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
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Next we ventured on to Blue Hill for Lunch. We were also very close to Castine where Maine Maritime Academy is. If we had just a little bit more time I would have loved to gone further North to Acadia National Park which is Celebrating it's 100 th Anniversary this year. We had to get back to Bailey Island to see the Funk Band Motor Booty playing at Cooks and to watch the Fire Works. It was an exhausting 24hrs but so great to see other parts of Maine.
The Inn has been very busy this week. The weather for the Holiday Weekend was picture perfect. The pool is getting lots of use and it is old home week here. All the guests have met over the years from staying and they have made some great friendships. It is so nice to see. We have cut down 2 Evergreen Trees near the front entrance that were blocking the sunlight and growth of some of the flowers. It frees up so much more space for Sue to buy flowers, which may not be a good thing. I have enjoyed watching the Casco Bay Ferry go by on their 2hr cruises every day. I would like to do that this Summer. I will pretend I am a tourist. I am also going to launch my new kayak at Stover's Cove and row to Cooks for Lunch, stay tuned for that.
There is still time to book a room this Summer and Fall so give a call !!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Take a look at this Amazing Clematis. It almost looks fake it is so Beautiful. I don't even think it is something we planted. A bird or gust of wind planted a few seeds there and like Magic this work of Art appeared. The Iris and Poppy's will most likely be gone by the weekend. I am eagerly tracking the Dahlia's that we planted as they are showing some green. The roses have also come out this week along with some strawberries. The Lupine still looks like it has another week or so. The room flower boxes are so full they are thriving in the Summer time weather we have been having.
Sometime this week I am off to the Portland Science Center on the Waterfront to see the Highly anticipated Titanic Exhibit. Upon entrance you receive a boarding pass with the name of one of the actually passengers. You can following their journey along the way and find out at the end the fate of your passenger. There are also over 100 actual artifacts from the Ship. Several Rooms have also been recreated on site. The Exhibit will be on display until October.
The Maine State Music Theater is in Full Swing at Bowdoin College. Back in my other life before a Mom Sue and I had Season tickets to the Theater but now I squeeze in one Performance with Terrence a Summer. This year we are going to see Mama Mia. I highly recommended attending any of the performance's this Summer. They have both Matinees and Night Shows.
The Red Barn General Store is now open on Orrs Island. I haven't had the pizza yet but heard it was good. I did have an Italian Sandwich and it was good. Speaking of good I also had a great sandwich at the Salt Cod Cafe on Orrs Island. Can you see there is a food theme here :) My next food stop will be at the Cafe at the Great Island Boat Yard. Speaking of food... we are once again supplementing our own vegetable garden with the Farm Share that we have been getting the past few years from Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick. Our own lettuce is picture perfect right now. It is currently raining for the first time in weeks. The gardens were so dry even with our daily watering I was starting to get concerned.
We also have a room open for July 2nd weekend. I am looking forward to the Yearly Fireworks at Cooks Restaurant on the 2nd and this year they are featuring my all time favorite Funk- Disco Band called Motor Booty. If you are coming then make sure you get ticket ahead for the band. It will be a night to remember.
Maine Trivia-- did you know 90% of the country's toothpick supply is produced in Maine!
Blessings to All.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
This has been a crazy busy week, for me anyway. The tulips at the Inn have gone by , Victoria and I have been cutting those away making room for our famous Dahlia's. If all goes well those should be in bloom by Mid August. The Poppies are in bloom along with the Iris'. The purple Iris' are filling the front garden and we are waiting for the yellow ones to open. We have Purple and White Lupine in bloom. I am not sure what happened to the pink. It must be around here somewhere. The recent rainfall has given the Vegetable garden a boost and the lettuce is ready to pick.
I stopped in at a new Gallery on Orrs Island called Meraki. It is where Hatch used to be. They have Maine craftsman with a variety of things from pottery, to paintings to jewelry. Stop by and say Hi. The Salt Cod Cafe is also open on the Orrs Island side of the Bridge. My son swears by the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with crumb topping. They make take out sandwich's and have great chowder as well.
Saturday I did the Harpswell Hiking Challenge and was at the Ground breaking of the new Devil's Back East Trail. What a great trail. I think it is my new favorite Town Trail. If you go at mid to low tide you can see the Seals on what appropriately is named Seal Rock. Ironically we happen to cross paths with Matt and the Boys while on the hike. The challenge was 8 trails, 10 miles in 2 days. One of the trails happen to take us by Erica's Seafood in South Harpswell where I got my favorite Lobster/ Crab Roll Combo. Again since I was over that way I decided to go to the Reversing Falls. I have heard about the Falls but have never seen it. It is the result of an old Gris Mill that collapsed into the water. It creates a fickle tidal current that flows in and out of Basin Cove. You can access it by Basin Cove Rd, the property to park at is Town owned but be respectful of the close neighborhood.
I keep getting emails of Fun Facts about Maine Trivia so I thought I would share them with you. Maine has 16 counties, 22 cities, 435 towns,33 plantations, 424 unorganized townships and 3 Indian Reservations.
