Sweet Baboo and I just returned from a long overdue gotta-get-away-for-a-few-days trip — a bit of shopping, a bit of sightseeing, alot of recuperative time.
Our first stop was the Kittery Outlet stores in Kittery, ME. (Have I ever told you what a great shopper Sweet Baboo is? He brings a book to read and just turns me loose. What more could a girl want.) So anyway — I was delighted to find that Carter’s was having a 50 percent off sale on all children’s clothing. Check off clothing for Granddolly on my Christmas list. I also stopped by Saucony, and Banana Republic but with no luck. And then there was the Kittery Trading Post — whoa!! (totally overwhelming). It’s kind of like a low key LL Bean store. You name it, they have it, or else you probably don’t need it. Very nice and knowledgeable people working there, for sure. The stores had quite a few people shopping, so I think we were lucky that we stopped on a Tuesday — I bet that the weekends are a real fun time with all the traffic that pours in with the shoppers.
The next day, we stopped at the inimitable LL Bean which was also totally awesome, and that’s not a word that I throw around freely. Three floors, 3 or 4 buildings, plus new construction — Freeport would be just a wide spot in the road if LL Bean wasn’t there. (I have to say, the people that work there know their business and are extremely helpful and friendly — but not forced friendly, if you know what I mean. It really felt sincere.) Anyway — bought Darling Daughter the sweater that she wanted, and found out when I got home with it that it was too small. Oh well — back it goes for another size. We also visited the LL Bean outlet and I found a new winter coat at half price and I wasn’t even looking. All in all, a very nice shopping experience.
While we were in Scarborough (where we were staying) and not shopping, we took a trip out to Cape Elizabeth to explore the Fort Williams park. Fort Williams is home to a beautiful oceanfront park and Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world, was built over 100 years ago.
It was also the site of the shipwreck of the Annie C. Maguire on Christmas eve in 1886. Luckily, there was no loss of life. Kind of a mystery how it happened though. The rock that this sign is painted on is right below the lighthouse and it’s the actual rock on which the boat ran aground.
A little history on Fort Williams at Portland Head. It was officially named on April 13, 1899, for Major General Seth Williams, a native of Augusta who served in the Civil War.
The fort included batteries, officers’ quarters, barracks, a bakery, a hospital, a bandstand, a laundry, a fire station, and the Goddard Mansion. Some of these structures still stand today.
During World War I, anti-aircraft guns were added to the fort’s defenses and it was fully manned by artillery companies and National Guard troops.
During World War II, Casco Bay was the home port for all the destroyers on the Atlantic coast, including the admiral’s flagship. It was decommissioned in 1962 and put up for sale by the government.
In 1964, the town of Cape Elizabeth purchased the fort, planning to build a park and use the rest of the land for housing, offices, and hotels. Finally in 1979, the town designated the entire property a park.
In the park today, there’s always something to do : history buffs can explore the fort’s remains; nature fans can walk along the cliffs that drop to the sea; families can picnic on grassy hills, play frisbee, or fly kites; lighthouse loves can visit the lighthouse, museum, and gift shop; and everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views of Portland Harbor and the ocean.
I have to congratulate you if you are still with me after all this. I do tend to ramble on. There are other things that I want to post, but I will wait for another day.