Married to the constant gardener, Farmer Frank, I’d never needed to go somewhere to pick blueberries. I’d never done so in my entire life.
I do go to an orchard to pick apples nearly every fall. It’s something I love to do and have done since my boys were toddlers. Now-a-days, we head to The Brothers in Alfred to pick McIntosh apples (per our best friends’ recommendation) and buy apple cider donuts, still warm. McIntosh apples – small, crisp and slightly sour are my favorites, and I eat one every day. “An apple a day keeps the doctor…..” Each autumn, I make apple sauce (with pork chops), apple pie, and apple cake in a spring form pan. (The cake has a stick of butter, 6 ounces of sour cream, and lots of cinnamon/sugar which makes all the difference.)
But blueberries (and raspberries) were such a staple in our home on Bramblewood Drive because of Frank’s amazing vegetable garden and berry plants. We must have had a billion blueberries each season by the t...
Impromptu, a husband, sitting on Scarborough Beach on the most gorgeous first day of fall, suggests to his wife dinner with friends on the deck of the Black Point Inn to watch the sunset.
The friends are called, friends who generally have to book out months in advance to get something on the calendar, friends busy with work, adult children and very full lives. Both couples say YES enthusiastically.
What a great idea!
They can, and they’d love to.
Sometimes, impromptu is the best way, catching someone in the moment.
The six have drinks overlooking Ferry Beach while they wait for a table on the outdoor deck. This Labor Day weekend, Black Point Inn is crowded. The restaurant is filled with chatty two-somes – older couples, beautiful young married couples, and middle aged couples escaping their city lives wearing sun dresses, madras shorts, sandals and deck shoes. They all have colorful cocktails in festive glasses; they sit in the white Adirondack chairs overlooking the expanse of l...
Unbeknownst to my friend, my husband and I will be attending a wedding at the Stone Barn in October, but she invited us to one of their Thursday night farm-to-table dinners open to the public throughout the summer….and what a marvelous evening the three of us had!
The Stone Barn is on the grounds of St. Joseph’s College which borders Sebago Lake on Whites Bridge Road. The barn is part of the original Verrill estate and was renovated by the college in 2016 as part of their deep commitment to sustainability, wellness, and the local community. It reminds me, on a smaller scale, of the magnificent stone barn for horses at Shelburne Farms on Lake Champlain in Vermont, built by one of the Vanderbilts that began a tradition of agricultural innovation.
The Maine Stone Barn at St. Joseph’s can hold events for up to 250 guests for private parties, fund raisers, weddings, and corporate gatherings.
On the summer weeknight we visited, the weather was perfect – cool-ish with br...
My adult son, home from North Carolina on his summer holiday, said riding bikes on Peaks Island was the one thing he’d like to do while home. Hmmm. Interesting, my husband and I thought. Of all the things…..
We took our two sons to Peaks Island several times when they were kids. We took our kids everywhere that we wanted them to see and experience. Our goal was to expose them broadly to see what ticked.
On Peaks Island, when they were boys, we rode bikes, looked at towers made of rocks on the backside shore, took photos used in Christmas cards, and basked in the sea air on the 20-minute ferry from Portland.
As teenagers, both sons brought friends to Peaks Island several times. Our NC son would have his cousin take the train from Boston and with the guys, they’d ferry out alone. They no longer needed my husband or me. They’d bring or rent bikes. Independent. Free. Get an ice cream. Do whatever they wanted, unfettered.
Several years back, working the wedding of the innkeepers themselves, Jo & Steve, is what sealed the deal for me on what this special family home represents. I use the term “working” loosely. I offered my amateur services to my dear, dear friend, Jo, to do whatever was needed in the kitchen on that special day – cooking, serving, cleaning up. I’ve blogged before about the wedding itself – one of the most special days I’ve ever experienced, permeated with love and living life to the fullest, in nature, and simply.
Over 200 years old, on a hill in Sebago, on a road lined with hand packed stone walls, Twin Hearts Farm was once called Elm Cottage. If those walls could only talk? Now that would be a Maine history lesson. Generations of family have lived in this rambling home, worked in its barn, shoveled snow from its dirt driveway.
Renovations and preparations for turning this home into a B&B had been bubbling in Jo’s min...
