The Final Adventures of The Photographer and The Directrice*

Our home base was Camden where there are numerous entertainments: a harbor with boats that will take you out for a sail; plentiful restaurants; some charming shops; an abundance of well-fed Golden Retrievers and Yellow Labs happy to be admired by strangers; a library, a new bookshop, and used bookshop, and; a large candy shop.

On a sunny afternoon, we walked around the town.
The mean streets of Camden ME
We walked the mean streets of Camden ME

Further mean streets
Further mean streets
I am a big fan of window-boxes and the residents and merchants of Camden take them seriously. Windows are adorned with wonderful, riotous combinations of flowers and plants: impatiens, begonias, petunias, coleus.

But of all the sights on Main Street, this one grabbed my attention.
This caught my eye
THIS caught my eye
This caught my eye
A fantastic display, right?

Sea Bags! Totes made of recycled sails, sewn in a workroom in Portland, Maine.
That’s a concept, a product, and a company that I can get behind.
Sea Bags!
Sea Bags!

SO MANY CHOICES; paralyzing choices
SO MANY CHOICES; paralyzing choices
You can read all about Sea Bags here, but I will give you a quick introduction.
The bags come in a few shapes and sizes — courier, small tote, large tote, plus smaller accessory pouches. Some of the bags incorporate numbers, letters, and other insignia from old sails, others are made from the plain white fabric of old sails and are adorned with new appliques or printed with nautical motifs. A new generation of Sea Bags is rolling out, with zippered tops and other features.



Ultimately, I could not choose and we left without buying anything.
ARe yOu KiDDiNg? Of course I bought one.
I did stupidly ask, “Can I wash my bag if it gets dirty?”
Um, Directrice, the sail used to live outside. It got wet every day. The rope, too.
But the store manager, a former high school biology teacher, kindly told me that there are no stupid questions. Note: There is also a “Care and Instructions” tag tied conspicuously to each bag, explaining that the bag is machine washable.
In case you are wondering what old clothes I am wearing today, you’ve seen them all before: an army green utility jacket, a short-sleeved white blouse, a floral camisole, white jeans.
The winner; No. 5
The winner; No. 5

The Directrice admiring hydrangeas
The Directrice admiring, fondling hydrangeas
The number 5 doesn’t mean anything to me personally, but I liked the red,
the font, and the off-center placement of the number.

Last year, our attempts at sailing (by which I mean: being taken out in a boat by an experienced sailor) went sideways, but we were enthusiastic about trying again this year. We headed out for an afternoon sail after a morning of patchy fog and . . . the fog set in unequivocally. The winds were very light, so we found ourselves slowly bobbing around the bay surrounded by grey water, grey sky, and, at times, thick fog. In a way, I felt this sail was a perfect metaphor for our current times and was greatly amused to be out on an ironic sail.
The Photographer told me to look contemplative, but instead I look like I am thinking of every bad thing I've done in my life
The Photographer told me to look contemplative, but instead I look like I am thinking of every bad thing I’ve done in my life

Our captain was also a wonderful conversationalist and though a few years younger than us seemed to have led many more lives — conservatory violinist, deck-hand, merchant marine captain, guitar-maker — so we had much to discuss. Plus, he totally embraced the imaginary blood feud between North Haven and Vinalhaven that I dreamed up last summer** and showed no unease when I asked what The Photographer and I should do if he (the captain) fell overboard. Indeed, he thought it was a good question.
I think bemused is a better look for me
I think bemused is a better look for me

Don't look, Cookie; it's a present for you
Don’t look, Mother; it’s a present for you
The other Maine company I will bring to your notice is Swans Island: a small textile company that hand-weaves the most beautiful blankets, wraps, and scarves from fine wool raised on . . . Vinalhaven Island. You can read more about it here.

