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L.L. Bean

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Duck Boots

It’s getting to be that time of year again! How can the weather change and get so cooler in  48 hours?

Checks calendar "oh it's the 1st of September". Takes off boat shoes, steps into Bean boots. @puffinandbennie

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Cute Pups like this Lab Bennie know where to find a rugged boot.

Summit Sunday on Hurricane Mountain in New York. (Photo: @ambpitch) #LLBeanMoment

A photo posted by L.L.Bean (@llbean) on

Since 1912, L.L. Bean has believed in the adventure of a life lived outdoors, the promise of a fair deal, and the guarantee that everything they make is designed to last.

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Nature Has All The Answers

L.L. Bean was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean. It is still family-owned, and has been inspiring people to live life outdoors.  Connecting with nature every day, and the belief in making classic, long-lasting, high functioning pieces that help you experience it your way whether that’s a picnic in the park or a 10 day trek. 

Dark clouds and a light heart, hiking in Maine's Grafton Notch. (Photo: @gilly1287) #LLBeanMoment

A photo posted by L.L.Bean (@llbean) on

in 1911, an avid outdoorsman named Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp, feet and a revoulutionary idea. L.L. enlisted a local cobbler to stitch leather uppers to workman’s rubber boots, creating a comfortable, functional boot for exploring the Maine woods. 

This innovative boot – the Maine Hunting Shoe – changed outdoor footwear forever and began one of the most successful family-run businesses in the country. 

Maine Hunting Shoe

Maine Hunting Shoe

L.L. began his business in the basement of his bother’s apparel shop. In 1912, he obtained a mailing list of nonresident Maine hunting licence holders and prepared a three page flyer that boldly proclaimed

“You Cannot Expect Success Hunting Deer or Moose If Your Feet Are Not Properly Dressed. The Maine Hunting Shoe is Designed By a Hunter Who Has Tramped the Maine woods For The Last 18 Years. We Guarantee Them To Give Perfect Satisfaction In Every Way.” 

The public could not resist the commonsense logic and genuine enthusiasm of this appeal. 

Leon Leonwood Bean

A Young Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean

Although a hundred orders came in for the new product, L.L. did not meet immediate success. The rubber bottoms separated from the leather tops and 90 of the first 100 pairs were returned. Although it nearly put him out of business, L.L. kept his word and refunded the purchase price. He borrowed money, corrected the problem and with undiminished confidence, mailed more brochures. L.L. learned the value of personally testing his products and honest advertising based on firm convictions and keeping the customer satisfied at any cost. 

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Customers spread the word of L.L.Bean’s quality and service. L.L. built on his success, using all company profits for advertising. He was so intent on building his mailing list that Maine writer and Freeport resident John Gould was inspired to say,

“If you drop in just to shake his hand, you get home to find his catalog in your mailbox.”

Leon Gorman noted decades later, “The most important legacy of L.L.’s genius was the power of his personality. It transcended the buying and selling of products. His personal charisma based on down-home honesty, a true love for the outdoors and a genuine enthusiasm for people, inspired all who worked for him and attracted a fanatic loyalty among his customers.”

Totes, Apparel + Outerwear

Athletic Sweats Zip up

Bean Fleece Sewater Zipup

Weather Channel Partnership 

Since 2005, The Weather Channel meteorologists have relied on L.L.Bean outerwear to keep them warm and dry in the field. Designed by experts, tested in extreme conditions and proven to deliver superior performance – whether you’re battling the elements in front of the camera or in your own backyard.

L.L. Bean Discovery School

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Official L.L. Bean Weather Channel Pro Shell Jacket

 

 

 

Whatever your adventure, be brave, dress warm and be prepared for the elements.

SHOP L.L. BEAN 

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BEST SELLING Navy Anchor Tote

Sea Bags Maine

Any Day On The Water Is A Good Day

Lighthouse Bag

Lighthouse Bag

Sea Bags are born and as sails and transformed into nautically inspired totes and accessories that bring customers great happiness.

Sea Bags Believes That Sails Soak Up SUN, SALT, SMILES and ADVENTURE! 

You can’t visit Maine or coastal New England without noticing these UNIQUE bags in gift shops that are made from sails.

Hannah Kubiak, Founder and Co-owner created Sea Bags in Portland, Maine in 1999, and was inspired by a nickname her father went by. In 2006, Beth Shissler became a partner and co-owner of the world known custom bag maker made on the Portland waterfront.

