Winter in Maine

Ten activities to get me out of the house this winter.

A few weekends ago we were surprised with unseasonably warm temperatures. We jumped on the opportunity to enjoy dinner alfresco with friends. It was beautiful and all the sweeter because we know those days are numbered.

Winter is coming and with the pandemic’s second wave in full force, it’s inevitable that there will be less opportunity to go out. The problem is that I live in Maine. When winter arrives it will bring snow, ice and incredibly cold temperatures.

Where does that leave us during a pandemic?

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Three Days Exploring the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine

While we were supposed to be in Scotland in September, COVID had other ideas and instead we planned a last minute staycation. It does help to live in Vacationland during a pandemic.

For this trip we decided to head to central Maine and spend a few days near Moosehead Lake before heading towards Mt. Katahdin and Baxter State Park. It’s an area we don’t explore as often as the coast since it’s further away for us but our revamped vacation plans meant it was the perfect time to explore the North Woods of Maine.

Day 1

We arrived in Greenville Maine on an atypically cool August day with strong winds dropping the temps even lower. We had taken our time driving up and stopped often along the way including a visit to Turning Page Farm Brewery in Monson . My husband and I enjoyed a summer session and brown ale respectively while relaxing at one of the picnic tables in their beer garden. We  enjoyed watching their playful herd of goats while eating a couple of bratwursts along with our craft beers. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | T is for Taking Risks and Saying Goodbye to My Comfort Zone.

On my flight back from a recent business trip, I reached Boston and had to change planes for the final leg up to Portland. I hadn’t paid much attention when making my reservations, so was a little surprised when I saw that the plane we’d be taking for the final leg was a small five-seater and that the open cockpit meant we’d be able to watch the pilots in action. I was definitely guaranteed a window seat. The flight was thankfully uneventful, and what struck me most was that I couldn’t have even gotten on the plane ten years ago. I had too much anxiety about flying.

I had anxiety about a lot of things, but in the last ten years I’ve realized that the more I push myself beyond my comfort zone and challenge myself the more my fears ease.

Comfort zones act like our friend, but they’re really not. They’re the frenemy who holds you back. I’m not saying I’ve swung to the other extreme of becoming an adrenaline junkie and only doing things that make me uncomfortable. It’s about finding the balance. I still love hanging in my comfort zone as much as the next person but now I push myself out on occasion and take more risks. I’ve never been happier.

So how to challenge myself this year?

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#AtoZChallenge | I is for Islands and a perfect summer day on Monhegan.

There is something magical about a perfect summer day. It stays in our memory with such a force that we can easily return to it and relive the moments to brighten more dreary ones. Our trip to Monhegan Island was one of those days.

After a foggy boat ride out of New Harbor, we reached Monhegan Island where the sky was bright and clear. We immediately set off on the 4.4 mile Cliff Trail, which circles the outer edge of the island and opens onto one amazing ocean view after another. It is the embodiment of the rugged Maine coastline. Below is a slide show of images from our trip:

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#AtoZChallenge | H is for Hiking with goats another tail tale from the trail.

There was a moment when I was focused on the trail ahead but sensed that there was someone close behind. Seconds later one of goats sprinted past, fully engaged on exploring the wooded countryside, far less interested in us than we were in them.

This past September, on a mild fall day, we found ourselves enjoying an educational and relaxing hike with a sweet, well-mannered tribe of Alpine dairy goats at Ten Apple Farm.

The day of our hike started off with a light rain, so our hosts flipped the schedule and we started off in the barn where we learned about the farm and the goats. It was hard to stay focused, even though the information was interesting.

As the farmer told us his stories, one of the smaller goats in the pen behind him kept repeatedly jumping straight up while bleating and crying as she desperately tried to see over the top of the pen. She’d get a fleeting glimpse of us and then disappear only to return seconds later to peek again. It was clear that our hiking companions would have some energy.

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