Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: lighthouse

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!!

Epiphany

March 23, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

Epiphany
I know, I know, it sounds so overused, so trivialized!  Sometimes, maybe it’s simply a matter of re-examining your situation, or gaining a different perspective when we feel these little light-shafts of joy and revelation.  I also believe they usually come at a quieter time when you have the opportunity to really listen and feel, and not over-think your situation.  I had such a moment while touring the FABULOUS Maine Boat Builders Show with my good friend Mike last week!
It was one of those forty degree, sunny days in late winter when spring feels like a real promise, plus, being proximate to the ocean (like the mountains) always offers a promise of renewal and opportunity.  Mike and I can be comfortable effortlessly, and immersing ourselves in that cleansing boat/ ocean fantasy that was that fine exhibition was the perfect backdrop for such reflection and appreciation of our new home and work here in Maine!  I’ve been to lots of boat shows, but none so replete with the melding of artistic line, extreme quality, and expert craftsmanship, whether sail, power or human powered as this show!  Know that a similar show will be offered on the waterfront in Rockland at Harbor Park from August 8th to 10th, including a boat dog contest.  I will remind you!  Check out www.maineboats.com for details.
Rowing Canoes!
Anyway, I regress…….it occurred to me how lucky we are to be living in a thinly populated State complete with such enormous raw beauty and natural opportunity, and for us, working at a job where our guests are sharing our pleasure!  We get to take in the world from the top on those cold, crystalline days, before dancing down that magical white silent carpet through such magnificent wild forests.  In the spring & summer, we get to watch our world be reborn in soft greens and lilac smells, and that salty, earthy tang that comes with the tides breathing in and out.  Then there’s the water…..full of living things, especially where it splashes against the rocks, and the wind to ride with sails billowing!  In summer, we’re too busy to play in boats, but you aren’t!  I miss it!!  I think all of that is why coastal Maine has such a pool of amazingly talented cooks, artists, innkeepers and adventurers concentrated here. 

Top of Jordan Bowl, Sunday River
The more we visit Portland, the more I appreciate what a great place it is to spend time!  There is an AMAZING number of fabulous restaurants, and much of the waterfront looks like it might have in the 1800’s heydays of fishing sloops, packet ships, coastal schooners and world circling clippers.  The 3 and 4 story brick warehouses, many complete with old signs from the early 20thcentury, give it a very unique and warm flavor.    
I mentioned this in a previous blog, but it’s now official, the Nova Scotia ferry left Singapore last week and will be arriving in New England in early May, including a stop in Boston to show off.  She will start trips to Yarmouth on May 15thfor $79 each way, including an on-board casino and sleeping cabins.  So, stop here on the way out, or the way back and let us spoil you with a side adventure in Maine.  http://www.novastarcruises.com.     
Here’s a gift for putting up with my reverie;
OATMEAL WAFFLES W/ TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Serves 6
Ingredients-1            ½ cup flour
                        1 cup quick cooking oats
                        3 tsp baking powder
                        ½ tsp cinnamon
                        ¼ tsp salt
                        2 eggs separated
                        1-1/2 cups milk
                        6 tbspns melted butter
                        2 tbspns brown sugar
In a large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix 2 egg yolks, cooled melted butter & milk w/ brown sugar. Add the egg yolk and milk mixture into dry ingredients.  In a medium bowl beat 2 egg whites until light and fluffy then fold into waffle batter.
Note:  To make this recipe lactose free, substitute 6 tablespoons vegetable oil for butter, & substitute soy or almond milk for milk.
                       
TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Ingredients-   1 cup of sugar
                        2 tbspns cornstarch
                        1 cup water
                        1 tbspn lemon juice
                        1 tbspn butter
                        1 cup frozen mixed berries
Note:  Fresh berries can also be used        
Combine sugar & cornstarch in a saucepan on stove.  Slowly add water & whisk until incorporated.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  When thickened, add 1 cup of mixed berries & reduce heat.  Simmer until the berries begin to burst.  Remove them from heat & add lemon & butter.
Serve over waffles w/ fresh crème fraiche or whipped cream & berries as a garnish.

