Walking, eating, drinking coffee, or how I spent my birthday on Monhegan

Our weekend on Monhegan was really, really nice. No photos in this post, but there were many taken, and I will post them after I have time to sort them all out.

We left here early Friday morning, in gray, threatening weather. Got Mom in Owls Head and headed over to Port Clyde to get the ferry to the island. It was gray, dreary, overcast, promising that tropical storm Andrea really was arriving later.

But the ride was gentle and fun, a great way to being the disconnect from life on the mainland.

Once on the island, we willingly gave our heaviest bags to Susan at Monhegan Trucking, who promised to deliver them to the end of the drive of our lodging, the Hitchcock House (www.hitchcockhouse.com) We then headed into town, stopping at Corina to grab sandwiches for lunch, then on to the Black Duck Emporium to try to catch up to our hostess to let her know we had arrived. We missed her, but hiked up Horn Hill to her place.

Mom and sister-in-law L shared a bedroom in the house, A and I shared the little one bedroom cabin. We found, as we had the year before, that the yard is absolutely lovely at this time of year. The bedroom was perfect for our two travel mates, and the cabin, while not absolutely perfect, was pretty darned close – in fact, if it weren’t for the forecast, we would have found it perfect. The only thing it didn’t have was a living room. We ate our lunch out on the deck, then went out for a walk. It was getting more and more gray, and we were tired, so we decided not to try any of the trails, but stick to the road. We finally caught up to our hostess,a nd asked if we could bring some chairs from the main deck into the cabin so 4 of us could sit. She offered, instead to give us some chairs from her house! Very nice, as we knew we would not be able to sit on the deck for our other meals. Well, we could, but it would be really wet and nasty. We walked out by the library, which was open, so we checked it out – very beautiful little place. Then it was off to the ice pond and to check out the path down to the cottages out that way. We headed down a road we had never been down before, that went as far to the north as a road can go on the island, out to the trails that wrap around the north and north-eastern end. By then it was sprinkling, so we headed back into town, and checked out the Lupine Gallery, and the store next door, whose name I forget – Elsa’s PO, maybe? No purchasing that trip, but definitely scoped out things to get later. We were disappointed to find that Winter Work was closed, but we were getting tired, anyway. So we worked our way back to the Black Duck, got coffee/cocoa/etc and made a dinner plan, with help from the props. While we were there sorting it out, they were talking to someone who came in, about a woman they know who is hiking the AT. I then noticed a trail map on the wall. I asked them about it, and told them about Jordana over on My Meandering Trail. They were at that moment, texting their friend, Hufflepuff, and asked her if she had run into Jordana. She had! That was kind of fun, and I will be hopping over to MMT to tell her about it.

Anyway, what they advised for dinner was to not spend the money in the two fancy places. So, we did what we did last year – went for ice cream now, and pizza to carry up the hill, with breakfast in the fancy place a plan.

We were glad to do it this way, as dinner isn’t served in any restaurant until 6, we were getting tired, and the thought of heading down that hill again in the rain was not a cheerful thought. So, we ventured out, got some ice cream, found that the place has gluten-free pizza for Mom, and carried it up to the cabin, where we had a fun dinner in our crowded place (to be fair, it would not have been crowded with just two people) and I got to open my birthday presents early, since Mom would not be there for dinner the next night.

We played one game, then sent Mom and L off to their room before dark. We were asleep by 8:15, I think.

Andrea arrived in force that night, and so we were awake a good part of the night – not in a bad way, but enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof, and watching the light from the lighthouse circle around, reflected on the clouds.

Mom and L arrived as planned at 7:15, ready for a trek in the pouring rain, and we headed down the hill to the Monhegan House for breakfast. We were the only people in the dining room, and had a very good breakfast, much more reasonably priced than dinner would have been. After breakfast, back up the hill to gather Mom’s things, and wait to see if the rain let up. It did, late in the morning, so we went out, got Mom over to Winter Work, which was full of great things made by island residents over the long winter.

