Monday, July 2, 2012

My 15 Minutes

Right now when you google "blueberry shortbread", my recipe shows up on the first page of results!  I think it's even the number one entry under "blueberry shortbread cookie."  Why would you be googling such a thing?  Well, you probably wouldn't, but I hope you enjoy the recipe anyway :)

Though the picture looks a bit crummy--no pun intended--I think it's just because the nice food writer who recently visited us couldn't resist squirreling some away in her pockets for later snacking.   And crummy cookies are plenty delicious.

Enjoy: Our Honest Cooking Spotlight

Monday, June 25, 2012

The List of Left-Behinds

With all of the experiences we've had here, I think sometimes a list will give a better impression of the innkeeper's lot than anything else.  I'm giving it a try today.

As you may know, the lodging industry standard is to NOT contact people about found items in guest rooms.  Lawsuits related to extramarital affairs and other "I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole" situations are to blame.  Sometimes that's a fun thing--look what we get if they don't call! Others it's just something we have to deal with.  Here's our current top ten list of things left in people's rooms after checkout:

10) large bottle of expensive cologne (airline regulations, perhaps?)

9) freshly pressed XXXL men's shirt from a room that housed two petite ladies

8) pens and comparable "gimmes" from other hotels

7) collection of seashells from the beach

6) gallon-sized ziplock bag full of makeup

5) tightie whities (The answer is briefs, folks. Unless people are abandoning them here and switching to boxers...)

4) garment bag full of dresses

3) unopened bottle of champagne

2) daily devotional book in our housekeeping tip envelope

     and the All-Time Champ?

1) a fist-sized rock with a piece of checkered fabric carefully glued to the surface

Thursday, June 14, 2012


A discovery that has reminded me of all our animal encounters in Maine inspired me to write today.  Yes, seeing a moose is right up there with visiting the Grand Canyon our bucket list.  No, it wasn't a moose (though one of our guests recently reported a sighting).

Just outside our bedroom window is an occupied robin's nest!  The fuzziest little guys are getting fattened up in there.  While we have seen robins at our erstwhile homes, we've had plenty of first encounters here, too.  Even ignoring marine life, we'll certainly never forget the group of wild turkeys that crossed the road and disappeared into the woods without a trace.  In our own yard we've seen a beautiful red fox as well as a frequent visitor we call the "attack duck".  He really likes to hang out in our bushes but gets scared when you come close.  The first attack duck sighting was really an unidentified object flying straight at my head.

We've even found the oreo cows in Kennebunkport!  I often see Belted Galloways on my way to the grocery store, just past the shipbuilding school.  Because there's obviously a shipbuilding school in my neighborhood.  I enjoy passing the pastoral scene.  Oh, look, ponies!  What a sweet vegetable garden!  Hey, it's a goat!  What a cute goat.  And it's standing right next to a man with an axe...  I almost craned my neck beyond safe driving limits to see what happened next, but some will be happy to learn that I discovered the goat safe and sound the next week.

To New Englanders this all may sound silly--just as being excited about kangaroos makes little sense to those Aussies who routinely shoot at them--but encountering wildlife or even domesticated animals outside of our personal norm is a great perk of moving to another region.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still Here

We realize we've gone a bit underground these past few months, and we keep getting pokes and prods from folks who would like to see a new post.  First of all, thanks for caring!

Here's a quick overall update on the experiment, and we promise to get back to the 'fun stuff' post-haste.

