Posts Tagged ‘Boothbay Maine’


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!

2011 Season Comes to an end at Hodgdon Island Inn Bed and Breakfast near East Boothbay, Maine.

December 12th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Heavy Frost at Hodgdon Island Inn

Today in Boothbay the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue and currently the temperature is about 34 degrees.  High tide was around 11AM
this morning and as always, the water was beautiful – a bright, glistening deep dark blue.   As I sit here at my desk and look out, I see the shadow of one of our resident bald eagles as he (or she) completes the daily fly-by (I am always amazed by how very big they are) enroute to its nesting place on Barter’s Island. 

Looking out at the Sheepscot - the water is a deep, dark blue

The gulls are hunkered down on the ridgeline of the roof across the street at the Trevett Store.  And Mrs. Roberts, our neighbor and Hodgdon descendant, is coming back from one of her
walks with her dog, Foxie.  Inside, there is fresh coffee brewing (maple flavored) and loaves of homemade applesauce bread baking providing that perfectly delicious Holiday scent of coffee, maple syrup, cloves and cinnamon.  Can’t you just smell it?!  As I begin to gather my
thoughts in preparation for this BLOG I find it hard to believe that it is
December already and that Richard and I have closed our second season as innkeepers here at our beloved Hodgdon Island Inn!  2011 was the perfect illustration of the saying “time flies when you’re having fun!”
OMG!  How very true that is!  What a season!  What a year!  And most importantly, what fun!

We had guests from all around the world and all around the country.
Each and every one of our guests is special and unique in his or her
way.  The guests were Hodgdon Island Inn alumni, boaters, artists, authors, brides & grooms, scholars, teachers & professors, moms & dads, mothers and daughters, husbands & wives, doctors & lawyers, kayakers, cyclists, veterans, girlfriends shopping ‘til they dropped and those in need of respite and solitude.  We had visitors from as far away as Swaziland, Japan and Denmark and as close as Maine, Massachusetts and New

Fourth of July Wedding at the Inn

The Inn was the perfect setting for a beautiful family wedding here on the Fourth of July as well as numerous milestone birthday and anniversary celebrations throughout the season and an artists’ retreat in the fall.

How cool is this?!  Richard and I still find it hard to believe that we get to live in this very special place on the mid-coast of Maine and that we have the added bonus of crossing paths with so many special people!  We look forward to welcoming you to our tiny little island here in Boothbay,  Maine in 2012.

Artists from Ten Pound Studio, Gloucester, MA

Normally, Hodgdon Island Inn would be open year round, but we ask your indulgence as we need to make a few minor upgrades to several of the rooms. To do this with as little inconvenience to our guests, we will be closed from December to March.  Reservations can be made anytime online at or should you have a question for us, please leave a message on the voicemail at 1-800-314-5160 and we’ll get back to you.

Don’t forget to check the website for specials,
recipes, Hodgdon Island Inn Alumni discounts and more …



May 14th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Hodgdon Island Inn Welcomes Spring!

Spring has come to Boothbay!

Spring is happening at Hodgdon Island Inn!

We have: tulips and tea at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens; tulips lining driveways; daffodils poking up on the roadside along Route 1; beautiful purple azaleas are towering over the fountain in the center of the inn’s circular driveway; forsythia bursting out on what used to be hen hill at the old Hodgdon farmstead and on the outer edges of the pool; and bumble bees are heard to be happily humming.

This year's dandelion crop

This year’s dandelion crop is making a real
show of spring yellow on the spring green grass!

The gentle rumbling of lawn mowers can be
heard from Barter’s Island to Hodgdon Island to Boothbay and from Boothbay to Boothbay Harbor.

Windows are being washed; porches and wicker
furniture are being hosed down; it’s time to call the “pool guy”.

Front porch gets gussied up!

Route 27 and Barter’s Island Road are being
blacktopped – good-bye potholes.

Restaurants and shops are opening; awnings and
umbrella tables are going up; “closed for season” signs are coming down.

