Tag Archives: family vacations

Honoring Family Traditions and Holidays – Scalloped (aka Au Gratin) Potatoes

Once we built the house our immediate family had a tradition of coming up to Maine for Easter and Thanksgiving holidays. As you’ve no doubt discerned, we love to eat foods from many cultures and our festivities weren’t always accompanied by the “turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas” type offerings. In fact we typically would serve lobster and steak for Thanksgiving in Maine. But no matter how we digressed from the all American offerings, I think my family would have boycotted the meals if I didn’t have scalloped potatoes on the menu. Continue reading

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Beautiful White Birch Cottage on Conary Cove – Sold

Remarkable, airy and bright 3 bedroom/2 bath home surrounded by tall trees and wildlife on Conary Cove near Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. From the deck enjoy the view of this lovely Cove and its beautiful surroundings. Live or vacation in luxury for an affordable price!
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Maine is More Than Spruce, Granite and Sea

Maine being a state of contrasts between the soaring conifers and the diminutive Lady Slipper orchid overwhelms visitors. People who are new to the state gravitate toward the largeness – the vast oceans, the daunting pink granite boulders, the never ending forests. Awe inspiring yes but natives know that the tastiest, most poignant treasures are actually the overlooked. Continue reading

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Big Cats, College, and Cubans in Tampa

Today Trevor, Bob, and I drove almost 90 miles to Tampa, Florida. We packed quite a bit into one day – a visit to the Big Cat Rescue Center, to the University of South Florida, and to the historic Cuban area of Ybor. Continue reading

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The Big Top and Culture in Sarasota

Since early April Bob and I have been in Sarasota County, exploring job and investment opportunities and looking for a place to live. It hasn’t been total drudgery by any means. We are the kind of people who follow Mary Poppins’ advice and have “a spoonful of honey to make the medicine go down” and in this case it has consisted of mornings and evenings at the beach, walks through parks, attending the Unitarian Universalist Church, and in general visiting various areas of Sarasota. We’ve probably eaten out more than is good for our physique and our cholesterol numbers but we have offset this with daily laps in the pool, walks along the shore, and swimming in the ocean. We finally visited the John and Mable Ringling Museum Estate located on 66 acres of Sarasota bayfront property which is actually home to four attractions and several gardens. Continue reading

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Everyday Cinco de Mayo in Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota was one of the reasons we chose to move to this area. It’s an approachable, walkable downtown where tourists and residents can safely stroll enjoying the multitude of opportunities to shop in the small stores, to dine in an ethnic restaurant, or to listen to music in a nightclub. There are special events, festivals, and parades all year round and each Saturday morning there is a Farmers’ Market. It’s a vital hub for this city of approximately 50,000 residents. Continue reading

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My My Myakka!

This week we visited the Myakka River State Park in Sarasota County. The largest park in Florida, it boasts of containing 37,000 acres of wetlands, prairies, and woodlands. The park is also the oldest park in Florida and offers hiking, biking, camping, wildlife viewing, and boating. There are opportunities to view the area from a canopy walkway high above the trees, from a birdwalk that stretches out over the marshland, or even from the water by renting a canoe.
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Racing Armadillos and Other Fun

We have driven and explored the area in and around Sarasota for the past week and remain enthused. I can’t help but be struck by the differences. Whereas Maine is rugged with its spruce and fir forests leading to granite boulders and frigid ocean waters, this is a land of pines and palms and flat swampy areas leading to pristine beaches and warm almost waveless turquoise seas. Continue reading

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Gypsies on the Road

Ten days ago Bob and I packed up our dogs and a small suitcase each and started driving down the eastern coast of the United States. Our home on Deer Isle is very close to the northern border of this magnificent country and it is a special trip to see the countryside change. We felt that Spring seemed to evolve as we traveled south. Each state brought us closer to heat and flowers in bloom until we reached the balmy weather in Florida. Along the way we stopped in several cities to reconnect with some friends and family and to rejoice in those reunions. Continue reading

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The Art of Photography

We were attracted to Deer Isle for many reasons – the splendor of the scenery, the warm welcome we received from everyone we met, and the opportunity to live on an island with the combination of an active fishing village and world class art. Generalizations are always subject to contradiction however I’ve found that artists tend to be open-minded people. There is something about their ability to see the world from a unique perspective that makes them able to see the possibilities in people and conceive of a better, more brilliantly colored world. While I am only an avid admirer, my scientist husband has the soul of an artist. Recently he has had four of his photographs displayed in the Pearson Gallery on Deer Isle and today he has launched his website: http://www.bobwilsonphotos.com/index.html . Continue reading

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The End of an Era

I haven’t posted anything for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been very busy exploring Florida, looking at houses there, and coming back to Columbia University Medical Center to celebrate my 15 year career there and to officially “retire”.

