Archive for the ‘Maine Coast Activities’ Category


March 1st, 2013 by richard-pamela-riley

Richard and I are looking forward to our fourth season as innkeepers here at Hodgdon Island Inn!  We join the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce in inviting you to come to not only our own little island getaway, but our lovely region as well where you can “relax, rejuvenate and reconnect in our friendly coastal community”.

Springtime Hodgdon ISland Inn photo by Richard B. RileyHodgdon Island Inn, located on the quiet side of Boothbay Harbor, is surrounded by deep water, nature preserves, hiking trails, Maine’s one and only botanical gardens, and one of the best places to launch a kayak in the area!  Our nine rooms have water views, fans and air-conditioners, our beds are comfy, our breakfasts sumptuous, our evening desserts decadent, our in-ground pool heated, our parking lot secure and your hosts love to pamper and spoil their guests!  Front row seats are available for rest and relaxation and the Trevett General Store, just across the road, is the place to get beer, wine and sodas along with the area’s best Lobster rolls, Whoopie Pies, chowders and even fish & chips.

If you are thinking about getting away for a few days to Maine this spring, here are some upcoming events in the Boothbay Harbor Region that you may want to add to your list:Waffles & Maine Maple Syrup Photo by Richard B. Riley

Maine Maple Syrup Sunday, March 24. This statewide event is sponsored by the Maine Maple Producers Association. They welcome you to join them as they celebrate the history and significance of Maine produced and harvested maple syrup. Most sugarhouses offer free maple syrup samples and demonstrations on how pure Maine maple syrup is made. Many farms offer games, activities, treats, sugar bush tours, music, and so much more.

Fisherman's Festival Boothbay Harbor Photo by Richard B. RileyFisherman’s Festival and Blessing of the Fleet the weekend of April 26-28 in Boothbay Harbor.  This long standing, annual celebration includes the Miss Shrimp Contest, trap hauling, codfish relay, fish fry, lobster crate races, tug-o-wars, church suppers, lobster bakes, popular bands, and more. The Blessing of the Fleet, Memorial Service and boat parade are on Sunday. Admission is free.

Mother’s Day Weekend, May10-12.  If you’re looking for ways to spoil Mom this weekend, then Boothbay is the place to come!   We’re offering everything from days in the gardens, shopping and harbor cruises to champagne cocktails.

National Public Gardens Day 2013 Maine Photo by Richard B. Riley

Saturday, May 11 is the perfect time to take in the uniqueness of nearby Boothbay Harbor with all its amenities.  And on Mom’s Day, Sunday, May 12 at Hodgdon Island Inn, all moms and their companions are treated to a very special Mother’s Day breakfast complete with flowers and a champagne cocktail.

Hodgdon Island Inn is the closest Boothbay B B to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens ( )

RESERVATIONS at Hodgdon Island Inn can be made year round online at by clicking on the Availability/Reservation line or by calling your hosts, Pamela Byrne Riley & Richard B. Riley, at 1-800-314-5160.  Hodgdon Island Inn is open March through November.


February 7th, 2013 by richard-pamela-riley

The most important holiday for Chinese around the world is undoubtedly Chinese New Year — and it all started out of fear.

The centuries-old legend on the origins of the New Year celebration varies from teller to teller, but they all include a story of a terrible mythical monster who preyed on villagers. The lion-like monster’s name was Nian (年) which is also the Chinese word for “year.”

The stories also all include a wise old man who counsels the villagers to ward off the evil Nian by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers and hanging red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors because for some reason, the Nian is scared of the color red.

The villagers took the old man’s advice and the Nian was conquered. On the anniversary of the date, the Chinese recognize the “passing of the Nian” known in Chinese as guo nian (过年), which is also synonymous with celebrating the New Year.

2013 is the year of the Snake!

2013 is the year of the Snake!

The date of Chinese New Year changes each year as it is based on the lunar calendar. While the western Gregorian calendar is based on the earth’s orbit around the sun, China and most Asian countries use the lunar calendar that is based on the moon’s orbit around the earth. Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Other Asian countries such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam also celebrate New Year using the lunar calendar.

This year’s presiding animal zodiac is the Snake.  Richard was born in the year of the Dragon, the most revered of all the animal zodiac figures and yours truly was born in the year of the Monkey (reported to be the cleverest of the animal zodiac figures) :-)

We wish one and all the happiness of the season!


February 1st, 2013 by richard-pamela-riley

Show your support in the fight against America's #1 killer of women - wear red!

Show your support in the fight against America’s #1 killer of women – wear red!

