Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Notes from the road


I’m checking in from a laptop in my parents’ RV in Saco, Maine. I’ve been here since Sunday, and am staying until Thursday when I leave for the AIGA conference in Boston. Any of you house bloggers going to be there? Teague is home working on the chimney, and I’m out here walking the beaches – pretty unfair, isn’t it? He’s too busy with construction jobs to take a break, so he’ll be taking his vacation once crummy weather rolls in. He will definitely have earned it by then.

Today the ‘rents and I traveled to Portland, a city I spent a summer in about five years ago (a lovely summer internship at an animation studio whose offie window overlooked the harbor). I fell in love with it then, and love to come back. Portland has a beautiful historic district, with brick paved streets and incredible old homes. Our destination was the Victoria Mansion, a pre-Civil War italianate built by a hotelier named Ruggles Morris. (His name sounds so unassuming, doesn’t it??) The house was owned by only two families and is nearly untouched, down the furnishings and even the family’s china. It was amazing. Gustave Herter (of Herter Brothers fame) was responsible for the interior design and much of the furniture. Every room had a theme, carried out in lavish wall/ceiling paintings, plasterwork and art.

My favorite feature of the house was the smoking room, which looked like a Turkish opium den. It was a small room with a single couch and an elaborate gas chandelier. The chandelier pulled down to allow the men to light cigars off of it. The room had pocket doors which closed ever-so-tightly to keep the smoke from escaping and bothering the delicate ladies of the house. Apparently, this was also the reason for smoking jackets – I’d never thought of that!

There were tons of other neat details – I could go on all night, but it’s hard to do justice to them with just a few words. So, definitely stop for a tour if you come through southern Maine.

I’m taking tons of photos – I love the New England style architecture – so I’ll have lots to post when I get back into town. Stay tuned!

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