Next time we make them, I promised I’ll take and post a photo! 

WHY THE MAINE BOATBUILDER’S SHOW?

March 4, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

I know, a second blog this week!  This is timely, so I had to get it to you, and I know some of you guys will jump right on this plan, whether it’s the Maine Boatbuilders Show, or Bath Blarney Days, OR BOTH!

Guys, we at Brewster House are acutely aware of the ladies penchant for shopping in Freeport, and your disinterest in same, so we will be making sure that you know about all the amazing “guy stuff” for you to get excited about hereabouts!  More on these opportunities in the upcoming months!
One prime example of VERY COOL MEN THINGS to do here soon is the annual Maine Boatbuilders Show at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland.  The show will be on March 14th, 15th & 16th.  This show is the amazing gathering of Maine builders of wooden, fiberglass and metal boats, from canoes to 100’ yachts.  It’s where you get to see, touch, feel, explore  and consider your ultimate dream fishing, sailing, cruising, or just plain farting around boat, where art meets possibility and the classic lines of gorgeous downeast hulls thrill the discerning boaters eye.  We’re only 15 minutes north of Portland!  What could be better than that on an otherwise cold, dreary than indulging your fantasies?  I’ll be there!!  Check it out!    http://www.portlandcompany.com/boatShow/

 As an added kiss that weekend, my favorite local museum, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, will be offering an evening entitled “VOICES OF THE SEA.”  The third annual event will feature professional fishermen, fisherwomen and mariners speaking about their lives and challenges on the Atlantic.  In Bath, it will take place on Friday evening, 3/14 at the Museum in concert with the celebration of Bath Blarney Days, a celebration of all things Irish.  On Saturday, another version will be offered in Portland, adjacent to the Boatbuilders show, with folksinger Gordon Bok and other Maine marine artists and poets on the evening following the show.  Learn more at http://mainemaritimemuseum.org/events/voices-sea/!

What better base for your comfort and weekend away than Brewster House?  We’d love to share the show and weekend with you, and hey, your Lady will want a say in your boat choice!  In March and April, we offer our Spring Serenity Special, which offers 3 nights for the price of two.  Come and visit and book your favorite room athttp://www.brewsterhouse.com!  You’ll die for Mary’s breakfast and afternoon cookies!  We just finished redoing the Cape Elizabeth and Cape Neddick rooms, check them out (new photos not on the web yet)!

      

TOTALLY PATHETIC!!

