Sleigh Rides and Sugar Shacks

I’m an expert in taking vacations at inconvenient times of year. Who goes to Spain in August? Or Maine in March? Besides me… of course. In my defense, my touring job doesn’t spoil me for choice. Taking time off requires my touring show to stay in one place for more than a week so I can pay someone to come out and replace me. At that point, when I go on vacation often depends more on the schedule/location of the show and less upon what days I’d really like off.

That said, I’m not working on a show anymore so technically I could go anywhere; but Maine was the closest scenic place for some good r&r and I also got the ocean and a lack of tourists clogging up the works. In case you were wondering, that’s why Maine and it just happened to be March at the tail end of the coldest snowiest winter in decades.

Good thing I have a fireplace in my room

1802 House fireplace

And while we’re on about the weather, I woke up today and it was snowing so a sleigh ride seemed completely reasonable, even though it’s the first official day of spring.

Doc and Joe

I went out with Rockin Horse Stables  pulled by Joe and Doc, their ginormous Belgian draft horses. 2000lb apiece with feet the size of dinner plates, in case you were wondering, and they pulled 10 adults across a field like it was nothing. It snowed the whole trip, there was at least a foot of snow under the sleigh and we had actual vintage fur pelts covering us in the sleigh.

me in maine

Felt very Little House on the Prairie even though it was basically a glorified trek across the field with the farm house in sight for most of the trip. However, I would do it again because it was snowing. In March. And I’m on vacation. Plus those horse were delightful and I got to feed them carrots.

Rockin' Horse Stables

The official opening of maple syrup season happens today and that’s the other banner event in March. Some of the sugar shacks cheated and opened yesterday so I drove up to Merrifield Farm to check it out

boiling syrup

The boiling syrup was kind of incredible. You could bathe a 10 year old in those iron vats. After you took out the syrup, of course. There were also some blacksmith demos and cows to pet, masses of maple cotton candy to eat and maple sugar creams to finish off the experience.

But that points up the real thing about Maine Maple Sunday: it’s all about the kids.

Kids on snow

With snow piles to climb and all that sugar, what kid wouldn’t love Maple Sunday?

Having no children, I had my ice cream topped with maple syrup

Merrifield Farm

Wandered a bit and then got back in the car. The drive up there through the back woods of Maine was worth the whole day so I’m not mad. I’ll see a few more sugar shacks today and let you know if I have anything else to say about maple syrup.

This sign from a local nursery as a final note:

I almost wet my plants

I actually laughed and turned the car around to take that picture.

But the best part of today is that I’m here voluntarily and I don’t have to be anywhere else. Cheers to that!

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