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A Mystery, Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake, and a B&B

My favorite book genre are whodunits and I love to cook. Can there be anything better than combining the two? Karen MacInerney writes the Grey Whale Inn series set on Cranberry Island. The protagonist trades in Texas (where Ms MacInerney lives) for a Bed and Breakfast Inn on the Maine coast. It’s a fun read and the recipes are delicious. Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake is my favorite and is found in the book that earned her the Agatha Christie Award – “Murder on the Rocks”. I don’t know if they serve blueberry coffee cake but can attest that no inn has a better view than our own Inn on Ferry Landing. Continue reading

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Birds of Deer Isle and Their Symbolism

What is it about birds that so catch our fancy and delight our imagination? We live on a remote and relatively unpopulated area of Maine’s second largest island. The open space provides a number of wildlife habitats and is perfect for bird watching. We find sightings when we least expect them. If Bob is fortunate, he is able to quickly grab his ever present camera and snap some shots before the bird is out of range. My experience is more passive, watching the birds and feeling my soul soar through the skies with them. Continue reading

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Christa’s Amazing Timberframe Cottage in Stonington

Bob and I had a delightful lunch with our friend (and realtor) Christa Boyajian. When she first visited our home on Deer Isle Christa remarked that she too had purchased land on the island and had a house built. She mentioned then that there were some similarities between the two homes and she’s absolutely right. It has the same cathedral ceiling, the huge picture windows, the use of Atrium white walls and wood framing and floors. It’s a smaller cottage than ours and is perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway. Some of my readers have privately requested information about vacation rentals on Deer Isle and this one is incredible! It’s perched right on the water’s edge with unobstructed views that will knock your socks off. Continue reading

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Creative Serenity

One of the wonderful things about being in our Deer Isle home is the privacy and serenity. One week I came here with my good friend Gay Chessell and after she left I opted to stay a few days alone in the cottage. It is such a peaceful, rejuvenating space. The soaring cathedral ceiling in the Great Room seemed to lift my spirits and my imagination soared. I would walk in the forest, feeling one with nature and embracing the healing of being quiet with my thoughts. A walk through the woods is an act of meditation. Thoughts would come, linger briefly, and leave. I sat on a granite boulder and admired the moss and the rare and diminutive Lady Slipper (a type of native orchid). Strolls along the shore led me to flattened patches of seagrass where the deer made their beds and a giant heron flew overhead, amazing me with the size of his shadow. All was serene and I felt at one with the universe and open for reinvention.It is no wonder that artists and writers are in abundance on this island. There is something special here that generates creativity and an opportunity to meet your personal muse. Continue reading

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Fireworks, Lobster, and Furnishings

It was the summer of 2005 and we were almost ready to open our house on the artists mecca of Deer Isle, an island that had once been the home of such notables as John Steinbeck and Dan Fogelberg. We had decided prior to even building our house that it made economic sense to rent it out from June through September to weekly vacation renters. Continue reading

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Wining, Dining, and Sleeping in Stonington, Maine

Between 2002 when we were first introduced to Deer Isle and 2005 when our house was finished, we stayed in three of the island’s accommodations and ate at many of the restaurants. Several of my readers have asked for more information on a few of our favorites and I’m happy to oblige by telling you about two of each. Continue reading

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Synchronicity and Serendipity Lead us to Deer Isle

Encouraged by quotes such as “if you can dream it, you can accomplish it” and “what would you do if you didn’t fear failure”, we decided to start exploring a future of living on the coast. Ok we had the vision but where should we concentrate on manifesting it? How does one determine where to relocate or retire to? The answer is as individual as the person or couple. Having determined our “must have” list, we had to fit it into our plans something mundane but necessary – “what was practical”. Continue reading

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Dreaming a New Life

Like any significant and grand change in our lives be it a career choice, marriage, starting a family, or starting a hobby – it started with a dream. Continue reading

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