The air is changing.

Spring is happening at Hodgdon Island Inn!

Spring has come to Boothbay!


May 14th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Today at Hodgdon Island Inn, a coastal Maine Bed & Breakfast near Boothbay Harbor, we are under the umbrella of a beautiful soft, delicious and ultra-quiet fog as a result of a tug-a-war between the old cold air and the new warm spring air.  It’s heavenly and I just had to share one of my favorite poems with you …
The fog comes

on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
by Carl Sandburg

Hodgdon Island Innkeepers spot sign of spring in Freeport: “18 Days and counting till Ice Cream Season starts”

March 26th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

LL Bean Store Window Freeport, Maine

Today, Richard and I made a trip into Freeport with some very dear friends from “back home” (Kentucky & Ohio).  Freeport is only 45minutes away from our nine room inn on our tiny island here in Boothbay, Maine .  Our day started off with grey skies and about an inch of snow giving our friends a taste of winter 2011 in Maine, but by noon it was all gone and Mother Nature had decided to smile.  The sun was shining and Freeport was hopping.  The huge parking lots behind L.L. Bean were pretty full.  It felt like everything and everyone was waking up after a long winter’s nap.  As we came around the front of the L.L. Bean home wares building, we were stopped dead in our tracks!  People of all shapes, sizes, genders and ages were learning how to cast fly fishing rods. 

One of Pamela's favorite haunts - Bridgham And Cook LTD.

It was mesmerizing to watch, but we eventually tore ourselves away and headed for Main Street and some of our other favorite haunts like Jones of New York, Mangy Moose, Cool-as-a-Moose, Brooks Brothers, Clark’s of England, Bridgham & Cook British Importers, Sherman’s Bookstore and of course, all of the L.L. Bean stores.

In the course of all this “exercise” we got thirsty and were in the process of trying to decide how we would quench our thirst when we spotted the sign that read “18 days till ice cream season begins!”  Just think – tonight the moon will be the fullest it’s been in 21 years; tomorrow is the first official day of spring and in just two weeks and 4 days (April 1st) ice cream season will be here!  How cool is that?!

To celebrate we tried out the new coffee shop/café located on the lower level of the L.L. Bean Flagship store.  It was fun and it was good.  The coffee shop showcases Coffee by Design from Portland. This was our first time to try their products and I have to say we enjoyed our Cappuccino (Richard) and Mocha (Pamela) Frappes respectively and our friends enjoyed their Roasted Red Pepper Quiche and hot teas.

Then it was down the street to the Georgetown Pottery and Edgecomb Pottery.  I’m afraid I could spend hours in each and still not see all the beautiful shapes, glazes, art and giftware there.

We finished our Freeport adventure off with dinner at the Muddy Rudder.  There was a brand new menu to choose from and between us we sampled Panko Baked Haddock, Hanger Steak, Baked Haddock and sirloin tips accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes with a side of crisply steamed julienned beets.  It was all very good and our waitress was cheerful and attentive.  It was, as they say, the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Directions to Freeport from Hodgdon Island Inn:  turn RIGHT out of driveway onto Barter’s Island Road; make a slight LEFT onto Corey lane; turn LEFT onto ME-27 to US-1 South; turn LEFT onto US-1 South through Brunswick; take I-295 South to Freeport Exit 20.  Follow signs to Freeport and parking lots.

P.S. At the time of this posting the number of days left til ice cream season is now six!

March Madness Prevails at Boothbay Harbor Region Bed and Breakfast

March 14th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Our westward view over the Sheepscott

All those sayings that we are all too familiar with regards happenings in March just happen to be swirling around in my head today.  You know, sayings like:  “Beware of the Ides of March” or “March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb” or “When Irish Eyes are smiling – they’ll steal your heart away” – you know those sayings.  It all started this morning as I sat at my desk in the Owner’s Quarters here at Hodgdon Island Inn  looking out of the window.  The window showcases our westward view over the Sheepscott and it appears that our snow fortress is weakening. 

