Monday, June 26, 2006 

Happy 4th of July

What is the first thing you think of when you think of the 4th of July? Okay, I think of cookouts with cheeseburgers and corn on the cob, too.
What is the next thing you think about? If you said fireworks, then I didn't need to give you any more hints.
The fireworks this year will be launched from Gooch's Beach in Kennebunk. Of course the viewing will be excellent from anywhere along Kennebunk Beach. But, if you are staying at the Maine Stay Inn and don't want to sit in unbearable traffic, you have two terrific options this year.
Your first option is to walk along Ocean Avenue out toward Colony Beach. There are several excellent vantage points from which to get views of this traditional spectacle.
This year you have a second option. The folks from the Second Chance whale watch are offering a Fireworks Cruise. The cruise leaves at 8:00 pm from their berth at 4 Western Avenue. Reservations are recommended. If you are staying at the Maine Stay, give us a call and we will be sure to get you a spot. The cruise is just $20 per person and spaces are limited, so call early.
If all this sounds like fun and you don't have accommodations in Kennebunkport yet, call the Maine Stay Inn and we will take good care of you.


Sunday, June 25, 2006 

"Paint the Port" was a Great Success

Kennebunkport was littered with artists, at a variety of scenic locations, creating beautiful art.
This photo of Peter Hoff at his studio shows him hard at work on, perhaps one of the most scenic subjects in Kennebunkport, the Maine Stay Inn. (hey, I am entitled to my opinion).
If you look closely you certainly can see his work in process, Look closer still, next to his left hand you can see a pencil sketch of his subject. Even closer, check out his computer where it shows a portion of a photograph of his intended final product. The photo is an enlargement of one of the Maine Stay's unique crystal starburst windows. What you can't quite see is the light emminating from inside the living room. The living room chandelier created a half-moon image shining through the crystal and that was captured perfectly in the artist's final work.
The auction last evening was very well attended and the participants were there to buy. The good news is, Peter's painting of the Maine Stay Inn was one of the most popular of the evening and fetched a very healthy bid. The bad news is, the bidding went beyond our budget and we came home without the painting. Darn, we already had a perfect spot picked out for it.
Congratulations to all those associated with this fantasic event. This year was only the second year that "Paint the Port" has been held and it is already becoming one of the best events in Kennebunkport.
Next year, if you are looking for a wonderful opportunity to acquire a nice addition to your art collection, come to Kennebunkport, stay at the Maine Stay Inn (one of the most scenic subjects in Kennebunkport) and do not bid against your innkeepers.
We will look forward to welcoming you to the inn.


Friday, June 23, 2006 

Update on Kennebunkport's "Paint the Port"

As a follow up to my posting on June 10, about the exciting "Paint the Port" event, local artist Peter Hoff has contacted the Maine Stay Inn to discuss using the inn as his subject this year.

The above painting is Peter's work from the 2005, Paint the Port event. Janice and I are excited about having Peter paint the Maine Stay Inn and we are looking forward to seeing the finished product.

The "Paint the Port" event is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 24, with Sunday as a rain date. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow but they were in todays forecast as well. Today was a beautiful day. Go figure. Those weathermen need to get themselves a quarter. Heads it's sun, tails it's rain. Then, they will be right 50% of the time. Now that would be an improvement.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

Guess what happened at 12:23 am this morning. If you said the 2006 summer solstice, you must be a scientist. If you said the start of summer, you are just as correct as those scientists.

Here are some other facts about summer:

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year (the most daylight) with approximately 15:02 hours of daylight. The winter solstice, approximately December 21, is the shortest day of the year with about 9:20 hours of daylight.

You can, in fact, balance an egg upright both on the summer solstice and on the winter solstice. Before you get too excited, you can also balance an egg upright on any other day of the year. The only connection between the solstice and balancing the egg is that because of an urban legend or superstition, more people try this feat on one of the solstices.

The solstices are the days with the maximum tilt of the earth with respect to the sun. The days of the year with zero tilt to the sun are known as the equinoxes, vernal and autumnal. Those are also the days when daylight and nighttime are nearly equal.

Summer is my favorite season. In fact, I like summer so much it is also my second favorite season.

Well, there you have it. This is your astronomy lesson for the day in celebration of the arrival of my two most favorite seasons.

