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Winter Squirrels

Seafaring Couple Ken & Ellen Barnes

Ken and Ellen are captains who know firsthand the effect nature can have on you. Arriving in 1978 to start their own business, the couple has been living and breathing everything Maine ever since. There are plenty of waterways and coastlines waiting to be explored and it’s not the current, but the sights and sounds that will pull you in.

A friend of ours called the other day from South Carolina. "Boy, you guys must be getting pretty squirrelly with winter cabin fever by now!"

I said I felt like a squirrel sometimes trying to be two places at once. I mean, it's hard sometimes to keep track of where we're supposed to be at any given time. She said, "What the heck are you talking about? You're in Maine, aren't you?"

I had to explain that according to our schedule book, there are enough engaging events happening around us that it is practically impossible to take it all in.

The Strand Theatre simulcasts operas live from the Met and if you miss it live, hold on...there's an encore performance ten days afterwards. Live performances are staged there as well by a wide range of nationally known performers.

Our Farnsworth Art Museum offers a lecture series and you don't want to miss a single one, not to mention the Wyeth exhibits.

And speaking of museums, we have three other world class museums right here: the Owls Head Transportation Museum, the Maine Lighthouse Museum and the Sail, Power & Steam Museum.

If we still feel like we can squeeze in a little more, there's always the Bay Chamber Concert Series, and Everyman Repertory Theatre (ERT), our local professional repertory theatre company. They perform at several venues such as the Camden or Rockport Opera houses or the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.

The Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations meets monthly for a lovely luncheon and to listen to a speaker usually on the ambassadorial level. There's something mighty uplifting about feeling you're not the smartest person in the room.

And did I mention the snow? Well the old Camden Snow Bowl is a terrific community facility that everyone loves and is comfortable as your favorite flannel shirt. It also hosts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships that are always wicked good fun. It's where the kids learn to ski — and boy, they start them young.

But, to go now...they're blowing the horn for me. I'm not sure if it's Puccini, Mozart or the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Who cares? Hold on...I'm coming! Bye-bye.

Editor's Notes

Embrace the winter climate and take on the Sugarloaf Winter Triathlon challenge. This 3-person relay race includes a 10km nordic ski leg, a 5km snowshoe leg and a 5k snow run (yaktrax recommended for traction).

For those looking for a more lighthearted affair, check out Pond-a-Palooza Extravaganza in Sunday River where your pond skimming skills will be put to the test. Outlandish costumes encouraged.

Get into the spirit of summer at the Summer Solstice Street Fair. Play, eat and dance along to jams provided by bands from all types of genres. Soak up even more amazing music at the North Atlantic Blues Festival.

There's no shortage of incredible places to kick back and put your feet up after a long day. Discover everything from fairytale bed & breakfasts to bustling inns and hotels.

Treat your taste buds. Grab a bite at Primo from the James Beard 2013 best chef winner, then take a trip through Maine's wine trail and sample some of the local libations at Breakwater Vineyards, Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery or Savage Oaks Vineyard and Wintery to name a few.

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