Sea Bags makes eco friendly boat bags and products from recycled sails. The cornerstone of the business has been built on three principals.

1. Keeping their products and practices GREEN

2. Keeping their product made in the USA, primarily in Maine

 3. Giving back to the community 

BEST SELLING Navy Anchor Tote

BEST SELLING Navy Anchor Tote

The sails they acquire are cleaned before they are made into bags and the materials retain the essence of what they once were, where they’ve been and what they’ve done. 

It Is THIS Previous Life That Makes Each BAG Unique!

Sea Bags Boat Builder Collection in Red

Sea Bags Boat Builder Collection in Red

Fall 2016 Sea Bags

Fall 2016 Sea Bags

Custom Sea Bags

Custom Sea Bags

Stars, Anchors and Metallic bags are some of the well known signatures of this water-bound brand. They currently have 9 company stores and are available at gift shops all over New England & beyond. You can visit a Sea Bags Company store in Portland & Freeport, Maine, Cape May, NJ, Chatham, Mashpee, Newburyport & Rockport, MA, Greenpoint NY and Mystic, CT. 

One of a Kind Totes, Wine Bags, Vintage Sea Bags and Accessories

Whale Clutch

Whale Clutch

Metallic Gold Star Wine Bag

Metallic Gold Star Wine Bag

Thirsty

At SEA BAGS “Recycled” + “Sustainable” are NOT afterthoughts. They are the cornerstone of the brand. Products are up-cycled from used sails, echo-friendly inks are used and innovative solutions are developed to reduce scrap. 

Over the last 15 years SEA BAGS has saved over 500 tons of material from going to landfills.

Shop Sea Bags One of A Kind Vintage Bags

Follow along and Tag #seabagsmaine on Instagram 

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All Photos Courtesy Sea Bags

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Inns Along The Coast: Rockland

#rocklandmaine #rocklandlighthouse #rocklandbreakwater #rocklandphotography

A photo posted by spiralamok (@spiralamok) on

 

Lighthouses, Jazz, Lobster Fests & More!

Inns Along The Coast 

Maine’s coastline  is home to 65 lighthouses. No wonder Maine is referred to as the Lighthouse State. From nearby York and Kennebunkport to a ride up to Bar Harbor, we’ve explored the entire coastline when we partnered with Inns Along the Coast. From Breakwater Lighthouse in Rockland to Marshall Point Lighthouse in nearby Port Clyde. Lighthouse enthusiasts and tourists as well as locals can find enjoyment in visiting the area’s lighthouses.  Rockland is also home to the Maine Lighthouse Museum

North Atlantic Blues Festival

Rockland has much to offer and many national known events throughout the year. The North Atlantic Blues Festival  is held the second weekend in July. It brings world-class musicians to Rockland for two days of soulful music making. It’s considered one of the most prestigious Jazz festival’s on the East Coast and held at the Public Landing overlooking the picturesque harbor.  

Maine Lobster Festival

Maine Lobster Festival  is a 5 day event known around the country and the world! The annual event is usually held the first week in August. This year’s five day event is Wednesday, August 3rd – Sunday, August 7th. This marine festival was created to revive Midcoast Maine communities and has turned into an internationally-recognized celebration of local seafood. You may have even seen it on Food Network and The Travel Channel! People come from nearby as well as from countries throughout Europe and Asia to experience local seafood. 

Maine Lobster Festival. Photo Courtesy Inns Along The Coast

Maine Lobster Festival. Photo Courtesy Inns Along The Coast

#mainelobsterfest #mainelobster #followthehitch

A photo posted by Mark Weber (@spyandisayhi) on

Besides all the delicious seafood, there are carnival rides, parades, beauty contests, live music and vendors of all kinds, the festival has the atmosphere of an old fashioned county fair.

Rockland hosts the Maine Boats, Home & Harbor Show  the weekend after the Lobster Festival a Festival of Lights  and Pies on Parade 

Drying sails in Rockland. #tbt July.

A photo posted by Schooner J&E Riggin (@mainewindjammer) on

With All these large scale events,there’s also outdoor life. Boating, windjammer sails, lobster boat tours at Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventure and so much more. Rockland’s history of shipbuilding and lime production goes back to the 1850’s. It was home to twelve lime quarries and 125 lime kilns supplying much of the lime for cement to build cities from Boston to New York. There were close to 300 vessels coming in and out of Rockland to transport the mineral to various parts of the country. 

So with all these things to do, you’ll want to stay nearby.