Well, we're still here and still feeling like we're on the busiest and best vacation of our lives.  Southern Maine is blooming.  It's really waking up for the season, and we've loved witnessing it.  We've met some awesome people from all over the states as well as foreign cities including Montreal, Edinburgh, and Perth.  We've met all kinds of area business people, too:  cab drivers, shop owners, restaurateurs, housekeepers, fishing charter... ers?, and other innkeepers.  In addition to new friends, we've played host to a couple of old ones.  And we're about to have the official first parent visit, so stay tuned ;)

So far the 24/7 job hasn't pulled us under, though the summer will be the true test.  Our favorite tasks have probably been renovating our new Tasting Room (you can glimpse some of the original hardwood floors below!) and developing new recipes for breakfast dishes and afternoon cookies.  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Trip

We were actually expelled from the inn this week for remodeling purposes.  The hardwood floors in the guest pantry and soon-to-be tasting room are being refinished. We cannot wait to get back to see the result.  Until then, we've been forced to take a trip up the Maine coast (so we can better recommend vacation spots to our guests, of course).  The town where we stayed is Camden, "where the mountains meet the sea."  As the above picture of rocky coast helps to demonstrate, the tagline fits.

It has been a lovely visit.  We field-tested highly rated restaurants--one worthy, another not so much.  If you ever make it to Camden, by the way, try Francine Bistro.  Its intriguing flavor combinations and service reminded us of one of our favorite restaurants in Lawrence, 715. Plus, Jed and I literally had a 15 minute laugh session after just visiting Francine's website.  Click on the link and you'll hear why ;)

We hiked, lounged (read: knitted), and even got plenty of work done.  We are also excited to hit the Farnsworth Art Museum on our way out of town.  And, though it might seem strange, one of my favorite things to do in a historic town is visit the cemetery.  There is something awesome about the connection between people born centuries apart.  This person was a Civil War vet, that person was a WWII vet, etc. This mother died when she was 29.  This plot memorializes three hundred years of family members.  Even if you are not a graveyard geek like me, it is usually a beautiful walk.

Given weeks with no days off (and no 8-hour days at that), we expected an intense desire for rest when the opportunity presented itself.  After being on our feet all day as innkeepers, though, we started to get antsy after a few hours of sedentary vacationing.  I'm glad we did, or we might have missed the quiet woods and coastline, or even the unexpected regional icon: the oreo cow.  Like most adventures, we did not get what we expected.  But so far, the reality is even better.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


There are some jobs that existed long before the Industrial Revolution.  These iconic roles are so embedded in human consciousness that everyone has a sense of what they mean.  We can picture the work of a soldier or priest without difficulty.  Say a person is a farmer or carpenter, and your listener will understand. Physicians, musicians, politicians--all familiar.  Cultural connections surrounding this work have solidified.

For the first time in my life I hold such a position.  What I do every day has been done by others for hundreds and even thousands of years.  The incidentals have changed, of course.  Most of my predecessors did not deal with social media marketing or flat screen TVs, but they probably did encounter unanticipated requests or demands as well as a combined environment for business and personal affairs.  This has generated an unforeseen perk to the job.  No more quizzical looks or ten minute explanations that bear little fruit.  What do I do?  I am an innkeeper.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Think Drinks

We need your help!  Jed and I are developing a cocktail menu for the inn. While we will offer Bloody Marys, we're trying to create a range of early morning offerings. We want to find the right balance between recognizable and unusual, all delicious.  The kicker is that they must be prepped at light speed.  If you were staying with us and having breakfast, what would you order?

Just vote for one or more beverages from the below menu in our poll to the right.  We can't wait to hear what you think :)

Refreshing – Light & Fruity Drinks

House Sangria                               
     -with fresh fruit & paired quality liqueur

Kir Royale                                      
     -crème de cassis (blackcurrant) & bubbly

Sanguine Mimosa                                 
     -our adaptation with blood orange
     -classic vodka cocktail with grapefruit
Raspberry-Lime Rickey                   
     -sparkling drink with rum & fruit puree

Gin Fizz                                          
     -effervescent gin beverage with lemon

Rich – Coffee & Chocolate Drinks

Spiked Hot Chocolate                     
     -choice of hazelnut, mint, or orange

     -cognac, Kahlúa, & amaretto; served cold

Irish Coffee                                      
     -traditional whiskey cocktail; served hot

Coffee Sambuca                              
     -digestif or aperitif with coffee beans

     -layered chocolate & coffee martini

Café Romano                                  
    -coffee with limoncello; served hot or cold