Not Your Ordinary Winery

When you think Maine, it’s not likely you think wine much less a Napa/Sonoma style winery.

Well, let’s change that by visiting Cellardoor which these days is producing award winning wines.

The setting is pure Maine, rolling hills and beautiful vistas.

There are grapes growing in the vineyard, but they are mostly to convey authenticity  as most of the wines are made from grapes brought in from California and New York.

Production, however,  is on site in a very modern facility where barrels are stacked high for the aging process.

Cellardoor is located in Lincolnville, a few miles from Camden, and it’s a great place for visitors to experience.

After a tasting, the grounds are perfect for sitting in the sun to enjoy a favorite wine and a cheese plate or sandwich. 

Aside from producing wine,  Cellardoor hosts cooking classes by chefs well known in the area as well as special dinners throughout the year.

VinfestAs if that’s not enough some of the most fun events in the area are held in the vineyard.  You can count on incredible settings, great food and surprising entertainment.  When tickets go on sale, they are gone in a matter of minutes!

VinfestWe’ve been entertained by the Temptations, Huey Lewis & the News, Backstreet Boys and finalists from The Voice to name a few.  

Cellardoor is not just a winery, it’s a happening and if you are ever anywhere close, you don’t want to miss going there!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Behind the Scenes

IMG_6991 (1)Thanks to a family connection, the hubby and I were behind the scenes at the Kenny Chesney concert in Bangor, Maine.

IMG_7019Talk about activity! Several dozen folks scurry around getting everything perfect for the performance.

IMG_7009 (1)Instruments stand ready

while band members warm up for what will be an energetic performance.

Outside the arena, crowds gather

IMG_6983and vendors offering food, drink and souvenirs are plentiful.

IMG_6982I really liked this traveling pizza oven!

IMG_7004 (1)Behind the scenes, there was plenty for us to eat, too.

IMG_7021As time draws close for the concert to begin, the crowd noise picks up in anticipation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, the curtain goes up and there he is, Kenny Chesney!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor two hours, this man is the ultimate performer,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnever still,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlifting the crowd to fever pitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I tell you folks get their money’s worth from his show, believe it!

IMG_7008Then, it’s all over and those same crews that set up begin tearing down and loading  equipment into semis.

IMG_7003There must have been 15-20 of them filled with all the necessary paraphernalia.

IMG_7006All done, musicians and staff fill buses that will drive through the night to the next  concert destination in New Brunswick where it’s all to do over.  After being behind the scenes and seeing what goes into preparing for a concert, I have a whole new appreciation not only for the entertainer but for all the folks who work so hard to make it happen.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Underway!

Pipe DreamsPipe Dreams is fueled and ready.  All necessities are stowed away, so let’s get this adventure underway.

Swan's Island

Swan’s Island

First stop on the journey to Nova Scotia is a 2 hour jaunt to Swan’s Island, one of the 15 or so Maine islands that is inhabited year round.  

Swan's IslandAs you might guess from the lobster boats anchored in the harbor, most residents earn a living fishing, and they are protective of their space both on the water and the shore.  Swan's IslandThe island is also a great escape for those wishing to experience a more tranquil existence.

Swan's IslandThe reason for our going there is to attend the very quirky Sweet Chariot Music Festival that for 26 years has brought together a potpourri of musicians from the East and West Coasts who enjoy getting together to casually entertain an enthusiastic audience.

Swan's IslandHours before the show, the performers cruise the harbor serenading all of us on our boats with sea chanteys.

Swan's IslandA flotilla of small craft ranging from kayaks to dinghies to motor boats accompany them.  I have to say this is one of those events that is totally a Maine thing, and there is such absolute joy in that!

Swan's IslandThe performance is in a very old building slightly more than a mile trek from the harbor, so we get a little exercise thrown in.

Swan's IslandAlong the way, enterprising youngsters sell lemonade and cookies, and they have lots of eager customers who are huffing and puffing up the hill.

Swan's IslandThe concert appears to be something of an opportunity for socializing as the crowd gathers early to gossip and greet friends.