Inns Along The Coast has three inns close to everything in Rockland.

Granite Inn

The Granite Inn began as a private residence when this Federal Colonial house was built in 1840. It overlooks Rockland Harbor and is close to the arts and dining scene and the islands throughout the Penobscot Bay. Owners and Innkeepers are Edwin and Joan Hantz. This inn is known for it’s hospitality, contemporary comfort and artistically decorated rooms. It’s a stay for romantic couples, families, business travelers and has pet friendly rooms. 

Granite Inn - Rockland

Photo Courtesy of Granite Inn – Rockland

The Inn is within easy walking distance to many of Mid-coast Maine’s finest museums, restaurants, stores, galleries, and historic schooner berths. There are eight distinctive rooms including two, two-room suites. All have private baths and air conditioning

Photo Courtesy Granite Inn Rockland

Photo Courtesy Granite Inn Rockland

Breakfast is served in a bright, airy dining room. Fresh coffees, teas, fruit and  hot entree’s range from seafood and vegetable quiche to fruit pancakes and crepes with real Maine syrup. The Blueberry Muffins here are perhaps the BEST I’ve ever had!

For More Info Or To Book Your Stay at The Granite Inn Click Here

Lobster Quiche, Blueberry Muffin and fresh fruit

Lobster Quiche, Blueberry Muffin and fresh fruit

Limerock Inn 

The Limerock Inn is a Victorian mansion and an exquisite example of Queen Anne architecture reminiscent of the gracious lifestyle of a bygone era. It has eight guest rooms, two front parlors,  an inviting wrap-around porch, backyard grounds and is in the historic district close to the waterfront. It offers guests a chance to experience elegance in a historic setting with modern amenities.

Located close to shopping, restaurants and the renowned Farnsworth Museum   which has one of the finest regional art collections and major exhibits of  N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth.  

Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

LimeRock Inn serves a hearty country breakfast, has whirlpool and European soaking tubs, private fireplaces, and king beds that offer luxurious amenities for the perfect romantic getaway.

Grand Manan Room Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

Grand Manan Room Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

The Limerock Inn offers many packages for romantic getaways, boating and Foodie experiences. It is one of Rockland’s most elegant bed & breakfasts and is tucked away on a quiet side street encircled by a wraparound porch and landscaped gardens.

Monhegan Room Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

Monhegan Room Photo Courtesy Lime Rock Inn

Frank and PJ, the Innkeepers are well traveled domestically, so the breakfast entrees emphasis is on traditional American Cuisine with infusions of other influences which include family recipes of Frittatas and Italian pastries. You’ll find seasonal fruit, homemade breads, regional fruit jams and, of course, plenty of freshly brewed coffee using a special blend from the locally owned Rock City Roasters. Tea drinkers are offered tea from a generous selection of black and herbal teas.

For More information or To Book The Lime Rock Inn Click Here 

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Breakfast Room at Lime Rock Inn

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Farnsworth Museum. The Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum is one of only two centers in the country dedicated to the three generations of Wyeths:

Berry Manor Inn

The Berry Manor Inn   is considered one of the area’s premiere luxury Maine coast inns. Guests enjoy the elegance and grandeur of the Victorian era and indulge in the luxury and modern conveniences today’s travelers expect. The Inn is renowned for its homemade pies, grand hospitality with a Victorian flair and luxurious comfort. Watch the clip below from the Bobby Flay show on Food Network

Owners and Innkeepers Cheryl Michaelsen and Mike LaPosta have been running this busy historic Inn and making history while they do it. Guests enjoy the elegance and grandeur of the Victorian era; indulge in the luxury and modern conveniences today’s travelers expect; and relax with exceptional warm and gracious hospitality without any pretense. Located in a historic residential area (not on busy Rt. 1) and just a few miles south of Camden; Rockland is the ideal for your travels along the coast of Maine.

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor Inn

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor

Examples of some breakfast dishes you may see are Poached Pears with Yogurt Sauce, Raspberry Stuffed French Toast, Lemon Poppy-seed Cake, Baked Eggs with Tomatoes & Basil, Red New Potatoes with Dill and Maine Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake. 

The Berry Manor Inn has many packages for romance, celebrations, food & wine and the arts as well as enhancements like flowers, chocolates, champagne and massages.