Did you know that February is American Heart Month, and not because of Valentine’s Day? Every year since its congressional approval in 1963, the President has issued a proclamation to this effect, to help raise public awareness of heart disease.

“Heart disease takes the lives of far too many people in this country, depriving their families and communities of someone they love and care for—a father, a mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbor, a spouse. With more than 2 million heart attacks and strokes a year, and 800,000 deaths, just about all of us have been touched by someone who has had heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke.”
- Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has or had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day.

Here are some things we can all do to help our hearts:

  • Limit intake of fat
  • Choose heart-healthy fats over saturated fats and trans fats
  • Limit intake of sugars
  • Limit intake of sodium/salt
  • Choose more whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit and veggies and low fat dairy products
  • Choose lean meat and poultry
  • Include fish in our diet
  • Exercise portion control
  • Become physically active for 30 to 60 minutes a day
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit intake of alcohol

Even though most people associate heart disease with men, it’s also the leading cause of death among women. To raise awareness of this fact, the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign aims to help women take action against heart disease. So please consider showing your support by wearing something red tomorrow on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 1st.

For a heart healthy breakfast item, be sure to check out Hodgdon Island Inn’s “Heart-Healthy Parfait” recipe.

Boothbay, Maine Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Offer Last Minute Gift Suggestions for all things Maine…

December 12th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

Holiday Lights at Hodgdon Island Inn

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Hodgdon Island Inn!  Richard and I hope you have had a fantastic summer (we did!); a glorious fall (we did!) and are having lots of fun preparing for the upcoming holidays (we are!).  As usual though, we are a bit behind in getting our holiday gift list pulled together (now there’s a shocker!). So as we began making our list (and checking it twice), we thought perhaps it would be nice to share some suggestions for those of you who might be in the same boat:  you know, like have some “Maniacs” on your gift list, or like us PFAs (People From Away), prefer to share the treasures of our beloved adopted state with those whom we love. J

The following list is all things Maine:


Have someone planning a trip, or dreaming of a trip to Maine?

We have the perfect gift for them:  a Gift Certificate to the Hodgdon Island Inn! The inn, rated  the “Number 1” lodging property in Boothbay by Trip Advisor in 2010, 2011 and 2012, is a nine room Bed & Breakfast which offers casual elegance, private bathrooms, water views, delicious gourmet breakfasts every morning, fresh homemade desserts each evening, free Wi-Fi and not only lots more amenities, but lots of personalized service too!  Our Gift Certificates begin at $150  …  Call or e-mail us for more information.

A fabulous resource!

Need something for those book lovers on your list?

Richard and I recommend Maine: An Explorer’s Guide or  Explorer’s Guide Maine Coast & Islands by authors Christina Tree and Nancy English.  The guides are extremely well written, very detailed and up to date.

We have just the ticket for the Cookbook Aficionados on your list:     Pioneering food historian Sandy Oliver has a delightful new cookbook, MaineHome Cooking: 300 Recipes from Down East Kitchens.  According to the critics, Ms. Oliver’s latest book represents a new standard in home cooking, her recipes are simply done, with good fresh ingredients with plenty of room for substitution and creativity. Some say it is a cookbook that reads like a novel, and reminds the reader that good Maine cooking can be simple and delicious.

And for the mystery buffs on your list be sure to get him or her Glenapp Castle – A Scottish Intrigue written by Maine’s own, Tina Rosenberg,  Ridley Pearson, a NYT best-selling author, says “enter Glenapp Castle at your peril; once inside you can’t leave its pages!”  Richard and I say “absolutely!”

Tea Drinker on your list? Go to Try their T-sacs; Rooibos tea made with real Maine Honey; or for the decaf tea drinkers, the Ceylon Estate English Breakfast Blend CO2.

Looking for some magic for that favorite chef or grill expert?  Look no further – DennyMike’s sauces and rubs are fun; award winning; Gluten Free; all natural; Kosher certified; handcrafted in small batches; and of course, made in Maine.  

DennyMike and wife,Patrice, presenting Pamela with a gift box of samples – it was indeed Christmas in July!

This summer Richard and I had the pleasure of meeting DennyMike and his lovely wife, Patrice, when they came to stay at the inn.  It was love at first bite – ha! ha!  Be sure to check out my favorite:  Pixie Dust (it’s a kind of multi-purpose seasoning which I use on roasted fruits and veggies), but there is also Cowbell Hell (a red meat rub),Fintastic (a savory seafood enhancer),Chick Magnet (for yes, you guessed it, poultry)and last, but not least Sublime Swine seasoning blend for pork


Chocoholics?  How about chocolates made by hand on a windswept island off the coast of Maine?  Of course, when you are in the area you can get pick some up for yourself in Damariscotta at the Weatherbird or in Wiscasset at Treats. (We vote for the chocolate covered caramels topped with sea salt – oh my!)