March 2, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

Thanks to my children, one of the few skills I’ve learned in life is that there are times when you need to be able to laugh at yourself, and this one’s a classic!
Needless to say, our snow blower has had some serious exercise this winter.  Before the recent thaw, when the snowpack was at its peak here, we had a veritable glacial pack of ice on the slope of our driveway, leading down to the lower parking lot.  So, about a week and a half ago, my sister and I were headed out for a ski day, but the afternoon/ evening before we were bathed in about a foot of powder snow.  Of course, the inn-keeper cannot leave the inn and Mrs. Innkeeper in such an inaccessible situation, so after digging out a path from the cellar to the driveway for my trusty snow-blower, this veteran team (Scott and his trusted Ariens) headed down the path to attack the blanket covering the driveway.
Before we started our snow clearing campaign, my Wife warned that I should be wearing my elastic/ metal stud cleats over my boots, but of course I knew I could handle the ice with only the aid of my vintage LL Bean boots, and gazelle-like reflexes.  Well, it was SLICK as I and my trusted machine turned down slope, but only on the return up-slope swing would the folly of my ways become apparent!  About a third of the way up the hill, my feet started to slip and at the same time, it was so slick (think hockey rink), the snow-blower itself started sliding left as the knobby tires were desperately clawing for grip.  At about this point, yours truly assumed the grace of a seal on wet seaweed, so helpless that my death-grip on the blower handles only limited a catastrophic collapse to a cursing, graceless slide down-hill.  “Damn” I thought, “better get the cleats as Mary suggested.”  A PAINFUL MOMENT INDEED!
I managed to use the rougher snow beside the driveway to slog my way back up the driveway, muttering curses, to climb back inside (head bent low, having lost the first skirmish) and do as Mary suggested, before we went back into battle.  Having pulled my trusty LL Bean cleats over my boot soles, I headed back out to whop that hill.  OK, so now I can JUST make it up the hill, but the snow-blower is not wearing the same cleats.  The only strategy that got us both up the hill was the “dig into the deep side” with the left blower wheel, but it was crystal clear that the hill was NOT to be defeated that night.  So, with visions of being mangled by a helpless Ariens snow-blower, we reduced our plan to flanking the enemy, cleaning off only the upper driveway.  Man, am I clever, or what?       
After about ½ course up the upper lot, I felt the one cleat drop off of my boot.  OK, OK, so I STOMP back over to the back steps with the lost cleat in hand, plant my butt on the step and stretch that freakin thing back over my boot!  A couple of turns up and down the upper parking lot, I became aware that my left foot was feeling noticeably higher than my right, realizing with great irritation that one of the cleats had dropped off of my right boot AGAIN, searched up and down the lot for the bright red cleat.  UNBELIEVEABLY, that red cleat had disappeared!  ALRIGHT THEN, maybe it’ll show up in Spring!
So, I managed to follow the blower to the end of the job with my weird gait, left foot higher than right.  I should explain at this point that one cannot wear cleats on one’s beautiful maple wood floor without making it into a “distressed” floor, so there is a delicate ballet that goes with donning and removing them, as one leaves and re-enters the house.  After climbing back through the back door to drop my rear end onto the chair and wondering if I’d ever see the right cleat again, I removed the remaining cleat from my left boot.  As the cleat came off my left boot, I could feel something strange under the cleat.  You know the Beatles song “When I’m 64?”  There was cleat #2, RIGHT UNDER CLEAT #1!!

My Wife and Sister didn’t stop laughing and gasping for air for at least ½ hour!  TOTALLY PATHETIC!   Skiing was excellent the next day though!

Sweet September Fire

September 9, 2013 by Scott Gile

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

SWEET SEPTEMBER FIRE
Fall in Maine….any New England native knows this is the finest time to be here!  Days tend to be cooler, sun bright, 100 mile visibility, air dry, bugs….largely dead, and we haven’t even gotten to the blazing yellow, oranges and reds of the maples, oaks and birches here!!  Brewster House is surrounded on all sides by Sugar, Norway and Black Maples.  In fact, most of Freeport is deciduous trees, so we are smack in the middle of blaze of Autumn color at Brewster House!


A sample of What to Do!
9/14 –The 4th Annual “Open Lighthouse Day.”   The Coast Guard is sponsoring this event next weekend from 9AM to 3PM to allow you to pursue your most inside interests (yes, we have availability).  Please refer to this link for details http://www.visitmaine.com.