For More Information or To Book Berry Manor Inn Click Here 

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor

Photo Courtesy Berry Manor

Dining in Rockland

When in the Rockland area be sure to visit Eclipse for dinner and tell them we sent you! Their right on the harbor and also offer live music in the Speakeasy. Be sure to order the Shrimp toast appetizers for starters! It is a MUST! The Mushroom Ravioli was a treat too!

Another place to go for a few glasses of wine and dinner is In Good Company. We stopped in and were impressed with their wine list. They have quite a good reputation in the area for small plates and dinner entree’s as well.

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Plus, no visit to the area would be complete without a visit to McLoons Lobster.  They are open for the season for what is known as some of the best lobster rolls. This family owned Maine lobster shack is located on Spruce Head Island, across from the area’s oldest working lobster wharf. Enjoy picturesque views of the harbor and surrounding islands and watch local lobster-men unload their day’s catch. You can experience stunning shack sunsets. The view can only be rivaled by straight-from-the-water steamed lobster dinners, award winning lobster rolls, local oysters, delicious homemade soups and chowders.

Rolls Royce. #lobsterroll #eeeeeats #rutheastmanphotography

A photo posted by Mcloons Lobster Shack (@mcloonslobster) on

 

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Inns Along The Coast: Kennebunkport

Victorian, Romantic Getaways

Inns Along The Coast 

I got the inside look at two busy Inns while in Kennebunkport. Captain Jefferds Inn and the 1802 House. 

Captain Jefferds Inn

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Captain Jefferds Inn is a former sea captains home. Sarah and Erik Lindbolm are the owners and innkeepers of the Inn which has 13 rooms, 2 suites and a carriage house.  Each individually decorated room has a private bath and many have a gas fireplace or wood stove to add to the romantic ambiance.  

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Arundel Suite – Photo Courtesy Captain Jefferds Inn

The story of the Lindbolm’s, current innkeeper’s goes back twenty five years prior to buying the Kennebunkport B&B. Erik and Sarah took their first “innkeepers” course and proceeded to look on and off for the “perfect inn” on the coast of Maine. The moment they stepped through the front door, they knew they had found it.  They sold their home in Redding, Connecticut and purchased the quintessential Kennebunkport lodging and began a wonderful journey in this special place along the Maine coast. 

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The Inn features a garden with a lot of nooks to sit, relax and soak up coastal life. Bottles of wine are available on the premises to enjoy after a day at the beach or shopping. 

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Bikes are available for guests and a great way to ride around town, visit nearby beaches or a ride out to Walker’s Point.

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Parsons Way overlooking Tompkin’s Island and the Bush compond.

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A three-course breakfast is served in the dining room each morning where you will have the opportunity to meet other guests and exchange your stories and experiences. If you would prefer a more intimate setting, tables for two or four are available.  

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A large sun-room looks out to an outdoor patio and garden with plenty of room to stroll the grounds. There’s nooks to enjoy time with family, friends and that special someone and a bottle of wine.

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A few blocks away are shopping, galleries and restaurants. The evening we were a guest at Captain Jefferds Inn, we dined at Bandaloop Restaurant and had the most unique sauteed NY Strip steak we’ve ever had. Our hostess recommended an Allagash White Beer with a slice of orange in it and it has become our new favorite! Allagash is brewed in nearby Portland. Bandaloop Restaurant is a locally sourced, globally influenced organic eatery. Many vegetarian and vegan options are available and an array of appetizers and entrees and sauces to choose from. Everything is created in-house from organic bread and sauces to desserts. 

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Bandeloop in Kennebunkport. Grilled NY Strip (12oz) Port wine roasted shallot reduction, oven roasted cauliflower, crispy Yukon gold potatoes

The New Hampshire is a large two room suite on the second floor of the carriage house with an outside entrance through a screened porch. It’s decorated in earth tones, reflecting New Hampshire’s heritage. 

New Hampshire Suite Photo Courtesy Captain Jafferds Inn is a pet friendly room.

New Hampshire Suite Photo Courtesy Captain Jafferd’s Inn is a pet friendly room.

Some rooms are pet friendly at Captain Jeffreds Inn. These rooms have their own private entrance and the Inn supplies extra towels, a bowl and treats for your four-legged companion. Pet sitters are available with advance notice should you wish to have an afternoon or evening to yourself. 

