Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lamoine State Park

I have been recovering from the flu, therefore we kept the adventures to a minimum this weekend. Saturday we spent the day lounging around our home and watching Singin' in the Rain. On Sunday we did manage to sneak a little trip to the beach by visiting Lamoine State Park.

A tidal pool has formed in a busted, open pipe.
 If Mount Desert Island is the outgoing popular girl at a party, Lamoine State Park is her quieter, lesser-known best friend. Lamoine State Park is about fifteen minutes away from Ellsworth and across the bay from Mount Desert Island. You can easily spot Cadillac Mountain and Blue Hill in the distance. It is a sweet little place to camp, picnic or read a good novel in the summer sun. This would not be the ideal place for the avid outdoorsman, however it is a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the salty breeze.

Also I was seriously entertained by this miniature of the East Lamoine Meeting House, now the Lamoine Historical Society. I guess fairies need to go to church too. It was apparently built by a local resident Neil Walker in the 1950's and was housed in the Eagles Lodge Motel in Ellsworth until last year.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Castine History

The town of Castine is a historian's playground. The vast majority of the buildings date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although I would have loved to explore every nook and cranny, most of these buildings do not exactly allow animals. We contented ourselves with visiting the sites that were outdoors.

One of our first stops was Fort George. Fort George was established by the British in 1779. It was the site of the worst American naval defeat prior to Pearl Harbor. Little remains of the original fort, however we still enjoyed running around its walls and grooves.

I also took pictures of the Dyce Head Lighthouse. There was not a whole lot to this particular one, but I would recommend visiting it if lighthouses are your thing. Apparently there is a Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge you can participate in every June.

Our last stop was Fort Madison. Fort Madison was originally built by the US in 1809, but switched hands several times during the War of 1812. It was officially abandoned at the end of the Civil War.  The fort no longer remains, however you can still climb on the earthen mounds.  It is the perfect place to take your dog for a walk or enjoy the coastal scenery.

I hope that you have enjoyed this three-part series on Castine. I am eager to return and to better get-to-know this gorgeous town.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Castine Forests

Witherle Woods Preserve is currently part of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Throughout its history it has been used by the French, Dutch, English and Americans as a trading post, a site for forts and missions and agricultural activities. This little copse witnessed military action in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. You can find the remains of this history as you wander through the woods.

Witherle Woods was beautiful. The hike was invigorating, but not exhausting. All of us enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to others. Just look a Freckles beaming! For more information, check out this site.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer-Inspired Dinner

Summer has finally hit in the state of Maine. I find myself craving fresh fruits and vegetables, a ton of ice cream and Mexican-inspired foods. Last night I tried my hand at a few new recipes and was really pleased with the results. Our dinner consisted of Margarita Chicken, Cilantro-Lime Rice and Homemade Mojitos. Enjoy!

Margarita Chicken- Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Yields 4 Servings

  1. zest of 1 lime +  juice of 4 limes
  2. zest of 1 orange + juice of 2 oranges
  3. 1/4 cup tequila (I used rum because that is what I had on hand. Still delicious)
  4. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey (I opted for two teaspoons of sugar instead)
  6. 3 crushed garlic cloves (I used garlic scapes from the farmer's market)
  7. As much salt and pepper as your little heart desires
  8. 4 small chicken breasts 
  1. Combine ingredients from lime zest to salt and pepper in a large bowl or ziplock bag then mix well. Add chicken breasts then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours. (I would honestly let it marinate no more than two hours. Any longer and you might as well just eat a lime).  
  2. Grill or saute over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until cooked through
Cilantro-Lime Rice- Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Yields 4 Servings

  1. 1 cup long grain white rice
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (I used olive oil because I am a rebel)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt (this is not super necessary)
  5. Juice of 1/2 lime
  6. 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
  1. Bring water, oil, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir to fluff then add lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Homemade Mojitos- Adapted from Delightfully Tacky

Directions are for one drink. Add accordingly.

  1. 2 ounces light rum (or more. I won't judge)
  2. 12 mint leaves (or more. It's your life, you make it as minty as you want to)
  3. 0.5 ounces lime juice
  4. 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  5. Crushed Ice
  6. Club soda
  1. In a highball glass, muddle 12 mint leaves with 1 tbsp simple syrup and .5 oz lime juice. Add 2 oz rum and nearly fill the glass with crushed ice. Finish the rest of the glass with club soda. Garnish with mint or lime if you are feeling fancy. I was. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Castine Coast

This weekend was one for the books. Christopher surprised me with a day trip to Castine, a town I have wanted to visit since we moved here. There are very few places where you can lounge on the beach, take a hike in a forest and explore the ruins of eighteenth-century forts. Castine has such a great variety of activities that I have decided to divide this into a three-part series. First up, the coast!

Christopher, Freckles and I decided to picnic on Wadsworth Cove. I think in this case, I will let the pictures do the talking.

We also did a little exploring throughout Castine Harbor which flows into the Penobscot Bay.

 I love the ocean with all of my heart and soul.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Bangor Band

Christopher and I are bona fide band geeks. I know how to play the piano, flute, clarinet and percussion and am learning to play the tenor sax. Christopher is an awesome trombonist and loves brass instruments. We both grew up playing in concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands and orchestra pits. To say that we love music is a bit of an understatement.

When I learned that Bangor not only boasted one of the oldest community bands in New England but put on a free summer concert series, I was all in.

The concert was short, fun and relaxed.They played a mix of serious compositions and crowd favorites such as a medley of popular jazz songs and show tunes. The concert is outdoors so if you have young children or get a little restless you can always leave without making a scene or hit up the Wild Cow Creamery stand. 

It was a fun evening and I have a feeling that we may have started a new summer tradition. For more information, check out this website.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cascade Park

Cascade Park is less than a five minute drive from my apartment. It is easily the most popular park in the city and features a lighted fountain as well as a twenty foot waterfall.

 As usual Christopher, Freckles and I searched for the road less traveled and found a path leading to a gorgeous field behind the Darthea Dix Center.

This little slice of scenery reminded me of the Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve and made me very homesick. I love the Maine landscape more than I could ever possibly express, but sometimes I miss the fields and hills of Southern California. Sometimes I miss them terribly.

Although the park was beautiful I would like to remind you that since it is by a main road and across the street from the hospital, you can often run into some rather questionable characters. As long as you stay aware however, this is a lovely place to visit.

P.S. Doesn't the Darthea Dix Center in the above picture kind of look like Xavier's School of Gifted Youngsters from X-Men?