After leaving the beach, we spent a bit of time touring one of the oldest towns in New England, Castine, Maine, which predates Plymouth Colony by seven years. Hubby and I have such a fondness and respect for the old New England architecture that we would have been content simply driving leisurely up and down the streets admiring all the lovely homes and buildings, but the Littles aren't quite as impressed as we are with that form of recreation, so we made a stop at Fort Pentagouet, presumably the oldest permanent settlement in New England and one with a very turbulent history, being occupied at different times by the French, the Dutch and the English Plymouth Colony. Of course the boys were immediately taken in by the old fort, and were instantly transformed into "soldiers" hiding out in the nooks and crannies of the remains of this ancient fortress.
As we were wondering the charming streets of Castine, we happened upon an old house that was being renovated by the Historical Society; its porch was full of books and old items that were laid out for free. I picked up a box of vintage, haberdashery items and also some fun, old books that will be a lovely addition to our home library, including a copy of Emerson's Essays; a lovely old (Italian) Italiana-Inglese dictionary, signed by its first owner in 1929, Rapallo, Italy; The Britannica World Dictionary (two volumes) which includes French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Yiddish; and old copies of Madame Bovary, an 1895 copy of John Keats Complete Poetical Works, Marie Antoinette, and Romola. I just love old books and I'm looking forward to a quiet, rainy day when I can find the perfect spot on the shelves for my newly found treasures.
Our last stop was at Woodlawn, a historical estate that happened to be on our route home. I was completely in awe of the ten to twelve foot high rhododendron bushes that lined one side of the driveway; the only time I have seen them that tall was on trips we have taken south to the Carolinas. Hubby and I both loved the blue doors on the old carriage house, and we couldn't resist taking a photo of the dog house. Such a perfect day...the beach, a bit of history, free books, sleeping children on the way home...one couldn't ask for a much better way to spend the day. I'm so thankful for the opportunities we have to enjoy the wonders around us.