Travelin’ Maine(rs): Lodging Reviews

Maine lodging reviews form the Travelin’ Maine(rs).

Monhegan Mother's Day birding adventure

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Monhegan
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While most visitors schedule their Monhegan trips in the summer, May is the time to see the amazing bird migrations.

George

                I would love to stay at Shining Sails B&B for the entire month of May, every year. But Linda will have to retire from teaching for my dream to come true.

                In the meantime, our annual Mother’s Day weekend bird watching trip to Monhegan, with our friend and neighbor Dona Seegers, is something we look forward to. We had a nice first floor apartment, looking out toward the ocean. We enjoyed some meals on our outside deck. The Inn provides a nice breakfast of fruit, juice, coffee, and muffins, but none of the island’s restaurants are open this time of year, so the apartment’s well- supplied kitchen was very helpful.

Great hotels, food, and shops make Kennebunk and Kennebunkport prime destinations for travelers

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Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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Kennebunk’s Grand Hotel offers superb service and is surrounded by wonderful shops, markets, and restaurants.

George

I (of course) noticed (and grabbed) the small box of chocolates at the reception desk of the Grand Hotel in Kennebunk, while the very-friendly Patrick was checking us in. And another bag of goodies awaited in our room on the second floor overlooking a charming street of stores and the Kennebunk River.

But it was the next morning, when Linda opened the door to go downstairs to see what might be offered for breakfast, that I was really impressed. A bag of muffins and juice had already been delivered to our door.

The very best of inns pay attention to every detail of a customer’s comfort, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. And the Grand Hotel pays attention to the details.

Ocean restaurant in Kennebunkport’s Cape Arundel Inn is a place to celebrate!

City or Town: 
Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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 George

You’d have to be on a ship to dine any closer than this to the ocean. So of course, this restaurant in the Cape Arundel Inn is called Ocean.

While the waves roll towards us, outside the huge picture windows at Ocean, my gaze is out a side window toward the nearby home of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. They dine here too, but didn’t the night we were there. Linda suggests they probably walk to the restaurant. I doubt it!

Actually, the drive along Ocean Avenue, from the Grand Hotel where we are ensconced for the weekend, is stunning. And so is the food, served in a relatively-small, intimate setting, a place of white linens, beautiful art, and superb service.

Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas is spectacular!

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Big Bend National Park is relentlessly stunning, high mountain desert alongside the Rio Grande, and a paradise for all who love the outdoors.

Linda

Big Bend is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. We’ve visited many national parks and this has become a favorite.

Picture hilly arid land with a backdrop of long mountain chains that take your breath away. Some formations create rounded sculpture shapes, while others are more angular. Rock variations color the hillsides in shades of taupe, red, and white. This is a geologist’s dream and many travel here for that reason. I tell George that this is the polar opposite of Mount Vernon. It feels like you can see forever, and it's hard to take all this vastness in.

After our interminable winter, I am soaking in the heat here. Boy it gets hot, even in April, where the average day time temperature this week was 90. Hot, sunny, and dry, but it cools down into the fifties at night with a lovely breeze.

Summer Dreaming 2014

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 We’ve scheduled some terrific trips this summer. How about you?

A birding adventure on Monhegan Island. Followed later in the summer by a Puffin Cruise with Monhegan Boat Line. Two visits to Lubec, giving us a healthy dose of fresh ocean air in the most beautiful place on earth. A weekend in Eastport.

A stay at a favorite Maine sporting camp with a tour of the spectacular Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic. We’ll enjoy a presentation of the Joshua Chamberlain musical at the Maine Music Theater, with dinner at one of Brunswick’s fine restaurants.

And we’re excited about our first visit to Deer Isle, where the Pilgrim’s Inn and Whale’s Rib Tavern await. We’ll be doing that trip with our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood. An island adventure on Vinalhaven and our annual trip to the beautiful Blue Nose Inn in Bar Harbor will certainly highlight our summer.

Rockland culinary tour started at the Samoset

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Rockland
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Five restaurants in 41 hours - my kind of weekend! While the Samoset Resort's spectacular ice bar drew us to the Rockland area in mid-January, our culinary tour of the area added flavor to the weekend.

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Belfast has great art, shops, an awesome co-op, nice lodging and wonderful food

City or Town: 
Belfast
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                On a sunny (practically balmy) day in February, we strolled the main street of Belfast popping in to a variety of businesses. The previous night’s snow was melting into slushy goop on the corners of the intersections. I found myself taking special pleasure in tromping right through the messiness, which brought back satisfying memories of those same spring delights when I was a kid.

        You could see it on people’s faces... we are going to make it through this interminably long winter. In the same vein, visiting two of my favorite places in Belfast made me even happier.

        I fell in love with the Belfast Co-op on my first visit here last winter. This charming co-op is the largest and one of the oldest in Maine, with a strong commitment to Maine products. They sold $1,670,660 worth of Maine products last year.

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