Saturday, September 27, 2008

Maine Artist - Russell D'Alessio

My apologies to the Maine Artist, Russell D'Alessio for continually butchering his name, which I was continually plagued with...that is having my name mispronounced.

Last year during our visit to Bar Harbor, Lizzie discover and fell in love with Russell's painting, and for her birthday, she got to purchase one of Russell's prints. After several email conversations with the D'Alessios, Lizzie and I were invited over to Russell and Linda D'Alessio's home for wine and cheese while we were in Bar Harbor.

Linda and Russell's home is truly a work of art in itself. Russell's art work adorns the colorful walls of their country home, and Linda frequently says she comes home to find the walls have changed with the movement of his work.

Russell truly inspired Lizzie, because he did not start doing the kind of painting he enjoys until after their children left home. For years Russell made a living doing things such as graphic design, and painting Maine landscapes, which seem to be quite popular.

After spending several enjoyable hours with Russell and Linda, Lizzie and I left the D'Alessio's with a few additions to our D'Allessio art collection pictured above.

If you like contemporary art, check out Russell's site. You can also see Russell's work at the Pretty Marsh Gallery in Bar Harbor as well as other galleries within the United States.

Bar Harbor Inn

As part of our Maine Vacation, after my cousins wedding, we took a trip to Bar Harbor much like we did last year. This year however, instead of staying at the Ledgelawn, we stayed at the Bar Harbor Inn. Below is the video I took of our rather messy room.

I will be reviewing our fine dining experiences we had at Bar Harbor Inn, which included two dinners and two breakfasts, in another post on

Lizzie purchased a package which included two nights, two dinners, two breakfasts, and the cruise on the Margaret Todd, which is the four mast schooner that resides at Bar Harbor.

Bar Harbor is a great Maine tourist town which you should visit at least once. Bar Harbor is located on Mt. Desert Island and is surrounded by Acadia National Park. No trip to Bar Harbor is not complete with out visiting Cadillac Mt and Thunder Hole.

Things we Liked about Bar Harbor Inn

  1. Great food. The crab cakes at Bar Harbor Inn got rave reviews from Lizzie and were named the best Crab Cakes for 2007. I myself will recommend any of their lobster dishes.
  2. Cozy robes to sit on the patio while sipping wine.
  3. Heated pool(didn't use, but its a great feature)
  4. Spa(again didn't use, but if we stayed longer we surely would have loved a couples massage)
  5. Beautiful view of Bar Harbor.
  6. Large modern bathrooms.
  7. Extremely helpful staff.

Things to Work On

  1. Wifi was not free. tsk tsk.
  2. TV was not a flat screen and very small...sorry we are so spoiled.
  3. Other than those two, I can not say anything else that we didn't find acceptable.
The Bar Harbor Inn is a great nostalgic place to vacation, and if you have the opportunity, we both highly recommend it the next time you are looking for lodging in Bar Harbor.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Auburn Hilton Garden Inn

This morning I awoke in our Hilton Garden Inn room around 730am wonderfully rested and ready to go. After going down to the ultra clean work out room where I did a measly 15 minutes on the elipitical trainer, I headed up to the room for a shower.

We arrived in Lisbon, ME Friday morning at 515am, after my bro drove the night through with only one stop outside of Boston for a facilities break and gas. Being it was so early, none of our relatives were awake so we headed down to the the T&A for some breakfast. Yea, you got to love the doesn't stand for what you think it does. T&A's is a relatively new general store/dinner that is located in the old NAPA building in Lisbon. I chose to eat some of their fabulous blue berry pancakes and Lizzie had the regular pancakes. After we had just gotten our grub, my cousin Gary, who works at a Lisbon, ME Landscape Company, was up early to get some work done, showed up for some grub before heading off to work.

The primary purpose for our trip was for the Wedding of my cousin Scott's wedding. Since the reception was being held at the Hilton in Auburn, guests were encouraged to spend the night. Lizzie, just loves Hilton, so we reserved a room for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Impressions of the Auburn Hilton

great view, clean room, comfortable...slept better at this hotel than any hotel in a very long time. excellent cookies at the front desk. Good shower...wonderful water pressure(oh she likes a minimum of 4 large towels and we only had three)...kitchenette was really nice to have in a hotel room.

Love the desk chair...comfortable bed...great shower...very happy with the exercise facilities.

Both: Had great sleep. Food was ok, but you would do better to go out in the surrounding communities for some fabulous local fare. Lobster anyone? Both glad that the WiFi was included which made keeping up with Plurk and email a breeze.
Two thumbs up.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Next Trip - Bar Harbor Inn

In just a few days we'll be heading up to Maine for a family wedding. We'll be driving through the night and arriving in the Lewiston/Auburn area on Friday morning. We are staying at the Hilton in Auburn ME with the rest of the out-or-town wedding guests. The wedding in on Saturday morning; the reception is immediately following the wedding.

Sunday morning, we'll be heading up to Bar Harbor for a mini-vacation. We went to Bar Harbor last summer in the height of the tourist season. We stayed at a bed and breakfast - the only one in the area that had a room. This year we'll be staying at the Bar Harbor Inn.

The Inn is right on the water. It's old and majestic. We did have dinner there last summer. They won the 2007 award for the best crab cakes!

When making our reservations at the Inn, I decided to do the Autumn Special. After I did the math, it appears that it will cost us far less with the special. It includes 2 nights lodging, 2 full breakfasts, dinner one night at the Terrace restaurant, a lobster bake the following night; then a choice of a 2 hour boat tour of the Harbor, a half day bike rental or bus tour of Acadia National Park; and $20 to spend at the gift shop. This package includes all taxes and gratuities!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Inn At Bear Creek and the Dover Downs Casino

Wow, August has come and went and there has been no posting here since July.
Did we go anywhere in August?

Saturday, which was in August we went to the Dover Downs for a quick bite at Doc Moagrogans Oyster House. Lizzie had an itch to drive, so I talked her into going to the Dover Downs which we have wanted to review for some time.
So after our oysters(I had Oysters, Lizzie had the fabulous crab cakes) we went and hit the slots which is the extent of the Dover Downs casino. All in all, we ended up loosing about 50 bucks. I did win 18 on my first hand of video black jack, but then lost it all in subsequent hands. As a gentleman sitting next to me said, you can win, you just need to learn to walk away.

On Friday, we spent the night at The Inn at Bear Creek, which is a local ski resort which was bought several years ago by the company that owns Killington in VT. A lot of money has been pumped into the facilities, and it surely is a nice place to take a retreat. A more extensive review of The Inn at Bear Creek on this blog and on Thegrubhound are forthcoming.

Other than these two excursions last weekend, August was spent at home in the waters of our backyard.