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As we picked out lunch and dinner items at the Apple Shed Bakery, customers were raving about the food. Wayne Niles told me he and his wife Diane love the chicken stew with dumplings. Marcie Hastings was disappointed that there’d be no more tomato pie. But she saved the day by telling owner Trina Beaulier where she could still get fresh tomatoes, and Trina promised to do that and call Marcie when the pies were ready. That’s the kind of customer service you get here.
Bethel and Belfast impress us with lots of community-wide events that entertain both tourists and local residents. Bethel offers stunning views of the mountains while Belfast gives us those ocean views we just can’t get enough of. In early October we were drawn to Belfast for the weekend-long Farm and Art Tour, organized by the Belfast Creative Coalition.
Our “home” in Belfast is the Fireside Inn & Suites where every room overlooks the ocean, Manager Barry Asalone and his staff is super friendly, and the rooms are exceptional. The Fireside Inns spread across Maine and New Hampshire are owned by Lafayette Hotels in Bangor and offer wonderful room amenities. Ours had a relaxing massage chair and gas fireplace, with an outside deck where we lingered, enjoying the cool fall air, colorful trees, and blue ocean water.
Amongst the nearly 100 restaurants in the North Conway, New Hampshire area, we have now chosen a favorite, Margarita Grill. Here’s why.
Owner/chef Bud Selmi offers imaginative and very tasty Margaritas ($8.50) along with a lengthy menu of southwestern and Mexican food at very reasonable prices. Oh yea, Linda and I love Mexican. Bud also is focused on farm-to-table meats and produce, some of it including beef from a group of small farms organized as Maine Family Farms. When we visited in late-September, Bud had recently purchased a $5,000 smoker from Humphrey’s in West Newfield, Maine.
Up the mountain we went, past tennis courts and other game fields, the sheep corral, Nordic Falls Park that includes a game room pavilion and a small pond, numerous inside and outside swimming pools, and six condominium buildings, arriving at our destination, Innsbruck, and our very nice condo with a view across the valley to nearby mountains. And we were only half way up the mountain!
Linda wanted a special get-a-way to celebrate her birthday and first weekend of retirement from teaching, so I booked a surprise trip to Nordic Village Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire, thinking the foliage would be stunning. Well, the White Mountains are certainly stunning but the colorful foliage was late this year. Didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time here.
New Chefs Shine at Brooklin Inn
On Saturday morning with a nearly full house at the Brooklin Inn, an accident up on Route 1 knocked out power to the entire peninsula from Penobscot to Stonington. But Inn owner Chip Angell took it in stride, setting out juice, milk, cereal, and coffee, which he’d kept hot in a carafe, for our breakfast. The power was out nearly four hours, but it didn’t matter to us because we were off right after breakfast, exploring this beautiful section of Maine.
What would you hope to find at a favorite sporting camp? Maybe historic camps of varying sizes, all restored for your comfort without losing the original features? Perhaps a deck with lots of rocking chairs, overlooking a beautiful lake with mountains beyond? How about a beach, with plenty of room for the kids to frolic? Would you enjoy a fantastic restaurant right on the grounds?
I’ll bet you would enjoy hundreds of thousands of acres of conservation lands, with terrific hiking trails, within a few minutes ride of the camp. Of course, if you are me, you’d look for one of Maine’s best places to hunt and fish.