Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Brewster House News

A REAL MAINE CHRISTMAS GIFT

November 19, 2014 by Scott Gile

This was not the blog I started out to write, but it is the blog whose time is right, a real Maine Christmas gift!!

With all the seasonal brouhaha getting cranked up with Christmas ads, Black Friday, etc., etc., we get to the question of what is it that we collectively want, or need……?  As you might imagine, Mary and I move through Freeport with some frequency and observe, and are always amazed at the quantity of stuff people seem driven to acquire. This observation reinforces the question of what would be a great gift to give a loved one for Christmas? We’re not talking here about the not-so-close nephew, brother-in-law or co-worker for whom the compulsory tube socks, cheap bottle of wine or lottery ticket will do, but the folks who are really dear to you and for whom you really want to make smile!

Come on, we all have years, tons, massive levels of semi-useless stuff! How many things do you own that you’ve not touched in over a year? So, let’s move beyond stuff, on to what we all really remember years later, THINGS WE DID AND PEOPLE WE DID THEM WITH!! That’s right, what do your favorite photos show? Things like that great, delicious raucous meal with family or friends, that outrageous white-water rafting trip, that fabulous bluebird sailing trip, that sweet weekend away with best friends, or just that pure escape with great food and none of your usual demands and pressures. All of those were good for lifelong, soul-level smiles!!

Wave breaking over a blue rubber raft full of paddlers in a tier

Maine White Water Rafting

Maine is a very fertile ground for such adventures……mixed up in the away-ness, stark natural beauty, lack of crowds and traffic, and the special places to visit, do, eat and stay. Consider giving a Maine Gift & attendant smile for Christmas!! THE POSSIBILITIES BOGLE THE MIND!!

Hmmmm…gift certificates for;

 

 

 

Hopefully, you’re catching on at this point. THESE ARE THE THINGS WE ARE LESS LIKELY TO BUY OURSELVES, BUT WILL REALLY LOVE GETTING!!  Hey, some of these are as little as $20, so you can pretty much match your budget to one of these timeless gifts!  Don’t forget our 3 night 2 Winter Wonderland or Spring weekends for as little as $382 + tax, or a wild weekend with 6 rooms of your Best Buds for around $200 for each room FOR THE WEEKEND with Reconnect Weekends http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/reconnect-weekend/!!  If you can’t get the kind of crowd coordinated, but want to give a fool-proof, awesome gift, give a Brewster House Gift Certificate https://secure.rezovation.com/Reservations/GiftCertificate.aspx?s=ZUl7L55CAD 

Hey, we know about these items on the list, so please call if you’d like help!

 

CHRISTMAS IN FREEPORT

October 16, 2014 by Scott Gile

Sitting on our sofa, looking out at the half-naked maples, it’s clear that Black Thursday and Christmas in Freeport are not far down the calendar road! If that wasn’t enough, the near freezing temperatures and the annual Sunday River Fall Festival are serious indicators!

 

A little research quickly reveals that the upcoming season presents some special seasonal opportunities in both Portland and Bath, as well!   Emerging as a promising early newcomer in this arena is The Early Bird Sale (created by Reny’s). The idea is to offer BIG DISCOUNTS ahead of Black Thursday on the first Saturday of November (11/1), to give you an earlier reason treat yourselves to Brewster House, while you reward your “up & out” spirit with DEEP Christmas savings.   Many local merchants (as well as in Bath & Portland) will offer a structured set of storewide savings of 40% off at 6AM, 30% at 7AM reducing to 20% at 8AM!! As I speak, we have 2 rooms that just opened up that weekend from a cancellation!! They won’t last!

 

What can we say about Black Friday?? Respecting our family desire to enjoy the special opportunity to enjoy each other on Thanksgiving, we will not be open to guests until the Friday after, 11/28. Hey, great opportunity to jump on the early Downeaster train and relax! It leaves North Station (Boston) @ 9:05AM and gets into Freeport just after noon on Friday.  http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/sites/default/files/schedule-10-06-2014.pdf! Small Business Saturday is huge for our fellow shopkeepers locally, here, in Bath and Portland too, so please consider the unique products and personal service they offer you this Holiday Season, and patronize them!!