And speaking of caramels – any caramel lovers on your list?  We have just the ticket – a guest favorite as I use it to top off my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie dessert (for recipe go to 

“Wicked Good Caramel Topping” from the Portland based Schlotterbeck & Foss.   It’s as they say “yum-licious”!


For the “fashionista” on your list you just can’t go wrong with handcrafted, designer tote bags and accessories from recycled sails in the heart of one of Maine’s working waterfronts. Check out their website at

For Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie recipe and more, go to

Well, time is ticking away and I need to start placing orders for family and friends.  Richard and I hope this list of ours brought a smile to your face or gave you a chuckle. There are so many wonderful products here in Maine and I am sure whatever you need for that special person(s) is just a click away.  To view the  state sanctioned showcase of quality Maine made products, gifts, arts, and crafts with a complete listing of companies and online ordering, please go to

And of course, if you need any more ideas, or suggestions,  or have any questions, you can reach us at



October 31st, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

Driving rain and gale-force winds at HII during Sandy

Richard and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have texted, e-mailed and/or called us during the last two days to check up on us here at Hodgdon Island Inn – we are greatly touched by your care and concern!  It has kept us strong as we prepared for and waited out Hurricane Sandy.  By the same token, we hope that all of you, our HII Alumni, your families, friends and relatives are safe.  For those of you in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy, know that your friends in the Boothbay Harbor Region of mid coast Maine, are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as we follow the latest developments.

We are able to report that the inn along with the rest of the region is in pretty good shape, albeit a bit soggy and windblown.  We once again have power and internet thanks to the dedicated and hardworking teams at Central Maine Power and Time Warner Cable.

HMS Bounty at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, October, 2012

It is with sadness, however, that we offer our deepest and most sincere sympathy to all the families, friends, colleagues and fellow sailors of the HMS Bounty.  Fourteen crew members were rescued; one crew member is dead and another missing after a replica of the historic HMS Bounty, overhauled in recent years at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, sank off the coast of North Carolina yesterday. The ship was well-known in Maine, where it had visited several ports this summer before docking at the Boothbay yard for some minor repairs.

The HMS Bounty replica was built in 1960, and was featured in the 1962 film “Mutiny on the Bounty,” starring Marlon Brando, and was also was used in “Treasure Island” in 1989 and two of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  Its permanent home was in Florida.


October 7th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

An explosion of color!

Each fall, thousands of people from all over the world come to Maine to see the explosion of color that the New England states are famous for.

The most often asked question Richard and I get asked at the end of summer is “When is the best time to see fall colors?” Unfortunately, we cannot provide an exact answer.  In general, based on our research, the peak supposedly comes in mid-October, but the best time may be anywhere from the first to the third week of the month. And some leaves start to change in late September.  As October approaches and the temperatures start to cool, leaves begin to change color.  The peak time of fall foliage in Maine also varies depending on weather conditions, and what part of the state you visit.  Historically, however, it is typically during early to mid-October that the colors are most brilliant.

In an effort to assist our guests with the planning of their trips to see the colors here in the Boothbay Region and along the mid coast, Richard and I researched what resources were available and came to depend on a couple of sites in particular:  the Maine Foliage Report (updated every Wednesday during season), Maine Department of Conservation ; The Foliage Network; and Yankee Magazine’s foliage map

So when the call came through the Maine Innkeepers Association to sign up to be an Official Fall Foliage Spotter this year for the Foliage Network, Richard and I signed on!   The Foliage Network was developed to provide accurate foliage information for various locations across the United States. During the months of September, October, and November, the Foliage Network collects data from its foliage spotters twice a week. This data is collected, plotted, analyzed by The Foliage Network and translated into a user-friendly report which can be used by travelers to find the best foliage conditions in the Northeast in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA and VT; in the Southeast in MD, NC, TN, VA, and WVA; and in the Midwest in OH, MI, and WI.

Being a spotter is a lot of fun!  Now I wish I could tell you it was like the “storm chasers” – you know that intrepid group of scientists and filmmakers who hunt down tornadoes to capture stunning severe weather video footage and gather valuable scientific data, but I can’t.  Twice a week we do hunt down foliage around our neighborhood (the Boothbay Harbor Region, the Pemaquid Peninsula and other mid- coast Maine points) and Richard does photograph the subject at hand and I do record the whereabouts of the subject at hand, and while it has rained and it has been windy on occasion, we do not have to outrun the trees.

