Sunday, September 30, 2018

parents [week]

remember in kindergarten when you would have an open house and your parents would visit your school so you could show off your classroom?  it was your chance to show your mom and dad your desk where you do all your work as well as the location on the mat where you eat your snacks.  it's a time to introduce them to your school friends and show them where you hang out at recess.  it was a whole night dedicated to showing your parents this whole new "school" life you were a part of; a different and exciting new world outside your home.  i remember how great of a feeling it was to share all this with them.

well, i can tell you as a 37 year old man it's still possible to have the same feeling.

i live nearly 2,000 miles from where i grew up and i don't get to see my parents nearly enough as i'd like.  maybe that's why after they drove up this summer to visit my wife and i, just like in kindergarten, i was excited to show them this new maine life i've created.  i may not have been able to show them everything, but it's only because this new northeast life is a slightly larger floor plan than my kindergarten classroom, but i did my best.

the major event was taking a trip to boothbay harbor to show them the town we love so much.  we spent two days eating at our favorite restaurants and meeting the friends we had made up there.  by the end of the boothbay trip, they shared our love of the town.  back in portland, i introduced them to the sandwich known as a maine ham italian, took them to trivia night at a brewery, ate at one of my favorite bbq spots and of course, just like in kindergarten, showed them my desk where i do all my work.

to say i enjoyed having them up for a week long visit would be an understatement, it really was fantastic.  just like when i was young, it was wonderful to show off this new world to my parents.

whether it's a 15 minute school bus ride, or a four day, 2,000 mile road trip, distances seem shorter when there are shared memories, and this trip created several.

Monday, September 24, 2018

bright lika a [great] diamond

even with summer making it's end more official with labor day weekend, we took the opportunity a three day weekend gave us to explore another new spot in maine; great diamond island.  we had heard about a great new restaurant called "crown jewel on the island and decided to check it out.  a short 45 minute ferry ride brought us to our destination; a very cute and very pink establishment.  as expected the food was great.  the burgers we both tried paired well with the miller high life "ponies" they offered.

i'm not sure we'd ever pick up one evening to go and grab dinner there, but for a lazy summer sunday, it was a gem of a spot to try out.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

mid-century [glamper]

one benefit to being an architect is no matter where you go there's always something to visit.  a wonderful perk if you're an architect; a slight annoyance to those traveling with you who are not [into] buildings.

not too terribly far away from maine is arguably one of the more famous houses in america; the glass house by philip johnson.  that simple glass mid century structure we all know and love from architecture school.  a long weekend trip to connecticut to visit my in-laws put us within 20 minutes of it's location.  with it being that close and one of those building [you just have to see] i convinced all four of us to sign up for the tour.

it was exactly what the name implies; a glass house. emphasizing this fact, upon turning the corner and seeing the building for the first time my mother-in-law said "is that it?" making me laugh.

it was everything i had heard about in school; extremely open floor plan, classic proportions and minimal detailing.  one item i didn't pick up on from my history books is that it's not so much about the building but rather the landscape surrounding it.  when taking in the space on the inside of the structure the building dissapears and you feel a part of the landscape.  the house doesn't really have walls of glass, but rather walls made up of scenes of the trees, the lawn, the stone wall, the pond and the views.  you don't feel a part of the house, you feel included in the landscape. 

after taking the tour and enjoying the house it made me wonder whether philip johnson had really built a minimalist icon...or if he was merely a fan of glamping.

end of summer [bel]grade

the end of summer isn't always dictated by the calender.

i think there's one weekend every year that gives you the sense the summer is comming to an end.  it's a little earlier in maine than it was in kansas but it usually happens in late august or early september.  this year that weekend fell during a trip to the belgrade lakes area.  we had some friends invite us up to spend the weekend with them and their family.  the weekend was chill, a little boating, a little swimming and a lot of good conversation.  it was a wonderful summer weekend but there was something in the air suggesting summer was nearly over.  it was nothing negative... just the feeling you get as you near the end of a great vacation or chapter in a book.  that chapter for me was a summer filled of exploring new places in maine, and learning to love this state more and more.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

thats [amore]

after attending the st. peters italian bazaar festival last year, my wife and i fell in love and couldn't wait to attend again this year.  with the sense of community, the food, the games, the greased pole competition...and of course the cannoli's, what's not to love.  much like the year before we started at tomaso's canteen for a few drinks before going to the festival.  after a bit we ventured to the front of st. peters church where everything was going in full force, italian music was playing, kids were attempting to climb the greased pole and the cannoli booth was set up.  we walked around and took in the sights and even ran into a few people we knew.  this year however i was better prepared for my cannoli purchases.  after stuffing my face with two as soon as the were purchased, i was smart enough to bring extra cash to purchase several more to take home and enjoy later. 

they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and the annual st. peters italian bazaar festival has secured a direct route with those cannoli's.


a friends 40th birthday party lead us to a new part of the state last month.  slightly short of a two hour drive we discovered the area known as seal cove next to the town of south bristol.  it was a wonderful little day trip and allowed us to have another great weekend enjoying the summer with friends near water.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

[beach] please

on our bucket list of new places to visit this summer was ogunquit beach.  we had heard from several friends it was one of the more enjoyable beaches to visit in the area, so we were excited to check it out!  one hot july day we decided to make the trek.  even though it's not too far of a drive, the traffic on route 1 was horrendous.  sitting in traffic for over an hour had me skeptical it was worth it.  upon arrival however, we discovered a gorgeous beach, and we weren't the only ones.  it seemed everyone in maine was on this beach, but for good reason.  the water was actually fairly warm and the sand was perfect and fine.  to my delight there was also a snack bar nearby offering french fries.  a perfect snack as we ended up staying there most of the day.

yet another new maine location crossed off this summer!

land o lakes [also]

apparently maine has more than just coastline, it has lakes as well. a quick day trip lead us to naples, maine to an area called the "seabego lakes region."  it was only a few hours but in that time we watched sea planes land and a steamboat dock.  we also had a wonderful lunch right on the lake.  a great little getaway and another adventure in this summer of new maine discoveries.