 

Columns, blossoms and a christmas tree of led lights on display

Christmas light display by LL Bean

The huge annual Sparkle Weekend http://sparklecelebration.com, will take place starting on Friday December 5th, with a 6PM Parade of Lights on the LL Bean campus, be will be dazzling all on Saturday and Sunday evenings as well.  If you’ve not seen it in the past, the display is really amazing!! Santa will be visiting from 6:30 to 8PM. Moving into the weekend, don’t forget the Sparkle Express Downeaster Train Adventure, Old Fashioned Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Tuba Concert on Saturday, and Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Sunday morning (to benefit Arthritis). Throughout the weekend, LL Bean will also be offering all sorts of Winter sports activities, such as skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing!!  Leave those TV’s and computers home!!

 

December 9th & 10th bring the Festival of Trees to our favorite museum, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. There will be a Candy Cane Train from the Bath Station to Wiscasset and back, including Santa & his Elves on December 13th & 14th at 9AM, 11AM, 1PM & 3PM. Although they’ve not yet issued a date, they are organizing an evening of caroling from a trolley.  Take in the stunning vista of Christmas dressed 200 year old downtown Bath! For updates, see http://visitbath.com/old-fashioned-christmas/ for details!

Shop window & snowy night sidewalk in front of pretty Christmas dressed shop window

Bath shop windows dressed up for Christmas

 

You would think Portland (with it’s fine restaurants & long interesting waterfront) would do it up for Christmas, but their event schedule seems a bit understated… Their website starts with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday 11/29 @ 5:30PM, including entertainment by Rich Charette and the Bubblegum Band. Wow, huh??  Shop for a Cause day occurs the following day, wherein a portion of the proceeds go to local charities.  On Thursday, 12/11, 5-10PM the 12th Anniversary Merry Madness (or Shop Till You Drop) will happen in the City. Horse & wagon rides will be offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during Holiday Season, from Monument Square on the ½ hour. Finally, artist Pandora LaCasse will create a standing display of radiant holiday light sculptures throughout downtown from December through February. For updates and more information, see http//www.portlandmaine.com/cornerstone-events/.

 

We still have a room available for Sparkle Weekend and more availability for the weekends on either side of December 6th!!  Stumped about what to get for a gift for that loved one who has plenty of stuff?? Buy them a good time, a gift certificate for a fabulous Brewster House Escape!! They’re available on our website, or feel free to call and we’ll get that to you quickly.

 

 

 

 

SO, YOU LIKE TO HIKE FREEPORT!

September 30, 2014 by Scott Gile

 

Fall, sweet fall, the finest time to be outdoors in New England!! Cool dry air, unlimited visibility, bugs are dead, and the trees are at their colorful best! So, you like to hike Freeport?  There are several excellent hiking opportunities!

green, yellow, orange & red tree fall landscape from a mountain top

from Bradbury Mtn. Top

In Freeport itself, there are really 3 different areas to hike or talk a long walk. Two are on the ocean, Winslow Memorial Park and Wolfe’s Neck State Park, and one is on and around a hill on the westerly side of town, Hedgehog Mountain (quite humble for a mountain). Eight or so miles west of Freeport in Pownal, one of the original State Parks in Maine offers some excellent hiking (& mountain biking) options & and quite a superb view from the top, Bradbury Mountain State Park.

 

 

 

Really, Wolfe’s Neck is the premier spot in Freeport to enjoy the outdoors on the water. 200 acres are State Park http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=31, laced with several bayside trails and the North Loop Trail circles the 600 acre organic Wolfe’s Neck Farm http://wolfesneckfarm.org, where you can also enjoy taking in the turkey, cattle and sheep farming enterprises.

