Cliff House . Coastal retreat

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Cliff House . Cape Neddick. Maine

As a Cape Cod girl it’s rare for me to head north to Maine.  It’s beautiful here.  The rugged coastline, waves crashing over the rocks – it’s chaotic, it’s hypnotic, it’s captivating.  Like watching a fish in a bowl, the dancing waves, and sea spray, make me feel calm, unhurried, and it’s clear to anyone that knows me, I am neither.  Rush, rush, rush, but as I sit in the Cliff House’s atrium space overlooking the Atlantic ocean, and watching staff as they prepare for a wedding later today, I feel in no hurry to get back to Boston.

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The Tiller at Cliff House

First opened in 1872, the Cliff House was founded by what can only be described as an enterprising woman – Elsie Jane Weare.  Mother to 7 children, caregiver to her sick husband, Captain Theodore Weare, Elsie decided to purchase 70 acres of waterfront property on Bald Head Cliff, and build the Inn.  How hard could that have been?  Oh by the way she ran it too.  It makes me feel a bit lazy to think of all that she accomplished.  The Resort reports that her brother, Captain Charles Perkins, built the original inn, using wood from his mill in Ogunquit.  Very enterprising indeed.

Room with a view . it’s in the details.

In August of 2016, the Cliff House reopened in its entirely new incarnation.  As a gal in construction I spend a lot of time looking at the details, the intersections between floor and wall, ceiling and soffit, the jigs and jogs that provide interest, but also an opportunity to reveal deficiencies in construction, and poor craftsmanship.  I got down on the floor, looked behind the doors, tested the functionality of the library ladder, the strength of the wrought iron piping that provides the track for the intricate rope screen separating bar from restaurant.  I tried to find fault with the windows and their installation – what is wrong with me?  I could not.  It’s beautifully executed.  The craftsmanship is flawless, and the people here are lovely.

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Gallery at Bald Head Cliff

I am blessed to work for a company – a family – that invests so much in their employees.  This Cliff House retreat was scheduled as a get-away for our Director’s Group.  We could have met at my boss Lisa Wexler’s home.  We do on occasion, and it is lovely there, but she selects locations like this, both as a way to thank us for our hard work, and to take us out of our every day setting.  It does the trick, it makes you feel very present.  So much so, I don’t want to return to my other reality!

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Lisa Wexler . President of Elaine Construction and me.  Cliff House.

Cliff House . 591 Shore Road . Cape Neddick . ME  . 207.361.1000.  To being present.  I recommend you book your visit immediately, and whether you choose to indulge in a fresh cold pressed green juice, or a cleverly crafted cocktail, my guess is you won’t be disappointed.

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Comfort and beauty combine.

Big Talk: starting the year out…

My year feels big already.  As I look around my apartment at open cupboards and stacked boxes, the reality that I am moving again sinks in.  I’ve moved 8 times since May of 2015.  When I move this month it will be nine.  Remarkably, that is not daunting to me, but other things are.

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As I think about this new year it is hard not to look to others.  How do they begin?  I’ve noted that some look to trends in fashion, the market, real estate, color.  Some pick a single goal, and map out many achievable steps along the way, while others pick many in the hopes that one will stick.  Some revisit old lists and friends, while some vow to make new.  Some pick a word that they believe will help define their year.  Others pick one that they decide will no longer define who they are.  Resolve.  It’s a powerful thing.

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Karina Silverman and the Big Talk Movement

My good friend Julie Brown introduced me to the Big Talk Movement.  This movement was what I call – unintentional by a young girl named Kalina Silverman who was clearly intent of figuring out how to give her own life meaning.  Big Talk instead of small.  To ask and to answer is to quickly give meaning to, and understand your life and the life of others.  People fascinate, and sometimes dismay me.  Sometime you get just a few moments with someone that will leave an indelible imprint, while I recognize that I’ve known others for years, without really knowing them at all.

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Talk Questions…

What gives you goose bumps?

Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?

What are the first things you notice when meeting someone?

What is your next great adventure?

What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?

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My color for the year is blush.  It feels young and fresh, and full of possibility.  My word is ascend.  As I step firmly out of three and up to four I get goosebumps thinking about getting closer to my goal of ten.  I would love to wake up tomorrow in my new room, having forgone the remainder of the packing!  I notice if someone looks you in the eyes, and wonder what they see.  My next great adventure is either No. 5, or something I haven’t yet conceived of.  Kindness…in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, it feels pretty special when someone takes the time to hold a door.  Happy New Year.