While my parents were here (“Back East,” as we always said when I was growing up) we spent two nights with my aunt and uncle at a lodge they were renting on Great Pond in Maine. The weather cleared for us and we got to splash around in the lake and eat on the porch, and my dad and uncle did quite a bit of fly-fishing from the old canoe. The lodge is affiliated with a venerable and very cool boy’s camp, Pine Island Camp, which my uncle and cousin both attended. We got to have lunch there and tour the island, and it made me hope that I have at least one son one day, so I can pack him off to a mosquito-free island in a Maine Lake to canoe and row and sail and play crazy games and do carpentry and otherwise step back in time. I liked that there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on artistic achievement–music, painting, carving–as well as sports. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera that day, but Dad took a few shots. (The photo up top is of a group of boys rowing past our dock one morning.)
The campers still sleep in tents on platforms, just feet away from the lake.
(Photo by Dad)
Dad was smart enough to take a photo of an archival picture to show how little has changed in 100 years:
(Photo by Dad)
Other than that little trip, we mostly just cooked and ate and relaxed by the lake. We were visited by a distinctly un-shy loon:
Despite appearances, the green canoe was seaworthy:
Bug spray aside, this photo could have been taken 50 years ago:
And if this is basically my dad’s favorite kind of view (ok, he’d prefer a burbling trout stream, but framing anything with a fly rod helps):
I definitely captured his favorite way to shave!
Oh, and Mom and I cooked dinner one night!
After leaving the lake, we drove on back roads over to a resort in NH where my mom worked in High School. On our way there, we passed Douin’s Market, which looked like a convenience store, but sported a sign saying something like, “Home of the Brownie Whoopie Pie, STOP or you’ll regret it.” I yelled “STOP!” and everyone thought I was kidding. Once I made it clear that I take threats of brownie whoopie pie regret seriously, Dad and I ran in. He had the presence of mind to take an iPhone picture of a sign advertising the 10-lb Brownie Whoopie Pies Douin’s makes for parties:
We purchased the normal sized one (perched on the giant one in the previous photo), and devoured it with our picnic lunches. OMG, you guys. I like a whoopie pie as much as the next girl, but most of the time the cake seems to be sadly bland or dry. This subbed in the best brownie I’ve ever tasted–incredibly chewy and chocolatey and delicious. The market also makes a variety of normal whoopie pies, as well as some with peanut butter filling or pumpkin cake.
To die for. (Photo by Dad)
In case anyone will be in Maine soon, DO NOT MISS:
Douin’s Market, New Sharon, Maine
Home of the Brownie Whoopie Pie
Finally, on our way home Sunday we went to the very famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH. We called ahead to get on the list, so we didn’t have to wait long. Polly’s is well-known for serving some of the best pancakes anywhere. Your server cooks them to order, and brings three at a time, then your next three, fresh and hot, when you’ve finished those. I chose a sampler so I could try a few of the many, many options–the best by a long shot were the cornmeal blueberry (the middle pancake in my stack, below).
The smoky, crisp bacon and the maple spread were my two favorite things, though! Also the placemats, maple leaf shapes cut out of red vinyl, and the mismatched chairs all painted bright red.
Great, now I kind of want bacon for dinner.