Grassy Farm and loin of land jutting into island strewn bay

Wolfes Neck Farm

They’re located about 3 miles northeast of Freeport Village off of thebeautiful rolling Flying Point Rd. Both the State Park and Farm were donated to the public by the Lawrence Smith family back in the 1960’s, and both are composed of salt-marsh, woodlands, and the farm is at the meeting of the Harraseeket River and Casco Bay. The Harraseeket and Casco Bay trails vie for loveliest water views! If biking is more your style, they rent those, and kayaks too! The State Park does charge a measly $3 to enjoy their trails, but we never hear anything but positive comments from our guests about the Park and environs!!

Winslow Park http://freeportmaine.com/department.detail.php?page_id=98, a town owned peninsula, sits about a mile south of Harraseeket Harbor in South Freeport (5.5 miles from Freeport Village) and faces Casco Bay to the south and east and the Harraseeket River to the west. The park is composed of a small beach, campground, and boat ramp. Hiking is free of charge, and the Park is open from 9AM to 9PM. The Park is basically surrounded by a trail that follows the water’s edge around the peninsula, so you get to enjoy 270 degree view of both bodies of water that encircle the peninsula.

Hedgehog Mountain is a smaller hill http://freeportconservationtrust.org/areas/hedgehog-mountain-trails/on the West side of Freeport (& Rt. 295), about a mile west of Freeport Village, on the way to the transfer station off of Pownal Rd. This is a Freeport public property with over 5 miles of trails in a 200 acre area, the top of which is the highest point in Town. The Park is composed of old stone farm walls, pine and hemlock and is also a great location for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Lots of local folks walk their dogs in this park too.

The hiking Grand-Dad in this part of Maine is Bradbury Mountain State Park http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=12, about 8 miles west in Pownal. One of the first State Parks in Maine, it’s comprised of over 20 miles of trails up and around Mt. Bradford. The hiking trails are largely on the west side of Rt. 9, and are also shared by mountain bikes and some trails by horses. There are more and less challenging choices here, and the view from the top is excellent, especially in the foliage season!!

Now, for your patience in waiting for this masterpiece of Freeport minutiae, I’m including a recipe you’d never eat in the in, but that we made at home a few weeks ago, AND LOVED IT! CHECK IT OUT!

 

 RECIPE for LACTOSE INTOLERANT LOBSTER MAC N’CHEESE

IMG_0352Now, I’m gonna “fess up” out of the gate, this is an Ina Garten recipe. Since my Dad was here when we tried this out, and he’s lactose intolerant, all that we did differently was to substitute lactose free milk and it was AWESOME!! The butter and hard cheeses do not generally bother folks with this sensitivity.

The second editorial comment I’ll make is that the recipe calls for 1.5 lbs. of lobster meat. So, we took a ride to Day’s Lobster Pound and asked the clerk how many “chicken lobsters” (a pound or less) it takes to make 1.5 pounds of lobster meat. He said 5 or 6, and I thought hmmmm….. You know what, he was right!! So, the sum of this paragraph is that at $24 + or – for shelled lobster meat, it costs about the same as buying “chickens” as just saving yourself the work and buying the shelled meat.

 

Ingredients

 Kosher salt

Vegetable oil

1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni

1 quart milk (or lactaid)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced up

½ cup all purpose flour

12 ounces grated Gruyere cheese (4 cups)

8 oz. grated extra sharp cheddar (2 cups)

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp nutmeg

1-1/2 lbs. cooked lobster meat

1-1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs

 

Directions

Steam 5 or 6 chicken lobsters till bright red & remove claw and tail meat. Cut into bite sizes. I saved the water from this operation to boil the pasta in later.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to directions on the package & drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, BUT DON’T BOIL IT!   In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. My mean sister had me learn to do all of the preceding by making a “rue.” I’m sure all you smart cooks already know about those! Cook over low heat for 2 minutes (seemed like a lot longer than that to me), stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Kill the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well.

We cooked it in a casserole dish, after stirring all the ingredients in, and adding the breadcrumbs to the top. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, till the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs golden brown on top.

Let it cool for a few minutes then dive in with a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc and fresh salad!! IT’S EVEN BETTER A DAY OR TWO LATER, just like spaghetti sauce!

Bon apetit!!

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.

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