48HRS, The Online-Only Edition – January 2014
Photographs + stories by Maine magazine staff:
Karen Bowe, Advertising Account Manager
Karen Bowe, Advertising Account Manager
I couldn’t be happier to be spending the next 48 hours in my hometown of Lewiston-Auburn, where I have such great memories. What an awesome place to grow up! I lived in the perfect neighborhood, where I played outside with my friends until dark; all of our parents knew each other and many conversed in French. They are salt-of-the-earth people with hearts of gold and a good work ethic. While lots of things haven’t changed, so many things are different and I’m so excited for the opportunity to highlight all the wonderful things our great cities have to offer. My father, the former mayor and police chief of Lewiston, is anxious to be our tour guide and my sister is taking time out from her busy schedule to join us. Meanwhile, my mom is happy to babysit my nine-month-old twin baby girls.
5:00 p.m. in downtown Lewiston
My sister Karla and I, as well as my baby girls, are ready for the art walk, which takes place each month. We meet up with my parents in downtown Lewiston. Outside on the street, a band plays upbeat tunes that instantly put us in a great mood. My dad takes hold of the stroller like a proud pepere (French for grandfather) and we start our walk at the beginning of Lisbon Street. First stop is J Dostie Jewelers, a very special place for my parents, where they purchased my mom’s engagement ring, wedding bands, anniversary ring, and many other very meaningful, special pieces.
Next off, the Vault. The quaint wine shop is packed with people and full of the sounds of live string music. The wine is flowing and the laughter is so joyous. We continue on our journey along the sidewalks full of people. It’s nice to see the downtown full of energy. My parents know everyone and, of course, they are gushing with pride to show off their grandchildren. I love seeing my parents’ faces light up. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at this moment. We pop into the Lyceum Gallery. I love the funky, whimsical clocks by Timothy Pelletier.
6:00 p.m. @ Forage Market + Rainbow Bicycle Shop + Lamey Wellehan
If you’re looking for wood-fired bagels, rustic breads, soups, and fresh specialty foods, Forage Market is the place to be. There was no skimping on quality with the renovations of this gorgeous brick building with high tin ceilings and beautiful wooden finishes. The new Rainbow Bicycle Shop is a dream. When I was a kid, it was a tiny little shop that carried a few lines of quality bikes. It was well known for being able to service any part your bike needed. How great it is that they’ve moved into a big downtown space! We sip coffee from the Local Grind, the in-house coffee shop, as we browse the bikes and artwork. I can’t believe the old Lamey Wellehan Shoe Store is open for the art walk. The space has been vacant for many years. Besides all the talented artwork, I can’t help but wonder at my surroundings. This place brings back a lot of memories—my first job in high school and the store is just as I remembered. My parents remember having us fitted for our first pair of shoes here.
6:30 p.m. @ L/A Arts + Lewiston Library
L/A Arts is open with a great display called “Africa.” My parents introduce me to Wals Ali, the artist. My parents have several of his pieces hanging at their home. My dad is proud to point out that people of many different nationalities now live in Lewiston. As a little boy he remembers his family adapting to the American way of life. My grandparents were first generation U.S. citizens coming from Canada. They are thrilled to see a new generation of Mainers in our twin cities. We make a quick stop into the Lewiston Library. I’m anxious to see the head librarian, Rick Spear. Several years ago, the library was completely renovated and they opened the Marsden Hartley Cultural Center. The library is still as beautiful as I remember.
7:30 p.m. @ home
We head back to my parents’ house to get the babies ready for bed. My mom and dad are looking forward to rocking them to sleep and keeping them for the night. My sister Karla and I say good night, and we’re off to dinner.
8:30 p.m. @ Fishbones American Grill
Karla and I have reservations at Fishbones American Grill located at the Bates Mill N.6 building. I’ve never been before, but I’ve heard amazing things. I can see why. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. Karla and I sip red wine and eat scrumptious jumbo shrimp as we talk about old times. We both choose the special. Our halibut was to die for. To top it off, we indulge by sharing a strawberry cheesecake for dessert. The owners introduce themselves and wish us well on our journey.
