Elsewhere on this site, we have described how unique Maine is amoungst the other 49 states. Therefore, as you might guess, there are some pretty unique things to do and see in Maine — some real COOL STUFF, in today’s vernacular.
We will tell you about a few of our favorites.
Besides community and church bingo games, the second most popular form of indoor entertainment (sometimes outdoors) is going to a country auction.
Have you ever wondered where antique dealers go to get their goods? In Maine, often called the "Attic of America", one of their best kept secrets is the Burnham Auction (Houston Brooks).
This auction, which claims to "buy junk and sell antiques", is a primary recipient from all those Maine attics and barns. The sheer variety of items found here will leave you scratching your head. It requires that you get up very early, as it starts promptly at 7 AM almost every Sunday of the year, be it rain, sleet, snow or freezing weather.
Operated by Dan and Pam Brooks and many associates, this auction has been a scene to behold for over 36 years. You will need to master the art of saying "Yup", and be fast, as many items go for less than $10.00.
CAUTION: Guard against getting auction "fever". A worse-case scenario of this ailment is when, in the heat of battle, only the auctioneer recognized - and called out the fact to the crowd - that I was bidding against my wife on the other side of the room for the same item. Embarrassing but true....
They have a website for coming events and the items which will be featured at: www.houstonbrooks.com.
Some other Maine auctions where we have found some good buys and had some good fun:
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries (Thomaston) www.thomastonauction.com
Robert Foster Auction Gallery (Newcastle) www.fosterauctions.com
Brooder House Auction Service (Union) www.brooderhouse.com
Chesley's Auction Gallery (Corinth) www.chesleysauction.com
Gamage Antiques (Rockland) www.gamageantiques.com
Farrins Country Auction (Augusta) www.farrinsauctions.com
Andrews & Andrews Auctioneers (Northport) www.andrewsandandrews.com
James D. Julia (Fairfield) www.juliaauctions.com
Restaurants throughout the world feature "Maine lobster" -- that sweet, succulent stuff that makes grown people don bibs and make a delicious mess. What better gift could you send to a friend, on a special occassion, than live Maine lobsters, complete with bibs, crackers, picks, wet wipes as well as cooking and eating instructions?
Shipped in special insulated cartons for next-day delivery via UPS or FedEx, you can be sure to suprise a friend with this memorable gift.
If you really want to blow someone away, a few of the purveyors listed below will overnight a complete Live Lobster Bake, which can include steamer clams, black mussels, New England seafood chowder, sweet corn, red potatoes and topped off with a native blueberry pie....
The Maine Lobster Council lists 47 members that will ship live lobsters at www.mainelobsterpromo.com
The companys we have selected below are mostly family businesses that have been lobstering for 40 years or more...
William Atwood Lobster Company -- www.atwoodlobster.com
Bayley's Lobster Pound -- www.bayleys.com
Cap Morrill's -- www.capmorrills.com
Cape Porpoise Lobster Company -- www.capeporpoiselobster.com
Graffam Bros. -- www.lobsterstogo.com
McAleney's New Meadows Lobster -- www.newmeadowslobster.com
P J Merrill Seafoods -- www.pjmerrillseafood.com
I am partial to ocean sailing, especially on classic wooden boats -- plus there is no question that Maine has one of the most spectacular coastlines to be found anywhere. What can be frustrating to many landlubbers is that very little of it can be seen by automobile. Between roads and highways that seldom hug the shoreline and the scarcity of public lands and public access to the ocean, a person is hard-pressed to even get a glimpse of it...
So, maybe fortunately, the best way to view this spectacular rockbound coast is by sailing along it. Many of the "tall" ships and coastal sloops from the golden age of sailing in the 1800's and early 1900's have been restored and are available for day trips and vacation voyages.
We like to take visitors for an afternoon sail out of Camden harbor on the schooners Olad or Appledore or Surprise -- a very inexpensive way to give "awayers" a great experience and a peek at Maine's scenic beauty from the sea. A few Friendship Sloops (the original lobstering boats) also provide exciting day trips.
For a never-to-be-forgotten vacation, sign up for a several day cruise on one of the magnificent schooners listed below. You can help crew, enjoy bountiful meals which will include a lobster feast, anchor in protected coves, explore coastal villages or uninhabited islands -- and all at reasonable prices.
For information about these vessels and their sailing packages, check out the following websites:
Schooner Rachel B. Jackson (Bar Harbor) www.downeastsail.com
Schooner Margaret Todd (Bar Harbor) www.downeastwindjammer.com
Schooner Lewis R. French (Camden) www.schoonerfrench.com
Schooner Mary Day (Camden) www.schoonermaryday.com
Schooner Bagheera (Portland) www.portlandschooner.com
Schooner Jenny Norman (Rockland) www.sailmainebugeye.com
Schooner Heritage (Rockland) www.schoonerheritage.com
Schooner American Eagle (Rockland) www.schooneramericaneagle.com
Schooner J & E Riggin (Rockland) www.mainewindjammer.com
Schooner Stephen Taber (Rockland) www.stephentaber.com
Schooner Victory Chimes (Rockland) www.victorychimes.com
Schooner Olad (Camden) www.maineschooners.com
Schooner Grace Bailey (Camden) www.mainewindjammercruises.com
Schooner Mercantile (Camden) www.mainewindjammercruises.com
Schooner Mistress (Camden) www.mainewindjammercruises.com
Schooner Appledore (Camden) www.appledore2.com
Schooner Angelique (Camden) www.sailangelique.com
Schooner Surprise (Camden) www.camdenmainesailing.com
Schooner Sylvania W. Beal (Eastport) www.eastportwindjammers.com
Friendship Sloop Integrity (Harpswell) www.mainelobstering.com
Friendship Sloop Alice E (Bar Harbor) www.downeastfriendshipsloop.com
Friendship Sloop Helen Brooks (Bar Harbor) www.downeastfriendshipsloop.com
Friendship Sloop Amity (Belfast) www.friendshipsloopamity.com
Friendship Sloop Sarah Mead (Muscongus Harbor) www.sailmuscongus.com