Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Brewster House News

FALL FOLIAGE IN MAINE

August 21, 2014 by Scott Gile

sunlit fall photo of red blazing maple above a rocky river with stone bridge in the backgroundDSCN0379

Blazing maple

Experiencing fall foliage in Maine is one of those “have to” bucket list life adventures.   One of the toughest question I field is “when is it the best time to come for fall foliage? It’s a bit of a moving target from year to year, the intensity or timing of said being somewhat variable and unpredictable..   Long term and recent temperature trends, moisture trends, rain, wind and even insect and caterpillar plagues have a bearing on timing and color.

 

The lingering warmth of the ocean closer to the coast makes “the changing” delayed relative to the colder interior and mountainous areas (a little over an hour northwest of here) , often by as much as 2 weeks. Native Yankees leaf-peepers know this and go for the mountains early. Once those yellow birches, blazing red and swamp maples start to go though, one windy night (especially combined with heavy rain) can find most leaves stripped and on the ground by morning!     The oaks (red oaks being the most intense of their species) turn a beautiful aged brick red and tan, a couple of weeks after the maples.

yellow and pink maple leaves laying on green grass

Black maple leaves

 

Summer of 2013 was odd and very warm at times, with some extended wet spells, but the late summer was very dry, and the maples here pretty much browned up, turned yellow and fell off from early to mid-October. At least that was true of the 2 adolescent black maples beside Brewster House, and the sugar maples and ashes were a little disappointing.

 

This summer has been cool with very even periods of sun and some rain, and it’s getting cool in the evening, in mid-August as low as the 40’s back in the western Maine mountains! Supposedly, when the trees start to turn is determined by sun angle, not temperature, but if I was a betting man, I’d bet on things starting a little early here this year!

 

Here’s a great little map to show the typical timing and progression of the tree colors here. http://www.yankeefoliage.com/peak-foliage-forecast-map/. It suggests peak foliage in coastal Maine happens around the second week of October. Don’t forget, not far west of here foliage peaks 2 weeks earlier, so you have a real range of mid-September through the end of October to share in our bounty-time! It’s really the premier time to be here, no bugs, dry crisp ‘see for 100 mile’ air, typically mostly dry, crystalline cobalt-blue skies against the blazing orange, yellows and reds…and “not-summer-crowds!”

 

We at Brewster House offer a number of specials into Fall, including “Fall Colors Surf & Turf (including a self-drive map of the choicest viewing areas),” “The Maine Seafarer Adventure,” and the always popular “Lighthouse Tour.”  Please see the details in the “Specials” tab at our website.  In addition, many local boat charterers, including our friends on the Alert schooner and Captain Ring on Atlantic Seal Charters offer “foliage cruises” in that crisp, crystal Autumn air very reasonably.  There are many Fall Festivals, like Oktoberfest http://www.oktoberfestmaine.com, and Country Fairshttp://www.mainefairs.org/fairs.html to enjoy too!DSCN0577

We still have some availability at Brewster House for September & October, so reserve your fireplaced room now!!

Wow, I’ll have to check on the downhill ski equipment soon! Winter comes quick after “stick season” here in Maine!

WINGS & WHEELS SPECTACULAR

August 2, 2014 by Scott Gile

I know, it’s a bummer that because Naval Air Station Brunswick has been de-commissioned that we won’t likely be seeing the Blue Angels there again, but we do have the amazing Owl’s Head Museum nearby on the southwest corner of Penobscot Bay ( a little over one hour’s drive), who will be hosting the 40th annual Wings & Wheels Spectacular on August 9th & 10th!  One testosteronal delight after another will present itself for your visual and aural pleasure between 9AM and 3PM http://owlshead.org/events/detail/wings-and-wheels-spectacular!!

