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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Exploring Maine

Last month our marriage reached the 25 year mark. We decided to celebrate by exploring some of the beautiful state of Maine for several days before meeting the Younger Daughter for her first Parent's Weekend at The University of Maine, Farmington. Despite uncooperative weather, we had a very pleasant time getting to know a little more of Maine.

The clouds started moving in the moment we got into the car last Wednesday. By the time we got to York for a stop at the outlets and lunch, it was looking quite threatening. The wind kicked up as we walked Short Sands Beach. It was spitting rain for our visit to Cape Neddick (Nubble) Light, but the rapidly moving clouds made for some very dramatic sight-seeing.


We arrived at Docksides Guest Quarters in the late afternoon. The door to our room was a sliding glass door, with an incredible, if rainy, view.  If it had not been pouring buckets of water, we could have been sitting out on our own patio, watching the water. 


The next morning, it was still raining. Hiking or beach combing was preempted by shopping. We made the required pilgrimage to L.L. Bean in Freeport. Its pretty overwhelming,, actually. And there is far more shopping, and some interesting restaurants, to explore in town also, if you have the time.


We took the slow route to Boothbay Harbor from here, exploring the back roads. Even in the rain, the fall colors were very pretty. By dusk, we had arrived at the Atlantic Ark Inn in Boothbay. We crossed the footbridge across the harbor into the main part of town to get dinner.  The quiet over the water, in the mist, was so deep you could feel it.


It was still raining the next morning. We explored the town a bit. Its very good for walking, but a lot of the shops had closed for the season the weekend before. We were able to visit a gallery operated by the Boothbay Regional Art Foundation which was showing the work of some extremely talented regional artists. 


Later in the morning we left Boothbay, and headed inland. Before going very far we stopped to wander around the Edgecomb Potters. The glazes on their pottery are so luscious they almost had me drooling (yes, I bought a piece).  Not only did they have a large amount of pottery displayed outside, but they also had several indoor spaces. One had their pottery displayed alongside gorgeous, locally made jewelry. Really amazing, and often very funny, metalwork was scattered throughout the display.  I particularly liked the donkey. We are probably going to have to visit this place again.



Heading farther inland, we stopped at Bowdoin College to view the Edward Hopper exhibit. The work shown focused mostly on his seascapes done in Maine. Upstairs there was also an interesting collection of Chinese bronze work to see. We'll have to keep an eye on upcoming exhibits here, and visit again.

We also passed through Augusta, right by the Statehouse. If the rain were to ever stop, I imagine it would be a beautiful sight, with the sun shining on it's dome.  

Finally, we reached Farmington, and our reward for enduring all this rain.


Farmington, Maine is a really neat little city. Since it's in ski territory, it doesn't close down for the winter like some of the coastal towns. The University is right on Main Street, and just a couple of blocks down from the center of town. The surrounding area has gallerys, bookstores (new and used), restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, a gelato shop (yum!), and a quilt/yarn store. We hit town when the local quilt group was holding a "Quilt Walk", where they had quilts hanging in many of the local shops. The one below was in a shop specializing in handmade wooden items, including furniture, toys, and kitchenware.


Even the backstreets make for interesting site seeing. The Younger One thought I was morbid to take this picture, but I thought the ironwork was lovely.


Saturday was our one sunny day, and we spent it exploring the town and campus, hanging out with the kid, and meeting her new friends. We also got a chance to see an exhibit of Japanese woodblock prints at the UMF Art Gallery I wish I had pictures of these to show you, but it wasn't allowed, and I doubt my camera would have done justice to their delicate beauty. 

By Sunday, the clouds were rolling in again. We had thought about doing some hiking, but then found out that the place we were interested in wasn't recommended for hiking during the hunting season. We went for a little drive, and found this small park at a Mill Pond on the edge of town. 



I'm not sure if this walkway is a mill remnant, or a way for fishermen to access the stream. Some of the leftover bits of equipment were interesting to see. Just imagine the patterns you could get on a piece of fabric with that rusty relic.


It was great to see the Daughter, and see how happy she is in Maine. Not long after this, she bought us some gelato (I loved the gingerbread), and told us to get out of town so she could do homework.


Despite the weather, we had a wonderful time on our trip. I'm looking forward to exploring more of Maine over the next few years.
Oh! I almost forgot! I did visit quilt shops on the trip, and as promised, I picked  up a few items for a giveaway. I'll tell you more about that on Thursday. Weasley will see you all tomorrow.

5 comments:

The Fab Furs said...

Congratulations on the anniversary! It was great you didn't let the sometimes adverse weather conditions spoil your fun! The college town sounds wonderful! Yay Weasley Wednesday!

Jade said...

Congrats on 25 years! Can't think of a better way to celebrate than traveling and enjoying all that lovely scenery, even if the weather didn't exactly cooperate.

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Happy anniversary! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. I have always wanted to visit Maine.
Wishing you many more happy years together!
xx, shell

Lisa said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip :) I think I would like to see Maine some day. I'm just so afraid of the cold.

SixBunnies said...

Happy Anniversary! You made me miss the Northeast so much! I lived in Hookset, NH, and went to Cape Elizabeth in Maine quite often. It was my healing spot. That icy wind coming over the hill by the beach seemed to wisk away all ills ... along with my breath! Brrrr... Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!