Then we went over to the Barnacle, got some cocoa and coffee (are you seeing a trend yet?) and waited for Mom’s boat to leave – as we waited, the showers really began to lift, and by the time she sailed off, it was truly “partly sunny”. Our original plan had been to get lunch for A and L, and head back to the cabin to eat lunch on the deck (I had half a sandwich left from the day before) but we were so excited to have a break in the rain that we headed out to the shipwreck and Lobster Point. We took the scenic route, heading down a few little side roads on the way. We probably should have followed the original plan, because by the time we navigated the creek that passes for a trail out to the point, A was really feeling it in her hip and ankle. We sat on the rocks while L went off exploring the shore and taking beautiful photos. Then we did head back to the cabin, where we ate snacks, then decided naps were in order, after the long sleepless night. A woke me at 5, L came in from her napping place on the deck and made us mac and cheese – she had hauled the ingredients all the way from home! We had that and more mini cupcakes left over from the party the night before.

PLayed some wild Uno before bed, then got to bed early (again, not much in the way of light over there, so sent L back to her room before dark.) We both slept much better Saturday night – fresh air and walking will do that!

Hoped to awake to a beautiful clear day, but no way were we going to be that lucky. More dreary grayness – L came over to let us know she was NOT walking up to Cathedral woods before breakfast, so she and I headed down the hill in search of coffee, brought A a baked treat for breakfast, and headed back up the hill to rejoin her, pack everything up and figure our morning plan. We were thrilled to ba able to once again count on Monhegan trucking to haul the heavy bags, and we went back down the hill (really, we were getting almost used to it by this point!) and stopped in to thank Barbara for her hospitality, and take advantage of it one last time, to leave our back packs while we wandered up to the lighthouse. The clouds were dissipating, and we really had a lovely view from that vantage point. Then it was time to go get our packs and head over to the dock to await our boat off the island.

L and I had a wonderful time, not minding the low-key aspect of the trip caused by the rainy weather. A said she is glad to spend my birthday there, but that any longer than a weekend and she would go nuts. I think if it were nice, and we could enjoy relaxing on the deck, and the walks were not wet and muddy (stressing her about her mobility issues) she would have more fun, but I could be wrong. Still, I am pretty sure we will try again someday not too far away. Mom suggested we move my birthday celebration to September, which is typically less rainy… she might have a point! We did grab some brochures from other island lodging, and we checked out the rooms at the Monhegan House, but I really do love the Hitchcock House, and think I will just adjust my plans until I hit a date when that upper efficiency apartment is free – it has living room space in addition to bedroom and kitchen, and that makes a big difference, if it rains, which it seems to do when it sees me coming. 🙂

Mom said that sister C is headed out there in July (and so is Mom, for another day or so) and she will check out whatever cottage C rents. All we know about it now is that it is in town. As lots of them are. 🙂

Sun was shining brightly for our trip home, so we had a really nice boat ride. We did run into showers in Belfast/Searsport but it is not raining here at home, it is a beautiful sunny evening. Just the perfect end to a birthday weeeknd!

2 thoughts on “Walking, eating, drinking coffee, or how I spent my birthday on Monhegan”

  1. Happy birthday! I have been inspired to look at where you were online as it all sounds wonderfully different to me – and I really enjoyed exploring the websites. It looks beautiful. I hope you had a wonderful time and gots lots of lovely presents!

    1. Claire – it is lovely there – no bicycles, very few cars (only islanders can have them) and wonderful views. it is a famous destination for artists, so you should be able to find out lots about it by googling Monhegan Island. It did remind me of Skye, Mull and Iona quite a bit, but smaller than Skye and Mull, for sure. As fro presents, I did get good ones – a couple of cartridges for my Cricut machine, some left handed pinking shears(yay mom!) and a gift certificate to my favorite yarn store – (yay, A!) I also got a nice book and delicious cupcakes from my sister in law. It was all good, and easy to tote home again. 🙂

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