 

Not only will their killer collection of cars, motorcycles and biplanes be open, but the show will feature the addition of aerobatic perfumers Jimmy & Jim Parker (Jim in Salto Aerobatic Glider). The the WWII Warbirds from the Texas Flying Legends will be showing off their perfect WWII fighters on the ground and in the air, and the Museum will be flying their antique bi-planes during the morning for your viewing pleasure as well!  The airplanes on display will include their P-51 Mustang, “Miss Cincinnati,” an FG-1D Corsair “Whistling Death,” a TBM Avenger and other incredible WWII airplanes http://www.texasflyinglegends.org/planes.The museum will be flying their bi-planes, including  their 1917 checkerboard Spad, 1917 Fokker DR.1 Triplane (made famous by the Red Baron) and new acquisition, a 1930 Travel Air Speedwing, among others!  The Museum is also running a show entitled “The Quest for Speed,” highlighting our New England racing history and featuring such amazing examples as Michael Schumacher’s 2002 Ferrari F-1 car and the worlds 2nd oldest Duesenberg, a 1915 “Benedict Special” race car.

A paltry $16 gets you in, and you might choose to catch Owl’s Head light and dinner in Rockland on your way back to your spacious and welcoming womb at Brewster House!  We do have a couple of rooms open for next weekend, as I write this.  DON’T DELAY!!  You could move onto the Maine Homes, Boats & Harbors Show in Rockland, if the Wings and Wheels Show isn’t enough to fill your bucket maineboats.com!!

Oh, and for all you Celts, Clansman and other so inclined lovers of the Highlands, on August 16th, the Maine Highland Games will be held in our neighboring town, Topsham!  The “Clan Gathering” will take place on the eve of the 15th, and the games on the following Saturday.  We do not have availability for Friday night (unless we get a cancellation), but we do have 2 rooms open for Saturday.  Come to Brewster House and take in the games, and spoil yourself with Mary’s amazing breakfast!  Who knows, maybe we’ll go crazy land offer Prosecco mimosas for breakfast Sunday!

 

 

 

AMAZING BOATING FROM FREEPORT EAST

July 7, 2014 by Scott Gile

“Boating Portland, Part I” http://brewsterhouse.com/2014/06/21/boating-around-freeport-maine/, was the first part of this encyclopedic  compenduim, so start there and catch up before you dive in here!

Tour boating captain in blue shirt standing at the helm of his boat

At the helm – Atlantic SealCruies

OK, so we’ve moved up the coast from Portland to Freeport!  I’d love to tell you that there were multiple boating options from our hometown, but I only know of one, Atlantic Seal Cruises, with Captain Ring from Harraseeket Harbor in South Freeport (& Cook’s Lobster House on Bailey’s Island), but when you add in “the neighborhood,” there are AMAZING BOATING CHOICES FROM FREEPORT, & east!   Captain Ring is very entertaining, and works most of the year a commercial tug captain.  You’ll pick up some lobster traps, he’ll show you some seals, osprey, eagles and you’ll spend an hour on Eagle Island at what was the former home of the famous Arctic explorer, Admiral Peary!  Tom and his Wife actually owned a B & B on the Harraseeket waterfront, and he always raves about Brewster House when he stops by! He also does some special trips to Seguin Island light and fall foliage cruises.

A new opportunity locally is a husband and wife team, Bethany & Perry, who would love to share their 31’ ketch, “Tevake”, or their new acquisition, a beautiful dark green 70’ schooner, “Alert.” They sail out of Cooks by the Bailey/ Orr Island granite bridge, off Harpswell Neck. They offer a myriad of 2 hour to 6 hour charters on either yacht. Both boats are beautiful and they sail the local waters of Merriconeag Sound to Casco Bay. I can’t wait to have the time to sail with them! I would recommend this as the premier local sailing opportunity, the dock is a gorgeous 30 minute drive from Brewster House and their prices are very reasonable, and lunch or dinner awaits at Cook’s!   https://www.facebook.com/SchoonerAlert

We don’t get a lot of questions about boat fishing, but enjoying ocean fishing myself, I’ll offer a little information.  The “Barbarian III” out of Harpswell is a good example.  Chartering a sport fisherman is a blast, but it’s expensive enough that you’ll want to share the trip (& the stories) with some buddies.  $350 – $450 for a four hour trip is typical (for the whole boat), with $700 – $800 for an 8 hour shark or tuna fishing adventure.  Further, keep in mind, the premier sport fish in Maine are stripped bass or bluefish.  As they are both pelagic (they migrate), the fishing is best in either mid May to the end of June, or September to mid-October.