For our last excursion, we drove to Waterville to visit my mother’s alma mater, Colby College. We went especially to see the new Museum of Art that opened in 2013.
It’s a wonderful museum and I highly recommend taking it in if you are visiting the Mid-Coast and you are a museum enthusiast. At the time we visited, the marquee exhibit was works by Marsden Hartley, which Colby had the ability to borrow from an impressive range of museums and private collections — but the permanent collection (only a portion of which is on display) is equally impressive with works representing major artists of the 19th and 20th Century as well as contemporary artists. And, open to the public for free!
Here I am, waving to my mother
Vacation proof of life for my mother

Taking something in
Taking something in
I don’t know about you, but I love feeling enveloped by the quiet, elegant environment of an art museum.

Oh no! We didn’t write down the name of this piece or the artist. But it is a representation of the moon, the word tattoo is in the title, and the artist is from Cuba.
Warning: do not google “moon tattoo cuba”; you will see strange images and stories, none of which relate to this work

The Big D by Al Held
I thought this was Ellsworth Kelly, but I was quite wrong. It’s Al Held.

By Louise Nevelson
Cascade VIII by Louise Nevelson; The Photographer and I love Louise Nevelson
The Photographer and I love Louise Nevelson; we want this
We want this sculpture

Even the service areas of the museum are beautiful: a psychedelic stairwell!
The perfect backdrop for my gingham dress, which you have seen before

The Directrice finds another red chair for power-slacking
The Directrice finds another red chair for power-slacking
After the minor exertion of driving and looking at art, we rested.

Final Recommendations: Our best meal of the trip was at 40 Paper in Camden (Italian), where we sampled three pasta dishes and a grilled steak. Everything was delicious. The reviews of 40 Paper on Trip Advisor are somewhat mixed, but they may be the vagaries of Trip Advisor, which we have previously discussed. We also like Fresh & Company tremendously; the menu is innovative and thought-provoking. I think, but am not sure, that the menu was tilted toward Asian cuisine this year; last I would have characterized it as new American. If you are looking for a rental, try On the Water in Maine; they do a great job vetting rental properties and, in our experience, accurately represent the properties listed.
Jacket: JCrew; Blouse: ASOS; Camisole: Vince; Pants: JCrew; Sandals: Donald J. Pliner; Courier bag: Orla Kiely; Tote: Sea Bags

* Final for Maine vacation 2017. Not final forever.
** Because I am obsessed with feuds and geographic rivalries, I invent them even where they may not exist. North Haven and Vinalhaven are two small islands in Penobscot Bay within easy sight, sail, and — do I even need to say it? — missile-range of one another. How could they not have some bad blood between them? Perhaps an unhappy 19th century inter-island marriage? A mid-20th century dispute over where the mail-boat docks first? A history of negligently-staged fireworks displays? As we saw in the parking lot at the top of Mt. Cadillac, the humans don’t need much encouragement to take umbrage.

8 thoughts on “The Final Adventures of The Photographer and The Directrice*”


    Thanks for not closing down your blog. I enjoy learning about your adventures, sartorial and otherwise!

  2. What a terrific job of presenting the delights of the mid Maine coast and the the inland adventures as well. Personal experiences are so much more informative and dare
    I say honest and amusing than travel brochures.

  3. My goodness, we really almost intersected! We were IN Waterville on Saturday and Sunday, en route to our daughter’s camp nearby in Oakland….

    And as for North & Vinyl Havens, my husband’s family has vacationed on North Haven for decades. He, however, hasn’t been since childhood. His brother carries on the tradition and we have yet to make it there. Instead, my husband heads to Rehoboth Beach to hang with my family most summers. This summer, we’re trying something different: Rhode Island. I love the beach.

    • Would it be fair to say your husband left North Haven 25 years ago and vowed never to return? If so, perhaps he can shed some light on these mysterious islands . . . Hope you had fun during your trip!

      • Well, it depends on how one defines “fair. ” If fair means a more entertaining but inaccurate representation of the reason, then absolutely! Sadly, the truth is more mundane.

  4. I, too, had a dreadful sinking feeling when I read the subject line for this post. Thank you for continuing to post, your thoughts and photos bring a smile to my face and joy to my morning when I read your posts.

    Thank you for your delightful holiday posts, we are lucky that you and the photographer continued to think of your readers, even when you are relaxing!


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