Swan's IslandSwan's IslandSwan's IslandSwan's IslandInside, it is crowded, and the chairs are hard, I mean really hard, but once the show begins all anyone focuses on is having a good time.

There’s more to the Swan’s Island story than I am telling.  That has a lot to do with me trying to pull in a mooring ball that had about 500 pounds of kelp on it without allowing the line to touch the varnish on the trim.  The hubby just didn’t get that that was an impossible feat, so use your imagination to fill in the blanks.  It may be a very good thing that nobody was photoing that part of the experience because it was a comedy of errors.  There’s likely more to come!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Over the Top…..Again!

This is Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, Maine, a hop and a skip north of Camden,

with a setting as lovely as any you can imagine.

Bettina Doulton is the fun loving energetic owner of Cellardoor, and  twice each year she hosts the most incredible events which draw people from all over.  The summer one, Pop the Cork, you can read about here, and today we will experience the fall event Vinfest,  an amazing production with varied entertainment, terrific food and a setting that would be a standout no matter where it occurred.  Where to start?

From the moment the enormous tent where the event is staged is entered, it’s a different world, one of total glitz and glamor.

Romantic light glittered over the sitting area and the dance floor,

and the jeweled piano is one that would make Liberace proud!

But the real drama occurred when the gauzy curtain revealing the dining area was raised.  What a magical setting with feathers and boas and softly glowing chandeliers that took my breath away.  There is absolutely nothing small town about the ambiance created here!

The tables were magnificent, set with beautiful glass chargers, and the numerous glasses and flatware suggested the number of courses that were to come.

Bejeweled napkins were in the seats of boa and fan festooned chairs,

and the menu was cleverly presented on etched and lighted lucite.  While we who enjoy tablescaping may never do anything so elaborate, there were some good ideas here for a simpler at home table.

Chef Michael Salmon from Camden’s Hartstone Inn.

The kitchen area was a hive of activity with the invited chefs working furiously to prepare their course and have it on the table in a timely fashion.  Be assured that each one from appetizer to dessert was divine and, of course,  complemented with a paired Cellardoor wine.

With dinner over, it’s time for the next round of entertainment which this year featured the Commodores whose music gets everyone on their feet, dancing or swaying to the beat.  These guys have been together since 1968, and their sound is as timely as ever.

Such a night, of course, has to come to an end but the memory lingers on.  A huge thank you to Bettina for allowing the rest of us to join in her fun.  Most of us can’t wait until next year to do it all again!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Sharing with Tabletop TuesdayLet’s Dish,  Favorite Things Thursday, Friday Finds and It’s Fall Y’all

WOW(ed)

OK, I have to know, readers.  Do you watch Dancing With the Stars and were you blown away by Monday night’s premier?  As I’ve written before, it is one of the very few TV shows I look forward to, and the  performances opening Season 14 completely wowed me.  In no previous season has the first night dancing been better as indicated by the judge’s scores.  Nines on the first go….amazing!

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a really bad dancer in the group, and if history repeats itself each celebrity will get better as the weeks go on which means the judges are going to have a very hard time weeding anyone out.  Audience voting will likely play a huge part in who stays and who goes.

Based on first performances,  Roshon is going to be hard to beat.  He is Michael Jackson with his loose joints, great moves and tremendous energy plus he had the audience dancing in their seats.  He may have to tone down the hiphop element in his approach to please Len, and I’m betting that will happen as he gets into the groove of ballroom dancing.

Katherine Jenkins is a thing of beauty and is likely to get very high marks from the judges.  I can’t imagine the waltz not being a dance made for her.  She’s a classical singer with a Marilyn Monroe look which makes for an interesting contrast.

William Levy will be around for a long time and not just for his skills on the dance floor. Women will keep him in with their votes.  I mean, hot is hot and we girls have no problem with that!

Jaleel and Donald may not make it to the end, but they have great moves and are only going to get better.

