Sunday, October 8, 2017

Girls Weekend (#20), 2017, Maine

Thursday, October 5, 2017
I arrived at the Indy airport at 4:20 AM, EST. Lori arrived at the Portland, OR airport 4:45 AM PST. Girls Weekend 2017, 20th anniversary edition, had begun! We opted for Lori not to take the red-eye this year because it just isn’t worth it. Last year was also a coast-to-coast trip for her, and she was so exhausted she was wiped out. We try to arrive as close in time as we can, but this year I beat her to Bangor by over 6 hours.  Because everything is as it should be for Girls Weekend, this was actually perfect. I picked up our rental car and left the tiny airport to get some lunch at Nicky’s Diner, which had been recommended by the Hertz agent. After a very tasty “swimming Reuben” (haddock, coleslaw, cheddar and thousand island – yum!) I left to locate a grocery for us to go to later. The weather was glorious: 70° and mostly sunny, with big puffy white clouds. I put the car under a tree in the grocery parking lot and held a conference call for work, then went back to the airport (and the free wifi) and settled in right next to baggage claim to work for a couple of hours and wait for Lori, who arrived on time.  I LOVE that first big happy hug of GW! 
We grabbed Lori’s bag and took it out to the Kia Soul we had rented, then drove to the previously scouted Hannaford’s grocery to grab a few items we thought we’d like to have in our cabin. Then we headed for the highway and our first 2017 GW destination: Twin Maple Outdoors in Bradford, Maine, where we had reservations to go on a moose safari…whatever that was!
By this time the sun was sinking fast, and 40 minutes later as we approached our destination it was dark. Google maps did a pretty good job, considering we were way out in the sticks!  The only error really was that it showed our destination on the wrong side of the road. After pulling up a long gravel road to find only a lonely trailer and SUV at the end, we called Rich Yvon, our host, and found out we were just 10 or 20 yards past where we should be. Lori had done more research on this place than I, and said she could only see one cabin on the website, and it looked to be pretty wonderful. Rich was still on the phone with us as we approached the house, and told us he was in his car in his driveway, and we were to follow him.  He pulled out in front of us and drove further down the gravel road and around the bend, and there sat a gorgeous, brand new 3-bedroom lodge with a big front porch and large, plentiful windows.  
(This photo was obviously taken in the winter.  I grabbed it out of the Twin Maples Facebook page because it was such a nice shot of the lodge.  We do NOT have snow on ground currently!)
Rich and his 12-year-old daughter Anna Rose (sp?) got out of the car, greeted us, and helped carry our luggage up and into the lodge. I had ankle surgery 8 weeks ago, and am in the process of being weaned out of my boot into an ankle brace, so I left the heavy stuff to others and went inside to explore.  The place was stunning, made from cedar and pine, and completely built by Rich along with friends and family.  A majestic dining room table and accompanying benches dominated the kitchen area, and was made from one tree by a friend of the family. The lodge was fully equipped: full-size stocked kitchen, three bedrooms with new, very comfy mattresses (in handmade cedar bedframes), hangers and laundry hampers in the closets, a gorgeous, stacked front-loading washer and dryer in the bathroom, large new smart TV in the living area which also had lots of comfy reclining furniture, and most thrilling for Lori and me, high-speed dependable wifi! This place is heaven on earth for two women who really would find enjoyment just sitting by a tree and talking for a week.

After an extremely thorough tour of the lodge and lengthy explanation of how everything worked (Rich and his daughter were both justifiably proud of this monument to time and talent), we were left alone to settle in. We poured some wine, found spots on the couch, and chatted and watched a little TV.  Rich was expecting us to arrive back up at the house by 5:30 Friday morning.  Around 12:30 or 1:00 we put our collective foot down on ourselves, cut off all talking, and went to bed. Going to bed on that first night always makes me kind of wistful, because I know that from here on time will fly, and soon it will be the last night of GW rather than the first one.  Finally though, we stopped calling out to each other from our separate rooms, and went to sleep.

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