CAmden Room

Camden Room Photo Courtesy Captain Jeffferds Inn

Garden Room

Garden Room Photo Courtesy Captain Jefferd’s Inn

For  Information & To Book Captain Jefferds Inn Click Here

Feature Story Photos By Melissa Tyler

Except Where Noted Courtesy Captain Jefferds Inn

 

1802 House 

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The 1802 House Bed and Breakfast is a historic Colonial a few blocks away from Dock Square.  Peaceful landscaped gardens and towering pines offer a quiet setting.  Innkeeper Teri Walker brings a wealth of knowledge about the area and provides a truly personalized experience for guests. 

1802 house front

Photo Courtesy 1802 House Bed & Breakfast

The Bed and Breakfast offers elegant accommodations at affordable prices with six beautiful unique and comfortable guest rooms and suites.

1802 house A

Photo Courtesy 1802 House Bed & Breakfast

This Inn Along the Coast offers true comfort and modern amenities such as flat-screen TV’s, audio docking stations, complimentary Wi-Fi, premium bedding, plush robes, deluxe toiletries and more.

1802 house B Bath

Photo Courtesy 1802 House Bed & Breakfast

A freshly prepared three course gourmet breakfast is made with local and organic ingredients. 

Asparagus Chevre Scrambled Eggs

Asparagus Chevre Scrambled Eggs. Photo Courtesy 1902 House Bed & Breakfast.

This Inn offers unique touches for a romantic getaway.  Perfect for celebrating an anniversary, birthday, wedding, retirement or just a get away! Golf & spa packages are available. You can also add a fresh seasonal bouquet of flowers, roses and chocolates by calling in advance. 

Weddings & Romance 1802 B&B

Photo Courtesy 1802 House Bed & Breakfast

The Inn is close to shops and restaurants in town. There are over 35 restaurants in the area. If sailing, kayaking or lobster tours are your thing, there’s an assortment of something for everyone. 

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 For More Information and  to Book the 1802 House Click Here

Feature Story Photos by Melissa Tyler

Except where noted Courtesy 1802 House

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The Inn at English Meadow 2

The Inn at English Meadows: Kennebunk

Photo Courtesy The English Meadow Inn - Kennebunk

Photo Courtesy The English Meadow Inn – Kennebunk

Inns Along The Coast 

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We kicked off our  Inns Along the Coast tour in Kennebunkport, known as an ultimate waterfront destination in Maine.  We were excited to visit this coastal water front town having never been there before. From Dock Square to the Kennebunk River to it’s five beaches, shops, galleries and restaurants this town offers many things to see and do. 

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Historically, known as a  shipbuilding and fishing village for well over a century the town  is also a popular summer colony and seaside tourist destination. In Maine, the Kennebunks are bordered by some of the most beautiful and accessible beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard. 

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The Inn at English Meadow in Kennebunk is a newly renovated mid 1800’s Greek Revival Home and is a perfect Maine Getaway. Innkeeper’s David and Kate Parisi offer luxurious lodging which is just an 8-minute walk to Dock Square shopping and restaurants, and two miles away from Kennebunkport Beach. 

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From the second you pull in the driveway and walk the Inns entrance, you know you are in for a welcoming warm stay. David and Kate call it a “SOHO meets the Kennebunks” vision.  The B&B offers a unique combination of modern furniture and fixtures paired with impeccable maintained original moldings and wide plank floors. 

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 Two dramatically decorated common rooms filled with art from the owner’s personal collection will delight your senses. The Inn features five rooms, five suites and a bungalow. Each room is decorated with a palette that is relaxing and comfortable and cozy. This is a historic farm house that was renovated into a wonderful modern style Inn.

The former Greek Revival home was first built by local farmer Asa English circa 1860. The Englishes began a dairy business after the Civil War, keeping the cattle in the attached barn and renting rooms in the main house. Later, the barn became a carriage house, which was divided into seven rooms. The hayloft inside the old barn was converted into a large suite which is now called the Carriage House Suite. In addition, a small private cottage was added in the rear meadow, which is now referred to as the Bungalow.

Sunrise Room - Photo Courtesy The Inn at English Meadow, Kennebunk

Sunrise Room – Photo Courtesy The Inn at English Meadow, Kennebunk

We loved touring the Inn as well as our stay in the Sunrise Room. Elegant amenities at this MUST VISIT Inn include Frette fine linens, bath robes, slippers and towels, toiletries by Malin + Getz and beds by Vera Wang. We had such a delightful nights rest staying at this Inn. Other special touches are WiFi Internet, docking stations, flat-screen TV’s, Nespresso machines and  fireplaces. 

