Skye went skiing! Her school had a “BAM Day,” in which students were able to choose activities to expose them to new and fun physical activities. Although skiing was one of the more expensive of the many choices, I encouraged her to do it because I not-so-secretly want her to be my partner on the slopes. As the day approached she was nervous, but excited. I was, too.
Kirsten and I finally have a weekend to spend together without scheduling conflicts. Best to take advantage, and take advantage we have done.
This morning we all went to our favorite local breakfast joint, Palace Diner in Biddeford. The food is wonderful, service exceptional, and prices reasonable. It’s really a jewel of Biddeford. Our family took up about a third of the barstools at the counter.
Last Friday Richard and Patsy sailed in from Canada on the Crown Princess cruise ship. I took the day off of work and we drove up to Mt. Desert Island Thursday evening. It was very nice to see both of them. We walked around Bar Harbor, ate lunch at Geddy’s and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a nice few hours.
When they got back on the boat in the afternoon we drove up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain where we took pictures and ran around the rocky slope.
Yesterday was a brilliant Maine day. Temperatures were in the upper 50 °F with partly cloudy skies. Perfect. Kirsten had to work so the girls and I headed out to explore and enjoy the big outdoors.
First we went to nearby Saco Heath Preserve, which is a short 3.6 miles from our house. The hike through the woods and out into the heath were ideal. Skye and Hayley took copious notes on every sensation they experienced, including smell, touch, see and hear. They frequently stopped to sit on the boardwalk to search for frogs or to snack on the trail mix they had each prepared prior to our departure.
Yesterday Jenna turned eight years old. We celebrated all day. Kirsten had to work; we missed her.
Jenna and I made blueberry muffins for breakfast. We enjoyed the parade at the 36th Annual Old Port Festival before having lunch with Kirsten at the hospital. After lunch the girls played at the Children’s Museum of Maine for several hours. In the evening we ordered pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s and the girls watched a video Jenna selected at Movie Gallery. When Kirsten got home Jenna opened gifts. It was a terrific celebration.
New England is awesome. I love all the history, culture, and architecture. We live less than two hours from the amazing city of Boston. I appreciate the liberal and progressive mentality of the people here. The climate is perfect with wonderfully diverse seasons. Autumn is my favorite, and the foliage in New England is spectacular!
I especially love being a Mainer. I enjoy watching the ocean vessels and watching the lobster men work. Rockland, Maine is the lobster capital of the world, hosting an annual lobster festival. Now that is something to be excited about! I used to hate seafood (I grew up in the Midwest). Now I love it. Gilbert’s Chowder House in Portland serves wicked delish seafood chowda!
I enjoy the camping here, as well as the wide variety of hiking trails–ranging from the marsh, the woods, and to the coast. I never tire of going to the rocky coast with the many different lighthouses, the gorgeous view, the fascinating geological rock formations, and the sounds of the crashing waves and seagulls. I find it quite therapeutic. I like going to the sandy beach in the summer to relax. It’s the perfect place to read, observe people, hang out with my best friend Brent, and watch the girls play.
I love that there are so many towns in Maine with their own unique and authentic character and charm; they haven’t been overtaken by suburban cookie-cutter homes and big-box businesses. The entire state is beautiful with the many lakes and mountains. Even the drive on the turnpike is lovely, lined with tall trees and an absence of billboards (Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont are the only four states which ban billboards). I am still waiting to see my first moose.
I love Maine for many reasons. It’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived.
We have an ocean and mountains and lakes and woods and lighthouses. We have real seasons. I love to see the first snows of winter, see the new buds on the trees in spring, visit the hot sandy beach in summer, and photograph the beautiful foliage in autumn.
We have excellent hiking trails and beautiful islands around which to kayak.
I also love the proximity to Boston, New York and Montreal.
New Englanders are smarter than the people in other regions of the country. That’s a relief, for sure!
I was excited to move to Maine because I have lived in Kansas for about eight years. After living here I discovered many reasons why I like Maine.
I like to go camping. It gives me the opportunity to make new friends. Once I made two new friends named Amber and Faith. We went fishing together. We all got big sticks and buoy string and tied them together. We used marsh mellows for the bait. I also like camping because you get to sleep in tents and roast marsh mellows and hot dogs on sticks.
Another thing I like about Maine is the weather. In the winter there is a lot of snow to build snowmen and go sledding. It is also not too cold. In the Summer it’s not too hot and it’s fun to play outside. I also like to play at the beach. I especially enjoy digging holes and riding my boogie board. I also like autumn because you can jump in piles of leaves and the temperature is just right. Not too hot and not too cold
Something else I like about Maine is the climate. In Kansas there was nothing as glamorous as anything in Maine. In Maine we have beautiful sights such as; mountains, beaches, oceans, forts, and lighthouses.
Mike, Kim, Kirsten and I visited Maine Distilleries in Freeport on Tuesday to learn how they make their premium potato vodka, Cold River Vodka. We had a private tour with a stillmaster who showed us the facilities, described the process, and answered all our many questions. It was one of the best factory tours I’ve ever experienced. The vodka tasting at the end was nice, too. The blueberry vodka is my favorite. The blueberry flavoring is made from fresh blueberries and added to the vodka before bottling. Flavoring increases the volume so the alcohol added to this spirit is of a higher proof.
Cold River Vodka is made with potatoes grown in Fryeburg, Maine. The potatoes are ground and mixed with water from the Cold River Aquifer to create a mash. This mash is cooked with yeast to create a liquid alcohol byproduct. The mash is then distilled in a tall cylindrical copper distiller to evaporate and capture the alcohol. This alcohol is cut with water to get the desired proof.
Many distillers from these countries prefer to use very accurate distillation but minimal filtering, thus preserving the unique flavours and characteristics of their products.
Maine Distilleries use very minimum filtering to preserve the unique flavors of the potatoes. They can do this because they use copper distillers instead of stainless steel. The entire column of the distiller has cleaning nozzles and port holes so it can be cleaned before each batch.
While the whisky is generally only distilled down to its final alcohol content, vodka is distilled until it is almost totally pure alcohol and then cut with water to give it its final alcohol content and unique flavour, depending on the source of the water.
This morning, before meeting Kirsten for lunch at the hospital, we went to the Children’s Museum of Maine. We arrived thirty minutes before opening so we killed time drinking hot chocolate at Starbucks.