Rainy Last Day

Rainy Clarks Cove
Rainy Clarks Cove

The weather people were finally right…they said it was going to rain and it’s pouring down in buckets!

We started getting some packing done and the cottage looks a mess. Time to go home…

Joseph likes to “ease back” from vacation and likes to break the 13 hour trip home into two days. I’m mixed about it. I like two shorter drives, but also I like making the most of the last Friday here. So we usually wait until the end to decide. Last night, after listening to the weather report, I made a reservation at a hotel in Amesbury MA for tonight.CafeThisWAy

Since this is turning out to be the last day, this morning we drove to Bar Harbor and had a pretty hearty breakfast as Café This Way. Joseph and I split a jalapeno omelet and a breakfast burrito and took our time, enjoying the ambiance of the place and trying to get our heads around vacation being over. For some reason, and this is unusual, we are both just not ready to leave. We bought a few souvenir things and then headed back to the cottage.

As we passed the cottages office, I saw Kelli. So we stopped in to say goodbye. We really enjoy talking to her and Ollie, who came by with the 2016 book so we could get our cottage reserved, so it was easy to stay with them longer than we expected. In fact, Joseph and I were there so long that, but the time we said good-bye and started walked back to the cottage, we realized were at least a half hour past schedule.

Once back inside the cottage, we raced to finish packing and loaded up the car. We left Mt. Desert Island around 3:30pm.

We drove west to Bangor and then onto I95. We stopped at Trader Joe’s in Portland so Joseph could get a stash of the two locally brewed beers he liked so much. “Mo” and “Rising Tide” must be sooooo local that they aren’t sold outside of Portland. We couldn’t find them even as close as Mt. Desert!

Then it was on to Kittery and When Pigs Fly. I called ahead and asked them to reserve a few loaves of their low-carb bread. That’s because it’s so good and so popular that it goes fast. When I went last year they were out by the time I got there. I didn’t want that happening again. It’s way too expensive to ship and, most importantly, the quality is impacted during shipping. We also picked up a couple jars of dipping spices (Dip-Me-Daddio) and their special “hot honey” that we like on a lot of things…but they say to try it on pizza. PIZZA???

By the time we left there, it was 7:30 and dark. Extraordinaire was closed, so I couldn’t get any of the ceramic “bathing beauties” I love so much. BIG disappointment!!

Joseph and I didn’t even try to stop at Robert’s house…guess I’ll have to wait until next year to see the rest of the property.

I Confess…

2015-09-05 001 2015-09-05 008
Sailing at Schoodic

It’s My Dirty Little Secret

OK, we all have one. I’m confessing mine. It’s television shows. And not just any television shows. Mindless ones. It’s an addiction…no, it’s my tranquilizer. Some people drink, others smoke or take drugs, some gamble. I watch TV.

When I was in my early twenties I had my tonsils out.  As I sat in the hospital room waiting to be wheeled down to surgery, the woman in the next bed was moaning like crazy. I was so jumpy that the nurses wanted to give me something. I told them ‘no’ but to get me a TV and earbuds. That was all I needed. I don’t know what I watched – and it was before cable so it wasn’t like I had tons of choices. Mindless…

The most difficult part of being in the cottage on Clarks Cove has been falling asleep without the TV. In past years I’d watch TV in the living room until I couldn’t keep my eyes open and then I’d go to bed. But, in just the few steps between the chair and the bed, I’d wake up. I tried everything…a DVD in my laptop (the light bothered Joseph), a music CD (music wakes me up)…I even took to praying the rosary as a form of meditation. That eventually worked, usually in the 4th or 5th decade – and I felt plenty holy but not rested!.

This year, the iPad, Joseph and amazon solved the problem! I was able to get in bed and watch old shows online, like Blue Bloods, Ghost Whisperer and my favorite, Medium. With that device in place, every night I was asleep in minutes. I don’t think I ever even got to the end of the first segment on any of them. In fact, I got interested one particular episode of Medium and had to run it five times until I got to the end. And if I woke up during the night, it was a “rinse and repeat” deal…and I was out like a light!

I know. I know. Falling asleep with TV is supposed to be bad for the body and the psyche. I think about that and I hope I’m not undoing all my vision board work. However, I don’t think I am…I’ve been doing this TV thing my entire adult life. And I’ve been doing vision boards almost as long…and I know they worked then and still work.

But now YOU KNOW my dirty little secret!!

Do you do the same thing? If not, what’s your “dirty little secret?” Do you have any “ticks” that you are willing to finally share? C’mon…come clean! The truth will set you free. OK, maybe not, but I’ll bet you aren’t the only one doing it!