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Another highlight of your stay is innkeeper Kate’s three-course gourmet breakfast and homemade baked goods that are served each morning and afternoon. Everything from the breakfast yogurt parfait to the fresh baked breads had delicious bites of honey and cinnamon that just exploded in your mouth. The quiche was equally as  hearty and delicious.  The apple cranberry juice served from a local Kennebunkport company was very refreshing. 

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A delightful patio and landscaped English garden are a great place to have breakfast or enjoy a bottle of wine and your favorite cocktails. This can be an almost inclusive stay if you like with a trip to the beach and Dock Square for dinner. 

Lobster Ravioli with scallops and shrimp at David's KPT in Kennebunkport

Lobster Ravioli with scallops and shrimp at David’s KPT in Kennebunkport

Speaking of dinner, I enjoyed the MOST delicious Lobster Ravioli with scallops and shrimp at David’s KPT.  Acclaimed Portland chef, David Turin opened David’s KPT Spring 2013. The restaurant offers creative contemporary cuisine and has outdoor dining and a deck with one of the BEST waterfront views in town. There are two vibrant bars and Kennebunkports only Raw Bar.

I will be craving this meal again…and envision another trip to Kennebunkport just to enjoy this dish and stay at The Inn at English Meadow again!

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All of this is just a short walk or drive to the beach. You can also enjoy a short drive up to Cape Porpoise or the ocean views of the Bush compound at Walker’s Island.  Shops in town like Dock Square Emporium offer unique items that we haven’t seen elsewhere.

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Thank you to Inns Along The Coast 

and

The Inn at English Meadow

For Arranging a spectacular visit.

To view More about The Inn at English Meadow  or Reservations Click Here

Feature Photos By Melissa Tyler

Except Where Noted Courtesy of The Inn at English Meadow

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New England Story Logo

The New England Story 2016

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I’m Thrilled to bring you the relaunch of my website for 2016. It’s going to be a fun year with a lot going on! I can’t give it all away, but you’ll be following us on our adventures from Maine to Nantucket and everywhere in between.

Stay Tuned As We Kick Things Off Next Week!

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Michael Blanchard Photography

Michael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

The great thing about social media is it can introduce you to a few of your favorite things! That’s what happened to me several years ago when I came upon a  Michael Blanchard  photograph on Facebook I’ve been a fan ever since!

Nov - 428 Michale Blanchard Photography

Michael lives and works in Maine and makes trips to Martha’s Vineyard almost every weekend. He wakes up before the crack of dawn and in the solitude and the solstice of early morning sunrise  and sunsets  makes photographs that have become to known as inspirational photographs. You see, many take a photograph, but Michael has a way of creating images that evoke something inside yourself. That’s why he  has over 43,000 people follow him on Facebook.

Michael Blanchard Inspirational PhotographyPolaroid Camera

Michael’s first camera was a Polaroid camera he received as a teenager. But it wasn’t until the age of 54 that he found his interest in photography.  He recalls the first successful long exposure shot of Lucy Vincent. He sat quietly for an hour after that and felt so connected. That’s when he knew photography would be an important part of his life. The camera became a means of being quiet and reflective. It got him out of the house and on the beaches and he found a lost spirituality.

Michael Blanchard Photography

Why Martha’s Vineyard

It was a sailboat trip to MV  that would change Michael’s life! Once there he had the immediate, explainable desire to stay.  A few years later, he married a woman who had a home on the island. That is what we like to call Serendipity!  Michael has openly discussed in an open forum his ongoing recovery from the disease of alcoholism and the pain of his subsequent divorce from his wife. The island of Martha’s Vineyard and the art of photography helped to heal him.

Michael Blanchard Photography

3 Favorite Places

Lucy Vincent Beach, Moshup Beach and Menemsha are his three favorite places on the island. Being a big Jaws fan, he can see Hooper, Quint and Chief Brody heading out to sea to get the shark every time he sees the little fishing shacks in Menemsha.

Michael Blanchard PhotographySunrise or Sunset

Sunset is the time he loves best to photograph. The colors are different than at sunrise. He finds more interesting shots as evening approaches. But, he does admit some of his best photographs have been taken at sunrise.