Combine your lighthouse visit with a very high end juried arts & craftsfair offered by The Maine Crafts Guild will be held in Scarborough on Saturday and Sunday.  For detail, see www.mainecraftsguild.com.
9/20 – 9/22 – The 142nd Cumberland County Fair, all the entertainment you think a Fair should have, including Bob Marley, a demo derby, lawnmower races, a 4H auction, even a rodeo!  See http://www.cumberlandfair.comfor details.  We have one or two rooms open for this weekend, so get while the getting is good!!
9/28  – Check out the Harvest Dance at Wolfes Neck Farm here in Freeport from 6 – 10PM with The Mallett Brothers Band for a hot barn dance at the old farm!  Gritty’s will be offering a cash bar and there will be food trucks on site as well.  See www.wolfesneckfarm.org.  This is the weekend of the 15thAnnual  Fall in the Village Art & Music Festival is full of free music, food and arts, http://freeportfallfestival.comBetween leaf peeping and these events, Freeport doesn’t get any better than this!!   Believe it or not, we do have some availability left for this weekend!  YOU BETTER JUMP ON IT QUICK!
9/29 – The Pemaquid Oyster Fest for you lovers of lighthouses and the gelatinous shellfish fare.  This event is centered in the beautiful village of Damariscotta.  http://pemaquidoysterfestival.com 
As you might imagine, having a wine license, it only made sense for us to add real wine to our existing Packages as you might think appropriate.  So, whether you are coming here for your anniversary, honeymoon, or even birthday (if wine floats your boat).  In the bubbly varieties, we stock both Canella Prosecco and an excellent (but reasonable) California champagne, Gloria Ferrer Brut for your pleasure.  Of course, we might be missing a unique special occasion of yours in this list, if so, let us in on how we can enhance that time away for you!  If you have a sentimental favorite, our distributor sees us at least twice weekly, so just let us know what your heart desires!  Please reference the romantic getaway link from our home page and your options will unfold before your very eyes!!
For a turnkey escape, don’t forget to consider our Special Fall Packages, the October Fall Foliage Surf & Turf and Fall Freedom Packages!! 
October Fall Foliage Surf & Turf
2 nights lodging
Antique Schooner Cruise for 2
Dinner gift certificate for the Azure Café
$100 LL Bean gift certificate
Maine welcome bag
A self-driving tour of the best foliage areas
A $50 gas card to help with the driving
Fall Freedom(11/1 – 11/24)
Three nights for the price of two (off of our already reduced off-season rates)
For our Veteran friends, know we are working on a special offering over Veterans Day in recognition of your self-less contributions to us all.  More on the details to follow!
Hope to see you soon!
Scott & Mary Gile
Innkeepers

Visiting Maine Lighthouses – Cape Elizabeth (Two Lights)

May 14, 2013 by Scott Gile

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse (Two Lights)

Not nearly as well-known as its nearby cousin, Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse (called Two Lights, as it consists of two light towers aligned so the two lights make a range, and mariners can easily identify their position as a result) sits at the end of a road, near a wonderful lobster shack (The Lobster Shack at Two Lights), and not far from Two Lights State Park (which affords a good view of the lighthouse towers).

Aside from the view in the state park, if you go to the end of the road, there is a small, dirt parking lot, from which you can walk out on the rocks and get a good view of both towers. On a clear day, from the end of the rocks you can also see Portland Head Lighthouse, a few miles away.

Two Lights was depicted in artist Edward Hopper’s painting, “The Lighthouse at Two Lights”. The keepers house is not accessible, as it is now a private residence.

Stop by the lobster shack. It sits on a hill, and affords a great view of the lighthouse, as well as out to sea.

Two lights is only about 45 minutes from Brewster House, and we include it in our Lighthouse Tour.

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

Visiting Maine Lighthouses – Cape Neddick (The Nubble)

May 7, 2013 by Scott Gile

Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the "Nubble")

Not too surprisingly, Cape Neddick Lighthouse (nicknamed the “Nubble” or Nubble Light) is one of the most often photographed of Maine’s 60-plus lighthouses. That is because it is so accessible (see our Maine Lighthouse Map).

In the town of York Beach, less than half an hour from the New Hampshire border, the lighthouse stands on a small island known as the Nubble, less than 100 yards off shore.

Cape Neddick lighthouse is charming in its gingerbread Victorian keepers house, perched on the small island. It is decorated in white lights every year at Christmas time, and these photos abound on the internet.

Since many are not able (or willing) to visit Maine in December, the lighthouse is also lighted for the town of York’s “Christmas in July” – which falls this year on July 28. If you’d like to see it decorated, but don’t want to brave the New England winter, you may like to visit for Christmas in July.

Nubble Lighthouse is one of several lighthouses on our Lighthouse Tour special at Brewster House, as guests can easily visit it from our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast.

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

Looking at Lighthouses: Pemaquid Point

December 11, 2012 by Scott Gile

Sunset at Pemaquid Point

We haven’t done as many posts about Maine lighthouses this year as in some years past. This isn’t because we’ve lost interest, or for any other reason but that we were afraid we might be boring our readers!

As summer vacations and fall foliage visits have gone by, we’ve had a bit more time to explore (as can readily be seen by the photos of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in a post from just over a week ago). Last week we were able to get out to one of our favorite lighthouses, Pemaquid Point, at sunset.

