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Old 10-09-2016, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
Reputation: 44451

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Well, I fell in love last week and it wasn't with a person - it was with a state. My husband and I spent nearly a week along the coast of southern Maine - mostly Boothbay and Scarborough (and the Portland area in general), and WOW - not only do you have a beautiful state, the people are also friendly.

We had a blast and now we plan to visit your state in October of every year. We live in Texas and by the end of September we are sick to death of summer heat. Your crisp autumn weather and foliage colors were both just wonderful.

I also really love your coastline, the seafood, and of course THE LIGHT HOUSES!!!! I can't decide which lighthouse was my favorite. As far as spectacular goes, probably the Portland Head Light, but there was also something really evocative and charming - in a lonely sort of way - about the small light house in Southport.
Visit Maine?s Mysterious Hendricks Head Lighthouse

We also really liked the Nubble Light. It was quaint. We were lucky to get there as the sun was setting and the scenery was absolutely spectacular.

We were lucky enough to stay at the Black Point Inn for a day and a night. Wow, what a beautiful place.

The weather was perfect the entire time. We seemed to have caught the tail end of "the season," and so no place was particularly crowded, not even Boothbay Harbor. I really liked that.

Some significant observations:

Almost without exception, everything is more expensive than in Texas. Couple of exceptions - fuel, and surprisingly, ANTIQUES. We nosed around numerous antique stores and were blown away with the reasonable prices - in fact, we ended up shipping some stuff home and even with the shipping costs, we feel we came out ahead. I found some great deals on vintage/estate/antique jewelry for instance. Also, lots of mariner-type stuff that was really cool. Original art, even vintage or antique originals (watercolors, oils, etc) were plentiful and reasonably priced. We bought a charming original watercolor of a dory and a few small islands in a bay for something like $45 and it was well framed also. It's about 11 x 14 inches total. Very nice. It seems to be from about the 1940s.

Anyway, we had a blast. I don't know what we were expecting - maybe more reserved personalities? But anyway, without exception, the people were super friendly. Well, I take that back - we did have one rude encounter but that was with a teenaged boy working at the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth, and it seemed pretty clear to me that he was not enjoying his job - he struck me as a kid from a wealthy family whose parents felt like making him work would teach him the value of a dollar. I could be wrong but that was the vibe he gave off. Anyway, I don't hold ANY state accountable for the behavior of teenagers! Everyone else was super friendly. (And the food was good at the Lobster Shack and the views couldn't be beat, so we got over his rudeness quickly!)

Another observation, now that I'm thinking about it - as we were leaving, I told my husband, "Do you realize that - in our fifties - we seemed to be just about the youngest people nearly everywhere we went? At first I thought it was because we were just on vacation and families with kids are done vacationing, but I noticed it everywhere. I think Maine is an older state population wise." He didn't believe me, so I Googled it and SURE ENOUGH - Maine has the oldest median age in the US, and Texas is the third youngest out of 50 plus DC! No wonder I noticed a difference! That's not a criticism - just an interesting observation. I do wonder why that is, but it didn't impact our enjoyment one bit.

Thanks for the memories, and we'll be back! You have a beautiful, beautiful state. And that coastline - WOW.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
8,653 posts, read 12,467,653 times
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Maine is the oldest state and getting older. Our young people leave at the age of 25 or 30 and come home at the ages of 55 or 60. They raise their children away from Maine, but most come here in the summer to be with grandparents. Many of our older folks work two jobs. I was born before WWII and work full time. Somebody has to.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
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Oh, and just for the record, we spent several days in Massachusetts - mainly in the Boston and Concord area. We MUCH prefer Maine - not only the scenery, but the people as well. I'm glad we saw what we saw in MA, but there's no need for us to go back - we're going to fly straight into Portland next time and completely bypass MA.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
Reputation: 44451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Maine is the oldest state and getting older. Our young people leave at the age of 25 or 30 and come home at the ages of 55 or 60. They raise their children away from Maine, but most come here in the summer to be with grandparents. Many of our older folks work two jobs. I was born before WWII and work full time. Somebody has to.
I wish more younger people would stay - they are the lifeblood of any state. I wonder why they are moving away? It would seem to me that Maine would be a great place to raise kids.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
8,653 posts, read 12,467,653 times
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Economic opportunity. That's the only reason. A skilled person can make twice as much money in PA, OH, NC or some other state. Most states have lower taxes too. There are enclaves of Maine people and there are safe areas with good schools too. You must look carefully though. We left for 7 years and came home. I made nearly double what I would in Maine and my wife was a tenured English teacher in a regents honors program there. When we came home she had to take a job as an ed tech because nobody in the system here had a master's degree and they didn't want to pay the contract salary for anybody with a master's degree. When the parents revolted at a budget meeting they finally hired her as a teacher.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
Reputation: 44451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Economic opportunity. That's the only reason. A skilled person can make twice as much money in PA, OH, NC or some other state. Most states have lower taxes too. There are enclaves of Maine people and there are safe areas with good schools too. You must look carefully though. We left for 7 years and came home. I made nearly double what I would in Maine and my wife was a tenured English teacher in a regents honors program there. When we came home she had to take a job as an ed tech because nobody in the system here had a master's degree and they didn't want to pay the contract salary for anybody with a master's degree. When the parents revolted at a budget meeting they finally hired her as a teacher.
Wow, that's too bad. It sounds to me like Maine is making some of the same mistakes that the state of Arkansas makes, where in a weird way you're rewarded for being older and not making much money - but the missing link is that SOMEONE has to make money in order to fill the tax coffers, and the people best qualified to do that are younger, and more educated.

