Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Famous Places & Faces in Maine

On our Memorial Day weekend in Maine, we really got a chance to see the state up close.  We traveled all over the joint checking things out with our trusty map and copy of Fodor's guide to Coastal Maine.  The book wasn't the easiest to follow (like how does it take you two days in Portland to find a freaking lighthouse??) but we made do just fine.

Maine has a lot of little hidden gems that really bring color to the state.  For example, did you know that Freeport, Maine is the headquarters of L.L. Bean?  

L.L. Bean was founded in 1912 by avid hunter & fisherman Leon Leonwood Bean.  Bean set up shop in his brother's basement and sold his signature waterproof boot though a nationwide mail order business.  Today, the L.L. Bean flagship store is open in Freeport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  In fact, it's only been closed twice...once to honor the death of President Kennedy and when Bean himself passed away.

The store reminded us a lot of Bass Pro Shops (after all the original is in Heather's college town of Springfield, MO) and had a lot of cool stuff. 

As close as Heather will probably ever come to camping.
While we were in Bangor, we got to check out a couple of landmarks.  The third largest city (at 35,000) in Maine is home to two pretty big names.  The first is Paul Bunyan.

During the 1800's, Bangor, Maine was the lumber capital of the world.  In honor of that honor, the city chose to erect a 31 foot tall statue of the most famous lumberjack of all...Mr. Paul Bunyan.

The statue weighs in at a whopping 3,100 pounds and sits on top of a cobblestone pedestal that houses a time capsule sealed on the 125th anniversary of the city.  The cool thing is that it's not scheduled to be opened until Bangor's 250th anniversary in February 2084.

The other famous resident in Bangor is a little author named Stephen King!  He has a beautiful blood-red old Victorian that's nestled in a super cute little neighborhood in Bangor.

The house really isn't that hard to find...just look for the bats, scorpions and three headed dragons on his amazingly ornate wrought iron fence!

This is just one of three homes that King reportedly owns...so we're not sure that he was there on the day that we stopped by.  Which is fine, because Heather would have probably been embarrassed to death had he caught her standing on his lawn taking pictures.

On our way out of Maine we stopped by at another famous resident's house.  And there was no chance in hell we were going to get close enough to stand on his grass...

Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine is where you'll find the Bush family compound.  As in GW and GHW.  The neighborhood is amazing and even though Heather had visited last September, it was still as stunning!

Maine's license plates read "Vacationland" and even after our brief tour...it's not hard to understand why.


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