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October 2008

October 29, 2008

Not Too Early to Think About a Maine Holiday Vacation!

Although the holiday shopping season isn't officially underway, it is certainly not to early to think about holiday plans, including a short Maine vacation.  Sign-winter_150x

I bring this up because here at The Captain Lord Mansion we have a couple really great specials for the holiday season that go fast.   Exterior_006_tb
Tree_20
The first: Did you know that saying with us on Christmas day is free?  It is our gift to you.  And it doesn't Nativityrequire much.  All we ask is that you reserve 2 days on either either side of Thursday, December 25th and Christmas Day is complimentary!  As best we can, the staff here at the Mansion will try to infuse your stay with as much Christmas cheer, tradition and ambiance as possible.

Remember, each of our rooms has a lovely and warm gas burning fireplaces and toasty heated bath floor. During this festivee season, our inn is wrapped in lush decorations of ribbons, boughs, garland and fruit.  And we promise to treat you better than Santa Claus would!

The secoGlasses_party2nd: If you can't make it to be with us for Christmas, and we completely understand if you can't, maybe consider spending New Year's Eve with us. We have created for youa New Year's package that will be sure to ring in 2009 with all the glitz and glamor of the elite. We can't promise you a party like the kind in Times Square, but we guarantee you'll eat well and leave feeling spoiled.  This 2–night Holiday Package (Dec. 30 and Dec. 31) starts at $239 per couple per night plus $149 for Dinner, Raw Bar, Wine, Champagne Toast and desserts. Plus you are certain to say good-bye to 2008 with good company.  The only thing we can't help you with, however, is finding that first kiss of the new year. Mistletoe

And of course, if you miss these specials, don't fret. Because when you come visit us at the Captain Lord Mansion, it's a holiday no matter what time of year.

Your Innkeeper - Rick Litchfield

October 23, 2008

The Long and Dusty Trail

Trailride3_2Just thought I'd share with you some pictures of a trail ride Bev and I took this past Saturday from the Equestrian Park in nearby Hollis, Maine.

This was an event organized by the Maine Horse Association and it was truly a lot of fun. The sun was bright, the temperatures were crisp and the leaves on the trees were magnificent in their colorful glory.

However, we got to see a lot more leaves and a lot more trees than originally intended because the group, nearly 20 riders in all, got lost in the woods. The trails were not very well marked and also they didn't match with the map we were given. So, our beginner-rider, easy 2-mile trail ride turned into something a bit more onerous. In fact, on one stretch of trail, we retraced our steps three times trying to find the way out! Finally, we discovered the correct trail!

Poor Bev.  Her horse Luv had just about had it by the 5th or 6th lost mile, as you can tell in the picture at right. Luv was all sweaty, grouchy and ready to be done with the ride. Actually, most of us riders were ready too!  Regardless, there were a number of good trots and canters along the trail and some great conversation among old friends, two and four-footed alike!  P.S. Bev owns Luv and I lease Kiwi; there are no rental facilities close-by the Captain Lord Mansion due to insurance issues!

Your Innkeeper -- Rick Litchfield.

Trailride1
Bev on Luv and I on Kiwi  starting off on our
Saturday morning trail ride.

October 14, 2008

Beauty Abounds in Maine

Now could quite possibly be the most beautiful time of year in Maine.  True, the bathing-suit, sun-drenched beach days of summer are behind us.  But this time of year, God does something amazing - he becomes an artist.

Fallfolliage1

Every fall, the trees here burst with color. The sky becomes an liquid, unmatched blue.  The weather is cool and dry.  The energy is relaxed, as if nature is taking a much-needed breather after the bustling days summer.

Here in Kennebunkport, at the Captain Lord Mansion, our leaves are just as lovely as the ones seen above.  We highly recommend coming to see them soon, as the peak season for fall foliage is nearly upon us.

There are several drives we can recommend, for ultimate viewing of the brilliant palette.  Route 9 from Kennebunkport to Cape Porpoise is one, where you will skip along the coast line among the trees and the seas.  We have another printed itinerary that takes you around beautiful Sebago Lake; Bev and I love this inland drive where few tourists venture. Or, take a trip south, along Route 1 south, where not only will you get some breathtaking views of the maples as they change (similar to the one below), but you will also have a chance to stop in at some of our really quaint antique stores and hunt for one-of-a-kind treasures.

Fallfoliage2

Of course, if you'd rather just sit among the falling leaves on our side lawn and just rest, we can offer you a number of comfy colorful thinking spots within our memory garden.

