Month: June 2015

Introducing…Off the Silk Road!

I’m pleased to announce that Off the Maine Road now has a sister site! It’s called Off the Silk Road, and as you can hopefully guess, it’s China-themed.

As you may have read before, I will be leaving for China for six weeks. Off the Silk Road  is a place where you can not only see some of my thoughts while I’m there, but also see other posts relating to Chinese culture in the future. I encourage you to subscribe to its email list as well, and like it on Facebook!

Have a great summer and 路顺风!(May the wind be at your back!)

Off the Silk Road

For most of this blog, you have read about places in Maine that are “off the Maine road.” This post will be a little different.

In about two weeks from now, I will be traveling way off the main road, all the way to rural Yunnan Province in Southwestern China. I will be there for six weeks, during which I will be trekking, studying, and immersing myself in all aspects of Chinese culture. Although Maine coverage will be temporarily suspended during this time, you can read about my traveling group’s experiences here. The blog will be in the hands of my trusty Maine correspondents while I’m away. I can assure you that there will be a lot in store for you when I come back as far as the Maine coverage goes. While I’m away, I encourage/challenge you to:

  • Try something new.
  • Go “Off the Maine Road” and visit a place on the blog.
  • Go outside and enjoy nature.
  • Take a picture with a distinct theme or focus every day of the summer.
  • Try a new food.
  • See L.L.Bean’s Facebook page for cool photos of the outdoors.
  • Read Maine Magazine.
  • Travel to somewhere you’ve never been before.
  • Read a new book.
  • Read Off the Maine Road.

And so much more. See how many you can do! Have a great six weeks, and I’ll be back soon!

-Benjy R., Editor, Off the Maine Road

P.S. The picture below is an example of where in rural China I will be spending my time. I took this photo in August 2007.


Introducing the Lighthouse Scale

The next posts on Off the Maine Road will feature various types of reviews many of them eating establishments (restaurants, snack shops, etc.). Rather than rate some of them on the conventional “5 star” scale, I have decided to put my own Maine twist on it. Introducing: The Lighthouse Scale.


The lighthouse graphic you see above is a picture I took of Portland Head Light and converted into a silhouette. Each eating establishment will be “graded” based on the following criteria (each out of 5 points):

  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
  • Atmosphere

The scores out of 5 for each category will then be added and placed out of 20 points for the final lighthouse scale:

  • 1 lighthouse (1-4 points)
  • 2 lighthouses (5-8 points)
  • 3 lighthouses (9-12 points)
  • 4 lighthouses (13-16 points)
  • 5 lighthouses (17-20 points)

The respective number of lighthouses will then be displayed on the post.

I chose this scale to give you, as readers, the information you need to make the right choices in Maine. And the graphic looks pretty darn cool, too.


Inn by the Sea: Sea Cape Elizabeth Living

As you may have read in the last post, Off the Maine Road has completed a weekend exploring Maine. What you have not read is what we did there. This post begins the long stream of those to come.

While I believe that getting there can be (and often is) half the fun, it’s also important to consider where to stay during a vacation. We chose to stay at the Inn by the Sea, which is located in Cape Elizabeth. Although it’s a little off the main(e) road, it was perfect for us (I think you can see why). The inn was about a 20 minute drive from Portland International Jetport. We arrived late at night, but we were led to a Garden Suite, located on the first floor of the Main Inn. As you can see from their website, their are multiple types of accommodations: some in the main building, some larger two-bedroom cottages, and suites by the beach.

Here was the view from Garden Suite 101.




The room featured a bedroom, bathroom and living room (which had a sofa bed).

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One of the coolest parts of the room had to be the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, which was Maine-themed.


It also had a small sitting area outside.

DSC_0233The entrance to the hotel was pretty cool too.

DSC_0242 DSC_0682You can see the lighthouse-shaped “beacons” in the photo below.


While I don’t have any pictures, the breakfast at Sea Glass restaurant was good, but not that memorable. We didn’t have any other meals there, but they serve lunch and dinner. One night even included a band on the terrace.

The hotel also features a pool, which is to the left of this picture.


The inn features a direct passageway to Crescent Beach, which I’ll show in a later post. There are also beach chairs from the hotel set in the sand.

That concludes this edition of Off the Maine Road. Stay tuned for more posts from the a-Maine-ing adventure we had!





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