A Maine Summer Getaway

maine cottage

Maine is the perfect destination for a summer getaway and is known for its small vacation homes called camps, cabins or cottages. They are where you can spend an idyllic summer and enjoy a feeling of simpler times, or as the Maine slogan states, “the way life should be.”

As I celebrate 10 years of blogging, let me take you back to where Back Road Journal began…sitting in an Adirondack chair on the back deck of a small lakeside cottage in Maine. My husband and I were living on a farm, an hour north of Boston, in a small town in New Hampshire. Our 1730’s historic home was on 13 acres of land with three hundred of apple trees. We loved where we lived but my husband’s dream was to find a small lake house in Maine where we could spend summers near the water. When we started looking for that summer house, I was dreaming of a cute cottage like I’d seen in the beautiful home design magazines while my husband was looking at magazines that featured a slightly more rustic style, referred to as camps in Maine.

After many trips north, we found a listing just 45 minutes north of Portland, Maine that would make us both happy. It was located in the picturesque town of Naples which is on Long Lake in the heart of Maine’s Lakes and Mountains region. We would be able to walk to the center of town for events like the annual blues festival or classic wooden boat show, watch the 4th of July parade, have a lobster at one of the local restaurants or to simply enjoy an ice cream cone.

maine cottage
Our Maine Cottage Needed A Little Work Inside

The property had its own private little beach and boat dock. The small house was more rustic than I was hoping to find, with a washer/dryer standing just inside the front door. It was a fixer upper that just “needed a little work” so we decided to go ahead with the purchase. Of course, we uncovered problems that soon led to work we hadn’t planned on like new flooring. After months of renovations and spending more money than we originally planned, the very rustic little 900 sq. ft. building with sagging, insect infested floors was transformed into a cute little summer getaway.

The cottage now had an open concept family/dining room with wide pine floors, cream colored wainscoting and pale yellow walls. The new kitchen had white wood cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, pantry and a sitting area off the kitchen with a cast iron gas heater where we could sit and sip a cup of coffee on chilly mornings.The small bathroom got a walk in shower, a granite topped vanity and built in shelving for storage. We closed off an outside door, removed a hallway and created two closets. One now held the washer/dryer that used to sit just inside the front door.

family room
The Colorful Family Room Is Decorated With A Mixture of Old And New

Shades of coral, lime green, turquoise and yellow filled each room of the cottage, colors reminiscent of a summer flower garden. The cottage was comfortable, a place where we could put our feet up, read a good book or play a game of scrabble.

Outdoors need a lot of work as well. We had a gravel drive and stone walkways installed. Vegetable and flower gardens were planted with perennials that would survive Maine’s harsh winters. Our summer months were spent outside. Walks and gardening in the morning, out on the lake in the early afternoon then sitting on the deck with a book. In the late afternoon, we would sit at the end of our dock, have a cocktail and watch the beautiful sunsets over the mountains in the distance. Most of the summer, our meals were eaten outside on a wooden picnic table under the gazebo.

When friends or family visited, there was always swimming, boating, tubing, and jet skiing right from our beach and dock. For more summer fun, we could take them on a cruise around the lake on the Songo River Queen paddle boat or they could fly over the lake on the seaplane that took off and landed right in front of our cottage.


Beautiful yet a little rugged, Maine is far different from the areas where I’d spent most of my life. While only two hours away from our farmhouse, the Maine cottage provided a simpler way of life. The state has a slogan, “Maine, the way life should be” and I agree. I believe our most relaxed, happiest times were spent at our summer lakeside getaway. I can close my eyes and picture myself back at the cottage, sitting on the deck in the early morning quiet, only interrupted by the occasional sound of a loon. It was a pint size slice of heaven where I wrote my first post. Ten years later, a few of my original followers are still with me and I so appreciate your support. Over the years more of you have stopped by and decided to follow as well. You have stayed with me through our move from New England to Florida. You’ve followed along on our travels and you’ve enjoyed trying many of the recipes I’ve developed over the past ten years. Without you, there would be no reason to blog, so I thank you for your friendship and welcome each new follower.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

62 thoughts on “A Maine Summer Getaway

  1. Congratulations on ten years of blogging!! We have been following each other for a long time. Do you still have the cottage? It looks so sweet. A great getaway.

