Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who's on first?

"Where do the locals eat?" is a common question from our guests. When we reply, "The Waterfront." they frequently counter with "Ok, but what's the name of the restaurant?" "Umm, that is the name." Our own Abbott & Costello routine.

Schooner Olad sails right past our table at the Waterfront

Why? Because it is where Camden locals (and plenty of visitors) go, where we'll be welcomed by the owner and see local kids busing and waiting tables, and where we can eat a nice meal at a nice price with a great view.

local Maine crab melt, fresh cole slaw, locally-brewed Andrews Ale

On a rare quiet afternoon in summer Eric and I will hang the shingle and sneak out for lunch. The Waterfront is our spot. Just a few minutes into town and we're sitting out on the dock enjoying the picturesque harbor views of the bay, Curtis Island, our stately library (voted one of the prettiest public libraries in the U.S.) and Mt. Battie. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let the sun shine

There's always something pretty in the gardens welcoming guests to Birchwood Motel

Birchwood Motel officially opens for the 2011 season by Memorial Day weekend. A bit later than usual but some exciting winter projects will make it worth the wait.

Taking to heart Scott Nearing's words "Do the best that you can in the place that you are. And be kind." we apply this back-to-the-land philosophy to our life and our business. Birchwood Motel is currently the only green roadside motel in Camden, Maine and is Maine-certified as an Environmental Leader in lodging.

Hot showers and clean laundry at Birchwood Motel now powered by the sun

Time, effort and community made this possible. Recycling cans and bottles and changing lightbulbs were our first simple steps years ago. Over time we greened up our housekeeping, purchasing and gardening practices. And now we announce our biggest, proudest effort to date:

For the 2011 season we deliver to our guests solar thermal heated hot water, eliminating the need for propane, electric and a whole lot of heating oil. No longer will the furnace kick on during those hot summer days. YAHOO!

Our deep gratitude to Efficiency Maine, Finance Authority of Maine, and the USDA for supporting small business in America. Without this combined support our solar thermal system would not be possible. Rousing applause and praise for our professional installers IRC Solar Roof Systems and Pine State Services. We call them the Boy Scouts of solar installers because they left our place better than they found it.

Look for future posts about our other winter projects. Hint: more garden space and greener interiors!

We look forward to providing our guests clean, green, simple and affordable lodging this 2011 season. Hope to see you soon!