Why not come visit us in our favorite place to enjoy summer, Kennebunkport, Maine. Better still, join us at the Maine Stay Inn. While you are here, indulge in two of the best things about summer, the beautiful beaches and the lobster.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006 

Kennebunkport Restaurant Review - Cape Pier Chowder House

Located at the very tip of the picturesque fishing harbor of Cape Porpoise, the Cape Pier Chowder House is as casual as you can get in Kennebunkport. A terrific spot for lunch, you can eat at the picnic tables right on the pier.

You will be entertained by the activity of the lobstermen and fishermen tending to their daily activities. This truly is a perfect picture of a working Maine harbor and the fishy odor is proof that it was not fabricated just for tourists.

A glance off the coast to the east and you will spot Goat Island and the Goat Island Lighthouse.

Oh, I almost forgot, the food. Janice and I had the lobster roll and clam chowder. We tell our guests (because we believe it) that it's the best lobster roll in Kennebunkport. This trip to the Cape Pier Chowder House didn't disappoint us, it was terrific. The clam chowder is excellent, not too thick and not too thin. Just right!

Our guests, Linda and Barbara, had the fish and chips. They reported to us that they were very good. I noticed that their plates were clean. We also had along Sammy. Sammy dined from the kids menu and selected the hot dog and fries. Maybe a hot dog isn't quintessential Maine, but when the meal was finished so was the hot dog.

I feel obligated to mention one more thing on the menu even though we didn't try it on this trip. On the menu it is listed as the fried lobster plate. In fact, it is deep fried lobster. I like to call it a coronary on a plate. Warning - Do not have the deep fried lobster prior to taking a cholesterol test. But, if you have had your cholesterol test, definitely have the deep fried lobster. One more warning, let it cool off before eating it. It is so yummy looking and smelling you will want to dig in immediately. You will be sorry, it's hot.

Okay, two more things we have had at Cape Pier, the swordfish sandwich and the fried clams, Both fantastic. We have never had a bad meal at the Cape Pier Chowder House.

Ask at the front desk of the Maine Stay Inn and we will give you quick directions that will lead you to gastronomic bliss.

Ultra casual. Don't miss the Cape Pier Chowder House.


Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Summer arrives in Kennebunkport

Yippee!! It is finally here. The wet weather pattern that has been responsible for our grass being so green and growing so tall has finally changed and summer will be making an appearance in Kennebunkport this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to reach the 90's and the sun will be out in full force. The beaches are here and waiting for the sun worshipers and those brave (read, crazy) souls willing to withstand the the chilly ocean water temperatures.

Don't forget, at the Kennebunkport Maine Stay Inn & Cottages, we have beach chairs, umbrellas and towels available for our guests.

The summer availability is filling fast.


Saturday, June 10, 2006 

"Paint the Port" coming on June 24, 2006

The fund raising event known as Paint the Port will be held Saturday, June 24th or, in case of rain, on Sunday, June 25th.

This is truly a special event. Local artists will disperse throughout Kennebunkport to paint wonderful scenes. People can stop and view works in progress all day long. Later that evening, those interested in participating, can gather for a catered reception at the historical Nott House. After the reception the artists' work will be auctioned off.

What a great opportunity to acquire a wonderful Kennebunkport scene and support the Kennebunkport Historical Society and the Heartwood College of Art.

Tickets for the event will be available for $10 each prior to June 21st. From June 21st up to the night of the auction the tickets will be available for $15. Tickets include admittance to the catered reception and will entitle the ticket holder to obtain a bid number.

So, act early. Tickets are available from the Kennebunkport Historical Society at (207) 967-2751.

Oh, one last thing, if your coming to Kennebunkport, call the Maine Stay Inn for your accommodations.


Friday, June 09, 2006 

Kennebunkport Restaurant Review - Big Fish

It was our first trip to Big Fish. It was quite a surprise.

The outdoor dining area was not set up for service as the temperature (even though it is early June) was much too chilly. The restaurant looked small from the street but as we walked in we realized it is tiny. If my memory serves me, I believe there were 2 (yes two) tables, both occupied. The hostess approached and explained that there was additional seating upstairs. Indeed there was. We had to go back outside to climb the stairs to the second floor dining area.

Big Fish is ultra casual. The walls and flooring give it the feeling of sitting in the loft of a barn. In fact, we could see daylight streaming in between the wall boards.

Do not let this description of the restaurant dissuade you. I merely mention these quirks so you will not be surprised. They are in fact, part of the charm.

