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July 2008

July 30, 2008

Sign says: We're giving the inn a fresh coat.

You may have noticed a sign on our front lawn that seems a little out of character.  Please don't be alarmed.  It is not a real estate sign!  It is just there to let you know that Jay Binette of Dedicated Painting Services from Arundel, Maine, is spending some time here at 6 Pleasant Street, giving the north side of our Captain Lord Mansion a fresh coat of paint.Paintjob_3

We have been doing this approximately every six years, but with the cost of maintaining the inn's regal coat higher than ever, we now only do one side per year.

Even so, it is a notable and noticeable undertaking.  However, it is not as formidable as it was in 1986, when a painting crew first stripped all the paint off the building for the first time in nearly 175 years!
Yuckpaint

What came off the building, as you can see in the picture on the right, was layers and layers of lead-tainted ooey, gooey paint. It was a massive undertaking.  As a reminder of that time, we've kept several chunks on display in the armoire located by our office.  Since then, however, we've been regularly maintaining the inn's historical grandeur with what we believe is the original "Colonial Yellow" color.  The brand paint which Jay is using is Sherwin Williams "Duration"; it was what was used several years ago on the Captain's Garden House where it is holding up exteremly well.  "Duration" is somewhat more expensive, but seems to hold up better than other brands we've used.

The color, (seen clearly in the photo at left) Painting2as the name suggests, is true to the shade the inn has displayed for 200 years. It is a color we're beholden to, as our inn is on the National Register of Historic Places.  "Colonial Yellow" is an authentic color, which maintains the inn's historic integrity.

Intermittent showers throughout the summer here on the southern coast of Maine, though, have slowed the painting process considerably.  Therefore, the Dedicated Painting sign has been on our front long a bit longer than we would have liked.  Also, the whole north side of the inn looks nude with all the shutters removed! 

However, if the Captain Lord Mansion can weather with good humor 200 years of unpredictable, sometime uncooperative Maine weather, then indeed, we can as well.

Thanks for your patience!

Your innkeeper - Rick Litchfield.

July 28, 2008

A little Nookie here at the inn!

Hope that title caught your attention! But it's just a silly way of introducing a new feature at the inn I've been eager to tell you about: The Captain's Wine Nook.
Winenook1_2
The Captain's Wine Nook occupies a set of stairs we discovered hidden behind a wall just outside the reception area on the first floor. This spring, we tore out the wall, and much to our pleasure, discovered this preserved, antique staircase.

No. We didn't discover any buried treasure back there. Just 150 years worth of dirt.


The stairs themselves were treasure enough! The wide wooden wall panels and chunky stair treads were still painted in the original mossy green from 1812. It was pretty clear to us that this should become something special, say, a platform to display all the fine wines we have to offer here at the Captain Lord Mansion. So, we arranged them and gave it a name. But there was still something missing.

Winenook2 It was Bev who figured it out, and got right to work cross stitching labels for the red wine, white wine and champagnes we offer.

If you are a regular guest with us you may notice those cross stitches look awful familiar. Maybe, say, similar to the nameplates for each of our rooms here at the inn? That's because Bev made those as well. She won't give herself much credit for the work, so I will. They look great, Bev!

Anyway, if you come visit our nook (the stairs no longer lead to anything but the solid wood floor of the next level) make sure you read about "Steele," a limited edition Pinot Noir made by our good friend Paul Carr and served here at the inn.

By the way, don't be turned off by the "Rat's Reserve" label. It is in no way indicative of who lived behind the wall and in the Captain's Wine Nook before the wines did!

As always, Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield.

July 27, 2008

Golfing with all the president's men!

Or at least, the president's caddies.

Got a hankering for a round of golf while visiting the Kennebunks?

May I suggest the links where the President plays - Prolessons

This semi-private club offers 18 holes of serious, professional-level golf. It is known for many things, including its beauty. The course rambles along the shores of the Kennebunk River.

It is a Walter Travis designed, links-style course that provides rentals, PGA professional clinics and group packages.

I wasn't kidding about the President! George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States has a summer home here in Kennebunkport, as you probably know already, on Walker's Point.  When he comes to town, the Cape Arundel Golf Club is where he plays. His son, George W. Bush, the 43nd and current president, has joined him there as well as the 42nd president, Bill Clinton.

But the accolades don't stop there. Fred Couples played the links. And it has been selected #28 of the top 100 public courses in all of New England.

So, if you are visiting us at the Captain Lord Mansion and want to have a round of golf or two, remember, there is also lots of nice shopping just within walking distances. Wives, should your husband go off to the links, you are sure to find just the thing in one of our many lovely shops in the village of Kennebunkport. And, Husbands, should your wife be the one to hit the links, know that those lovely shops in the village of Kennebunkport will probably have that perfect anniversary present you keep forgetting to buy.

Fore!

Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

July 23, 2008

A letter from a fan!

On July 3, we had a very nice surprise party in our side garden for a friend named Mary who celebrated her 96th birthday with us.Marys_party_and_flower_gardens_014

Smart, able and still full of all the life God gave her, Mary sent us this letter afterward. I'd like to share it with you now:

Dear Bev and Rick:

What a suprise!
That was one beautiful party. - a lovely day, wonderful people and what a charming setting.

And then - GIFTS!

The massage will keep me moving and that beautiful "Robe" will keep we warm all winter.
You made living 96 years worth it.
Thank you both so much. What a great Pair you are.

Love,
Mary

Well, Mary, from both Bev and I, you are most definitely welcome!

July 21, 2008

Art History Comes Alive at the Inn!

Here's a new feature I plan to bring you once a month, highlighting a piece of art that graces the walls of the Captain Lord Mansion. Sometimes, perhaps, I'll feature a local artist whose work we particularly enjoy.

Bev and I know that some of you, when you come to visit, really enjoy these exquisite, extraordinary pieces. Now, permit us to share a little of their history with you.

Perrin1_2 This month, we feature Dennis Perrin who shows his work at Mast Cove Galleries an excellent gallery here in Kennebunkport.  His pieces are fluid, full of light, softness and color.  We loved his work from the start when Bev and I bought a piece for our home.

The first one we bought for the inn is the painting seen at the right. I like to call it "Summer Serenity"; it just beckons memories of a brilliant summer day somewhere along Maine's rocky coast.

Perrin2We also have another of his paintings in the reception room, this one untiltled, of a woman standing at a pond (seen on the left). I just love the cerulean blue in this piece.

But certainly, our most treasured Dennis Perrin piece is the one that hangs above the mantel piece in our reception room. This piece, "Treasured Memories" was painted by Mr. Perrin, live, here at the inn five years ago to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

How could we not love this painting? It truly captures and invokes the feeling our guests have of their visit to our inn. The woman in this painting could be leaving, coming or just reflecting.  Come see her and reflect with her.  And if you can't get enough of it, you can take a limited edition reproduction home with you, framed and available in our gift shop for $135.

Treasuredmemories_tb In case you are wondering, the woman, the muse of every one of our Perrin paintings, is his wife, Amy and not, as one may wonder, my beloved Bev.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

July 16, 2008

A Four Diamond tradition continues!

Who wouldn't want Four Diamonds?

Here at the Captain Lord Mansion, we believe it is an extraordinary accomplishment. To travelers, Four Diamonds means AAA (the leader in travel standards with over 50 million members) considers us a lodging establishment that is "upscale in all areas."

What's more the the Four Diamond Award tells the world that our "accommodations are progressively more refined and stylish. The physical attributes of the inn reflect an obvious enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail."
Diamonds
Bev and I are exceptionally proud of this level of excellence and we've maintained those standards over the past 29 years. Our inn is one of only a handful in Maine to receive the award. The 2008 AAA plaque, seen here, hangs in our foyer, just inside the main entrance.

Just so you know, this is not an award that comes easily. It cannot be bought. It cannot be influenced by a free night's stay or an expensive dinner. It takes hard work to get there.

The inspectors come without notice. They conduct a white-glove inspection and are brutally particular. They are not beholden to anyone except the standard. How you did the year prior does not matter. They expect improvements every year in service, hospitality, cleanliness, decor, gardens, room enhancements.  AAA's 50 million members know they can rely on the gradings.

Every year, Bev and I have tried to give our guests and AAA something more. Champion3 This includes upgrading all our bathrooms to include tile or marble (as seen in the picture from our Champion suite at left).  Establishing our Memory Garden, and the new garden waterfall on our grounds were important because AAA considers the exterior of a Four Diamond property just as important as the interior.  We know if we don't continue to reinvest in our property, we will lose the award and perhaps the patronage of many of our guests.

By the way, losing that award would probably be more devastating to Bev and I than losing four ACTUAL diamonds. Meeting this standard of excellence is that important to us! And, we hope, to you also.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

July 15, 2008

Let's Go Sailing on The Pineapple Ketch!

What is so special about this summer adventure?

  • The Pineapple Ketch, with its red sails is a beautiful sailboat!Pineapple_port_tack242x334
  • You'll have an authentic "Maine Wind-Jammer" experience!
  • Trips on the Pineapple Ketch can be some of the most relaxing and enjoyable times available on the waters off Kennebunkport.  You'll experience total relaxation!
  • Fortunately, these 2-hour trips leave from The Nonantum which is located only a couple blocks away from The Captain Lord Mansion.
  • You can enjoy a beautiful sunset cruise.
  • This is one of my favorite summertime experiences.  I am sure those who enjoy sailing will enjoy the local flavor of a sailing excursion on this boat.  Rick Litchfield, your innkeeper

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