Remember the Maine

Well, as I alluded to in my last “post”…I spent a good part of last week in coastal Maine, the part they call MidCoast. We had a nice rental cottage in New Harbor, very close to Pemaquid Point. Here’s the view from Colonial Pemaquid’s fort:

Apparently, this area had been colonized in the early 1600s (displacing the native American tribes, naturally). I had no idea. I bet Maine kids know this, but down in RI all you hear about is Plimoth Plantations! Seriously, follow that link, it’s way interesting.
Since the place has been clocked down a hundred times and rebuilt, it’s amazing that the original cemetery is still there:

Across the street from our cottage each morning was a home made donut stand. Sweeeet.

Behind the donut stand were 3 horses and a donkey. Donkeys make weird noises, especially at 5 am.
Not a cute “hee-haw”, no. More like a nails-on-a-chalkboard squeal.
What an ass! He was cute, though.

We were very lucky with the weather. Very, considering everyone up there told us the summer had been a bit of a washout (not unlike RI, too). Here’s Boothbay Harbor:

Boothbay has a great Botanical Garden– we had fun checking out all the nooks and crannies:

That last one shows an area designated for making “fairy houses”, which we did.

I absolutely LOVE this art in an ice cream shop in Boothbay:

Somehow, I NEVER thought of how a littleneck would eat ice cream…now I know!

The Pemaquid lighthouse and point are gorgeous:

This is the lighthouse that appears on the back of the Maine quarter- and I can see why. It’s pretty much a quintessential storybook lighthouse! The rocky zones all around it are excellent to poke around on…you find fun stuff like this:

I made a new friend in Pemaquid!

We had lobsters one night, right off the pier. This came with mixed emotions, because we here at Maison Dubois happen to love lobsters (the living kind). The kids want to keep one as a pet. And yet…MY GOD they’re good eatin’!

After staying out in these parts, we meandered home slowly along the coast, checking out lots of lovely coves and more lighthouses:

We went to the York Zoo, and were happy to see so many animals that our local zoo doesn’t have!
Capybaras! And a capybaby! I was a Bill Peet fanatic as a kid, so getting to see capybaras is a treat.

OK, goats aren’t very exotic, but anytime you get to hand feed piles of baby goats, that’s a good day!

How cute are prairie dogs? They’re even cuter when drinking out of a bowl!

This is the most amazing bird ever to me:

It’s got tiger stripes! Spots! Every color! Just crazy, man. I love it.
What is it? Um, it’s a..a…Lady something-or-other. I’ll find out.

They also had a butterfly garden going:

And what’s a vacation without tchotchkes?
I wouldn’t know, I’ve never taken one!
Here are my my classy souvenirs:

A lobster tile, a handcarved owl on driftwood, and the cutest cat mini-vase/toothpick holder.

And a few tackier items:

Another balsam pillow, this one with the Pemaquid lighthouse on it. (You know I love me some balsam!). A few patches to sew onto my patch bench. And a lobster cookie cutter.
Oh, yeah! Guess what everyone’s getting at this year’s cookie exchange!

We were lucky to stop by Newburyport, Mass. on the way home. The Child At Heart Gallery is closing it’s brick-and-mortar shop there, and we were able to get some awesome art at a discount- these pieces are by Chris Demarest and David McPhail. Whee!

Now it’s all about back to work and back to school. Booo!

There’s Just Something About Balsam…


Do you know what I mean?
These little balsam-filled pillows that you get in souvenir shops throughout New England.
The smell reminds me of childhood, as do the seemingly unchanged graphics and notable heft of the balsam needles.
Happy, happy summers!
These 4 particular pillows are sitting on a box I made for my cat Georgia. It’s sort of her “couch”. It was my attempt offering her a better place to sleep than my scanner or my keyboard.
I am happy to report that it works about one third of the time.
The other two thirds of the time she spends on my scanner or my keyboard.
Personally, I’d rather nap with the balsam pillows!