Friday, June 27, 2014

Sleepless in Seattle


The end of the trip this year was Seattle. Spring was in bloom everywhere we went, such a change from here!

There is so much to see and do we barely scratched the surface. But, most important, was seeing my daughter and her family!

We had a great time visiting!

Some of the things we saw along the way...

Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls
On a dampish day we headed over to the falls while the boys went to Boeing for the tour.

Another day we went to the locks to watch the ships go through. The birds are along the river.

Waiting for the water to rise

juvenile bald eagle
Juvenile bald eagle

Great Blue Heron nesting site along the locks
Great Blue Heron nesting site along the locks

Great Blue Heron on nest
Great Blue Heron on nest
Cheery blossoms

Of course we went to Pike Place Market to see the famous fish flinging guys!

Pike Place fish market

Space Needle
Another vacation comes to an end! Time to start planning for next year...

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

W is for Whale Watching

fin back whale boothbay harbor maine
Fin back whale calf

Glorious day for a whale watch! Temps in the high 60's and a brilliant blue sky. I have never been whale watching before. The only other chance I had to see whales was on the old Scotia Prince between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine. I slept through it. Turns out I'm not such a good sailor after all.

So, here I was now, packing sugared ginger and crackers just in case. Figured if I took Dramamine I'd fall asleep! (NOT an old wives' tale - ginger really does settle your stomach.)

Where to go for whale watching:

Odyssey Whale Watch out of Portland on Long Wharf. (20 minutes from here)
Cap'n Fish's out of Boothbay Harbor (45 minutes from here)
Bar Harbor Whale Watch out of Bar Harbor (not a day trip from here!)

Below are some photos I took from the Odyssey boat. My suggestion? Whale watch in June, July & August along the southern coast. Mid Coast and Down East from June thru September, possibly later. Of course, they are wild animals and they are not fed or coerced by humans to stay in a particular location. They go where the food goes so seeing whales is not guaranteed no matter when you go out.

islands off the coast of Maine
Far off islands off the coast of Maine

Spring Point Ledge Light
Spring Point Ledge Light

windjammer and ft scammell
Windjammer with Ft Scammell in the background.

Bug Light South Portland
Bug Light in South Portland
Make sure you are dressed for the boat! It can get rough so you need decent shoes with good traction. I will say that the couples and families who boarded in shorts and tank tops spent most of the trip inside shivering. Bring a jacket! Sunscreen is a must! Yes, I sound like my mother!


Here is the second whale watch I went on - Cap'n Fish's boat the Pink Lady II -

Burnt Island Light Boothbay Harbor
Burnt Island Light Boothbay Harbor

Cuckolds Light Boothbay Harbor
Cuckolds Light Boothbay Harbor

Fin back whale
Fin back whale

Sailing in Boothbay Harbor
Sailing in Boothbay Harbor

And here's a photo from last year's puffin watch where I saw a pod of Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins.

Atlantic white sided dolphons Muscongus Bay
Dolphin pod in Muscongus Bay

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Day Trip - Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Tulips
Spring tulips at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
On a gorgeous Spring day I took  ride to Boothbay to drop off brochures and check out some of my favorite places to go for a drive. Of course, I had to have a lobster roll. Apparently I am now being challenged to try lobster rolls all over the area! (I've been to the Lobster Dock. Very good! Now, I've been to the Trevett Country Store. Also very good! Next up is the East Boothbay General Store. I'm guessing also very good! Oh, and Red's, along the way!)

So, driving around I thought, this is a great day trip from the inn. Now there's a package put together for a 'Day in Boothbay'. You can book the package with the admission tickets or just follow along doing the things you like on your own.

Some of what you can see and do (highlighted items are in the package):

Driving from White Cedar Inn (your home away from home, wink) stay on Rt 1 north to Rt 27 east. (About 29 miles to the turn off on Rt 27.) The first stop is On Board Fabrics. Absolutely gorgeous nautical fabrics here. (You can find the fabrics for the lobster pillow and the sailboat pillow here.)

Next up is Edgecomb Potters Factory Store. Stop in here for a look around at some wonderful salt glaze pottery. There is a $25 gift card for shopping in the package.

The Boothbay Playhouse is on the right and Dolphin Mini Golf is on the left. Check out the Playhouse on the way back to the inn. Summer theater is excellent in Maine!

