Friday, January 23, 2009

Winterfest 2009 will be held at the Camden Amphitheatre and Camden Public Library on January 31, 2009, with a Community Ski Race at CHRHS on Sunday, February 1.

Camden’s Winterfest Returns

The Seventh Annual Camden Winterfest will be on Saturday, January 31, in the Camden Amphitheatre and the Camden Public Library. The centerpiece of Winterfest activity remains the Community Ice Carving Event. A dozen teams representing local community organizations will transform ordinary blocks of ice into crystalline ice sculptures using the traditional tools of the ice-carving artisan. Chef Tim Pierce of the Samoset Resort donates his time to teaching the teams the craft of ice sculpting.

Other popular features of Winterfest are the wagon rides, hot food outside, and cool music inside the library. The events start with a march by the teams from the Village Green to the Amphitheatre followed by an opening ceremony and the commencement of ice carving at 12:00 noon. Horse-drawn wagon rides continue throughout the afternoon, from 12:30 to 3:30. This year Winterfest features two “living art sculptures” entitled “Blizzard” and “Glacial” from the Global Warming Series by Meredith Alex.

Winter crafts for children will be available in the library, 12:00 to 2:00, hosted by the children’s librarians, Amy Hand and Susan Lewis. “All That Jazz” and other musicians will be performing under the rotunda in the library from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Family wintertime activities are encouraged throughout the afternoon, including sledding and snowman building. This year’s Winterfest Ice Carving will not be a competition but a celebration of the individual style and spirit. The Awards and Closing Ceremony will be at 4:00 pm.

The “snow day” for Winterfest is Sunday, February 1.

The Winterfest festivities continue on Sunday with an open cross-country ski race. All are welcome, the race will be hosted and organized by the CHRHS cross-country ski team and coach Dave Ridley. The race takes place Sunday morning, February 1, at Camden Hills Regional High School at 10:00 am. The race is a 5 km freestyle format. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 am; those interested in participating should call Dave Ridley at 236-8567.

Winterfest is a popular winter event, presented by The First and hosted by the Camden Public Library, with sponsorship by the Camden Downtown Business Group. With or without snow, families are encouraged to come and play. Horse and wagon rides are offered free of charge. A merry band of culinary volunteers serve a variety of delicious hot soups donated by local restaurants, light snacks, and their world famous Arctic Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

Winterfest began six years ago as a modest effort to enliven our parks with community activity, engage and include the teens and youth of the community, and draw attention to the restoration of the parks. The event has its historic roots in the Camden Winter Carnival, a festive winter event celebrated in the Amphitheatre and at the Camden Snow Bowl in the late ’30s, discontinued in 1941. In 2008 an expanded program of outdoor and indoor activities attracted a crowd of more than 800 onlookers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maine Noel

There are some perks to being an Innkeeper in Camden Maine. Last night I was treated to a Maine Noel at Natalie's Restaurant in Camden Maine. The dinner was above and beyond what you would expect in Maine.
I had a similar experience to this about 10 years ago when I was in Ireland. I went to Ireland for my honeymoon and was not expecting to eat very well. Maybe some potatoes and hash everyday, didn't matter, I was on my honeymoon. Anyway, I have to tell you the places we did eat at in Ireland were excellent, from the little pubs to the nice restaurants we happen to come upon. In Ireland there was always fresh meat and dairy, wonderful vegetables. The dinner last night was similar - excellent meat, wonderful vegetables, all local fare.
Oscar and Raymond, the owners of Natalie's and Camden Harbor Inn are fine hosts. They make you feel welcome and like a friends daughter said, "like a movie star".
One of the neatest things I like about upscale dining is the attention to detail that most of us do not reward ourselves on a day to day basis. Natalie's Restaurant has a calming atmosphere with lovely comfortable chairs. They also encourage you to linger and enjoy the moment. Something as an Innkeeper I neglect.
I would not by any means call myself a foodie, but I have eaten in some fine restaurants. I went to Alain Ducasse's restaurant in Monte Carlo, I have eaten in many fine restaurants in Manhattan - Peter Luger's Steakhouse (more of a steakhouse than fine dining, but the best one in the world), The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, just to name a few. The thing that all of these restaurants have in common is the excellent service and Natalie's is right in line with the best.
I wish Natalie's a bright future.
If you are coming to the Mid Coast of Maine - Natalie's Restaurant should be on your todo list. The Concierge at the Camden Windward House Bed and Brealfast would be delighted to make you a reservation.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It is cold outside

Winter has come to Camden Maine. The Camden Windward House is once again tested with the forces of nature. It is awesome to live in a house that is over 150 years old.

We had a man come to the Inn to look at the lack of insulation in the attic. The man said he had only 2 other times in his career seen a house with no insulation in the attic. I personally found it amazing to see the lack of insulation. The man came and went and left an estimate to change the situation. It was funny though, he said that this old house has lasted this long without the insulation, I should just leave it alone. Why go messing with something if it is not broke.

Past innkeepers have put new windows and some insulation in the walls, they have added new rugs and patch some holes. But really this house is the same it was in 1854. You can hear the wind and feel an occasional breeze on your neck. No wonder people believe these houses are haunted.

