We drove up to Maine last week for a much anticipated stay at Hermit Island. This trip has been on our list for years, but since I'm not great at making reservations in January for a trip during the summer, since I don't like crowds, and since taking a risk on finding a space during the off-season is just that--a risk, we haven't taken the leap. This year, we knew we wanted to go back to the Common Ground Fair and we knew we would have to stay somewhere. I really didn't want to stay in another mid-priced hotel with a continental breakfast of entirely packaged foods. Phippsburg is about a two hour drive to the fair (with fair traffic) so it seemed do-able. We told ourselves we would pack light, keep things simple, and that's just what we did. I think the pictures show just how happy we were that we finally made it after all these years.
We arrived just before 10:00 p.m., so we were taking a bit of a risk on the campsite, but I'd taken notes from The Best in Tent Camping New England and I knew we wanted an ocean prime site. Although this site was not one of the ones the book recommended to try to get first, looking at the map, I thought it would be great for us. I was not disappointed! Look at those views! Look at that beach! It was practically private--even quieter over the weekend than when we first arrived. We woke up on Thursday to the sounds of the waves and enjoyed a camp breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and hot cocoa. After a little bit of exploring around our site, the kids headed down to the beach. Soon enough, Dave and I joined them and we stayed all day. When they got hungry, the kids could walk to the campsite and get something themselves. It was pure heaven--the easiest beach day ever. The weather was gorgeous and we were alone on the beach!
It rained on Thursday night, but we stayed blissfully dry and cozy in the tent. We'd planned to have oatmeal at the camp site and then head out to the fair, but it worked just as well (if not better) to stop for coffee and pastries at a local cafe. By the time we got to the fair, it was mostly dry and a little chilly. Between the fact that we were there on Friday and the overcast weather, we felt the crowds were very light and manageable. Could this get any better?? We had a great day at the fair--we enjoyed all of the farm-fresh, organic food, we took in a little of the sheep dog show, and the kids had a blast at the Children's Tent. We stayed until closing at 6:30 and left with lots of inspiration for finding this community a little closer to home.
On Saturday, we had our relaxing oatmeal breakfast to the sound of crashing waves. Then we sadly packed up our site and headed out. We will definitely stay at Hermit Island again, and I think we might have hit the time of year just right. What a great weekend!
September 25th was Smithsonian Museum Day and I had requested a coupon in advance for 19th Century Willowbrook Village in Newfield, Maine. After a cloudy start, the weather dried up and by the time we arrived it was a beautiful, sunny day. There was a small Farmer's Market taking place at the bandstand outside of the museum, so we stopped to chat and check out the goods. I managed to score some lip balm and Dave got some beeswax wood finish. The kids had their fair shirts on, so that struck up a lot of conversation with the farmers and museum workers. At the farmstand, they kindly offered us a taste of their just-processed-yesterday chicken and it was very tender. We started imagining a day when we might be able to raise meat birds in addition to our layers. It seems like it might be a ways off, but we can dream!
The kids had fun at the museum. It was a truly gorgeous spot especially with the early fall color they have up north. We enjoyed our local picnic goodies scored in Portland al fresco and washed them down with organic cider we brought from the fair. YUM! Soon enough it was time to head home. A stop for an ice cream dinner (!!) at White Farms in Ipswich finished off our lovely weekend. I felt thoroughly filled up!