Friday, August 15, 2014

McMenamins in McMinnville

My best friend's brother celebrated a birthday while preparing for the wedding. We celebrated it at McMenamins in McMinnville.

First let me say that downtown McMinnville is adorable. There are so many awesome restaurants to choose from as demonstrated by a brief Google search. This restaurant is unique in that is located throughout many of the levels of the Oregon Hotel. We chose to dine on the rooftop.

Here is an awesome panorama shot I took up there. God bless smart phones.

The service was not the greatest but I think everyone still had a nice time. For more info check out this link.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Babica Hen

Photo courtesy of

While in Oregon I dined at Babica Hen twice- once for breakfast and once for lunch. It was so good I thought I would share a review in here in case you ever find yourself around Dundee or Lake Grove.

Photo courtesy of

Babica Hen is the brainchild of Joe Buck who was inspired by his grandmother from-scratch food that relied on crops from the Pacific Northwest. There is even a garden on the side of the restaurant where employees pick most of the produce and herbs. I personally loved their turkey avocado sandwich and coffee cake.

Be sure to check this place out if you are hungry in Dundee. For more info, check out their website.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Freckles Update!

 Hello everyone! As I write this, it has officially been two months since we adopted our beautiful dog Freckles from the Bangor Humane Society. I thought that I would give everyone an update on how she is doing.

Since the moment we brought her home, Freckles has been nothing but affectionate, loving and loyal. She is a complete love bug. Freckles loves to cuddle and is convinced that she is a lap dog (despite the fact that she is over 100 lbs). She enjoys climbing on the couch and nuzzling her head against your chest. Freckles does not lick people- she sniffs them. If you have been sniffed to death then you know that she loves you.

Freckles also wants to always be in whatever room we happen to be in. If I am in the kitchen, Freckles is in the kitchen (and hoping she can snack on whatever I am making). If I am doing research at my desk, Freckles is quietly cheering me on. If Christopher and I are in different rooms, Freckles will find somewhere in the middle so that she can lie by both of us. This puppy lives for companionship.

She loves going on adventures. Freckles is happiest when she is exploring a new forest or field. Freckles unfortunately is not too certain about water. Whenever we go to our friend's camp, she refuses to go more than knee deep. As a St. Bernard, we are not sure she knows what to do with "melted snow".

Freckles is very friendly once she knows she is in a safe place. If mommy and daddy around, she will befriend anyone. She is especially gentle with children and other dogs. The only problem is Freckles always thinks that other dogs are playing. She doesn't realize that the 6 lb. chihuahua is intimidated by her size! 

She absolutely loves snacks, especially the doggie treats from Gifford's Ice Cream. Whenever we go there, she gets SUPER excited. She knows what is in store for her!

We are so fortunate to have this wonderful dog. She makes our little family feel complete!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Champoeg State Heritage Area

Last week I was in Oregon for my best friend's wedding. I had so much fun helping her finish the final touches for her wedding and, of course, attending the wedding itself. It was an exciting and emotional week.

While I was there I was introduced to Champoeg State Heritage Area (pronounced as “cham-POH-ee”) which was less than fifteen minutes from where I was staying. This was the site where Oregon's first provincial government was formed 1843. There was an adorable museum that explained the vote and a monument where the vote was done.

Champoeg was once home to a large commercial center on the Williamette River. In November of 1861, eighteen straight days of rain and thirty feet of flooding destroyed the town. Nothing remains of the town today, however there are street markers to indicate where the town once stood.

The park also includes the historic Butteville Store  which was founded in 1863. It is considered the oldest operating store in Oregon. We grabbed some drinks as well as few pictures before heading back to Newberg.

And for your viewing pleasure, photos of Cascade hops and Mount Hood. 

For more information, check out the Oregon State Parks website or the Friends of Historic Champoeg website.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

North Country

One of my jobs at the conference was to work with a group of students from St. Lawrence University to write lesson plans for the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY. We got to visit the museum to take pictures and find inspiration for our lesson plans.

Frederic Remington was a very talented artist. He was best known for his bronze sculptures, Nocturnem paintings, and his work, "Rough Riders".

It was a neat conference and I am looking forward to next year.

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.