Boothbay Railway Village

Boothbay Railway Village is on the left. There are 2 admission tickets in the package. Take a ride on the train around the village, stop into the general store for a look around, head over to the car barn for old timey cars and don't miss the model train set up, it is amazing! Here's our day at the Village last year. The train station you see when you pull in was originally here in Freeport. It was moved to Boothbay 50 years ago! (Wish we had it back now that we have a train again.)

Lobster roll

After visiting the Village, you'll be in need of some lunch. Head over to the Trevett Country Store on Barter's Island Rd for a lobster roll on the deck. Enjoy the cool breezes off the Back River looking back to Hodgdon Island. You can stop to see the lobster pound on your way back to the Gardens. Don't forget your whoopie pie! (To get the Gardens and the general store from the Railway Village, continue east on Rt 27, turn right at the green, turn right again on Barter's Island Rd.)

Knickercane Trail
Knickercane Trail

After your al fresco lunch, turn back toward the Gardens and you will see a small park on the right hand side of the road. This is the Knickercane Trail. The odd-looking 'pond' you see to the right is a lobster pound where lobsters are brought in off the boats and held fresh while awaiting delivery to stores and restaurants around the country.

Wendy Klemperer rebar sculpture CMBG

Now on to the Gardens! The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are worth the drive no matter the season. In winter you can snowshoe or x-c ski the trails. Once the Gardens are officially open for the season, there is something new around every corner. The tulip photo (above) was taken in May. The photos in this blog post were taken in April. In the fall you have the glorious autumn colors. You can see the lobster pound along the river near the fairy gardens. You'll have two admission tickets for the Gardens as well.

Cuckolds Light
Cuckolds Light

We're still not done in Boothbay but you might be a little tired of walking so the rest of the trip is mostly scenic driving. Head back out to Rt 27 and drive toward Boothbay Harbor. Once there, stay on Rt 27 to Southport Island. As part of the package we'll give you a lighthouse guide that will come in handy right about now! Rt 27 goes all the way around Southport Island and back out again. Lighthouses you can see along the way (follow the guide book): Hendricks Head, Cuckolds Light and Burnt Island Light. (Off the coast where you can see Cuckolds Light, there is a house on the island in front of you. That's where Margaret Hamilton, aka the Wicked Witch/Elvira Gulch, spent her summers. Also on the island was where Rachel Carson was living when she helped found the Nature Conservancy.)

Sea snail
Huge sea snail

If you have any energy left, the Maine State Aquarium is in Boothbay Harbor. Get an up close look at what lies beneath the waves!

Ocean Point Maine
Ocean Point Sunset

Another stunning coastal drive is along Ocean Point. Heading out of Boothbay Harbor on Rt 27, turn right at the light at Hannaford's on Rt 96. Take this all the way out to Ocean Point where you can drive right on the coast. Perfect spot to see a sunset over the ocean. Along the way, if you didn't have your lobster roll yet, stop at the East Boothbay General Store.

Fort Edgecomb
Fort Edgecomb

Need more to do in Boothbay/Boothbay Harbor? How about a whale watch with Cap'n Fish? Or a stroll through the downtown area with a stop at Gleason Fine Art for an eclectic selection of Maine art? Walk across the bridge and up the road to the Lobster Dock for great views and food. Stop at Fort Edgecomb for a picnic on the rocks.

Boothbay/Boothbay Harbor make for an excellent day trip from here. Smell the salty air, stretch your legs in the Gardens and pick up some Maine transportation history, too!

For the 'Day in Boothbay' package check here on our website.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake

It's that time of year...almost! We're about 2-3 weeks behind this year so we might be serving this into July instead of in June. I'm also going to make strawberry jam as soon as I can get enough berries together.


Fresh, local strawberries are the best. You can use frozen but it's a little less held together.
Biscuits (make your own or buy them)
Lemon juice
Whipped cream

Reserve some strawberries for garnish. Remove stems, cut strawberries into quarters, place in bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice, toss and set aside for about 5 minutes. (For a pint of strawberries use 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp of lemon juice.)

Slice biscuits along the equator, place bottom half on serving plate. Top with a couple of tablespoons of the strawberry mix (which should be nicely soft and sweet) and whipped cream. Lean top of biscuit against the stack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with whole strawberry. Serve.

You can also serve this with a rhubarb compote on the side.

Surprise! This is one of the only recipes that hasn't fought back. No horror stories here.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032