I have never considered myself to be a selfish person. At times I have been accused of being overly generous. For that reason I have surprised myself by not wanting to share with you my new secret garden. It is the State of Maine and in my mind the most glorious place in the world to visit when the sweltering heat of the south is just about to bring you down. We arrived to temperatures in the low 50s the week before Memorial Day. To most people that would be terribly cold especially when accompanied by an ocean breeze. I found it to be exhilerating. Everything in Maine was so different from anything I had ever experienced. The rocky shores created imaginary rock sea creatures, the light rain (almost like England) allowed the grass to be the greenest I had ever seen, the forests provided sanctuary for animals that can not live in the south, and the people, oh the citizens of Maine are so kind and helpful! The reason I have postponed sharing the photos and information for so long is that by visiting during the low season we essentially had Maine to ourselves. We never waited for a table at a restaurant, there were no traffic jams, the beaches were empty except for us, and the shop owners were pleased to take our money for the numerous souvenirs we purchased.
We saw the claw of a twenty-six pound lobster that had been caught in Massachusetts. A lobster that weighs three pounds is estimated to be 15 - 20 years old. That makes a twenty-six pound lobster to be .......over one hundred years old! I didn't feel quite so badly about eating fresh lobster when I learned that lobsters do not feel pain as we do. They have no cerebral cortex, which is the area of our brains that gives us the sensation of pain. Lobsters also have no vocal cords, the hissing sound that you sometimes hear when they are cooked is the sound of air escaping from their shells.
We laughed at the directional signs.
We were enthralled by the beauty of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and our second spring season of 2011. All the bulbs were blooming and the droplets of moisture from the earlier rain created the most stunning photographs. www.mainegardens.org/
We had hoped to see puffins on a boat trip to a protected island sanctuary where the puffins live but rough seas prevented that part of our adventure.
We ventured on to the northwestern mountains of Maine around Moosehead Lake. You'll soon see why it might be called Moosehead Lake. The town we visited was Greenville, Maine. It was the only truly sunny day of the eight that we were in Maine. The colors of such carefully protected land and water are beyond discription. The lake water was so clear that I would not have thought twice about dipping a cup in it and drinking it.
And then we accomplished exactly what we had come to this part of the state to do - WE SAW MOOSE!!!!!
On our mountain safari we saw one moose (gender not identifiable) standing among the trees eating whatever green he might find.
We have only two regrets concerning our trip:
1. I discovered the best lobster roll ever the night before we were leaving.
2. We didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked.
www.mainestreetinn.com Check the website to see the magnificently decorated rooms and learn more about the history of the house.
We didn't see former President Bush but we did see the family estate on Ocean Ave. We could have touched the fence protecting the home from the beachcombers (us) but were afraid it might be electric. It's such a problem when you're electrocuted far from home that we chose not to take a chance. While the weather in the late spring, summer, and early fall are exactly to my liking when I learned that Kennebunkport had received 10 (yes, ten!) feet of snow this past winter I knew that we would be vacationing elsewhere in the winter.
I hope that you are able to one day enjoy the splendor of Maine just as we did. Do me a favor though, please, don't tell anyone about this glorious place. We'll keep it our little blog secret!
For lodging in Boothbay Harbor - www.thompsonsottages.com
in Greenville - www.mooseheadmaine.com
and in Kennebunkport - www.mainestayinn.com
Tell them that The Kennedys sent you.
We had a wonderful time staying at each of these places and have plans to do the same on our next trip to Maine. My hope is for tomorrow.