I topped off the end of the week with a fabulous 50th Birthday Luncheon at the Inn. When I was young a 50 year old was a very old. Now 50 is the new 30 :). I'll let you know if that's how feel at the end of the Season.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
It is Memorial Day Weekend and Saturday was the picture of a perfect warm August Day. Today is like a day in early April, cold, cloudy and just blah. We usually have our first pool goers the first weekend in June but yesterday was so nice Matt turned the heater on and along with the room guests our own kids were in the pool until closing time at 8:00pm.
We look so forward to Summer and then Bam! Everything happens all at once. Most of all the flowers have been planted, the vegetable garden is in and the Lilac Trees are just about to bloom. The local Motels are open, the Salt Cod Cafe opened this weekend and I saw people taking some kayak lessons at H2O Outfitters by the bridge. The new Store on Orrs Island is set to open June 13th.
The Town of Harpswell has a fabulous Recreation Department headed by my dear friend Gina. They have many things planned for the Summer. Next weekend June 4th is the Harpswell Hiking Challenge. You can take the 2 days to experience eight of the trails for a total of ten miles. Did you realize that Harpswell has 216 miles of oceanfront, the longest of any Town in Maine. They will also have the Grand Opening of the new Devil's Back East Trail on June 4th.
On Saturday July 16th there will be a Tail Gate Party at Mitchell Field. It will be very family friendly with low key events during the day. There will be music and vehicle access all the way to the shore. Mitchell Field is also the home to our Thursday Night Bandstand Concerts. Starting June 16th at 6:00pm pack your chairs and picnic dinner and head out to a gem in Harpswell where you can access the shore and see a great sunset.
The Schooner Alert has started Sailing daily from Cooks Lobster House.New this year is a 27ft Boat called " Fantasea" it will be leaving from the Cribstone Grill dock for private 2hr Tours by reservation.
We are full this weekend and look forward to a great Summer. We still have availability so if you have been putting off calling now is the time. As the saying goes " Maine, the Way life should be."
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Many guests do not venture to the side of the lawn (close to the dining room) where our Vegetable Garden is. I invite you to walk around and check this area out. The vegetable garden isn't up and running yet, we still have a chance of frost. We do however have the most magnificent Yellow Magnolia in full bloom right now and several forsythia trees. We have had three sunny and warm days this week, the gardens really have some color to them now. Yes, Sue has made her first trek to the garden store, not that I am keeping track. She always likes to push the planting vs frost warning envelope.
I am rather excited about one of my favorite stores opening on Maine St. in Brunswick , next to Hatch. It is Fiore, they sell Gourmet Olive Oils and Vinegar. The store features over 50 tasting samples and they also supply the rooms at the Log Cabin Inn with small bottles during the Summer Months. Welcome to Brunswick Fiore. I am equally excited about all the Food Vendor Trucks on Maine Street. One new addition is Taco on the Town. Which I understand is getting rave reviews. These trucks are fun to try especially on Tuesdays and Fridays when the Farmers market is out on the Green space in Brunswick.
Some Room Guests came back from a Hike on the Devils Back Trail and said they are adding a trail on the parking lot East Side set to open mid June. This will be a great area to see seals. The guests said they had so many plans to see different Towns but spent all their time in Harpswell! Music to my ears.
There is still time to book your room for a Summer visit and swim in the pool.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
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!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
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"
Thursday, March 31, 2016
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.
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.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
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.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
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.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
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.
Monday, January 25, 2016
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.
Monday, January 4, 2016
Happy New Year 2016
Some people celebrate Christmas in July and I wouldn't say it was quite as warm as July but at 58 degrees and no snow it certainly didn't feel like Christmas in Maine. That didn't last long however. Several days later we had out first plow able snow, about 6-8in. The kids were so excited, so many new Winter Christmas presents to try out. It turned into a Winter mess the next day with a mix of sleet and freezing rain but at least it looked like Christmas week.
I wanted to give a Big Shout Out to the Orrs/ Bailey Island Fire Department who were called to a garage fire that was quickly spreading to a house on Orrs Island on Dec 28th. The good news is the couple got out without harm and most of the damage was contained to the garage where the owner stored his collectible cars. Unlike in the City we rely on an all volunteer Fire Department and they are a very dedicated group. Cooks Lobster House immediately held a benefit for the couple and the couple in turn donated all the money to the Fire Department. Living in a small Community is rewarding at times. If you are on vacation when one of our local groups has a Fundraiser please try to join in.
My family along with Matt and Aimee's rang in the New Year in Kingfield, near Sugarloaf Mountain. They had much more snow than Harpswell. We did lots of sliding, snowshoeing and hanging out. I must say one thing you need a lot more clothes than ringing in the New Year in Key Largo.
Sue is still fighting with the new puppy ( which isn't so new anymore). Zoe recently started obedience school with Sue. Other that that I think Sue is spending time ordering flowers in her garden catalogs. She only has 3 months until we open!