Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gently down the stream

Friday I tweeted that the weekend would be gorgeous. Heeding my own prediction we took the kayaks out for a run on the St. George. Bluest of blue skies, shining sun, no wind, bald eagles and osprey with catch in their claws soaring just over my head, a seal following behind our kayaks. Just the most perfect day.

Sweet pea back on the water
Pulling out of the water in Thomaston put us right near Billy's Tavern, a great Irish pub just behind the main drag. Time to stop for a pint of Boddingtons and a mound of handcut french fries (chipotle mayo and curry ketchup on the side). Hey, we earned it!
Done for the day, reward time
If you are looking to paddle around Midcoast – perhaps during a stay at Birchwood Motel in Camden – my only recommendation is Ducktrap Kayak in Lincolnville. Whether to buy or rent they have the best gear, great prices and offer sound advice.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Signs of the season - Smoothie Shack reopens

Looking for relief and a sweet treat after a long ride to Maine? Pull over at the pineapple flag, just past the Union Street/Elm Street stop sign crush. Alicia's adorable Smoothie Shack awaits serving up incomparably thick, fruit-packed smoothies of perfect consistency. (She cites the machine and the quality ingredients for making the difference.) Freshly prepared wraps are also available. If you want to do more than grab and go a picnic table and a few chairs are available for lunch in the sun.

Sweet Alicia recommends Tropical Breeze to an indecisive customer

Owner/chef knows her audience. Tropical breeze is a hit.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Still feeling glib over our El Camino post that ran before Maine. The Magazine. (Birchwood Motel, so on the pulse!) Rockland is featured in their "48 hours in" section. So great. Seemed tumbleweeds blew down historic Main Street when we first arrived. Now vibrant, aliveRockland celebrates the best of Maine and remains a favorite local place to visit, stroll, dine, enjoy.

Urbanite roots foster our passion for finding the local latest greatest and sharing this with our guests. Lest Maine. The Magazine ever scoop us, here's a list of posts we had intended, but just didn't get to, in 2009:
supplier to top restaurants and the place to call for air-shipped seafood. Jess's...THE FRESHEST.
June marks the start of Gin & Tonic season – Sweetgrass Winery's Back River Gin or nothing!
Suzuki's Sushi Bar
Tableside pickles keep us busy during the short lunch wait at Morses'

Add those to your return list, Anthony Bourdain. Your first Maine visit is a charmer but you just scratched the itch. Next up – Common Ground Fair. Some lamb kabob, a little cardamom ginger ice cream, arts & crafts, music, ag fair stuff with a twist...this 32 year strong scene put the loco in locavore, being seriously into local, green and organic way before it was cool. Call us, Tony. (But maybe leave Zimmern at home.)
loofas are grown from a gourd...who knew?
Foodies, artists, outdoor enthusiasts and other kinds of hipsters know choosing the Birchwood means a comfy bed, a wicked clean room and waking up with change in your wallet so you can indulge in more of Midcoast. Our loverly view, light breakfast and good, strong locally-roasted coffee (fair-trade, organic!) included each morning is just a bonus.

Hey, Maine. The Magazine – don't get scooped again...it's not too late to write us up!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Love Note on Perseverance?

Happy Anniversary, Kimi and Pat. Twenty years ago the first of our close friends wed. Boy they were young but all knew it was a good match. Now time proves it.

Pear blossoms in honor of the bride
Kimi's post today to her husband, "Thanks for sticking it out with me." really resonates. For one, it echos my mother's steady lifelong refrain – "98% of life is just sticking it out." And lately – maybe it's the state of the world or maybe just midlife – I'm feeling we could all use a reminder to ride the wave because a lot of beauty can come from seeing things through.
Fedco apple began as a spindly little thing but look at her now!
Hoping for blooms next year.
My garden – where it is all about perseverance (remember 2009 and six weeks of rain?) – tells me this, too. Fruit trees planted a few years ago are blooming for the first time! The raspberries and blueberries look incredibly promising. Asparagus, always intended but never accomplished, is finally in. But it will be several years of love and care (and weeding and frustration) until there is any harvest.
Sweet as a peach, my Eric. Guess what his favorite fruit is?
Reliance, Maine grown, bears early. Fedco Trees
And what about my own dear husband and partner? Beyond his smile and friendly nature, there comes his incredible persistence. His favorite quote is "the race goes not only to the swift but to those who keep on running." Creating our own vision for Birchwood Motel is a thrilling path we follow together. Thank you my dear for always encouraging us to run on.
Fingers crossed. Raspberries coming back strong.
Eight varieties provide berries for continental breakfast.
And thanks, too, to our loyal guests. We are blessed and honored to share our beautiful spot in Camden, Maine with you. When you return each year or pass a kind word about staying here to another, it is the greatest of compliments.
So thanks, Kimi and Pat, Mom, family, our beautiful garden and our wonderful guests for reminding me of what's important.