Miachel Blanchard Photography Fighting For My Life

Fighting For My Life

Fighting For My Life Finding Hope and Serenity on Martha’s Vineyard, is the book that has helped Michael with his demons. He found while displaying his photographs on Facebook for the world to see, people responded to his words from healing from addiction, as much as the photos themselves. The two went hand-in-hand.  With a talent to take photographs that people liked and a want and need to share the life changing events. The book served the purpose as a cathartic  ” spilling out” of what he went through as a further means of how helping to heal. The book was designed and constructed to help raise money for addiction treatment, and most importantly, to help reduce the  shame alcoholics and addicts feel about their disease.  He wanted people to see the real and torturous existence of an alcoholic so they could better understand the disease and then use this information to help others who are struggling. He wants those who are struggling to know ” there is no shame as long as you take responsibility for your recovery”.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyThe Calendar

In May 2016 Michael will release a brand new calendar to help raise money for the Martha’s Vineyard  New Path’s Addiction Treatment Program and to increase awareness that additional resources are needed to fight the disease of addiction. Some of his stories and poetry and words of wisdom will be included to help those who need a boost of “hope”.  Thousands of his Facebook fans helped vote to choose the photos that will be in the calendar. It will be available through his website, several other websites as well as stores all over Martha’s Vineyard. The proceeds after costs will go to the New Paths Program.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyInspiration

Ansel Adams inspires Michael more  for what he said “photographs are made not taken” .  Adams would work in the darkroom for hours working to get the contrast right on a print.I In Michael’s case, editing photos is his creative escape.  Adams is his hero for “allowing” him to edit and experience the joy of creating something that is “him” and beautiful from the raw material generated by the camera.

Michael Blanchard Photography3 Things You Should Know

  1. The Camera is his means of connecting to whatever spirituality or divine energy that exists in the world. It is important in keeping him grounded and in the moment.
  2. The editing of photos is a means of creative expression he never had and allows him to channel feelings and emotions that would otherwise stay bottled up inside.
  3.  Photography is the window to the soul. He plans on using imagery  and cameras to help teenagers heal from addictions to drugs and alcohol. People can literally express themselves in the photos they choose to take.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyMichael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

To view his collection or order a book or calendar visit Michael Blanchard’s website and  follow him on  Facebook

On Island, you can find his work at Kennedy Studios in Vineyard Haven and Kelly House Gallery in Edgartown. This Summer his art will be displayed at a number of Black Dog stores throughout New England.

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Straight Warf - Nantucket

I LOVE Movie Set Places

I LOVE movie set places and in New England there are many!

Straight Warf - Nantucket

Straight Wharf

What I really love are waterfront and coastal towns that have a vibe to them. Yes, sometimes they are very busy, especially in-season.  I like to visit them off-season, early in the morning or at sunset….You know the magical times! Which is not to say the magic isn’t there when things are bustling. Here’s a look at three of my favorite places that evoke that magical feeling.

Perkins Cove Scenic Coastline

Scenic View from Perkins

Perkins Cove

I’ve been going to Perkins Cove for over 25 years. Guess what, every time I go it’s just as magical as the first time I was there! I love the small paths with shops and restaurants. I still remember going into the Pottery Shop at Perkins Cove for the first time and being in awe of their hand crafted goods. I love finding true New England finds in all the shops here. Restaurants like Barnacle Billy’s and MC Perkins are casual and relaxing and serve good food.

Shops at Perkins Cove

I’ve taken Finest Scenic Cruises to Nubble lighthouse and I’ve walked the Marginal Way in all seasons.   Beyond the shops, restaurants and bustle, it’s the moments you experience! The moments when the sun is rising and there is barely anyone there as you take photos. Or the windy winter days where snow is hitting you sideways. Or it’s the smell of salt water while you are enjoying an ice cream or coffee. That ‘s the movie set life of scenic places I love. I can’t wait to breathe it all in again on my next visit to Perkins Cove. Perkins Cove Boats 1 - Copy

Sunapee Harbor

Lake Sunapee

Sunapee Harbor is a movie set! Well at least it looks like one! This has been a popular destination for summer vacations since the days of the steamship, when people use to come from Boston and New York City. The Grand Hotels are long gone but beautiful custom homes dot Lake Sunapee.

Lake Sunapee Harbor

The Anchorage Restaurant and Sunapee Harbor

MV Kearsarge 1

MV Kearsage 1 Restaurant Boat & MV MT Sunapee II Narrative Boat         Tours available on Sunapee Cruises

It’s a great place to visit in Summer when the few shops in the harbor are open. Lunch or dinner at the Anchorage is a must as is ice cream from the Quick Shack. A highlight here is Sunapee Cruises narrative scenic and dinner cruises.  The views on their sunset cruises are great and the air is so clean. Being in the center of Lake Sunapee is one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been. 

