Posts Tagged ‘Damariscotta’

BOOTHBAY HODGDON ISLAND INN COUNTDOWN TO CLOSING, EASTER AND CARAMEL CAKE PANCAKES

March 5th, 2014 by richard-pamela-riley

Hodgdon Island Inn under new ownership and closed for 2014 season

Hodgdon Island Inn under new ownership and closed for 2014 season

 As many of you know, Richard and I have sold the inn and as of March 24, 2014, we will be as our friends like to say “homeless and unemployed”.  :-)

It is truly an exciting, scary and fun time even though craziness abounds!  Days are whizzing by and important dates are fast approaching:  Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Easter and last, but definitely not least, Hodgdon Island Inn Closing.

In the midst of it all, we are researching and viewing properties not only here in Maine, but “down south” as well; we are sorting and packing (as evidenced by the ever-growing wall of boxes); developing a business plan for our next adventure and we are saying “thank you” to friends, neighbors, guests and business associates – all of whom we have become very attached to!

Tomorrow we will be viewing a property for the second time (HII Alumni clue:  the town is crossed by US Route 1 and state routes 52 and 105.  It borders the towns of Rockport to the south, Hope to the southwest, and Lincolnville to the north). 

Tomorrow is also Ash Wednesday.  Having been raised by Catholics and Anglicans, I was taught that Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar (directly following Shrove Tuesday).  Ash Wednesday occurs 46 days before Easter and as it is a moveable feast it can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. Of the 46 days until Easter, six are Sundays. As a child, this fact was very important because as the Christian Sabbath, Sundays, are not included in the fasting period and are instead “feast” days during Lent.  Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. (The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.)  The imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday has been historically observed by Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran Christians. It has also become a standard practice in the Methodist Church.

So where am I going with all of this you ask?  Well, if tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, then that means today is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, or in our house it is known as Pancake Tuesday, and that means pancakes for supper!  Yum!  Because as we all know, pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. (The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: in many cultures, this means no meat, dairy products, or eggs).

Caramel Cake Pancakes with Caramel Sauce

Caramel Cake Pancakes with Caramel Sauce

Tonight it’s Caramel Cake Pancakes with Caramel Syrup here at Hodgdon Island Inn and tomorrow it’s Fish & Chips at the King Eider Pub in Damariscotta.  Be sure to check the Hodgdon Island Inn Blog for the recipe  http://www.boothbaybb.com/blog

PACO’S TACOS, DAMARISCOTTA, A FAVORITE EATERY OFTHE INNKEEPERS AT BOOTHBAY B&B HODGDON ISLAND INN

June 17th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

PACO’S TACOS Damariscotta, Maine

By now if you’ve read any of our blogs, you know that Richard and I, in addition to spending time in Boothbay Harbor, like to hang out in
Damariscotta.  Damariscotta is a great little riverfront town on the Pemaquid Peninsula located about twenty minutes from Hodgdon Island Inn www.boothbaybb.com, Boothbay.  The town has a wonderful array of shops, fun things to do and some great eateries.

One such eatery is Paco’s Tacos www.pacostacos.info.  Paco’s is located at 1 Tacos Alley. The alley is just off Main Street, between Sheepscot River Pottery and Puffin’s Nest (really neat shops by the way, but I won’t digress). Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Free WiFi is available (and it works better than a lot of public accessible WiFi we have encountered throughout our travels). Their telephone number is 207-563-5355.

Paco’s is in the basement of the Sheepscott River Pottery Building

Their menu www.pacosme.com/menu2.html
offers a wide range of tasty dishes that not only please the palate, but are very easy on the wallet (everything is priced under $10)!
We plan on working our way through the menu, but our favorites to date include in no particular order:  the Loaded Veggie Burrito with choice of beans (red or black), cheeses, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, rice, onions, olives and sour cream; Nacho Grande – a large plate full of yummy salsa chips topped with your choice of meat or beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, salsa, guacamole and sour cream; and the Taco Pescado (aka Fish Taco) which features a fried redfish fillet wrapped in a soft tortilla seasoned with a mildly spiced tartar sauce and topped with lettuce and tomato, served with a side of chips and salsa. Most days we prefer the Medium Salsa, but our best friend really likes the Hot Salsa.