Our snow fortress is weakening!

 The walls of snow are melting away before my eyes.  I am reminded of that infamous “I’m melting “ scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy douses the Wicked Witch of the West with the bucket of water – only here on our tiny island in Boothbay, Maine, Mother Nature is doing the dousing and our once wicked white world is turning into a pool of spring greens and browns!

OMG!  March is a very busy month in the State of Maine! Kicking off the month  there was the annual yum-yum fest known as Maine Restaurant Week, March 1-12th, where one can get scrumptious three-course meals at a set price; then we had the 2011 Flower Show in Portland this past weekend, March 10-13th, titled “The Enchanted Earth”. The show is a collaboration of green industry landscapers, growers, gardeners and industry retailers dedicated to the continued success of everything about “Gardening in Maine”.

Beware of the Tides of March!

Higher tides than ususal predicted this weekend

Next up is the Ides of March (March 15th), but the TIDES OF MARCH is much more appropriate.  Why you ask? Because at every full moon, when the earth and the sun and the moon are lined up in space, the gravity of the sun and moon reinforce each other and the earth’s tides become particularly high.  It is predicted that the tides will be higher than usual, especially on Saturday hence the “Beware of the Tides of March”.

 Now we’re counting down to St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th.  For many it is a day of partying, parades, eating corned beef and cabbage and drinking green beer  (Sarah’s Cafe, fun restaurant on Route 1 in Wiscasset). For others it is a day of prayer and contemplation. For me it is a day filled with many memories, lots of love, much laughter, a few tears, good Irish music and an Irish jig or two.   I may have mentioned that I am first generation American-born of Irish ancestry, but I don’t know if I mentioned that I am also an Irish step dancer.  My mother, Sheila, was born in a town on the coast outside Dublin, Ireland not too dissimilar from Boothbay Harbor

Currant soda bread is cut in wedges to serve;whole wheat soda bread is featured.

But most importantly of all:  one must eat Soda Bread on this great day!  Now I could write an entire blog on Irish Soda Bread because there are as many different recipes for it as there are shades of green on the Emerald Isle, but we stick to the Byrne Family recipe which has been handed down for many generations.  I have shared this family heirloom with you in the recipe section of our blog I hope you enjoy it!

And the last of this month’s fun activities here in the Pine Tree State is Maine Maple Sunday set for March 27th .  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. 

March isn’t the only month with lots of things to do and see here in Maine .  Come and see for yourself.  And as always, if you need a place to stay, we’ll be here on our tiny island and as is customary in Ireland, Richard and I will  bid you “cead mile failte” {Cade (rhyming with “wade”) meala fault cha. Fáilte is said quickly} – a hundred, thousand welcomes!


March 2nd, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

The Four Popovers: Pamela, Dad, Mom & Richard

On March 5, 1949, a young couple in Kentucky got married.  That was the year that the New York Yankees would beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series.  It was the year that a horse named Ponder would win the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby.  The average price of a new home cost $7,450.00 and the minimum hourly wage rate was 70 cents an hour.  Harry S. Truman was President of the United States; Margaret Chase Smith was the Senator from Maine; NATO was established; Newfoundland joined Canada; soap operas debuted on television; the first VW Beetle was sold in the US; the very first automatic street lights were installed in New Milford, CT; the first Polaroid Camera sold for $89.95 and to celebrate the company’s 80th birthday, the first Pillsbury Bake-Off was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.  Movies that year included Adam’s Rib, Twelve O’clock High, On the Town, and Roger’s and Hammerstein’s South Pacific debuted.  Folks were listening to Hank Williams “Lovesick Blues”, Vaughan Moore’s “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and Gene Autry’s   “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.  William Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for Literature and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” opened.  And some very talented people were born that year:  Vera Wang, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Lionel Ritchie and Bruce Springsteen to name a few.