  Nantucket

Cru Nantucket

View from Cru Nantucket. Every seat in the house has a great view!

I have a funny story about Nantucket. I was there twice over 30 years ago…pretty much just around Straight Wharf and town for the day. So that was my early Nantucket experience, no beach and the shops are not what they are today! Then for many years, when I would hear or read about Nantucket in tourism pieces I read there was barely any electricity on the island and you needed a bike to get around the island.

Isobel and Cleo

Isobel & Cleo! One of my favorite shops! Luxury handmade American made        knitware, Nantucket artisanal goods, made in USA

Vineyard Vines

Vineyard Vines an American clothing and accessory retailer founded in 1998 by brothers Shep and Ian Murray. The brand markets high end ties, hats, belts, shirts, shorts, bags for men, women, and children.

One Orange 1

One Orange a collaborative men’s lifestyle store

Two years ago I lived on Cape Cod for a year. I went to Nantucket several times because it is one of the most coolest places I have ever been! I have met a circle of people  who are the most creative individuals I have ever met! Enter Serendipity Again! I have learned more from these people and about about myself in the last two years than I could have ever imagined!

My admiration for these designers, shop owners, entrepreneurs and creative people that promote the island runs deep.  Honestly, almost daily, when I am not there…I am thinking about it…wishing I was there. In my opinion, there are more creative trend-setting things happening on Nantucket than in New York City!

Scanty Lighthouse

Sankaty Head lighthouse

 There is a coastal vibe from people who live and work here year round who literally travel all over the world for their work.  Nantucket is pure eye candy! From the shops on the wharf which catch the most amazing light. Each shop is creative in its own way and the staff are always so hospitable,  smiling, helpful and so upbeat!

From Sankaty Lighthouse to Brant Point the ACK feeling is amazing! Sconset can only be described as breathtaking + delicious. View some of the best sunrises and walks on the beach and sunsets at Galley Beach are speechless.

Cru Nantucket exterior patio

Cru Nantucket

The food and presentation at ACK restaurants like Cru, Straight Wharf and Town Restaurant are among the world’s best! Plus, there are many other restaurants that are open during the season that are equally as good. If the best in shopping and dining weren’t enough…Nantucket has some of the world’s best beaches.  You can see the sunrise and sunset like nowhere else! Everywhere you turn, there is magic on this island! 

Nantucket

Brant Point Lighthouse 1 F - Copy - Copy

Brant Point Lighthouse

There is peace! There is  a quiet that I have only experienced while living on Cape Cod. Clearly, there is a creative vibe among the people who live, work and play here that is second to none! No wonder people call Nantucket their “Happy Place”! It will be good to be bACK!

All Photos by Melissa Tyler

 

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A-Turquise-Blue-Ocean-Necklace

Maine Sea Glass Company: Impressing Sea Glass Lovers Across Country

TEARS OF THE SEA 

Is a genuine natural sea glass company in its eleventh year!

SeaGlassJewelryAquaCharmPearlBracelet

This husband and wife company started their business  11 years ago when they found their first piece of sea glass lying in the sand of a nearby Maine Beach.  Sea Glass (beach glass) or also known as mermaid tears jewelry creations are made with authentic genuine sea glass that is tumbled by the ocean and delivered  in its natural form. Each design is created as a one of a kind treasure from the sea for you to cherish! Click the link to see their online store!

A Bay Blue Breeze Cobalt Blue Sea Glass Earrings ~ Sterling

Tears Of The Sea offers unique one of a kind necklaces, bracelets, ankle bracelets,
pendants, rings and more! These are unique almost one of a kind pieces. They also do custom work. Are you are a jewelry lover or just looking for something unique or special that represents that ocean New England feeling? We invite you to browse their online store! Testimonials are in from all over the country from Texas, Florida, California and beyond. Are you getting married? Why not have some custom pieces done for your bridal party! They offer Gold filled and Sterling Silver.  Gift Certificates are also available!

Gift Wrapping Complimentary gift wrapping with every purchase of sea glass jewelry designs is available. They take great pride in showing you thanks for purchasing  their  original creations and making your shopping experience memorable.

Beautiful custom ocean theme gift packaging arrives perfect for all occasions including, birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays. Special gift cards are available per request, for that someone special.

Tears of the Sea has been seen in Coastal Magazine and featured in Portland Magazine.

A Turquise Blue Ocean Necklace

 

 

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