Sometimes we even reward ourselves with the occasional cappuccino smoothie from the Maine Coast Book Shop Café  in Damariscotta or a delicious cup of herbal tea from the café at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens  in our own backyard.

Fall is definitely here and the much anticipated fall colors that New England is famous for are also here:   pinks, reds, golds, oranges and ambers like none other. Come experience Maine in the fall and be sure to check out our “Fall Foliage Special here at HII”!  Now, I must dash – it’s time to go leaf-peeping … :)


October 6th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley


Join Us For Our Final Event of The Outdoor Season

More than 150 antique automobiles from around the world will rally at the Owls Head Transportation Museum Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7, for the Museum’s annual Foreign Auto Festival and Antique Aeroplane Show.
This annual event attracts pre-1992 foreign car enthusiasts from all over the state-from luxury sedans to the high-performance sports cars. The variety can be impressive: Austin Healey, MG, Triumph, Porsche, Ferrari, Citroen, Mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and more. The meet draws a large number of Japanese models as well. Owners of pre-1992 cars and trucks (of any make) are welcome to exhibit at this and all other Museum (non-auction) events at no charge. Visitors are encouraged to come early to guarantee seeing the highest concentration of exhibiting vehicles
This year MG is the featured marque. MGs of any year are welcome to exhibit on Runway 17 for free. Free admission includes the driver and one passenger.



September 20th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

Restaurant Week: September 22-28, 2012

lobster dinner

RestaurantFor the great price of $24.95, enjoy an appetizer, entree, and dessert from a special menu at participating restaurants. This great bargain will allow you to sample some of the wonderful dishes the chefs in our region have to offer. Participating restaurants include:


September 19th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

First Annual Claw Down Chef’s “Lobster Bite” Competition

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 6:00-8:00 p.m., The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor


ClawJoin us for a memorable evening at the Opera House with Emcee Lynn Archer, (a.k.a. The Queen of Clubs), owner of the Brass Compass Cafe and winner of the “Lobster Dekkah” challenge on the Food Network Show: Throwdown with Bobby Flay


Be there when local chefs vie for the best “Lobster Bite” to be determined by three renowned judges:

  • Meredith Goad, Portland Press Herald food writer “Soup to Nuts” column
  • Dane Somers, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council
  • Kelly Patrick Farrin, 2010 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year, Sous Chef at Primo restaurant, Rockland.

Cast your vote for the people’s choice award and sample savory lobster bites from the following restaurants:


  • The Boathouse Bistro  & Tapas Bar
  • Boothbay Lobster Wharf
  • Brown’s Wharf
  • Davis Island Grill
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant and Lounge on Pier 6
  • McSeagull’s Restaurant
  • Newagen Seaside Inn
  • Oliver’s at Cozy Harbor
  • Ports of Italy
  • Robinson’s Wharf & Tug’s Pub
  • Rocktide Inn and Restaurant
  • The Lobster Dock
  • The Thistle Inn
  • The World is Mine Oyster
  • Tugboat Inn and Restaurant
  • Under Currach Tavern
  • Windows on the Harbor


September 13th, 2012 by richard-pamela-riley

The “apple man” cometh!

This morning while Richard and I were fixing breakfast here at Hodgdon Island Inn there was a loud knocking on the front door followed by the low murmuring of voices intent on not disturbing the guests still sleeping.

I have to admit that it is pretty unusual to have someone knock that early in the day, so I was trying to think who it might be.  Of course!  It was time for the “Apple Man” to come!  I could not believe it!

Summer had changed to fall and apple season was upon us.  The signs were all there:  shorter days with really deep pink sunsets, heavy dew on the morning grass, Monarch butterflies heading in a southwesterly direction and the “apple man” at the front door.

The apple man comes twice a year from Augusta with his station wagon full of just picked Maine apples   Yum!  The smell is absolutely delightful.  It reminds me of my childhood apple picking adventures down by the Ohio River at Parlor Grove Farm in Kentucky.  The best ones of course, are always on the high, high branches.  I hate ladders, being slightly afraid of heights, so I loved it when my dad would take me in his arms and swing me up high so I could pick the really good ones!  Picking apples with the “apple man” is a lot easier and requires no ladder, but that same element of fun is there when one takes his paper basket and begins picking the assortment of apples one wants.  A McIntosh here, a Jersymac there, a Jonamac or two and a Paulared … J

Apple season is here and so for the next few weeks Hodgdon Island Inn guests will be treated to a multitude of apple recipes including our most often requested signature dessert:  apple pie cobbler cake (see September 12, 2012 BLOG for recipe).

Happy Fall!