9:30 p.m. @ Hilton Garden Inn
We immediately feel like we’re somewhere far away at the Hilton Garden Inn. The decor is very European and the soft music is so welcoming. We open the door to our huge room with two queen-sized plush beds, a sight we’re thrilled to see. Our window overlooks the falls and you can hear the gushing water. So peaceful. Yes, this will do just fine.
7:00 a.m. @ home
Karla and I pick up the babies from my parents’ house for a stroll along the river walk in Auburn. The babies love to see the ducks on the side of the river. It’s great seeing runners, walkers, and bikers enjoying the picturesque winding path along the river. It’s a perfect start to the day.
8:45 a.m. @ The Bread Shack
Karla has to head out to work, so my father offers to take me to The Bread Shack in Auburn for breakfast. Before you even walk through the door, you can smell the aroma of baked goods. I decide on a scone and coffee, and my dad gets the bread pudding muffin. We sit and plan out our day.
10:00 a.m. @ Franco American Heritage Center
They are kind enough to open the upstairs of the renovated St. Mary’s Church. This beautiful Gothic-style building is now a state-of-the-art, 428-seat performing arts center, a museum, and a multi-purpose function hall. It’s stunning!
12:00 p.m. @ Baxter Brewing
It’s a warm day, and some crisp, cold beer sounds really good, so we head to Baxter Brewing. Chris gives us a tour and explains the process of making this delicious canned beer and takes us outside to show us the expansion they’re undergoing. After the tour we head inside for a sampler of all the beers they make. We can’t tell which one we like best. I did notice the “pull tab” earrings that were for sale and I pick up a few souvenirs of our trip.
3:00 p.m. @ Museum LA
You instantly feel like you’ve gone back in time walking through the former textile mill. The oil from the weaving machines is absorbed in the wood floors where they once sat, and French and Irish symbols are left painted on the old walls. I can only imagine how hard these people worked.
8:00 p.m. @ Fuel
Karla joins me again at Fuel. She’s had a long day at work and is anxious to get back to our mini vacation. We order red wine and decide to try fiddleheads for the first time since they are in season—I can see what everyone is raving about, they are delicious! We both decide on the Seafood Bourguignon and afterward we’re so stuffed, we can’t order dessert.
10:00 p.m. @ Hilton Garden Inn
We head back to our room for another restful night’s sleep.
8:00 a.m. @ Hilton Garden Inn
The complimentary continental breakfast is perfectly enjoyable as we sit outside on the park bench, sip our coffee, and eat fruit and baked goods while watching the beautiful falls.
10:00 a.m. @ Lewiston Farmers’ Market
Karla leaves to go home, and dad and I head out to the farmers’ market. There are lots of farm-fresh veggies, breads, sauces, and work by local artisans. I decide to buy these crooked wine glasses. They are so funny. The woman tells me the more you drink, the straighter the glasses look. Ha!
12:00 p.m. @ Orphan Annie’s Antiques
Just over the bridge in Auburn, I must make a stop at Orphan Annie’s Antiques. This antique shop is one of a kind. It’s packed with unique items, laid out in such amazing displays. I’m eyeing a decorative layered bracelet of silver and bronze. I think I’ll treat myself.
1:00 p.m. @ Gritty’s
Dad and I go around the corner to Gritty’s. It’s a beautiful day and we decide to sit out on the deck and order a couple of burgers and beer. We people watch and count the boats in the river.
3:00 p.m. on Lisbon Street
My dad wants to introduce me to some of his Somali friends. I notice the gorgeous clothing the women are wearing and can’t help but buy a light-weight, flowing scarf for my mother from one of the shops we visit. I know she’ll love it.
5:00 p.m. on the road
I’m sad the weekend is over; I’m looking forward to seeing the babies and heading back home to see my husband. We pack up the car and say goodbye to my parents. We all agree it was a great weekend!