If you are in the mood for a fantastic burger and fries or a plate of delicious gnocchi, sauteed in garlic with broccoli rabe, this place shouldn't be missed. There are fish entrees, however we were surprised that a majority of their offerings were not seafood. One of our friends had the Ribs which he said were delicious. Janice had the burger (I tasted it... hey, I'm the critic) and fries. Wonderful on both counts. I never can resist the Gnocchi. It was fantastic.

Dessert...that's where they fell short. Creme Brulee only. Sorry, not for me. Would it kill you to offer some ice cream? Put a couple of strawberries on top and I'm in heaven. But no, just Creme Brulee.

All in all, Big Fish was a Big Hit with me. On a casual dining night, definitely give them a try. The experience will probably be even better when they serve outside, but don't be afraid to try the second floor.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006 

Kennebunkport's Very Own Odd Couple

Kennebunkport was proud to be the summer White House for President George Herbert Walker Bush. Then eight short years later Kennebunkport became the destination of two Presidents. With visits from George W. Bush, this quaint seaside community became the summer home to two Presidents.

Now with the second visit in less than a year from former President Bill Clinton, Kennebunkport has become the destination of Presidents.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the two former Presidents played in a golf outing at the Cape Arundel Golf Club to raise money to support Gary's House. Affiliated with Mercy Hospital in Portland, Gary's House provides a place for families to stay while loved ones are being treated.

Wouldn't we all like to be in that foursome? We had no chance. Rounding out the Presidential team were CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz and none other than New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

At Patten's Berry Farm, a regular stop for President Bush, much of the commotion was caused by Brady. Hey, you're in Maine and the guy led the Pats to three Super Bowl titles. Neither Bush nor Clinton could do that.

Kennebunkport is appreciated by leaders of the free world and, leaders of the New England Patriots. Maybe you should come and see what you are missing.

Call the Maine Stay for availability. It's going to be a great summer in Kennebunkport.


Saturday, June 03, 2006 

Kennebunkport Maine Stay Inn Participates in Art in the Inns

Many of the inns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport opened their doors to the public this weekend for the 2nd annual Art in the Inns Tour.

This June weekend event celebrates the work of our community artists within the hospitable setting of some of the areas most famous inns.

This year, the Maine Stay Inn is proud to feature the art of Nancy Coutts. Nancy is recognized for her realism and play on color that creates a lyrical feeling to her floral paintings. A Maine native, Nancy is co-chairperson of Maine Women in the Arts and she is President of the Art Guild of the Kennebunks.

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Friday, June 02, 2006 

Kennebunkport Restaurant Review - Windows on the Water

Janice and I took the opportunity to dine at Windows on the Water (WOW, for short) this past Wednesday evening. So, I decided to write a restaurant review. Since the Nom de Plume, The Phantom Gourmet has been taken, I am going to have to think of something else for my moniker. How about the Epicurean Commentator. No, that really doesn't have the same impact. I'll work on it. But now for my review....

Executive Summary - The food was wonderful. The service was excellent. And, of course, the company was the best. Hey, that's why I married her.

The food - WOW starts guests out with a focaccia bread and has balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the table. I love that.

While we both enjoy a glass of wine, we are not wine aficionados. We are told that the wine list at WOW is excellent. I am sure that is true.

We had appetizers of Crab Cakes, another was scallops and another was Potato skin stuffed with a combination of mashed potato, cheese and lobster. They were all excellent, but that potato was out of this world.

We both had the same Entree (what kind of restaurant critics are we??). We had the Thai Lobster. The lobster was served over Quinoa (keen wah). The Thai sauce was excellent, not too sweet not too spicy, just right. This was topped with strings of Zucchini that were nice and crispy. This entree was a nice size portion of lobster and the taste of the sauce was light enough that we still were able to enjoy the taste of the lobster.

For dessert (I might not know much about wine, but when it comes to dessert I am a connoisseur) Janice had the Chocolate thing. You know the "death by" thing. She loved it. But when it comes to dessert there is one other thing...I don't share. I had a lemon souffle. It was awesome. What a great way to finish a terrific meal. The souffle was sweet, sour, light and satisfying. Get your own, and don't share. If your dining partner wants some you can just order one for them.

The Service - Perfect. Just friendly enough. Informative and pleasant, but not looking to be our new best friend (do you know what I mean?) Our server, Mike really is a professional. The chef/owner, John Hughes, visited to share some insight (including what Quinoa is).

Well, there you have it. Windows on the Water will be one of the wonderful Kennebunkport restaurants that the Maine Stay Inn will urge our guests to enjoy. To sum up, we say wow to WOW!

I still don't have my catchy Nom de Plume. Any ideas?


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