  2. I grew up on a lake in Michigan, where we lived year round. Do you still have your summer camp?

  3. Congrats on 10 years! That’s a long time. I remember your Maine house — you shared so many wonderful posts from there. Fun seeing pictures of it again. Thanks!

  4. What a charming spot! I’m guessing that now you are in Florida you don’t visit anymore (which is a pity, because it is darling!). It is clearly a little haven and sounds like the perfect place at the right time!

    Congratulations on your ten years. Lets hope there are at least ten more!

  5. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary of blogging, I’ve enjoyed following you for your great recipes and globe trotting. The cottage sounds like a wonderful place to summer!

  6. What a beautiful transformation. I love the slogan of Maine “the way life used to be’. It sounds like you’re creating it once again which is simply wonderful. Congratulations on ten years of blogging too. That’s quite an achievement. Sending love and good wishes from Australia.

  7. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. That’s pretty momentous. I don’t recall how long I’ve been reading your posts but have enjoyed each one. I was sad when you made the decision to leave your farmhouse and go to a newly built home. Now you have created a whole new world for yourselves. Congratulations on that too.

  8. I am a relatively new follower, so really enjoyed this step back in time. What a beautiful spot! Now I want to go. Congrats on 10 years!

  9. WOW! This does look like a beautiful summer getaway. My BIL has always talked about Maine in the summer and I can see that in these gorgeous pictures.

  10. Right now, Maine appears to be THE travel destination. More people are vaccinated against Covid than anywhere else in the US, and you are fairly safe here. If you ever come back, and pass through Portland, I would be happy to meet with you.

  11. Wow, 10 years! (Me too.) Congrats! I’m happy to have found and connected with you and Back Road Journal.
    I have never been to Maine. (GASP!) I’ve always wanted to visit. I have friends who go every summer, and somehow I’ve never made it. It’s definitely on my list.
    Your cottage is lovely! The before and after pics are fun and I really love how you’ve fixed it up. So pretty! And how peaceful it looks to sit in one of those Adirondack chairs and take in the view. 🙂 ~Valentina

  12. Oh how wonderful to have blogged for ten years! Congratulations to you my friend!
    What a lovely get away for you and your family to go to in Maine. Such sweet memories for you!
    We spent a week antiquing in Maine and visiting nature! We loved it! And how about those Lobster Rolls!
    Congratulations once again and have a beautiful week my friend!

  13. Congratulations on ten years of blogging Karen! I wonder if you miss that lovely cottage sometimes… 😉 It looks so cosy there. 😃

  14. What a fun post, Karen! That house in Maine looks amazing, but it sounds like you certainly had your work cut out for you with the redo. Doesn’t it always seem like that, though? Each house we’ve lived in always has more work than we anticipated. Either way, Maine has been on our travel list for a while now, and these photos are moving Maine up higher on the list!

  15. What a cute little getaway, I’m sure you miss those peaceful days! I loved seeing the makeover photos, so cute! Congrats on 10 years, I’m coming up on my 9 year blogaversary and am grateful for all the friends I’ve made and things I’ve learned through blogging!

  16. Congratulations on your 10 year blogaversary. I started my blog 9 years ago and I find it difficult to come up with more recipe ideas as time goes by. The first time I went to Maine was in 1964 and we stayed at the local YMCA. I remember there was someone named ‘Danny Cake’ who was running for some office at the ‘Y’ and he had posters up on the wall. I hope you keep your posts coming- I enjoy reading them!

  17. I’ve been following your blog about that long – congratulations! I always loved your posts about your cottage and your life in Maine too… 🙂

  18. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. I enjoy reading your blog posts. I remember the posts from your cottage.