White cabin cruiser boating opportunity with outriggers at dock

Further afield (or should I say abay), but one heck of a daylong adventure, would be a trip to the lovely, rugged and wild Monhegan monheganwelcome.com. This would be an excellent adventure for those enjoying longer stays at Brewster House!  The May edition of Down East Magazine has a great piece about Monhegan, and it’s struggle to keep a year round population. The island is about 8 miles offshore, just short of 2 miles long, and very high and rocky. Its’ jewels are a year round community of artists and a very hardy community of lobster fisherman who only pursue their quarry in Winter, when prices for the delicious sea spiders are higher. It is a lovely place to hike and explore, and at the end of your hike, there’s even a local micro-brewery (the Monhegan Brewing Company) to reward your efforts! You can depart from either Boothbay or New Harbor (either of which is about 50 minutes east of us). Ferries depart at 9AM or 2PM, and you are asked to be there 45 minutes early hardyboat.com. I would recommend reservations. Bicycles are not welcome, although, you can arrange to bring your kayak!

Yellow & white hulled large schooner at anchor with blue sky behind

Schooner Heritage at anchor

Lastly, and really more of a “mid-coast” adventure is life experience you should not miss! That would be the traditional fishing schooner Heritage at anchorschooner charter fleet that sails out of Penobscot Bay www.sailmainecoast.com. These are largely classic, former fishing schooners, 75 – 150’ in length, that go out for 3 to 10 day trips, complete with crew, all meals provided, and you participate in running the boat as much (or as little) as you like. My Sister, cousin and myself took a 6 day trip on the “Heritage” in August a few years ago and had a wonderful, relaxing trip…..no TV’s or other distracting electronics, laying on deck at night watching the meteors and satellites, just quiet, extraordinary views of the sea, mountains, islands and marine life aboard a comfortable large, powerful schooner equipped with fabulous water toys, like sailing dinghies, rowing dinghies, etc. Food is prepared on a woodstove and of remarkable quality and taste. Don’t forget your wine!! And, don’t forget to start and/ or end you adventure in the luxurious comfort of Brewster House, at the turn of the Maine coast!

 

Boating Portland, Part 1

June 21, 2014 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Wow, boating Portland offers so many great boating opportunities, this blog will be confined to that City, and I’ll follow up with a subsequent blog for boating choices from Freeport, and East.  Commercial St. is 20 minutes from our door, so after the bustle of a day on the water, and lunch or dinner around the Portland waterfront, there is no better respite than a glass of wine on the porch of Brewster House on the quiet north side of little ole Freeport!

Please refer back to my piece of July 29th, 2013.  In that blog I referred both to Atlantic Seal Cruises and The Portland Schooner Company.

Wendameen on a port tack

Wendameen on a port tack

The Portland Schooner Company runs two vintage, beautiful schooners “Bagheera” & “Wendameen” several times a day, including sunset cruises http://www.portlandschooner.com.  Sailing is a beautiful & unique experience in which the power of nature is both moving and soothing!   See their website for schedules.  This experience  is very economical and exhilarating, when there is wind!!  Our Seafarer Adventure Package includes a trip with Portland Schooners for two!

A simple and inexpensive approach to appreciating Casco Bay by ferry would be Casco Bay Ferry Lines http://www.cascobaylines.com.  They offer a great variety of adventures, everything from the “Mailboat Run” (to most of the inhabited islands in the Bay) for a 3 hour round trip for just $16, to “Sunset” and “Sunrise” runs.  Can you think of a better way to while away a few hours, taking in the Bay on a summer day?  I’ll bet you can bring your own cooler too!