I love Maine. It’s my home, my base, my muse and inspiration for all that I do.
But…the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire, our neighbor, is a favorite place for my husband and me, and we visit two or three times each year. Sometimes we drive up from Portland just for lunch. We walk in like we own the place, head downstairs to the patio of Stickney's Restaurant, order a glass of Prosecco and a craft beer at an outdoor café table, sit back, and relax. We are in no rush for lunch to be served. Got to take a few minutes to breathe it all in, bask in the valley of her majesty, notice snow on its peak sometimes into June.
I’m not writing about the resort. I’ve done that before.
Today, I’m writing about the evening.
Under the stars.
We tiny creatures walking alone in the dark shadows of the entire Presidential mountain range.
After a delicious dinner, we ditched our dress-up clothes, changed back into jeans, flip flops,...
Although this site celebrates travel in Maine, my intended post can wait for another day.
Today, I wish to celebrate travel in France, a favorite place for me.
I visited Paris, and Notre Dame, at the age of 21. I was studying in London for a semester and met my Danish roommate from Colby College/Maine in Paris for a trip. We two sweet girls visited the gardens of Versailles, saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and ate the most delicious picnic on a park bench on the Champs Elysees of jambon (ham), an airy baguette, green apples, and the most delicious brie I've ever eaten.
At the age of 50, I returned to France to once again celebrate what that country means to me. I pretend I'm a French girl. A favorite audio book I've listened to 100 times is "French Women Don't Get Fat" which explains their tiny tricks to never diet but instead live life, savoring it in tiny bites to enjoy it more deeply - the French "joie de vivre."
Portland, Maine has begun to make “tops” lists across the country:
#1 The Top 10 Coziest Cities in America
#1 Most Coffee-Obsessed Cities
#5 America’s Coolest Small Towns
#3 The 10 Best Places to Live Now
#14 America’s Top 20 Cities for Beer Lovers
#2 10 Classiest Party Cities in America (really?)
I love the up-scaling of the Victorians on the Eastern Promenade, the Eastern Trail and “Polar Express” coal train running alongside it, the sailboats in Casco Bay, Fort Gorges, and Bug Light. Fore Street and Scales have served us some of our favorite meals of all our travels. We’re close to beaches, bakeries, Flat Bread pizza. Taking the Casco Bay Ferries to the islands and hanging out on boats docked at DiMillo’s Marina is what we’ve done for a lifetime.
Portland is my hometown where I’ve lived since I was six years old….and still. I am stable to a fault and happen to love living oceanside in our town.
In fact, after 25 years living in the Portland neighborhood where we raised o...
Since we were teenagers, my husband and I have enjoyed Sunday drives.
Back then, it was thrilling to be free to go wherever we chose, as far as daylight took us, exploring new places in Maine, on our time table.
We listen to good music, have meaningful conversations, and open the windows for fresh Maine air in warm weather. We’ve always carried our camera and have snapped so many photos that bring us right back to the places we’ve explored, to that particular day, in that part of our journey.
We drive Southern Maine in winter. Because these seaside towns become overrun with tourists in summer, we steer clear then. But in winter, we’re mostly alone and can meander and enjoy the coast in serenity.
This past Sunday, we decided to take the straight shot south via the Maine turnpike to Stonewall Kitchen in York for lunch. How we love that store and all of their products! After moseying around and picking up gray dish towels that will match our new kitchen, some tiny utensils, and a g...
One of my fondest memories is the evening my Book Club met for happy hour on the point of grass, above rugged rocks and waves, lit by the most gorgeous waning sunshine, at Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth. It was August when we were wishing well to Kristen as she and her family were embarking on a now-ten-year adventure of moving to India to teach.
Laney brought a coffee table, an Oriental rug, pillows to lounge on…and Sangria. Julie and Kim brought the lobsters and steamers. We each brought striped beach chairs and sunglasses. Our window was short-lived because once the glorious sun began to set, mosquitoes drove us out fast.
Despite that wonderful memory, I seem to go to Kettle Cove more in winter than summer. And on a December morning, the day before Christmas Eve, it dawned bright and sunny in Maine. Through the big windows of my house, it seemed warm, but I’ve been a Mainer, heading outside in winter, long enough to know not to trust the indoor temperature for wha...