Blueberries, Books and Binge-Watching

The front door to our cottage: WindwardCottage#5
Windward Cottage#5

It’s a lazy morning…typical first day at Windward Cottages. Joseph and I are watching Sunday morning as we let go of work and slide into vacation mode.

This vacation Joseph and I are binge-watching the first season of House of Cards. In this political season, we’re loving it!

Annmarie w/Lis Wiehl in NY

We brought lots to read! Joseph’s reading stuff on his ipad. I still like the feel of actual books and I’m reading Vince Flynn’s The Survivor and Lis Wielh’s, Newsmakers. However, I have to admit, carrying the books vs. carrying an iPad…it makes a difference when traveling. I think I’m getting seduced by the convenience.

Wiehl’s book isn’t out until January, but I got the uncorrected proof version in May at the New York Book Expo America. Lis Wiehl is a really nice woman; I’ve met her a couple times. I’m hoping to get her on my radio show later this year. What’s funny about the book (a mystery) – and something I didn’t know – is that the main character, Erica Sparks, is from Maine. So there are some Maine references, like references to the local food market chain, Hannaford.

Also, there are two books I almost always reread on vacation: Spiritual Economics and The Magic of Thinking Big. Each one reminds me of different things I’ve forgotten during the busyness of the year and both recharge my creative energies. They’re part of my Victorious Woman recommended reading list.

Clarks Cove - the view from our front widnow
Clarks Cove – the view from our front widnow

I also took a needlepoint with me…it’s the same one I’ve brought for the past couple years. I work on it a little bit each year. It’s not a big needlepoint…just one that I work on while watching TV. Maybe this year I’ll finish it.

Also, Charlene Bayley gave me a “kit” she put together to make a bracelet out of safety pins. The first time I saw it, on Charlene, I thought it was pretty neat – would have never guessed it was beaded safety pins! Last year I thought I’d make one, but couldn’t find the beads. This year Charlene put together a kit for me, so I’m curious to get working on it.

We usually start our mornings here with a bowl of blueberries. Typically we buy a five pound box of blueberries at Lounders blueberry farm on our way into Ellsworth. The “farm” is a two-car garage for ten months a year but during blueberry season, the equipment comes out and the garage is transformed into a store with 5 and 10 pound boxes of blueberries and a variety of other blueberry “stuff” – books??????????, jellies, sugars and more.

But blueberry season is pretty much over. So, as Joseph and drove into Ellsworth, the farm was closed. Until I called this morning, I wasn’t sure Lounders would still have fresh blueberries.  Happily, they have a few boxes, but this is their last day. Tomorrow whatever blueberries they have will go into the freezer for winter baking. I know whatever they have now will be the end-of-season batch (not the best), but I’ll still get them. Then we’ll do our food shopping at Hannaford and Shaw’s in Ellsworth.

It’s funny, at home it’s nothing to drive twenty minutes to the store. But I figured out a couple years ago that, from the cottage, running back and forth cost us too much time. So now I have a “Maine vacation shopping list” that makes things go faster and keeps us  on the island most of the vacation.

The moon is full…and it’s always a treat to be here during a full moon. I love taking pictures of the moon, though I seldom think they turn out showing even a tenth of the beauty I see.

Tomorrow we’ll start hiking, but today…an easy Sunday.

Heading Home

I’m going to miss looking out the living room window and seeing this view – the trees, the sunlight dancing on the water, sunset on the cover. Joseph and I are having a tough time saying goodbye to Mt. Desert this year – more than usual. We’re both wishing we could stay another week.

This morning we drove into Bar Harbor for breakfast at the Black Friar. Before yesterday’s hike up Cadillac, we planned to walk across to Bar Island, an uninhabited island that can only be walked to at low tide. But we were hiked-out. So instead we just took one last walk around town.

After picking up a couple things, we headed back to the cottage and packed the car. We took more home with us than we took up with us two weeks ago.

As we finished packing, cottage owners Kelli and Ollie stopped by to say goodbye. We told them to hold two weeks for us next year. I wish we could make it three weeks, but that’s not in the cards right now.

Bathing Beauty
Bathing Beauty

We left the cottages, drove west to Bangor and south on I95 to Ogunquit. I wanted to buy something at Extraordinaire…the “bathing beauties.” Robert and Michael have about two dozen of them displayed on the wall. It took a while to decide on which ones I wanted. So I bought these two because I love the look on their faces. But there’s another one in a red polka dot suit that I think I have to have. I’m lovin’ these girls.BathingBeauty.2

We left Ogunquit around 7pm. On our way out of Maine, we picked up some bread at When Pigs Fly in Kittery. They make at least 20 different kinds of breads. The sweet ones are flavors like orange-mango, berry lemonade and chocolate. The savory flavors include a green olive-hot pepper, kalamata olive, and lemon-rosemary. While I like their flavors, and usually pick up a loaf or two for friends, I actually go there for the low-carb bread. It’s the best I’ve ever had – moist and chewy, full of grains and seeds and flavor. Also, it freezes well, so I buy 5-6 loaves and keep it all year. When the bread runs out I know it’s time to go back to Maine.