Of the same ilk, but a hair more tourist oriented would be Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours http://www.portlanddiscovery.com.  While much of their business is bus based, they do sell a couple of “Lighthouse Tours” of the Portland Casco Bay area, one of which is a sunset tour!  All for a piddling sum!

White & Blue hulled lobster boat with smiling crew aboard

Lucky Catch Lobstering

One of our favorite themes is lobsters, so the Lucky Catch Lobstering Tours www.luckycatch.com are a hoot!  For $30 (adult), you’ll get to participate in being a lobstaman (or lobtsawoman) and even take home a lobster for dock price!!  These tours are 1 hour 45 minutes, and they also lead seal watches as well.  Seals remind me of dogs a bit.

Humpback tail on wate & Tour Boat

Odyssey Whale Watch

There are whale watch boats from both Boothbay Harbor and Portland, but for this installment, we’ll confine our attention to the latter.  Odyssey Whale Watch Tours http://www.odysseywhalewatch.com operate a good size boat (above) out of a Commercial Street wharf.  They leave at 2PM in season, and go out up to 20 miles out for a 4 hour trip, during which you may see humpbacks, fin whales, minke whales, and often porpoises.  Remember, on any of these trips, once you leave the dock, the air temperature will reflect the sea temperature (which is now in low 50’s), so bring an extra layer!  It is an amazing experience to hang at the bow of the boat looking down at porpoises riding the bow wave, as they turn and look back at you!

Whatever your taste in ocean adventure, Brewster House has the best beds (choice of pillows, choice of layered blankets, ironed sheets), quietest rooms and most incredibly delicious breakfast in Freeport, so come back to recoup!!   We’ll deal with the Nova Scotia Ferry as a whole other subject!  Remember, this is only Part One!  Next blog, we’ll work up from Freeport North and East to New Harbor, stay tuned!!

MAINE RAIL LOVERS BLOG

June 8, 2014 by Scott Gile

MAINE RAILROAD LOVERS BLOG

 

We in Freeport have recently become especially rail conscious since restoration of train service here in the guise of the Downeaster www.amtrakdowneaster.com/schedules clearly a growing and welcome trend for those of us frustrated, traffic bound commuters!! Further, from a historical perspective, in Maine rail had a long important history with narrow gauge rail and the Great North Woods. You can experience the history of these little trains, and actually ride one in Portland. Experience the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum on Front St. (the waterfront) in Portland! http://www.mainenarrowgauge.org

Long provate passenger car train passing along rivers edge in desert area

AAPRC Private Car Train 2013

I got off on this jag, as I saw a piece in the Portland Press Herald this week on a unique train opportunity that will be here in late September. Having had a little stint with model railroading, I know trains offer a special glimpse into our past, and on September 21st, the Pine Tree Limited is scheduled to arrive in Portland for the Private Railroad Car (AAPRCO) Owners Convention, staying until September 25th. What the heck is the Pine Tree Limited, you ask….? Well, going back into the early 20th century (when rail gauges were standardized in width), if you were wealthy, your personal Winnebago would’ve been a custom rail car. This Pine Tree Limited is the 2014 custom voyage for 30 custom rail car owners, starting in Chicago on 9/18, and breaking up in Albany, NY on 9/29/14. The 85’ x 10’ private cars will be accompanied by coaches, sleepers and diner cars as well.  I understand they will be picking up the old Boston & Maine route near Troy, NY, then heading east on that line towards us.  Some of these car owners sell travel space on their cars to defray the cost of ownership, so contact this website if you’re interested http://www.aaprco.com!  There will be a couple of cocktail parties hosted on private cars at the convention in Portland, so if you sign up for the convention, YOU’RE IN!!

