Posts Tagged ‘Maine Coast Bookshop and Cafe’

BOOTHBAY’S HODGDON ISLAND INN B&B INNKEEPERS JOIN THE FOLIAGE NETWORK AS OFFICIAL SPOTTERS

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  http://www.MaineFoliage.com/ ; The Foliage Network  http://www.foliagenetwork.com/; and Yankee Magazine’s foliage map http://www.yankeefoliage.com/live-fall-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 http://www.mainecoastbookshop.com/  in Damariscotta or a delicious cup of herbal tea from the café at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens http://www.mainegardens.org/  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 … :)

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!