Paco’s is in the basement of Sheepscot River Pottery building.  We love
opening the door and inhaling the air thickly permeated with the smell of fresh chili peppers, cilantro and all of your other favorite Mexican spices.  The décor is
very pleasant – fun colored tables, chairs, and benches with lots of striped
pillows and exposed brick walls painted white and all spotlessly clean.  Owner Mike Frame and his crew are very pleasant and take excellent care of all their patrons.  As you can probably tell, Richard and I give Paco’s Tacos in Damariscotta a “thumb’s up”, but don’t take our word for it, stop by and try it for yourself.  To
visit them on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/pages/Pacos-Tacos/225673352787

Innkeepers’ Note:  Unfortunately Paco’s Tacos closed their doors this past season. We miss them.  :-(

HODGDON ISLAND INN BOOTHBAY HALF HOUR’S DRIVE TO BATH AND MAINE MARITIME MUSEUM

February 24th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Bath, Maine - a New England City

If you have ever driven along Route 1 headed towards the Boothbay Region from the southern part of the state you have passed through Bath, Maine.  You would remember it – It has a very unique profile.  Bath, built along the shores of the Kennebec River and unlike the towns of Boothbay Harbor or Damariscotta for instance, is a city. On one side of Route 1, the view is that of a very typical New England city – tall white church spires, domed public buildings and preserved remnants of impressive 18th and 19th century mansions and storefronts.  On the other side of Route 1 is one of the city’s crown jewels: the Bath Iron Works (BIW). 

Massive cranes tower above Bath Iron Works where state-of-the-art military vessels are still built

This center of shipbuilding is outlined by the massive cranes which tower above the facility where state-of-the-art military vessels are still built.  And just beyond BIW is the other of the crown jewels in the City of Bath: the Maine Maritime Museum.

Now several times this winter, Richard and I have set off to explore any number of sites within a half hour’s drive of Hodgdon Island Inn and Boothbay, and somehow we have found ourselves back at this, and I quote, “mecca for boat lovers” and history buffs.

Maine Maritime Museum: the state's premier marine museum!

It is no wonder that the Maine Maritime Museum is the state’s premier marine museum!  The setting, on 20 acres along the Kennebec River, includes the award-winning Maritime History Building and Welcome Center (where the permanent and temporary displays are housed along with the gift shop), the restored original buildings from the Percy & Small Shipyard where wooden schooners were built in the 19th century; a late Victorian home; and the boat shop where volunteer craftsman build and restore small boats.  The displays and artifacts are amazing!  The staff welcoming and the volunteers enthusiastic and knowledgeable!

You definitely don't want to miss this!

 On February 19th, a new exhibit opened in the John G. Morse, Jr. Gallery.  It is called “Cold Waters, Cold War:  The 21st Century Navy in Maine”.  It is an amazing story about the part Maine played in naval and defense operations during the Cold War.  If you’re a Tom Clancy fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this!  If you consider yourself a patriot, you definitely don’t want to miss this either!  The exhibit runs through August 7, 2011.

To get to the museum (www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org) from Hodgdon Island Inn, Boothbay:  take Barter’s Island Road, making a slight left on to Corey Lane which becomes ME-27.  Take ME-27 to US-1 South.  Take US 1 South to exit for ME-209/DOWNTOWN HISTORIC BATH/PHIPPSBURG (you’ll be on Vine Street). Turn LEFT under bridge on to Washington Street.  Go past BIW and MMM will be on the LEFT.

MAINE COAST BOOK SHOP AND CAFÉ SHORT DRIVE FROM HODGDON ISLAND INN AND BOOTHBAY HARBOR

February 16th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

A town in Maine called Damariscotta

In a town in Maine called Damariscotta (pronounced dam-uh-riss-COT-ta) on the Pemaquid Peninsula, about 15.5 miles from Boothbay Harbor, there is an incredible local book shop and café right on Maine Street.