To give you an idea of this level of luxury, “The Federal,” built in 1911 has two master bedrooms, a large shower, changing room, crew quarters and a full service kitchen. It has carried both Presidents Taft and Woodrow Wilson in the past. The cars run from $100,000 for a “fixer-upper” to many multiples of that for the finer examples. The AAPRCO holds these trips in a different destination city each year, so this is a special opportunity to see these beauties in New England,   At this point, we have some availability at Brewster House, but late September fills up quickly, so don’t delay!!

green & silver diesel engine approaching w/ 4 passengers over small bridge

photo of Maine Eastern Railroad by Kevin Andrusia

Another fantastic more regularly available nostalgic and beautiful train excursion here would be the Brunswick to Rockland Line with traverses a stunning mix of rivers, peninsulas, bridges, ledge and forest, as well as such famously scenic towns as Bath and Wiscasset.   The Maine Eastern Railroad operates Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays offering a 112 mile round trip: between Brunswick and Rockland. They offer some special Blues Rides, as well as special trains to and from the LobsterFest in Rockland in early August. Check out their website for more detail http//www.maineeasternrailroad.com

I guest it’s time to consider “Boats & Planes” for future blogs!!

New Inn Keepers

June 7, 2013 by Scott Gile

May 27th, 2013
Wow, we can’t believe we’re going to be hosting new friends at the Brewster House on Thursday!  After almost a year of searching New England for opportunities, growing an understanding of what we were looking for, and 5 months after discovering the Brewster House, we’re finally about to live there and meet you all!  We oscillate daily between excitement and raw fear, and Mary is seriously challenged by the level of the breakfast bar that Ruth has set.  

Tomorrow is our closing, then we change places with Scott & Ruth, then WE’RE RUNNING AN INN!!  Please bear with us (no, not a bad Maine joke), while we jump into our new craft with all four feet, we know we have alot to learn.  Mary is most excited about blowing you away with her own twists on Ruth’s ideas, and some new ones my kids and I have had the exquisite pleasure to test for you in the last month or so.

Gotta go now, two weeks of packing has us pretty beat, and we need to be fresh for the reception that the Thomas’s have been kind enough to put together for us at the inn, moments before we slip into the driver’s seats.  We owe them a bucket of gratitude for all of their grace and support in helping us with this huge change in our lives.  Thank you so much Scott & Ruth!!  

Scott & Mary
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Hyacinth and daffodils

April 17, 2012 by Scott Gile

We always love to see the spring flowers begin to bloom.

A Culinary Winterfest – Flavors of Freeport 2012

January 31, 2012 by Scott Gile

The 2012 Edition of Flavors of Freeport, Freeport, Maine’s annual culinary winter festival, will take place on February 17-18, 2012.

The event kicks off, as usual, with the biggest event, the Chef’s Signature Series, with chefs from area restaurants, cooks from our local Bed & Breakfasts (including Brewster House Bed & Breakfast!). There will also be tastings from local beverage merchants, and lots of food to sample.Tickets for that event are available online, or, if you stay at Brewster House, may be included with your stay (see below).

In addition to the Chef’s Signature Series, there will also be an ice bar, featuring a martini luge, Freeport-oriented ice sculptures, and barbecue from Buck’s Naked BBQ. Maine Foodie Tours is also doing a Freeport Chocolate Tour.

This year the organizing and marketing of the event has been taken over by FreeportUSA, who are promoting it exclusively through the Flavors of Freeport Facebook page. The Flavors of Freeport website still has photos from prior years, showing some of the activities and food that was presented.

Brewster House is offering a special package for the Flavors of Freeport weekend (February 17&18). If you stay one night, Friday, February 17, you’ll receive two tickets for the Chef’s Signature Series for the price of one. If you stay both Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18, you’ll receive two tickets to the Chef’s Signature Series at no charge. Advance reservations are required (so we can be sure to get the tickets!). Just let us know when you book that you want the Flavors of Freeport package!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

Breakfast today at Brewster House

July 14, 2011 by Scott Gile

Today's breakfast started with a fresh fruit parfait with our homemade granola and a selection of apple bread or blueberry coffee cake, then our egg strudel on a bed of fresh baby spinach, rosemary roasted potatoes and sausage. Very popular!

Red, white and blueberries!

July 4, 2011 by Scott Gile

Happy birthday, America!

Today's breakfast celebrates America's birth with red, white & blueberry stuffed French toast!

»