Ben & Pat Riley married on March 5, 1949 - fast forward 62 years

Fast forward 62 years and we know that some things have changed a lot and some hardly at all, but one thing remains steadfastly the same:  that young couple is still married and going strong!  As the parents of two sons (the eldest of which happens to be my beloved husband, Richard) and one daughter; the grandparents of two; and the favorite companions of a Maine Coon Cat named Bro, they are kept pretty busy.  In addition, Dad loves to read and star gaze, Mom loves to cook and bake, they care for all sorts of birds and animals, and they love everything Maine:  Maine lobstah, Maine chowdah, Maine blueberries (preferably in the form of yogurt or a crisp), fresh hot popovers, the jagged mountains, the rugged coastline and everything in between from Kittery to Bar Harbor

They love everything Maine!

Richard and I thank them for their love and support and for their company on all the Maine adventures through all the years.  We hope you will join with us in wishing them all the very best on this their 62nd wedding anniversary! 



February 24th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Our "first date" in our new home ...

Last week Richard and I decided it was high time we went out on our “first date” in our new home and what better time to do it than around Valentine’s Day.   So we made plans … dinner first, followed by a play.  We were both very excited and found ourselves looking forward to our night out!  It was a huge success, I am happy to report!

For dinner we chose a restaurant in Bath recommended by a fellow Barter’s Island Community Club member. 

Solo Bistro decor is "Maine Modern"

The Solo Bistro ( was super!  The décor is “Maine Modern” with pale wood tables and brightly colored chairs.  The choices were wide ranging and the prices competitive.  We opted for the three-course Prix Fixe menu of the evening.  We had no regrets as we savored our spinach salad with vanilla white balsamic vinaigrette; Maine Shrimp Risotto with tomato, leek, eggplant and Greek olives; and chocolate chip cookie sandwich with pumpkin marshmallow ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce.  Our waitress was friendly and attentive, but not intrusive and we left knowing that we would definitely put the Solo Bistro on the “must do that again” list.

Then it was off to Brunswick and the play.  The play was a production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at the Theater Project adapted by Joe Hanready and J.R. Sullivan and directed by Christopher Price.

The Theater Project ( was founded in 1972 as a non-profit community-based theater in Brunswick, Maine.  Its mission is “to change young and old; to enrich and inspire their living, and provide a safe environment for original and dynamic exploration.”  If this production of P&P is any indication I would have to say that they wholeheartedly fulfill their mission.

Now I must admit I am a Jane Austen devotee and am pretty fussy about adaptations of her work, but I am happy to say that the performance and staging at the Theater Project was fabulous – just fabulous and did Miss Austen’s work great justice!

The auditorium seats about 75 or so and it was a SOLD OUT performance.  The ages of the audience ranged from vivacious and charming college students to low key and charming old timers (like us). But one thing was clear – everyone there was enjoying the play.  The set consisted of one small round dining room table, four would-be Chippendale chairs, two upholstered benches, two wooden benches, two topiaries and a crystal chandelier that magically appeared or disappeared as was needed to indicate that we had moved to Pemberly or to the infamous residence of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh.  The furniture was moved in and out of position by two young ladies attired as servants who occasionally draped a lace tablecloth over the small round table and topped it off with a vase (pronounced with a short “a” sound of course) of flowers and who always curtsied. 

The ensemble cast was very good, especially the actress playing Elizabeth.  She was delightful and I would liken her performance to that of Jennifer Ehle’s in the A&E version also starring Colin Firth.  But it was the actor playing Mr. Collins, who in our opinion stole the show!  He was awkward, self-effacing, slimy, cow-towing … and that smile – Yuk! In short, he was perfect!

Richard and I thoroughly enjoyed it – we discussed it on the way home and again over the next few days.  And of course it inspired me to once again drag out my much beloved, dog-eared copy of P&P … you know what they say:  once an Austen devotee, always an Austen devotee.


