, esp in today's wind and the Fall Cruise Ship Season is over. The final Cruise Ship was in Portland this week with 600 passengers. There were 48 Cruise Ships that visited Portland this year with over 70,000 passengers. Portland has already booked 69 Ships for next Season. With all these people you would think I wouldn't still be writing about the horrible Lobster Season. We had another Lobster War this week in Tenants Harbor. They were fighting over cut traps and one guy pulled out a shotgun. So not only do they not make any money at this job, you can also get killed.

Just to keep in mind for next year. Cooks Lobster House is also now operating as a mercantile and selling everything from milk,fish, produce to chocolate chips and capers. You can even call you order in and they will have it ready for you. The prices are very reasonable as well.

We had some former room guests and now seasonal residents come up today to bring the boys some great Halloween gifts, and not candy. Thanks Eric and Deb and keep in touch. Thank you to the Lewis' for our scary cookies. I didn't cook much today because I was busy cleaning but I did make us Chicken Club Sand with pasta salad for lunch and a mac and cheese with Canadian bacon for the cleanup Dinner.
Laura is so graciously working for me tonight so Terrence and I can go Trick or Treating. I will post some pictures of everyone minus Josh who has the Flu.

An update I am picking up on my way home tonight the last flight of the Flamingo's. The flamingo's raised over $2,500 for the children's swim program and I thank all involved. Last week 71% of the people were right ( the most that has voted so far) Sue is going to (remains to be seen) dig up the Dahlia's Bulbs this year but that is not the case every year.
Sue and I are going to share the blog over the Winter. You may be reading about cold, snowy Maine or warm, sunny Key Largo, Florida. Either way we wish everyone a healthy Winter until we meet again.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Celiac Disease

Today is rainy,windy and all around, Yuck. It is also the start of the last week we are opened. We stayed pretty busy all last week but still have some rooms open for this coming week and weekend.

You all know that we go out of our way to cater to any food allergies guest may have. This Season I have seen an unbelievable amount of people that have Celiac Disease and need to eat Gluten Free. This would be one thing if the Dr. told me I needed to do I may just say shoot me now because I am not giving up pasta and bread. After researching this Summer I did find out that so many stores and Restaurants are aware of the need to be Gluten Free that they really have amended their inventory. Just this week a guest told me that Cooks Lobster House has a Gluten Free Menu and I know the Great Impasta in Brunswick does as well. I went shopping at "Wildflower" a Gluten Free Store that opened in Brunswick this year. I was quite surprised and delighted to see everything they carried, from pizza crusts to donuts, cookies, pasta, etc. So now I am thinking this is something I could try and see if it would help me sleep any better. If you have any food requests let us know. Like tonight I am making Filet Mignon with Crabmeat Bernaise Sauce again because Doreen missed it last time.

Now on to another wierd food item...There is a company called Ocean Approved that is starting the first Kelp Farm in the Untied States right here in Casco Bay. They are just planting the seedlings now and say by Spring the plants will be 6-8ft long. If all goes according to plan the kelp will then be turned into noodles,kelp salad and kelp slaw. They have a big following with places that serve Asian Style Food, esp seaweed salads. Believe it or not kelp is a $7 Billion a year industry World Wide. Not that I am going to be putting Kelp on the menu right away but I am sure you may start seeing it in some Maine Restaurants.

I was busy in the Kitchen, that seems to happen when it is raining out. I made a carrot cake with carrots from the Farmers Market, Spiced Apple Crisp from hand picked apples, Zucchini Bread from the neighbors garden and Blue Cheese Burgers for my, Sue and Laura's lunch.

My Mom took the kids to an interesting place in Lisbon Falls. Bear with me on this one. It is called the Maine Glass Art Studio- Butterfly and Insect Museum. It is located in Lisbon Falls about 35 min from the Inn. It is in an old Church and they have a Beautiful Gift Shop obviously for the parents. The kids talked all night about the glow in the dark spiders and beautiful (live and dead) butterflies. My Mom must have been impressed as she went back again this week with one of her girlfriends. www.

I typically do not like to give the poll question as something you folks can look up on the Internet but I did like the question. At first I posted the question with none of the answers as the right one. The largest rotating Globe is at the Delorme Map Company in Yarmouth, Maine. The best record so far 75% got it right. You can see it from Rt 295 as you pass by Yarmouth into Freeport. It is even lit at night. Next Saturday will be the last blog I write from the Inn but do not worry it will not be the last blog. The photo above you should recognize as Mackerel Cove right here on Bailey Island.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Save Bailey Island Post Office

This is one of my Special Editions.