I hope things in Maine improve in that area, because you have a really beautiful state. Of course, I haven't seen it in the winter time! How long are the winters? It would seem that the beautiful months would make up for the harder ones (sort of like Texas in reverse - we have brutal summers but fabulous winters).
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
8,653 posts, read 12,467,653 times
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"How long are the winters? "

Maine is beautiful year round. We usually get a "tracking snow" in November where we can track deer. It is also much easier to see deer against white background. One year we got 15 inches of snow on Thanksgiving morning. It started at midnight and snowed until noon. After 34 years in this house we have had just two brown Christmases. One was last year.

Because of our easy winter last year, many people think we will have a good old fashioned winter this year.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
"How long are the winters? "

Maine is beautiful year round. We usually get a "tracking snow" in November where we can track deer. It is also much easier to see deer against white background. One year we got 15 inches of snow on Thanksgiving morning. It started at midnight and snowed until noon. After 34 years in this house we have had just two brown Christmases. One was last year.

Because of our easy winter last year, many people think we will have a good old fashioned winter this year.
BRRRRRR!!!!!! I've only had I think three white Christmases in my entire life! And one of them, believe it or not, was three years ago in Texas, which was extremely unusual. By "white Christmas," I mean 2 inches of snow - LOL.

One was in Tennessee and the other was, I believe, in north Georgia.

Usually it's about 50 degrees here on Christmas day. We usually get one small snowfall of a couple of inches and a few icy days or days with snow flurries. About once every ten years or so we'll get a snowfall of 4-8 inches and that's a HUGE deal - people can't drive and all the schools and businesses close. That's because we don't have snow equipment here - it wouldn't make sense for cities to invest in it because it would hardly ever be used.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,127 posts, read 4,693,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Our young people leave at the age of 25 or 30 and come home at the ages of 55 or 60.
Or get dragged away kicking and screaming as kids, but I will be back someday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Economic opportunity. That's the only reason. A skilled person can make twice as much money in PA, OH, NC or some other state.
There is a saying among exiles, You gotta go where it sucks to make the bucks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
we're going to fly straight into Portland next time and completely bypass MA.
Since the furthest up you went was Boothbay my advice would be to go up further on US1 along the coast since there is a lot to see. There are dozens of scenic small towns, Wiscasset, Rockland, Camden, Bucksport and the Waldo-Hancock bridge that has an observation deck, then there is Bar Harbor which is a bit touristy. If you feel adventurous once you get through Gouldsboro and head into Downeast Maine things get more isolated and remote and can drive for miles and see nothing but trees, you see less pleasure boats and more fishing and lobster boats as you pass by the shoreline. Although it is not an area that caters to tourists it is still well worth seeing. I drive my wife nuts because on the way to Eastport I always get off I-95 at Yarmouth and take US1 the rest of the way up because that was how we would go when I was a kid and I-95 only went to Augusta. If you can possibly manage the time there are a lot of good photos in the Maine photo thread, unfortunately many were hosted on webshots and disappeared when the site did.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
32,920 posts, read 23,761,749 times
Reputation: 44451
Thank you and yes, our plan for next year is to fly into Portland and after a few days puttering around there, go north!

We can't wait.

We stayed on HWY 1 nearly the entire time. I just don't think interstates show off a state at all. And we did stop in Wiscasset, which is a cute town.

However, I love the coastline. There's something exhilarating about it to me.
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