Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top 10 reasons why we love living in Camden, from more Maine innkeepers

From David and Karen Kallstrand at Timbercliffe Cottage in Camden, Maine:

1) The smell of the sea. For some of us, once you have lived near the ocean, you cannot be truly happy anywhere else. It is the pulse of existence on the coast.

2) Walking our dog down to the harborfront, greeting neighbors working in their gardens, and chatting with the postmaster and grocer -- a quiet life in a small town.

3) The Camden Library is not only an architectural gem, it is situated in a stunning ocean-view park designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted. It serves as a social and cultural center of the town with lectures, classes, art exhibits and fairs in addition to their extensive collections.

4) Living seasonally. With four distinct seasons, the landscape is always changing into something more beautiful. Yes, we have snowy winters, but the shorter hours of daylight give one the license to look inward and spend more time at home learning a new hobby, mastering a skill or craft, reading that stack of books, and entertaining friends.

5) Eating seasonally. We live close to the producers of our food in Maine. We know who grows our vegetables and who raises our meat. We pick organic apples in the fall and berries in the summer. There is an abundance of fresh, organically grown or foraged vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries, and a community committed to preparing these ingredients in creative and healthful ways.

6) Fresh lobster! Available all year long.

7) A community with respect for the past and its relevance to the present. In this part of the country, there is an appreciation of the history of the region and our country. Whatever your historical interests may be, you will find someone who has written a book or is giving a lecture on the topic!

8) The creativity of the community. The area attracts artists and makers of all kinds. We have never met so many writers, artisans and artists, photographers, and poets.

9) The stars. When was the last time you looked into a black sky, unaffected by light pollution, and marveled!

10) Sharing our home, our favorite recipes, our hospitality and what we love about Maine with our guests.

Check out their beautiful inn for sale on my website. This could be yours...

Monday, November 20, 2017

So what does that pineapple logo mean?

I'm asked this question every now and then. So here's your answer:

The Legend of the Pineapple
The sea captains of New England traded among the Caribbean Islands, returning to the colonies bearing their heavy cargoes of spices, rum, and a selection of fruits, which sometimes included pineapples.

According to the legend, the captain would drop anchor in the harbor and see to his cargo and crew. Once his work was done, he would head home, stopping outside his house to spear a pineapple on a fence post. This would let his friends know of his safe return from sea. The pineapple was an invitation for them to visit, share his food and drink, and listen to tales of his voyage.

As the tradition and legend of the pineapple grew, colonial innkeepers added the pineapple to their signs and advertisements, and bedposts carved in the shape of a pineapple were a common sight at inns across the colonies. It is not surprising that this symbol of friendship and hospitality became a favorite motif of architects, artisans and craftsmen.

Kingsleigh Inn, Southwest Harbor
This tradition continues today, for pineapples are still popular motifs for gateposts, door knockers, and beautiful serving pieces.  

In fact, when we bought our inn in 2004 (above), we bought these pineapple coasters for the rooms and a pineapple throw pillow on a chair in the parlor. But that was all, we didn't want to over do it. 

Those of us in the lodging and hospitality industry are proud of the symbolism of the pineapple. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Why I love living in Camden Maine, from the innkeepers' perspective

‘All I could see from where I stood was three mountains and a wood; I turned and looked the other way, and saw three islands in a bay’ Edna St Vincent Millay...

"Top 17 reasons why we love living in Camden!" From Annette and Terry Hazzard of Blue Harbor House Inn:
#1 Quintessential Maine harbor town - No 3 of downeast Mag 2017 Maine’s prettiest harbors
#2 Lovely downtown - small local businesses, no big box stores here. No 7 of ‘New England today’ prettiest coastal towns in Maine
#3 Camden Hills State Park-an abundance of great hiking trails- Mount Battie/ Maidens Cliff etc
#4 four seasons hiking, skiing, kayaking, biking, ice fishing
#5 Camden snow bowl- skiing( undergoing $8 million redevelopment.)
#6 Camden Hills regional high school voted no5 in Best public high school in Maine 2017
#7 The best Thai restaurant in Maine!(and possibly anywhere!)
#8 An abundance of award winning restaurants including - 2017 two 2017 James Beard nominees Brian Hill Francine Bistro/ Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain Camden
#9 walk to everything.
#10 local wineries on our doorstep - Cellardoor, etc
#11 We can’t forget the abundance of lighthouses. # 12 Lake megunticook- swimming/ kayaking in summer/ ice fishing and snowmobiling in winter. National toboggan championships at snow bowl.
#13 Year round community. Local farms- farmers market / local farms surrounding Camden. See beautiful belted Galloway cows(from Scotland!) at Aldermere farm just a mile or so away.
#14 Walk your dog at beautiful Beauchamp Point, Rockport, or if you are like Terry, pop in for a quick scuba dive.
#15 Unspoiled rugged natural beauty (just about everywhere)
#16 We can’t finish up without mentioning Camden’s no 1 (in our opinion!) pub - the Drouthy Bear- Scottish pub with THE best fish and chips! They also have haggis, but I believe that is not their best seller!
#17 Year round tourist destination / one of the top reasons we chose Camden - windjammer festival/ toboggan championships/ winterfest week/ Camden conference/ POP Tech/ Christmas by the sea/ Camden film festival

Coming ‘from away’, actually very far away from Edinburgh, Scotland, it was a joy (and a big surprise) to walk downtown on our first day in Camden, and have each person we passed nod, and say ‘good morning’. Coming from a big city where you hardly new your neighbors this was just amazing! We wondered if we would have difficulty fitting in, but after our neighbors and other Innkeepers came to welcome us with pot plants, food, and kind words we felt at home straight away. The people of Maine are real, down to earth, salt of the earth neighbors and friends. We wanted to move to a top tourist destination, and to be near the ocean. We wanted an area with a great local school for our young daughter who was just starting kindergarten. We wanted a simpler, more natural way of life, and a safe place to bring up kids. We wanted to be able to walk to the farmers market and buy local grown food, and to support our local farmers. We wanted to be able to walk to the Harbor, and be within walking distance of local restaurants. We wanted a good location- being mid coast was the perfect location for our bed and breakfast. Location, location, location is what you are always told buying a business. Camden has it all, and more.....much more!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Inn Listing in Maine's HOT city of Portland!

Inn on Carleton

Here's a new opportunity to be a part of Portland's ever changing, thriving tourism and hospitality industry.

Inn on Carleton is one of a small handful of very successful small bed and breakfasts in Portland, where we see occupancy rates that far exceed the national average. You can live in a wonderful small working waterfront city, be your own boss, enjoy the arts and food scene and enjoy life while you're making money. A financially viable business with just 6 rooms, wonderful owner's quarters, in a highly coveted neighborhood. Sound good? I thought so.

Check out this listing (or my other one in Portland), or any of my listings in Maine! Thanks for looking.