Gladys Knight made my heart sing by exceeding all expectations, and the audience loved her.  Talk about some moves!

Martina Navratilova, have you ever seen such a transformation?  Who knew she could be so glamorous, and I have to confess I’m pulling for her to stay in the competition because she is one of my on court heroes.

Melissa, Gavin, Maria, Sherri, Jack?  They did OK, too, but I’m not sure they have what it takes to stay in the competition.  Of course, I’ve been fooled before when audience response has ousted a better dancer for the more popular participant so we’ll just have to see how the competition unfolds.

You can bet I’ll be watching.  How about you?

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Small Towns, Big Films

If you are a film buff, then midcoast Maine is the place to be this weekend as the Camden International Film Festival highlights the activities.  The streets of Camden and Rockland are crowded, every inn is booked and eateries are humming as people catch a bite to eat between films.   This is the 6th year for the festival, and each year gets better as filmmakers from all over the world submit their creations.  Some films are  premiered, some have been seen in other venues.  

The focus is on documentaries, stories made and told by people who continue to push the boundaries of the genre.  The hard part is deciding which films to see as the subject matter covers a variety of topics ranging from life on Maine’s islands to rock climbing in Poland to a disgruntled preacher to events of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to…..Well, you get the picture, the topics are as varied, and you end up picking and choosing based on the subject and the time the film is showing.    Seeing several can be quite a challenge since they are shown in multiple venues which just might mean getting in you car and driving to either Camden or Rockland from whichever place you’re in.  

I’d love to tell you more about the festival, but it’s time to hustle to the next showing.  So, what are you doing this weekend?  

Joining the fun at Seasonal Sundays

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The Help…My Take

With the possible exception of  the last Harry Potter film, has any movie been more anticipated than The Help?  So much so that I was almost afraid to go see it for fear of being disappointed, either because the movie was not well done or because it mutilated the book.  Neither was the case.  The movie accurately portrayed the book, and I thought the characters were as they should be.  When I have read a book that becomes a movie, I always have my character images.  I read slowly, relishing the words, getting into the story, setting the stage so to speak.  Often I read out loud making an to portray the characters.  In The Help, I’m not sure I got the dialect quite right, but my vision of each person was much as they were presented in the movie.

I grew up in the south, but it was south Florida, and my world was very different from the one presented in the book.  I only knew one family who had a maid and whenever I visited that home she was polite and generally had treats for us to enjoy.  I never thought about where she went to the bathroom or how she got home or what her life was like.  In my town, Negroes, as they were then called, lived on one side of town, whites on another.  We went to separate schools and while they did not go to the drug store soda fountain or the same movie as me, I have no recollection of there being signs that prohibited their being there.  The Help and other books/movies that address civil rights make me wonder if I lived in a vacuum.  If that was the case, I also grew up without too many prejudices.

The friend with whom I saw the movie had quite the opposite experience. She grew up in the south more similar to Jackson, Mississippi, and her family had help.    She well remembers being cared for by a maid who disciplined her, taught her manners, gave her hugs, and approved (or not) of her dress.   This woman also had a bathroom separate from any used by the family.  My friend loved the help and took for granted that her presence and the way she was treated was the norm as most of the people my  friend knew also had help.  Strange how different circumstances can be which means the reaction the two of us had to the movie was somewhat different.

Just as I didn’t have the experience of help, I didn’t know a Hillie, and I say thank goodness to that.  I found myself wondering how anyone could be so influenced by someone like her and respecting Skeeter for having the courage to go beyond that silliness.  I also wondered who I would have been in that scenario.  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been Hillie, but I can only guess if I would have followed along in order to be accepted.  I also wonder if it would have ever occurred to me to question what life was like on the other side.

Getting back to the movie, I enjoyed it.  There was the right amount of humor and sadness.  The characters were believable.  It made us see once again, albeit in a fairly subtle way, how slow the white south was to accept people different from itself.  In some ways, I wonder if that isn’t still the case.

If you’ve seen the movie, I’d love to know what you think; if you haven’t, go!

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