The Maine Coast Book Shop and Café  is probably Number Two on Richard’s and my list of favorite places to escape to.  It’s about a 20 minute drive from the inn along River Road just off Route 27.  (An easy way to find the turn off for River Road is to remember that River’s End Farm is located just across the street from it).  River Road meanders (a quintessential Maine descriptor) along the Damariscotta River, past beautiful 18th and 19th century Federal and colonial-style homes and several impressive brick structures (Damariscotta’s sister town, Newcastle, was not only a thriving shipbuilding town in the 1800’s, but a brick making center as well) and the Glidden Point Oyster Sea farm.  The topography of the land is such that the drive is anything, but monotonous.  You go up and down and around bends, through stretches thick with trees and then along open fields until the harbor at Damariscotta pops into view.  I find myself momentarily reverting to that childhood habit of eagerly watching for that first glimpse of the town and its buildings reflected in the river and being the first one to shout out “there it is”!

Maine Coast Book Shop short drive from Hodgdon Island Inn

Richard and I are book lovers and avid readers.  I’m afraid we have yet to make use of a Kindle or a Nook, and it’s not because we are against the concept as we read the NYT daily on our iPhones, it’s more because there is something comforting to us when we hold that tome in our hands.  I also feel connected to my now deceased parents and grandparents as I turn pages – I can hear the shushed reminders to turn the pages quietly and be careful not to break the book’s spine … SIGH.

The book shop in Damariscotta has something for everyone.  They seem to have a sixth sense about what they stock and it’s very hard not to come out without making a purchase.  The staff is also very obliging and very knowledgeable.

Richard and I are proud members of the Cafe's "Coffee Club"

The café is an amazing place as well.  Richard and I are proud members of the “Coffee Club” (purchase ten coffee-related drinks and the next one’s free!).  There are many wonderful coffees to choose from as well as fine teas and fruit drinks, but it’s their cappuccino smoothies topped (translation: the space between the top of the liquid and the top of the domed cover is filled, and I mean filled), with real cow-made thick, rich sweet cream that do it for us.  They also offer an array of fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups and chowders.

You can literally unwind and watch the world go by ...

Sitting in the café, looking out at Main Street, you can literally unwind and watch the world pass by.  The cars whizz by; drivers with their tongues between their teeth, attempt to parallel park; people glide in and out of any one of the very cute, very different and/or very eclectic shops, galleries or restaurants; run into the ReXall Drug Store complete with a 1940’s soda fountain; or just pop into the Post Office. Invariably they end up in the book shop or the café.

People glide in and out of any one of the shops, restaurants, galleries, etc.

“They” are mothers and daughters in the middle of a shopping spree, friends meeting to catch up, young people socializing after school, business folks checking in (free Wi-Fi), and oh yes, did I mention innkeepers catching their breaths?

If you’re in our area, this is definitely a must-see/do!

COASTAL MAINE INNKEEPER’S WINTERTIME REMINISCENCES, RESOLUTIONS, RECIPES AND WRITING BLOGS – PART TWO

February 16th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

The sun is beginning to set on Hodgdon Island Inn

It is now Friday afternoon and the sun is beginning to set.  Richard and I have had a wonderful day here on our tiny little island in Maine. (I read somewhere recently that Maine has more than four thousand islands, but I will not digress).  We have progressed a little further on our current re-decorating projects (more on that later); we fed our resident seagulls and crows who are experts at landing on what you and I would deem slippery spots; we stretched our legs and walked over to the Post Office while dodging incoming cars to the Trevett Country Store at lunchtime; and stopped by our neighbor’s and got invited to have tea. As I said, it’s been a lovely day.

Maine has more than four thousand islands ...

That’s been one of the surprises that we have discovered in our new life here in Boothbay – there are so many places to explore (this week alone we have been to Newcastle, Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Bath and Brunswick), so many things to do; so many people to meet  and nasty bronchitis to get over once and for all.

