Travelin’ Maine(rs)

A regular travel blog, written by George and Linda Smith, focused entirely on instate travel.

Travis Ferland is restoring the historic Rangeley Inn to greatness

City or Town: 
Rangeley
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George

                It takes a brave soul to tackle the restoration of an old historic inn, and Travis Ferland is a brave soul. He also has the credentials and work ethic to do it. Travis purchased the Rangeley Inn two years ago at a foreclosure auction and has been working tirelessly ever since to bring this landmark on Rangeley’s Main Street back to its glory years.

                So far, so good. We stayed in the renovated section of the Inn and were impressed with how Travis has retained the historic aspects while modernizing the building. The entire Inn is full of old photos, memorabilia, and furniture, as well as mounts of moose and bear. My friend Bill Pierce, executive director of the Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic, loaned the Inn some amazing photos from the museum’s collection. The common rooms at the entrance are particularly beautiful.

Monhegan Dreamin'

City or Town: 
Monhegan
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Monhegan in the spring. Monhegan in the summer. Monhegan in the fall. We’re getting through another long winter by dreaming of the island!

George

                Our annual Mother’s Day birding adventure weekend on Monhegan was over, and on the Barstow’s ferry, the Monhegan Boat Line, taking us back to Port Clyde and the mainland on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we struck up a conversation with Michael Brassard and Jayne Marency on the upper deck.

                Turns out they’d just purchased the Island Inn, and after a great talk while we enjoyed the day and the voyage, they invited us back to the island to stay at their inn. It didn’t take long for us to say yes!

An amazing room, awesome dinner, and Maine’s best brunch

City or Town: 
Freeport
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 George

                Five minutes after we entered the Thomas Moser room at the Harraseeket Inn, I told Linda I was ready to write this column. While a Saturday night dinner and Sunday brunch were ahead, I could easily have written the entire column about our room that featured 14 stunningly beautiful pieces of furniture from Maine’s own Thomas Moser.

                And every piece was available for purchase! Of course, we would have had to sell our house to afford it all, and then where would we have put it? But it sure was nice to luxuriate in this beautiful room for a weekend.

The devil is in the details of Maine’s 2015 moose management plan

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Permits to hunt moose in Maine will be reduced this year, but not nearly as sharply as they were in 2014 when we lost about 1000 permits.

However, when you get into the details of the permit proposal from the Wildlife Division professionals at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, you will find that the only reason the total number of permits will be reduced is a significant cut in WMD 2.

In that district, the legislature directed DIF&W in 2010 to decrease the moose population to reduce motor vehicle collisions with this beast of the woods. And Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s very capable Wildlife Division Director, told me that the population has been reduced in WMD 2, the goal has been met, and consequently the recommendation for 2015 is to reduce permits in that district by 300.

Dinner and a Show

City or Town: 
Waterville
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At Amici’s Cucina we were transported to Tuscany. But it was only a short walk to the Waterville Opera House for another great performance.

Linda

                Mary and Angelo Carpinito have created a very inviting space for dining at their restaurant, Amici’s Cucina, on Main Street in Waterville. While there were people in the bar – a space that also offers tables for dining - we had the interior dining room almost to ourselves when we arrived at 5 pm for an early dinner before a show at the Waterville Opera House.

A surprisingly fine restaurant in downtown Rumford

City or Town: 
Rumford
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 Linda

                We haven’t been to Rumford in a while and were surprised to be reminded that it isn’t all that far away. Just a 50 minute drive from home and we were following signs from Route 2 that directed us to Brian’s Bistro in the Hotel Harris in the downtown section of the city.  

                The beauty of this space hits you immediately. The tall ceilings painted in black and accented with wide beams painted white are sure to grab your attention. The big open room with large windows and gorgeous old wooden floors has been artfully decorated by Jessica, who owns the Bistro with her husband Brian, who is the chef. Just so happens she has a degree in design and has put that degree to good use. I fell in love with the candle collections hanging in the front windows. Those candles combined with soft lighting make this restaurant more intimate.

Café Miranda offers Adventures in Comfort Food and lots more

City or Town: 
Rockland
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 Linda

                Some restaurants are so special that I often find myself thinking about their food. That’s certainly true of Cafe Miranda in Rockland. I can close my eyes and almost see their Fire Roasted Greens dish. Seasonal greens, caramelized onions and mushrooms are roasted in their wood-fired oven, then served with a balsamic drizzle and a chunk of feta cheese. You know a dish is great when even George gets excited about a vegetable appetizer.

                I crave that dish whenever I think about it, so I try not to think about it because I don’t have a wood-fired oven. Then along comes Chef/Owner Kerry Altiero’s new cookbook, Adventures in Comfort Food, and there it is: a recipe for Oven Roasted Kale. I don’t know how well my oven cooks at 500 degrees, but I will surely be trying it this winter.

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