The Community is trying to raise $200,000 to buy The Bailey Island Post Office. The building is For Sale and the current owner is not renewing the lease with the Post Office. A LLC is being formed and patrons of the Post Office are currently raising money. Anyone who donates $1,000 or more will become an owner. Anyone who donates less will become a "donor". This is not a tax deductible donation, but rather an attempt to Save part of our Community. If you would like to participate you can write a check to "Save the Bailey Island Post Office" and mail it to the same name at 16 Oceanside Road, Bailey Island,ME 04003. Any and all donations would be appreciated.

Thank You

Saturday, October 17, 2009

End of the Season

I am trying to deny that the end of the season is near and we close in 2 weeks but since we did our Christmas Photo this week and the leaves are falling off the trees I guess it is (sadly) time.

This week Terrence and I went on the Cliff Trail behind the Harpswell Town Hall. Our intent was to get to the section that has the "Fairy Houses". This is a great time of year to do the trail because there are not any bugs and we are not sweating. Also it is just before Hunting Season. The Fairy Houses are built with only using the materials which are true to the land and not fabricated. I posted a picture of a Fairy House that our recent guest Melissa Jean made. The Cliff Trail has 2 such Fairy House Villages. There is also a great Fairy House Village at the Boothbay Botanical Gardens.

I found it interesting that we had a single older lady call this week (first timer) to make a reservation and wanted to know if this is a safe place. I actually can not think of a safer place. So I looked up and found that Maine has the lowest violent crime rate and the lowest incarceration rate in the nation. She was very happy when she got here and as it was never locked her door.

Going Green has made me aware of other areas of the State that are trying to do their part. On Kibby Mountain they just installed and put on line 22 Wind Turbines this week, with 22 more to come within the year. This will provide 50,000 homes with energy for the year. Maine was also granted by the Federal Government $8 million for the University of Maine to design and build 3 offshore wind turbine prototypes. Maine's cutting edge composites program is going to develop a lighter and more manageable equipment. Maine was also granted an additional $5 million for a composites floating wind turbine platform in the Gulf of Maine.This could create more than 17,000 jobs in the renewable energy field in the next 20 years. You watch Maine will be a national leader in the quest to become energy independent.

On to my lobster harping. Linda Bean granddaughter of famous LL Bean has bought the Java Net Cafe in Portland and plans to operate a restaurant there by November. Linda has bought several seafood business, and controls all levels of the process from the catch, to the production of the lobster rolls that she sells at stands and from a "lobstermobile" that visited the agricultural fairs this Fall. So if you are in Freeport or Portland stop buy for a lobster roll that you know is Maine caught.

We had our very good guests Bob and Joyce stay with us this week. They got Married right here in the Dining Room and are celebrating their 1 year Anniversary. Bob also brought us all Honey from his own bees.

I must say it has been an unusually cold this week, the wind just didn't stop. We have had the Fireplace going almost every day. The leaves are falling from the trees at an alarming rate. I am not looking forward to tomorrow when I participate in the Breast Cancer Walk and it is scheduled to pour rain. Seems like all my big events lately end in rain. As you can see I have linked our Facebook Page to the blog so become a Fan and get some more updates. I am hoping by next week I will be able to get the video I made on here as well.

I am still having the $25 gift certificate Dinner special from now til OCt 31st. We have also started our 20% off Gift Shop Sale. So just think with all this savings you can squeeze in 1 more trip to Maine. I almost forgot the answer to last weeks question was a tie. Half of you said we served Green Mountain Coffee in the Dining Room and half said Folgers, it is Folgers.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birthday Girl

I guess Sue was OK with my end of the month room special because I am still here. What was even funnier was last Monday ( her birthday) I served Champagne to everyone while she was cooking Breakfast and did not tell her. Finally when she was done cooking I told her, and she did not believe it.... had to come out in the dining room to see everyone sipping Champagne to believe me. So then we each had a glass.

The foliage is taking place in Grand Shape. Now is peak foliage in the lakes and mountains of Western Maine,esp Mt. Katadin. We should be looking at peak in about a week which is coincidentally when my room special is.