Windward House still proves itself to be a well built house and I am sure it will make another winter. Winter is a fun time to come to Camden, the town is open but quiet, the locals are all chatty with issues of past and future, the Inns are solid, some cold, but warm by their fireplaces. The Harbor has lots of boats wrapped in plastic and the trees are all bare. The Lake is starting to freeze and the snow is starting to fall.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Year Round Lodging

The 2008 Summer and Fall Season in Camden Maine was excellent. The weather was great and the hiking, swimming, sightseeing were perfect. Every summer the guests of the Camden Windward House Bed and breakfast ask if the Inn is open year round. The Inn is open year round, but people are confused as to what would bring people to Maine in the Winter. I asked myself this when I bought the Inn and to tell you the truth, 3 years ago couldn't figure it out. Now that we have been here for awhile, I know what the locals enjoy and can't understand why more people do not come to Maine in the Winter. It is a fun state in the winter. Camden Maine has a ski lodge that is perfect for families, priced right and the mountain is high enough to actually get a good day of skiing in. The crowds are minimal and the fine dining restaurants are open year round. It is like a hidden jewel in the winter. I personally enjoy ice skating. The Mid Coast Recreation center has open skate on the weekends. $4.00 for 2 hours of skating and great music. When I feel like ruffing it a little, or getting a little more scenery than the Skating Center offers, I go up to Lake Megunticook and shovel of the snow and make my own ice skating rink. This is really fun. You see the Ice fisherman and the cliffs covered in ice and snow. I will try to post a picture of it this winter. I posted a picture of an Ice Goose today because I think it captures the beauty of Winter in Camden Maine. The Winter fest is another asset to Camden in the Winter. January 31st 2009 the 7th annual community celebration of winter will happen at the Camden Public Library. The Camden Windward House Bed and Breakfast is across the street from the Library and a great place to start an Ice weekend. Well, we are open year round-Please come and enjoy Camden Maine in the Winter, you will not be disappointed.
Labels: Winter Fun and Maine year round lodging

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Guests

I was telling Jesse about my last blog entry - I do not think he reads them, I mentioned to him that I wrote about some of the great guests we have had from all around the world. He reminded me that I did not brag about the English Mayor we hosted last month. This picture is of the Mayor of Doncaster, England. The Mayor and his wife are very nice people. Since then we ask any English person if they know were Doncaster is and if they know the mayor.
DONCASTER has a new non-Labour civic mayor for only the second time in 34 years.
Liberal Democrat Paul Coddington, who represents Bessacarr and Cantley, takes over as chair of Doncaster Council after being elected to the position at Friday's annual general meeting at the Mansion House.He was first elected to the local authority in 1999 and replaces Labour's Tony Sockett at the helm.After being sworn in last week, a slightly shocked Mr Coddington thanked his colleagues, family and local electorate for handing him the prestigious opportunity."I want to play my part in bringing people together and working for the common good," he said."One of the tasks of chair of council is to encourage fair debate. "I also want to do what I can to encourage people in the voluntary sector and continue working with the young people in the borough."I want to create better relationships and build bridges between communities."

Monday, July 7, 2008

So far this year, knock on wood, we have had some wonderful guests. One day we had a couple from Israel, a couple from Madrid, a couple from Spain, and a couple from Germany all at one time in the dining room. No one could talk to each other. I told Jesse it was like being at the Tower of Babel. It was funny they all ordered the pancakes. Must be an international like of pancakes (Jesse makes exceptional pancakes, blueberry and orange yogurt). In addition to all the international guests, one day we had the Mayor of a town in England. It was a pleasure to speak to him. Today at the Inn we have our first guest from Singapore.

We do get guests from the US and some even from right here in Maine. The state of Maine is launching an ad campaign for Mainers to vacation in Maine (stay cations they call it). One interesting thing I learned from one of our guests last week, they were from New Jersey not Maine, I learned what the brass knob in the middle of the dining room floor was. Let me give you a little background information on the brass knob first. When Jes and I bought the house 3 years ago, there was lots of furniture and rugs that I just did not like. We did not have enough money to refurnish the house, and as Jes says "if its not broke - don't fix it". Well I have lived with alot of stuff, slowly changing things, making the Inn more the way we like it, more our style and reflecting us. There was an old rug in the dining room, covering a beautiful maple strip hardwood floor. I couldn't understand why anyone would cover up a beautiful wood floor. I finally took up the rug and reveled the floor. The floor is in good shape and there is a brass knob in the middle of the room. I could not for the life of me figure out what that knob was for, until the man from NJ, leaned over and said, hey I have one of those in my summer cottage out on LBI. I said, "well, what is it?" I was expecting him to say it was a historic reminant of a slave door that the nice family in the house hid the slaves from the slave hunters and saved them and helped them to freedom. But his story was not as fantastic as the one I conceived in my head. He said there is a key to it and it is where you can turn on and off a gas valve that is under the floor. SO I said to him , so this is not a 1854 historic find, but probably a 1960 thinga ma gig. He said yes, it is not a historic feature. Oh well, I was hoping to have some interesting thing to talk about in the dining room during breakfast. I guess I could still fabricate some little story about my little brass knob, most of guests don't speak English and its all babel anyway.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flowers Flowers and More Flowers

My husband decided one day to give the children cameras and walk around town with the mission of photographing the flowers of Camden. I recently looked at the pictures and they are beautiful. Finally it is spring in Maine. The winter was very harsh and I can't tell you how much I appreciate seeing flowers. There is this nice picture of a bumble bee and a flower that my daughter took. She is 7 years old.

The gardens at Windward House are starting to fill in. My husband is responsible for the gardens. He loves to garden and learned everything from his father. My father in -law, Jesse's dad, grew up on a farm in Staten Island. My father In law tells stories of how his father preferred him to work on the farm instead of going to school. Jesse learned how to grow all kinds of flowers and vegetables. In addition to our flowers we have a small vegetable garden in the yard. Last year we grew corn, that was pretty neat. This year we have string beans, heirloom tomatoes, banana peppers, eggplants, lettuce, basil, parsley.
The flowers that we have seen so far at Windward House are : early May: Forsythia, late May: Lilacs, Early June: Peonies.