We left Maine and made one last stop – at the liquor store in New Hampshire. We didn’t need any alcohol, but I got so hooked on those “dark and stormy” drinks made with black rum. What I found was a rum with different degrees of alcohol, one of them 151 proof. The shop guy was shocked that I was actually interested in it, and so was Joseph (who knows I’m not a big drinker). The guy warned me that one drink with 151 proof rum would be like having three drinks in one. Duh! That was the point – and it wasn’t about getting drunk.

The way I saw it, from my always-dieting woman’s perspective, I could have one drink at 200 calories and get the same buzz that would otherwise come with three drinks and 600 calories. Who wouldn’t want to save 400 calories?!

In the end, since I wasn’t sure what 151 proof rum tasted like, I opted for a bottle of Kracken rum and left.

About an hour later we checked into the hotel at Amesbury MA. Now I’m relaxing and mentally getting myself ready to go home.

©AnnmarieKelly2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Sleeping All Day

DSCN0278After a crazy week of getting our businesses, our house and ourselves ready for vacation, and two days of traveling, we were exhausted! We don’t usually sleep late on vacation but we do nap a lot – an underrated luxury that we don’t get to indulge in most of the time.

First thing this morning I started reading Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews – not as trashy a book as I like to read on vacation (another luxury!) but a good one. I met Mary Kay (aka Kathy) in New York at BookExpo. She autographed the book and, until now, I was embarrassed that I hadn’t read it.

Set in Savannah Georgia, the story is about BeBe Loudermilk, a successful business woman who got snookered by some cutie scumbag. While still being a cutie, he seduced her into trust, then flipping into scumbag, he stole her entire life – house, furniture, business…everything. She ended up homeless and nothing to her name but a broken down motel. There’s no spoiler alert here. That’s all that happens in the first couple chapters. The rest of the book is about how she reinvents herself (so you know that kind of book is right up my alley!).

I’m also reading the Prayer of Jabez. It’s a tiny one that I’ve read several times. I brought it because vacation is a good time for getting a spiritual tune-up.

By mid-morning I was glad we stopped at Trader Joe’s yesterday so we didn’t have to rush out this morning for food. By late afternoon we got our energy level up. We were mentally and physically ready to go into Ellsworth for some food shopping. It’s always my goal to get all that we need in this one shopping trip. Some years I think I wasted too many hours running back and forth (about a 30″ drive). The less time I spend food shopping, the better I like my vacation.

After dinner we drove into Bar Harbor to see what was what. It was practically dead. I wondered if it was because it was a Sunday night or because it was a little cold. Either way, it was a pleasure to walk around the town and see if our favorite haunts were still there. The cruise ship industry has had a major impact on Bar Harbor. It has changed the dock area in a way that disappoints me. A lot of the mom and pop look and feel of that section is gone. Up the hill is still the same, though, and where I usually spend most of my in-town time…in both tried and true places and new ones.

Tonight I went to my favorite ice cream place, Mt. Desert Ice Cream.  This is where President Obama ate when he visited Bar Harbor and the ice cream was featured on The View as one of the best ice creams in the US. Tonight I tried the plum sorbet and a couple other flavors, but wasn’t crazy about any of the new flavors except Bay of Figs. I loved the huge chunks of figs – making the treat both creamy and chewy. Joseph had Nutella flavor – a little boring for me, but a big change for him (he usually gets butter pecan).  I teased him about really stepping out of his comfort zone on vacation ;-). As for me, I’ll go back for more fig ice cream…and salted caramel…and the ginger flavor is the best anywhere!


©AnnmarieKelly2014. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t forget to checkout my newly updated companion workbook: Victory by Design!

Victorious Woman: Victory by Design Victory by Design gets you out of your boring comfort zone and skyrockets you though your personal glass ceiling so you can experience the personal power that is that greater, even more fabulous expression of the real you.
checkmark-green1 Easy step-by-step instructions to start changing your life RIGHT NOW!
checkmark-green1 Real life examples provide inspiration and motivation!
checkmark-green1 Space to write as you read!
+ 3 Bonuses when buy today!

Stay tuned for my Upcoming Classes to help you BE MORE, DO MORE and HAVE MORE of the life you LOVE TO LIVE! Find details on the Victorious Woman Project EVENTS page!