Won't you come join us and "fall" in love with natures artwork?

Your Innkeeper - Rick Litchfield

October 09, 2008

Getting To Know a Little About Our Most Esteemed Residents!

Most of you are aware that the 41st President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush, and his lovely wife Barbara Bush own a beautiful home in Kennebunkport along the rocky coast. This spectacular place is called Walker's Point and it is the summer home of the Bush family. Bushhouse

This awesome piece of property - an outcropping of land with a classic Maine "cottage-style" mansion atop the rocks - has a long auspicious history in Kennebunkport. The property was first purchased by Bush's grandfather, George H. Walker, in the late 19th century. He built the mansion in 1903. The estate was later sold to his daughter (mother of the 41st President and grandmother of the 43rd) Dorothy Walker Bush. Even though the estate is technically considered the summer home of the Bush family, the former president and his former first lady are spending more and more time there. And often, the current President, George W. Bush comes to visit and spend time on the compound.

In the summer, the sidewalk along Ocean Avenue is usually dotted with tourists snapping pictures of the impressive view and hoping to catch a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Bush.  You cannot go onto the property, as it is heavily guarded by secret service; as are the ocean waters directly around the private peninsula.

But, this time of year, especially with the trees as colorful as they are, a trip to Walker's Point is usually very rewarding.  Fewer visitors come down the road, which means better viewing for the few who do.  And, often, the Bush family is more relaxed than in the summer, and sightings of them are often more personal.

I have met them many times and find them to be just as pleasant and gracious as one could be.  They are incredibly good conversationalists and amazing philanthropists. Maine has them to thank for many gifts, not the least of which is the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in our biggest city, Portland.

Most recently, The Univer109pxgeorgewbush1947sity of New England, a medical school up the coast in neighboring Biddeford, dedicated The George and Barbara Bush Center

The $5 million building will house a cafe for students, offices for UNE officials, meeting rooms and a display of Bush memorabilia, including dozens of pictures of the Bushes relaxing at Walker's Point, some of Bush's fishing rods and a replica of his presidential desk.

If you are interested in locating and photographing the Walker's Point estate from our rockbound coast, or visiting the University of New England while staying at the Captain Lord Mansion, let us at the front desk know.  We can certainly provide you with maps and information that could fill your day with history of our most esteemed residents.

Your Innkeeper - Rick Litchfield

This photo, taken in 1947, shows George H. W. Bush and Barbara holding their first born child.  Do you know who that baby is? Our 43rd President, that's who!

October 07, 2008

Shipbuilding Still Thrives in Kennebunkport

In my last post I briefly mentioned the rich shipbuilding history of the Kennebunks.

During the first half of the 19th century, Kennebunkport, which is now home to whale-watching sKbporthips, lobster boats and pleasure boats, was an industrial landscape where Nathaniel Lord (owner of the Captain Lord Mansion) built his ships. Much of the harbor looked like the picture on the right, where Daniel and Stephen Ward's shipyard bustled with the building of great sailing vessels. This photo was depicted on the Atlas Map of York County, published in 1856.


However, did you know that although those days of building grand ships with many masts have gone by, there is still some boat building going on in the Kennebunks?

On River Road in nearby Arundel is The Landing School, a fully-operational school where men and women come to learn the fine art of wooden boat building, from the past and for the future.

From the website we learn about its history:

"The Landing School was established in 1978 as a nonprofit, post-secondary institution dedicated to providing the highest quality hands-on education in boat building. Following the success of the first year’s students, the Yacht Design Program was added in 1979 to provide the marine industry worldwide with a source of new designers trained specifically in the techniques and aesthetics of yacht and commercial boat design. Two decades later, boatyards worldwide were struggling with a shortage of trained marine systems technicians. The Landing School responded to that need by launching the Marine Systems Program in September of 1999. At the same time, the school began a multi-year aggressive growth plan that resulted in a large addition to the facilities in 2007, providing room for the curriculum to expand again with the Composites Program."

This summer, the school took another step into boat bBoatsuilding history, when Maine's state governor, John Baldacci, signed ''An Act To Provide Degree-granting Authority to the Landing School of Boat building and Design.''

This legislation enables the school to  expand its educational offerings. For example, the school may now proceed for national accreditation for its new Associate Degree in Applied Science program from the U.S. Department of Education.

And, quite simply, the boats built at the school are beautiful. If you are interested in visiting the school while staying at The Captain Lord Mansion let us know at the front desk.  We are pleased to give you directions, and perhaps even set up a tour of the school. 

Your Innkeeper - Rick Litchfield.

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