SO, what all this boils down to is that I am way behind on my New Year’s resolution (like I am all alone here!) to test and post some new Hodgdon Island Inn or Pamela Byrne Riley-favorite recipes each month.  But henceforth (I have always wanted to use that word) I will endeavor (always wanted to use that one too) to adhere to my resolution.  Going forward, if I do not have a new recipe posted, let’s say, by the 15th of each month, you have my permission to nag me, okay?

This is NOT your grandmother's plum pud!

To get the proverbial ball rolling, I have already shared the much requested Baked Plum Pudding recipe which I was originally going to post in keeping with the old English tradition of serving a second plum pudding on New Year’s Day and will be posting my February recipes:  Barm Brack or Barm Bread in a tribute to my Mom and her favorite Irish saint, St. Brigid (see blog titled Nine Room Bed and Breakfast Inn On The Water Located Four Miles From Boothbay Harbor, Maine), second only to St. Patrick himself and  a super easy-to-make Raspberry Bavarian soufflé in honor of Valentine’s Day.

In honor of the Irish saint, St. Brigid, second only to St. Patrick himself.

Easy-to-make Raspberry Bavarian souffle

 

For March we must have something for St. Paddy’s Day of course, but the question is what?!

These recipes and more can be found at www.boothbaybb.com/blog

As always, please feel free to share your favorites and if you have any suggestions re: recipes for me to try, I would love to hear from you!

GROUNDHOG DAY, Nor’easters and Tiny Little Islands in Maine

January 31st, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

The view from Barters Island, Maine

Our tiny little island in Maine

Oh my!  Looking at the calendar this morning I realized that Wednesday is February 2nd or more, importantly, it is Groundhog Day in the USA.

Now, we all know that the nation’s official groundhog lives in Punxsutawney, PA – hence the name Punxsutawney Phil and that if he sees his shadow when he climbs out of his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.  If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

Thinking about Phil, I realized that I had not seen one of his species in Midcoast Maine since Richard (my husband) and I relocated to Hodgdon Island Inn last year. I have seen gulls, loons, geese, crows, eagles, osprey, seals, red foxes, wild turkeys, red squirrels, grey squirrels, porcupines, lobsters and the occasional Maine Coon cat in my travels around Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Wiscasset and Damariscotta, but no groundhogs!

My curiosity got the better of me so I called up my favorite search engine and went looking for “groundhog day in Maine”.  Boy did I get a surprise! 

Storm surge

Storm surge in Boothbay Maine

Up popped information on what was termed “a notable nor’easter” aka The Groundhog Day Gale of 1976.  When all was said and done there were no deaths as a result of this massive four-day long storm, but it ravaged the coastal areas of Maine and left behind over $2M worth of damage.

Apparently it all started when an upper cyclone was stationary on January 28 across the Desert Southwest of the United States.  A system in the northern branch of the Westerlies known as a Saskatchewan Screamer, similar to an Alberta clipper, moved east-southeast across Canada beginning on January 30, luring the system in the United States eastward. The cyclones merged by February 2, becoming a significant storm over New England before lifting northward through Quebec.  By February 6, the storm finally dissipated.

 In Maine, winds had gusted to 60 knots (69 mph) in Rockland and 100 knots (115 mph) at Southwest Harbor. Blizzard conditions were experienced for a few hours as the storm moved up into Canada. Coastal flooding was seen from Brunswick to Eastport.  A tidal surge went up the Penobscot River flooding Bangor for three hours.  About 200 cars were submerged and office workers were stranded until waters receded.

Oh my!  Now we knew, from our many previous visits to Maine dream-hunting, that Nor’easters usually occur in Maine in the months between October and April, and we were also aware that they can form at any time of the year.  What we didn’t know was just how long a shadow good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil can cast!

Nor'easter at work

The term "nor'easter" is often used to refer to any strong rain or snow storm that occurs in the northeastern US

I must admit, that as I check the weather updates this afternoon, I am looking at the predicted storm which is supposed to hit us here on our tiny little island in Maine on Wednesday a little differently than I did yesterday.  I wish all of us (especially Phil) a very overcast Groundhog Day 2011!