Pemaquid Point Moonrise

We went looking for one of those spectacular shows of color that a great sunset can bring. Instead we found a much more subdued, but very interesting, sunset. But there was an added bonus. Just after sunset was moonrise, so we were able to get a nice photo of the lighthouse at moonrise, as well.

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

Who Visits Maine Lighthouses in the Winter?

November 20, 2012 by Scott Gile

Who visits Maine lighthouses in the winter? We do!

Before we ever came to Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, we enjoyed visiting and taking photographs of lighthouses – in Maine and elsewhere. After a number of visits to Maine in the Spring, Summer or Fall, we finally made a trip to Maine in the winter. In the back of our minds was the possibility of a light snowfall, and a visit to one of Maine’s beautiful lighthouses to take photos of it. It didn’t quite go according to plan.

On the way north to Maine, we drove into a blizzard in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine that left the roads icy and visibility very poor. At one point we went into the highway median to avoid another car that had lost control – we were very thankful that we escaped unscathed and made it safely to Maine amid considerable snow, in the dark.

The next morning dawned sunny and white, so, undaunted, we headed to Portland Head Lighthouse to see what the snow had left for us. We found a charming winter scene, with a light blanket of snow on the gingerbread keeper’s house, and along the rocks. In the bright sunshine, we were able to take some very nice pictures of a favorite lighthouse, as we had never seen it before!

In addition to the unusual beauty of lighthouses in snow, the Cape Neddick lighthouse (the Nubble) is decorated with white lights for the Christmas season.

Considering a winter lighthouse excursion? How about some early Christmas shopping at Freeport’s outlets and shops? At Brewster House we’re running two specials – our Christmas Shopper from December 9 through 19, and our Wild Winter Getaway for the month of January 2013 – each provides 3 nights for the price of 2!

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping. Check out a lighthouse or three while you’re here!

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

Three Wonderful Days in Freeport!

October 16, 2012 by Scott Gile

Recently several guests have stayed with us and visited Freeport for the first time. They have all had similar reactions. The first reaction is “Wow! We didn’t know there was so much Freeport shopping!” You see, not being from the northern New England area, they were unfamiliar with Freeport, and many had no idea that it was the home of L.L. Bean.

The second reaction, for all of them, was, “We had no idea there was so much to do within a short drive of Freeport! What a great location to base our stay, so we can take day trips to see lighthouses, visit lobster shacks, beaches, etc.” They had no idea what a perfect location Freeport is for sightseeing.

We’ve decided to make Freeport a little more accessible for our guests by setting up our Fall Freedom package, with 3 nights for the price of 2! This provides the ideal opportunity to see the rugged Maine coast, visit lighthouses (there are at least a dozen within about an hour and a half drive of us), hike along the water or in the hills in our state parks, and more. Or, if you prefer, take a hike through Freeport and visit the 5 L.L. Bean stores (four of them never close!) and over 150 other shops and restaurants, all within a few blocks of us!

With three days here, you can really cover a lot of ground. Here is our suggestion:

Day 1 (arrival)

  • Arrive by mid-afternoon and check-in at Brewster House
  • Spend the afternoon exploring Freeport outlets and shops
  • Have a wonderful meal at one of Freeport’s excellent restaurants

Day 2

  • Have a delicious gourmet breakfast at Brewster House
  • Go north to visit lighthouses, islands and beaches
  • Have lunch at an historic and authentic Maine diner
  • Spend the afternoon exploring coastal harbor towns
  • Dine along the way, or in Freeport
  • Shop a bit before the end of the day

Day 3

  • Another delicious breakfast at Brewster House
  • Shop a bit to make sure you haven’t missed anything
  • Drive to the south to see lighthouses
  • Explore Portland’s Old Port district
  • Explore Kennebunkport and/or Kittery and/or Ogunquit, etc.

Day 4 (departure)

  • One last delicious Brewster House breakfast
  • One last shopping trip before checking out.
  • Bid goodbye to your new friends, and promise to return soon!

When will we see you here?

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

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