Front Street in Bath was just named one of the Country's Top 10 Downtown Stretches.The waterfront area boasts galleries, food shops, an awesome cooking store,jewlry stores, Discount Clothing Store, Restaurants, and not to far away from the Maine Maritime Museum. Bath is only 1/2hr. North of us on Rt 1.

Don't think I have forgotten about promoting the lobster industry. The price is still low and will be for the rest of this year. This Sunday at Gilmore's Seafood in Bath you can buy a single lobster for $5 live or cooked. Next Saturday you can do the same at Five Islands Lobster Company, they even have free coffee and baked goods. This is also peak season for lobstering in Maine.

I am not cooking to much today beacuse Sue and I are on a Diet this week. I did make some spiced apple crisp. Tonight for Dinner I am making the Filet Mignon with a Crabmeat Bernaise Sauce. It must sound good to everyone because I am making 8 of them already for Dinner.

The answer to what was our most popular room this season is the Wiseman Room so 53% of you were correct. The fact that amazed us was that Merriconeag was the second most popular. If you don't see me posting next week it is because Sue has killed me for posting the picture of her plunging toilets in her Birthday Hat!!

Happy Columbus Day if you are off. Alicia

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We will miss you September

I have to say this September seems to have set a record for the nicest weather. We didn't shut off the heat in the pool to the very last week. We also had our 2nd busiest September at the Inn, we were 96% full.This is a 6% increase from last year. We already have 90 room nights booked for September 2010. We had some lucky guests last Monday when Sue made a special Lobster Eggs Benedict for my Anniversary. Speaking of which the Red Sox game was rained out, in the 7 inning ( we had seats under cover) it was just as well because they were losing. It was fun though and we stayed at a great place called the Samuel Sewall House only a short walk to Fenway.

The City of Portland had a maiden visit this week from the Cruise Ship Queen Victoria. This Ship is one of 8 scheduled to be in Portland this week. The Victoria holds 2,000 passengers. It is on a 24 day Cruise starting in SouthHampton and next port of call Bar Harbor. The Fall Foliage Cruise Schedule is a Big Boom to the Maine Tourist Industry.
Quite a few of us including Room Guests went to the Cumberland Fair this week. Cumberland is about 40 min South from here. They have your typically Fair Food, which is Matt's first stop. The real first stop is the 800lb or so pumpkins. They have every animal you can imagine. They even have a child vs pig scramble. The highlight for the kids is the rides. You can easily spend the good portion of a day there, it was dark when we left. This week is the start of the Fryeburg Fair which is the "King" of the Maine Fairs and the last one of the season. It takes almost 2 hrs to get there, it is on the Western Maine/ NH Border.

Today I am making Chicken Pot Pie for Sue's Birthday Luncheon tomorrow. She informed us we were having a party for her, and which one of us was going to make her a cake. I also made Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with the last of the Chocolate from the Hallis', Zucchini Bread, Applesauce, and shortly will head into the Kitchen to prepare the Swordfish. An update on the Traveling/ Swimming Flamingo's. Thanks to a recent guest donation the event has now raised $2,300.
Our cell phone tower is up and lit and we even may have service within 2 weeks. Some more exciting news is that a local couple has bought the Bailey Island Store once again and I see people working on it so maybe that will be open by the end of the year. I am on crusade to help save the Bailey Island Post Office which may be on the next closer list. If you could all just google Bailey Island Post Office and then sign the petion to keep it open, every signature will help. You do not need to be a resident.
My first day off this week I spent in the rain at the Red Sox Game and my 2nd day off I spent in the pouring rain at the Golf Tournament. It was nasty,windy,cold and wet. It all paid off though, I got an Eagle on the #1 Handicap Hole and won a prize. My husband also won closest to the pin and out of the 28 groups we came in 2nd, 8 under par. I will be glad when the sun comes back out.
Speaking of Sun 66 % of you were right guessing that I am in Key Largo for the Winter. It was a little tricky because Sue has a house in Key West. Good Luck this week even Sue and I had to do a little research on the Poll.
Happy Birthday to my Best Friend Sue October 5th. Of course you all know she is 59.
I am giving a Birthday Special ( which is even a surprise to Sue) Anyone who books a room any day the last 2 weeks of October and mentions my blog will get a $25 gift certificate for Dinner.