February 15th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Our "Old Kentucky Home", the Piatt-Fowler House, circa 1817

It’s Friday, February 11, 2011, the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, the water is deep, dark blue, the temperature has warmed up to 14 degrees (Fahrenheit, that is) and I find myself sitting at my desk looking out at the receding snow piles that once stood 10 feet high and looked liked lookout posts for our fortress.  It’s beautiful!  But life does go at a slower pace here in the winter than where we came from (the bluegrass state) and it gives one more time to reflect …

This morning over breakfast (which by the way was Oatmeal Brule with blueberries, walnuts and bananas), Richard and I were reminiscing about where we were and what we were doing this time last year?  Now, we do have to admit that parts of last year went by in a bit of a blur, but this particular week we can recall with perfect clarity!

Moving Day! Of course, Mother Nature does not always cooperate ...

We were back in Kentucky, packing up the last of our belongings while our moving crew was simultaneously beginning to load said belongings.  Of course, Mother Nature does not always cooperate, and while this move was underway, we had some serious snow.  So serious in fact that they couldn’t get the moving truck up our old driveway to the Piatt-Fowler House and the movers had to resort to using a small rent-a-truck to shuttle loads out, but of course it didn’t stop snowing in between loads and every time, Richard and the guys had to dig the shuttle out.  We hoped it wasn’t an omen … at the end of the second day; everything was onboard except for our second car (which we had packed with everything from Richard’s paintings to the large antique family portraits).  As we stood in the cold, pitch black of night being whipped with blinding snow watching our car being crept up two narrow planks into the dark cavern of the moving van, I finally understood the expression: “my heart was in my throat”.  It all seemed so unreal, surreal and not to mention scary!

Unloading the car was a different story ... going into the truck my heart was in my throat!

The next couple of days were indeed unreal as we said good-bye to family and friends and began the 1,060 mile trek, with our beloved feline companion, Charlie Darlie, to our new home in Mid Coast Maine.

Thankfully we, our belongings and the fantastic North American Van Lines crew arrived safely in Boothbay and on Saturday, February 13th.  Richard went up to meet the truck and guide them to Hodgdon Island Inn.  He said then, and again this morning, that the sight which greeted him is one that he would never forget: 

It caused quite a commotion in Boothbay!

there was this huge moving van straddling the side of Route 27 as close as was possible to the Civil War monument right in the middle of Boothbay Common!  As you can imagine, it caused quite a commotion, especially as they made their way down Barter’s Island Road past the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (, over the bridge and onto our tiny little island, but I’ll save that story for another day …

The perfect end to the 1,060 mile trek from the bluegrass state to the pine tree state.


February 2nd, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Friends, inn guests and neighbors gathered to enjoy coffee and dessert

Friends, inn guests and neighbors from as close by as Boothbay Harbor, Barters Island and Trevett, to as far away as Rhode Island, Colorado and Florida, gathered in the common rooms at Hodgdon Island Inn to enjoy a dessert and coffee reception hosted by innkeepers, Pamela Byrne Riley and Richard B. Riley.  The occasion marked the celebration of their first year anniversary in residence at the beautiful Boothbay, Maine Bed and Breakfast!

Mr. Schor was on hand to do the honors, as was his wife and muse, Olga

The highlight of the reception was the unveiling of an original David Schor painting depicting a summer’s evening at Hodgdon Island Inn with one of the famous pink Maine sunsets reflected in its windows.  Pamela and Richard took inspiration from the pinks, blues and gold of these sunsets when decorating the breakfast and sitting rooms as well as the nine unique guestrooms of their lovely three-story Italianate home.

David Schor original depicting a summer's evening at Hodgdon Island Inn

The artist also captured the moment seemingly most appreciated by past guests of the inn:  when Pamela and Richard step out of the front door to greet guests upon their arrival.

 Mr. Schor was on hand to do the honors, as was his wife and muse, Olga.  David Schor’s career as internationally known and collected painter and visual artist has spanned three decades.  It has been said that David’s work “captures the spirit and the soul of his subject(s)”.

To view the Hodgdon Island Inn painting and other David Schor originals, go to