  19. Dear friend! Firstly congrats on 10 years. Your blogsite is amazing. Landscape photos are beautiful. Thank you for providing this site. Greetings from Turkey.

  20. Congratulations Karen on your 10 year adventure! It seems more than an anniversary but like a friendship that you’ve culminated with so many over the years sharing your life, travels and recipes. It’s been my pleasure to follow along on your journey. I absolutely love your Maine cottage, it’s just perfect for a summer getaway! I’ve enjoyed tagging along for the adventures you’ve shared at the New Hampshire farmhouse and all the travels you’ve taken abroad. Cheers to you and to many more years of blogging!

  21. Karen,
    Hearty congratulations on completing ten years of blogging. So much to learn and so much to offer. Your Maine is a fabulous getaway. What a stunning transformation of the place to make it fit into your dream magazine. Lovely clicks and beautiful eye to details.

  22. I remember when you had your Maine cottage. There is something so special about living on a lake. You have been blogging as long as I have. We need to keep it up for each other and our other followers. Congrats!

  23. Happy Blogging Anniversary Karen. Did you sell the beautiful cottage in Maine? I thought I remembered something in a previous post. Our kid attended college in Maine and I remember wonderful weeks exploring Portland and the Acadia Park when we were there for parent’s weekend. You location looks idyllic, so many wonderful memories.

  24. Happy Blogoversary, Karen! I’ts been fun – and still is! – to follow your stories about recipes, houses, and live. While visiting the US my friends and I stayed in a rental in Ogunquit, which I absolutely love. I’ve visited Maine both in autumn and summer, and it’s such a beautiful place. I can totally understand why you go there to chill 🙂

  25. What a lovely cabin, you renovated beautifully. 900 square feet is about the perfect size, not too much for a quick cleaning. Happy 10 year blogiversary!

  26. I’ve still never been to Maine, which is just crazy because I didn’t grow up all that far away. It looks so idyllic; I need to make up for lost time and visit soon.

    Happy blogoversary, too!

  27. The surroundings look idyllic, Karen, and what a lovely home you made there. Your recipes always make me wish I wasn’t a lazy haphazard cook. No wonder I have a husband who very often says ‘let’s eat out’ 🙂 🙂

  28. I love your posts, and this one takes the cake! If all works out, we will be seeing Maine for the first time this fall! A couple of touristy spots, and then some back woods activities and fly fishing. I’ve always been drawn to that part of the country. I lived on long island for two years as a teenager, but we unfortunately only traveled elsewhere on long island, or to NYC. I’m so excited. love that cottage, before and after.

  29. Congratulations, Karen. And, Thank you for sharing so many wonderful travels and good eats with us.
    Your cottage is beautiful, which reminds me the photos I have seen in magazines. Wonderful memories. 🙂

  30. congrats on 10 years! i’ve done 8, and i can hardly believe how the time flew by. your cottage looks so lovely, and it sounds like a wonderful place to be. but you live in florida now is that right? quite a change. take care.

  31. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging, Karen! That is so exciting. Love, love, love your beautiful house in Maine. It’s definitely the stuff dreams are made of and it looks like such a wonderful place to make memories with family and friends. I know it was more work than you had anticipated but the end result is really warm and inviting. Hugs and keep up the good work, CoCo

  32. Karen,
    What a small world it is. My family had a summer home on Brandy Pond about 6 miles from your cottage. Your pictures brought back a flood of memories. I remember many of the places and events. Thank you for sharing! And, congrats on 10 years.

  33. So beautiful! Love your little lake house and thank you for sharing your photos of the renovations. I Love your color scheme – vibrant and very inviting!
    Congrats on 10 years!! Come to think of it -this is also our 10th year, but I wish I had the time to write about it as lovely as you do.
    So glad we became friends over the years. I love to stop by and visit!
    Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend!!
    xo Anna

  34. I remember your quaint farmhouse too 🙂 What wonderful memories! It must have been a fun place for all your family and friends to visit and quiet and peaceful for you and your husband when you were alone. Happy 10 years of blogging anniversary.

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